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Writer's block in a caravan with only one pot noodle left

Qui scribit pro scriptore?


I have experienced at least 15 types of ‘writer’s block’. That’s almost two types for each year I have been a professional copywriter and verbal brand hacker. I suspect that some writers overly romanticise the suffering of the interminably blank page. Staring, in turn with fury and then hopelessness, at the flashing cursor does becomes irksome. Sometimes it is too many words which is the problem. In my experience it is always surmountable. All that is required is rabid persistence, mental brute force and, sometimes, the threat of a cup-a-soup.


The Bearson website needed a re-brand as the original was a bit basic. It had been updated not once since its hasty creation 8 years ago. Its SEO game was weak. If you looked at it for more than 5 seconds, which not many people did, the layout hurt your eyes. I'd knocked it together quickly after being offered my first ever writing contract by a marketing director I met after spilling a white Russian on her Paul Smith’s. At that time, it just needed to exist.


Complimentary word-of-mouth about how Bearson will solve any writing challenge you may have, has kept me sufficiently busy since then. Having a crappy website, never seen before page 97 of a google search for "copywriter", was not a commercial problem that needed solving.


Although, it was a bit of an embarrassment. Like your first tattoo, chosen one night in Majorca whilst near dead from alcohol poisoning. Yes, it was on your arse so not too many people ever saw it. But when you catch sight of it in the mirror, it gently ruins your day.


Two weeks ago our wee clan toured the west coast of Scotland in a caravan. With a few hours to kill every now and then, I decided it was time to sort the website out. It was time to cover up that scratchy-lined devil holding a carrot etched onto my derriere.


"Tattoo-Master Bearson! Please cover my entire buttock with a shimmering koi!"


campervans parked under a small but bright rainbow with the Glencoe hills in the background

Favourite places to write #164 - in a caravan in Glencoe under a rainbow


I set to it. I know my brand personality very well. It's me. I know the market very well. I'm already swimming successfully in it. All I needed to do was design the site layout (keep it simple) and organise the words. Should be easy, right, when you're a professional copywriter who bangs out winners on a regular basis for cool clients?


Yes. Well. It wasn't entirely straight forward. I did come up with words, no problem. Lots of words. Some good, some not. This is the normal method for me for any form of inventive thinking. Diverge, go wide and whacky. Then converge, amalgamate the best bits and shape with tiny bonsai scissors with my tongue sticking out, into the art of more with less.


So far, so good. Samples from my portfolio were chosen and the kids helped me design the new Bearson logo.



set of 4 outlines of a cartoon bear's head

The evolution of a bear


What's left to do? Oh yes, the first words on my landing page. The most important words on any website. The words that will hook some visitors and at least one other, in their haste to click backbackback, accidentally propel their mouse off their desk and into the head of a sleeping cat.


I discovered for the first time that there is a certain additional pressure writing adhesive copy when you’re a copywriter writing your own website.


I know that there is no combination of words that will captivate absolutely everybody who might visit your website. But those words damn sure better ensnare your target audience. With that in mind, it's safe to say I became trapped in some sort of over-thinking writer’s block. I wrote 27 sets of different and unique opening lines for the landing page. Some were good, a couple were great, and many just plain wrong.


In the end, my wonderful wife gave me an ultimatum. I must decide or she was going to eat the last doner kebab flavoured pot noodle and I’d be left with a cup-a-soup. Block removed, decision made. Shortly afterwards the website content was finalised, and I went for a celebratory swim in a loch. And then the noodles.



 

Here are some examples that didn't make the cut -



I like brevity and impact in equal measure. I like these two well but not quite enough:


Brand, brand, brand, not blah, blah, blah

Or

Brand, brand, wow, not blah, blah, snore.




I refuse to use words such as ‘crafting’ and ‘wordsmithing’ in reference to copywriting. They’re good words but overly used. So, this little number would never work for me:


I craft stories that engage, content that captivates, and narrative that accelerates achievement of your objectives.




A bit of a challenge to the visitor, but perhaps a little too informal and edgy for some more mainstream clients, whom I love:


If you need a kick-ass copywriter and words like


Disruptive / Brave / Ambitious / Clueless


describe you, then let’s talk.




Last one. My daughter was keen I use this one. I remain convinced it was a good thing I didn’t.


I eat your vision and shit out laser-targeted rainbow copy. With brandtastic sprinkles on it.




And you may have seen the chosen words already. If not, check them out here: www.bearsonsolutions.com


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