Bad Ads: What Happens When Copywriters and Designers Don’t Talk

Am I really negative? It might come across that way, because I like to show and talk about examples of what not to do here in my blog. That’s because, in my opinion, the bad example is more educational than the good one. You see the good one and think, “Oh, I already do that,” and don’t think about how to make copywriting better. But if you see the bad example, you might think, “Egads, I do that! I’d better stop!” So I’m not negative, not really. I’m actually a fairly positive person and usually smiling. (That’s why there are [...]

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Copywriting Gone Awry…and a Reminder that Content ALWAYS Counts, Even on a Coupon!

Between my various roles as freelance copywriter, wanna be farmer, wife and mother, I rarely take time to blog but I regularly find things to blog about, and those are quite often copywriting gone awry. The pile of coupons in front of me offers several examples of content gone awry. Yesterday’s trip to the grocery store–the one I do once a week to stock the kitchen–left me with four of those receipt coupon thingies…you know, the ones that print out with your receipt so that the cashier hands you a wad of paper instead of just one. At right is [...]

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Be Careful and Be Truthful, Says Creative Copywriter

See that marked up image there? That was an ad in a horse magazine that I cut out and scanned to make a point. Please excuse the sharpie all over it, but I didn’t want to embarrass anyone, so I crossed out the company and product names. (And that big swooshy thing is where I wrote “blog” in big messy letters to remind myself!) No, I don’t want to embarrass anyone. I, as the creative copywriter, want to get you, as the marketer, thinking, that’s all. This ad is full of promises as a supposed telling of two stories about [...]

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Cut the Negative (Never) Words, Make a Better Impression

Here’s just a quick IMHO from your friendly freelance copywriter… Seen today on a billboard: “A great haircut never goes out of style.” Would prefer to see: “A great haircut is always in style.” Remove the negative (never). Insert the positive (always). Make a better brand impression. Always.

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Feed Your Audience Great Content

Can one say enough about the importance of great content? As a content copywriter, I say, “no way!” Plenty of plain prose exists in websites, brochures, email marketing…obviously we still need reminders that great content is the content that engages! Would you serve company a boring meal that no one liked but you? I don’t think so. Nor would you serve up the same meal day after day, even to your own family. Nope, you’d search through your cookbooks or the plethora of recipe websites in search of tasty ideas you’d be sure your guests would enjoy. Think of your [...]

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Let’s Not Lose Sight of the Real Value of Compelling Content, OK?

Last week I was asked to write a press release. For $100. At the last minute. For a business I’ve never worked for before. And this press release was going to be a critical piece in getting word out about a big move on the part of this company. It was meant to be the one means by which this company is going to get all kinds of free publicity for their expansion. No other marketing effort, only this press release. All that for $100. Offered by a CEO who should know better. Let’s not lose sight of the real value [...]

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The Power of Words…Demonstrated in a Most Moving Way. Don’t Miss This…

Don’t believe words really matter all that much? Well, if your content marketing agency can’t convince you, your copywriter can’t convince you, and even your mother can’t convince you, watch this moving video by online content provider Purple Feather. A blind man begging for coins on a busy city sidewalk hears many more coins dropping onto his cardboard mat after a woman changes the words on his sign. The woman is no doubt a copywriter! She changes his straightforward message to one with an emotional appeal…and the people react. The pen is mightier than the sword…and the keyboard mightier still. [...]

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Stop Talking About Yourself. Now. Pleeeeaaase. (And please make it stop raining…)

When one blogs as a means to market onself and/or one’s business, one should not blog: a) After 9:00 at night. b) After drinking. c) When in a pissy mood because it has been raining nonstop since who knows when and one is sick of the rain, mud and wet. Please realize that you are reading a blog written under condition “c.” Yes, I am violating my own, self-imposed rule. But I have been a freelance copywriter for over 10 years and I am tired of seeing the following mindset be so pervasive among marketers. CEOs, yes. Sales teams, sure. But marketers need [...]

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Is Content Marketing the Evolution of Copywriting?

I just re-read an older article on content marketing with fresh eyes, and just about spit out my coffee. The article says content used in content marketing should be unique, useful, well executed and fun. Excluding “fun” which I have several times in my 10 years as a freelance copywriter had clients say “no” to, the other three qualities that content should have are also three qualities that copywriting should have. This is not new information…or at least it shouldn’t be. As freelance copywriters, if our content is not unique, useful and well executed, we should hang up our copywriting caps and [...]

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Grip Rite Semi Shows Freelance Copywriters the Right Approach

Whoever designed the advertising for the side of the Grip Rite semi I just saw is a savvy marketer. Instead of pictures of products, the whole side of the truck trailer was plastered with photos of the products being used with captions that said what the product was being used for. Rather than a Grip Rite doohickey pictured on the side of the truck, with claims of faster, stronger, better, cheaper…or whatever claims Grip Rite might make, the photos were captioned with things like “Fencing” and “Molding and Trim.” And the photos showed the product being used. They are showing the [...]

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