2nd August 2023
8 roles you didn’t know your copywriter played
Have you ever wondered how much a copywriter costs? Indeed, have you ever thought about what the copywriter role entails? Shows like Mad Men do us great justice and also a disservice – yes, we come up with genius ads like ‘Lemon’, but we do a whole lot more, too. Take it from the copywriting […]
6th May 2023
Is storytelling the latest buzzword?
One of my best examples of storytelling involves an X Factor audition. It was fleeting; I scarcely made it beyond the rejects’ hall, but it’s a great icebreaker for job interviews and such like. “Tell me about yourself.” In true Katie mode, my default answer is to ask how far back they want me to […]
8th January 2023
Are We Working to Get Away From Our Families?
The sun is setting. It’s chilly and lonely here in my sterile office – devoid of the usual hum of activity we hear five days a week. It’s Sunday, and I’m in the office. Why am I here? There is a perfectly good office setup in my home, granted, with a couple of lively cats, […]
23rd October 2021
Face Value: Has the Pandemic Eased Our Loathing of Selfies?
Thumb through a nineties photo album and marvel at all the wonderful sights you’ve seen in your life. The Eiffel Tower. The Statue of Liberty. The Pyramids. Scroll through a noughties Instagram feed and you’ll likely see those monuments again – only this time, with a big, manufactured, cookie-cutter grin in the foreground. Ah, selfies. […]
27th July 2021
Are You Really That Honest on Social Media?
Big smile. Stomach in. Chest out. For all those ‘candid shots’, there’s at least one cynical social media scroller rolling her eyes. She knows that picture-perfect moment took hours to ‘perfect’. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Facebook is where you lie to your friends; Twitter is where you’re honest to strangers”? A recent social […]
25th June 2021
Principled, Paid and Partisan: The 2021 Reuters Digital News Report
It’s been a tricky time for journalism in the last year…or since 2016…or since the world went online, really. And yet, the trade soldiers on. Now in its 10th year, the Reuters Digital News Report is back with a vengeance. You might remember that I like to cover the report every year. It’s a labour […]
20th May 2021
Should We Let Our Emotions Guide Us in Business?
Emotion. Agitation or disturbance of mind; vehement or excited mental state. (Ten points if you get the film. If not, read through to the end for the big reveal*.) It’s safe to say that emotions have been running high over the last few months. There’s no single reason either – it could be any of […]
14th April 2021
Is Swearing the Secret to Better Marketing?
*Disclaimer: this article contains swearing in abundance. Please look away now if you’re easily offended. You’ve probably noticed that there’s a little more swearing on LinkedIn lately. Perhaps we’ve all let our guard down during the pandemic. Maybe we’re going for the shock factor. Or maybe it’s part of our branding. Are we “getting shit […]
19th March 2021
The COVID Age Is No Place For Viral Campaigns
Lessons from Twitter, Burger King and Ultravox A sleepy Sunday viewing of Britain’s Favourite 80s Songs left an indelible message in my head. While discussing the new wave discography of 1981, radio DJ Paul Gambaccini made a passing comment: Under normal circumstances, it would have been a runaway #1. But occasionally, a record for the […]
7th March 2021
Should We Give Advice for Free?
Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth. Great. She’s gone all Sunscreen again. Well, not quite. There comes a time in every entrepreneur’s life, or indeed, parent’s, when […]
27th February 2021
Six Uncomfortable Truths About Copywriting
“Accept certain inalienable truths. Prices will rise; politicians will philander. You too will get old.” There are some truths in life we cannot escape, and not just those we hear in weird 90s essay-cum-Baz-Luhrmann-hits. Like death, taxes and household cables contorting themselves, another inalienable truth is this: Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis. Once […]
8th January 2021
Why We Must Stop Pandering to the Algorithm
This morning, like many others, I woke up to a barrage of messages from my family Whatsapp group, arguing about coronavirus. Long story short: seven diametrically opposing views do not make for happy families. What has this got to do with pandering to the algorithm? Everything. My wise old matriarch delights in sharing her daily […]
17th December 2020
Writing for SEO or Writing for Humans? The Constant Battle
Somewhere out there, hordes of SEO specialists are screaming at me: writing for Google and writing for humans are not mutually exclusive. If your content is good enough, they will say, then it should serve the purpose of keeping readers happy, and getting a thumbs up from search engines. But isn’t the quality of writing […]
10th December 2020
2020: The Year That Personal Boundaries Forgot
The other night, an exchange with my co-director got me thinking about boundaries. Despite the fact that we’ve spent most of 2020 behind screens, it feels like we’re more up-close-and-personal than ever. I was absent-mindedly responding to a personal message on Instagram. A York man, whom I’d never met, was giving me advice on how […]
26th November 2020
Did You Start a Newsletter in Lockdown?
