The Copywriting Blog

A blog about copywriting, copywriters and things I've been up to
Jul 1
Jul 1

Can a copywriter learn from Police interviews?

interrogation

I’ll throw this out there as a thought. There might be something in it. There might not. But a couple of years ago I read a book called Don’t Be Deceived: The definitive book on detecting deception. It draws on material like police interviews and court proceedings, analysing what words people use when they lie. I […]

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Jul 0
Jul 0

I’m back – and it’s time for some copywriting

I’ve been very quiet on this blog for the last couple of years. Partly it’s because I’ve been ill, although I am happily now cured (and am using words to help others, such as here). It’s partly because I spent a year as a borough councillor in Colchester. That eats into your time. And it’s partly […]

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Oct 1
Oct 1

PCN Conference Flashbacks

Beehive. Read on to find out why it's here.

Some flashbacks, thoughts and copy recycling inspired by the tweets and speakers at the Professional Copywriters’ Network Conference.

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Jun 0
Jun 0

“That very beautiful medium, the English Language”

Strachey by Beerbohm

“The English language, being part Latin, part Saxon, is, in my rough insular opinion, an even finer medium than the French one. Latin is, one might say, its bony structure, Saxon its flesh and blood.”

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Jun 1
Jun 1

#PCN2013 – for copywriters, marketers and smart businesses

PCN Conference

The speakers at #pcn2013 are top-flight, and they’re not just talking about how to hone your copy techniques — they’re revealing how they win business for their clients.

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Jun 1
Jun 1

Podcast: How to write your way to freedom

Ben Locker speaking

Listen to a podcast of my talk about Louis Victor Eytinge, the original killer copywriter – who wrote his way to freedom

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Aug 2
Aug 2

Long copy ad: How to Create Sales Letters that Sell

Long copy ad - How to Create Sales Letters That Sell

How many enthusiasms is it possible to cram into one advert? Long copy, copywriting history, a format that pays homage to David Ogilvy and a ripping yarn about killer-turned-copywriter Louis Victor Eytinge.

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Aug 0
Aug 0

Does ‘misery make for better copy’?

Misery - WE Gladstone

Montherlant once wrote ‘happiness writes white’. And miserable novels certainly fly off the shelves. But does injecting misery into business copywriting get the cash register ringing?

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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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May 0
May 0

I’m bored OF pedantry

A pedant, yesterday

There’s an inviolable rule about writing letters that criticise another person’s grammar — you’ll make a hash of your own in the process. Try it.

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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

Bookshelf – the book

Bookshelf, the book - by Alex Johnson

It’s important to choose your words (and your wordsmiths) carefully, but for many of us there is actually no more vital an issue than where to put our books. But now that problem is easily solved, thanks to Bookshelf — the book.

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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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Jan 0
Jan 0

Writing a sales letter? Put your heart on the envelope

Love letter

How a girl who did the world’s best duck impression taught me to write envelopes that make heroes of their recipients.

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Dec 1
Dec 1

The copywriter who wrote Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Robert May - author of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was written by a copywriter called Bob May in 1939. This is his story – in May’s own words.

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Nov 0
Nov 0

Can employee research help you become a company of giants?

Ogilvy's Russian Dolls

David Ogilvy built a vast advertising agency on the back of careful research. But did he use research to gain an insight into his staff too?

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Nov 0
Nov 0

“Kills bacteria as well as the leading competition”

Empty When Half Full: A cantankerous consumer's compilation of mistakes, misprints and misinformation

If ever a single book made the case for every business to hire decent copywriters, it’s this one – Empty When Half Full

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Nov 0
Nov 0

Should copywriters use words that aren’t in the dictionary?

Underway in our copywriting agency's dictionary

Should copywriters use words that aren’t in the dictionary? At this copywriting agency, we say ‘yes’.

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Oct 0
Oct 0

CIM Essex launches first social marketing conference

Budgets may be tightening like cheese wire, but businesses, charities and the public sector alike need social marketing for their long-term success – this conference shows them how.

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