Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ho! Ho! Ho!

I would like to wish all of the friends, clients and supporters of The Letterbug a very merry Christmas. What a wonderful year The Letterbug has enjoyed in 2009!

It's easy to get caught up in life and forget all of the things we can be thankful for, but Christmas often provides us the space we need for some reflection. I know I have been blessed by the opportunity write for so many amazing people this year, and help them create a buzz around their businesses. I look forward to doing so much more in 2010!

I will be taking a short break over Christmas to spend time with friends and family (and Dot of course!), but will be back and raring to go from Monday 11th January, 2010.

Wishing you a Christmas filled with love, peace and happiness.

Jen x

Thursday, November 26, 2009

5 Questions @ The Letterbug: Mel Quick - Green Goat

Hi there!

While gazing out of my office window the other day (searching for inspiration??), I had a bright idea! Let's throw some crazy questions at my clients and see what they can come up with in response.

Mel Quick from Green Goat has a good sense of fun and adventure, so she most nobly agreed to be the first to tackle "5 Questions @ The Letterbug". Here's what happened...

1. If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Wow, straight up you have given me a tough one! Having recently taken my sister to the Pink concert I was leaning towards one of her songs, I admire her for her strength and independence. However, one of the things that I put a great deal of emphasis on in operating my business is customer service. I am not one of the “big guys” and I like the fact that personal contact with each of my customers. Also having my own children I can relate to my customers and give them my own honest opinion on what products work and what doesn’t. Therefore, I am going to go with “We are family” by Sister Sledge, it has a catchy vibe and I am sure could be turned into a funky Green Goat jingle.

2. Chocolate milkshake or iced green tea?
Is this even a question? Of course chocolate milkshake!

3. What mantra do you repeat to get yourself through a bad day?

I am quite an easygoing person, so it takes quite a lot to rattle me. I just try not to sweat the small stuff, in the end it only takes up valuable energy that I could be putting into something worthwhile.

4. Sam or Greg for Yellow Wiggle?

I am sitting on the fence here, they are both excellent entertainers and are obviously very committed to their job, I often wonder when they see their own families. I really felt for Greg and his sudden departure from the Wiggles, going to shows and looking back at DVDs it was clear that he really loved his job, and I always believe if you love what you do you will be successful at it. I have taken my daughter to a concert with Sam and she thoroughly enjoyed it, admittedly she was quite young but she didn’t even notice that Greg wasn’t there (sorry Greg).

5. If you were stranded on a desert island and could take only one thing from Green Goat, what would it be?

Ahh, that sounds nice.... sorry I drifted off on the 'being stranded on an island' bit, back to the question at hand. A Cocoon Bean Bag would be really good for lounging around in, a Seedling Outdoor Explorer Set would also be great to check out all the critters and a Sparkle T Cupcakes Puzzle to keep my mind occupied. I know you only said one thing, but it is too hard - I love all the things that I stock!

Thanks Mel for being such a good sport - you breezed through your 5 Questions a@ The Letterbug with total class!

To learn more about Green Goat and the beautiful range of traditional toys and clothes they sell, click here.

Jen x

Thursday, November 12, 2009

6 ways to get your writing humming

While its nice to have a lovely Letterbug to write copy for you, from time to time there's a good chance that you will either want to, or have to do some writing of your own.

Don't panic! If you take the following 6 things into account next time you sit down to write, I guarantee you will get a better result.

Here we go:

1. If you are writing about yourself or your business, its not just what you do that matters, it is why you do it better than the rest that sets you apart from the mob - so spell it out!

2. First impressions count - the electronic age means we're now more impatient than ever. You need to grab your reader's attention within the first few seconds by using some well chosen words to engage the reader.

3. Write the same way as you would talk. Techno jargon, biospeak etc. limits your ability to communicate and connect with readers. Personality on the other hand draws readers in. Its a bit like the Apple adverts with stiff, suit-wearing PC and cool, easy-going Mac.

4. Who are you writing for? You always need a target reader in mind. When writing, imagine you are talking to one potential customer. What would you say to them?

5. Stand out from the crowd and don't copy your competitors. It is far better to be fresh, unique and original.

6. Ditch any techo industry speak and use words that sell instead. As an expert in your field you might know what you mean, but chances are your readers may not.

