Fancy a chat? There are lots of ways to get in touch so that we can discuss the bright future for your business and brand.

14 High Bank Avenue,
Stalybridge, Cheshire,
SK15 2SW 

+44 (0) 161 338 3916
+44 (0) 7760 661 760
Skype: bj.hampson


It’s Always Better When We’re Together


You’re singing it now aren’t you? Humming it at least.

Jack Johnson had it right when he sang about being better together. Although he was being a bit of a soppy romantic.

Maybe you prefer All Together Now, the anthem that has united football fans for over two decades.

Either way, the message is the same.

We are better together. In life, in sport, in business.

That’s just one of the reasons why you’ve probably not heard from me in months. I’ve been very busy. Busy collaborating with two other fantastic copywriters. Busy working together.


Because working together for our clients means better ideas. Better copy. Better business.

Introducing Hampson Nattan Williams

That’s us. Our new name, our new marketing agency. Our new business.

Hopefully you know me already. Nattan is Mr Andrew Nattan of 603 Copywriting. Williams is Mr. Martin J Williams of UK Copywriting.

Together, we’re doing what we always do. Great copywriting that helps our clients win business and make money. But we’re doing it bigger. Better. More impactful.

Three of Manchester’s leading copywriters. Three well established and highly successful copywriting agencies. Three decades of experience and expertise.

One purpose. Change.

We’re changing the conversation

We’re not just another marketing agency. We’re not just a bunch of copywriters coming together (though that in itself is a huge thing).

Hampson Nattan Williams is a message-led marketing agency that wins business with data-driven content, triple-strength copywriting and innovative tone of voice workshops.

Yeah, that’s our strapline. But what it means is that we’re putting message first. Always.

We’ve recognised that for many, if not most, businesses, their message, their offering, the key reason for what they do and how they help customers, is often neglected. It’s squeezed in at the end. Forgotten about during web builds and marketing decisions.

It’s an afterthought that’s added in, when in reality, it’s the most important part of any business. It’s what influences decisions on design and advertising, what impacts growth and expansion. It’s what connects with customers and what makes businesses money.

So it should be front and centre.

And that’s what we’re doing.

Words that win business.

That’s the most important thing we do.

The clue is in our URL -

By putting message first, we’re transforming the whole process and helping businesses be better.

Here’s how:

  • Tone of Voice workshops that help you define how you speak to your customers, identify your exact tone (and how to use it) and transform your messaging to something that resonates with your audience.

  • Next, we provide triple strength copywriting that utilises your tone of voice to its full advantage. Best practice, highly powerful and extremely impactful copy - that’s peer-reviewed and triple checked to make it as strong as possible.

  • Then, we use data-driven content to make that copy even better, constantly measuring a whole host of metrics, testing, improving and refining - word by word - to get the optimal results.  


The future of BJ Hampson

BJ Hampson isn’t going anywhere.

I’m still going to be working with all the amazing clients I help on a daily basis. Still going to be providing expert copywriting services to SMEs and agencies that need a helping hand.

This brand and this website are well, well, WELL overdue a refresh. That’s coming very soon.

I’ve even got two exciting new brands to launch as well - The English Copywriter and The Corporate Copywriter. You heard them here first.

I’ve been a busy boy. One day you might get to see it all.

But the work we do at Hampson Nattan Williams – work that’s pushing copywriting to new levels and optimising conversions for businesses – will ultimately help ALL of my clients too.

Because we can deliver so much more than one freelance copywriter.

We work better, all of us, as collaborators not competitors. We’re better for businesses when we work together.

Want to be one of the first to get involved, before our books are full?

Get in touch with us over at Hampson Nattan Williams.




Cheap Content Mills & Paying By The Word - Bad News For Copywriters and Businesses 

I would never ever suggest to my clients that they pay me per word. By its very nature, it encourages quantity over quality. Plain and simple.  

I can waffle for England when I want to; anyone who reads these blogs will know it’s very easy for me to go off on a tangent. But being both eloquent and concise are the signs of a good copywriter. Why say something in ten words, when three will suffice? 

So if you’re paying a copywriter by the word, you’re arguably encouraging them to cram in as many redundant clauses as they can to maximise their profit. 

Less is often more

And if you flip this on its head, some of the finest pieces of copywriting come from just a few short lines, or even, a few simple words. 

Take one of my favourite examples: the six word novel. One story holds it originated as the result of a bet between Ernest Hemingway and other writers, about creating a story in the fewest words possible. Hemingway, submitted this:  

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Six words that bring a wealth of emotions, questions and concern to the reader, letting their imagination create their own story. 

These six words arguably say more than a thousand ever would.  

