Survivial Skills for Freelancers

Website copywriting for a Cotswold tourist attraction

The client: Painswick Rococo Garden

Painswick Rococo Garden is one of Gloucestershire’s best-kept secrets. As the UK’s only complete surviving rococo garden, it combines the great outdoors with a cheeky peek into the flamboyance of the early 1700s, thanks to its colourful follies and unique features.

The need

Much-loved within the Cotswolds, Painswick Rococo Garden is best known for its incredible annual display of snowdrops, which attracts visitors from far and wide – but this reputation as an early spring garden was failing to optimise visitor numbers throughout the rest of the year.

The attraction is supported by the Friends of Painswick Rococo Garden – a group of trustees responsible for the garden’s upkeep and ongoing restoration. Upcoming changes to the way the attraction is funded meant it needed to become more commercial, working harder to attract family visitors, and to become known as a garden for all seasons. A new website was the perfect starting point to address these challenges.

The solution

I met Painswick Rococo Garden marketing manager, Claire Barnes, to talk about the aims of the new website. I began the copywriting process by delving deep into the things that make the attraction such a special place, gaining a clear understanding of the opportunities that were available by promoting the garden to a new audience and attracting visitors all year round.

The previous website firmly positioned Painswick Rococo Garden for an audience of garden enthusiasts. It talked about the features, history and location of the garden, and provided plenty of practical information, such as admission prices and opening hours.

I recommended a fresh, approachable tone of voice that would appeal to a younger, family audience without alienating current supporters, a structure and flow that takes visitors on a journey through the seasons, and a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page that makes information easy to find, as well as helping with SEO.

Descriptive and emotive language throughout the new website brings Painswick Rococo Garden to life, evoking the feelings and emotions of visiting this beautiful garden, and positions it as a top Cotswold attraction and a garden for all seasons.

In the client’s words…

“Sarah immediately understood our needs and what we wanted to convey with our new website for Painswick Rococo Garden.

“She has a breadth of knowledge across copywriting, SEO, marketing and design, skilfully employing them all to create hardworking and engaging copy.

“Getting an independent, fresh perspective on your company is an extremely valuable exercise and Sarah really helped to ensure we were considering the needs of our customers.

“Sarah has been a delight to work with: very friendly, highly professional, delivering on time and exceeding expectations. We’re very excited to be launching the new website shortly.”

Claire Barnes, Marketing Manager, Painswick Rococo Garden



Creating sizzling web copy for an oriental cookery company

The client: Pamela Chen’s Asia, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

ChenMoore Chopsticks – now rebranded Pamela Chen’s Asia – provides oriental cookery demonstrations and cultural talks at events and shows, and for audiences on board luxury yachts and cruise liners.

The need

Like many small business owners, Pamela had written her own web copy and it wasn’t performing hard enough to attract customers. The copy was too long, the navigation around the site was confusing, and the key messages were lost.

Though Pamela’s English is great, the fact that she isn’t a native English speaker came across in the copy. I wanted to communicate her wealth of experience and love of oriental food while telling her story in a compelling way.

The solution

I wrote Pamela’s web copy following a face-to-face brief, in which I made lots of notes about her approach, personality, and the way she spoke about her business. She emphasised a number of issues she wanted to avoid, and things that weren’t working for the business, and I suggested a number of improvements to the current layout, keywords for SEO, and the structure of the site.

I created an informal, friendly and welcoming tone of voice that reflects elements of Pamela’s enthusiasm and personality. I pointed out inconsistencies and opportunities to introduce calls to action throughout. The resulting site communicates clearly and persuasively, and lets Pamela’s story shine through.

In the client’s words…

“Sarah’s experience and knowledge in how texts work in this digital world has been quite an eye-opener for me. Yes, she edited and wrote the content for my entire website, but she does much more than writing the words: she thinks about the way the website will be used, taking SEO, the user journey and user experience into account.

“Having seen the difference her careful crafting has made, it has really made me realise the importance of using a good copywriter. Sarah took the time to understand my business and needs. She’s clear thinking, thorough and consistent. Above all, she’s put the sparkle in my website content! I love it.”

Pamela Chen Moore, Owner, ChenMoore Chopsticks