Cite lines

February 28, 2016 at 8:39 am | Posted in copywriting | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Now U C it.

Here’s a client question that may interest:

I was reading a LinkedIn post and I wanted to know the legal rights if I want to use any of that post in a report.

I replied:

To be on the safe side, put anything you use in “quotes” and give the full details of each source you use (either as embedded links or as notes at the bottom of the page or the end of your report).

Most people who write content don’t mind being quoted, so long as they’re also cited.

It’s good for their brand if it’s done this way.

A few writers can be precious about it, but if you show where the content came from in good faith, the worst they can do is notice, complain, and ask you to remove it.

Which is pretty unlikely, given how much stuff is flying around online.

Sometimes, I contact content creators in advance to seek their permission to use their stuff (mainly images).

They generally appreciate this and agree (often in return for a link to their site).

Also, some pieces of content have instructions at the end that explain what can and can’t be done with them.

So keep an eye out for that too.

Finally, there’s some great info at Creative Commons and Wikipedia

I hope that helps.


Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Pic from Wikipedia.

And: another thing.

July 17, 2015 at 7:27 am | Posted in copywriting | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
When to replace 'and' with '&'.

Concise copy is sweet!

I just did the penultimate edit of a resume (CV).

My client asked why I changed most instances of ‘and’ to ampersands (&) in his many bullet points.

Here’s what I replied:

In the context of this document, using ampersands lets busy recruiters cut to the chase without having to trip over 50 or so connecting words.

The ampersands fade into the background, bringing keywords to the fore.

Also, the four pages you sent were pretty dense, so this change got some bullets onto fewer lines – and created more white space between them.

All for easier reading – in case it’s 5 pm, on a Friday, and yours is the 99th resume of the day.

And if the recruiter is using software to scan your resume for keywords, it won’t be interested in ‘and’ under any circumstances.

I also removed most instances of ‘the’ as it, too, usually adds nothing to bullet points.

These are both changes we can reverse if you prefer.



you have it!


Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Pic by abakedcreation.

Right between the eyes

January 22, 2014 at 8:35 am | Posted in copywriting | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
2163474742_76d766fcfe_o Bullets

Now look here.

Last week I optimised a LinkedIn summary.

This was a natural progression from editing resumes.

And with jobs falling like flies, I expect this work to burgeon.

My client had asked for a ‘punchier’ summary, yet had much to say in a small space.

So I pulled out the big guns:

bullet points.

But when I submitted the summary, my client asked:

Do you think it’s OK to have many sets of bullet points like that?

I thought carefully before replying.

LinkedIn is mutating monthly.

What worked before may not now.

And many who claim to be social media ‘gurus’ aren’t.

That said, I felt my reply was solid:

Bullets pack a pithy punch while resting reader eyes.

This is particularly important online – where attention spans are gnat-like.

And the LinkedIn format fairly begs for this kind of ‘shorthand’.

The good thing about bullets is that if you feel there are too many, you can ditch the least-fabulous ones.

So, the question is: how much of a punch do you wish to pack?

You can answer this question yourself.

Or ask your trusty focus group.

As is so often the case, we should let our readers be our guide.

Fair enough?

My client agreed.

Do you?


Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Entries and comments feeds.