Entries from October 2012 ↓

What is Copywriting?

That might seem an odd question to be asking in a post on a copywriting blog, but it does make you think.what is copywriting

Many people believe that copywriting is all about being a red-hot grammarian, speller and punctuationalist (made-up word, but that’s OK because I’m a copywriter), but that’s not strictly true.

Granted, the ability to spell and use grammar and punctuation correctly helps, but it’s not the be all and end all.

You see copywriting is all about getting your sales message across to your audience clearly.

The most important elements in your copywriting

There are 3 vital elements to any copywriting assignment:

  1. Your audience
  2. The words you use
  3. The offer – your message has to be a goodie

When those are combined, that’s when your copy is cooking with gas.

Get any one of them wrong and you’re in trouble.

Your audience

If you don’t fully understand for whom you’re writing, how can you make sure you use the right language, tone and approach?

After all, a sales message to teenagers will need a different style and approach to something that’s going out to CEOs.

That’s why it’s vital you spend time getting to know your audience, understand what it is they want and then deliver it in their ‘language’.


Using the right combination of words can lead to a powerful and effective message, but get them wrong and you’re left with a damp squib.

Think about what you’re trying to say and then make every word count. Keep your message active and punchy and make sure it really resonates with them.

Also, don’t be tempted to throw in an obscure word that you think makes you sound really intelligent because it won’t. It will just leave your audience bemused and they’ll wander off and find another message out there that tells them exactly what they want to hear.

The offer

The message is basically your offer.

You can hire the best copywriter in the universe, but if the offer isn’t what your audience wants, your campaign will fall flat on its face.

So think about your product or service and determine precisely what it is that will make your audience want to buy. Simply offering a free gift may not be enough to make them want it. The trick is to found the one major benefit will it bring that they’ll be desperate for – find that and you’ve got a campaign that’s ready to rock.

Arguably, you can add in a fourth element – timing.

When you launch your campaign will also have a bit impact on its take-up. If you’re looking for a seasonal promotion, it’s essential you plan well ahead – rushing something out at the eleventh hour is never going to work

All of these elements need to work together to make your campaign work. That’s why copywriting is such a collaborative process. Your client knows their company, products and services better than you, but you as the writer have more of an understanding of how the message should be conveyed.

So next time you embark on a marketing campaign think carefully about your audience, your message and how you’re going to communicate it to them.


Starting Your Own Business: a few words of experience

The following guest post was written by Vicky Fraser. The author’s views are entirely her own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.


Anyone who has started their own business knows that it’s terribly exciting – and also that it is, on occasion, terrifying and confusing. There is a wealth of advice and information out there on making the decision to go it alone, and how to go about starting your own business.

But what if, like me, your motivation is more immediate? You don’t so much plan to start your own business as windmill into it headlong with a massive dose of enthusiasm and very little business knowledge to go on.

My motivation was The Worst Job in the WorldTM. The choice was leave, or become (more) ill – genuinely. So I left the job.

Lean on others and use your contacts

I was exceedingly lucky: some old friends who run a creative agency that I’d worked with offered me some freelance work, and my new career snowballed from there! I had always wanted to run my own business, so off I went.

Now, about 50 per cent of my clients come through the agencies I work with. These are contacts that I knew from previous jobs, courses and friendships – and they’ve proved extremely valuable.

The old cliché is true: it’s not necessarily what you know; it’s who you know. Use your contacts and if they’re not appropriate, use their contacts! Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family, too: if you’re good, they’ll know it. People prefer to do business with those they know, like and trust so start with your nearest and dearest.

Business advice and finance

I had work coming in – but now what? Like many freelancers and small business owners, I knew what I was doing when it came to writing, PR and marketing; but when it comes to the ins and outs of running your own business, I was a complete novice.

It is very easy to waste an enormous amount of time and energy on the administrative side of starting your business. Being organised about your tasks and commitments (work, study, home and leisure) is absolutely essential. Being realistic about what you can and can’t do is also key.

Consider using an accountant, especially if you’ve set up a limited company. Doing it yourself may be a false economy – work out how much your hourly rate is, then estimate how long you’ll spend on your accounts. You may be surprised. There are a number of excellent resources online – I cannot recommend SJD Accountants enough for their free advice and information, including downloadable accounts spreadsheets and freelancers’ guides. Likewise, HMRC are a mine of useful information about corporation tax and VAT – not to mention personal accounting.


Never underestimate the value of a support network. There are many and varied business networking groups out there, and there will almost certainly be at least one in your area. I attended my first local networking event recently, and it was £15 well spent (tax deductible, of course!).

Not only did I meet several freelancers (copywriters, graphic designers, photographers and others) to add to my network of talent, I met a group of like-minded, creative, friendly people who all have similar goals. They were generous with their time and experience.

Networking will gain you new contacts and new business opportunities; but it will also give you a support group who are in the same boat, facing the same issues and challenges. That’s worth its weight in gold.

My local group is the Leamington Tweetup, which is a social media-based networking group. There are bound to be similar organisations around the UK (and the world) – but the Chamber of Commerce is probably a good place to start.

Good luck!

Starting your own business is hard work. Let’s make no bones about it: you will work harder than you ever have in your life.

However, it will be the most rewarding work you ever do! Everything you work for is for the benefit of you and your family, rather than for your employer. There’s nothing like working for yourself to get you motivated.

Be prepared to be short of free time, and probably cash, for a while. Work hard, keep your goals in mind, and have fun. There is help and support out there, so take my advice: grab all the help you can get, and enjoy your new life.

Good luck!

Vicky Fraser is a freelance copywriter and marketeer based in Warwickshire. Being a science nerd undertaking a physics degree, she specialises in simplifying and clarifying scientific and technical copy but writes about all manner of things for a wide variety of clients. She blogs about science, freelancing and writing – amongst other things.

