Entries from November 2008 ↓

What Are You Thinking About Right Now?

Have you ever heard of the statistic about what men think about?

I’m sure you have, and if you haven’t I bet you can guess what I am going to tell you. Apparently all you guys out there think about sex every six seconds. Don’t try and deny it, I saw it in print somewhere so it must be true.

This poses a bit of problem for me.


Well as a copywriter it means whatever I write, there is a very good chance that your mind will be elsewhere. Think about it for a moment, if I have written a sales letter that takes 5 minutes to read, my beautifully crafted sales pitch will be interrupted 50 times.

I would love to know how someone came to that statistic, but the main point I want to make is that when someone picks up your sales letter it is highly likely that they will be focusing on something else other than your sales message.

So how do you, as a sales writer, counteract the mind wondering problem? Well you have to know your reader intimately so you know how to get and keep their undivided attention. Before you go getting yourself all excited, I am not saying that you should rush out and romance every member of your target audience. You’d be far too knackered to write anything but you do have to learn to understand their idiosyncrasies, motivations, innermost fears and desires.

Build yourself a psychological profile of your reader.

–         What sex are they?

–         How old are they?

–         What do they want more of in their lives?

–         What are their values?

–         How do others see them?

–         Are they head or heart people?

This will help you write copy that speaks directly to them in a way they’ll find difficult to ignore. I can’t guarantee this will overcome all their inner thoughts but it will grab the attention of most and get your message across.

STOP PRESS – UK’s Leading Copywriter Announces New Look

There is a new kid on the block…well, strictly speaking not new as such, but a revamped one.

Freelance copywriting is the key to a successful business. This valuable investment will mean that your

Number 1

marketing materials will reach out to the right people and convince them to pick up the phone and open  their wallets.

Read all about the new image for the UK’s leading copywriter and discover a whole new future for your business.

The Murky World of Copywriting Mythology

Do you know what a copywriter does?

Many people, when they ask what I do and get the answer above, reply ‘Oh, really’ nodding whilst not having the faintest idea what I am talking about.

In lay terms, copywriting is sales writing. It is a form of writing that is primarily concerned with persuading a reader to buy something. Therefore the actual writing is almost secondary. It should be invisible to the reader in that it shouldn’t be showy.

Not sure what I mean? I have listed below some ideas to help you.

  • You don’t exist – Obviously you do, but as a writer you come at the back of the queue. You have to focus on the reader. You are writing for them, not for a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize. They are the ones doing the buying so think about: What they are like? What age they are? What they like and dislike?

  • All good things come in small packages – Keep it simple. Forget the impressively high-brow prose that is full of ridiculously long and complicated words and sentences. The best writing is clear, simple and concise – and don’t use jargon!

  • B2B or B2C? – Keep your style consistent. Whether you are selling to a person or to another business, at the end of the day it is still a person who will be reading your sales letter or brochure.

  • No F-words please – By the F-word I am mean features. If you fill your copy with these your readers’ reaction will be ‘so what?’ Show your reader why the product is for them by selling the benefits. It is all about tapping into the buyer’s emotional need.

Remember, no matter what you write get their attention (a killer headline), get their interest (that’s where the benefits come in), create a desire (if they want something they’ll convince themselves they need it) and get them to act (buy, sign up etc).

Sally Ormond

Is Your Press Release Newsworthy?

The most common reason for press releases to be slam-dunked into an editor’s rubbish bin is because they are glorified adverts.


You must ensure that your reason for writing one is because you are announcing something that will be of interest to others. For example if you are launching a new website, product or service. But the key is to make it newsworthy.


To make sure you don’t fall foul of the rubbish bin, follow these simple steps:


  • Triple check it – once you have written your release, proofread it! The more you invest in your company’s first impression the stronger it will be.


  • Give it bulging biceps – start off with a strong message. Your headline, summary and first paragraph should clarify your news and contain your keywords. Use the rest of the release to provide the detail. Add your web address too and tell them who you are, it will add to your credibility.


  • Always be professional – if you write with hype, slang, direct address or excessive exclamation the chances are that it will be viewed as an advertisement rather than a news article.


  • So what? – put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Remember, this is your business so you are going to get excited about little things – but are your customers? Avoid clichés and focus on the elements that set you apart from everyone else. Try tying it in with current news issues, social issues etc.


  • Case studies – illustrations using real life studies about how you helped solve a problem are invaluable. Everyone can associate with real life examples – they are a powerful tool so use them.


  • Shout about your success – forget British reserve – your company is a success, you’ve hired a new MD – whatever it is, shout about it.


  • Be a tease – if you need to, hold back. If you are launching a new service or product, give your reader a link that will take them to your website so they can learn more. This will result in your call to action pulling them away from reading and pushing them to take action by clicking onto your site.


  • Words and voice – keep your voice active. Use strong verbs and economise – be clear and concise, make every word count. Don’t use jargon.

Now you are equipped with everything you need to know to create informative, compelling and interesting press releases. 



Warning – Get Your Own Blog, Not One From WordPress

As business owners, we all know and appreciate the power of blogging. Some say it has had its day but I still believe in it, especially now that it can be enhanced by Twitter micro blogging. However, a word of caution – be careful if you are using the services of companies such as WordPress.

When I began my business I wanted to start a blog. It would provide a fantastic resource for writers of all abilities by being full of copywriting hints and tips and a vehicle to drive traffic to my website. I was a novice at all things internet so I opted to use the services of WordPress.

It was so easy to set up. Once I had chosen my theme I was up and running within minutes. Blogs were flowing from my finger tips. Everything was going great. That was until about 3 weeks ago.

You may not realise this but WordPress can pull the plug on your blog at anytime – without warning.

To cut a rather tedious story short, WordPress had mistakenly thought I had overstepped their code of conduct. Personally, I would have expected them to get in touch with me. But no, they opted to suspend my blog. To make matters worse, I only found out about it  when I tried to log in to write a new post.

That’s right, there was no warning. To add insult to injury whenever someone tried to look at my blog all they saw was a blank screen saying ”Account Suspended”. What kind of impression does that give?

After a tense couple of days I finally got my blog reinstated and an apology from WordPress, but the damage had already been done.

Now I have my own blog under my own URL (www.freelancecopywritersblog.com) – I am fully in charge, all the traffic benefits me and not WordPress and no one can pull the plug without me knowing about it!

So please heed this warning – if you have a blog through a company such as WordPress (I have no experience of the other blog providers so don’t know what their proceedures are) this could happen to you. My advice to you is simple – get your own URL, your own blog (the internet is crammed with free templates), SEO it to the max and then you will not only be able to blog for as long as you want (by your own rules) you will also directly benefit from the traffic you get.