And that’s why both copywriters and businesses looking to hire a content writer should avoid an agreement which pays by the word, and why they should both steer well clear of content mills that churn out copy at pennies per word. 

Why copywriters would be selling themselves short charging by the word

I recently had some experience with Copify and did some research into them and other cheap content sites that charge clients by the word. It was as I expected. They’re bad news for copywriters. 

1) Speed becomes the most important skill 

Straight off the bat, the fact that these content mills have a timed test to verify your capability tells you all you need to know about the type of work they’re looking for. Emphasis is placed largely on speed; other skills take a back seat. Taking on contracts that are paid by the word encourages fast writing, a spasm of typing and verbal diarrhoea. 

The quote “Show me a person who can write twice as fast, and I will show you a person who writes half as well” springs to mind. As an aspiring copywriter, you won’t be doing yourself any favours trying to write super fast. 

2) You’ll struggle to make a living 

For any of these content mill websites, you will have to work incredibly fast to earn even just the minimum wage. Knocking out 200 words for the rate of 1p per word, which some copywriters have been paid, and you’d have to write a piece every 20 minutes to earn just £6 per hour. That’s less than the National Living Wage. 

Even if you doubled the wage you were paid to 2p per word, you’d still only earn £12 per hour - IF you could cut research to a minimum and keep your writing pace up consistently. Sure, you might earn some extra pocket money, but at what cost? 

3) You won’t be developing, learning or showing off

Working on these quick turnaround, low quality pieces of content fodder won’t be doing your writing skills any favours either. You will just become like a machine, churning out the same things over and over again.  

You won’t be focused on learning new skills, developing techniques or pushing the boundaries of what you’re capable of. You won’t be interacting with clients and showing others how good of a writer you are. 

Without the ability to create any portfolio pieces or get bylines to credit you for your work, your time would arguably be better spent in an unpaid internship.

4) You’ll be undervaluing yourself

No matter which way you swing it, you will be selling yourself short, because you are worth than more than 1p, 2p or even 10p a word. 

A builder would never charge by the number of nails he uses; a surgeon would never charge for the number of incisions she makes; so why should you get paid for the number of words you write on a page? 

If you are charging by the word, should you charge more for longer words? It takes longer to type them, so surely it should work on the same principal of a garage charging more for a larger tyre, or a car wash increasing their fees for bigger cars?

Should you be charging for unusual and obscure words, because they are like gold dust and hard to come by? And how about those commas, full stops and exclamation marks? They can make or break a sentence and add a wealth of emotion to a piece, so what’s their value?

Why businesses should always avoid paying a copywriter on a per word basis

It isn’t just aspiring copywriters who should avoid content mills and charging by the word. Businesses should steer clear of paying for any piece of copy on a per word basis too.  

I personally had experience working with another company who used a ‘content agency’ to get some articles written that they were in desperate need of. They got a good price, and the work was turned around fast. The copy in the articles was OK. 

But that’s just it; it was OK, not great. It was never going to be. The writers were not experts in the industry, and they weren’t professional copywriters; they did very basic research and wrote the pieces are per the brief, but nothing more. So ultimately, the company I was working with never used these articles.  

It was money down the drain. And this sums up paying by the word for generic content pieces. 

1) Length is rarely better 

When you commission a copywriter on a by-the-word basis, you’re encouraging them to write as many words as they can to get the most money from you. All good copywriters know that longer is rarely better. 

If you’re writing a book, then great; you want lots of descriptive words to set the scene. But if you’re telling someone something, say it in as few words as possible. Why explain an important point about the way a sentence should be copywritten in twenty-four words, when you can say it in three? Less is better.

Take a look at some of the most famous straplines in advertising: Nike’s - Just Do it; Tesco’s - Every Little Helps; and McDonalds’ - I’m Lovin’ It. Do you think these companies spent 3p to develop these slogans?  

2) Speed isn’t efficient  

If you read my blog on applying to join Copify’s ranks, you’ll see from my experience with the speed test that it’s clearly not the best indicator of skill. You cannot determine a copywriter’s quality based on a one line brief and a timed exercise. You are always encouraging speed over skill, precision and content.  

By promoting someone to work fast, you’re stopping them from focusing on what they’re delivering. You’re valuing quantity over quality.  

3) There’s more than one definition of unique  

Fast, cheap and cheery content is not unique. Sure, it might pass unique content tool tests like Copyscape, in that word-for-word it isn’t on the internet in this exact form, but that doesn’t mean that is offers unique value to a reader.  

There’s no time for research if you’re working at the pace required to earn anything close to minimum wage that these types of sites require. A copywriter will simply be churning out basic information from the top of their head.  

