5 Best David Ogilvy Copywriting Tips to Improve Your Marketing

 Best David Ogilvy Copywriting Tips to Improve Your Marketing

As you may know, I do a lot of writing, only some of which is copywriting. However, I find that insights I’ve developed from copywriting inform all my other writing. On the whiteboard next to my desk, I’ve always got some copywriting tips. Usually they’re quotes from David Ogilvy.

His quotes always inspire me. Let’s have a look at five gems.

“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”

You can’t be creative if you’re not having fun:

“Creative people have apparently mastered the art of turning off this part of their brains to let their ideas flow more smoothly, unleashing their imagination,” she writes.

Before I write advertising copy, or a sales page, I spend ten minutes reading P.G. Wodehouse. Lord Emsworth and the Empress of Blandings (the earl’s prize-winning fat pig) always make me smile.

You know what makes you laugh, so do it, read it, or watch it, before you settle down to write advertising copy.

“What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.”

Know what you want your advertising to do; the form doesn’t matter.

Although I love words, sometimes an image needs to take the stage. Look at Apple’s advertisement for the iMac. Click on the first image, and scroll. Amazing, right?

Click off the primary image, and scroll down the page. See how how the images of iMacs frame the words? Apple knows its market: Mac users. They look at the iMac on the screen, then the Mac on their desk, and consider upgrading.

“What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.”

Content again. Know your audience, what you want your audience to do, and decide what you want to say. Then find the most effective way of saying it. Getting back to Apple’s iMac ad, the ad’s brilliant, because you don’t need to do more than glance at the words.

The words aren’t a sales pitch; that isn’t needed. Good copywriting is good writing: have something to say, and say it.

“Good copy can’t be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You’ve got to believe in the product.”

Emotion comes through in your words. Your audience senses how you feel, and if you don’t value the product, and don’t believe what you’re saying, that comes across.

“There is no need for advertisements to look like advertisements. If you make them look like editorial pages, you will attract about 50 per cent more readers.”

Content marketing’s hot because we’re exposed to so much advertising all day, every day, that we just tune it out. Our challenge is to write editorial content which sells. Is it easy? No. Is it effective? Yes, if it’s done well.

Here’s what I love about quotes from David Ogilvy: no matter how many times you read the quotes, and even if you know them by heart, they get you thinking. And writing better copy.

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, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

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Writing Journal 61: Sell Your Ideas

Writing Journal 61: Sell Your Ideas

My writing journal for Sunday, October 12, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Happy Sunday — another short writing day. I manage to write another 2,300 words of the mystery novel. It’s still zooming along. No idea why… Every project hits a wall sooner or later, but this is going so well, I don’t trust it.

To stop me getting over-confident, the two nonfiction books — I’m writing them in tandem — bogged down. I managed just 350 words, and they were a struggle. I’ll need to do some brainstorming on a whiteboard. Maybe writing them together wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had.

Breakfast for Honey, and for me, then email. I’ve still got a backlog, so luckily email was light this morning.

Last night’s coaching calls went well. I love doing them; they’re fun. I write up a call summary, and create a plan for each client. Julia will send them the material with their MP3s.

It’s time to leave for my Sunday commitments.

Sell your ideas

As you may know, I’m a writing coach. I love it, because I love writing, and enjoy helping people to overcome their challenges, whether those challenges are huge, or minor.

Although it’s easier than it’s ever been to sell your creativity, in any form— whether your creativity expresses itself in paintings, cute crafts, books, short stories, or teaching materials — it’s hard for creatives to pull the trigger, and SHIP.  As Seth Godin said:

“The only purpose of starting is to finish, and while the projects we do are never really finished, they must ship.”

I have challenges with shipping, too. I used to be the queen of procrastination. While I’m better at recognizing my own BS than I used to be, I still make excuses for not shipping. I’ve a suspicion that that’s why I like ghostwriting. I like being accountable to someone else. It means that like it or not, I need to ship.

8-Hour Wins: Create and Sell Products in Just 8 HoursTo help you to SHIP, I’ve formalized a training that I give students. It’s basically a checklist that I use for myself. I’ve tested it on students who have 1,001 perfectly reasonable (and totally BS) reasons they can’t complete projects and ship.

