Entries Tagged 'copywriting' ↓

182 Greatest Copywriters and the Internet Age

I don’t often use this blog to blow my own trumpet, so I thought it was about time that I did.

Monday mornings aren’t always the best time of the week, but a recent one was made much sweeter by a notification.

Joseph Bushnell had compiled a list of what he considered to be the 182 Greatest Copywriters and Copywriting Resources of the Internet Age.

In his own words:

Here is my list of the best copywriters and copywriting resources. If you’re an aspiring copywriter, these are the people you should be following, learning and swiping from

Here are the 3 main criteria for the people/resources you’ll find on this list…

1. They are specialized copywriters…

There are many marketers who are great copywriters, the list of marketers who can write good copy would be an absolutely huge list (and this list is big enough as it is). So I’ve narrowed it down to those who, for the most part, specialize in copy and conversion optimization. Perhaps they are for hire as a copywriter, have a blog about copywriting, have a newsletter about copywriting, have written a book about copywriting, have a specific course about copywriting, etc. They either write copy for a living or they teach it

2. These are modern day copywriters…

The list of great copywriters over the last 100 years would also make for a very big list. So the people on this list are modern day copywriters. Most are still alive but not all of them but their impact on the copywriting world was recent. I’ve decided to list copywriters making an impact since the year 2000 onwards (although many have been making an impact long before the year 2000 as well). I guess you could say this is a list of the best copywriters of the internet era.

Please don’t come at me with “What about Schwartz, Caples and Hopkins?!” Those guys were great, the pioneers of copy but they aren’t on this list. I’ll probably make a separate list of the old school copywriters in the future

3. They have taught me something useful…

This is my personal list. No special panel or committee decided these names, it’s my opinion. The only qualification is that they have impressed me and I have learned something from them  that I think was of value. I have been lucky enough to interview many of these great copywriters so I’ve learned from many of them one on one. I’ve also studied their books, blogs, courses and studied/swiped their copy and I find them worthy of being on the list

I know I will be missing people out. It’s not personal, it just means I somehow didn’t hear of them or I didn’t get a chance to study any of their work yet.

Also a lot of great copywriters don’t tout themselves as teachers but just stay quietly hidden, writing copy and the rest of the world don’t know about them. These best kept secrets may be great copywriters but I can’t list them if I don’t know who they are.

So if you should be on this list or you know someone who should be on this list, leave a comment below as to where I can find out more. If I think they are good, I’ll add them to the list

In no particular order, here is my big, fat list of the best copywriters and their materials…

And yes, he very kindly added little old me to his list.

Want to see who else is on there?

Follow this link to find out who his 182 Greatest Copywriters are.

If you want to know a bit more about me, here’s my latest video (feel free to share):

The True Value of Copywriting

Judging by my inbox these days, more and more people are looking to use professional copywriters, but why?

What’s their motivation?

As far as I can tell there are 3 main camps:

1. Joe who doesn’t have time

Joe spends 40+ hours a week chained to his desk. The work keeps pouring in and he’s struggling to keep his head about the water, but his boss keeps sending more his way.

The latest demand is for a re-write of the product descriptions on the company website. Its mind numbing work and Joe a) can’t be bothered and b) doesn’t have the time.

He’s just about got enough in the budget to get some help, so he Googles for a copywriter. The problem is he doesn’t see the work as important and so offers peanuts. And we all know what happens when you only want to pay peanuts.

The problem is, although the copy is fairly short, it’s vital to the success of the business. If the company’s product descriptions aren’t inviting, no one’s going to buy them.

The result? Joe outsources the work to a very cheap company (abroad) and ends up with substandard writing that simply doesn’t work – epic fail.

2. Frank who can’t write for toffee

Frank is also drowning in work, but also knows he doesn’t have the right skill set when it comes to creating engaging copy.

When his boss asks him to write the copy for their new corporate brochure, Frank turns very pale. After a meeting with his boss, Frank persuades him to get in a copywriter. The only problem is, his boss doesn’t see the value in getting someone else in and so sets a very low budget.

