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28 Days: A Copywriter’s Diary

When being 'snowed in' is no excuse: the pros and cons of working from home

February! Where did you go? How is it almost March? Must be that there are fewer days this month. Note ‘fewer’, not ‘less’. Ha! Annoying, much? I’m a real riot at parties.

Here’s a round up of the mini-month from the copywriting hot seat (and an excuse to suck up to some of the great people I’ve met over the past few weeks):

  • Early on in the month I was picking the brains of the very helpful Emma Gordon at Bydand Copywriting, getting the lowdown on the world of freelance writing and the various pros and cons of working from home.

  • Next was a call with the lovely Vicky Etherington – a ‘Wordpress Happiness Specialist’, and founder of Azure Marketing, who shared her invaluable insights into how to make the most of a business website, and the vast marketing opportunity that is social media (turns out there are apps that update all your social media platforms simultaneously. Of course there are! Thanks Vicky).

  • Took a road trip to Inverurie mid-month to attend a Marketing workshop delivered by Business Gateway. These are really useful, free opportunities for all business start-ups, but for me they’re also a great chance to meet people who may be looking for help writing content for their new business websites (fun fact from the day: Business Gateway helped a whopping 1,276 businesses to start up in Aberdeen City and Shire between April 2015 and April 2016).

  • Had an interesting and encouraging call with long-lost uni friend, Hazel Lambert, who set up her science communication business, Science Story, last year. She’s been working with a range of clients, from the Medical Research Council to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, translating complex research results into stories we can all understand and enjoy. Happily there may well be opportunities to collaborate with her.

  • Drafted a blog about Buggy Running for the Illuminator Night Trail Half Marathon, and approached Trail Running magazine with a few ideas for feature articles (note to self: chase Trail Running magazine about feature article ideas. If you really want to write for them you'll have to keep pestering them).

  • This week I was pleased to discover a web design company based just over the hill in Aboyne: Red Evolution is a nine-strong team specialising in web development and inbound marketing. I met with Content and Social Media specialists, Caron Rose and Julie Mitchell-Mehta, in their light and airy Station Square office, to discuss Content, SEO and the dwindling importance of Keywords. Julie’s take-home message to clients? There’s no silver bullet to achieving high search engine rankings, it comes down to creating a site that meets the needs of whatever it is people are typing into Google. In other words, you need great content. That’s where I come in folks.

  • Next was a meeting with BIG Partnership founder, Zoe Ogilvie, to discuss copywriting opportunities for the UK’s largest integrated communications consultancy outside London. With over 100 staff across five UK offices and an enviable client list stretching to some 300 high profile companies, BIG is a thriving and ambitious PR firm, and one I’d be very pleased to work with.

  • A meeting with Morven Mackenzie, founder of the fabulous Celebrate Aberdeen, concluded my month. This well-connected lady was kind enough to share some of her advice and contacts over a warming coffee at Ardoe House Hotel. Definitely worth braving the snowy roads for (she also taught me how to swim front crawl when I was ten. But that’s another story).

That’s enough flattery for one month. Oh, I also joined this great thing called the Professional Copywriters’ Network, which has lots of useful information, contacts and potential sources of work for people like me. Many thanks to the Director, Leif Kendall, of Kendall Copywriting. One last plug.