So there you have it - 6 ways to get your writing humming a pretty tune. Remember them when you are next required to write something (anything!), and just go for it. You might really impress yourself! And if all else fails - you know where to find The Letterbug!!
Jen x

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Grammar on the porch #3

Is it just me, or do high school English classes slide further and further away with every year? Thank goodness I have "Grammar on the Porch". Good old Grammar loves to visit The Letterbug from time to time for a nice cup of tea and a natter about the English language. She knows we know - really she does. But just in case...

Image kindly supplied by Toni Grote - visit to see more of her beautiful artwork

It's vs. Its

Grammar loves to make you to look like clever young things every time you write. Today she wants to remind you that sometimes our use of seemingly harmless little words can be like sour milk in your Earl Grey to your writing. So, let's ensure we are using these two correctly!
Many people trip over the use of it's vs. its - so let Grammar explain it for you.

"It's" is a contraction of “it is” or “it has”.
- It's time for a Nanna-nap.
- It's a long way to the top, if you want to rock and roll!

"Its" is a possessive pronoun.
- This lamington has lost its coconut.
- My cat walks with its head (and tail) held high.

The confusion between it's and its occurs because on just about every other word, 's indicates possession. So we naturally want to use it's to mean "something belonging to it." But don't be tricked! It's is only used when it's a contraction of it is or it has.

Grammar's money-back guaranteed rule - if you can replace the word with "it is" or "it has," use it's. Otherwise, it's always its.

Now then, it's rather sunny on the porch this afternoon, and the sun is kicking out its summer-strength rays. Don't forget to slip, slop, slap dears....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dot's Giggle Spot #4

Dot likes a good laugh, as do most people in this world. It is something worth remembering when trying to come up with a new catch phrase, headline, or in this case - business name.
Take a look:

I think its hard not to at least smile, but then with two young boys I am often reduced to this kind of humour...

While it might be a little too much for some, I think this picture illustrates the point that a little bit of humour can go a looooonng way.
Jen x

Thursday, October 8, 2009

BUG BITS - Bambooty

One of the things I love about my job is that I am always learning. In writing about my client's businesses and products I am exposed to all sorts of cool things that would otherwise escape me.

The following project was no exception, although sadly I may have done well to learn about modern cloth nappies about four years ago, when Hatchling No.1 was born. Sigh...

Well, there's no point dwelling on 'what if's, so instead I would love to show you the Easy Nappies flyer I wrote for the gorgeous Amelia at Bambooty. The brief was to create a set of care instructions that were light-hearted and fun, but got the message across clearly.

Here's the result:

And the inside two pages of the flyer, once prettied up by Amelia's clever graphic designer, looked like this:

If you'd like to learn more about Bambooty and these rather nifty Easy Nappies, click here.

There was a rather tight deadline to meet on this project in order to have the flyers ready for a special Bambooty event in September. It was so satisfying to knock that deadline out of the park with a big "Woo Woo!!"

Love it, love it, love it I do!

Jen x

Thursday, October 1, 2009

5 things this copywriter won't do...

Its been a while since I provided an overview of what The Letterbug can do, so if you'd like to know more click here.

I also want to tell you about what The Letterbug will NOT do. Sometimes you just have to draw the line, you know? Its not so much a matter of pride as an unrelenting desire to do my best work for clients (ie. you). Oh, and if you're looking for a copywriter, this list might assist with the process!
  1. I won't begin writing for you without a brief. Nope, sorry - no way. Now that doesn't mean you need to complete a questionnaire of epic proportions (unless you're into that kind of thing - I'm not), but a chat and a short briefing document provides an insight into your ideas and objectives for the project. Without a creative brief, how can a copywriter understand what you are trying to achieve?

  2. I won't be silent throughout the project, relying solely on absurdly long questionnaires as a substitute for talking things through. Hey, as the baby of my family - talking is almost as important to me as breathing. What can I say, I am a communicator!

  3. I won't do it my way - flexibility is everything. If your deadline is 7 days, then its 7 days. If you like email more than the phone - no problem! Inflexibility often amounts to a lack of empathy, which will limit a copywriter's connection with you and your target audience.

