Copywriting

When you meet someone new, you have a conversation. Maybe starting with, “Hi, I’m Nick. Good to meet you.”

These first conversations take place at work, at a coffee shop, at your local gym, at a friend’s backyard BBQ. And so on.

However trivial their content, conversations lay the foundations for our relationships.

What we say to people creates a first impression. Good or bad.

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Feigang Fei is the owner of a Chinese restaurant called Aunt Dai
Photo from the restaurant’s blog and credited to Global News TV.

This is a great story, from my hometown of Montreal.

Feigang Fei is the owner of a Chinese restaurant called Aunt Dai. It has all the usual dishes you’d expect… from Imperial Rolls, to Orange Beef, and General Tao Chicken.

Going by the choices on the menu, there’s nothing particularly special about either the restaurant or its menu.

What is different is that when you open the menu, you’ll find not only the names, pictures and prices of the dishes, but also some thoughts from Feigang Fei.

Here is what he says about their Orange Beef…

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Women ain conversation

People have different takes on what it means to be a “copywriter”.

Back when I started, long before the web came along, the definition was pretty simple.

We were the writers who wrote print ads, TV commercials, radio spots, billboards, and point-of-sale materials.

That was pretty much it.

In the online world, things are a little more complicated.

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Two people having a respectful conversation.

I hate reading articles and posts written by experts.

Well… maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration.

But I do hate reading articles where it feels like the writer is looking down his nose at me.

Writers like that remind me of the kind of teacher who barely even acknowledges students in his classroom. He just talks and instructs… expecting his students to remain quiet, and soak up his infinite wisdom.

We’re exposed to this kind of writing all the time.

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A group of business people in conversation

I don’t imagine there’s a company on the planet that had a contingency plan for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nobody was fully prepared. No government. No business.

We were all caught by surprise.

This is uncharted territory.

I’ve been trying to figure this out for my own business.

And one of the tasks I set myself was to watch what’s going on in the world of marketing and promotion.

In particular, I’ve been watching the kind of messaging companies have been putting out.

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Row of people on their smartphones

Over the last two or three weeks I’ve been spending a lot of time working on chatbots.

I’ve co-founded a chatbot agency, and I’ve written a number of chatbot scripts.

The more time I spend writing these scripts, the more I see shifts in how I write conversational copy for longer-form channels, like email and web pages.

It’s like the lessons I learn from writing for bots are flowing into everything else I do.

Here are three of the ways chatbot copywriting is shifting the way I write.

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