Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
As a freelance writer with a background in publishing, I was ready for a change when people first started asking me – about 15 years ago – to write website copy, brochures, social media stuff and all of those other things that fall into the copywriting/content writing well.
I love the variety that comes with what I do now. The hats change regularly: one day it’s web content writer, the next it’s video script scribbler. Being tasked with different things so frequently keeps everything interesting.
What work are you most proud of?
I love getting immersed in large website writing projects – the ones that make you wither a little when you first take them on because they’re so
For example, I recently really enjoyed getting stuck into the many service pages I wrote for the new Artbanx art management platform such as this one. Taking care of someone’s website feels like a huge responsibility – but it’s also a privilege to be handed the reins to something so important.
I guess, though, that I’m never more proud than when I can see that the work I’ve done has directly helped a client to improve their SERP results. I’ve played at least a part in getting a couple of clients onto page 1 of Google. That’s a proper result.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
Like most writers, I’m slightly in awe of ‘Just Do It’ and ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ and ‘Snap! Crackle! Pop!’ and the like. Imagine pulling off one of those – three words that encapsulate a brand for decades.
That said, I like any copy that is clear and evocative, no matter how long or short. It’s a bit left-field, I know, but the ‘Choose life’ monologue from
Trainspotting was a cracking piece of written work that people remember 20-odd years later.
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
Literally never had it. If you start writing, something will always come – and if it’s no good you can always go back and change it. I think the more you believe that writer’s block is a thing, the more likely it is that you’ll be derailed by it.
What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?
Would it be wrong to suggest that it’s sometimes quite hard to get overly excited by keyword research?
Favourite – helping people to work out what kind of copy will actually help them, because so many people really don’t know.
One writing-unrelated task I enjoy is design. I often create mock-ups for clients to show how a landing page or new website might look – that’s always quite a pleasant distraction.
Any copywriting pet hates?
A few. I think they mostly revolve around trying to explain to a client what you’ve done, why you’ve done it, why their suggestion doesn’t make sense and how process and experience underpin the countless hours you’ve put into that bit of copy.
I’m all for feedback and revisions, but you do occasionally encounter a client who is digging their heels in for all the wrong reasons.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
I can’t recall much advice apart from a snippet I received on my very first day at work. The guy I was replacing left a note that read “Keep your head down and you’ll be fine” on my – gasp – typewriter. Actually, that was pretty terrible advice.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
While I’ve not received a boatload of career-defining pointers, I’m a dab hand at dispensing advice. My rally cry is always: read more, write more. You only get good at something by practicing it relentlessly, and finding out how people who are more experienced than you go about it.
These days, I think a writer needs to keep abreast of the many important tech tools that will help them to stay relevant, too. This interview, for example, was written on ChatGPT while I went shopping.
Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?
Because the membership fee paid for itself in about two weeks.
Where can people find out more about you?
All roads lead to my website: www.bymikepeake.com.
Look me up and drop me a line if you need someone who’s delivered about 5,000 pieces of copy and still gets a huge kick out of trying to find words that will make interesting things happen.