Copywriting Blog


The Grumpy Old Copywriter: You Kids Wouldn’t Know ‘Legendary’ If It Slapped You in the Face

Thaddeus Van HaltrenGrumpy Old CopywriterLeave a Comment

When I was breaking into the business back in the early 1900s, copywriters were taught to choose their adjectives with care. For example, when writing a radio ad for Dr. Bush’s Kumyss Sparkling Milk in 1922, I spent two-and-a-half hours debating whether to describe it as “delectable” or “luscious.” Somewhere along the way — probably during the lawless ’60s — … Read More

It’s Time Again for ‘Meet a Pen’

Anna GoldsmithUncategorizedLeave a Comment

“Don’t dialogue with someone you can talk to.” Rob Sneddon, the latest writer to join our team, didn’t say this, but the fact that he can quote William Zinsser just makes us love him even more. Read on to learn Rob’s no-fail trick for combating writer’s block, the one book that can improve everyone’s writing and why we need a … Read More

Dear Ford Motor Company: Please Stop Advertising Your ‘Ford Freedom Sales Event’

Dan O'SullivanAdvertising, KvetchingLeave a Comment

I’ve written before about the downside of my love for listening to Red Sox games on the radio: the dreaded overplayed ad. Every year, there’s an ad or two that emerges as an unavoidable irritation. The problem could be a failed attempt at humor, an overly enthusiastic spokesperson or an obnoxious jingle. Whatever the case, when you hear that same … Read More

Meet Virginia, Our Newest Pen

Anna GoldsmithNewsLeave a Comment

For every 100 writers who contact us, just dying for a chance to be a Pen, only a handful makes it through our rigorous screening process. Meet one of the qualified few. As you’ll see from our Q&A below, Virginia has the right mix of experience, brains and wit. We’re pretty sure she’s a keeper. What did you want to … Read More

A Belated Happy Anniversary to Us

Dan O'SullivanHired PensLeave a Comment

A few weeks ago, we at The Hired Pens marked 15 years in business. It’s a nice milestone, though admittedly not as sexy as a 10th or 20th anniversary. Something about the number 15 just seems kind of blah. Nonetheless, it’s a good opportunity to sit back and reflect on the past 15 years. Anna was the one who had … Read More

The #1 Mistake Copywriters Make — Especially the Really Great Copywriters

Anna GoldsmithBrandingLeave a Comment

What’s the biggest, most common, most job-eliminating mistake copywriters make? It’s not bad writing. In fact, the better the copywriter, the more likely he or she is to make this mistake. Answer: It’s not getting to know the audience. But wait, you’re thinking: In this age of content marketing, doesn’t everyone know how critical it is to spend time understanding … Read More

Are You Being Re-purposeful with Your Content?

Dan O'SullivanContent MarketingLeave a Comment

The best of your organization’s content should be like a cat — it should have nine lives. Okay, maybe nine lives is stretching it. But when you work hard to write something remarkably clever/insightful/useful/etc., there’s no reason why it should be doomed for a one-and-done existence. Reincarnation should be in the cards. I’ve heard this message preached many times before. … Read More