The Copywriting Blog

A blog about copywriting, copywriters and things I've been up to
Jun 0
Jun 0

‘All new goods, nothing stale or shop worn’ — a copy tip from 1916

Sales Promotion by Mail

If you’ve ever had to read turgid and boring business copy about a company’s top people and its history, this blog post is dedicated to you.

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Feb 0
Feb 0

“How long have I been looking at this baby?” A tip for business owners

Before you write, check your sense of scale hasn't gone awry

An simple tip to help you check your sense of scale hasn’t gone off kilter — and what to do if it has.

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Feb 0
Feb 0

Why creativity can ruin a writer’s career — before it starts

Enoch Soames — should have written about stuff that interested him

Don’t waste time cultivating a literary imagination you haven’t got — just write about things that interest you.

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Jan 0
Jan 0

Guardian Q&A: routes into copywriting

Copywriting Agency on Guardian Careers

I’ll be taking part in the Guardian’s live Q&A on copywriting careers – why not log on and ask me some questions?

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Oct 0
Oct 0

Copywriters: what’s your creative stimulant?

Now that's what I call creative

Listening, learning, drinking, thinking – what gives copywriters their ideas and helps them to be creative, day in, day out?

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Oct 0
Oct 0

A nugget for copywriters from The King’s Speech

Two friends - Bertie and Lionel

Don’t let the mechanics of copywriting rob you of your voice – write as though you’re talking to a friend.

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Oct 0
Oct 0

David Ogilvy on ad men: “We’re not steam-heated vulgarian yahoos”

David Ogilvy - not a steam-heated vulgarian yahoo

When the Daily Mirror’s Cassadra bemoaned the famous ‘Come to Britain’ advertising campaign, David Ogilvy stuck the knife in.

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Sep 0
Sep 0

Words that Sing Their Way into Your Pocketbook

Tea advert

Advice from a 1920s copywriter: “I’ve got to make my song echo all the way down to your pocketbook or it’s no good.”

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Sep 0
Sep 0

Is your business communicating in ‘bafflegab’?

The master of bafflegab - Sir Humphrey Appleby

In 1952, Milton A. Smith coined a new word for dreadful business jargon – bafflegab. But is your business using it?

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Sep 0
Sep 0

Billy Connolly, a roadside giant and the power of ‘You’

Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly knows the real power in the word ‘you’ doesn’t come from knowing when to use it – it comes from knowing how to use it.

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Sep 0
Sep 0

Apostrophe catastrophe: My Pant’s

My Pant's - what a cruel fate for an innocent apostrophe

My Pant’s, Paris. If you use a foreign language, please employ a native-speaking copywriter before innocent punctuation gets hurt.

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Sep 0
Sep 0

Become a better copywriter — stop writing like one

Expert copywriter? Yeah, right.

“If you really want to be a better copywriter,” advised the figure in the green armchair, “you should stop writing like one.”

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Sep 0
Sep 0

1938: ‘Dainty Teas’. What’s the cliché of 2011?

Dainty teas - what a cliché!

In 1938, Guardian writer Ivor Brown was complaining about the phrase ‘dainty teas’. But what are the clichés of our own era?

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Sep 0
Sep 0

What does your business add after the scales go down?

Copywriters want to know about the sweets you add after the scales go down

Copywriters want to know about the little extras you add to your service – they’re one of the main reasons your customers choose you.

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Sep 0
Sep 0

Can copywriters sell to the opposite sex?

Antonia White wrote adverts for Mercolized Wax

Can women copywriters sell to men? Or men to women? Two female copywriters from the 1920s share their views – and we wonder whether they were right.

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Aug 0
Aug 0

Does your writing have the power to delight?

Any kid can draw a face on a wooden spoon - but only a few will delight

Next time you’re tempted to lash lots of different copywriting techniques together, check you haven’t left out the most important one of all – the power to delight.

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Aug 0
Aug 0

Why I love slang and hate jargon

Slang cloud made from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

Do you know the real difference between slang and jargon? It’s not about street talk versus tech speak – it’s about humanity.

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Aug 0
Aug 0

What’s most trusted: journalism or copywriting?

Promotion and the art of puffery

The answer to whether we most trust journalists or copywriters lies in the brands they’ve helped to create – intentionally or not.

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Aug 0
Aug 0

How to spot a really bad copywriter

Where have all my clients gone?

There’s one really easy way to spot a bad copywriter – they have no idea why clients choose the copywriters they do.

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Aug 0
Aug 0

Advertising tales: Saki’s Filboid Studge

Filboid Studge - an advertising secret revealed by Saki

Saki hit on a powerful advertising secret as long ago as 1911. If you need to sell unpalatable food, simply market it as healthy – and put the price up.

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