Alix King

Freelance Copywriter

Category Archives: May

Just how important is writing?

Copywriting – what is it?? Wikipedia (the bible) says ‘Copywriting is the act of writing copy (text) for the purpose of advertising or marketing a product, business, person, opinion or idea.’

copy – text – for the promotion of any business, may not seem that important. These are some of the biggest reasons why copywriters are needed:

1. Time is money.

If advertising is your expertise, if running your business is important to you – you don’t have the extra time to write copy. Letting someone do your writing, in whatever capacity, will not only relieve the pressure of a BIG part of your business, but will give you the time to focus on other things. You have enough to do anyway!

2. It isn’t just writing.

Copywriting involves research, grammatical knowledge, liaising with the press, creating copy that gets people’s attention, putting information into something thats readable, capturing the imagination of the readers, knowing your audience and creating something that appeals to them which involves choosing a tone, voice and message for that particular audience…phew!

3. Copywriting takes study, hard work and commitment.

Keeping up with trends, industry changes and updates, new technology, changes in marketing base, updating writing skills to enable continual effective sales-driven copy. And thats just for starters…

4. Good copy brings good return.

It’s a simple concept – well written copy can make you/your company more money. Industries will pay thousands of pounds for, example, a mail shot to all their clients. Words can have an extraordinary effect, and if mistakes are made, it could have an extraordinary impact on that business. If they are safe in the knowledge that it was written by a professional, there is less chance of a negative impact. Start as you mean to go on.

5. An outside perspective

Copywriters have fresh eyes, a new look on the product. A new addition, with new perspectives, who is trained to research and promoting a product through words? And who loves writing? What a great idea!

In a nutshell –

Copywriters are experts in using words to make you money!

Summer sadness?

Well hold on a minute – summer is finally here! Socks are being discarded, car heaters are turned off (how does the air con work again please?) and cosy nights in with a DVD are making way for drinks in the last of the evening sun. But still there seems to be a hint of sadness in the air. Whatever happened to carefree summers? In the 1960s and 70s it was all ‘summer of love’ with The Beach Boys, Mungo Jerry’s ‘In the Summertime’ and the broody anthem ‘Summer Nights’ from John Travolta and Olivia N-J. The 1980s touched on it with the infamous Bryan Adams’ ‘Summer of ’69’ (Don’t act like you haven’t sung along with your air guitar) but then you have the completely conflicting Bananarama‘s ‘cruel summer’ full of angst and being left alone in the city while the love of their life (thats a big job, I think. Did you see Bananarama in the 80s? They could floor you with their ‘death stares’) was elsewhere. The mood was lifted briefly in the 90s – Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince singing about ‘Summertime‘, aimed to put a smile on anyone’s face…and it did! We had colourful clothes, colourful music and it seemed like everything was fun. Then the craziness of the millennium hit us and we thought everything would be completely different. Shock horror! nothing changed. we weren’t driving flying cars, robots didn’t do our housework, and we still had to go out to work. dammit! But surely, yes surely,the music had gone all ‘carefree and happy’! yes? Well, once we had all got over the crazy change(!) that happened at the millennium, women got feisty – think Christina Aguilera, Maya, Pink and Lil’ Kim with a cover of ‘Lady Marmalade’ and moody faced Avril Lavigne with ‘complicated’…but no jolly summer anthem. Nelly went sexy in 2002 with ‘hot in here’, Usher continued to dominate the charts with many including ‘burn‘ (in fact 2004 was basically Usher’s summer; he was EVERYWHERE) but where was our funky summer lovin’ song? The famous ex-of-Britney, Justin Timerlake, formerly of NSync turned a corner when he brought out the perfectly-titled ‘Summer Love’ in 2007…yay! But unlike Mungo Jerry’s fabulous ‘In the summertime’, a relaxed, breezy number, JT had to move with the times with a poppy, electronic tune. With a LOT of sexy. Most recently we have since been introduced to rainbow-haired Katy Perry, with her non-stop summer/beach/sunny pop hits. And yes, they DO make you feel good. They DO make you feel summery. But does an ickle part of you miss the likes of ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ by Bryan Hyland? If you can believe it, that hit the charts in 1960. And you know what? We have to move with the times. We have to sing along to Katie in her jeep in sunny LA. Because no-one dreamed of how easy it would be to do just that nowadays, back in the swinging sixties. And at least we still have the memories. And our parents’ record collection.

