March 18, 2012 by Leave a comment
Copywriter at work

copywriter at work


  • It’s a great conversation starter at parties. When people ask me the standard question ‘what do you do?’ and I reply ‘copywriter,’ they’re immediately intrigued.  Many don’t know what it is and associate  it with ‘copyright,’ perhaps imagining me as a person who goes around stamping documents with a little ©. Even those who do know what a copywriter is are curious to know more about what I do and I’m only too pleased to tell them.  Beats talking sport or politics!
  • I work with words, always elusive, fascinating and challenging. Take the word pulchritudinous. It means ‘beautiful’ but is surely one of the ugliest words in the English language.  Whoever thought that one up needs a medal – I can imagine as he sidled up to his wife as she was cooking dinner, eager to try out his new word, and whispered in her ear, ‘you’re looking particularly pulchritudinous tonight, darling,’ that he probably sustained a large blow to the head from a frying pan.

All credit to him, though, the word made it into the dictionary where it has been languishing ever since, getting dusty from lack of use.

  • As a copywriter my task is to cut off the lacy frills and flounces of language and slash complicated and abstract words.  I distil the essence of the client’s message and write it in simple, clear language that is at the same time attention-grabbing and enticing.

It’s a challenge, but I love doing it. Even as a child I loved the competitions where you had to describe in 25 words or less why you wanted to win a particular prize.  Not that I ever won any – perhaps lots of other aspiring copywriters entered as well. It’s my standard answer now when someone tries to explain something complicated to me, particularly if I think it’s going to be boring – ‘Tell me in 25 words or less.’

  • At the risk of sounding hackneyed, I like helping people. I get a glow of satisfaction from completing a job for someone, whether it’s writing copy for a web site or a one page flyer, that they weren’t able to do themselves. And often it’s not even the paid jobs, it can be just chatting to someone about their advertising options or referring them to helpful information and resources.
  • I learn lots of interesting stuff.  I research every business I write for, so that I have a thorough knowledge of their product or service and their competitors. In the process I learn lots of new things.  For example, did you know that an 85 year old woman from Australia is in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest yoga teacher?  Or that it’s a myth that St Bernard dogs wore flasks of brandy around their necks when they rescued lost skiers in the Alps?  (Probably spawned from wishful thinking). I’m now a constant source of fascinating trivia. (refer to reason 1).

They’re the reasons that spring immediately to mind, but I’m sure there are more. Any copywriters like to add to my list?

If you’re so impressed by my reasons for loving copywriting that you'd like to hire me, please contact me on 0402 937 773 or email me. 



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Published in Copywriters


February 20, 2012 by 8 comments
favourite reading place

magazine reading is still popular

Despite the popularity of online media, there are millions of people worldwide who still read newspapers and magazines.

Here are three reasons why print ads are an effective form of advertising.

  • Ads can be targeted to the consumers interested in the product – eg baby goods advertised in a parenting magazine, gym memberships in a health and fitness magazine. Readership of newspapers is broader because they cover a wider range of topics, but within the newspaper certain sections are targeted to special areas of interest – sports, motor vehicles, travel, recreation etc. If you’re aiming to increase your local business, advertising in community newspapers is effective and inexpensive.
  • You can ask for your ad to be placed on a specific page, perhaps next to a relevant article, or in a certain section that’s relevant to your business.  Rates will vary according to where you place your ad.
  • Magazines and newspapers in general have been around a lot longer than online media, so often have longstanding loyal readers who are more receptive to their ads.


Print ads consist of three elements – the headline, the visual and the body.

As with all advertising, an attention-grabbing headline is vital.  Short and simple is best. For example:

Want to Lose Weight Fast?

How to reduce your mortgage payments.

The visual - the photograph or image - should be relevant to the headline and make people want to continue reading. You need to make it clear, bold and instantly recognisable.

The body is difficult to write as you only have a small amount of space and you can’t fit all the information in that you’d like to about your product.  So you need to think of the key message that you want to put across.

For example, if you’re a tax agent, you may offer many different services within that field, but your most important message for your print ad is that you help your customers get the maximum tax refund. So you tailor your ad around that concept.


If you need help with your ad, you can hire a copywriter to write the words and a graphic artist to do the visual and the layout. The words and the graphics require very different and specific skills and it’s unusual to find someone who can do both well.

Click here to read a print ad I’ve written.

If you’re thinking of placing an ad in a magazine or newspaper you’re welcome to contact me for an obligation-free chat about writing the copy. Please email me or phone me on 0402 937 773.

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Published in Print Ads


December 10, 2011 by 1 comment

Blowing your own bullhorn

Copywriters help you to blow your own bullhorn


A copywriter writes advertising material. This comes in a variety of forms – newspaper and magazine ads, radio and TV ads, newsletters, brochures, direct mail, email sales letters, advertorials, media releases and website copy.

Those are some of the main areas of copywriting, although there are others I haven’t mentioned because the field is so broad.  But in a nutshell a copywriter writes any material that promotes your business.


A lot of people, especially small business owners, assert that they don’t need a copywriter. With businesses suffering from the economic downturn many people prefer not to spend the money, so they write their own advertising material.

However, this may be false economy because:

  • Writing your own material is time consuming and takes you away from what you do best – running your business.
  • If you don’t find writing easy, it’s a chore. This takes up energy which is more effectively and more enjoyably used doing the things you’re good at.
  • If you’re not experienced in writing advertising, you have no idea if what you’re writing is going to work.

Employing a copywriter will cost you more initially, but as you’re using an expert the chances of your advertising being successful are much higher. Which means more sales and more profit.

In my next post I'll begin a series on different types of advertising and when to use them.

If you have any general comments about my post or suggestions about topics, I’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment below.

It you’d like to contact me about a copywriting project, please send me an email or phone me on 0402 937 773.

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Published in Copywriters