Q: Who the heck are you anyway?
A: I’m a freelance copywriter outside of Boston, Mass. I’ve been in business since 2002, and writing has always been my passion. I’ve also been an adjunct college professor (taught a first-semester writing course at Massachusetts School of Law and a course in public speaking at Stonehill College) and a radio maven (morning show producer, promotions director, DJ for Magic 106.7). What else? I’m an autodidact (look it up) by nature. When I got the teaching gig, I re-learned all the grammar and punctuation rules I’d forgotten, misplaced, or ignored. I can now tell you what a gerund is (not that it will really help you in life) and how and when to use a semicolon (short answer: don’t). I’m a creative writer, first and foremost. Check out my author website to learn more. The freelancing affords me the time and mental space to work on my creative endeavors: short stories like this one, novels, personal essays, etc. (oh, yeah: I hold an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University).
Q: Why did you decide to launch the “Ask the Copy Bitch” blog?
A: It’s a paean (look it up) to Miss Snark’s blog (dear dog, do I miss that woman). Miss Snark was (and still is) an anonymous NYC literary agent who doled out tons of advice and a whole lotta laughs to writers like me on her blog. The blog went dark in May of 2007 (it’s still accessible; tons of useful info on there if you’re a novelist or nonfiction writer). No one knows who Miss Snark is (but I have theories). I decided to take things one step further by being perfectly transparent with my identity. The other reasons for launching the blog? I like helping business owners, marketers, students, and people in general. I answer questions all the time anyway…I might as well share my answers with more people.
Q: So you’ll answer any questions I ask about copywriting or marketing or something related?
A: Expertise in a certain area doesn’t require that you have all the answers; it requires that you know where to look for the answers (note: this is an example of correct semicolon usage). I’m not above saying, “Gee, I don’t know, but let me see if I can find out.” I’ll happily answer–for free–any questions that I can (and even more happily provide my opinions, which are always honest and sometimes fueled by sarcasm and wit). And I’ll search for the answers I don’t know (within reason, people…I need time to obsess about Mr. Clooney).
Q: How do I ask you a question?
A: Email me: email@example.com.
Q: How long does it take you to answer?
A: Depends on my work load, but my goal is to answer your question within a few business days.
Q: Why do you call yourself a bitch?
A: Because I can take a joke. It’s a joke. Right? RIGHT?
Q: Do you have a business website?
A: Sure do: www.etrobbins.com
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: Since August 2002. But I’ve been writing all my life.
Q: Your business name is E.T. Robbins Productions. Who the heck is E.T. Robbins?
A: It’s me. And it’s a long story. My company is a perfect example of the concept of “thinking things through” and what not to name your company. But it was 2002, a lifetime ago, and I’ve learned buckets and buckets since then. Here’s a newsletter from my archive that provides tips on naming products and services.
Q: Your tone is very conversational. You even swear sometimes. And poke fun at the people who ask you stuff.
A: You’re absolutely correct it’s conversational. You got a problem with that? And was there a fucking question in there, bucko? 🙂
Q: What if I disagree with your advice?
A: No one’s perfect.
Q: What if I implement your advice and FAIL?
A: I’m not responsible. No, seriously. Running a successful business involves experimenting, taking risks, and failing sometimes. I can’t and do not guarantee that my copywriting advice will work for everyone, every business, or every situation. Oh, and I’m not a lawyer, so don’t take anything I say as legal advice. Ever.
Q: What if you make a mistake, like write “your” when you mean “you’re”?
A: It probably means I was typing too fast and proofreading while drinking. Please point out my mistakes. I’m not perfect, and I’d rather fix them than have them out there.
Q: What the heck is that image at the top of your blog?
A: It’s supposed to be a quote balloon. Get it? (I’m a writer, not a designer.)
Q: You realize it could be construed as a phallic symbol, right?
Q: I think I might love you. Are you single?
A: Betrothed to George C. But accepting applications for Plan B.