Franks is really frustrated because he knows it’s not enough to get a good writer on board, but his hands are tied and calls in a cheap writer.

When the copy arrives, Frank ends up having to re-write it, even though he’s far from confident in his own abilities.

Thousands are printed and taken to the next trade show…and are then brought back again because no one wants them.

3. Alice who values great writing

Monday morning is the budget meeting. Alice already knows she will be responsible for creating a new brochure, web copy and email campaign this quarter. She also knows there’s no one with the right skill set in the company. Plus, she also knows using someone outside will enhance the copy.

During the meeting she makes a strong case for using a professional copywriter and is granted a sizeable budget.

After a bit of research, Alice finds the perfect writer and meets with them to explain what the company is looking for. After taking a detailed brief, the copywriter creates exceptional copy that blends with the company’s brand and engages with the customer.

The result is higher sales, more traffic to the website and an enhanced professional image.

Joe and Frank go in search of help because they don’t have the time or skills, not because they understand the value of professional copy.

Alice, on the other hand, knows that good copy doesn’t come cheap, but she also knows that with it comes experience and the ability to engage customers.

If you think like Alice, your company will be going places.


Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+



Quick Tips for Being a Better Business Writer

This is a guest post written by Nancy Anderson. The views expressed in this post are entirely the author’s own and may not reflect those of Freelance Copywriter’s Blog. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, please get in touch with your ideas.

For many administrative professionals, writing is a crucial part of their job descriptions. The way you write communicates a great deal about your competence, skills, and professionalism. By following a few time-tested writing tips, you can Better business writingtake your business writing to the next level.

During the course of a normal workday, most administrative professionals communicate with people from all aspects of the business. You might write emails to people who have little to no industry knowledge, draft reports for business insiders, or communicate with subject matter experts. When working on a range of professional communication types, one of the most important writing tips is to know your audience. As you write, consider what the readers already know and what they need to know. If your audience has little to no knowledge of your topic matter, avoid using jargon. If you are gearing a piece toward experts in the field, don’t bother with basic information that adds unnecessary length. By considering the reader, you can make your writing clearer and more efficient.

No matter who you are writing to, it is crucial to have a goal in mind. People in administrative positions often handle multiple projects at once, so having a focus is important. Before you start, you should know what you want to accomplish. Whether you are writing an informal email or drafting a long report for a company executive, having a specific purpose can help you stay on track. One of the most helpful writing tips is to keep your communication as focused as possible. Every sentence in your document should relate to your goal; if it doesn’t, take it out. Most professionals have multiple tasks competing for their attention; by getting straight to the point, you can increase the chance that the recipient will understand your message and take the necessary action.

As an administrative professional, you may need to communicate with a range of important clients, vendors, and outsourced employees. According to a recent article on professional writing tips, it is vital to consider the potential legal ramifications of everything you write in connection with your company. Even when you are writing informal emails, it is best to avoid anything that might place you, your company, or your clients in a compromising legal situation. To stay safe, avoid including opinions, statements about race, jokes, political commentary, gender bias, or religious assertions.

One of the easiest writing tips for administrative professionals to follow is to be clear. Cut out unnecessary words, replace long words with shorter ones where feasible, and be as brief as possible. This will help keep your readers’ interest and let them know that you respect their time.

When it comes to business writing, simplicity, brevity, and focus are often the keys to powerful communication. By following tried-and-true writing tips, administrative professionals can cultivate a style that gets the job done efficiently and effectively.

About the author:

Nancy Anderson is the communities and article Editor for Beyond.com.  Nancy has 10 years’ experience in the online job search business with Beyond.  Nancy’s team produces dozens of articles every month for top internet sites.  Follow Nancy and the Beyond team on Twitter @BeyondJobs.

