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Ideas

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My mind is a mess. I mean, literally, a mess. There are too many ideas in there. Bits and bobs lying about all over the joint. Send help. Send a cleaner. Send a shrink. It’s like someone ran into a library with a barrel of explosives and let rip… There are pages everywhere. Ideas strewn across collapsed shelves. Quiet librarians shivering in corners, desperate to speak up but too shaken to speak clearly. I doubt…

Working in the world of direct response is great. Why? Because it’s cold, hard and emotionless. Wait. That doesn’t sound good. But it is. Trust me. Of course, we copywriters spend the majority of our time desperately trying to inject emotion into our writing and into our readers… But in the true light of day, the market is truly cold and emotionless. It doesn’t care about your feelings. It doesn’t care about the work you’ve…

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…

After spending an evening with social media expert and general ‘smart guy’, Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee), I decided to check out SlideShare. Have you come across this yet? It’s basically a social network based around sharing slideshows. Sounds weird, I know. But I kind of like it and spent some time designing my own presentation. I think it’s worked out quite nicely. And it’s about a subject that’s important to any copywriter, marketer or business owner -…

The first here in a new series of ‘quotes about copywriting’. Every now and again I’ll be posting a new snippet of copywriting advice that you’ll hopefully want to share with the world. (Frankly, I’m so fed up with the wealth of meaningless inspirational quotes circulating the web that I thought it was about time we spread some mildly useful ones about our subject too.) Best of all, by taking advantage of the design skills…

I wrote a new article for a fellow copywriter, Alastair Allday, that is currently featured on his website, Allday Creative. You can read the piece here. In it I reveal five things that could help you improve your writing. But these aren’t regular copy tips and it isn’t a list of typical ‘how to’ textbooks. In fact, these five things are totally unrelated to copywriting and actually involve Ernest Hemingway, Bill Hicks and Bob Dylan.…

Ideas are irritating. Sometimes they’re right there in your face, shouting at you like an arrogant teenage kid who thinks they know best… Other times they’re nowhere to be seen, like your broke mate Steve who’s always in the toilet when it’s his round at the bar. I’ll tell you what… From now on, let’s boycott ideas. Who needs them anyway? Not me… Well. Er. Hmmm. That’s the problem. I DO need them. And so…

Aristotle’s idea was to start in the middle… And I have no doubt that in creative writing classes all around the world they’re preaching the same message as we speak. But hey, I was brought up under contrarian copywriter supreme, Bill Bonner, so why not throw a spanner into Aristotelian theory. Someone’s got to, right? So… I’ll say this – and I mean it – you should start EVERY sales promotion you write at the very end. You…

As a copywriter, you’ve got one major problem that no one really talks about: no one wants to buy anything. That would be fine if it weren’t for the fact that, as a copywriter, it’s your job to encourage people to buy things. Actually, I’m being dramatic. There’s hope… there’s something you can do to fix it… and you can start right now. Speaking with a copywriting buddy of mine recently, an English copywriter-turned-entrepreneur-in-his-own-right, he pointed something out that should…

Brainstorming is a bit crap. Or is it? It’s a difficult one. I say this: You should never disregard brainstorming as a tool for generating ideas. As a copywriter, when it comes to generating original and engaging headlines for a promotion, you’ve got to develop your own style. Me; I tend to pace up and down a lot. I kind of stab my hand about a bit like as though I’m trying to karate chop…