Updates. Ideas. Rants. Techniques. Opinions. Blog.

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Why You Probably Shouldn’t Steal This Copy

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This is a
4 minute read.

Recently, I’ve been super into helping newer copywriters.

There’s enough work out there for everyone and one of my favourite things to do is writer needlessly long email responses to questions from people starting out.

Anything to pretend I’m working while actually just chatting in an email.

But, with an eye on what new copywriters are doing and how they’re marketing themselves, I’ve noticed a handful of cases where someone has ‘borrowed’ the messaging from this website. In some cases, ‘borrowed’ entire paragraphs intact.

In a lot of ways, it’s an ego boost. At least I’m surfacing in the search results. But it strikes me as a bad idea, no matter how much time you saved.

This isn’t a post about the ethical question. It’s not a long way of saying ‘If you’re going to be a copywriter, it might be good to practice writing your own copy.’ 

It’s a post about why repurposing any other copywriter’s story is setting yourself up for failure.

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This Is What’s Wrong With Your Copywriting

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This is a
4 minute read.

Thousands of words. Hundreds of pages.

Every week, I write a lot of copy. And I see a lot of copy, too – from research to work from seasoned pros and brand new copywriters.

I like every bit of copy I see. There’s always something positive to take away, to learn, to adopt as your own.

But I’m also learning from the traps that others fall into. Those common pitfalls that sit just after the starting line. They’re things that are hard to see, but easy to avoid.

So, in the spirit of stopping you from doing the same stupid shit I do, here are the five most common issues I see. Formatted into a nice list post because who has the time to read paragraphs?

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Being Contrarian about the Copywriting Conference

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This is a
3 minute read.

Well, there’s a blog title that seems remarkably on brand…

In this unpredictable new normal where we’re all in it together but staying apart, I’m literally writing this blog post at a copywriting conference. It’s virtual, which makes it a bit like the longest webinar you’ve ever attended.

But it’s also prompting some interesting ideas, even where I don’t 100% agree with the speakers.

For a while now, I’ve been banging the drum of ‘Nobody knows anything’. I apply that to copywriters sharing career advice on social media, so-called ‘best practice’ and the tools clients try to use to assess and analyse copy. We’re all out here making educated guesses.

But, as freelance copywriters or their in-house counterparts, we all have opinions.

So I thought it’d be fun to share my conflicting thoughts as we progress through the day.

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You Haven’t Got Time to Read This

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This is a
< 1 minute read.

So, I haven’t been the world’s best blogger lately.

In fact, I haven’t posted for what seems like an age. There’s only one person to blame.

Wait, no. It’s not me! No, I’m innocent in all this. The only person to blame is you. If you’re a client, you’ve taken up my time with, you know, writing copy. Copywriting. You should be ashamed.

But I’m not writing this to diss you on the internet. I’m writing this to say thanks.

Because it made me realise something quite useful.

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Four Obvious Things About Running a Copywriting Business

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This is a
2 minute read.

Nobody’s asked, but you might be wondering why I keep stating the obvious.

Well, when I wrote Four Obvious Things About Copywriting, it was because these were things people sometimes seemed to forget.

The very basics of copywriting. The things you know instinctively, automatically, and from the moment you write your first piece.

They’re forgotten because they’re too obvious. They’re not creative. They’re not clever. They don’t make people say ‘Wow, you’re such an imaginative little fellow.’

But they do help sell things. Which is good.

Now, I’ve decided to state some obvious things about running your business. You can read Four Obvious Things About Running a Copywriting Business as a guest post over at Copywriter Collective.

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When a Freelance Copywriter is a Seal of Approval

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This is a
2 minute read.

“Hello. What seems to be the problem?”

“Doctor, I’m just not sure what’s wrong with me.”

You slept eight hours last night, but you’re still tired. It’s like you didn’t sleep at all. You tell the doctor about that niggling pain in your abdomen. He asks about food.

You tell him you hate things you thought you loved, and love things you thought you hated. And, worse than that, sometimes you just throw up in the morning for no apparent reason.

It’s all since that wild night when you weren’t as careful as you could’ve been…

You know what’s causing your symptoms. You know what’s happened.

The positive test you did last week probably gave it away.

So what on earth are you doing here, and why are you pretending to be uncertain?

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Copywriter, Wear Some Trousers

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This is a
2 minute read.

Why is that every so many freelance copywriters are obsessed with their pants?

I’m joking, of course. It’s not just pants. It’s pyjamas, dressing gowns, and every kind of clothing there is.

They talk about their copywriting services – I’m with them. They mention some existing clients – I’m still there.

And then…

“The best thing is that I get to write in my pants!”

…and I’m out.

I’ve literally seen this on dozens of copywriters’ websites. I can’t help but wonder who these people are trying to be.

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