And the result for you, the business, will be the creation of pointless content that you’re throwing into a landfill of other, very similar content. It will never help you stand out or make a difference, and the impact on your sales will be minimal.  

It’s like pouring a bottle of water into the ocean. And it certainly won’t get you to that #1 spot on Google. 

4) You get what you pay for 

As with most things in life, this saying largely holds true for copywriting. Are you paying for people who are just dabbling in writing for a bit of extra cash, or are you getting those who are experts in their field and devoted to their craft? 

You might get lucky; you might find someone who is down on their luck and turned to these sites in hard times, or you might pick up a fresh gem of a writer who is just starting out and has a fantastic natural skill. But what are the chances of this? Generally, you won’t get a professional copywriter. 

“Pay peanuts, get monkeys.” Another of my favourite phrases. Any work, copywriting included, that is cheap and quick is, by inference, low quality. Of course, there are exceptions, but generally this holds true.  

Instead of throwing money down the drain, invest in someone who will understand your brand, get your business, and help with your goals. The long term results will be so much more worthwhile, and ironically, you’ll likely find it cheaper in the long too. 

Responsibility lies with the companies themselves 

We shouldn't blame companies like Copify. They are a business, and as such are out to make a profit for themselves, as any business would. They are merely exploiting a lack of knowledge filling a gap in the marketplace.  

There are many other businesses like them: Textbroker; Wait; ContentWriter; and HireWriters to name a few. They are sites that fill a need, a need for words. And many, large, legitimate and well known companies use them to get pieces of content written.  

Those writers in need of money, and perhaps experience, turn to them and can just about get enough to scrape by. Arguably, this is better than some news sites like The Guardian or The Huffington Post, where journalists write for free to earn a byline. This is no way to earn a living; you wouldn’t ask anyone else in any other profession to work for free.  

But whilst sites like Copify aren’t to blame, they are somewhat responsible. They are in a unique position to make a difference and influence the marketplace. So this is my challenge to them. At the moment, they’re delivering cheap words, but they could deliver promises and results.  

They could deliver a unique craft to businesses; they could sell proper copywriting.  

They are in a position to educate and influence businesses. They should be selling the virtues of high quality, skilled writing, the kind that really affects sales and has an impact on the bottom line. And they could be increasing their own profits too.  

It won’t happen, but it’s wishful thinking. 

Here’s my own commitment too; for any copywriter starting out who needs some extra advice and support, I’m here to help. I already work with some junior copywriters and pass them work whenever I can, and I will always do the same to anyone else who wants to succeed in the business. It won’t be every day work from the start, but it will be good quality, well-paid work, that gets you recognition and portfolio pieces.  

That’s a promise. 


A Professional Copywriter’s Experience and Rejection with Copify

Rather than being biased from the outset for the post I wrote concerning copywriters being paid by the word on content mill websites like Textbroker and ContentWriter, I decided do some research first and sign up to one of these content mills - Copify. 

Copify market themselves as providing “quality content from approved copywriters” at costs around the £15 - £25 mark for a 400 word blog. 

As the copywriter on the receiving end of the these projects, you’d imagine that - less the cut of the middleman - you’d be receiving around £12-£16 per 400 words. Already this is a very low rate of pay, and far less than a professional copywriter like myself would charge to clients looking for even the most basic of blog posts. 

But, it is what it is, and for more junior copywriters or those starting out, it could be a good place to start and earn both experience and a little extra money. If client work is short, then needs must. 

Signing up with my credentials  

I’d seen Copify crop up a few times here and there doing some market research for my own company, so I thought, why not, let’s sign up and have a first hand look. 

Well, I didn’t get very far. 

Part naivety, part arrogance on my own part, my application to be a copywriter for them was rejected. I find it rather amusing now, but initially it was a shock. With more than three years experience working as a professional copywriter and with my own, limited company serving both small and big businesses, I’d confidently assumed that I’d breeze through the application. 

Arrogantly, I thought just one look at my CV, LinkedIn profile and experience would have me welcomed aboard. 

So I’m not going to lie, I didn’t take the sample writing test very seriously. It simply said, write 200 words on ‘how to save money on car insurance’. And so I did; a super quick intro, four key points, some SEO keyword variants thrown in to show off a bit, and I thought the job was done. 

Falling foul of the system

You’re timed on this application. One hour. I was done within seven minutes. I had a phone call from a client right when I was finished, so rather than let the timer tick down, I just hit submit.  

A few minutes later, I got an email saying I had been unsuccessful. Naturally, I enquired further, as this was all it said. I was then told, in a short, stroppy and arguably rude email that my first line was filler and there was repetition about car insurance. Oh and a grammar mistake where I'd included an extra word unnecessarily.  

