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By completing this form, you agree to receive newsletters - tips about writing for business. Occasionally, they’ll be about workshops and webinars.

'I want to tell you a story'

So said Max Bygraves.  Story telling techniques can really bring your copy alive.
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Newsletters

Your copywriting tip bundle

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Congratulations!  You've made it to Copywriting Tip No.23 of 24.  For today's tip,  I'm cheating.  I'm presenting you with a bundled of all the previous tips.  22 mini-morsels of word magic to help keep your blog, your web copy, newsletters, sales letters - engaging and effective.  There are no guarantees that, by using these techniques, you'll be flooded with hundreds of new enquiries.  But you will be giving yourself a far better chance of engaging effectively.  But what's this?  What's happened to tip no.24.  Well for that, you must be patient and check in tomorrow.
 

Targeting your reader

Who’s it to?

This time of year, every other Saturday afternoon, I cut a sad and
lonely figure.  You’ll see me spending the best part of two hours sitting
in the cold and wet.
The purpose?
To indulge a childhood habit of proffering my support to the somewhat less-than-mighty Northampton Town (aka The Cobblers) football team,
as they labour to avoid yet another morale-sapping defeat.

Cliches - avoid them like the plague

Don't you hate cliches?

I do.  I reckon we all do - well, at least those of us who care about using language to communicate clearly and effectively.

Clichés are boring.  In fact, they're so boring, that when I come across more than two or three in one piece of text, my knees ache.  But what upsets me about them more than anything else is that cliches are a symptom of another pet hate - laziness.
 

Space - your silent angel

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Admit it.  When you write, more than anything, you want to keep your reader engaged.

Think back to the last time you wrote a 1,000 page research paper.  Er ... OK then - a note for the Amazon delivery lady.
Whatever the length, circumstance or purpose of the exercise, your aim was surely the same - to keep the reader with you - to the very end.

Size matters ...

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... but not always in the way you might expect

SMALL IS, MOST DECIDEDLY, BEAUTIFUL

And Winnie the Pooh was an expert, for it was he who famously declared -
"It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like -
'What about lunch?'"
 

So how does word length make a difference in our business English?

Why good copy really does matter

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Copywriting - the Cinderella of marketing?

Words.  Remember them?  Those funny squiggly things, scrawled across a page.
Do you know what?  They matter.  You’d think this was self-evident.
But it’s strange (and deeply, desperately disappointing to professional copywriters) how often words go unappreciated.

For too many business owners (not you of course!), good copy is just an afterthought.
 

It's not about you - it's about your audience

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My daughter, Hannah, would make a great copywriter.  What do you mean, “How do I know?”?  It’s in her genes!
But no - it’ true.  She has all the right instincts.
And this is how I know ...

"Be yourself ...

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... everyone else is already taken"

Wise words from Oscar Wilde - who doubtlessly was musing on the intricate art of composing commercially engaging web copy.
Whatever.
The estimable Mr. Wilde's words probably represent the single most important piece of advice you should take away from this series of copywriting tips ...

Keep it personal.

 

Proofreeding - 4 techniques

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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 ...

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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.

Pages

We write Words -
Words for Websites, Newsletters, Social Media.
If your words are online, we'll write them.

Business Cards, Business Letters, Sales Letters, Direct Mail, Flyers, Leaflets, Catalogues, Brochures, Presentation Folders

Copy for Lawyers, Accountants, Estate Agents, Recruiters, Builders, Retailers, Manufacturers … and Copy for You!

I'll write your web content.  Then 2 years later, you'll receive a completely free re-write. Are there conditions?  You bet there are!

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