Here it is: 8-Hour Wins: Create and Sell Products in Just 8 Hours.

Back again: time for Sunday content and blog management

Sunday’s always my big blog management and content creation day. I review all my blogs, and clients’ blogs, and brainstorm content. I aim to have at least ten to 20 draft posts in most blogs at any one time. Although some of the drafts will be deleted, most will be written, edited, and published.

It’s October, and we’re heading into the hottest period of the year for B2C companies. They’re rolling out their pre-holiday sales. It involves dusting off their customer lists, and creating promotions for the period right through into 2015. For some the after-Christmas sales are barely over, when it’s time for the hearts and flowers of Valentine’s Day.

Keeping track of lots of blogs isn’t a picnic, especially at this time of the year. I like to get content plans for 2015 organized before November, because you can’t plan in the middle of the chaos, which defines late November to January.

So, in addition to planning content for this week and the next few weeks, I schedule in some idea-creation for clients’ 2015 content. A lot depends on how much a client is budgeting for content marketing. That means: research, reports and scopes. And proposals. I schedule those in for the next few weeks.

By the time all that’s out of the way, the day is done. Time for my daily and weekly review. Tonight, I’ll catch up on planning my new blog, and drafting some content.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 57: Creative Dreams to Creative Business

Writing Journal 57: Creative Dreams to Creative Business

My writing journal for Wednesday, October 8, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

I’ve got a couple of meetings this morning, so I need to spend a little less time on fiction and nonfiction, so I can prepare for the meetings, and then be on my way.

Creative Dreams to Creative Business

We’ve had a wonderful response to our new Creative Business program. I’m glad, for two reasons.

Your Creative Business: Coaching to Turn Your Creativity into ProfitsThe first reason: I’ve always been aware that business is a challenge for creatives. My very first couple of blogs, way back in 1999, were about business for creatives. I published the “Creative Small Biz” ezine for several years, and it was hugely popular. I think it was ahead of its time however, because we focused on old-school marketing, and Internet marketing.

Internet marketing was painful in those days, right up to around 2004, when things got better. I have VERY painful memories of installing the first versions of WordPress, well over a decade ago — 2003? Can’t remember. I do remember uploading it to websites and messing around with the config files for several hours get it to work. When one-click installs came along they were a blessing.

Today, you can ignore tech; everything’s point and click. I’m thrilled to be helping creatives to do business, because everything is easy now. You can install an online store to sell your creative products, whatever they may be, with just a couple of clicks. Marketing’s a dream too — there are endless alternatives.

The second reason I’m glad is that truly creative people can lose their dreams when no one buys their books, listens to their music, or buys their art. To a creative person, not creating is like not eating. I used to say that while writing made me miserable (this hasn’t happened in years, I’ve learned a few tricks), I’m bereft and more miserable when I don’t write. The knowledge that I’m helping others to live their dreams is hugely satisfying.

Back to writing…

This morning I do a couple of timer sessions on the mystery novel, and on the two nonfiction books for my coaching client. I’m writing these two books in tandem; the print version will be an expanded version of the ebook, with many diagrams and images. I manage 1,300 words on the novel, and 800 words on the ebook.

I get Honey’s breakfast, and eat my toast while responding to email.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been procrastinating on the new website I’m setting up, so I do a little work on that. I choose a theme, and post the material I’ve written to the home page. I make a list of blog posts to get the site off the ground.

Then it’s time to rehearse my pitch for the pitch meeting. Next, I need to go back through the other client’s files, to see what I wrote for him, so I can create some suggestions for what he can do over the coming holiday sales period.

While I’m out, I’ll have lunch, and then I’ll pop into the library to do a little more research.

Back again…

The meetings ran long, as they always seem too. It’s late afternoon. Time to return phone calls before people leave their offices for the day. Then I write up the notes from the meetings, and add the tasks to my schedule.

