What great writer learned from a great copywriter

Here’s a great post at Copyblogger about what novelist Salman Rushdie learned while he was a ad copywriter working for the legendary David Ogilvy: What One of the World’s Great Novelists Learned About Writing from David Ogilvy. He learned a lot that can help a fundraising writer:


  1. Spend an inordinate amount of time on headlines. (Or the envelope teaser or the email subject line.)
  2. Panic your way to success. (Pressure can work wonders!)
  3. Make a big statement with few words. (Big picture, what are you really asking donors to do?)
  4. Great (copy)writing is a job. (It’s about showing up, paying attention, paying attention to details.)
  5. Don’t give into rejection. (No matter how good you are, things don’t always work out.)


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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