Blog Posts - Copywrite



Cite lines

Here’s a client question that may interest: I was reading a LinkedIn post and I wanted to know the legal rights if I want to use any of that post in a report. I replied: To be on the safe side, put anything you use in “quotes” and give the...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Feb 27, 2016

And: another thing.

I just did the penultimate edit of a resume (CV). My client asked why I changed most instances of ‘and’ to ampersands (&) in his many bullet points. Here’s what I replied: In the context of this document, using ampersands lets b...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Jul 16, 2015

Treasure grove

I recently helped a client with the piece below. Aaron’s aim was to give a personal perspective of his profession. When we were done, however, we realised the content wasn’t ‘newsy’ enough for the Latest News section of Ecolog...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Jun 11, 2015

Tanks for the memories – the importance of research

I love doing research. This is lucky, as copywriters must do stacks of it to be any good. Get one fact wrong and you can: Torpedo an ad. Destroy a campaign. Sink a brand. Lose a client. Trash your reputation. So when it comes to looking stuff up, I&#...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on May 28, 2015

The true tale of Elizabeth Frensington-Smythe

I was rewriting a large website for a client with the glorious double-barrelled name (changed for this tale) of Elizabeth Frensington-Smythe. With big projects, I often begin with small bits and work my way up at increasing speed. Staff bios (profile...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Mar 22, 2015

.doc vs .docx – Which & why?

I got a new editing project the other day. A piece of technical writing destined to pass through many hands. It’s also intended to form part of a series. I always start a job by setting ground rules. And given this brief, the need for consisten...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Mar 17, 2015

Library books

Having edited a client’s book for much of last year, I was delighted when he sent me a box of ten shiny copies to give to prospects and friends. By chance, my own book (pictured) had come out just a few days before. Once I got over the warm fuz...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Mar 15, 2015

From DL to PDF to online & beyond!

Remember that jolly DL brochure I edited? It’s not back from the printer yet, but it did throw up a further lesson during the design process. Never one to stop seeking value, I asked my client: ‘Once this brochure is finalised for printin...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Sep 30, 2014

Notes on DL brochures

A client asked me to edit a brochure and suggest a format. Once I saw what the brochure was for (promoting a course to time-poor execs) I suggested ‘DL’ format. So what the hell is DL? Swim Communications puts it very well. In short, DL i...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Sep 15, 2014

Stew on this!

  I was once asked to settle a family debate. She said you stew apples to create the dish Stewed apple. He said you stew apples to create … stewed apples. This is what I said: I’m honoured you’ve consulted me. In most cases, Stewed app...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Aug 6, 2014

Right between the eyes

Last week I optimised a LinkedIn summary. This was a natural progression from editing resumes. And with jobs falling like flies, I expect this work to burgeon. My client had asked for a ‘punchier’ summary, yet had much to say in a small s...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Jan 21, 2014

Qui Ckon CEO Ver.

Sorry about that title; only had time for a ‘quick once over’. All the letters are there: the caps and spacing didn’t confuse, did they? As a copywriter, I sometimes get quick-once-over requests. I wonder if you do too. The request has three va...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Jan 5, 2014

On your mark

As the global economy wobbles and shifts, I’ve been doing more resumes (CVs) than usual. This recently triggered a prospective client request I’d not encountered before: Please discuss your experience with translating military careers to...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Dec 20, 2013

Cliche of the Titans

One of my clients makes high-end breakfast products. So when she wrote on her labels that breakfast was: the most important meal of the day, she knew it. And meant it. But this didn’t stop me challenging her. You see, every person and their pet...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Dec 17, 2013

21 things I don't like about marketing today...

This post appears courtesy of Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter. Bob Bly is the author of 70+...
by I Am Infinite Eternal... on Oct 11, 2013

Handle with care

Word up! When you edit a website to relaunch a high-end muesli range, every word counts. To this end, a clever client and I recently had an interesting exchange: She I bought some yogurt today. They have ‘handcrafted’ as part of their pro...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Sep 19, 2013

Speak or ZING?

Alas! My business coach, Winston Marsh, gave my expensive online shop the thumbs down! On the topic of ZING-based copywriting, we’ve long been at odds. It’s time to analyse the sticking place. In the blue corner is me. I believe the message is e...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Apr 14, 2013

The best headline I’ve seen

Remember how I unintentionally ‘mozzed’ my neighbour’s home auction by invoking a thunderstorm? Well, I just got a letter with the best headline I’ve seen: This isn’t the best headline you’ve seen, but it wasn’t written for you. It was...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Feb 4, 2013

Cheap shots!

When I read the quote for my new website, I got a fright. It said something like ‘pictures not included’*. Last time I worked in a creative studio, clients were charged up to $150 per picture (pic). I needed nine. Fortunately, much has changed in...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Jan 21, 2013

Am I wasting my creative juice?

The other day, Kate Toon invited me to guest on her blog. This was tremendous fun. Even funner, Kate has kindly returned the favour. And she’s chosen a topic dear to my (and quite likely your) heart. Take it away Kate! As a writer I have what...
by Practical Copywriting Tips on Nov 22, 2012


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