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. […]

5 Reasons I Wanted to Quit Being a Freelance Copywriter

I have a confession. Ever since I moved back to Edinburgh after quitting my digital nomad adventures, I’ve been wondering about – oh god, can I even say it? – getting a J.O.B. Like, now that I’m based permanently in one city, would it be better to get a job rather than continue to be freelance? Obviously I have no intention of going back to barwork. CHRIST NO. For one […]

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, […]

6 Embarrassing Freelance Copywriting Mistakes I’ve Made (Please Don’t Read This?)

Someone once told me it was reassuring to learn that I am as messed up as everyone else. It’s not my favourite compliment to ever have received, but if you squint at it, it IS a compliment, right? Right??? In an internet crammed with ‘thought leaders’, ‘gurus’ and ‘influencers’ (it’s impossible to write those without using quotes, isn’t it? If you don’t hate yourself, I mean), I guess it would […]

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 […]

What the Hell Happened in 2017 & What the Hell I’m Going to Do in 2018

February! That’s when you’re supposed to write your review of the previous year and your goals for the current one, right? Yes. Let’s pretend that is why I am only just writing this. Although if you keep reading you’ll probably figure out the real reason. Here’s the short version: nothing went as planned in 2017. I’m going to break this down by analysing my (75% failed, 25% flailed) goals for […]

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 […]

My 29 Extremely Personal Tips for Surviving Your First Five Years in Business

I quit my job five years ago, two months after making my first bit of money from my new freelance copywriting business. Sometimes, even now, I have these moments where I’m like, holy fuck, this is my LIFE. I don’t have to rely on anyone else to earn enough money to live. I don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time each day. I don’t have to do anything […]

Why I Don’t Want to Learn to Read Faster, Thanks

Fuck those articles, man. They’re everywhere. You know the ones I mean, right? How to 10X Your Reading Speed and Never Have to Savour a Book Again! I suspect these are written with information gatherers in mind rather than people who read for joy. But still, what the hell? And then there are those ‘reading’ apps that will allow you to gather all the salient points from a book without […]

How to Make a Website for Your Copywriting Business (WITHOUT Melting Your Brain)

Holy shit, you’re starting a copywriting business? That’s badass. AND TERRIFYING. If technology is not your forte, you might think you’re not capable of setting up your own website. BUT YOU ARE. Honest. I’ve helped tons of people – many self-proclaimed technophobes – set up their own websites with the instructions below. That’s not to say all of them found it easy – but they got there in the end, […]