October 20, 2011Feedback? Don’t be polite. Be honest.

Rejecting someone? Often "false pleasantries" can be more offensive than a simple "no". Here's a list of weasel words to avoid, and the right way to avoid offending people when you just have to say no.

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October 2, 2011The timelines they are a changin’

Facebook wants me to share my Spotify music choices with you. And it doesn't want to give me a say in the matter. Here's why that's a terrible idea on so many levels.

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September 26, 2011Why are bloggers so badly paid?

It takes a lot longer to build one small building well than it does to put up ten houses sloppily. Copywriting is the same. You get what you pay for. So why don’t we apply this logic to blogging?

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September 21, 2011I’m in London. But does it matter?

The joy of being a freelance copywriter is that you can work, pretty much, from anywhere. From home, from a hotdesk, from a beach in Goa, if you really want. So why the heck am I still living in dirty old London Town?

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September 9, 2011Do you need to be passionate to be able to write?

Most people aren’t passionate about their own jobs — let alone someone else’s. So why do we expect copywriters to be "passionate" about the subjects they're writing about? Unreasonable expectations, or necessary for the best results?

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August 16, 2011Head or heart? How to become a better copywriter by appealing to both.

Robert Cialdini’s ‘weapons of influence’ show us how we make purchasing decisions based on rational choice, even subconsciously. But I don’t think all decisions are made this way. The truth is very often we’re led not by the head, but by the heart.

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July 28, 2011How to brief your copywriter: download a good, free copywriter brief template

Looking for a way to brief your copywriter? Answer these simple 15 questions and he'll know everything he needs to know to get to work. Download this free template to share with clients and colleagues.

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July 21, 2011Why I still use the Oxford comma

Don’t worry about the dictionary definition. The Oxford Comma is simple. It separates out separate things. Without the comma, things are combined.

Here’s a simple, concise, and definitive argument courtesy of —…

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July 15, 2011Bad buzzword: it’s time to stop using the word “solution”

How often do you use the word “solution” in everyday speech? Probably very little.

Your car isn’t your transport solution. Your phone isn’t a communications solution. And I’m willing to bet you never refer to dinner as a “foodservice solution” or even a “hunger solution”, do you? What about your girlfriend? Is she your loneliness solution? Or is that what you call the bottle of whisky you drink alone, late at night? Is paracetamol in a glass of water your hangover solution in the morning? Or would you prefer another swig from the bottle?

Blimey! I just used …

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July 5, 2011Three quick tips for freelance copywriters

Having just read Tom Albrighton’s Top ten tips for freelance copywriters, I find myself agreeing with every one of them. But here’s three tips Tom left out…

1. Get a 50% deposit up-front, every time.

If the client can’t or won’t afford this, what makes you think they’ll pay up on time, or at all, once the job is done?

2. Sometimes, you’re being hired to give your opinion, as well as your words.

You can’t argue with every client, but not everyone likes a yes man. If you’ve got different ideas (and you can express them politely) don’t …

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