Copywriting Blog

My Bet for 2009 Word of the Year

Dan O'SullivanMedia, News1 Comment

Most word nuts know Merriam-Webster named “bailout” its 2008 Word of the Year (for obvious reasons). I’ve got a leading contender for this year’s honor: transparency.   When I was growing up, I associated transparency with ghosts — usually the friendly kind. After I gave up cartoons, I learned a more negative connotation for the word. As the American Heritage Dictionary puts … Read More

How Waitressing Made Me a Better Business Person

Anna GoldsmithNews1 Comment

An interesting topic popped up at a recent dinner party I attended: What was your worst job ever? While my summer as a waitress didn’t beat dodging bricks at the city works department, “refereeing” parents at children’s soccer games, or suffering repeated burns from an industrial-sized dishwasher, nothing has been more valuable. No, not for those cheesy reasons, like learning … Read More

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