Wine Labels and the Future of Freelancing

Wine Labels and the Future of Freelancing

The story I’m about to tell is about wine, but it’s also about writing and editing, and your future if you’re freelancing… This story is from a while back, but the message is as pertinent now as then: Years ago, I was visiting friends in Santa Barbara, Calif. They were close friends with winemakers in the area, so I got to see the inner workings of one winery, to learn more about the process. Shipping boxes were piled in the middle of the room full of wine barrels waiting to get branded with labels. The winemaker lamented having to...
Comma Challenge: Can You Fix These Seven Mistakes?

Comma Challenge: Can You Fix These Seven Mistakes?

With the recent request that I give more advice on the proper use of commas, I decided to do the occasional Comma Challenge since I see so many errors in my day-to-day life. Here’s the first. How does it work? I’m glad you asked! Below you’ll see seven sentences with comma errors. Your job? Find the mistake. Then check with the answers below, where I’ve made the correction and given the reason for it. Have fun! The Comma Errors Seriously, this project is really fun and easy, you should try it. If you’ve been thinking of trying a...
Bad Copywriting Is All Over, Even in My Kitchen!

Bad Copywriting Is All Over, Even in My Kitchen!

You don’t have to search for famous examples of bad copywriting when it’s all around us…even in my kitchen!  Since I’m in a mood and I’ve recently picked apart another piece of bad copywriting, let’s do another.   This is copy from food packaging that was in my kitchen. I changed it a bit to keep it anonymous (and it was juice, not cereal), but the gist of it is the same:    What’s wrong with this copywriting? Spend some time with this. Read it a couple of times.   What jumps out at you?   First, there’s the headline: Put Good...
#1 Copywriting Tip? Make Sure It Makes Sense!

#1 Copywriting Tip? Make Sure It Makes Sense!

Why search for a good copywriting tip when too many copywriters don’t even do this one simple thing?   C’mon, copywriters. We can do better than this snippet of copy that I grabbed from a web page:   It doesn’t make any sense, right? You discover the changes so you don’t have to discover the changes? Huh?   And when you consider this is meant to be marketing and persuading a potential customer, it’s even worse.  Why these copywriting mistakes happen  This kind of mistake is inexcusable in my book. And I can think of two possible...
Electrify Your Writing at Work with Rhythm

Electrify Your Writing at Work with Rhythm

Why do you write at work? Your answer might be “I write at work because I have to use email,” or “I write at work because it’s part of my job” or something similar. But is any of that really the reason why? Nope. The real reason why you write at work is to inform, persuade or even convince someone, be that a coworker, boss, stakeholder, prospect, customer, vendor or someone else. But to do any of that, your writing first has to get read. Because you can’t inform anyone if they don’t read what you wrote, can you? And how do you get...
Email Marketing? Be on Your Best Behavior in Every Inbox

Email Marketing? Be on Your Best Behavior in Every Inbox

When I was a kid, I remember my father, exasperated with traffic while we were driving somewhere, saying people who are polite in person are rude when driving because they have the anonymity of the car. Someone who would never cut in front of you in line at the bank, he argued, would cut you off in traffic without batting an eye because of this anonymity. I think about his comment when confronted with rude drivers, but also when confronted with email marketing. At times, it seems as if email marketers take the car approach, doing...