Copywriting Blog

Elements of Style: The Movie!

Anna GoldsmithNewsLeave a Comment

I’ve recently become obsessed with the TED talks. And if you don’t know what TED is, you’re in for a treat. Like the most delicious treat, ever. These 20-minute “genius lectures” (TED stands for “Technology, Entertainment, Design”) take place at the invitation-only annual TED conference and are rebroadcast online at To date, there are 370 speeches with a new … Read More

Yes, You Too Can Be a Writer for Hallmark. Just Follow These Simple Rules!

Anna GoldsmithThe Writing Life364 Comments

Everything has a formula: finding square roots, closing sales calls, creating nice-smelling shampoo. And I don’t mean to burst any bubbles here, but so does writing. Web page: headline, subhead, 200 to 300 words of body copy. Sales letter: greeting, introductory paragraph, features and benefits, call to action, closing. Script for a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie: Read on … The … Read More

An Old Friend, On His Way Out

Dan O'SullivanMedia, News8 Comments

Being a newspaper subscriber is kind of like owning a 15-year-old dog. You don’t know exactly when the experience is going to end, but you might want to hold off on buying another bag of kibble. I am by no means a Luddite. I’m an avid Internet enthusiast and, in fact, earn much of my living writing for the Web. … Read More

Just because you have someone’s email address doesn’t mean you have the right to email them

Anna GoldsmithNews55 Comments

My friend, colleague and strategist to the stars (okay, strategist to regular businesses) Rich Nadworny of Digalicious sent me this Seth Godin post, which seems very worth reposting. It’s 14 good rules about email marketing. I particularly like #14: “Just because you have someone’s email address doesn’t mean you have the right to email them.” I wish someone would tell … Read More

The Laziest Ad Copy Ever Written

Anna GoldsmithNewsLeave a Comment

Well, maybe it’s the spirit of the New Year, but today I actually bypassed the article on bad celebrity drivers for something that’s relevant to what we do here at The Hired Pens.  I felt an immediate kinship with the writer of “I Hate You, Blue-Tux-Wearing Viagra Guy!” Like Farhad Manjoo, I don’t have cable TV. Why bother when I have … Read More

Annual List of Banned Words

Anna GoldsmithNews49 Comments

We all have words and phrases we hate; in fact, our Dec. 1 post about it generated more comments than any other post we’ve written.  Well, as I was reading the Boston Globe recently (yes, I still read a real newspaper, delivered to my porch each morning by a real paper boy), I came across an article that warmed my … Read More

What does it mean to brand yourself?

Anna GoldsmithBranding2 Comments

If you were a brand, what brand would you be? Apple? Harley? Um … Tide? (This Tide commercial is great.) I know: This sounds like an exercise just made for a corporate retreat … right before the “trust falls.” But in our 2.0 world, where the professional and personal are colliding like never before, it’s not a bad idea to check … Read More

Content Is the New Customer Service

Anna GoldsmithNews, Writing TipsLeave a Comment

  Here’s what it takes to keep people coming back. A few weeks ago, I was at a conference on new media and heard this quote: “Content is the new customer service.” At which point I jumped up on my chair and shouted, “YES!” You know, since we provide content. Then I was like, “Wait, what does that even mean?” Meet … Read More