Thank you for dropping by, to the one page where I’m allowed to talk about me – rather than what I can do for you and your business...
Since 2006, I've styled myself as The Gloucestershire Copywriter to reflect my commitment to supporting organisations in Gloucestershire and neighbouring counties, Since then, I’ve provided freelance copywriting support for people like you and organisations like yours. And from time to time, I venture further afield to write for clients elsewhere in the UK.
I specialise in marketing copywriting, technical copy, website and SEO copy, PR writing, copy-editing and customer case-study writing. These are the areas where my background in technical sales, marketing management, technical writing and public relations really seems to add value for my clients.
I rarely touch conceptual advertising work, direct response or those ‘American sales letters’. They’re just not my thing. I particularly enjoy writing about products and services with a strong technical content and well-defined benefit propositions. That said, I’ve written on topics as diverse as beauty treatments, farriery, aerospace and screw piling. I guess you could say I’m a good all rounder with a wide range of interests.
I use my skills, experience and passion for writing to help you get vital copywriting off your to-do list and working for you in the market. It's the writing that you don’t have the time, inclination or specialist skills to write yourself. While I research, think and write, you can get on with what you do best for your organisation.
When we work together, you get my skills and experience and mine alone. I don’t employ anyone or subcontract work out. Sometimes this is challenging, when things get busy. Most of the time, however, it’s an important USP. I won’t be doing things differently in future. You get my undivided attention from first enquiry to delivery of your copy. My existing clients like that and I’m sure you will too.
Ideally, my clients are within about an hour’s drive of my Cheltenham office so I can give them the attentive service they deserve. Despite what some copywriters say about remote working, I’ve found that face-to-face contact still matters – many of my clients think so too.
At the moment, I only work for UK-domiciled organisations. I mainly work from home, but you might be able to tempt me onto site for a couple of days a week if the coffee’s good, you have a nice office dog or you are near an airport or helicopter base!
I’m fortunate that most of my work now comes from referral, networking or repeat business. Of course, I’m always delighted when new clients find me for the first time. If that's you, welcome to my writing world – here's what it's like to work with me
Please don’t ask me to write hard-core adult content, copy for the tobacco industry, ads for cheap puppies or anything unethical or illegal. By the way, my scam radar is well-tuned…
Just as many people have helped me over the years, I’ll always try to help students or aspiring copywriters with advice, unfortunately I can't take you on for job-shadowing or work experience, but I'm happy to respond to email. Sorry I can't do more; there's only one Al Hidden.
I’ve always written and came runner up in a national short story competition run by Barclays Bank when I was at school. Then I studied geography, went into the building products industry and quickly realised that I didn’t want to be a quarry manager. Sales and marketing caught my imagination, so I built a career in the construction materials industry. Having got my head around technical sales, market analysis and marketing management I worked in packaging and saw my future route towards doing more writing – and finding something that I could continue with as long as the writing bug excited me.
Next, I trained as a technical writer, joined a major tech pubs firm and found a niche as a technical copywriter – mainly doing the copywriting and copy-rich technical writing that nobody else wanted to (or could) do. For six years, I got loads of useful experience – I even worked on the Airbus A380 manuals for a couple of months. Then I saw the potential of a freelance career as a way to determine my own future and avoid retirement further down the line…
So I spent a year at a technical PR agency, wrote a novel, and couldn’t find an agent. By then I’d realised that everything I’d done since 1981 had led me to where I was meant to be. So, in 2006 I started my freelance copywriting business as the Gloucestershire Copywriter.
A long contract writing for London’s Metropolitan Police meant that I had to go freelance full-time. So I did, and I haven’t looked back. Every day’s different. I love the variety and ‘work’ rarely feels like work. Thank you to everyone who believes in me and my writing and entrusts their their copywriting, copy-editing and CV writing to me. After a decade and a half of copywriting, I think I can fairly describe myself as an advanced copywriter. But of course, I'm still learning...
I believe in being generous and helping good causes and I like supporting worthwhile causes in my community.. That’s why I've done pro bono copywriting for causes including the North Devon Animal Ambulance (NDAA) and Cheltenham Neighbourhood Watch. But woe-betide anyone who tries to take the p**s. Fortunately, I seem to find (or be found by) really lovely clients. Thank you all.
As you’d expect, I adore writing and editing and everything connected with it. I love music of all sorts too, as well as reading, walking, defensive driving, playing guitar (badly), song writing, travelling (especially in Switzerland) and improving my German. And I'm fascinated by helicopters and submarines...
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