Give me a shout

Right, I’m not going to lie to you – for the past year, the idea of writing a blog has been sitting, lifeless and pathetic, at the bottom of my to-do list. I’ve been telling myself that I’ve been too busy to get around to it, but I’ve known that’s not the truth.

It’s been sitting there for one reason, and one reason only: writing a blog about myself and why I’m so great is my idea of hell.

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Of course, I know all of the benefits of blogging: an adrenalin shot for SEO, a live example of my writing, an insight into my expertise, yada yada…

Hell, I’ve even used those benefits to sell my services to clients. (I believe the correct term for that is hypocrite.) But sitting at the keyboard and writing blog posts about myself? No thank you.

But, beyond the usual ‘I don’t want to write about myself’, self-conscious reasons, there’s also another, more legitimate reason for not blogging.

In fact, I think it’s a problem that’s inherent to writing a copywriting blog: pretty much everything I could think to write has been already been done (very well, I might add) ad infinitum elsewhere.

I’m preeeeeetty good at my job, but if somebody asked me for advice on writing killer homepage copy, I’d save myself the time and tell them to check out this comprehensive post by Joanne Weibe at CopyHackers.

The same goes for if they were looking for an encyclopaedia of all-things to do with copywriting. I’d say ‘don’t read my blog, check out the Professional Copywriters’ Network’.

And if you wanted to only ever read one blog about copywriting and the like for the rest of your life, I certainly wouldn’t recommend this one – I’d say check out the ABC Copywriting blog. (Tom, who writes it, rarely puts a foot wrong and often articulates the things we’re all thinking but have never put into words.)

However, I dipped my toe into blogging a few weeks ago (I wrote a piece about my undying love for LIDL and its copywriting) and it seemed to be a success. People seemed to enjoy it (well, at least, my Mum said she did). It was quite popular on social media too (LIDL retweeted me, which brought me more joy than it should have) – and I saw a huge spike in my web traffic, which was nice.

So, I took a deep breath and accepted that I probably needed to start blogging a bit more often. After all, the process of writing the last one was – dare I say it – actually a little enjoyable.

Which means that I’m left with a problem: what can I do to offer something a least a little different? The last thing I want to do is spend my time rewriting Claude Hopkins just to make myself seem like a copywriting expert.

So I set myself a few rules for this blog. If you see me breaking them, feel free to send me an email or comment calling me a HYPOCRITE. Make sure it’s in capital letters, otherwise it’s just won’t hurt my feelings enough. (And, if you’re particularly riled by my barefaced hypocrisy, add an adjective; I’d go for filthy, but I’ll leave the finer details up to you.)

Here are my rules (I wish that I was a columnist, then I could call it The Columnist Manifesto):

  • Unless I genuinely believe that my advice offers something new (or, at least, a slightly different angle), I won’t bother writing it. Nobody needs to waste their precious time reading yet another tired ‘5 Copy Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make on Your Website’ article. (That’s not to say you shouldn’t follow the advice of these articles, of course. It’s just that they’ve already been done to death.)
  • Leading on from that, I’ll only write advice articles that I believe will help you and your business. None of that ‘If you still need an expert, hire me’ CTA crap. (Although, if you do need an expert, please do hire me.)
  • I won’t bother writing fluff pieces just to boost my Google ranking. You deserve better than that.
  • I’ll try to make them as fun and easy-to-read as possible.

And that’s it. That’s the end of my second blog post. Again, that wasn’t nearly as bad I was expecting. Maybe this won’t be Hell. Perhaps more of a purgatory…