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Ten copywriting ‘rules’ you should break before you die

Rules, eh? Doncha just hate ’em? Do this. Don’t do that. Show me a rule and I’ll show you a baseball bat. Copywriting is plagued with rules. You know, you buy a book by someone who says they’re going to teach y...

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The Periodic Table of Corporate Writing

Sunfish scientists have been studying the elements of corporate writing for decades and have now identified the 16 most dangerous. Goggles and rubber gloves on please....

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The 7 telltale signs you’re reading “zombie copy”

She stands, screaming. Her feet refuse to move. She is rooted to the spot with terror. Slowly, inevitably, the bloody, walking corpse approaches. Arms outstretched, snarling, it reaches for her. It is hungry. A...

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Ten people I want to thank for teaching me what matters in writing

1 My Mum For showing me that the best way to get a company to recompense you for poor service isn’t blowing your stack at the till assistant, but by writing a calm, measured and detailed letter to the CEO, item...

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The Copywriter’s Prayer

Oh Word, Let me compose sentences providing both meaning and pleasure. Guide me towards clarity, simplicity and truthfulness, And away from the seductive path of waffle, and the words whereof the weasel availet...

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When copywriters start showing off

Anyone who has children – or has spent time with the little bl… I mean angels – will have uttered or heard that deathless phrase, “Stop showing off”. Usually as said offspring is disrupting a family lunch. Litt...

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Fish cookery for copywriters

When I worked and lived in London there was a particular restaurant we used to eat at for the fish. It always tasted like it had jumped from the sea straight onto the grill and then onto our plates. (Well, it c...

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Do you suffer from these three copywriting ailments?

Picture the scene. I am sitting at my desk in The Quill, trying to come up with a worthy article for you. As I wait for the muse to visit, the post arrives. Half-hidden among the direct mail, takeaway menus and...

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I was wrong (about punctuation)

If you’ve taken part in a copywriting or business writing workshop I’ve run over the last 10 years or so, or read Write to Sell, you might have been (un)lucky enough to catch one of my rants about punctuation a...

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A doctor writes

This month, I thought I’d hand Maslen on Marketing over to my old friend and sparring partner, Dr. Andreas Maslenski. Andreas is Professor of Lexical Disabilities at the Syntactical Institute of Vienna. *** Tha...

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