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Advice and help for would be copywriters

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You're Only As Good As Your Last Article Is An Axiom That Copywriters Hear...

You're only as good as your last articleis an axiom that web copywriters hear all too often. And it happens to be true. But there is a positive side to it. If you can ensure that every ad you put together stands firmly on its own two feet, then the last ad always maintains your reputation. Good writers are rarely happy with their work; and never complacent.

Yet that does not preclude you from being proud of it - does it? Summary 1 Never, ever go along with the first headline that comes your way. In some cases, as I'm forced to agree, you may well revert to the queue you originally thought of on account of the fact that everything subsequently written failed to come up to scratch. But explore all avenues before making a final choice. All avenues in this case means writing at least two-dozen lines to eventually arrive at one. 2 Devising a headline is comparable to inventing a better mousetrap.

You often end up with something so contrived, so complicated, that it is lost on everyone including the mouse. Headlines don't have to be short to be sharp. (There have been ads - many of them excellent - in which the entire piece consisted of nothing but a very long, bold headline. And I mean fifty, sixty, seventy words or more.) Whether these can strictly be called headlines, or whether they are body copy writ bold, I don't know. But they can be effective.

Nor, indeed, need they be clever or witty to be apt. However, the one characteristic they must possess, above all, is attractiveness. Now, it can be argued that attractiveness is strictly in the eye of the beholder; and what engages one reader may well turn out to be repellent to another - even when both appear to have identical tastes and interests. Consider, for a moment, the following lines.

I ask you to imagine that each is accompanied by a picture of the sitting-room of a luxury flat, in which a modishly-dressed young man is entertaining a young woman - or, indeed, the other way about. (a) Lansdowne Luxury Flats. Interior design by Rene.

Environment by Catherine's Wharf. Social status by implication. (b) Will a Lansdowne Luxury Flat attract disturbingly beautiful people and dramatically affect your love life? Both are for the same well-appointed, trendily-decorated (and fictitious) pad. Both are aimed at young men and women who are several rungs up the executive ladder. But neither one, I venture to suggest, will appeal to the sensibilities of the person implied in the structure of the other.

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