The grammar mistake I fully hold my hands up. I didn't check over the work. I would argue that any good copywriter would always leave their work at least 24 hours before proofreading, if not actually giving it to someone else to look at, as a 100% accurate proof of your own work is near impossible.  

But the other points, well, I'd introduced the piece, as any good writer should, and I'd use keyword variants as anyone with SEO knowledge would. The one line brief never mentioned anything about jumping straight in or not focusing on SEO, so I duly replied with this comment, and suggested an improved brief. 

I never received a reply. Read into that what you will. 

Naively, I thought this exercise was a rubber stamp; nowhere did it say it had to be 100% accurate, free from filler or that if I failed, I would have to wait three months to try again.  

Maybe, I might have put a little bit more effort in then, or maybe, I’d actually saved myself a lot of wasted time.  

Dividing opinion - Copify and copywriters

After doing a bit of research around Copify and other such content mills, it quickly became apparent that many others had been in similar positions to myself, whilst others were quick to abhor the business and any work done through them. 

For almost every professional copywriter in the UK, anyone who calls themselves a copywriter in fact, or anyone who writes and earns a living from it, these types of content mills are the devil incarnate. I’d certainly go so far as to agree in that they are certainly bad news for any copywriter and most businesses. 

Many skilled and highly qualified writers have been turned down for ‘not being verbose enough,’ an ‘austere’ writing style, being ‘too witty’, or simply no apparent reason at all. Others have had rude and angry comments from moderators about work not being done properly, and a mistake every 3000 words or so. They don’t tolerate mistakes, and accounts have been revoked.

Remember that rate of pay I mentioned at the start of the article? Turns out that anticipating £12-£16 per 400 word blog was way off; at between 1p to 3p per word, you’re more likely to earn about £6 - not even minimum wage. 

Are there any benefits to be had?

On the flip side, there are some writers who will wholeheartedly defend this type of low-budget work. Given the prevalence of unpaid roles in the writing industry as a whole, and the need to feed families, pay mortgages and earn money, they’re a good place to go. Copify is better than many it seems. 

If you have a good work ethic, write well and fast, and respect their policies and Ts&Cs, then it seems you can do OK from churning out copy on these sites and earn a supplementary wage. 

One copywriter claims he uses it effectively to supplement his real copywriting work, making the comparison of buying a fast food snack versus sitting down to eat a fine dining 3-star Michelin meal. He delivers quick, basic, no frills content for one, and more thoughtful, engaging copy for another.

Cheap and quick copy will rarely be good 

But the problem is that sites like Copify, and the clients who use them, don’t want quick, simple pieces of content. They want high quality, 100% factually accurate, keyword appropriate, well-written copy; and they want it for a really low price. 

The need for either time spent researching a subject or specialist knowledge is evident with title requests like “How to improve the acoustics in places of worship and community halls.”

To continue the restaurant analogy, you have to ask yourself what kind of chef would be working alternate nights in both of these establishments, a fast-food place and a fine dining restaurant? 

As a business, you’re either getting an exceptional deal and the writer is really selling themselves short, or you’re not getting the high quality you are expecting, and the results won’t be pleasing.

Whichever way the pen falls, this is exactly why both copywriters and businesses should avoid working with any kind of content site that charges by the word.

Avoid cheap content sites like this, and ultimately you’ll be rewarded, with more money in your pocket, and better results overall. 

Have you had any experience with Copify or other similar sites, either in the UK or abroad? Share them with us below. 


Super Thick Danio Yoghurt - Review 

As soon as my vouchers came, I was off to the shops. We regularly buy yoghurts on our supermarket visits, but we've been sticking with the same few recently, so it was nice to have a change.  

Unfortunately, only three out of the four flavours were available in our local supermarket. We tried back on numerous occasions, but I was unable to try the passionfruit (yellow) pot. So this review is based on just the blueberry, cherry and strawberry.

Good size and shape

My first thoughts on getting the pots home was their size and shape. Some yoghurts can actually be quite small when you get through all the packaging, but these had a good size, with plenty of filling inside when you peeled back the lid. 

I also liked the round design they had. This maximised capacity, with no wasted plastic sticking out at the corners, and made storing in the fridge easy and efficient. 

Super filling

Once you got into the actual yoghurt, it was easy to see value for money. There was a good, full size serving in there; some yoghurts leave you unsatisfied and wanting more, but not danio. In fact, I felt pretty full after having a full yoghurt, and it did genuinely feel like I was having a dessert, rather than just a little snack. 