Episode # 1045

Lixy G has been offered a day of temping at the local water company. A rather established and respected company , she is grateful for the work, even though it is for only a day. Emma(*1) calls her on the Monday afternoon, and says it is for the whole day the next day, Tuesday. Lixy is looking forward to it.

She then gets another call from Emma approximately two hours later, who says that even better, she can offer her Tuesday to Friday reception work at a local company, Bournemouth Colour Print(*2), starting in the morning, and paying slightly better per hour. Lixy agrees to this, and to giving the day’s local water company work to someone else. (as she has the rest of the week covered, yay!)

The next morning, a rather (deservedly) assertive Lixy gets ready for work, excited and looking forward to starting her (belated) week at the printing company. It is a rather warm day in March, and the sun is shining on her drive to work.

She follows the given directions and arrives at the correct car park. Lixy walks into the building and introduces herself to the first person she comes across, and says she is from the agency. He introduces himself as Craig(*3) the Director, and that Simon(*4) (who is stood behind him) will show her around the place. Simon is very forthcoming, showing her the kitchen, toilets, printing factory, where every department sits, introducing her to everyone, finally ending at her desk in the front vestibule area. She sets herself up; getting better acquainted with the telephone switchboard/email systems.

Craig then re-appears, clutching a huge pile of papers, placing them on her desk. He then says ‘how long have you been doing payment ledgers for?’ To which Lixy has one answer. ‘Um, I haven’t?’ He looks at her, perplexed. He says ‘How long have you been in accountancy for?’ It is now Lixy’s turn to look perplexed. ‘err, I haven’t. I am legally trained…!’ Craig is now, and quite rightly so, looking a bit peeved. He explains to Lixy that he explicitly asked for an accountancy-trained individual, as their books were now quite behind, and needed someone for that specific reason. Lixy then offers to call the agency and find out exactly what was happening.

Lixy calls, locates Emma, who is (one can only desribe as) ‘vacant’ on the phone, and says that Craig didn’t explain that he wanted someone to do the books (at which point Lixy thinks that of COURSE he would have asked for that; as that is the job that he wanted doing) and that she will speak to him. She puts her through to him, when he then shuts the door to his office. The call gets put back to her. Dippy Emma asks if Lixy is sure she can’t do purchase ledger (she really can’t, well she probably could if she was taught, but Craig doesn’t have the time OR the patience right now.) She tells Emma NO, who then says for Lixy to ‘do her best’ and she will call her back. Lixy continues to answer the phone. A girl then turns up with her baby, to visit the office, Lixy presumes. She then introduces herself to Lixy as Jane(*5); she usually does the books but is on maternity leave. It transpires that the baby’s father is actually the Director (very strange) who then picks up his baby, and gets Jane to start on the books…

10 minutes later, Karen(*6), area manager of Lixy’s temping company enters the office. She explains she was in the area visiting clients when the office called her and tell her of the mistake(*7). She apologises profusely, goes in to apologise to the Director, comes out again and promises that the agency, NOT the client, will pay Lixy for the whole day.

She leaves, Lixy asks Craig if he would like her to stay, and he says yes please to answer the phones, and as they are paying her, they could both benefit from it. When she leaves for lunch she asks him if he would like her to come back, he says yes. Lixy returns from lunch at about 1.30, when she get a call from dippy Emma who then says that they will not pay her after 2.00 and can she leave then.

Lixy tells Craig, and leaves half an hour later rather bewildered….

(*1) Her name has not been changed, as she deserves to be ‘named and shamed’.
(*2) This is the company’s real name; a suitable alternative would be too difficult.
(*3) Lixy couldn’t remember his name – it doesn’t really matter.
(*4) Or his.
(*5) see above
(*6) Lixy remember hers! Liar liar pants on fire….
(*7) Fuck-up

Tempting Temping…?

To be able to be a freelance writer, I needed my funds to come from somewhere. My only option was to do some temping work. Now I have temped before, but wow. My experiences in Bournemouth and surrounding areas were very different to any I have had before. To keep me sane, I decided to keep a little ‘temping diary’. In the third person to save face and litigation….

blogger beginner

This is me: Alix King – and my daily struggle (not much struggling please – I’m only little!) to become a freelance writer in Bournemouth. Do read on….