Copywriting Blog

When Work Doesn’t Work for Women: Saying Goodbye to Corporate America

Today we’re reposting a blog by The Hired Pens’ very own Tracy Quinn McLennan, copyeditor extraordinaire. Her story is a familiar one for many of our Pens who have also chosen to leave the inflexible world of corporate America for a work life that works for their life. We hope you find it inspiring. And if […]

Want to Write Better in Less Time? Answer These Five Questions.

Writing is hard work — even for professional writers. You know what makes it a lot easier? Putting it off. No, not indefinitely, but until you first answer these five “prewriting” questions. 1. Who is going to be reading what I’m writing? No one! Haven’t you heard? People don’t read anymore. Let’s be optimistic, however, […]

The Grumpy Old Copywriter: You Kids Wouldn’t Know ‘Legendary’ If It Slapped You in the Face

When I was breaking into the business back in the early 1900s, copywriters were taught to choose their adjectives with care. For example, when writing a radio ad for Dr. Bush’s Kumyss Sparkling Milk in 1922, I spent two-and-a-half hours debating whether to describe it as “delectable” or “luscious.” Somewhere along the way — probably […]

It’s Time Again for ‘Meet a Pen’

“Don’t dialogue with someone you can talk to.” Rob Sneddon, the latest writer to join our team, didn’t say this, but the fact that he can quote William Zinsser just makes us love him even more. Read on to learn Rob’s no-fail trick for combating writer’s block, the one book that can improve everyone’s writing […]

Dear Ford Motor Company: Please Stop Advertising Your ‘Ford Freedom Sales Event’

I’ve written before about the downside of my love for listening to Red Sox games on the radio: the dreaded overplayed ad. Every year, there’s an ad or two that emerges as an unavoidable irritation. The problem could be a failed attempt at humor, an overly enthusiastic spokesperson or an obnoxious jingle. Whatever the case, […]

Meet Virginia, Our Newest Pen

For every 100 writers who contact us, just dying for a chance to be a Pen, only a handful makes it through our rigorous screening process. Meet one of the qualified few. As you’ll see from our Q&A below, Virginia has the right mix of experience, brains and wit. We’re pretty sure she’s a keeper. […]

A Belated Happy Anniversary to Us

A few weeks ago, we at The Hired Pens marked 15 years in business. It’s a nice milestone, though admittedly not as sexy as a 10th or 20th anniversary. Something about the number 15 just seems kind of blah. Nonetheless, it’s a good opportunity to sit back and reflect on the past 15 years. Anna […]

Getting to Know the Target Customer When Your Client Has No Money for Research

In our last blog, we talked about the often overlooked audience you really need to please with your copy: the one who’s paying your invoice. In this blog we’ll turn our attention to the audience they care about: the customer. Their customer. Myth: At the start of any content project, a client will give you […]

The #1 Mistake Copywriters Make — Especially the Really Great Copywriters

What’s the biggest, most common, most job-eliminating mistake copywriters make? It’s not bad writing. In fact, the better the copywriter, the more likely he or she is to make this mistake. Answer: It’s not getting to know the audience. But wait, you’re thinking: In this age of content marketing, doesn’t everyone know how critical it […]

Are You Being Re-purposeful with Your Content?

The best of your organization’s content should be like a cat — it should have nine lives. Okay, maybe nine lives is stretching it. But when you work hard to write something remarkably clever/insightful/useful/etc., there’s no reason why it should be doomed for a one-and-done existence. Reincarnation should be in the cards. I’ve heard this […]