Copywriting Blog

How to Handle Prospects Who Have No Respect for Your Work

Anna GoldsmithKvetchingLeave a Comment

After 15 years in business, Dan and I have gotten pretty good at screening for clients who don’t seem like a good fit. Sometimes it’s a personality or subject-matter mismatch, but more often it’s because they have an unrealistic idea of budget. When there’s a financial disconnect, we respectfully explain why we can’t write their annual report for $150, and … Read More

In Praise of Staples’ Chair Assembly Instructions

Dan O'SullivanUncategorizedLeave a Comment

“Some Assembly Required”: three words that will put the fear of God into you. Whether it’s a Christmas toy for your kid or a treadmill that will soon be gathering dust in your basement, most all of us have faced the nightmare of trying to assemble something out of a box. We start with a sense of cautious optimism. Carefully … Read More

5 Questions to Ask Before You Commit to a Name

Anna GoldsmithBrandingLeave a Comment

5 Questions to Ask Before You Commit to a Name Like almost nothing else, coming up with the right name can give your company or product a real boost. As anyone who has tried it knows, however, it’s really hard to do well. That’s why big brands pay naming companies upwards of $100K to do the job for them. Naming … Read More

10 Tips for Creating Effective Landing Pages

Dan O'SullivanLanding Pages, WebLeave a Comment

Landing pages are a useful tool for getting prospects to do things like subscribe to your e-newsletter, download your white paper or buy your widget. Do you know how to create landing pages that get the job done? Our friends at Copyblogger define a landing page as “any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action … Read More

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 GoldsmithHired PensLeave 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 GoldsmithHired Pens, NewsLeave 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