A lesson for content marketers:

Published on by in Articles, Blog, Copywriting, Productivity.

A tire company has the world’s best restaurant guide. Seriously.

One of the most effective rules of content marketing, at least for me, is telling interesting stories that have only a tangential connection (or even nothing to do with) your product or service. As long as they’re relevant and useful, they’re golden.

This is the epitome of reader-focused copy, but it’s also a helpful credo when you’ve written 50 similar blog posts and then run out of relevant ideas.

Want a great example? Go back 117 years, to famous tire company Michelin, which proved – even before content marketing...

22 nuggets of wisdom. No chicken livers.

Published on by in Blog, Freelancing, Productivity, Words of Wisdom.

There’s nothing I hate more than Trends pieces at year-end. Except chicken livers. I hate chicken livers. But in the absence of chicken livers to ruin my mojo and because I wasn’t prepared to default to a Trends piece as my final 2015 contribution to Freelancentral, I decided to offer you real value: nuggets of tried-and-tested wisdom from experienced freelancers who are masterfully navigating the tides of solo work.

I’ve grouped the 22 nuggets into four categories: Business-ness (yes, I’m aware this isn’t a real word, but it should be), Cashflow & Admin, Marketing and Good Habits.

  1. Business-ness:
  • Stop...

Financial freedom for parents (is that even a thing?)

Published on by in Blog, Productivity.

It was with no small measure of trepidation that I rsvp’ed for Dr John Demartini’s talk on achieving financial freedom last year.

For one thing, it was in the evening – ruling out my involvement, after a long day’s work, in bath-time and bed-time. For another, Demartini looks exactly like one of those twangy Texan quacks motivational speakers who are always being caricatured in TV comedies. And for a third, I anticipated a roomful of Joburg’s financial down-and-outs – hardly scintillating sunset company.

Judgey me, hey?

Turns out I have a thing or two to learn about financial independence...

Small businesses, stop whining!

Published on by in Blog, Productivity.

Put four freelancers or small business owners in a room, and three of the four will moan about micro-enterprises not being supported in South Africa, times being tough, work being hard to find. The fourth will keep quiet, because he/she has enough work and doesn’t want to rock the boat — or jinx the luck.

But it’s not about luck. It’s about being clever. About pushing hard. And not whining.

Here’s a little story

Ten days ago I approached a neighbourhood home industry to quote on some custom biscuits. I stipulated required size, colour, shape, and decoration —...

How to avoid crap digital copy

Published on by in Freelancing, Productivity.

When I started copywriting 10 years ago, ‘long form’ meant up to 1 000 words. ‘Short form’ meant 200. Now ‘long form’ means 200; ‘short form’ means 8.

Putting it simply, the Internet has exploded the range of copywriting opportunities to span web content, ads, email campaigns, blogs, social media and other forms of digital comms – with teeny-weeny little spaces for the copy.

This means, understandably, that writing for digital is, and should be, different to writing for other media. It’s (supposed to be) more succinct, more strategic, less ‘pretty’ and more functional. It’s supposed to...