Image courtesy of Naupong/FreeDigitalPhotos

Humour in Copywriting

A short while ago I wrote a post on humour in copywriting, debating whether it was a good thing or not.

My conclusion was that if you did want to use humour, you had to use it with caution because not everyone finds the same things funny.

My attention has today been caught by an article in The Drum that states ‘Copywriters will gain inspiration from top Edinburgh Fringe jokes’:

Copywriters seeking inspiration for a good one-liner have hit a rich vein of inspiration at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, if a top 10 list of the best gags at the Festival is representative.

The annual compilation is this year headed by Rob Auton who dreamed up a sweet one-liner: ‘I heard a rumour that Cadbury is bringing out an oriental chocolate bar. Could be a Chinese Wispa.’

At the other end of the scale was a list of shame featuring groan inducing material such as ‘I thought ex-pats were people who used to be called Pat’.

Compiled by television channel Dave, the list was compiled from 60 shows which presented more than 7,200 gags between them.

These were whittled down to a short list of 30 which were then put to a public vote.

This saw Auton, a former SoHo paintbrush salesman, walk away with 24 per cent of the 2,570 votes cast along with a cash prize.

Commenting on his accolade he said: “I am honoured to receive this award and just pleased that a joke that tackles the serious issue of the invention of a new chocolate bar can be laughed at by the people of Britain.”

The top 10 quips:

1 Rob Auton “I heard a rumour that Cadbury is bringing out an oriental chocolate bar. Could be a Chinese Wispa.”

2 Alex Horne “I used to work in a shoe-recycling shop. It was sole-destroying.”

3 Alfie Moore “I’m in a same-sex marriage… the sex is always the same.”

4 Tim Vine “My friend told me he was going to a fancy dress party as an Italian island. I said to him ‘Don’t be Sicily’.”

5 Gary Delaney “I can give you the cause of anaphylactic shock in a nutshell.”

6 Phil Wang “The Pope is a lot like Doctor Who. He never dies, just keeps being replaced by white men.”

7 Marcus Brigstocke “You know you are fat when you hug a child and it gets lost.”

8 Liam Williams “The universe implodes. No matter.”

9 Bobby Mair “I was adopted at birth and have never met my mum. That makes it very difficult to enjoy any lapdance.”

10 Chris Coltrane “The good thing about lending someone your time machine is that you basically get it back immediately.”

Not entirely convinced I’ll be trying any of those out in my copy.

Over to you

If you’re a copywriter, or write copy for your business, what are your views on using humour?

Are you ever tempted to slip a gag or two into your content? If you have, what reaction did you get?

Leave your comments below.

The Questions Your Copywriter Should Be Asking

Copywriting isn’t just about writing – it’s about using the right words, to address the right people, using the right language. copywriting

Anyone can string a sentence together, but not everyone can create something so compelling you just have to buy, sign up or download a report.

It’s not enough for your copywriter just to hear that you want a 6-page brochure with 300 words on each page to cover your company history, products, location etc.

Any copywriter worth their salt will also ask you:

Who is your audience?

Before a finger touches the keyboard, they need to know whom they are writing for.

Without that information how can they begin to develop the right message?

Are they male or female?

How old are they?

Are they affluent or on lower incomes?

What are their aspirations?

Why are they coming to you? What is the problem they have that they want solved?

What is your product/service?

They don’t need to know how many colours it comes in, but rather what is its main benefit?

What problem does it solve?

What benefits does it offer?

How will it improve their quality of life?

What would stop people from buying it?

What is its USP?

What is your brand voice?

The next step is to take a look at your company.

Do you already have an established brand?

Do you have a guide as to the language/tone you want to use?

How do you want to be perceived by your customers?

Do you want to come across friendly, approachable, corporate, professional etc?

Are there any words/terms you dislike?

These questions are just the tip of the iceberg because it’s essential your copywriter comes away with an in depth knowledge of you, your business, your customers and your products.

You see, copywriting isn’t just about writing, its about emotion, engagement and persuasion.


Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+