February 28, 2011No more big ideas: why digital agencies are small and scientific

I started my first blog, a Livejournal, in late 1999. Back then, the word “blog” didn’t even exist.

Twelve years ago, I never could have predicted I’d have a successful career using the same techniques I learned while writing teenage ramblings for my friends. Yet here I am.

I guess I’ve always been an early adopter. Yet it never ceases to amaze me that there are people out there who still don’t understand the value of digital.

The ad industry is changing, whether you like it or not.

I read this fascinating piece on the future of advertising after it …

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February 21, 2011If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I never cease to be amazed by the stupidity of very smart people: unfortunately, hard experience has taught me that business sense and marketing sense very rarely mix.

Of course really smart businessmen hire marketing professionals — because they realise they’re good at making money, not at selling things.

They don’t think hey, I can manage a million dollar business so I can write a strapline, they think — hey, I’m smart enough to manage a million dollar business, which means I can afford to pay a professional to write my strapline.

KFC, in the UK at least, is changing

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February 13, 2011Duplicate content – are you protecting your page rank?

I’m obsessed with my metrics. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the process of building a site, of populating it with content, of monetizing it and making it work isn’t about guesswork. It’s about making informed decisions by checking who’s visiting your site, how long they’re staying, where they’re coming from, and what they’re looking for. In short: your site flourishes when you provide people with content they want.

I came into the office for a Sunday session, thinking today would be a good day to go over my metrics and make a few tweaks to my site.

I was …

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February 12, 2011Social Media for Complete Beginners – Part 2

Why do you need social media?

I suppose I should start at the start: with an explanation of exactly why you should be using social media. It doesn’t matter what you do: if your business in any way relies on web traffic, and, specifically, your organic page rank in Google, you need to be using social media.

Why? Because Google changed the rules.

I set up my own business as a freelance copywriter at around the time when core SEO strategy was to have a good site, with lots of keywords and information, and a regularly-updated, keyword rich blog that …

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February 7, 2011Social Media for Complete Beginners – Part 1

It’s London Social Media Week, a 5 day series of events, panel discussions and seminars on social media — how to monetize it, and how to take advantage of it. I thought about dropping in on a couple of seminars and reporting back to you. Then I realised two things:

1) half a dozen other people will be doing the same thing, and at least one of them will be doing it better than me, and
2) I’m not a “social media type”. I don’t tweet, I’m a reluctant user of Facebook, and my tumblr doesn’t have one single …

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February 3, 2011How to apply David Ogilvy’s sales technique to web copy

I’ve spoken before about how much I rate Tom Albrighton’s work as a copywriter. I’m also a fan of Ben Locker, in Colchester (Glad you’re not in London, Ben!). What have these two guys got in common? They’re both big fans of the “father of modern advertising,” David Ogilvy. So much so, in fact, that Ben recently produced a long-copy print ad in Ogilvy’s style as an experiment, testing whether or not long copy works. Well, I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is, too.

Who the hell is David Ogilvy?

Well, first things first, let’s be …

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February 1, 2011Big Louise: Why we get lonely without social media

Has a song ever made you feel sad? Lonely? Depressed? Of course it has. But has a song ever made you feel sorry for someone else? You tell me.

I’m a big Scott Walker fan. Scott’s a cult singer who started out as a 60s pop crooner who gradually evolved into an experimental noisemaker by way of the dark, lyrical lounge music of Jacques Brel. Imagine if Frank Sinatra got a gig in Vegas and went from playing crowd pleasers to crooning deep numbers about call girls, death and torture, before finally just deciding to pummel a side of meat …

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January 24, 2011Can B2B copywriting be creative?

Though they say you should never give your competitors the oxygen of publicity, I have to admit I’m quite fond of Tom Albrighton’s copywriting blog. While his site’s a little cluttered for my tastes (I’m sure he’d say mine is too brash), I’ll give him this. The man knows how to write. But luckily for us both, we’re not in direct competition. You see, I market myself as a “creative” copywriter. Tom, on the other hand, is proud to be uncreative. Let’s look at what that means:

With a publishing background, I’m much more suited to larger projects …

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January 21, 2011Setting up a new business: can you really work from home?

So, I snapped. After valiantly trying to tough it out working from home with two highly-strung girls and their overactive cat, I moved into a new office today. And I can safely say I’ve done more work this afternoon than I have in the last three weeks put together. There’s less furballs, too.

I know what you’re thinking. You get up in the morning. London’s all grey and awful. You’ve got to get up before it’s even light and trudge twenty minutes in the rain to catch a bus to catch a tube and stand around geting pushed around just …

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January 7, 2011It’s good to be back in London

Shoes - Stolen!

Happy new year, folks. Hope you’ve had a good one. I’ve had one of those months. You know the sort, the kind where a vengeful girl locks you out, steals your shoes, and leaves you to drive two hundred miles in your wellington boots to crash on a mate’s couch because you have nowhere else to go for Christmas and New Year.

Never happen to you? Well, you’re lucky. But my month on the road (working, as ever, with my Laptop, my wireless dongle and my trusty Blackberry) made me think about one thing. As a copywriter …

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