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Words - The Blog

This section of Copywriter Pro is the interactive bit – the blog.

I’ll be filling it with tidy titbits and helpful hints from the world of Copywriting – anything from ‘How To Work Out That Killer Headline’ to ‘5 Business Letter Mistakes To Avoid’.

All posts are organised in Categories – they’re all on the right, so you can pick through the topics that interest you.

But Words is about more than imparting pearls of wisdom. There’s also an element of fun to it. You’ll also find a Category called Flotsam and Jetsam, with an assortment of Quotes, Poems, Puzzles, Articles and Games – all based around the theme of Words. Essentially, it’s our verbal playground. Do join us!

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Proofreeding - 4 techniques

freelance copywriter northampton

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 ...

calls to action

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

copywriting tips

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”.

His early years as Prime Minister went rather well.  It was only towards the end of his term of office that things went somewhat awry for Tony Blair.
 

SEO - what counts and what doesn't count

seo copywriterSEO.  What’s the big deal?

The term SEO was first coined by one Jason Gambert, back in 1995.
He describes SEO as a process.
The process of engineering a website so that it appears as high as
possible in the search engines,
for specific keywords or phrases.
Success with SEO means more website visitors.
Something we all want.

 

Biting that bullet

bullet points copywriting tips

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 -  

Not a very good word

There’s a word - a very short one that I dislike more than any other.  It’s a very dull word, a very boring and very lazy word.  This word is a killjoy, falling very heavily, like a very old, very grey, very damp blanket over our words, smothering the very spark and very life out of them.  This word is very irritating and very useless.  Why?  Because, like my kids as teenagers, it does the very opposite of what it’s supposed to do.

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.
 

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