Senior Copywriter, editor & proofreader

15 years at the BBC writing and editing copy

Because words matter

Words have been the focus of my entire 20+ year career, culminating in a decade spent in senior editorial positions at the BBC.

I have written and edited millions of words and yet each individual sentence has mattered. Headlines have to be short, snappy and attention grabbing, body copy has to flow. When you write and edit copy seen by a huge audience any small mistake is a major problem.

My postgrad is from one of the UK’s leading universities for journalism, I followed that by working for leading publications.

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

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, there is an accountant, water jet cutting specialist, dentist and more. 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.

Six of my best

Kurt fricking Angle

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

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.

No spam here

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

Teacher's pet

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

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.

The Blog

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