Debt – The Silent Assassin

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  “History is splattered with the broken dreams of debtors.  Debt kills hope, invites despair, anxiety and ongoing hardship.  Silently.”    The Victorians punished debt.  Today, debt is a way of life for millions.  It’s well hidden – but scratch the surface and see what you get… Debt isn’t always about greed, or naïveté – […]

Cameron’s New Young Property People

modern UK housing

This week’s Tory Party Conference will no doubt be dominated by Iraq.  Somewhere in the mix, however, we can expect to hear more about the vote-winning wheeze of seducing England’s first-time house buyers under the age of 40 with a scheme that knocks 20% off the market value of a home. The Tories’ pledge is […]

Up Your Copywriting Rates – And Make Your Clients Happier!

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Yes, I know…  At first glance, that headline is a paradox wrapped in an enigma.  And yet… when you focus on delivering value for money, copywriter and client alike can land a win-win deal.  Honest.    The term ‘copywriting rates’ is a misnomer in so far as it’s preferable to get away from the ‘price list’ […]



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Financial Copywriter Wanted – Experience Preferred

Copywriters are called upon to write about many things.  For the most part, their political and socio-economic views are of no consequence.  Products and services don’t usually come with a health or wealth warning.  For copywriters with more acute sensibilities, however, there are certain ‘no-go’ areas where ethics enter the fray.  Think: cigarettes, alcohol, defence […]

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Copywriting Training Courses: Online Or Face-To-Face?

  As a copywriter who provides face-to-face training courses in the UK, I’m often asked how they compare with online courses, or ‘distance learning’ as it is sometimes called. It’s a difficult question to answer – especially when I’m likely to be heavily biased in favour of the face-to-face variety!  However, donning my impartial cap […]

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Content Marketing: Who’s Your Best Bet?

Given the growing importance of content marketing in the quest to attract sales leads and conversions – not to mention the significance of ‘social sharing’ and the contribution this makes to SEO – it’s not unreasonable to ask which marketing professionals will give you the best bang for your buck. By starting at the beginning […]

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Website Copywriting Makes The Link With Content Marketing

‘COPYWRITING SHORTS’  #104 With ‘content marketing’ being the catch-all phrase of the moment, it’s hardly surprising that website copywriting is right up there, riding in the slipstream. As a highly experienced copywriter, creating ‘content’ is what I’ve always done.  The trick nowadays is to align your content with a meaningful marketing strategy – and therein […]

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How To Create Effective Press Ads

‘COPYWRITING SHORTS’  #103 As a copywriter, I’ve noticed an increasing prevalence of press ads that show no creative skills whatsoever.  Typical of this is where a photo of the product/service is placed above a large headline, with maybe a few lines of body copy, plus one or two contact points. No effort has been made […]

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How To Produce Creative Advertising Concepts

‘COPYWRITING SHORTS’  #102 Coming up with powerful creative concepts that have the simple and direct capacity to PERSUADE is an elusive construct that sometimes never happens.  In those cases, you see ads that don’t really work. They don’t have the unmistakable magic that a great headline has when it blurs beautifully into a perfectly linked […]

summer holiday sunbathing on the beach

Is Everyone On Holiday – EXCEPT YOU?!

It’s that seasonal thing – a bit like Christmas, but a lot less predictable.  When your key suppliers jet off to the sun (and don’t bother telling you!), that can be mighty frustrating. August of course is the peak period, when travel companies and ice-cream men double their prices.  Because they can.  Take a closer […]

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Seismic Shifts In Search: Google’s ‘Land-Grab’ For Online Revenues

Website copywriting is something I’ve been doing for over ten years.  During that time, changes have been many and far-reaching.  The techniques that drive and define online ‘success’ today are vastly different to what they were, even two or three years ago. Anyone who follows this industry will know that Google has been exercising its […]

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The UK Is Still A Bloated Credit Junkie

I’m fascinated by debt – or ‘credit’ as it’s known in polite circles. The UK has an eye-watering National Debt of almost £1.5 TRILLION (and rising). To mere mortals, ‘debt’ is a four-letter word – something to be eschewed on pain of the workhouse or some equally grizzly fate. There’s a whole industry in the […]

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A Brief History of the Co-Op – Good With Food, Not-So-Good With Money

It’s been 20 years since I worked for the Co-Op.  Or, to be more precise, the Co-Operative Wholesale Society (CWS).  It was gratifying over those years to see the metamorphosis of the business from being a rather quaint, historic organisation that championed ‘caring, sharing’ co-operative values into a dynamic multi-faceted force on the High Street.   […]

Emotional Intelligence vs. ID - brain vs. heart

Why Copywriters Need Emotional Intelligence

Forget about copywriting, marketing and the world of business for just one minute.  We live in an age that is mesmerised by success and celebrity.  Actors, sports stars, politicians and, yes, even entrepreneurs – their ‘success’ intrigues us.   How did they do it?  What type of people are they?  What can we learn from them?  […]

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Construction Industry Copywriter? Party Like It’s 1999!

