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AI copy – what do I think?

By Copywriting, Tone of voice, WritingNo Comments

I’ve dedicated 16 years of my adult life to becoming a better writer – of course I give a monkey’s about what AI might mean to my livelihood. A very large monkey’s, in fact.


With one eye closed, my mouse hovering over the ‘close window’ button, and knowing I’ve enough fuel in the van to reach the coast, I’ve explored a few articles on the matter. So far, I’m still sitting here. So far, I’m not overly frightened. But equally, I’m not daft or dismissive enough to ignore AI’s potential to transform how, collectively, we go about our business of persuasive written communication.

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Let me be clear…

By Copywriting, Editing, WritingNo Comments

I’ve been reading ‘Do I Make Myself Clear’- Why Writing Well Matters’ by (Sir) Harold Evans (28 June 1928 – 23 September 2020). In some ways I wish I’d read it earlier in my career as a copywriter, but I think it might have been too much to take in while relatively green. Now, it’s more of an acerbic, witty reassurance that my internal dialogue when reading or editing godawful guff isn’t just grumpiness – and that my instinct is dependable.

He also reminds me that there’s a time and a place to be right about this: always and everywhere. But not necessarily out loud. Read More

I was not fed the cat

By Uncategorized, WritingNo Comments

So it seems we’ve lost the war against ‘I was sat’.

And ‘I was stood’.

And others.

Sadly, these simple and needless atrocities feature daily in my conversations, and in my consumption of media. I’m not being a pedantic git – at least I don’t think I am. I genuinely think it’s a real shame, because it sounds daft and lazy. And that’s not what you want. At least I hope it isn’t.

Yet every day I hear it. And see it. For whatever reason, it’s common parlance. Even among those I know have a better grasp of the language.

Something stole our grasp of past participles.  

In remembrance, here’s how they once went:

I sit; I am sitting. I sat; I was sitting.

I stand; I am standing. I stood; I was standing.

I was NOT sat.

I was NOT stood.

Nor was I ate a cake. Nor was I listened to music. Nor was I brushed my hair.

I was not fed the cat.


Yeah, it’s that simple. It’s probably too late, but if you feel like fighting the decline honourably, please do.

Or if you do it, and have a valid explanation or excuse, let’s hear it:

Write for one person

By Copywriting, TOV, WritingNo Comments

Of course, to write effectively on a business’ behalf, you need to know your audience. You need at least an overview of what matters to them, the problems you can solve for them, what makes them happy, and so on. And you need to be able to distinguish your brand from all the others vying for the same audience’s attention.


But here’s the thing… Read More

Jargon is exclusive

By Copywriting, WritingNo Comments

But not in a good way…

People often adopt and use jargon to impress others. It doesn’t. Unless you’re in a profession where the language you use describes something specific and precise – and where it is crucial to the context – all you’re doing is showing that you’re not quite sure of yourself, or your message. Read More

Rewording as you rebrand

By Tone of voice, WritingNo Comments

Of the myriad things I lend my expertise to, being part of a brand overhaul is one of my favourites. Being there when the brand is aware it’s outgrown its current guise means everyone involved is receptive and excited. It’s a great opportunity to look more closely at the core character of the business, and find new and engaging ways to convey its unique propositions. It’s a chance to re-invent the cause, breathe fresh air into the look and feel, and sharpen the messaging to convey key themes more effectively.

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Do you do…?

By WritingNo Comments

Yes, I do. I’m a copywriter.

I’ve been asked many times as a freelancer if I have experience writing for specific sectors, or for specific channels of communication. ‘How much agri-bulk work have you done?’ ‘How many case studies have you written about community engagement in the renewable energy sector?’ ‘Do you do SEO copy for boutique hoteliers?’… and so on.
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