Copywriter news, musings, ideas, and tips
Proof that the devil really does find work for idle keyboards
Can’t tell a horn from a hoi or a caret from a circumflex? Here’s a beginner’s guide to those confusing hooks, strokes, and squiggles.
How would a consumer describe their ideal snack? And what words do healthy and unhealthy conjure up? Dutch research offers some clues.
The groan-inducing cracker joke is a festive staple. If it’s not bad, it’s not doing the job. Here’s how to write your own.
Marketers continue to peddle solutions to undefined problems. Here’s a fresh reminder of why you should strike the word from your copy.
Lockdown goes on. Sort of. So here’s a collection of artistic projects to keep boredom at bay. No glitter and very little glue, just oodles of imagination.
Stuck in lockdown? Kids bored? This varied collection of word games will fire their imaginations. Play at home or with friends online.
Here, on one page, are the online resources to resolve a million-and-one everyday commercial-writing problems. All suggestions welcome.
Even media-savvy people can be herded into predictability. It’s time to break out of your copywriting straitjacket.
We copywriters are hard-wired to bin jargon, but does that serve our audience? Guest blogger, Nigel Graber, raids the linguistic refuse sacks.
‘Delicious’ is your opinion. If you want a customer to drop your food product in their basket, reach out to their emotions.
Don’t tell your audience what to think about you, help them make up their own minds. That’s a much more powerful result.
Confusing or ambiguous instructions are an annoying time-waster. Maybe you need a proper writer to put things right.
Crowd-sourced dictionaries may be fun, but are they helpful to copywriters? Probably not.
AccessLab is a British Science Association programme to give people the skills to research original scientific papers. Here’a report from my day of discovery.
Had enough of corporate insincerity? People want helpful customer service not endless apologies for the minor things that go wrong.
Holland & Barrett is selling Perky Pecans, Happy Hazelnuts, and Cherished Cranberries. But where are the brand truths in a copy scheme driven by alliteration?
Those innocuous ‘Did you know?’ snippets are corporate time-wasters. If the point needs to be made, spell it out. If not, cut it out.
It’s easy to be vague and boastful – to be ‘one of’ the leading brands in your sector. But who wants to be ordinary when they could be magnificent?
Reach Contact win at the UK Customer Experience Awards. I helped them wow the judges with a written submission and scripted face-to-face presentation. Could you, too, be an award-winner?
And I’m celebrating with a string of homespun one-liners. Stuff like: « A group of exclamation marks ordered a round of drinks in a pub. “Whose shout is it?” asked the landlord. »
When crisp-eaters threw themselves into Walkers’ Spell & Go promotion, what kind of letter distribution were they expecting?
A typo isn’t the end of the world, but it may leave you feeling red-faced. Follow my proofreading guide, and you’ll always be publishing work you’re proud of.
Could you explain the 31 moves in solitaire in just 220 words? We did it to prove a point: that we’re pretty good at writing instuctions. Here’s how in words and in pictures.
Title case … sentence case … all caps … there are plenty of ways to set your titles. Some are easier to read, and some look a shade more elegant. Here’s my guide to the best and the worst.
It’s hard to stop people ripping off your web copy, but you can at least flag up your ownership. So how do you apply that © symbol? Do you even need it?
Design guidelines depend on words for clarity, as well as layouts. If your designers aren’t as handy with text as they are with graphics, your guidelines could be leading people astray.
‘The band is in full swing’ or ‘the band are in full swing’? ‘The band is drinking coffee’ or ‘the band are drinking coffee’? I look at some of those tricky questions of plurality.