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Direct Mail

Proofreeding - 4 techniques

proofreading northampton copywriting

Do what I say - not what I do

Did you read Saturday’s tip no. 9?  The one featuring Katherine Hepburn?
Judging by the number of emails I received, gleefully pointing out
my clumsy proofreading error,  it seems that most of you did.
So - I hang my head in shame.
What better way to make amends than to change today’s planned
email topic and substitute it for the vexed subject of - proofreading

Don't be bashful ...

northampton seo copywriter

Bashful isn't beautiful.
Be bold!

Yesterday, a newsletter I hadn’t seen before nervously
poked its head into my inbox.
The subject was of no interest, but the writing style was.
What mood did it convey?
This image gives you a pretty good idea.
And do you know why it came across as so meek - like a begging letter?
The word ‘please’ appeared 5 times.

Perfect grammar doesn't always mean perfect copy

milton keynes copywriter

“Obey all the rules and you miss all the fun”

Aaah ... the words of my favourite pin-up.
Katherine Hepburn was surely referring to, what else but, the rules of grammar?

Let it come from the heart

northampton content writer copywriting tips

Don't write - speak!

Let me tell you about Sean.
He's a landscape gardener, local to Northampton.

I first met him a while back at a Networking Breakfast.
He immediately struck me as a nice chap, attentive and courteous in every way.

He even had the good grace to listen to my unfunny anecdotes.
Sean dutifully introduced me to the other members of the group, making sure I wasn’t last in the queue for breakfast.

Three is a magic number

Once upon a time, there lived a young, ambitious, better-than-averagely-good-looking politician.

One day he stood up in front his audience and promised, “When I become Prime Minister my 3 main priorities will be education, education, education”.

Biting that bullet

copywriting northampton bedford milton keynes leicester

What’s so great about bullet points?

✓ They’re wonderful
✓ They look cool
✓ Go on - admit it - you love ‘em
✓ Use them wisely and well … and your readers will love you too

The two main aims of a bullet point are to

(i)  make your words easier to read
(ii) allow you to highlight important points
 

Putting the 'why' before the 'what'

Putting the ‘why’ before the ‘what’

Yes - it’s that old chestnut - The Tweedledum and Tweedledee of commercial copywriting,
features and benefits.

I can hear the collective groan - “Oh not that one!  Everyone knows the difference.”

But do they?
If so, some have a funny way of showing it.

Only the other day, I was looking for paintbrushes.
I found some on a famous DIY website and this is what they told me -  

Slow, quick, quick, slow ...

Take your readers for a spin on the dance floor

It won't have escaped your notice that I'm forever going on about brevity - the importance of using short words, short paragraphs, short sentences …
... but wait just a minute.
Is small always beautiful?
Look what happens if your sentences become relentlessly punchy.
 

Cut, cut and cut again

When you write copy, be utterly ruthless.
Check all of the words and ask yourself the question –
“Am I absolutely sure they all ultimately need to be included?”
Your writing should always comprise the actual basic fundamentals.
The end result will be completely concise copy that
engages really effectively with your clients.
52 words

To put it another way –

Be bloody, bold and resolute!

northampton copywriter

Sometimes when we write, we’re inclined to be a little timid -

For example,

1. If you’d like to place an order, fill in this form.
2. We can deliver your consignment the following day.

3. If you’d like to know more, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Aren’t these just too polite, almost deferential?

Let’s be confident.  After all, confidence is an attractive quality and we all want our goods or services to be attractive, don’t we?

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