Without a doubt, boom times are back for the construction industry! Before we consider the role of copywriting in this welcome renaissance, let’s look at the bigger picture in which the building sector has operated for the past five years or so.  Starting at the top end: major infrastructure projects backed by government money (such […]

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Learn About Copywriting For PR – On A Saturday!

If the idea of improving your range of business skill-sets – and Saturday is the best day to do it – you should take Buzzwords’ copywriting training courses for PR very seriously indeed! For the springtime months of March, April and May, all Buzzwords’ copywriting courses are available on Saturdays (with a 10% discount!). Copywriting […]

Saturday calendar

Copywriting Training On Saturdays? Are You Mad?

Historically, workers have fought tooth and nail for better working conditions, more pay and shorter hours.  Then along comes yours truly with the mad-cap idea of providing copywriting training courses – on Saturdays, would you believe.    Is this man insane?  Or is he doing the ambitious minority a massive favour?  The crux of it all […]

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Freelance Copywriting – Can You Do The Business?

The demands of freelance copywriting in 2014 are rigorous, to say the least.  If you’ve survived the ‘shake-out’ that always accompanies a recession – as a freelance or on someone else’s payroll – you’re well placed to make the best of your abilities as a copywriter and get ahead in the UK’s more positive business […]

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Are Synonyms the New SEO?

Until recently, keyword research had been about what DIFFERENTIATES the meaning of words.  Hence the SEO obsession with targeting long-tail keywords.  In the wake of Google’s algorithm updates – Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird – a new and more subtle approach may be needed to accommodate more clearly what UNITES the meaning of words… and thereby […]

Marketing Services - The Blame Game - cartoon

Marketing Services – Who’s to Blame? You or Your Supplier?

So you’re running a business and you’ve contracted out the various marketing services your business needs.  The problem is: you’re not happy with what you’re getting.  Maybe you feel it’s poor value for money, or the quality of work that’s being produced isn’t generating the returns you would realistically like to see on your investment. […]

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SEO copywriter has a flash of inspiration

I was musing earlier (they can’t touch you for it!)… Like a near-death flash it came over me: I was ahead of my time when it comes to SEO!  Maybe I’d learnt to think in a Google-inspired way but … it made sense even as far back as two years ago to write and distribute […]

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Copywriting Training: Six Ways To Squeeze Value Out Of It

Forget about piling headlong into the first copywriting training course that catches your eye.  Not only is that a recipe for professional disaster.  It’s also likely you’ll be wasting your money.    To help you avoid the more common pitfalls, I’ve listed a few pointers below to help you on your way:       Choose your […]

copywriting training success

Copywriting Training Courses Spell Great Value for You

 There’s no doubting the value of copywriting training courses.  In so many walks of life – and at so many levels of business – having professional copywriting skills at your fingertips will give you that magic ingredient: ‘self-belief’!  With the right training, you will fill gaps in your knowledge that may otherwise hold you back.  […]

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Copywriting Training Courses – Think Before You Choose

Splashing out on copywriting training courses could be one of the best investments you make.  And once you’re sure the idea has legs, the next question is: what type of course is best for you?    The choice is huge and ranges from courses run by professional marketing bodies to specialist training companies to practising copywriters […]

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Salary Surveys And The Challenge Of Change

Although some might say that interpreting the value of salary surveys is like pinning the tail on a runaway donkey, they do have real value if the survey methodology is accurate and statistically sound.    In other words, salary surveys can provide astonishingly useful data for both in-house HR professionals and consultancies where like-for-like sector comparisons are […]

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Six Ways A Recruitment Copywriter Can Help You Win New Clients

Recruitment consultants will be only too aware that an experienced recruitment copywriter can play a major role in their marketing success.    With a certain amount of experience, you’ll be confident in your ability to write those killer ads that attract high quality applicants. And yet… how confident are you in your ability to cast your net wider […]

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Whither Website Copywriting?

