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Emotionals

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There you are in the grandly decorated lounge of Agora owner Bill Bonner’s 18-century chateau… Gathered with you are what you’ve been told are some of the best copywriters in the world… You’re excited. In fact, you’re only just starting to figure out what this copywriting lark is all about, so to spend time with real experts and insiders… brilliant. And there you are, split off into a group of three or four writers, one…

I’m on the bus back to my London flat in Dalston reading the first draft of a new sales letter a copywriter has just sent me to review. In the time it takes me to get from Leicester Square to the Balls Pond Road, I’ve read it. It flows well, really well. I’m excited to see how the market will react when it gets tested. I watch the houses go by and remember why I…

Copywriters can be precious people… I should know. I am one. And sure, tell me my copy doesn’t work or that I could do something better and once upon a time I would have sulked for a week. Yup, I used to be like that. But these days, I’ve calmed down. I’d like to think I’m wiser. You see, I realised sometime ago that you simply cannot be precious about your copy. And that’s never…

I was really impressed with a chap I’ve been working with this week. We’ve been trying to figure out a way to sell his product and have tried numerous angles that just don’t seem to work. So, we jumped on the phone and talked it out. There were a lot of dead ends, unfinished thoughts and some good discussion – just the way it should be when you’re figuring things out. But what really impressed…

I want to take some time to write up a presentation I’ve given a couple of times on writing adverts. Though my thoughts on this were targeted towards writing adverts specifically for email (i.e. to be used in email newsletters like this one), the theory can be used for most advert varieties. So, whether you’re writing adverts for Facebook… for Google Adwords… or just for weird flyers that you hand out to strangers in the…

Before you write any piece of copy, you need to figure out if the idea you’re writing about is any good. If your idea sucks ass, your copy will suck ass. Worse: A bad idea will make it even harder to write the suck-ass copy, which is just dumb. Why spend extra time writing bad copy? On the flipside: if your idea is good, writing the copy will be much easier, and faster. And chances…

Your reader is often better at creating stories for themselves than you are at creating stories for them. Ugh… There’s a chewy sentence! Hardly the most engaging, right? So, thanks if did you chew through it and got to this one. Indeed, despite that sentence being a total mouthful, I do think it’s the most straightforward way of getting across an idea I’d like to share with you today. It’s an idea that could help…

You can’t prove that your exciting new product works before you’ve proved that it’s exciting in the first place. Think about that. Because it’s a flaw with long direct response copy that I see over and over. Too soon a copywriter will start trying to prove a product works before they’ve proved to the reader that they should be excited about the product at all. It’s a bad habit I see – particularly in new…

Hurrah! I’ve finally got a chance to relax and take the time to say hello. More than that, I want to share some thoughts that I’ve been having since I attended a writing retreat in France last month. But before I do anything… I should apologise: I’ve been out of action for a little while. Sadly I had some bad news on a personal front, which meant I haven’t really had chance to think much…

“And the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them.” These days it’s almost cliché to say so… But, as a copywriter, I find the writing of Ernest Hemingway such a useful resource. If you’re not regularly reading his work, you should be. You’ll learn far more about good copy reading The Old Man and the Sea than boring…