Tag Archives: Gina Martin

B&W photo of a girl writing for Caroline Gibson's blog on differences between copywriting and blogging

What’s The Difference Between Copywriting And Blogging?

A blogger writes to inform (web content) while a copywriter writes to persuade (press ads, posters, TV and radio ads and websites too). To put it bluntly: a blogger bares their soul; a copywriter sells their soul.

Essentially, blogging and copywriting are about words and ideas? Right. And about making a topic interesting to read? Right? So if you can write articulately, you can be both? Wrong.

Here’s a quick guide to six differences between a blogger and a copywriter.

B&W photo of a girl riding fr Caroline Gibson's blog on differences between copywriting and blogging

1. Cost (paying peanuts v paying nuggets)
Look at People Per Hour or any other content mill and you’ll find plenty of bloggers at very low prices who charge by the word. Problem is, charging by the word means you won’t get paid very much.

As a copywriter, you charge by the project and for your time: in going through the client brief, in discussion with the client, in thinking, in researching, in advising, in writing, and in revising.

2. Limitations (self promotion v sales promotion)
As a blogger, you have no restrictions about what to write (unless writing a blog for a client). Write for yourself and you can build up zillions of followers and become a brand ambassador, with trusted, authentic and relevant content.

Forbes claims that businesses look for influencers with at least 100,000 followers – but too many followers are bought today (outrage!) so there’s now a lurch towards the micro influencer as king or queen of product promotion. They have highly targeted communities who are also highly engaged. Therefore, they offer quality rather than quantity with Instagram being the kingdom they rule over.

As a copywriter, you’re paid to do the hard work in promoting a client’s brand. I guess it’s self promotion too though as the better the work you do, the more you’ll also get known and the better the work you’ll get.

3. Experience (learn the easy way v learn the hard way)
Want to be a blogger? Put pen to paper, find your voice and start writing.

Want to be a copywriter? Team up with an art director. Get work experience if you can. Get a job in an ad agency if you can. Spend ages building up a portfolio. And win some awards.

Being a copywriter is tough because, unlike a blogger and unless you’re freelance or run your own agency, you’re not the boss of you.

4. Voice (dance to your own tune or dance to someone else’s fiddle)
If blogging for yourself, you can do your own thing.

If writing a blog for a client or copy for a client, you have to do theirs. And you have to be bendily versatile. Can you write authoritatively about a new laser hair removal device one day, and prosaically about a new perfume the next?

5. Mindset (self preservation v self determination)
There’s a lot in the press about the challenges that bloggers and vloggers face, from the difficulties of maintaining a ‘yes, I’m still loved – phew’ following to the agonies of having to become an agony aunt for fans.

When I interviewed social media campaigner, Gina Martin, she discussed how being a blogger can be quite a lonely thing for some. One friend of hers is a well-known blogger who works from home every single day with hundreds of thousands of people who know exactly who she is and feel like they’re her BFF, yet she doesn’t know any of them. She receives 150 emails a day that are tragic and hard to read, and that carry a lot of emotional weight.

As a copywriter, can you remain professional at all times and respond efficiently to client feedback yet still retain the award-winning part of an idea while managing to keep everyone happy?

6. The long and the short of it (waxing lyrically v waxing back)
Writing a lot of words isn’t easy. Most copywriters learn to think in short sentences. Snappy ones, too. And start sentences with and.

Copywriting is about persuading, so there’s a limited amount of space/time in a press ad or 30” TV commercial anyway to make a point.

As a blogger, you have the freedom to go on and on. And on.

Do I blog? No – and yes.
My home page states that I don’t write blogs for clients. It’s not strictly true but due to the type of enquires I’ve received in the past (see point 1), I’ve had to add it. However I currently write one or two blogs a week for a major international brand.

I’m always happy to write blogs for clients who realise the true value of one that’s well researched, well written and well optimised. And who’ll therefore pay well for blogging expertise, instead of paying peanuts.

Written by Caroline Gibson who will write blogs for any client who can recognise that adding value doesn’t mean cutting costs.

E: caroline@carolinegibson.co.uk T: +44 (0) 7957 567766

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Photo of Gina Martin, the social media writer campaigning against upskirting, discusses how she has used social media to make upskirting a criminal offence

What Does Creativity Mean To You: The Social Media Influencer

Gina Martin describes herself as a ‘writer + campaigner here for equality, planet earth and bloody good fashion,’ She was a victim of upskirting at a festival in 2017 and has used the power of social media in campaigning to make this a sexual offence in England and Wales.