  4. I won't go AWOL. Its all about communication people! Your copywriter should be easy to reach and attentive to your emails and voicemails, responding promptly. Settling for anything less can lead you down the path of serious frustration.

  5. I won't work for you if I fail the ultimate test. Could you imagine hanging out with your copywriter over a beer/chardonnay/cosmopolitan/decaf soy latte?

So there you have it - 5 things The Letterbug won't do.

Collaboration is the key to successful marketing communications. Interaction between you and the copywriter should feel easy, with the writer asking relevant questions and taking care to understand your vision for the project. If you don't connect with one another, this could be tricky.

If you're considering a writer who WILL do any of the five things I have discussed, it might be best continue your search a little longer. You owe it to yourself. Finding the right copywriter will make the world of difference to your project. It will be the start of a great relationship and a sure fire way of getting a result you're happy with.

Jen x

Monday, September 21, 2009

BUG BITS - Green Goat

Its not every day a green goat comes into your life, but that is exactly what happened to me only a few short weeks ago. I met the fun and lovely Mel Quick, founder of gorgeous online children's boutique - Green Goat!

One of Green Goat's stand out items is a range of simple, traditional toys that inspire creativity and also happen to be great fun to play with. As August/September is the time when many publications are putting together their Christmas edition (eek!) we wanted to highlight the joy of traditional toys, with a flavour of the festive season:

How many of us have watched our kids playing with wrapping paper instead of the gift that it contained??!! (I've got my hand up, by the way!)

To find out more about Green Goat click here.

As this press release is the first in our PR plan for 2009/10 you'll hear more about Green Goat here later in the year.

Jen x

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dot's Giggle Spot #3

Worker No.1 - "Err, I doesn't look right Joe - I think something's missing..."

Worker No.2 - "Oh, Bugger."

Spelling is everything!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Grammar on the Porch #2

Is it just me, or do high school English classes slide further and further away with every year? Thank goodness I have "Grammar on the Porch". Good old Grammar loves to visit The Letterbug from time to time for a nice cup of tea and a natter about the English language. She knows we know - really she does. But just in case...

Image kindly supplied by Toni Grote - visit to see more of her beautiful artwork

That vs. Which

Now then dears, it seems to be that some folks get mixed up when it comes to that vs which. Using these words in some circumstances is straight forward and needs no explanation, but in other circumstances it can be ever so confusing. Let me sort it out for you dear.


That introduces essential clauses while which introduces nonessential clauses.


  • I do not trust aerobics classes that claim "Suitable for all ages" because they are often most unsuitable for Grammar (89 years old).

We would not know which aerobics classes were being discussed without the that clause.

  • The aerobics class claiming "suitable for all ages," which appeared in the local newspaper, is on today.

The product is already identified. Therefore, which begins a nonessential clause.

Essential clauses do not have commas surrounding them while nonessential clauses are surrounded by commas.


If this, that, these, or those has already introduced an essential clause, you may use which to introduce the next clause, whether it is essential or nonessential.


  • That is a moment which you will cherish for the rest of your life.

  • Those potatoes, which we've boiled already, do not need to be roasted quite as long.

Often, you can streamline your sentence by leaving out which.


  • That is a moment which you will cherish for the rest of your life.


  • That is a moment you will cherish for the rest of your life.
Oooh, now doesn't all that talk about words make you thirsty? I fancy an Earl Grey with just a drop of milk thank you dear. No, no sugar - its the ruin of all the great leaf beverages you know. But that's another story....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

BUG BITS - Healed

Together with my ever so talented friend and colleague, Prue at Gigi & Lulu, I recently worked on a PR campaign for Anna at Healed.

With springtime looming and a range of footcare products to promote, we decided that the Spring Racing Carnival was the perfect platform for Healed. After all, who doesn't want their feet looking and feeling great as they head out to Flemington on race day? (And a product that helps to prevent blisters is worth knowing about for any occasion where a pair of beautiful yet totally impractical shoes might feature!)

Dip your toe into this:

For more information about the wonderful Healed range, click here.

After a long, boot-wearing winter I know my feet are longing to be Healed - its spring in only how many weeks? What - its already here???


Jen x

Monday, August 31, 2009

Dot's Giggle Spot #2

Wow, this seems a little extreme...

