Financial Copywriter Wanted – Experience Preferred

Financial Copywriter Wanted – Experience Preferred

Copywriters are called upon to write about many things.  For the most part, their political and socio-economic views are of no consequence.  Products and services don’t usually come with a health or wealth warning.  For copywriters with more acute sensibilities, however, there are certain ‘no-go’ areas where ethics enter the fray.  Think: cigarettes, alcohol, defence products and, yes, political parties (to name just a few). An area which may appear unexpectedly on the list of certain copywriters would be financial products and services.  In case this surprises, maybe we should revert to the demise of Lehman Brothers, the run on Northern Rock, the PPI scandal, and manipulation of the ‘Inter-bank Rate’ (AKA ‘Libor’).  Forget, if you will, the scourge of ‘Payday Loans’, the controversy surrounding the Co-Op Bank, or even the continuing trend for bankers’ bonuses to exceed most people’s ‘norms’. If you’re a copywriter who’s been briefed to come up with the goods for a website (let’s say), for a brochure, press or TV ad – how far will the influences of the outside world colour what you write?  Copywriters, of course, are expected to be impartial, but financial matters are so much part of the warp and weft of our Capitalist society, it’s difficult to be totally objective.  Somewhere along the line, even a diehard copywriter runs the risk of being influenced by their own political, economic and social leanings! A Human, Financial Face Despite what some people may think, copywriters are only human.  OK, they set out to persuade targeted consumers to behave outrageously when it comes to spending their money, but that can be explained... Read more...
Copywriting Training Courses:  Online Or Face-To-Face?

Copywriting Training Courses: Online Or Face-To-Face?

  As a copywriter who provides face-to-face training courses in the UK, I’m often asked how they compare with online courses, or ‘distance learning’ as it is sometimes called. It’s a difficult question to answer – especially when I’m likely to be heavily biased in favour of the face-to-face variety!  However, donning my impartial cap – and taking into account the opinions of others which have come my way over the years – I can offer a few informed conclusions.   Online Pondering… The over-riding criticism of online courses seems to be that ‘students’ drop out very quickly, usually after a short, hyper-enthusiastic phase! I can only assume this is because there’s no ongoing support mechanism available to sustain their commitment. Crucially, I also tend to feel they miss the essential human contact that will encourage and cajole.  There’s no social reference point; no-one to feed your ego, to feed the dream that maybe this will all lead somewhere. For those who may be looking to create a new career, there is no professional context in which to develop and discuss progress, hopes, frustrations and ambitions.  Compare this with university tutorials which force a student to commit to taking a stance – on pain of personal embarrassment and humiliation. With online training, peer group pressure is also absent.  If you don’t succeed, so what!  There’s no-one around to care or witness your abject failure. On the other hand, online courses are a great introduction to a subject for those who are determined to make a fist of it.  Only the truly determined will succeed.  Without motivation, even the best... Read more...
Content Marketing: Who's Your Best Bet?

Content Marketing: Who's Your Best Bet?

Given the growing importance of content marketing in the quest to attract sales leads and conversions – not to mention the significance of ‘social sharing’ and the contribution this makes to SEO – it’s not unreasonable to ask which marketing professionals will give you the best bang for your buck. By starting at the beginning and asking what are you expecting content marketing to achieve, you’ll have a clearer idea of who would be your best partner.  To be effective, content marketing must have high quality, original content at its core… content that readers will find useful, practical and valuable enough to ‘share’ on social media sites. This is a complex brief – and certainly not a job for the amateur.  To begin with, there must be a strategy that will target relevant content towards well-defined market segments.  This includes identifying the most suitable media platform and devising an editorial programme that will engage with your target audience. The challenge is to identify which group of marketing professionals can provide the most effective service.  That includes the skilful creation and placement of various types of ‘content’ – blog posts, articles, white papers, e-books, newsletters and so on.  (It may also include non-written content such as infographics, videos, podcasts etc). The wide-ranging demands involved in creating such a diverse range of content place varying expectations on the skill-sets of suppliers.  Take a look at the following options – then decide which is the most appropriate for your particular needs. IN-HOUSE – This is the first (and most obvious) option to consider – but do you have your own home-grown writing/design/production... Read more...

Website Copywriting Makes The Link With Content Marketing

‘COPYWRITING SHORTS’  #104 With ‘content marketing’ being the catch-all phrase of the moment, it’s hardly surprising that website copywriting is right up there, riding in the slipstream. As a highly experienced copywriter, creating ‘content’ is what I’ve always done.  The trick nowadays is to align your content with a meaningful marketing strategy – and therein lies the challenge. The optimal starting point has to be with your website.  This is the home of your online content, the hub to which everything else you do is linked.  The ‘content’ we’re talking about here includes what goes on your web pages, what goes into your blog, and what external content you choose to provide or engage with. These building blocks of your online content marketing strategy can be brought together brilliantly by social sharing on the sites of the usual suspects – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn et al.  In case you’re not sure, ‘social sharing’ has become the go-to skill-set for post-Hummingbird SEO. How your content marketing strategy dovetails with the totality of your online marketing activities is a topic for another post.  In the meantime, you can find an introduction to copywriting techniques for your website and SEO by visiting the following Buzzwords’ pages: Web copy: www.buzzwords.ltd.uk/website-copywriter SEO:... Read more...
How To Create Effective Press Ads

How To Create Effective Press Ads

‘COPYWRITING SHORTS’  #103 As a copywriter, I’ve noticed an increasing prevalence of press ads that show no creative skills whatsoever.  Typical of this is where a photo of the product/service is placed above a large headline, with maybe a few lines of body copy, plus one or two contact points. No effort has been made to devise a creative concept that unifies both the image and the sales message.  It’s as though whoever created the ad has no understanding of how a decent ad should work in pursuit of maximising its impact on the page. This may be down to several factors – time constraints perhaps; no experience of preparing an ad that goes beyond basic design practices; or even a disregard among certain online specialists for anything that is ‘offline’ and therefore off-limits as far as their creative focus is concerned. There’s no doubt that time must be invested in preparing an ad that will be both creative and effective.  Having a complete awareness of the selling points of a product or service is essential before a single word is written and before images are sourced. This involves a certain amount of research – in technical USPs and features for B2B ads, and in emotional triggers for consumer press advertising.  In all cases, a full appreciation of the target media and its readership should be a given. For more information about Buzzwords’ approach to creating effective press advertising, visit:... Read more...