What is a copywriter?

I’ve been asked variations of this question a few times so three months in, a couple of projects down, and one slightly-neglected-blog-crying-out-for-content later, I thought I’d attempt a response.

‘Attempt’ being the operative word. Copywriters are basically (obviously) writers and every writing project is different, so there isn’t an easy answer.

But let’s try.

So – what is a copywriter?

A copywriter is someone who writes content for marketing, advertising or brand communication purposes. Typically, they will be commissioned by companies or editors to create content for a campaign based on a specific brief and for a particular audience.

What sort of projects do copywriters work on?

There are all sorts of ways a copywriter can help your business, including:

  • Drafting Search Engine Optimised FAQs, features, interviews, blog posts, company biographies and other pages for your website
  • Creating Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram captions, email newsletters and much more for your other digital media channels
  • Writing copy for posters, advertising material, signage, brochures, flyers, listings and other promotional print material
  • Other writing projects such as crafting press releases and captioning catalogues

How do copywriters work (and charge)?

It depends on the project and if you have something specific in mind then you will want to create a brief first, but for me, there are a couple of ‘typical’ copywriting projects – either:

  • Providing ongoing copywriting support across various channels (digital and print). This could mean agreeing a set amount of days per week or per month on a rolling basis, or it might be a specific engagement on one particular project. In either case for me this usually goes hand in hand with digital marketing planning and social media management
  • Otherwise, I might respond to a brief to create one discrete piece of content – be it a blog post, an interview, a feature, a webpage, a flyer, a list, whatever. This is usually paid on a per-project basis

If you’re hiring a copywriter for a specific purpose, should they be a specialist in your sector?

Generally speaking (and there will be exceptions) I would say that if YOU are a specialist in your sector, then it is not essential that your copywriter is. Good written content is good written content, no matter what the subject matter. I’d argue it is more important that you find a copywriter whose style works for you and your business, rather than someone who is a technical specialist.

If you work in a specialised industry, though, it becomes even more important to ensure that the brief you provide to your copywriter (and to any supplier) is thorough. Make sure you are totally clear about what you want them to provide, and be willing to work with them on any edits.

Got more questions, or a project you’re looking for help on? Get in touch here.

On freelancing

After several years of working in an office, I’m a month in to this freelancing lark and it’s pretty fair to say that both ways of working have their pros and cons.

On the plus side, as a freelancer…

  • I can work in my pyjamas. With no make up on. And terrible hair. Which I’ve honestly never done in an office. (Well… I never went in to work in my PJs, anyway.)
  • I don’t have to commute to work every day. And as an added bonus, other passengers don’t have to watch me put my make-up on on the train/tube every day.
  • I can, for the most part, schedule my own working week, even if that does mean evening and weekend working.
  • Variety. Such variety! There are so many amazing projects and inspiring people out there, it’s been such an eye-opener.

But there are downsides to not working in an office…

  • Being able to work in your pyjamas with terrible hair etc means there is sometimes very little incentive to get properly dressed in the morning. Which is not good news for my neighbours, or the nursery staff who are getting used to me turning up in yesterday’s clothes to drop off and pick up my child.
  • No, I don’t have to commute to work every day – which means I don’t get to read my book/get Metro newsprint all over my hands/listen to any music that isn’t Wind The Bobbin Up. Woe.
  • My lunch choices are limited. SEVERELY limited.
  • Accounting. Meh.
  • There is A Distinct Lack of Office Drinks when you work on your own. Going to have to work on that one.

Still, it’s been great so far… let’s hope it continues!

Looking for a copywriter/online editor, or some help with a digital marketing project? Get in touch.

Freelancer for hire…

Hello there.

I know this blog has been particularly quiet of late. Hopefully you will forgive me when I say I am just coming to the end of a year of maternity leave, and was too focused on the complete lack of quiet that entered my life in October 2015 to think much about blogging (aside from reading a lot of the things, especially during night feeds…)

But now I’m ready to get back to work – and this time I am looking for new opportunities as a freelancer and consultant. So, if you or anyone you know is on the look out for an online editor, copywriter or digital marketer, please get in touch (details below.) I’m interested in short and long-term projects and home or flexible office-based working.

I’m also in the process of updating my website to reflect all this, so please consider it a work-in-progress…

Contact me here:


‘Appy New Year


1st January. A day for low-level hangover-friendly activities, like writing old dates in a new calendar and sorting through all the apps you haven’t used in a year. Like a wardrobe clear out for your phone.

I’ve got 43 apps on my phone. There are at least 10 I hardly ever use. And yet clearing them out is as difficult as throwing away clothes. It’s like deleting Trello or Mailbox or Remember The Milk is some sort of admission of organisational failure: I downloaded them to help me keep better control of the boring minutiae of my life, and yet I haven’t got round to using them, because keeping control of minutiae is, of course, boring.

So keeping them there as a visual reminder of my desire to be more organised, even if I’m yet to organise myself to using them, has to count, right?

Of course if I were to make a real commitment to organisational productivity, I’d delete Dots. But it’s perfect New Year’s Day material, so that’s not going to happen.

Happy New Year, if you’re reading this.

An overdue update for no-one

I haven’t written here in about a year. Though I doubt anyone has missed me. Still, the purpose of it was to keep me writing, so that is a bit lame. In fact, writing – aside from in my day job, where blogging and interviewing and writing social media updates fill my days – is something I am not doing enough of at all, recently. I have seen several great productions lately – from Legally Blonde to an all-male version of Pirates of Penzance; the London revival of Hair (now approaching early retirement) to a wonderfully provincial touring play called The Knicker Lady; Love Never Dies, of course, and Priscilla, once again – and yet have not written anything on any of these, despite this being the whole point.

And MORE to the point, I haven’t done any creative writing – well, not enough anyway – for several months. I have ideas, I have some brief drafts of plans, I have character sketches, but I have nothing solid.

This seems to be my main problem: the motivation to start. Anything. I think about it all an awful lot, but when I get a lovely bare Sunday stretching out in front of me, I sleep, eat, and generally procrastinate until the whole day is gone and I’ve barely thought about opening the laptop.

Have been thinking of doing a creative writing course to try and stop this curse of inactivity – bully myself into doing something. But being unsually broke this year it is looking unlikely (incidentally, have 6 weddings and 4 hen do’s to go to this year. I love my friends, but this is bordering on mentalism. Also it is bankrupting me.) Anyway, have this stupid block in my head telling me that truly creative people don’t need courses to show them the way.

But then perhaps I am not truly creative.

I’m definitely not truly dedicated.