Tag Archives: freelance copywriter

A decade of copywriting excellence

The start of a new decade provides an ideal opportunity for reflection and analysis on the decade just passed. And while 2019 proved to be a turbulent year politically and a disruptive one technologically, it was also an eventful one for writers and journalists. Our industry has changed so much since January 2010 that it’s worth taking a moment to consider how the art of copywriting and journalism has changed since we last welcomed in a new decade…

The changing face of copywriting and journalism
Copywriting and journalism changed almost as much as technology in the 2010s

Putting the word out

Ten years ago, the internet was absent from millions of UK homes, and many people still relied on dial-up connectivity. Websites had already evolved away from early experiments with Comic Sans fonts and animated GIFs, but there was little video content, and photography platforms remained niche. Instead, the written word was king – particularly given the growing importance of search engine optimisation, or SEO.

By the middle of the last decade, websites were experimenting with the potential offered by home broadband connectivity. Parallax scrolling, single-page websites and auto-playing video content became briefly fashionable on many corporate websites. However, 4G’s arrival in 2013 triggered meteoric growth in mobile internet services, which literally and metaphorically rendered flashy (or Flash-y) sites unsuitable for a smartphone. As a result, we came full circle, relying on professionally-written copywriting and journalism to underpin any successful website.

Make it a large one

More recently, Google and Bing have emphasised the importance of long-form content. The days when a 500-word blog provided optimal SEO benefits have passed. And while we’re not going to extend this article to be 5,000-8,000 words long (which search engines increasingly regard as demonstrating authoritative content), long-form copywriting and journalism makes up a growing percentage of G75 Media’s monthly workload.

The last decade also saw the inexorable rise of the blog. Although Blogger debuted in 1999 and WordPress launched in 2003, blogging only really took off towards the end of the Noughties. By 2010, there was huge demand for freelance bloggers, and G75 Media began offering blogging as a service. At the time, IT and technology clients were identifying blog archives as a way of boosting keyword recognition among search engines, and two of G75 Media’s biggest clients still depend on us for weekly blog content.

Another trend which dominated the 2010s was the welcome increase in flexible working. Brands like WeWork have revolutionised the concept of office space, and millions of Britons now work from home either part-time or full-time. Copywriting and journalism are ideal sectors for both freelancing and working from home, since employers can call on specialist writers as and when their services are needed. Many of G75 Media’s clients will contact us once a year or even less frequently, knowing we can quickly and effectively deliver copywriting and journalism to meet any brief.

Goodbye and good riddance

Other trends rose and fell with equal rapidity, such as overseas copywriting firms. Agencies popped up around the world, offering cheap online copywriting for corporate clients. Almost as a rule, these firms delivered fairly dreadful content. Their writers generally spoke English as a second language, their proofreading and editing skills were negligible, and the balance of keywords and long tails (key elements of SEO) was usually wrong. When Google and Bing began downgrading websites with lazily-written content supplied by overseas copy farms, the writing was on the wall – but not on the websites. The phenomenon quickly died out as companies realised it simply isn’t worth paying for cheap copywriting and journalism.

More recently, we have also seen the welcome decline of academic writing websites. These enabled lazy students to outsource dissertation and essay writing to ‘qualified professionals’. Like all respectable content production agencies, G75 Media flatly refused to get involved in this distasteful practice, despite being approached on a number of occasions with unsolicited requests for assistance. Our copywriting services have always been ethical and honest, and they always will be.

Taking care of business

Despite these unwholesome sub-sectors of copywriting and journalism, the internet’s meteoric growth came at a great time for a business which was founded in 2007 as a dedicated copywriting agency. In February 2010, G75 Media’s founder Neil Cumins made the decision to quit his part-time day job as a property journalist and become a full-time business owner, freelance copywriter – and property journalist! Having retained his former estate-agency employer as a client, the process of building a successful copywriting agency could begin.

Today, G75 Media regularly works with clients on three continents, from America to Australia. We employ freelance writers whose areas of expertise dovetail with our client base. We deliver everything from listicles and social media content through to white papers and how-to guides for clients as diverse as manufacturers, optometrists and tourism firms. And as we enter our third decade as a limited company, G75 Media is proud to be a copywriting agency with few peers.

But why stop there? A new decade brings new opportunities, while our greater resources and superior expertise should ensure we’re able to continue growing and expanding throughout the 2020s. We don’t know what the last decade will be referred to as – possibly the Tens or the Teens – but it’s been the making of G75 Media. Here’s to another decade of award-winning copywriting and journalism.

Fake it til you make it?

Copywriting should always be honest, and freelance articles from G75 Media are extensively researched to maximise trust
The philosophy behind fake reviews is the polar opposite of everything G75 Media stands for

The thorny subject of fake reviews has been in the media recently, with allegations about false five-star reviews on Amazon and interviews with self-confessed fake review writers. There has also been a greater focus on falsifying academic records on both sides of the Atlantic, coupled with a crackdown on dissertation writing firms.