I’ll need to do a few hours of work tonight, to catch up. With my daily review done, that’s it for the work day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 47: Your Idea Factory

Writing Journal 47: Your Idea Factory

My writing journal for Sunday, September 28, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

I woke up early, and started the day by outlining some ideas and insights. I’m happy to report that my bullet journal is VERY useful for this, and for idea generation. It encourages you to jot down any bright or dim idea which flits through your brain. You can develop them, or not, but at least you’ve recorded them. And ideas tend to breed.

Luckily, the ideas in my bullet journal grew into a couple of solutions for the character arcs for the novella that I was worrying about yesterday. I decided that I’d focus on editing the novella this morning. If I do that, and work on it tonight, I can get it to the contract editor tomorrow.

Breakfast for Honey, and for me. Thankfully, there’s just a few student emails this morning. I zip through them, and get back to working on the novella.

Your Idea Factory

I’m getting lots of questions about the bullet journaling process, and why I love it, and adore it more each day.

By the way, many people love it. Ryder Carroll’s Kickstarter campaign is now at $45,000, from a goal of $10,000. There’s still 17 days to go. I thought it would get to $50,000, but obviously I predicted WAY too low. :-)

I love the bullet journal because it helps me to get insights, and develop ideas. I noticed that from the very first day. If ideas and writing are important to you — and I know that they are — consider using a bullet journal. Today, I need to write, and you need to write. EVERYONE needs to write, and you need to become an idea factory.

The world has changed. You can be in touch with almost anyone, anywhere on the globe, as soon as you hit the Tweet button, or the Share button on a social media website. You may feel as if no one’s paying attention. You’ll soon discover that they are, if you post something you regret later. Our always-on, never-sleeps, new world brings challenges too, of course. Yesterday, I mentioned surviving the content flood.

Way back in the early 1990s, I was doing presentations called “The Internet Age: the Age of Creativity.” This was before the Web. I got online in the late 1980s, thanks to a Melbourne academic. Except for computer geeks, academics, and CompuServe people, no one was online. No one even knew what the Internet was, as I soon discovered. My audience thought I was crazy. What was the Internet? Why would it change everything? Questions… Looking back, I was way ahead of the curve, but that’s OK. I love the Internet now as much as I did then.

A generation later, here we are. Whatever business you’re in, ideas and writing are vitally important to you. You need to be confident that you ARE an idea factory… you just need to pay attention and collect your ideas. Your bullet journal will help you to do that.

Tip: even if you think you’re not creative, you’ll soon discover that ideas are everywhere. Once you get an idea collection and generation mindset, you’ll have way more ideas than you could ever use. That’s OK too. Keep generating and collecting — it’s important. If you keep generating ideas, you’ll get better ideas. It’s as if there’s an idea fairy, somewhere in your head (mine looks like Tinker Bell).

Tinker Bell

If you keep writing down your ideas, and working with them, your Tinker Bell gets serious. She’ll gift you with insights you can use in your work, in your relationships, and to manage your health. Tinker Bell never sleeps, and she’s very reliable.

Your own personal Tinker Bell will turn you into an idea factory, with the help of your bullet journal and this is a VERY good thing. We’ll have more to say on ideas, your bullet journal and your personal Tinker Bell in the coming months, because your ideas are a treasure chest that’s uniquely yours. You just need to discover it.

It’s time for my walk, and then for my Sunday commitments.

When I get back, I’ll get all the editorial calendars on the various blogs up to date.

Sunday blogging: editorial calendars, blog post outlines and images

It’s mid-afternoon, so it’s time for my Sunday planning session for my blogs, and those of my clients.

The bullet journal’s proving invaluable with this too. Previously, I’d have ideas and notes in Evernote, on the blogs themselves in draft posts, in EagleFiler, and on my phone and my iPad, in various apps. There’d also be a blizzard of sticky notes on a couple of bulletin boards.

Now I have Collections in my bullet journal; I still jot down ideas in the same messy ways as before, but I corral them all in the bullet journal as soon as I can.

With blog planning out of the way, I get back to ghostwriting the company history for an hour.

Finally, the word counts are done, the daily and weekly reviews are done, and everything’s ready for another week.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.