I guess its the male golfers they're having trouble with at this club??
....chuckle chuckle chuckle
Jen x

Friday, August 28, 2009

Are you a Mumpreneur?

I love working with mumpreneurs - love it! Why? Because I get it, I know where mumpreneurs are at. I am right there with them, juggling two pre-school boys, a husband, job, laundry pile and so on.

I cannot overstate the importance of connecting with the people we choose to work with in business. As a copywriter, this connection enables me to truly collaborate with my clients on their copy projects. Our connection means I can't help but keep working until we are both deliriously happy with the final product.

Being a mum of two little people it seems that the connection with other mums in business is almost automatic, instinctive perhaps.

It takes effort, stamina, commitment and vision to be a mumpreneur, and if that is you right now I salute you. You go girl!

Now please excuse me while I go and extract the lego blocks I just watched Hatchling No.2 post into our sub-woofer speaker!

Jen x

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Grammar on the Porch #1

Is it just me, or do high school English classes slide further and further away with every year? Thank goodness I have "Grammar on the Porch". Good old Grammar loves to visit The Letterbug from time to time for a nice cup of tea and a natter about the English language.

She knows we know - really she does. But just in case...

Image kindly supplied by Toni Grote - visit to see more of her beautiful artwork.

There, Their, They're

"Now then dears, at first glance it seems so simple - and it is! But these three words trip up many an unsuspecting writer. That is because these words are homonyms - words that sound alike but have different meanings. Have a wee peek at the the following examples and you'll be set like a jelly on the there/their/they're matter..."

- denotes a place, and means in, at, or to that place.
  • I will pop my tea cosy over there.
  • Could you please leave my knitting in there?
  • There is nowhere like Grammar's house.

- is a determiner belonging to them, a possessive pronoun.

  • Will you get a ride in their car?
  • I want to play in their bowls team.
  • Their sponge cake was the best.

- the contraction of they are. If you can replace "they're" with "they are" then you know you have used the correct homnym

  • They're going to the movies tomorrow.
  • I wonder what they're going to do afterwards?
  • They said they're going out for hot chocolate.

"Its as easy as that dears. Now be a sweetie and pass me another slice of vanilla sponge cake... I'd get it myself only my hip plays up in this weather. You know.... "

Love Grammar X

BUG BITS - Prams in the Park

Since writing a press release for Martine McKee at Prams in the Park I have been inspired. Prams in the Park is a child friendly personal training service located in Melbourne, and the amazing results achieved by Martine's clients when they undertake her Fun Run Training Program are really worth shouting from the rooftops. I don't have much of a shouting voice, so instead we tailored a press release around the program.

Here's a peek:

For more information about Prams in the Park click here.

Any mum reading this will appreciate what a wonderful concept Prams in the Park really is. Although I don't live close enough to have Martine put me through my paces, since commencing this project I have started running again for the first time in years. Hooray!

Jen x

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Passion, man - yeah!

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to a local business women's network, where I met a wonderful bunch of local businesswomen, and listened to an interesting presentation by their guest speaker, Charles Kovess.

Charles spoke about finding your passion - he outlined why it is important, how it can change our lives, ways to reveal your passion. He also shared some funny 'by the ways', which made the session fun.

I like listening to motivational speakers. There is always something to take from what they have to say - even if you don't buy into the whole lot. The running theme throughout Charles' work is 'passion', and it is true that life really does shift to another level when we're passionate about something.

Last night Charles raffled off a place at his one day Passion for Work and Life program (normally $795), which sadly I didn't win - booo!!

Nevertheless, today I will be approaching things with "passion, man" - look out!

Jen x

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dot's Giggle Spot #1

Dot the Ladybird likes to have a giggle from time to time, and nothing makes her laugh more than funny signs from all around the world.

Much like Dot, I also like to have a giggle at this kind of thing - check out this sign...

Hee hee (snort!) - I love it!

However, this sign does highlight the importance of proof reading our writing from an unsuspecting reader's point of view. Its worth making sure that our message is clear and not at risk of being misunderstood! Well, not unless that is your intention.

Dot's Giggle Spot will be a regular feature here at The Letterbug, so make sure you pop in again soon.

