Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
When I was in school, I wanted to be a website designer (when Frontpage and Dreamweaver were the tools du jour!). Then there was a time when I wanted to be a journalist.
If we ignore the stage where I wanted to be a teacher and the few weeks I wanted to be a popstar, then I’ve done a good job of combining those aspirations working in marketing agencies.
My first marketing role was in-house as the Head Content Writer for Latest Free Stuff, which was a great place to learn how to write quickly, for mass audiences, across multiple platforms. Since then, I’ve worked agency-side in various marketing roles from Account Manager to Head of Search & Content, which have all had a strong focus in copywriting.
What work are you most proud of?
I’ve been lucky enough to work on some great travel accounts in a couple of my roles, and travel copy is a joy to work on. I’ve worked on ad campaigns and have recently worked on developing web copy and a content hub for an airport. You get to be aspirational, insightful and punny.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
This is very specific, and perhaps a bit nerdy, but the Sims 4 patch notes are a brilliant example of knowing your audience and writing for them. The tone, the language and the humour are on point and go to show that technical notes don’t need to be dull. I’m sure they’ve developed a cult following.
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
I try to schedule my day (when it’s possible!) so I can avoid writer’s block. For me, writer’s block tends to strike in the afternoon, after a heavy day of meetings. If I can, I try to block out time in the morning for writing – when I allow myself caffeine and find it much easier to focus.
What are your favourite and least and favourite writing-related tasks?
Favourite: Google Ads. I find refining a message until it fits into a 30- or 90-character box while making sure it makes sense in a range of contexts, challenging but satisfying. And it will ALWAYS be better than AI!
Least favourite: Internal comms. The team I work with are all amazing and busy, so I’m always anxious to make sure internal communications are helpful and concise.
Any copywriting pet hates?
The overuse of ellipses. I don’t know why exactly, but I think it feels lazy to me, often because it’s misused… Same with exclamation marks. Same with “innovation” and “solutions”.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
Let your work breathe. While it’s tempting to send over to the client once a piece is ready, I try to give it at least 24 hours (where time allows!) before I go back in, review and send. It’s amazing what a bit of time and context can do.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
If you’re in an in-house or agency role, say yes to everything when you start. Absorb as much as you can. Get as much exposure to different projects as possible. This will really help you decide what you want to specialise in as you progress in your career. When I started, my focus was in writing email and social copy, but I’ve found that I enjoy working in SEO much more.
Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?
Two words: Tim Tucker. I’ve loved his workshops this year, and have signed up to as many as I can next year. He’s excellent at delivering workshops and recommending books to read.
Where can people find out more about you?
I’m on Linkedin here (https://www.linkedin.com/in/abbyk/) and you can learn more about Base Creative, the agency I work at, here (https://basecreative.co.uk/).