Get your emo on, amigo

  When you’re writing to persuade someone to do something, whether that’s to buy something, or donate, or simply click a link, remember this: people are emotional creatures. Use emotional, human language. Write like you speak, in other words. Like this… Tell a joke, not an anecdote Don’t assault someone, beat the crap out of them [...]

Do you balter?

Yesterday, I was reminded about the joys of language. The wonder of words. Not in a lame “I’m a copywriter so I love words” kinda way, but in a wondrous “I have a lifelong love affair with reading, stories, and language” kinda way.  All those stuffed shirts who tell you that this word is wrong, [...]

What you can learn from your brave friends

As one of my hobbies I like to go climbing. It’s usually me and Joe and our friend Dan, plus a bunch of others we see at the climbing wall regularly. Recently, though, my friends Sarah and Emily came along too. They’ve both climbed once or twice before, many years ago…   And they were ace. They’re [...]

If you were in trouble, life-or-death trouble, what would you do? Anything to save your life, no matter how drastic it may seem? Or would you wait in comfort for the inevitable? Would you stick with the familiarity of the cockpit, or risk the parachute?  If your business was in trouble, would you keep doing [...]

It went troll in words

One of my private clients is a Viking. I may have mentioned him before; he’s Norwegian and he does clever things with broadband and software and stuff.  While working on his latest project, I came across a delightful little Norwegian idiom that doesn’t really translate well into English. Or, in fact, translate into anything meaningful [...]

Do. Or do not. There is no try.

Much wisdom, Yoda had. Wise to listen to him, you would be. My young padawan, heed this: Do. Or do not. There is no try.  This is what Yoda told Luke Skywalker on Dagobah. Yoda and Luke are on the damp planet, and Luke has just crashed his X-Wing fighter into the swamp. Yoda wants [...]

Falling over is important

Sometimes I make mistakes, or things don’t go according to plan. And that’s okay. Time was, I’d beat myself up about not getting everything done that I wanted to. Well, I still do give myself a bit of a hard time, but I’m kinder to myself these days because if you’re knackered and you need [...]

It’s okay to make a profit. In fact it’s a good thing. Even if you’re following a vocation of some kind, or running a charity, or doing something that helps someone. Why?  Because if you don’t make a profit, you can’t run your business (or charity) and you can’t help the people you want to. [...]

I try to keep up with politics, but I don’t really understand it. Mostly because I don’t pay enough attention, but also because I’m fairly libertarian-leaning.  One of the reasons I don’t pay enough attention, though, is because many of the people involved are utterly odious. Take the Labour Party leadership kerfuffle: a chap called [...]

£250 to lick my boots? Okilly Dokilly!

Would you pay a stranger to let you lick their boots? (I’ll explain that later.) Or to tickle you under the chin every Tuesday? Or to provide you with first editions of obscure Edwardian authors? No?  What would you pay a premium for? There’s something, for sure. I guarantee it. There’s a niche for everything. [...]

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