Fake content is a topic G75 Media feels very strongly about, since trust is a cornerstone of our copywriting services. Before getting into the specifics of why this matters, it’s important to clarify our position on fake reviews:

  1. We have never sought or published fake reviews for any of our online profiles or accounts. As a result, you’ll occasionally see other copywriting agencies ‘scoring’ more highly than us on review sites, even though a cursory glance at their websites and marketing materials might not suggest they’re the best in the business.
  2. We’ve never written a glowing testimonial that we didn’t wholeheartedly stand by. We rarely review service providers; if we do, it’s because our experience justifies it. If we have criticisms, we tend to address them directly to the company or individual, giving them a reasonable chance to address these issues.
  3. When writing on behalf of clients, we deliberately avoid belittling and bad-mouthing their competitors. Even when a rival brand is clearly falling short of the standards our clients have set, we promote the latter’s achievements rather than denigrating the former. Negative advertising should be left in the 1980s, where it belongs.
  4. We don’t use social media as a steam valve or echo chamber. Like everyone reading this article, we’ve had good and bad client experiences in recent times. Unlike some people, we don’t resort to splashing hyperbolic language over social media platforms. At worst, we’ll discuss any marketing lessons to be learned from high-profile failures.

Our word is our bond

The cynic might wonder why any of this matters. After all, consumers know fake reviews exist. We recognise the temptation to use emotive phrases like “ruined” and “worst ever” to illustrate disappointment or frustration. And it’s hard to escape the fact that copywriting is a cut-throat industry, where earning any form of income is often challenging.

However, some things are more important than boosting your monthly turnover, or filling the working week with projects. Fake reviews are deceitful, and false writing of any kind is morally unjustifiable. If you spend your days writing fraudulent reviews for products and services you’ve never experienced, you’re effectively a professional liar. Anything you subsequently say will be tainted by association, and you’re also making life harder for everyone who still places their trust in online content.

In a virtual world where the senses of touch, smell and taste are non-existent, the written word is all-powerful. Abusing it for short-term corporate gain is as unforgiveable as it is unacceptable. While positive PR and promotional content inevitably only tells one side of the story, at least these stories are rooted in fact. That’s where the true power of written communications comes from, and it’s something G75 Media will continue to champion in every article, blog and promotional feature we produce.

Consumer advice? All in a day’s work…

After a thoroughly enjoyable break over Christmas, G75 Media has returned to a packed inbox and a busy schedule. Our first January job involves producing consumer advice articles for one of the UK’s leading price comparison firms. We’re currently writing four features a week for this client, providing practical advice about mobile phone contracts, broadband accounts and on-demand services.

We work with IT and computing firms on both sides of the Atlantic, writing everything from keyword-driven blogs to in-depth white papers and infographics. G75 Media’s founder Neil Cumins grew up in a family of amateur programmers and created his own art package in BASIC at the tender age of 13, so computing has always been an area of personal expertise. By researching topics like website hosting, WordPress and cybersecurity on a weekly basis, creating original content on these subjects has become as intuitive as writing about games consoles or streaming media services.

If you need any assistance with technology writing, consumer advice journalism or any other form of digital media content, get in touch with G75 Media for a quote. Wherever you are in the world, we’ll be able to find the right words for your products and services.

Ten years of copywriting excellence

Ten years ago today, G75 Media Ltd was officially incorporated under the Companies Act 1985, becoming Scotland’s newest media company. And without wishing to lapse into cliché, the intervening decade has been quite a journey…

 

G75 Media was founded by Neil Cumins with a three-figure budget. It was based in the spare room of a house in East Kilbride, where an antiquated PC perched on a second-hand dressing table. There was no website, no income and no budget for advertising, and work had to be fitted around Neil’s day job as a property journalist.

 

Little did anyone know on that chilly November day that the global economy was about to enter the most protracted recession for a century. Setting up a new media company in the midst of the Northern Rock bailout (and an unexpected decline in British house prices) was clearly not a ideal for a property-based copywriting agency. Throughout our first five years, clients regularly went out of business and new custom was often frustratingly hard to acquire.

 

Nevertheless, G75 Media has survived – and even thrived. We’ve worked with clients on four continents. We’ve become experts in industries as diverse as optometry, tourism, computer networks and mental health blogging. And Neil’s contacts throughout the housing and automotive industries have ensured a steady flow of motoring journalism and property writing, for local and national media clients.

 

While it’s tempting to make predictions about the future, the last ten years has demonstrated how events can change a media company’s direction. G75 Media was named after a postcode in our home town of East Kilbride, and intended to serve local businesses, yet most of our copywriting clients are based in England. While our plans to offer services to ex-pats in the United Arab Emirates didn’t bear fruit, we regularly work with high-profile companies in America and Australia. And we certainly didn’t expect our white label copywriting services to be as sought after as they have been, with constant demand for technology blogs and brochure/website content.

 

Here’s to ten years of copywriting excellence. And if you’d like to join us for the next leg of our journey, why not get in touch to see how we can help with journalism or content production?