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Blunt-Force Marketing

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Like most people, I sometimes buy from Amazon, and every time I do they bombard me with recommendations for other items I might want. This can actually make sense. If I’ve just bought a Dylan CD, for instance, it’s reasonable to think I might want other Dylan CDs. Even if (as is likely) I already Read More

Business

Can You Network Too Much?

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As you may know, I’m enthusiastic about business networking. Although my website has helped (I currently rank second on the Google search for “copywriting services Hertfordshire”), it’s mainly been networking that’s allowed me to build up a solid client-base over the past two years, whether from direct contact or from referrals. My regular groups are Read More

History

Guy Fawkes — The Anarchist that Never Was

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Last week, we witnessed a demonstration in London in which “Guido Fawkes” masks were worn as a symbol of anarchism. Guy Fawkes has rather bizarrely become a kind of anarchist icon, sometimes described as “the last man to enter Parliament with honest intention.” Most of us aren’t actually anarchists, of course; but equally most of Read More

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New Blog Item

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For the last week or two, I’ve been having one of those times when everyone needs their job finished urgently. When one of my regular clients apologised for asking for an urgent completion when I was so busy, my instinctive reply was “I never complain about having too much work.” Well, that’s 90% true – Read More

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New Blog Item

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Sooner or later, I suppose, we all run into “that” client – the one who leaves your invoice unpaid and ignores your calls and emails. There are precautions, of course, that can reduce the risk of taking on an unreliable client, but, unless you’re in a position to pick and choose your work, you’ll have Read More

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New Blog Item

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To 10 or not to 10? That is the question. Like many of you, I imagine, I’ve been offered a free upgrade to Windows 10, and I’ve been trying to weigh up the pros and cons of accepting. I’m not in any way an IT expert, and I’m not trying to offer anyone advice, but Read More

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New Blog Item

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As you’ll know if you read my newsletters, I’m committed to business networking and attend as many events as I can manage. Or maybe you know because you’ve met me at the events. There are many guides out there explaining the right and wrong ways to approach networking. What follows isn’t meant to be a Read More

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New Blog Item

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I’m writing this on election day. By the time you read it, we’ll probably know who’s going to be running the country for the next five years – or not, if there’s horse-trading to be done – but at the time of writing, I’ve recently got back from having voted. It’s sometimes tempting not to Read More

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New Blog Item

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If you’re reading this, it’s a fair bet that you can write as well. Writing, though, isn’t necessarily the same as writing well. Like any skill, it has to be learnt, practiced and improved, but I have a few simple tips here that can help anyone write more effectively. 1.Think about who you’re writing for Read More

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With the end of the tax year coming up, maybe it’s occurred to you to wonder why it falls on such a strange date. It actually all goes back to 1752. Or maybe to 1582. Or even to 46 BC. In 46 BC, Julius Caesar devised the Julian Calendar – or, more realistically, had it Read More

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From time to time over the past year, people who know I’m a copywriter have asked for help copyrighting something they’re thinking of publishing. I’m happy to give whatever advice I can, of course, but I have to explain that, if they want expert advice, it’s really a solicitor they need. It’s far more obvious Read More

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New Blog Item

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Are there any phrases that are repeated so much that you’ve really come to hate them? There are certainly plenty I’m sick and tired of. Even if they often began as evocative and expressive, endless repetition by everyone from politicians to football managers has left them meaningless and annoying. What’s worse, though, is when the Read More

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When people are asked about the greatest design achievements of all time, they might mention anything from the Periodic Table to the Tube Map. They’re certainly great designs, but no-one ever seems to bring up perhaps the greatest design in human history: the alphabet. Yet the alphabet is behind everything our civilisation has achieved in Read More

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New Blog Post

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I used to think I knew exactly what “sales” was: it involved someone with a fake smile and cheesy one-liners conning people into buying things they didn’t want or need. I briefly tried sales jobs on a couple of occasions when I was desperate for a job, any job. One was teleselling advertising space, the Read More

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New Blog Post

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If you copy from one source, so the old saying goes, that’s plagiarism. If you copy from two sources, it’s research. I don’t copy from anywhere (that would be unethical and unprofessional, not to mention that I wouldn’t get paid) but I do have to research a lot of topics I know nothing about. And Read More