Copywriting Blog


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

How to Sell Technology to Old People

Anna GoldsmithWriting TipsLeave a Comment

The last three calls I’ve gotten for new projects all went something like this: “We want to reposition our product/service because we’ve realized after doing some/absolutely zero research that our website/marketing collateral/packaging is not resonating with … [wait for it] … MILLENNIALS!” Quick, but important rant here: Companies really need to stop grouping Millennials all into the same bucket. There’s … Read More

Tackiness, Thy Name Is Peyton Manning

Dan O'SullivanBranding, KvetchingLeave a Comment

Urban Dictionary defines a corporate shill as “A person engaged in covert advertising. The shill attempts to spread buzz by personally endorsing the product in public forums with the pretense of sincerity, when in fact he is being paid for his services.” Well said, Urban Dictionary. Now is it possible to add a photo of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning … Read More

Writing Fundraising Appeals: Our Top 10 Tips

Karen DempseyOther2 Comments

At The Hired Pens, some of our most rewarding work involves supporting the fundraising efforts of nonprofit organizations we admire — from a few of the country’s top hospitals to small, local agencies with whom we work on a pro bono basis. We’ve written enough fundraising appeals over the years to know what resonates with donors. Here are some important … Read More

Why the World Needs a Grammar Czar

Dan O'SullivanGrammar Cop, The Writing LifeLeave a Comment

Sometimes it’s good to have a benevolent dictator calling the shots. If you’ve ever been part of a committee or task force trying to resolve a seemingly inconsequential issue, you know where I’m coming from. Our friends at Wikipedia define a benevolent dictator as “an authoritarian leader [who] exercises absolute political power … but is seen to do so for … Read More