In college you learn to abide by AP style, write in neat paragraphs and an academic tone. In the traditional writing format, these rules transferred nicely. However, when it comes to modern mediums, otherwise known as web writing, these rules generally don’t apply. While grammar should still be pristine, it’s more about the content than anything else. As an editor, it’s important that you have an eye for these key differences.
Writing is easy. It’s something many people forget because freelance writing can be a self-defeating endeavor even for those with strong academic skills. It isn’t like completing a math problem where everything has a logical place and you’re guaranteed to do fine so long as the dots are properly connected. Writing is the brooding cousin of painting. Whereas painters use brush strokes to convey an image, writers craft visions with words. The picture is framed by words designed to influence the reader’s perception of whatever is being conveyed. Word choice and flow are important in capturing and maintaining the reader’s [Read more…]
I believe that one reason writers aren’t in higher demand is our collective shortcoming in marketing our gifts and their value. We have a tendency to wait until people see a need for us when we should be telling them why we’re so damned valuable. When you’re rainmaking, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
Time for another lesson in copywriting! Today, you’ll learn a critical element of every copywriting project you take on that you should memorize and never forget — when it comes to making purchase decisions, consumers care about themselves. When I teach copywriting to business owners, I always start off this section of the lesson with a sentence that quickly catches their attention, “No one cares about you.” They don’t like to hear this news from me, but if they can’t understand it, their marketing messages will fail to deliver the results they want and need. So how does this apply [Read more…]
If you missed them, follow the links to read earlier parts of the Lessons in Copywriting series: Part 1 ~~ Part 2 Part 3 of Lessons in Copywriting teaches you how to make sure the marketing copy you write is succinct using a tool I call the Red Pen Rule, which I discuss in detail in my book, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps. Let’s take a step back first. The most powerful copy is clear, concise, and leaves no room for confusion. We’ll talk more about that in Part 4. Today, you need to understand the importance of not [Read more…]
I’m often asked by beginner writers or seasoned writers who want to branch out in new directions about how to get started as a copywriter. Therefore, I think Freelance Writing Jobs is a good place to offer some lessons in copywriting. Everything I discuss in this series comes from my own education and experience writing copy for some of the largest companies in the world (including AT&T, HSBC, Citibank, H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, and more) as well as many small and mid-sized companies around the globe. The content in this series is covered in detail in my book, Kick-ass Copywriting [Read more…]
I’ve chopped off my finger. I’ve betrayed my friend. I’ve pulled the plug. I took the gold and ran.
I bet you’ve done it, too. Maybe you’ve stayed pure in ways that I haven’t, but you’ve compromised your responsibilities. You’ve done something short of your best work. You’ve pandered to an audience, to a client, or to your own writing vanity. You’ve made your deals with devils, even if your devils are incredibly cute and small.
If you haven’t, I bet you will. Someday.
If you take a trip across the Internet to learn about copywriting or find a copywriter, you’re likely to walk away with the impression that anyone can be a copywriter. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who claim to be copywriters but have no experience and no knowledge of how copywriting differs from narrative, expository, or any other form of writing. And let me just say right now that I do not think hard sales letters which promise you’ll be a millionaire if you buy this 10-DVD set or similar pie-in-the-sky claims can be included as copywriting. They’re a [Read more…]