Located in Oceanside, Calif., Doug Thomas Communications was established in 2002 as a one-person freelance copywriting business that creates ALL content in-house. I write for ad agencies, web design firms, private businesses and entrepreneurs.
I’ve made it my policy from the beginning to never farm out work to other writers. You get the benefit of written materials that are predictable and consistent, which builds credibility and earns trust with your readers.
The words I write for you will be unique and will pass all plagiarism checkers. I may use other writing as a reference when developing content for your project, but what I write for you will be unique, guaranteed.
I will never use copy I’ve written for you as material for another client, nor will I share with anyone confidential information about your company. All rights to the content I create are yours from the start.
I will have your best interests in mind at all times during every project. If I believe that an idea you have for altering content I produced for you could be legally, ethically or linguistically detrimental, I will tell you.
My writing life started long before 2002, when I launched this business. As a child, I wrote plays and scripts and sketches; in my teens, I wrote song lyrics (and music, and still write both); as a young adult, I wrote eight novels, none published (yet); a little later, I wrote more than 350 feature articles for a large daily newspaper.
After two novels but before I felt comfortable calling myself a writer, I took some business-writing courses at a community college. I learned a few things but nothing I couldn’t have gotten (and since have gotten) from good writing reference books and a ton of practice. The most important thing I learned in the college setting was that classroom instruction in “how to write” is best suited for those heading into an academic career, which I certainly wasn’t.
So I joined a writers group, thinking a more spontaneous, creative atmosphere would do me good. It didn’t. Each week, the . . . well, I’ll call her the instructor, because that’s the title somebody gave her; each week, the instructor assigned a writing project, which we brought back the next week to be read aloud and critiqued by classmates, few of whom seemed very interested in serious writing. It was like going to Skid Row to get advice on how to get rich.
During this time, I began obsessively reading novels, many of them by Stephen King. I learned a lot about writing from his books. If you look past all the horror and adrenaline-pumping plots, you’ll find that Stephen King was (and is) amazingly good at sentence structure and simply talking to you through his words. Reading his books, I began to realize there are a hundred ways to say anything, and it’s the writer’s job to figure out which of those hundred the reader will best understand.
That principle was reinforced when I talked my way into working as a stringer (freelancer) for the now-defunct but at the time quite influential and widely read North County Times newspaper in Oceanside, Calif., where I currently live. The city editor, whose nickname was “Tilt,” took me under his wing and taught me right off the bat to not fill my writing with clichés like “took me under his wing” and “right off the bat.” He taught me that whatever I could say in 1,000 words I could say better in 450. Or 350.
(Tilt, who was born John Stryker Meyer, went on to bigger and better things including authoring a series of books chronicling his experiences as a U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret in Vietnam. He even has a Wikipedia page.)
Tilt taught me about honest writing and the difference between what’s necessary and what isn’t. He assigned me hundreds of feature articles during my three-plus years with the Times. He called me a “stringer extraordinaire.” I was hardly that at first, but by the time I left the paper to move to New Mexico, I felt okay thinking of myself that way.
I also felt okay calling myself a writer.
That was when I decided it was time to start making some serious money with all these words swirling around in my head, so I went into business as a freelance copywriter.
As everyone knows, freelance copywriting is an illustrious profession that leads directly to unholy riches and a Malibu home overlooking the ocean . . . and a Guatemalan maid named Maria, who would say “Meester Tomas, somebody from BBDO Worldwide just call and want you in on a big projects to bring you hundreds and thousands of dollars in your spare time. I finish waxing the Carrera and taking Fifi to the doggie groomer, so can I have off the rest of the day?”
It’s been 18 years, and I still don’t have the Malibu house, the Carrera, Maria or any kind of connection to BBDO (ad agency Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn), but I love what I do and have had the honor of working with some amazing business owners, entrepreneurs, ad agency heads and web designers. I’ve learned almost as much from my clients as I have from Stephen King and Tilt.
I did an estimate recently and found that I’ve written about 2.8 million words so far in my life. Each of those words helps me create new words today for the many people who pay me to promote their businesses and get them connected to their audiences.
If I can help you do the same, I hope we can talk soon.
Doug Thomas 2020