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  1. Belinda Weaver @ Copywrite Matters wrote on

    The thing I like BEST about this post Glenn is that you actually weren’t precious about your words.

    It is our job to figure out the best way to connect clients and customers and sometimes we don’t nail it.

    We have to dig further and figure out where the gaps are.

    Great tips on attitude and approach on nailing the second version!

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Thanks Bill. Yeah, no point being precious. :-)

  2. Ben Lloyd wrote on

    I gave up being precious about my copy long ago, but sometimes it is galling when you can’t figure out exactly where you went wrong. Thanks very much for sharing your client communications though – these are great inspiration for sorting out my own problems in future!

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Thanks mate. Yeah, you’re right. Precious just isn’t a good long-term strategy.

  3. Trish Arnott wrote on

    Glenn, out of the whole post, the sentence that leapt from the page was, “Clients don’t always know exactly what they want until they’ve seen what they don’t want.” I’ve had a couple of experiences with that lately…resolved happily. Given that said client calculated that I’d need twice the time I’d take normally, smiles all ’round.

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Yeah, they definitely don’t. Glad you sorted yours too! How did you manage it?

      1. Trish Arnott wrote on

        Sucked it up and made the revisions. It costs them more than if they listen to me but they’re happy to pay. Both were basically about using my copy but in a different format that client decided on AFTER I’d written the piece. You know how it is: “We want this and this and this and this other thing in twice, and a story and two calls to action.” I make suggestions, write the stuff they’ve asked for and then they say, “Actually, now we can see we only need these bits.”

        1. Glenn Murray wrote on

          Ah right. So it was an hourly rate? Mine was fixed price.

  4. Miranda Hill wrote on

    I’m a bit late to the party with my comment but thanks for sharing this. I also had this happen a while ago, and it was hard at first to not take it personally. I took it on the chin, hit delete and started with a delightfully empty, blank page. You see, our problem had been with our client being too prescriptive with his brief. He also provided oodles of content for us to include which clouded the situation. Our second version was great and the client loved it. And the lesson we took from it….start with a blank page and don’t try to rework client content. The results are ALWAYS better. As they said, they don’t always know what they don’t want till they’ve seen it.

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Hi Miranda. Yes, I completely agree with your summary. In fact, I recorded a video on this back in 2009: ‘You can’t fix client supplied copy. Don’t try!’ –

      Also, I try to avoid reading too much from the client (or their competitors) before I start writing. You don’t have to use it as a starting point for your copy for it to cloud the situation. You only have to read it.

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