Understanding the copywriting process

Thanks to Allan Kent of Zeald I came across a brilliant theory that explains a lot about why some marketing doesn’t work. I’ve borrowed his theory to explain the copywriting process and the pitfalls to avoid.

It’s a quick look at what commonly goes wrong, and an overview on how to get it right, from the very beginning.

Here’s the link to my free download about The Copywriting Process and how to get more out of your marketing investment… yes, it’s about marketing for results!  Enjoy!


Click here to download this free how to guide and master the art of briefing your copywriter (or yourself). It’s short, to the point, easy to read and understand, and includes your own 12 step template to make sure you leave nothing out. Essential reading for every business owner!


Click here to download this free guide on The Copywriting Process to ensure you get the most from your marketing investment. Discover the number one mistake business owners make when investing in marketing and learn how to avoid it. Essential reading for anyone looking to hire a copywriter!

Struggling to write? Help is at hand!

How to write an effective brief to make more of your marketing investmentOne of the hardest things as a small business owner is trying to write your own marketing material.  I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I know it can be really frustrating spending hours with the backspace.  So I’ve decided to make it easier, right here and now. Continue reading

Overloaded by newsletters? Ditch the drama now!


Here at Copy Carats we get far too may newsletters a month.  Some are unsolicited and unwanted (instant delete); some are initially unsolicited but a pleasant surprise; and then there’s our regulars, the ones I can’t wait to read… but even those don’t usually arrive at a convenient time.

I’m as guilty as the next person for not wanting to miss out.  But I’m also as time poor as the next person and on a busy day I used to hit unsubscribe (often dancing through the three stage process, and losing more time)… only to have someone in the business ask me if I’d seen that tip from XYZ or news from ABC!

Honestly for the longest time I thought newsletters were fools’ gold but after being caught out a few too many times… genius struck.

Thanks to modern email programmes there’s a really simple solution. You create one folder for newsletters, and command all newsletters to go automatically to it (commanding is one of the many guilt free things you can do with machines. They never ask if it’s fair, they just do it).

With a few simple keystrokes, my problem was solved. My inbox was as clear as my conscience – guilt free indulgence in news when I want it, and no irritating interruptions when I can’t afford the time.

And here’s the best bit.  All those previously wasted minutes in my day (when I had a scheduled call in a few minutes, or arrived a little too early for an appointment) are finally useful instead. I just pop into my newsletters folder and catch up with the world; and I’ve never been better informed.

So to start the process, create a new folder in your email programme (mine’s called newsletters but call it what you want).  Then once a day (and later once a week, then once a month) create a rule for all those newsletters to go straight to your folder.

In most email programmes it’s as easy as a right mouse click… just tell your email that all content from that sender’s address should go straight to your “folder” and sit back and relax.  Yes, there’s a reason why most newsletters have their own email address.

Let me assure you, those few minutes you spend now will save you hours every week!  Hours you can spend on writing… or golf… your call!  Or call us.

Insuring yourself against Google changes…

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is all well and good but it can cost a bomb (shouldn’t but it can). Clients tell me about their marketing activities of course, and a number have asked me recently how they can insure themselves against future changes in Google’s search engine rankings. Easy I say, the answer is to put the content out there.

Look, Google isn’t trying to trick anyone even if some SEO companies are (did yours tell you to clear your browser cache before searching on your keywords? They should have… just saying. That’s a top tip from a friend of mine who’s a bit of an expert – thanks Shane! He deserves a free plug for that alone – check him out at out Alpha Local NZ).

Google’s role is to give the person searching the most popular, most relevant, most recent content; they just want to give you the best answer for your search. That way you’ll keep trusting them and using them, and that’s where they make their money.

It’s exactly the same for you.

If your content is real, regular and relevant, no matter what algorithmic changes occur – you’ll still rank.  And you’ll build trust.  And as Google gets smarter, you’ll be assured of their continued good favour.

So get out there and make content for people, not the machines. And if you need help, contact us!



native-americans-white-people-eat-thanksgiving-ecards-someecardsThey say a picture’s worth a thousand words… sometime it is.  Sometimes though, it’s just the eye attract and the real story is the story.

Personally we love a good story, and particularly the plethora of witticisms that get circulated through social media. A smile is worth a thousand words – politically correct or not.




And while we’re commenting on political thinking… here’s another cutey.


So you can tell we’re big fans of someecards.com.  And not just because they’re brilliant.  But also because they let you write your own, on the off chance you can’t find one that ticks your box.



Of course, even if you are a writer, you’ll probably find the perfect commentary for whatever it is you want to say on the site already.  We did.


Nuff said. Enjoy your Friday. And if you aren’t, check out someecards.com.

four letter words

Yes, I made you look but I’m not talking about the obscene kind. The words I’m referring to are “goal”, “plan” and “track”.

Ok, that last one has five letters but you’d think it was a four letter word (and that word would be “rack”, as in “on the rack”), judging by the way some businesses react to it.

Running a business isn’t easy; you’re always up against competing priorities. In NZ we’re famous for our number eight fencing wire mentality – we can fix anything and we do. Of course we’re also famous for our rugby. So the way I see it, if John Kirwan can talk about “the plan”, so can we.

Planning is often referenced as the place we go back to when the (proverbial) hits the fan and it is really good for that. But planning is largely ignored when everything’s working ok – and it shouldn’t be!

Setting goals, planning and tracking are essential to avoid wasting precious business resources on poor outcomes. And it doesn’t have to be hard (another four letter word), or complicated.

At Copy Carats we like goals, plans and tracking because it gives us a chance to show off. Equally importantly, we like them because it gives us a chance to use our number eight fencing wire skills (tweaking, fixing, innovating) because we can see if it’s going wrong.

If you haven’t got a goal, a plan to get there and a way of tracking your success – you’re relying on luck and she’s a fickle mistress. We can still help, but we’ll put you in touch with the right expert.

If you have a goal, a plan and the means to measure it – talk to us. We’re champions of copy and we’re a dab hand at numbers too.