Photo of Gina Martin, the social media writer campaigning against upskirting, discusses how she has used social media to make upskirting a criminal offence

CG: Were you as active on social media before the upskirting incident?
GM: I guess it’s rocketed a bit because I’d never used it in this particular way.  I’d always posted a lot on Instagram and worked in a digital agency, so I know how social media works, and understand the real value of it. But it wasn’t until the upskirting incident happened that social media became a different type of tool for me.

I found a selfie of me and my sister that we’d taken at the festival before the upskirting had happened and the guys were in the background. I posted it on Facebook and Twitter, captioned ‘The police can’t do anything to help me; the law can’t do anything to help me.’ I asked a bunch of influential friends to share it because I was so upset and just wanted the guys to be embarrassed. It went viral quickly so I created a petition. Once numbers started coming up and comments, I asked TV producers if they’d talk about the issue, saying ‘Look how many people care about this … we should be talking about this because it’s not a sexual offence.’ 

Social media isn’t about socialising anymore; it’s become so much more powerful than that.

CG: How have you maximised using social media to help your upskirting campaign?
GM: It’s been a pretty big learning curve. Social media became a galvanising tool for a community, activating people and getting them interested. With your own personal social accounts, you can just be shouting into a crowd of people you don’t know; there’s no connections being made. So the really interesting bit was in connecting different platforms. I’d be promoting a petition through Facebook ads with money behind it, which I would then share elsewhere. I had more industry professionals following me on Twitter, while there was a different audience on my Instagram with young women growing up in a world which is very, very active socially and they’re looking for things to grab hold of and to help with.

I started doing a lot of media interviews and found my lawyer at the height of that media attention. I went on Twitter to different law charities and law firms, asking for a lawyer to represent me. I said I didn’t have any money but that this was becoming a really high media case and that we can change this law if we really try.  I’ve now been working with Ryan Whelan, a criminal lawyer, pro bono for a year and a half now; he’s the best person in the world!

CG: Is there anything now you wish you’d done differently?
GM: In terms of the actual process of the campaign, I wouldn’t change anything. Even the whole Chope thing worked in our favour because that was like a live troll saying ‘n’o to protecting women, which gave us even more support. But I would change the way I dealt with social media because I don’t think I was ready for the attention and the pressure that came with it. I got a lot of online abuse and rape threats. So I could’ve protected myself better in that way.  That’s difficult to foresee when you’re working on so many things at once.

CG: There’s been a lot in the press about the challenges of being a blogger or vlogger: the loneliness and the reputation to be maintained. What challenges have you faced?
GM: With the social media landscape, you’ve a whole bunch of people going very fast into something that’s incredibly fulfilling. It’s wonderful that we’re hearing more and more people’s voices instead of just looking up to a celebrity who feels untouchable.

A couple of my friends are really big bloggers and the emotional baggage that comes with it is massive because you’re like a best friend to followers. They feel they know you because you let them so much to your life and talk about a lot of personal stuff.  One friend gets 150 emails a day that are tragic and hard to read: it’s a lot of emotional weight to take on. There’s half a million people who can get in touch with her as easily as I can get in touch with you now.

I get messages every week with detailed accounts of sexual violence. It’s really hard because you want to be a confidante but I’m not qualified to give advice and don’t have the time to reply to everyone. I forward these on to people I know at different charities who are qualified to help. 

I’ll always be a writer, but one with a little activism streak.

CG: What lies in store next?
GM: I’ve always cared about social issues but never really had the opportunity to actually do something until this came along. So that’s probably me started on that road now. I want to tackle some of the issues on social media platforms next – the privacy and community standards – and try to make them a little safer for people.

CG: Define what creativity means to you.
GM: It’s the joy of having original ideas and an authentic voice, and being able to create something that’s innately what you care about – without any parameters. For me, personally, that means making people’s lives a little bit better or a little bit more positive or a little bit more joyful along the way.

Read Gina’s blog, follow her#StopSkirtingTheIssue campaign @ginamartin_uk on Instagram and Twitter and see the three things you can do to change the law.

(Photo by Liv Purvis)

Written by Caroline Gibson, freelance copywriter, as the fifth article in her series of blogs on what creativity means to people blazing the way in their particular field. 

E: caroline@carolinegibson.co.uk T: +44 7957 567766

P.S. Follow on Twitter