Copywriters And Canines: What I Learned About Copywriting From My Dogs

by GuestBlogStar on October 3, 2012

As a freelance copywriter, I get to enjoy several things that were missing from my old 8 to 5 desk job. I can do my work in running shorts while sitting at my dining room table. I can prepare a nutritious meal when it’s lunchtime, instead of just boiling some water for yet another ramen noodle soup. And I don’t have to feel guilty about or be cautious when checking social media or news sites during “work hours.” But one of the best parts about working from home is that I get to be with my two dogs all day long. Oscar the Chihuahua and Marble the Norwegian Elkhound (yeah, had never heard of that before, either) never had it so good!

Ever since I quit my day job in pursuit of following my writing career, I’ve really gotten to see a whole other side of my dogs. Before, I’d come home from a long day and my pups would be pent up with exorbitant amounts of energy and I could always tell that even though they were excited to see me, they were more excited to get to go outside and have some playtime. Now, I see that my pups are actually calm creatures when they get to be out all day. They lounge around in sunny spots in the living room, they are much more playful towards each other, and they generally seem more balanced and happy. I know, I know, call me a crazy dog lady but what I tell you is true!

And I started noticing a few similarities between my dogs and me  — at least when it comes to work ethic. No real copywriter will ever tell you their work is a breeze, much like I’d imagine my dogs, if they could speak, would never tell you that their work is done. They seem to be just as committed to their daily routines, as I am to mine. So maybe all those clichés about how it’s a “dog-eat-dog world” and how you’re “dog tired” after a long day actually do hold some water. And just to drive my point home, here are the top three things every copywriter and canine companion out there can agree on.

  1. Finish What You Started in Burning FontWhen you have a bone,  don’t stop chewing on it until it’s all gone. We go through dog bones very quickly in my house; my dogs are hard workers when it comes to rawhide, pig ears, or milk bones, especially my Elkhound, Marble. Elkhounds are a working breed: when they have a task, they see it through to the end. Similarly, when I have a deadline, there’s no stopping me from reaching it.  I have a few thoughts as to why copywriters and canines feel this way about their “work.” First, staying busy is good. Staying busy means you have something important going on and you’re actively working toward a goal. For Marble, it’s showing that bone who’s boss. For me, it’s earning my living and expanding my portfolio. Second, when one bone is done that means another bone is coming. When I’m done working for one client, or finished with editing one article, I’m just as excited to tackle the next challenge as Marble is to get her next treat.
  2. Please people first and belly rubs and bacon are sure to follow. As copywriters, we know how to put words and ideas together to communicate emotion, promote brands, and connect people. But all too often we fall into the “too busy to care” mentality when we let our hygiene go and forget to put on pants. At times like these, it’s important to remember that we are in the business of working for people and creating content for people. Forgetting our customers can be deadly to our careers. Likewise, no matter how busy my dogs are chasing a squirrel or destroying their newest toy, they will always come when called because they aim to please. Without a happy owner, there is no happy dog. And without a happy customer, there is no successful copywriter. Sometimes it’s painful to agree with the “customer is always right” policy, but in the end, it’s the right thing to do to ensure continued business and referrals.
  3. Follow your nose.  Dogs are “smellers, first and foremost. Back when they were just pack dogs, their noses were vital to their survival. Without being able to sniff out a trail or track down some prey, there would be no telling when their next meal would come along. Copywriters have to operate on the same level, especially those of us that are of the freelance variety. Following our instincts, tracking down leads, and figuring out our next plan of attack is critical to earning your keep. Luckily, we have plenty of tools these days to connect us to more clients than ever before, but it’s important to remember that our minds our are sharpest tools. My eight-year-old dog noseChihuahua can still hide bones from the Elkhound and find his way back to it days later. It doesn’t matter how removed, remote, or new you are to the game. Give precedence to your instincts and you’re sure to find a hearty new meal, I mean, client, in no time.

Dogs have always been hard workers, regardless of their size or breed. They are determined and loyal creatures, and copywriters, I believe, are cut from the same cloth. We find creative new ways to accomplish our goals and we keep our ethical guidelines simple. Next time you are feeling the walls of your deadline crashing in around you, look to your canine companion for support or inspiration. And then maybe give them a little love or bacon strip.

Gina Vinnitsky is an SEO Copywriter for Pete Wise SEO, the premier Denver SEO agency. Their approach to SEO Copywriting is sustainable, creative, and effective. Check out their website to see their process, as well as to find information on all the great services they offer.

Previous post:

Next post: