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A horsey smell to your writing?

How to write better horse humour! If you love horses … or even hate them … you’ll appreciate some of the jokes I have curated – and written – in both of my humour books about these noble creatures: this one about horses, and this one about ponies, but essentially they work as a pair in helping us find humour despite the damned animals costing us fortunes while capturing our hearts.

A horsey smell to your writing?

Big brave horse … LOL…

Many of the jokes I have shared are traditional ones (i.e.out of copyright and free for us all the share.) But, many of the other gags and sequences are original. Hope you like them! And if you want some tips on how to write, curate and adapt jokes, check out this category here. Writing and curating jokes and other humour is a part of professional writing that I truly love, and that seems to attract a lot of interest here on HTWB.

Meanwhile, here are some of my favourite written horsey jokes…enjoy!

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Marketing writing: why features smell and benefits sell

Time and time again I look through all my posts here on HTWB and see references to the old “features and benefits” issue in marketing and commercial business writing. But still, people ask me what I mean, how it works, why it matters, etc.

A long time ago in one of my earlier books, articles, blog posts et al about marketing writing (and in subsequent ones) I came up with this rather clumsy phrase which despite it containing a rhyme – surprisingly – many people have taken up with a smile and much gusto:


Why is this so relevant when it comes to writing for marketing or even other, less sales-focused business writing?

Because it’s true (OK, metaphorically.)

In many ways I feel guilty even posting about this topic on here when the “features versus benefits” issue has been wallowing around in marketing and advertising circles for not only years, not only decades, not only generations, but probably not short of centuries now, too.

But still, there are some people who don’t understand the difference. And many of these are people who are trying to market products and services into an increasingly complex and, indeed, overworked marketplace in which folks are so bloody tired of hearing about features, they just want to scream. Why?




Easy. Yet why are so many marketing exercises blighted by the features virus, when it ain’t so hard to turn a feature into a benefit which actually does stand a cat’s chance in hell of selling your product or service fairly and squarely?

Here’s how to do it

I’ll go back to a pretty basic example, once again extracted from one of my earlier books (I don’t do complicated, OK?) Here we’re talking about a garden chair:

Feature: AL-alloy metal frame with HK-147 PVC compound, polyurethane seat and back rest

Benefit: You can relax in comfort knowing that its sturdy frame and durable seat back are not only comfortable, but also that they’ll last for many years

Feature: Fade-proof coating withstands sun and heat up to 35°C constant for 72 hours. Factory tested for efficacy

Benefit: Looks good for years to come even in strong sun and sizzling summer temperatures, thanks to fade-proof, factory-tested coating

Feature: Delivered in flat pack with full assembly instructions. Pack suitable for long-term storage prior to assembly.

Benefit: Arrives in convenient pack for you to store for the winter… then assemble in minutes, ready for spring!

But what if features are objectives, not nuts and bolts?

No problem. You simply apply the same criteria to the objectives as if they were nuts and bolts: what’s in it for the recipient? Some examples…

If you want to inform people (feature), their benefit is that they increase their own knowledge resource.

If you want to train people (feature), their benefit is that is improves their skills and abilities to do their jobs better and gain skills which will be useful for them in their future.

If you need to rebuke people (feature), their benefit is to understand that no-one’s perfect but you can learn to overcome a problem and so be better at your job.

If you want to entertain people (feature), their benefit is to feel appreciated and valued.

If you want to energize/motivate people (feature), their benefit is to see why it’s worth their while to go the extra mile and be recognized for it.

And how does this fit in with current 21st century “marketing think?”

Answer: it fits right in there so tight it can’t even squeak. Just as it always has where marketing and – let’s face – a great deal more in the way of business communication is concerned. No matter how much old advertising and branding strategies have been dissolved by the here, now, up-your-nose (and very welcome) nature of online marketing in particular, the old features versus benefits issue hasn’t changed one tiny jot.

So if you need to write for marketing or even more general purposes, remember my clumsy little mnemonic


Make sure your marketing writing sells, not smells:

“Super Speeches”…how to write and deliver them well

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

Latest funny written whoopsies from the UK’s Daily Fail…

Yet again we find inadvertent humour from the captions and other written words on the website of the UK’s most loved/hated tabloid. Join us for our latest selection…

Yet more laughs from inadvertent goofs on the UK's Daily Mail news site

“The model made her way by the sporty red Ferrari in a tight skirt…”

Meghan Markle is being guarded by royal protection officers as Palace prepares to announce engagement to Prince Harry this week … I guess Harry and the Palace have been in love for a long time. Many congratulations to them. [Read more…]

Could you turn your blog into a best-selling book? A swift tutorial…

How to write better for both blogs and books … this is an update of my earlier article on this topic. As time goes by we are seeing many more blogs being turned into books. The options for people with a powerful story to tell – whether in business, social or other fields – have never been so good in terms of converting such stories, often expressed initially as blog posts, into eBooks, print books, and other formats.

How to turn a blog into a book

How to think about a book in terms of a blog, to start with

A few years ago I was working with a group of writers and one of them was discussing his ideas for a nonfiction memoir (book.) After a short time it became obvious that his concept was not just one book, but potentially three or four. [Read more…]

Writing jokes about New Year: a selection of the best

How to write better jokes … If you’re hurrying to write your New Year’s resolutions, here are some humorous ideas to give you (and your dog, and your horse) inspiration … curated from some of the best sources on the internet. I’ve included a sample from each, so enjoy…!

Writing jokes about New Year: a selection of the best
Unijokes (one or two of their jokes are a little risqué)
A Senator in the USA was once asked about his attitude toward whisky. “If you mean the demon drink that poisons the mind, pollutes the body, desecrates family life, and inflames sinners, then I’m against it. But if you mean the elixir of a New Year toast, the shield against winter chill, the taxable potion that puts needed funds into public coffers to comfort little crippled children, then I’m for it. This is my position, and I will not compromise.”

I was going to quit all my bad habits for the new year, but then I remembered that nobody likes a quitter. [Read more…]

Writing Christmas cracker jokes: groans or grins?

If most Christmas cracker jokes make you groan, have a look at this small selection – hand-picked by moi to guarantee if not a laugh, at least a grin rather than a groan.

Writing Christmas cracker jokes - groans or grins?

What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck in a chimney? Claus-trophobia

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