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Effective Writing Doesn't Have to be Crap

A lot of copywriters will try to tell you that there’s a difference between good writing and effective writing. It’s a lie. Effective writing is good writing. And the better it is the more effective it is.

OLBINA is a copywriter shop located in the Toronto area, producing the highest quality verbal design found anywhere.


Strategy + Execution

Strategy is absolutely essential to success. The OLBINA strategy is all about character branding. We create a strong and stable character base that serves as your brand’s strategic pivot point - giving you the freedom to branch out in any marketing direction without compromising the integrity of your brand.

Character branding is the conceptual opposite of 360-degree branding. It’s the difference between emanating-out and converging-in. We’ve developed this strategy because:

  1. Let’s face it, hiring a company that operates out of a single office to do 360-degree branding is like hiring an SEO company that can’t get its own website to crack google’s top-10.
  2. Not everyone can (or wants to) afford 360-degree branding.
  3. Quality always makes a difference.

The character of your brand is completely determined by the quality of your copy. That’s why it’s impossible to overstate the importance of quality copywriting when it comes to establishing the identity of your brand.

The same way that you get to know a person’s character through the stories and comments told about or by that person, each piece of marketing material builds the identity of your company’s brand. So every communication must either establish or reinforce that identity. With high quality copywriting we’re able to establish an identity that exudes character.

So if your brand suffers from a split personality brought about by acute agency-itis or if your brand is a brand without backbone then get OLBINA to breathe some character back into your campaigns, websites and press releases.


Dan Olbina



Character Branding

Respected leaders, role models and success stories, trusted and followed to the point where they change an entire culture - that’s the stuff of strong character. And that’s the kind of stuff you want when it comes to branding.

With character branding the entire strategy relies on the development of a brand identity that radiates character. Once that character is developed it can be used to generate slogans, taglines, full campaigns - you name it. The scope of its use is up to you. The idea is that regardless of the different kinds of media you choose to explore your message will always be on point because it will always be delivered with your brand’s voice.

No word will be wasted. Brand identity will be established. And virtually any form of media can be used to your advantage.

That’s branding.


Effective Writing

Writing is practical magic: String some letters together in one time and place and you can change events in another time and place. With one fell stroke writing is ordinary, amazing and useful.

If I write a note to myself to remind me of something and that note does exactly what I intend, then it’s good writing. If it does what I intend and makes me laugh, then it’s even better. In terms of marketing, good writing is writing that gets people to act. But people act for their own reasons. So getting someone to act is a matter of understanding those reasons and connecting with your readers on that basis.

Of all the ways you can connect with your readers there are at least three you should know about if you’re going to write your own copy. The first two you’ve heard about. The last is well known but largely neglected.

Emotional connection. This is arguably the strongest connection possible. It’s thought to be the strongest connection because of the thesis that only emotions can drive a person to act. People will follow their heart.

Rational connection. Providing your readers with quality information establishes a rational connection. Quality information is a roadmap of truths and facts. A full map of truths is a point of view. Exploring different points of view means engaging the imagination in the remapping of those truths. Such a process can be informative to the point of revelation. Revelation always elicits an emotional response.

Deontic connection. In many ways, each of us is defined by our obligations and responsibilities. Establishing a deontic connection with your readers means engaging those obligations and responsibilities. In every set of obligations one obligation trumps another, establishing a hierarchy. So if you can, through your writing, align yourself, your company, product or service with whatever obligation is high up in the hierarchy, then marketing will be the least of your worries.


What You Need to Know About SEO

Nobody can guarantee you a top-5 ranking. And if they could it would either cost you an arm and a leg in monthly upkeep or be a non-sanctioned approach that could get your site banned from search engine listings altogether. Just see for yourself how many SEO companies are ranked in the top-5. Rest assured that if they could do it they’d be doing it for themselves.

This is not to say that SEO is completely without merit. The truth is that when you follow best practices for building a site then that site will normally rank higher on search engine listings. And when it comes to best practices organization and consistency reign.

The best way to go about writing copy for a site is to begin by ignoring all that SEO mumbo-jumbo and just write a first draft of what you want to say. Once that draft is done you can then go ahead, organize it, do a keyword search and sprinkle a few choice keywords throughout your copy.

Organize the entire site so that it makes a point. Organize each page to make a single point. Organize each paragraph to make a single point. Get the idea? Then make sure all those points are nicely aligned.

After you’ve lined up all your points and inserted all your keywords it’s time to make that copy sing. Work through spelling, grammar and readability - in that order. Readability and effectiveness go hand in hand. Effective writing has to have the right cadence or tempo, and the only tool you have to employ for that purpose is readability. If you can find the tempo that creates the effect you want, then you’ve just struck gold my friend.

Keep in mind that SEO is only one aspect of online marketing. Try searching “soda pop,” “soda” or “soft drink” and none of the major manufacturers will show up on the first page. But the fact is you already know who the major manufacturers are.

Will SEO help bring more traffic through your site? It may.

Will SEO improve your sales? Only if more traffic will improve your sales. If your site isn’t a good sales tool then more traffic isn’t going to help you.