Blog - Editing Edge

Why do journalists make great copywriters?

You know how important it is to get your message across effectively (or you wouldn’t be reading this right now.) The bigger impact you make, the better you do business. Copywriters with a background in journalism are brilliantly positioned to help. Looking to my own experience, I’d say my success as a copywriter is directly linked to the 20 years I spent on Fleet Street before founding Editing Edge.   Why? Because cool-headed editing and writing under pressure for one of Britain’s most demanding news operations is great training for corporate copywriting. Yes, life’s no picnic at the Daily Mail when a typical day includes: Assimilating a complex briefing from the Washington correspondent on the latest Obama story
. Commissioning some fluffy copy to caption a Miley ... Read more

Tell a story (how to get an OBE)

The art to drawing in an audience is telling a story. It’s something I’ve been doing recently in writing Queen’s Honours nominations for some very worthy people who are being put forward for OBEs and knighthoods. You may not know that Honours don’t always come floating down from the Palace (via Downing Street) to the great surprise of those receiving the gong. Many are nominated by business colleagues, friends or family (some even put themselves forward, though strictly speaking the process is supposed to be confidential.) Nominations go to a jury of experts and frankly some of the forms submitted are mighty dull, little more than a dry and dusty list of dates of posts and achievements like an extended CV. Storytelling is a great ... Read more

Hampshire copywriters – hello, Google!

I'm writing this blog as an exercise in creating website copy that is search-engine-friendly for place names. I want to show how you can blend the key phrases your customers are Googling into natural content. For example, you may wish your website to be found by people searching for 'wedding venues in Hampshire' or 'corporate travel Surrey' or 'Sussex kennels.' In my case, it's 'Hampshire copywriters' (as well as 'copywriting Surrey' and 'copywriter Sussex', in fact.) So this blog serves a dual purpose: it's intended to help improve my Google ranking for 'Hampshire copywriters' but also to show you how you can adapt my ideas to your own business. And the key thing is natural content. Your website copy needs to please the search ... Read more

Persuasive copy: the power of three

I wonder if you caught an entertaining piece in Metro recently about the 'power of three'? It is well worth some thought if you need to write persuasive copy for your business or if you're doing some public speaking. Writers have long deployed 'threes' to build up an argument: think about how the three adjectives 'tall, dark and handsome' work much better than 'tall and handsome.' Likewise, 'vini vidi vici' (I came, I saw, I conquered and about as much Latin as many of us have ever conquered) rolls off the tongue. How to sell Rice Krispies In fact new research from UCLA, California, suggests that to get what we want, we naturally write/speak in threes. Kellogg's copywriters twigged this generations ago when they came ... Read more

Why you need a copywriter – the 3Cs

I was chatting to a client recently who wanted to know what hiring a copywriter could bring to her company, when they knew their business so well they had far more expertise than me. Fair point, but my answer is that it is because I am an outsider that I add benefit. I bring the virtues of the 3Cs – providing copy that is Clear, Compelling and Concise. Writing with clarity Clear: it is because I’m not a specialist in her business that I can bring clarity, grasping the overview, picking out interesting detail and seeing what’s important in a way that she finds hard (she’s too immersed in it all.)   How can you add clarity to something you know so much about that you ... Read more

How to write headlines – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Apologies immediately to anyone who has clicked onto this blog in the hope of reading about the 1966 spaghetti western starring Clint Eastwood. This isn't really about gunslingers, ponchos or sultry Hollywood actors. Is anyone still reading? I chose The Good, The Bad and The Ugly as an attention-grabbing headline. (Which is a good tip in itself.)   In fact, my point is about making an impact when you are writing, by accentuating The Good The Interesting and The Unusual. How to find your differentiators So, whether you are putting together a corporate brochure, funky website content, a press release or an important proposal, try to highlight what makes you and your company special: The Good – why customers love you (ask them!) – awards you've won (this instils trust, ditto testimonials) – the things you ... Read more
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