Copywriting tagged posts

Monday musing – is it time to Americanize?

Stupid question, right? But…

1. The success of the World Wide Web has been led by US companies.
2. The rest of the world has got used to reading website text in ‘American’ English.

You can even prove it for yourself. Try Googling words with British and American spellings – you can bet there will be more results for the latter.

Picture of American English being selected from the language settings for a copywriting project

Cloud global copywriting success hinge on choosing American English spellings for your webpages?

Merrie Olde England

The ‘British English’ copywriter is probably gnashing their teeth at this point. Why would you want to sully your website with a bastardised variant of your mother tongue?

Because on the world stage, you look provincial. Quaint even. Like a throwback from Merrie Olde England.

If your business hopes to use the Internet to go global, you need to speak th...

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Copywriter tips stolen from Kurt Vonnegut

Some years ago, novelist Kurt Vonnegut outlined eight rules for writing a good short story. Of those eight rules, five apply directly to great copywriting:

Kurt Vonnegut - popular novelist offers copywriter tips

As a proponent of gallows humour, would Vonnegut be amused by a copywriter stealing his novel-writing tips?

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted

Like motivational speakers love to tell us – K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid.

People visit your website in the hope of finding some useful information, so tell them what they want to know immediately.

See how points 2, 3 and 6 are missing below? That’s because they are irrelevant to copywriting and will only waste your time.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action

No fluff...

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Copywriting tip – 10 reasons your ‘Top 10 listicle’ blog posts suck

If you’ve ever used Facebook, you’re bound to have encountered at least one Top 10 listicle. Incredibly popular with sites like Reddit and Buzzfeed, these top 10 list blog posts promise all kinds of awesome entertainment and excitement.

But the truth is, top 10 lists suck. Here are my top 10 reasons for not using listicles.

10. These lists are invariably “click bait”

Top 10 lists are usually designed to get people to click onto your site and read a list of somewhat arbitrary information dressed up under an irresistible headline. The idea is that once people have hit your site, they just won’t be able to resist clicking through to read more of your wonderful blog posts. They might even buy something!

But they won’t, because they quickly discover that you cheated them with a salacious blog...

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What is a technical writer?

As well as being asked “what is a copywriter?“, I am occasionally asked “what is a technical writer?”.

Wikipedia provides the following succinct definition:

Opening a can of works to answer the question - 'what is a technical writer?'

Technical writer – technical copywriter. You say ‘toe-may-to’ and I say ‘toe-mah-toe’

A technical writer is a professional writer who engages in technical writing and produces technical documentation for technical, business, and consumer audiences.”

Someone who writes about technical topics in other words.

The difference between technical writing and technical copywriting

The main difference between technical writing and technical copywriting is the goal of the document being produced. Technical writing is usually about documenting complex systems or providing instructions on their use. Think manuals and tutorials for instance.


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What is a copywriter?

Occasionally I run into the question ‘what is a copywriter?’, when I tell people what I do for a living. Most have some idea that writing is involved, but sometimes people assume I am in fact fighting piracy.

 What is a copywriter? Nothing do with copyright

Although copywriters sometimes argue about exactly what their trade involves, one thing is for sure – piracy and copyright theft is completely unrelated to copywriting. So you don’t have to worry about me kicking your door in because of that MP3 you downloaded from Napster back in 2001.

A picture of a BSOD - no longer part of my job as a technical copywriter

The Blue Screen of Death – (almost) behind me now as a tech copywriter

What is a copywriter? Not a copier of writing

Copywriting also has nothing to do with copying writing. It is not being a paid plagiarist. Or a human photocopier.

Stealing cont...

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