Website copywriting has changed.  Most people in the industry would recognise that.  Although keywords still count for something in the great Google casino, the SEO emphasis has shifted to off-page link building when it comes to significant ranking criteria.  Keywords remain important for inclusion in headline and title tags (after all, the search engine robots […]

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Don’t Forget Your Offline Copywriting

In the rush to optimise everything that goes under the heading of online copywriting, so many companies make the mistake of overlooking their offline marketing activities.  What should be happening of course is that all their eggs shouldn’t be in the online basket.  It’s vital to keep a handle on so many of the other […]

spider's web

After Website Copywriting – Think ‘Content’… and Think ‘SEO’

As a highly experienced website copywriter who’s written hundreds of websites for clients, it may come as a surprise when I say that very few want to follow-on with supporting content to boost their link building and SEO.  “We just want a brochure website,” is a typical cry.  “Our industry is too competitive to bother with SEO […]

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What Do Copywriters Know About Business?

 When I don my copywriter’s cap, I wonder whether there should be a big letter ‘D’ on the tallest cone in Christendom.    (For those who aren’t familiar with the dunce’s cap, it was beloved by the cartoonists in children’s comics at some indeterminate era before the 1960s!)  What has this got to do with business […]

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Offline vs Online Copywriting

Embracing offline copywriting may seem a little counter-intuitive in these days of online copywriting and digital marketing. And yet: there really is no substitute for ‘getting up close and personal’ if you want to maximise returns on your investment. Increasing numbers of people are realising that we neglect offline marketing at our peril. Since Google […]

Rabat

Travel Copywriters Work In The Real World

I’ve been looking at what other travel copywriters have been up to. What struck me most forcibly was the difference in the type of work we do. It’s worth pointing out that there’s a major divide between ‘travel writers’ who go intrepidly into the world, Marco Polo style in search of the true essence of […]

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Wannabe A Great Financial Copywriter?

This has to be the hypothetical question of the year – and it’s still only January as I write! Can you name even ONE ‘big’ financial copywriter? Even more to the point – most people would struggle to come up with more than a couple of copywriters who are specialists in the financial field. Financial […]

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Website Copywriters Walk Backwards To Christmas

When a would-be client calls and says: “We just want the Home page writing,” I always give the kind of introspective nod that would send shivers down the spine of the suicide squad.  Of course, I’m on the phone, so no-one has an inkling.  Visible or not, however, upon hearing those immortal words that will […]

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SEO Copywriting – Talk Your Client Through It

 I still have clients contacting me who are expert at putting carts before horses when it comes to SEO copywriting.  As anyone who follows Google’s latest diktats will know, SEO has been turned on its head since Pandas and Penguins got in on the act with their various algorithm updates.  As professional copywriters, web designers […]

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Advertising Copywriting – Talk Your Client Through It

In the maelstrom of marketing activity with which we’re all bombarded on a daily basis, it’s hard to believe that advertising copywriting was once a lead creative skill in what was the most dominant aspect of marketing.  Clients of a certain age would be forgiven for being confused by the range of techniques that now […]

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Is Your Copywriting and Marketing Too Dependent On Google?

Has your business become over-reliant on Google when it comes to online copywriting and marketing?  Should you be shifting some of your online focus and re-balancing it with more offline activity?  With all the changes that have taken place at the search engine over the last 12 months – we’re talking Penguin and Panda again! […]

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Brochure Copywriting – Talk Your Client Through It

I’ve just finished writing a 64-page brochure which made me think about the brochure copywriting process.  As with so many other aspects of copywriting, clients aren’t necessarily aware of what goes on ‘behind the scenes’.   That’s why this article may be useful in giving freelance copywriters some tips about:  – Helping your client appreciate the […]

PHOENIX

Article Marketing – The SEO Phoenix

Once upon a time, there was Article Marketing.  Get it right and you could improve the SEO performance of your website pages in a matter of weeks. Then, along came Google with its algorithm updates.  Almost overnight, article marketing as we’d come to know it was dead on its feet.   Suddenly, article directories (and millions […]

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Website Copywriting – A Street View

 If the way websites work is totally alien to you – worry not, help is at hand.  And if you know next-to-nothing about website copywriting, this article will provide a good starting point for you to turn things around.  Whilst it’s true that website copywriting may seem like an obscure topic to many people, there […]

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Copywriting For Aliens: Park Your Rocket And Read!

