Copywriting: Five Simple Power-Ups To Make Business Writing Shine

Frank Coles
6 min readAug 20, 2020


Write Better Copy For Fun And Profit

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Copywriting for corporates was my cash cow for many years. I’d worked as a journalist — which was great work but didn’t pay much — and then one day thought, “Let’s make more money.”

I sent out a cheekily worded email to the head of every agency in the city I was then living in — Dubai — and they responded. Before I knew it I had so much work coming in I had to take on two part-timers to pretend to be me.

These power-ups gave me the ability to make $500 a day take-home when I started out in the noughties and I was usually done by lunchtime unless I had meetings.

During that time I worked on the otherworldy property, infrastructure and banking developments that made Dubai what it is today. It was fascinating, exciting and life-affirming working with everyone from the Sheikh’s office to the heads of world banks, billionaires, engineers, world famous architects, celebrities, you name it.

And over time I realized that no matter what I wrote — brand positions and guidelines, press releases, end of year reports, product launches, scripts, internal eyes-only documents, ad hoardings on the side of buildings, press ads, brochures, emails, chairman’s letters . . . you get the idea — I always came back to the same five steps to make every corporate document shine.


Corporate writing tends to be:

  • Too wordy
  • Written as if trying to impress a bank manager or a school teacher (Basically anyone who would tell you not to start a sentence with a preposition)
  • Passive
  • Clichéd
  • Edited by committee
  • Plagiarized
  • Disorganized
  • Repetitive
  • Boring
  • Inconsistent

So, using the 80/20 rule (before Tim Ferriss made it popular), I found that no matter what sleep-deprived state I found myself in or whatever ridiculous unrealistic deadline arrived — I could make any document better with these simple strategies.



Frank Coles

Atypical entrepreneur, polymath, author, single-dad, scientist, hack, propagandist, adventurer. ~ featured in NatGeo, BBC, Guardian, Esquire, Top Gear