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David Ogilvy On Writing

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David Ogilby, an ad man from the 40s and 50s, was a brilliaint guy and is often quoted.

Some of his most famous quotes are:

“The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife.”

“If it does not sell than it is not creative”

“Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.”

He can teach every writer a few new tricks about persuasive writing. Anything David Ogilvy ever wrote is worth reading.

On September 7th, 1982, David Ogilvy sent the following internal memo to all his agency employees, titled “How to Write”:

The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather. People who think well, write well.

Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches.

Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints:

1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.

2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.

3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.

4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.

5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.

6. Check your quotations.

7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.

8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.

9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.

10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.


And here is my advice about being a writer:

Stop thinking about it and start writing.

Begin writing today, and write every day, even if it's only for 30 minutes.

And don't keep your writing 'light' under a bushel (or in a draw or on a hard drive). Publish it or send it to a publisher.

Act now on your writing dream and you won't be sorry.

Begin by downloading The 12 Month Writing Challenge and start working straight away.

This course holds you by the proverbial hand and takes you step by step through building a writing career and an online presence.

Read more about what you'll discover at:

And I'll see your work online and in print real soon.

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