The Traits of a Successful Blogger

Can anyone blog?Can anyone blog

Yes, but only if they have certain qualities.

You see, although blogging appears to be a simple thing to do (and it is), it does require several elements if it is to work.

Despite what you might think, an ability to write well, although important, isn’t the be all and end all. You see if you want to be a successful blogger there are a few traits that you must posses.

1. Determination

This one is right at the top of the list.

Without it you’ll probably not keep to your posting schedule and end up letting it drift away. Running a blog is something that has to be worked at and will only bring in the results you want if you’re determined to make it happen.

2. Patience

You won’t see instant results. Building a readership and reputation takes time, so don’t expect to set up a blog one day and have thousands of readers the next.

3. Personality

People will read your blog posts if they have personality.

Something that is dull and dry will turn of readers faster than a fast thing. But if you allow your own personality to seep through they will be able to get to know you and will find themselves immersed in your writing.

4. Consistency

This is both in terms of the quality of your posts, their subject range and frequency.

All your posts have to be of a high standard; if you let your game slip once you could risk losing readers. Also, your readers will come to your blog because you write for a certain niche, if you start adding random posts about anything and everything, your blog will lose its purpose and readers.

With regards to frequency, regular readers will get to know when you post and will be looking out for your next article, so when you decide on a posting frequency, stick to it.

5. Purpose

Every post you publish must have a purpose – usually to educate or provide your readers with great information.

A post without a purpose is a wasted one.

6. Honesty

If you add an affiliate link to a product within your post, tell your reader it’s an affiliated product.

Being open and honest about any potential earning power you may gain from your posts will show your honesty and integrity to your readers.

7. Communicative

The whole purpose of blogging is to communicate and interact with your readers. So when they comment on a post, respond to them and engage with them. Show them that there is a real person behind the blog.

As you can see becoming a blogger isn’t just about setting up a blog site and publishing any old thing. There’s a lot to think about, such as whom your audience is, what you want to achieve and what your audience want to see.

Blogging is for the long haul – if you’re prepared for that it can be very rewarding.

Sally Ormond – copywriter and blogger

What Makes Your Business Unique?

If you want your business to stand out from your competitors you’ve got to shout about what makes you different.What makes your business unique

We’re not talking about your USP (unique selling point), because that just relates to the product or service you’re selling.

What we’re talking about here is what quality is it that your business has that makes it different from every other company out there competing in your marketplace.

Not sure?

Let’s give you a clue – it’s not going to be a long list, in fact is will be just one thing.

Tracking down your unique feature  

Let’s start by looking at some of the big players out there.

What would you associate Apple with?

They are known as a company that innovates – so that would be their unique advantage over their competitors.

How about Rolls Royce?

Opulent luxury – although expensive, you know you’re buying a quality, luxury item.

So, by applying that type of thinking to your business, what is it that gives you a competitive advantage?


  • Quality – people come to you because they are prepared to pay a premium for excellence
  • Low prices – your products are high volume and low cost so the thrifty customers know they’ll always get a bargain
  • Specialised items – people come to you because you can source hard to find items

Are you getting the idea?

Shout it from the rooftops

Once you have identified it, make sure you use it extensively in your marketing materials.

But not only that, make sure your team understand how you want your business to be portrayed so every customer that comes to you takes away the right impression.

Becoming known for s specific quality will make you stand out and bring the right kind of customer through your door.

Over to you

What is your unique quality?

How have you made sure your business is associated with it?

Leave a comment below and let us know what you did.

 Sally Ormond – Copywriter, blogger and social media addict

A Simple Guide to Blogging

If you want your business to be noticed online, you must have a blog.A simple guide to blogging

That’s probably something you’ve heard a lot of people say; well, they’re right.

The pros and cons of blogging


Google loves great quality content; the more you can produce the better. And if Google loves it that means you’ll be rewarded with great rankings in the search results.

So blogging is great for search engine optimisation, but that’s not all.

Writing regularly on your blog will also position you as an expert in your field. It’s a great stage from which you can offer help and advice to others, widening your exposure on the Internet and driving traffic to your website.


If you’re going to start one you must be prepared for the commitment it needs. A blog isn’t just something that can be played with every now and then when you have time. A blog is something that must be used regularly.

All too often you see new websites launched with a blog that’s updated religiously for the first month or so, but then…nothing.

There’s nothing worse than landing on a website to see a blog that’s not been updated for months on end.

Warning: A blog won’t self-populate – you have to do that bit. And that takes time, commitment and creativity.

Keeping your blog on track

Once you’ve made the decision to start blogging and are confident that you have what it takes to cut it as a blogger, you have to decide what you’re going to write about.

If you’re using it as a way of promoting your business, it makes sense to pick a niche that complements your business activities. I am a copywriter, therefore my blog contains posts that relate to copywriting, marketing, social media and freelance businesses.

Once you’ve made that decision, stick to it.

Your readers will soon get to know what kind of information they can expect to find on your blog. If you suddenly change tact and throw in something completely unrelated you could lose them.

What type of posts to write?

The type of post you write should vary.

News articles are interesting, but people like variety, so try and mix it up a bit and write:

  • How to posts
  • Reviews
  • Comment on the latest industry news
  • Top 10 lists
  • Advice and tips

At the end of the day, what you write should be interesting and add value to your readers.

As you can see, blogging is a great way to improve your online visibility, elevate yourself to expert status and drive traffic to your website. But it takes time and commitment.

Over to you

Do you blog? If so, how do you manage to keep on top of it?

If you don’t blog, why don’t you? What’s stopping you from having a go?

Leave a comment below and let’s chat.