Learn the secrets to writing successful adverts, websites, brochures, newsletters and more on our Introduction to Marketing Writing course
  • 'Good writing is an essential tool for business'

    Tutor, Piers Alder

Learn how to write effectively for your business

Writing for Small Businesses course

A five-session online course with business-writing consultant Piers Alder for individuals and organisations looking to develop their professional writing skills.

This course has been made possible by the support of Creative Skillset, and has been approved as part of an informal or formal continuing professional development (CPD) programme.

Home PageOnline CoursesWriting for Small Businesses course

Creative Skillset Creative Skillset empowers the Creative Industries to develop skills and talent by providing investment for individuals and businesses to grow.Writing for Small Businesses (5-week intensive): starts 20 March 2017, £395 Book your place now




  • Learn how to craft effective marketing materials

  • Develop your understanding of the right tone and approach to use in your business communications

  • Learn online in 5 week, 40 hour course with flexible, proven CPD learning model

  • Suitable for freelancers, sole traders and small businesses

COST £395

Book your place now


Learn the secrets to writing successful adverts, websites, brochures and newsletters for your business

Good writing talks directly to your customers. It persuades them to do or think things, such as buying a service, giving a donation, signing up to a mailing list, feeling a connection with a brand, or simply remembering your organisation’s name.

Our online Writing for Small Businesses course will show you how to craft effective marketing materials and develop your understanding of the right tone of voice and approach to use in all your business communications. You’ll have the opportunity to try out a range of creative, practical and critical skills in writing persuasively and practice key skills in planning, writing, editing and proofreading. You’ll find out how to get your messaged noticed and establish the right tone of voice for your business.

Who is it for?

The course is suitable for anyone who needs to write for their business – for marketing, publicity, sales or internal and external communications, and whether you’re creating PowerPoint presentations, writing web copy or bidding for funding.

All you need to participate in the course is a computer and a good internet connection.

The course materials are available 24/7, so you can work at a time that suits you.

The online nature of the course means it is ideal for people in rural areas with limited access to training. It is also suitable for physically disabled people who may find travelling to and attending face-to-face training courses difficult, or those juggling work and family commitments.


– Tried and tested peer-to-peer learning model
– Suitable for all levels of experience – works as an introduction or a back-to-basics refresher
– Flexible outcomes, tailored to your individual needs
– Easy to apply learning to a work-related project
– Available to individuals or groups as informal or formal professional development
– Suitable for startups, sole traders and freelancers

Benefits of online delivery

– Lower in cost than face-to-face courses
– Flexible timing; put in 8 hours a week to suit your schedule
– Flexible professional development
– Learn within a supportive and stimulating community
– Constant feedback from your peers and tutor as you progress
– Acquire skills in a fun way and make new friends

How the course works

The course is delivered via our virtual classroom using a tightly-structured, interactive learning journey and multimedia learning materials. The learning model is structured around a combination of peer and tutor feedback and aims to develop and hone your critical faculties through constant practice and revision.

– The course lasts 5 weeks and comprises 40 hours of learning
– Each session runs over a week. You will need to put in around 8 hours work per week
– All the teaching, interaction with participants and tutor moderation takes place in an online classroom, accessed via a website, and course materials and forums are open 24/7
– Sessions open on a Monday; assignments must be completed and uploaded by Saturday with critiquing of fellow participants’ work completed by the Sunday, before the next session opens
– Completed sessions remain open throughout the course so that you can review course materials and revise your work.

The course is taught using the following:
– Short audio files from Piers Alder
– Short video files from Piers Alder and/or other business writing experts
– Online guidance notes and directed prompts and exercises, devised by Piers Alder and PWA
– Directed reading and viewing lists from Piers Alder
– Online peer critiquing from other participants in the group
– Tutor moderation and feedback (Piers Alder)
– The support of an online community and virtual classroom
– A dedicated resources area, continually updated by PWA team.


Session 1: What is Business Writing?
What is its purpose? How different kinds of marketing writing work. Why the brief is the key. This session is also about getting to know your fellow participants.
Key output: your brief.

Session 2: What Makes Writing Effective
Good style / bad style basics. Opaque words and phrases. Declogging your text: removing passives, jargon, clichés. The importance of cutting. Writing as you speak.
Key output: your key message.

At the end of this session there is a live webinar with Piers.

Session 3: How Marketing Writing Works
What makes people buy? Features vs benefits. Structuring a piece of marketing writing. The importance of the call to action.
Key output: detailed copy structure of key piece of marketing communication.

Session 4: Getting Your Key Message Noticed
What are we really saying here? The difference between what your product appears to be and what it actually is. What makes a headline work? 18 key headline types. Using psychology to make headlines compelling.
Key output: a range of headline types for different media.

At the end of this session there is a live webinar with Piers.

Session 5: Finding the Right Tone of Voice
What is tone of voice? How brand affects tone of voice. Learning to adjust your tone. Understanding your brand. What tone should you be using? Also a focus on choosing the appropriate media and format for your brand and voice, including exploring the potential of digital marketing. A practical guide to adapting your writing across different media.
Key output: finding your tone of voice, defining it and applying it to core campaign elements across different print and digital media.

By the end of Session 5 you will have the skills to compile a full set of marketing materials for your business, either digital or print or both, which you can choose to submit for feedback. You will receive feedback on up to 2,000 words of this work from Piers approximately two weeks after submission.

Your Tutor

Piers Alder is a creative copywriter and business-writing consultant with a background in journalism and web content.

He started out as a sub-editor and feature writer before spending time creating web content as the internet exploded in the late 90s. Then, mainly by chance, he moved sideways into marketing writing. He liked it immediately because of the mix of original ideas and analysis and straightforward communication combined with a particular tone of voice.

Over the years Piers has written for numerous businesses in all kinds of tones of voice. But each job has been about using the right words to communicate the right messages: planting ideas in people’s heads.

He has written for banks, building societies, internet service providers, car manufacturers, mobile phone networks, food makers, engineers, travel companies, fashion brands, charities, Michelin-starred restaurants and luxury concierge services. Even pie makers.

He’s created successful ads, websites, brochures, emails, direct mail, features, blog entries and much more. He’s devised ‘verbal identities’ and helped brands communicate better. He has made words work wherever they’re needed.

More about Piers

Everything I write takes creativity and imagination – but in the end the point is communication, not showing off. All good writing stands or falls by how well it communicates. That’s the focus of these courses.

Visit Piers Alder’s website



Book your place now


Creative Skillset Creative Skillset empowers the Creative Industries to develop skills and talent by providing investment for individuals and businesses to grow.

This project has been partly supported by HM Government with Employer Ownership funding.