Jon Barbuti - Senior Copywriter

15 years at the BBC writing and editing copy

Who i am

A few words on me...

Being British, I hate trying to promote myself, but even I must admit my writing credentials are decent. I’m a published author; I worked as a senior BBC journalist for a decade, I had a national newspaper column for two years and I’ve written on autism for the BBC, Lots of my credits are the BBC – but if you’re going to work at one place for a decade, that’s not a bad one to choose. 

Oh, I also launched a hugely successful BBC newsletter, created promo copy for the BBC homepage  and have writing credits for a national TV channel. Possibly the BBC.

Away from Auntie, I have worked as a freelance copywriter for an SEO agency, creating content for businesses of all sizes across a huge variety of industries. Now I think of it, one of the clients had the initials BBC – BUT IT WASN’T THAT BBC.  They were actually bathroom fitters.  Whatever the remit, I’ll find the right, err, words.

As a former chief sub editor, I have a stunning eye for accuracy and detail and am a proven expert in writing catchy headlines.

My favourite? Box to Box Midfielder, for a story about Michael Ballack going on reality TV (and more than 2 million page impressions to a throwaway story shows it grabbed attention too).

Writing Credits and Clients

Benefits of experience in journalism

Journalists - they rank somewhere inbetween politicians and executioners in terms of careers you want your kids to go into. However, it turns out there are a few advantages to hiring an experienced journalist as your copywriter

Headlines

Headlines are key to selling a story – encouraging people to read. This skill ensures the top line of your copy grabs attention.

Research

Journalists can write on any topic with accuracy and for a broad audience. They understand how to effectively research and acquire information.

Flow of information

You want the copy to flow, to keep the reader engaged and also include key information first. A good journalist has written this way thousands of times.

Fast turnaround

Journalists have to file copy on time – those of us who started in print know the pressures of the impending deadline. Why pay for procrastination?

Six of my best

Marathon man

A feature for the BBC on how my son’s autism motivated me to run the London Marathon – read by around 500,000 people.

I'm all in

Penning a popular poker column for a national paper for more than two years – and somehow coming up with fresh topics.

Niche work

Becoming an expert on topics to deliver top-ranking pages. E.g. Gingivitis vs Periodontitis. Also, the complete guide to airspace development.

Teacher's pet

Writing a book on teacher training and being compared to Bill Bryson by The Times.

No spam here

Developing a BBC Sport newsletter, which morphed into an Olympics newsletter. CTRs more than double the expected average.

Kurt fricking Angle

Chatting with Olympic gold medallist and WWE legend Kurt Angle as part of the BBC’s Olympics coverage.

The Blog

A Professional Writer...

Is accurate

Copy is error-free, every fact is researched, the grammar is sound and the typos and spelling mistakes removed long before a draft is sent to the client.

The professional writer understands the impact not just of the perfectly crafted words but also that one error can undo all the good work. If your brand values are accuracy and quality, a single spelling mistake can be enough to put doubt in a reader’s mind.

I was a chief sub editor for the BBC for five years, consequently you will not find a higher level of accuracy.

Can write on any topic

I love 1980s and 90s pop, I adore horror films. I could bash out a blog on either with zero prep.

We can all write a few pars on our areas of personal interest, but the professional writer can write about anything – that’s because they understand that the fundamentals of good writing are not linked to the topic under discussion.

I have clients who are engineers, others who sell motorhomes and several cosmetic surgeons. My Google recommended ads are a nightmare.

Writes for the audience

A common problem for many websites is that while the text is accurate, it is written by experts  (usually an employee), who actually has too much knowledge.

A professional writer, especially those who have worked as journalists for world-leading news organisations (hint, hint) write for the audience. 

Who do you want to be reading your site and what is their level of knowledge? Typically, a site’s message needs simplifying – your poor, dumb ex-journalist is the perfect person to do this as they first have to simplify it for themselves before they can start writing! 

can help you achieve goals

There isn’t much point just having words on a page, there isn’t even much point having words on a page that ranks well on Google.

The words have to achieve something. That might be a sale, it might be brand awareness or for editorial sites it might be to increase time on site and recirculation.

The copy has to have the highest standards of accuracy, be professional and yet also stand out because the tone is perfect for the intended audience.

can improve existing copy

If you have existing copy, having new versions created might be expensive overkill.

A professional writer with copy editing experience can enhance your existing literature and also explain the edits to help you with future content creation.

Is able to offer advice

Professional writing relates to the results of the writing as well as the writing itself – for instance you could have a page that is grammatically perfect yet the stats show it isn’t delivering results.. Any writer you hire should deliver tangible results.

“Jon held a number of senior editorial positions within the BBC and excelled in them all. He can plan editorial content, write and also enhance any existing content on site.
 
“Jon is a highly talented writer and sub-editor and can also plan editorial content and lead on projects. One particular highlight was the wonderfully engaging newsletter he produced for our BBC Sport’s Olympics coverage.
 
“He demonstrates superb attention to detail.”

Ben Gallop

Editor, BBC Sport

My services

Copywriting

With 20+ years experience writing for the BBC, national media and business, I produce copy that makes the impact you seek.

Copy editing

As a former chief sub editor I have edited millions of words, imporving copy for accuracy, meaning and flow. Worried your existing copy isn't doing its job? I can help.

Website copy audit

Want an expert eye to be cast over your website, with recommendations made relating to tone and style?
Not sure where to start with the words on your site - you suspect the text isn't perfect but aren't sure why?
I can give your site an audit and provide a full written report based on decades of experience. in online media

Writing for search / S.E.O

Do you need copy specifically to rank for terms relating to your business or project?
I have SEO expertise, this including an abilityt to research keywords related to your niche. However, I also passionately believe that the copy has to work on two levels - both to rank and engage the reader. I ensure both are achieved.

Newsletter creation and curation

I launched and then managed two newsletters while at the BBC, including one for the Olympics with a six-digit D-list. Always engaging and informative, we achieved click-through rates double the expected average.

Proofreading

Proofreading can vary from simply spotting typos and grammatical errors through to making suggestions for style, tone and meaning. Let's discuss your requirements - fast turnaround available.

Contact me for...

Copywriting

Website copy, blogs, articles, features, advertising ideas and copy.
I can write to your style or edit existing copy with complete accurayc, err, accuracy.

Newsletters

I created newsletters for BBC Sport and the 2016 Olympics that had hundreds of thousands of users and superb engagement rates. I've also created and managed newsletters for business.

SEO

I have provided the copy that has helped dozens of sites rank for their target keywords.
Just as importantly, the pages read well, they are written for humans, not bots

Call me (or ideally drop a WhatsApp)...

Am I the copywriter for you?

Possibly.

I don’t know who you are, I don’t know what copy you require, I can’t guess the tone you seek. 

Anything I could write here to demonstrate I’m the person for you would have to be generic enough to appeal to everyone and anyone.

Let’s avoid that generic copy – instead, let’s discuss your requirements, both in terms of copy and tone. I can even ping you a few pars free of charge just so can get a sense of whether I’m the writer for you.

So, with this module now full of enough text to balance the page, let’s leave it there. You need a writer, I can write – let’s chat.

Phone: + 44 07738 555479
Email: hello@jonbarbuti.net
Let's chat on WhatsApp