October at the Oxford English Dictionary… new words please!

The Oxford English Dictionary or OED to its friends has delivered its list of new words for October 2019. Each time this happens I try to look through and select a few that I might be able to use in my freelance writing. New words and their progress towards OED acceptance are an interesting phenomenon. I imagine Army like parade grounds with intensive training and harsh comments…

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Too much work or not enough? How to manage the boom or bust side of freelance life

I have been working as a freelance writer down here in Devon for almost five years now. Long enough for me to understand but not necessarily appreciate the feast or famine side of freelance work life. Being unsure of how much money I am going to earn each month makes for a lifestyle that is interesting, in every possible sense of the word. I will confess to having moments of worry when work doesn’t come in as regularly as I would like it to. I will also confess to having feelings of mild panic when I have a list of writing jobs that includes a number higher than five. Here are my five top tips for managing the boom or bust side of freelance life.

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Even writers have to do spring cleaning. 5 speedy ways to spruce up your blog

At Fi Darby Freelance we often find ourselves responsible for the content and appeal of several blogs at a time. As well as having two blogs of our own, we like to keep our clients happy. All of which means that a bit of blog spring cleaning is definitely to be recommended. (This should not, by the way, be muddled up with ‘bog spring cleaning’ which is much more smelly!) We have five top tips to help you give your blog the spring cleanup it needs. Continue reading “Even writers have to do spring cleaning. 5 speedy ways to spruce up your blog”

Internet Abbreviations for Business

Imagine a world where everything we said had a word or character limit on it. We wouldn’t stop talking, we would just develop our own language and our own system of abbreviations. This is, of course, exactly what has happened with social media but with the overspill of internet abbreviations for business into general job parlance, it pays to keep ahead of internet jargon and internet contractions. To help you avoid getting your UV mixed up with your UI or, IMHO worse still, your UTI, we have some of the key internet abbreviations for business (plus a few entertaining extras FYI) DFTBA!! Continue reading “Internet Abbreviations for Business”

How a freelance copywriter found business support in Devon

My fondness for my career as a freelance copywriter in Devon has been well documented. I love the research (particularly if it takes me outside), I love the learning (writing on new topics is great for that) and I love the writing. Over the last few months however, I have recognised an issue in my approach to business. I have no problems allocating copious amounts of time to activities that are direct money-bringers but feel a measure of guilt if I syphon any of this precious time over to business-building. There is a historical reason for this, when I first needed to make my writing pay, I set myself a ‘jobs priority’ list that put ‘paid work’ at the top and ‘business growth’ nowhere at all.

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Words I don’t like… but, as a copywriter, sometimes have to use

I have friend who strongly objects to the words ‘juxtaposition’ and ‘moist’. Her objection to the latter is so strong that she has been known to tell people off for using it, but she is not alone, my research suggests that, as a nation, we prefer our vocabulary desiccated rather than clammy. We all have them, the words that irritate, grating on our nerves whenever we hear, read or (God forbid) say them. As a copywriter I have to be prepared to write about anything (well nearly anything) and use vocabulary that will be appreciated by my target audience. This has led me to some conflict and the occasional trip to the confessional (in the form of my husband) to admit my guilt. Here are my three most disliked word-rant words.

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Get your balaclavas out it’s January again! Winter words for 2019

Copywriting in Devon perhaps allows for more outdoor time than most jobs. Ever optimistic, I spent an hour or so this morning searching for signs of spring. I spotted a few (they come early to Devon) but am predicting a wintery blast or two before the spring warm up (last year we had snow on the beaches in February). As January is officially the middle of winter, I thought we might have a bit of fun today with a few useful (and not so useful) winter words. Do let me know if you have a favourite of your own.

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How to Write – 5 Different Types of Blog Post

How many times have you waited for blog post inspiration to arrive, only to find that the blankness of your mind is reflected on the page in front of you? Writers’ block is as common in bloggers as it is in all authors but help is at hand. We have 5 different types of blog post that will keep your blogging head thinking and your blog writing flowing.

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You just got the sack – 5 English idioms from the world of work

There’s no doubt about it, the correct use of English idioms can be tricky to grasp. We have all experienced it, the unsolicited email that tries hard but exhibits a touch of over-ambition in the phrase department. One thing that can help copywriters to correctly use idioms is to understand their etymology (origin). A particularly interesting set are those related to the world of work. Here are our 5 favourites.

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Writer’s block – if it is real, can we combat it?

All outdoor writers, even copywriters lucky enough to live in Devon, have moments when the words refuse to flow. You know the feeling, you sit staring at your screen, your mind starts to wander and then, bingo, you’re faffing around with one of the million and one other things your technology has to offer and your 1,000 words are as far away as 1,000 miles in a slow Toyota campervan (other campervans are available). The topic of writer’s block must be one of the most commonly discussed issues on the internet. I’m not sure I believe in this procrastination-ridden phenomenon but here are the 5 things I usually do when my writing reduces its usual flow.

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