Copywriting: write to sell

How many of you set a writing goal for 2009 that included earning money from your writing? Or earning more money from your writing? I’m in the second category. My creative writing, feature writing and screenwriting are going well but not earning that much money. (For a lively discussion on how much writers really earn check out Can you earn money as a writer?) With this in mind, I’ve decided I need to expand my commercial copywriting activities. I’ve set up a new Crafty Writer Copywriting Service website and am working on getting some new clients.

andy-maslen-write-to-sellI also thought I’d better brush up on my copywriting skills. So I bought Write to Sell: the Ultimate Guide to Great Copywriting by Andy Maslen. Although the pompous title initially put me off (I’m suspicious of  anyone who claims to be the ultimate or final word on anything) the reader reviews on Amazon convinced me it was worth having a look.

I’m so glad I did. Maslen reminded me that to write for a client you need to think like your client and it’s not about what you want to communicate,  but rather what the reader wants to hear. Maslen shares some very useful tricks of the trade and is a great advocate for PLAIN ENGLISH.

Even if you don’t want to sully your artistic reputation by writing commercially, Maslen’s advice on how to write simply and effectively with a target readership in mind will serve every writer well. I shall certainly be recommending this book to my non-fiction and creative writing students.

Related posts:

  1. Getting Started in Copywriting 1
  2. Write Screenplays That Sell
  3. Write to sell – taking your non-fiction writing to the next level
  4. Do you want to write full time?
  5. Non-fiction – how to write a proposal

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7 comments on “Copywriting: write to sell

  1. Pingback: » Blog Archive » The Business of Freelance Writing Carnival, Edition 51

  2. Isaac Yassar on said:

    Yeah, I agree, writing short but comprehensive articles is much better than long wandering posts. We got to learn more and more I guess.

  3. Oddly, Andy Maslen quotes marketing research that suggests that customers are more likely to read longer copy than shorter! That said, he agrees that we need to cut unnecessary waffle. Reminds me of what my journalism professor used to tell me when I asked how long an article should be: write to what it’s worth.

  4. Andy Maslen on said:

    Well, I guess I’m flattered you liked the book, despite the title! (Which, incidentally, I also felt a little uncomfortable with, as my heroes include David Ogilvy and Drayton Bird, whose books are far better than mine!).

    To be precise about long v short copy, the research tends to suggest that readers *respond* more to longer copy, not necessarily that they read it. You might infer that they do and you’d probably be right too.

    Please look out for next book, 100 Great Copywriting Ideas, which is due out on June 2.

  5. Fiona on said:

    Thanks for clearing up the long vs short issue Andy. And good luck with the next book. The name gets my approval this time 🙂

  6. Karen M on said:

    Hi Fiona
    I’ve been trawling around for a good book on copywriting and wondered if you might have some crafty advice to cut through the on-line hype. As usual, I wasn’t disappointed. Cheers!
    ps I spent a week in a holiday cottage in the highlands a few weeks ago and ended up with the flu (snif). In my bleary boredom I flicked through a pile of old magazines I found on a shelf, and came across one with TWO articles by Fiona Veitch-Smith! The mag was Northern Life or Geordie Living or something. The articles were fab, even through a mist of Lemsip!

  7. Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

    Hi Karen,

    Good to hear from you! Sorry you had the flu. I have miraculously managed to avoid it so far this season. Ah, that must be Living North. I used to write for them regularly about 6 or 7 years ago. Old copies. Did some great stuff for them though!

    Keep well and keep writing,


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