The year is 2002. A student, absentmindedly humming Girls Aloud, thumbs her way through the school newsletter. She feels a pang of guilt as she reads one excruciating line: “Sadly, we received no entries to our competition last month.” Ouch. Does anybody read these things? Fast forward to 2020. The velour tracksuits are gone, but […]
30th October 2020
Why a Second Language Will Make You a Better Writer
Those of you who’ve taken a cursory glance over my LinkedIn profile may have noticed I hold a Spanish Language and Linguistics degree. Truth be told, it’s not something I shout about too loudly, and usually only comes up after a few…shall we say…sangrias. I keep tranquila about it because: I’m so terrified of getting […]
22nd October 2020
Forget Greenwash Hogwash: Why Sustainable Copywriting Matters
Choosing a niche is a hotly debated topic for humble copywriter folk. Some argue that they relish the variety their non-specialisms bring; others love to niche as a means of becoming more competitive. So, where does sustainable copywriting fit within this? In the interests of ease, I’ve used the terms ‘sustainable copywriting’, ‘ethical copywriting’ and […]
15th October 2020
Are Podcasts a Viable Form of Marketing?
In a shocking twist, I discovered this week that podcasts suffered a dramatic listener decline during lockdown. But we’re doing nothing all day. That can’t be right, can it? Figures vary, but Podnews.net tells us that, as the pandemic took hold, listener numbers were down by 20 per cent. Well, this is 2020, and nothing […]
8th October 2020
How to Make the Most of the ProCopywriters Conference
You may have noticed that the ProCopywriters Conference is taking a slightly different approach for 2020. Last year’s attendees may recall running around London’s Barbican Centre with lanyards swinging. This year, we’re taking in the wisdom of the industry’s finest at home. In our pyjamas. What’s on at the 2020 ProCopywriters Conference? If you’ve not […]
1st October 2020
PSA: You Don’t Need to Be an Extrovert to Succeed
Am I in the wrong job? Apparently, in a sea of introverts, I’m one of the only extroverts. Based on evidence from two social media polls, it appears that half of all copywriters are the shy and retiring type: Another #question for #copywriters, or #bloggers, or any #contentcreators really. It’s a little study I’m doing […]
18th September 2020
Making the Cut: How to Trim Long-Form Content
Everywhere you look there’s yet another SEO guide telling you that long-form content is king. It feels a little contradictory in the age of skim-reading, and yet, it’s backed up by science: The average content length of the first 10 SERPs is more than 2,000 words Longer articles can increase conversions by up to 37 […]
10th September 2020
Four Years in Freelance Writing: Every Lesson Learned
Lesson one. Tell everyone you’re pregnant and the internet loses its collective shit. But seriously. If you follow me on LinkedIn, you’ll likely have been bugged by those annoying ‘celebrating four years at Katie Lingo’ notifications. Sorry about that. In 2016, post-Brexit vote but pre-Trump, my good friend Jonny and I were sitting in a […]
2nd September 2020
The Case for Camels: What Is Accessibility in Copy?
It was a cheeky homemade video that inspired this week’s #Write52 post on accessibility – among other things. While some laughed at my feeble Love Actually reconstruction, another remarked: “All I could read was ‘big kiss’! Sorry Katie!” In hindsight, that was some pretty tiny copy. Not to mention some godawful handwriting. Either way, it […]
21st August 2020
Are Your Freelancers Part of the Team?
Today started with a surprise in my inbox. It was 9am and I’d just been sent my ‘team’ headshot by one of my agency clients. There she was, staring back at me with gleaming white teeth, flawless skin and perfectly preened eyebrows. Is my nose really that big? Who’s to say? This avatar would soon […]
13th August 2020
Is Your Content Really Worth It?
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I do not like the word ‘content’. Shocking, I know, considering it’s my livelihood, and I use it pretty often. Why the beef? The term ‘content’ is simply too catch-all: it makes me think of ‘contents’…you know, like E numbers in baked beans or the contents of […]