I Was Hired to Write for the Guardian – Here’s How It Went Down

It all began one lazy February morning. There I was, sat in my pyjamas with my seventeenth cup of coffee close to hand, refreshing my email, Facebook and Twitter over and over again. Probably. I can’t remember. It was February. After I’d refreshed my inbox for the one thousand and sixty-fifth time, there it was, just sitting there. An email titled: Article for the Guardian? My eyes narrowed in suspicion. […]

How to Break into Kids’ TV Writing – from Someone Who’s Done It

When I discovered my friend and fellow copywriter James Walsh had been commissioned to write an episode of a kids’ TV show for the BBC, I was ecstatic. Partly for him, but mostly for myself, because I intended to steal all his secrets and divulge them here. The operation was a success and I can now share with you the interview I lured him to Starbucks for. Before I do, […]

How I Ranked My Freelance Writing Website #1 on Google

If you’re a freelance writer in Edinburgh, stop reading now. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT FOR YOU. *hisses* Okay, now let’s talk about how I got my freelance writing website, EdinburghCopywriter.com, to rank number one on Google, almost immediately bringing me a big case-study job for a lovely new client down the road from me, a half-day’s work for an agency in the city, AND a surprise request from an editor […]

When Being Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough (Hint: ALWAYS)

Last night, I was inside a cathedral. It had the whole gargantuan Christmas tree and twinkling lights thing going on. There were mince pies and cava. And the main event: four choirs. THE SCENE WAS SET. I was going to have a festive evening indeed, and it was going to get better and better as the night went on. Right? Well, no. Not exactly. The first choir trotted onto the […]

How to Write in a Consistent Tone of Voice When Your Mood Changes ALL THE GODDAMN TIME

You know what your voice sounds like. You write in it every day, after all. (Haha, just kidding. Did I make you feel inadequate by implying everyone else in the world writes every day?) The trouble is, this is a business you’re running here. And you need your voice to come out the same every time you write. You know, so you look consistent and professional. You don’t want to […]

9 Ways You’re Destroying Your Personal Brand’s Reputation

Having a personal-branded business doesn’t mean you can just do whatever the hell you want with it. I mean, you can, since it’s your business and whatever. But if you want to, you know, make money, you shouldn’t. Here are some things you should most def avoid: 1. Flaunting Your Lack of Confidence Wait, what? Unconfident people don’t flaunt anything, do they? Well, sure, maybe not overtly. But that doesn’t […]

Feeling Lost and Directionless? I Was Too.

I went to my dad’s funeral in 2011. There, I met David. I’d never met or even heard of him before. He was one of my dad’s old friends. They used to go to the pub together. A smart, academic-type guy, we got chatting about what the hell I was going to do now. I’d just returned from backpacking, which was what I’d planned to keep doing for the foreseeable […]

Your Specialist Niche Isn’t Enough: How to Become the ONLY Choice

In this progressively tighter-packed sardine tin we like to call the internet, everyone screams about the importance of ‘niching down’ and ‘standing out’ and ‘being different’. And this is true to an extent. Those things are important. But they are not ALL you need. You could have a super-specialist niche, like an editor who specialises in copy-editing memoirs, personal essay collections and other narrative non-fiction. Or an SEO consultant who […]