Three reasons journalists make the best copywriters

box of newspapers

A box of some of my published stories

I occasionally run across a marketing guru shepherding his followers away from the dangers of employing someone with a journalism background or (gasp) an English major. Copywriting is more about marketing than writing, they warn.

And I laugh a little each time I read this warning because good writing is about marketing. It’s about knowing what information to share and when. Good writing offers something good marketing should–it’s designed to get you to hear what it has to say.

If you’re looking for a copywriter or editor for your next project, here are three benefits to working with a journalist–

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Misspelling, a love story

Good thing someone is inforcing that no parking rule. Photo by Matt Foster--

Good thing someone is inforcing that no parking rule. Photo by Matt Foster–

I’m not a perfect speller. I consult my dictionary often. But I have a confession–and a bit of a mean streak. I feel a shudder of joy when I catch a spelling error in print.

And if the mistake is in a published book, even better! A classic? Oh boy!

It’s like my sweetheart whispered a secret in my ear that only I get to know. The author missed it. And the editor (or proofreader) missed it. But I was just sharp enough to catch it.

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Be concise–cut these 6 words and phrases


Image source–

So you aren’t writing the great American novel. But you might send your donors a fundraising letter, send an inter-office email or write a blog post for your audience. A wordy message will confuse or bore your readers. Or worse–they won’t read most of it.

You don’t have to be an expert to learn how to be concise. Start making your business writing more effective by cutting these six words and phrases—

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On “Politics and the English Language”


George Orwell wrote his essay, “Politics and the English Language” nearly 70 years ago. And while our political jargon has changed, he offered some still applicable advice for crafting clear language.

His point was that political chaos and the decay of language are linked. But I consider the essay essential reading for anyone who communicates ideas through writing and speech. This probably applies to almost everyone.

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My health and writing reboot

I’m getting back to basics this month—in health and in writing.

My husband and I are fasting this week from grains and all sugar except for sugar from fruit. I roped him into it, but for me the fast is an effort to hit the reset button after the holidays and to feel better.

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You’re entitled to your own opinion, except on the definition of entitled

No piece of writing is ever finished. Writers repeatedly return to their work to tighten it and fix errors before publication because even good writers can improve their work.

But one particular word use annoys me more than most errors in grammar, spelling and word usage–the use of entitled to mean titled. I find myself mocking the writer every time I run across this.

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