Good news there. Mix it with fruit or cereal or something like that, and you could easily make a full pot go across two servings without being stingy. 

There was no denying its thickness too. It really did stay on the spoon, and even a small mouth full really filled your mouth. 

The downside of this was that stirring up the fruit layer at the bottom of the pot into the yoghurt was actually quite hard work! 

Taste, the most important part

On the whole, I found the yoghurts very pleasant to eat, but I did think they lacked a bit of fruit. I hate when yoghurts are stingy on the fruit layer at the bottom, and generally, danio did a good job of having just enough to mix well around the whole yoghurt, but I did feel like they could have made it a little fruitier. 

Blueberry was the fruitiest, followed by cherry. Strawberry is my favourite, but I was disappointed with the taste and flavour of this one. I definitely thought it was the weakest of the three. Some mouthfuls just didn't taste like it was strawberry flavoured at all. I bought the Blueberry one again, but not Strawberry. 

Ultimately, whilst I really enjoyed the danio yoghurts, and they were certainly filling enough, I just felt like they weren't quite sweet or indulgent enough for me. We usually buy fat free/low calorie/sugar free yoghurts and have them as a treat for a dessert. So this yoghurt that doesn’t promise low calories should have been a big treat. 

It was dessert like in it being filling, but it just didn't taste sweet or indulgent enough given that it wasn't aimed at the weight watching, calorie counting market. 

But still, if you like thick, creamy yoghurts, it's definitely well worth a try.


The Ship Inn - Restaurant Review

Getting something to eat in the off-season around Pwllheli in Wales isn’t very easy. Especially on a Monday. 

Lunchtime was pretty much a write off. How all the little coffee shops, cafes and afternoon tea rooms survive is quite a miracle, given that almost every single one of them was closed. They obviously don’t expect much custom in the off-season, but they were clearly missing out on some from us. 

They must be booming during the summer season, to warrant such closures over the winter.  

Based on recommendations

So when we were looking for somewhere to eat in the evening, we weren’t sure what to expect. We turned to both our hosts and TripAdvisor to get recommendations and suggestions. 

Some places were closed Monday, others only served food during certain hours, and a few hadn’t been tried yet or reviewed enough. 

We settled on The Ship Inn in Llanbedrog, based on a combination of good ratings on TripAdvisor and a personal recommendation. 

We weren’t disappointed. It was perfect for a country pub in North West Wales, just what we were looking for. 

It was a Monday night so it wasn’t very busy, but we could see there were quite a few locals here as we walked in - always a good sign. We were immediately welcomed over to the bar and enjoyed a friendly greeting by a man I can only assume was the landlord. 

Before we’d even ordered any drinks, he was teaching me Welsh 

Good grub… 

The food menu was pretty extensive, with a wide choice of cuisines to choose from. Some would argue pubs should stick to a simple menu of just quality pub food, but I’m always a fan of a diverse menu that offers something to choose, whatever your mood.  

It wasn’t too large with too much to choose from, and there were a few different specials. Monday night was ‘Curry Night’ - two for £15. Kirsty opted for this, but I fancied something different; the curry was really tasty though, full of flavour and absolutely piled high with chicken. Naan, chutney, rice and chips were all included.  

And the chips were good. Proper chips, thick, handmade, and crunchy on the outside. 

It was St. David’s Day the following day, and The Ship Inn were already serving a special menu. Ever the try-hard tourist, I followed tradition and agreed with the whole ‘when in Rome…’ cliche.  

So I indulged in Welsh food: fresh cod coated in a special rarebit mix, with chips and fresh vegetables. Interesting flavours and perfectly cooked. When the landlord came to check how we were doing, both our plates were pretty much clear - a pretty good indication of what we thought.  

Mine was a two-course special, so we shared Welsh cakes for dessert; little pancake type things with currents baked inside them. They were topped with raspberry coulis and fresh cream, and were just as nice as the main - although they didn’t blow us away.  


…Top service 

I think we were both most impressed with the service.  

We were welcomed graciously and served courteously, with lots of attention paid to making sure we had everything we needed.  

When Kirsty the Klutz knocked her half a lager & lime over as soon as we got to a table, the landlord wouldn't let us help him clear up her mess at all, and brought a replacement over straight away.  

Perhaps more importantly, he didn’t charge for that extra drink, which he could easily of done. In my books, that’s the sign of a great host. 

At just over £30 for the meal for both of us, with two drinks each, it was pretty good value too. 

The Ship Inn won’t blow your mind, but if you’re looking for a good solid meal, with plenty of options to choose all cooked well, then it’s definitely worth stopping by. And you couldn’t ask for better service.