Jen x

Friday, July 24, 2009

Introducing Dot

Have I mentioned yet that decision making is not one of my strong suits? Well, its not.

For this reason the lovely ladybird in my logo has remained nameless for quite some time. Despite the loyalty and dedication she has displayed, she has no title, no given name, no surname. Shocking, I know.

Well, this beautiful bug has languished in anonymity for long enough. She now has a name - yes!

I am proud to introduce you to Dot.

The name Dot seemed appropriate on a number of levels, not the least of which is a family connection. Dot is my last remaining grandmother's name, and as a child I thought her name was, um... weird! It was a looong time before I realised Dot was short for Dorothy. My Grandmother is NOT a Dorothy, of that much I am sure. She is just Dot.

My Grandmother in her hey day was strong, fit, bright, and very practical. If she had any marbles left to rub together I think she'd be mostly disapproving of me honouring her name in a ladybird. But since her marbles left her quite some time ago I think she's now likely to be quite pleased!!

Dot the Ladybird has landed.

Jen x

PS: Special thanks to Lou at Lil' Rockers for helping with the decision making process.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

BUG BITS - Cloth Poppy

I recently had the pleasure of working on a press release for Leesa Cowan at the lovely Cloth Poppy. Leesa's country roots made the perfect backdrop for a piece about her beautiful, whimsical range of children's clothing.

I love Cloth Poppy's style and would happily fill my kid's wardrobes with Leesa's beautiful 'tea party skirts' - except that I have two boys and I am pretty sure they wouldn't dig them as much as I do. Sigh...

Here is a snippet of what we produced for Cloth Poppy:

For more details about Cloth Poppy click here.

I wonder if Leesa has considered making tea party skirts for grown ups yet? Hmmm....

Jen x

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What can The Letterbug do?

As a copywriter I undertake all sorts of writing projects, including copy for...
  • websites

  • promotional materials

  • press releases

  • letters

...and the list goes on!

Essentially, regardless of the document being produced I create copy that is clear, easy to understand, flows well, and communicates the desired message.

For some projects I come up with the creative 'angle', while other times my clients have their own ideas that they want me to bring to life. I enjoy both scenarios, and ultimately each project is a collaboration between my client and me.

I plan to share my work with you where I can, so watch this space!

Jen x

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Letterbug Pegs!

As I dashed into the supermarket last night for milk, something caught my eye...

What was I expected to do - leave them there?

Aren't they the cutest little Letterbug pegs ever to exist? I have no idea how to use them, so I invite you to leave me any creative suggestions.

I might not know what to do with these little lovelies, but Lordy I am glad they are mine!

Jen x

Monday, July 13, 2009

Who is The Letterbug anyway?

Who is The Letterbug? Its me!

My name is Jenny and The Letterbug is my copywriting business. I am in my early 30's, married, and have two gorgeous boys aged 1 and 3 - my 'Hatchlings'.

A bit like a ladybird, I love being in our garden, I am a 'worker' by nature, and I like pretty things. Unlike the ladybird I do not enjoy eating aphids and other garden pests - blech!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Welcome to The Letterbug

Hi there.

Welcome to The Letterbug.

My name is Jenny, and for the longest time I have loved writing. In fact, while The Letterbug is in its early days, I have been writing for 29 years. Eeeek! Yes, its 29 years since my prep teacher, Mrs Wild, taught me how to write and I've never looked back.

I have worked for many years in an industry where using the right words means everything. I enjoy the challenge of putting together carefully crafted copy that conveys just the right message. With a strong sales background I understand the impact using the right words can have.

Along the way I have assisted friends and colleagues with many and varied writing projects, and I have finally decided to make the leap.

The Letterbug has landed! A copywriting service, by me.

I love painting pictures with words.
I love getting the right sound, good rhythm and the right tone.
I love reading the fabulous work of other writers.

I also love watching my three year old son try to write his name.

I am the mother of two young boys, aged 1 and 3. You will come to know them as 'The Hatchlings' here at The Letterbug. I also have a wonderful husband who is currently spending plenty of quality time with the t.v while I work feverishly to launch The Letterbug.

I love my house full of boys and couldn't do any of this without them.

You will find a scrapbook of Letterbug projects and other bits and pieces at The Letterbug.

See you soon,

Jen x

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