 It’s hard to be humble when you’re an alien.  With heads as big as yours – and brains to match – you’re probably wondering why humans have made everything so-o-o-o complicated.  Here’s a good example… We’ve made a science out of earning a crust.  We’ve called it a million things: economics, Capitalism, Marxism, marketing, accountancy, […]

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Financial Marketing and the Moral Compass

The issue of whether marketing professionals should work with clients in controversial areas of business is certainly not new.  Alcohol, tobacco, gambling and pornography have fitted the ‘usual suspects’ bill for long enough.  Increasingly, however, in the wake of the recent financial meltdown across Europe, we’re seeing a new contender in the unpopularity stakes.  You’ve […]

Archer statue

The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lending

 Sub-prime money lending in the UK is alive and well.  Demand for Payday Loans, Logbook Loans and Guarantor Loans is soaring.  And with the country’s recessionary phase now into its fourth year, these high-interest short-term loans that were previously only popular with the sub-prime sector are now being taken up by so-called ‘Middle England’.    In […]

payday loan shark

Reach For The Sky All You Payday Loan Arrangers!

If you watch daytime TV, you’ll know all about Payday Loans from the deluge of advertisements that target what – it must be assumed – is a vulnerable yet receptive segment of the UK population.  Presumably, the TV researchers in ad agencies have delved into the socio-economic profiles of those who watch The Jeremy Kyle […]

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SEO Climate Change – When Penguins Might Fly

We all know that Google has been frantically trying to improve the validity and value of its search results through a sequence of recent ‘Updates’ including Panda and Penguin.  We also know that Google includes elements of semantic search in its algorithms.  What very few people discuss is how the physical practice of making an […]

sailing yachts

Brochure Copywriters Say It With Sales

There are probably as many different ways of writing brochures as there are brochure formats. For a brochure copywriter, this could be a little daunting – until you bear in mind that there are several useful copywriting principles that can and should be followed. Let’s start with the front cover. This is arguably the most […]

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A Simple Simon Solution to the Copywriting Rates Problem

I’ve had massive reaction to recent articles I’ve written about Copywriting Rates. The consensus seems to be that ‘creative rates’ in general – and copywriting rates in particular – are hitting the floor. So how do you make sure you don’t fall victim to this unnerving trend? If you read on, you will discover that […]

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Copywriting Rates and the Collective ‘Cri de Coeur’

Every time I’ve written articles and blog posts about Copywriting Rates, the response has been overwhelming. It’s no accident that the page covering this topic on my company’s main website attracts far and away the greatest number of visitors – and easily the highest click-through rates. A recent article of mine entitled ‘Copywriting Rates: Preparing […]

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‘A Parade of Penguins’ Tops the Copywriters’ Pecking Order!

 With Google’s ‘Penguin Updates’ all around us, could all you copywriters and journalists introduce a new collective noun or two into your articles and blog posts to make it all a little more interesting?  It’s not as though you’re limited in the number of options available.  Maybe one reason we don’t see phrases like ‘flocks […]

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Copywriting Rates: ‘Vox Pop’ and Viral!

  The recent articles and blog posts I’ve written about Copywriting Rates have generated responses bordering on the viral!  Here are some of the key themes to emerge from around the world:   “COPYWRITING AS A COMMODITY” Copywriting is now seen by many clients as a ‘commodity’ and, as such, price is the over-riding factor […]

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Guest Blogging For Back-Door SEO!

The SEO phenomenon of the moment has to be guest blogging.  It’s a great way to build links with other sites that are relevant to your sector – and there’s also the longer-term networking element where your name gradually assumes a more visible online profile.     Buzzwords has been invited several times recently to be a […]

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For Copywriting Success: Make Your Mindset Your Marketing Manifesto

I’ve seen recessions come and go.  I’ve seen good copywriters and designers defeated by economic circumstances.  And I’ve seen other people succeed despite the inevitable shakeouts that recessions create.   How can it be that some people can ride out the storm while others succumb to its devastating forces?  It’s a complicated mix that dictates […]

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Advertising Copywriters, Google and Ogilvy’s ‘Big Idea’

The whole point of this hour-long Google-led video is to show how modern technology can be combined with traditional techniques to create amazing digital advertising by ‘re-imagining’ work from the past. This was achieved using the simple but inspired approach of persuading lionised advertising copywriters and art directors from the Mad Men era to come out of […]

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