August 15

Copywriting, editorial and consulting


Writing Consultant
In brief

Good writing makes business sense. It’s shorter. It’s quicker. It’s unambiguous. And it can be learned, provided we first unlearn the bad habits acquired from old-fashioned bosses or ill-trained bloggers.

Sydney-based writing coach Stephanie Oley offers several tried and tested frameworks designed to lift your writing techniques. Workshops range from in-house to public and motivational.

Drawing on her background in magazine journalism, radio and copywriting, Stephanie’s original courses include marketing, business, media and presentation writing, complete with original workbook.

Any course can be customised. All come with rigorous upfront client consultation and post-workshop feedback.

Did we mention?

When not consulting, Stephanie is creative partner at The Offices, where you’ll find her latest copywriting across a range of media. Offline, Stephanie stays busy exploring her passion for design, culture and community, and rambling about Sydney with her young family. She has several fiction manuscripts in progress.


Scribbles from Stephanie's notepad 


Stephanie offers a mix of in-house and public writing workshops, all replete with her original textbooks. Talk to her about customised writing, speaking and editing gigs too.


1. In-house workshops

Got six or so people in need of training? Or a very specific brand voice, project or goal to develop? Ask about the bespoke workshops, where Stephanie’s core presentations are adapted to carry examples from your organisation or industry.

Email moc.yeloeinahpetsnull@olleh to request a brochure on copywriting for marketers, writing for business, writing for the media and delivering a presentation. Rates are shown for full-day, half-day and hourly training.

2. Public workshops

Since 2006, Stephanie has presented several full-day writing workshops at The University of Sydney’s Centre for Continuing Education. Click on the links below for course descriptions, rates and upcoming dates.

Persuasive Marketing Materials

Effective Business Reports

Write and Promote a Media Release

3. Speaking

Whether you need a presentation for humour, hype or help, Stephanie’s extensive public speaking experience places her comfortably in front of any audience. Perhaps you want your people to get excited about writing better, or need a workshop on effective emails or better online bios? Just ask about the possibilities.

4. Writing

Long and short, content and catch-lines, websites and wobblers: Stephanie’s writing folio spans various formats and styles. See a selection of work here. Visit The Offices to browse her latest work, or download her portfolio below.


Stephanie Oley






Cut your writing time with these 5 planning tools

Building blocks of SEO by bourndesign,

Building blocks by bourndesign

Use the right tools to plan a piece of writing, whether it’s a business report or a marketing soundbite, and you’ll cut drastic amounts of writing time.


One of the biggest ‘ah-ha’ moments I see among clients taking my writing workshops is when they get the value of planning.

It’s so tempting to get stuck into the brief straight away – especially when you know your subject matter and write regularly on a subject. But it’s so much more effective to work through some planning tools first.

Plan the impact you’ll have on your reader. Plan the actions they’ll take after reading. Plan the length and shape of your writing. (By ‘shape’, I mean how many headings, subheads, breakouts, leads and so on you’ll use). Plan the voice you’ll write in. Plan the structure you’ll use. You get the idea.

In my copywriting workshop at CCE, I offer nine planning tools that can be used as needed. Here are my five all-time favourites, which I use again and again in my client copywriting and business writing work.

  1. The 6-point strategy snapshot

    Can you sum up the personality of your brand or product in a handful of words? If not, this one’s for you. While strategy is a serious field that brands invest in heavily, you can complete this snapshot in less than 30 minutes to give your marketing materials a snappier focus. Simply write your answers to the following: marketing objective, primary benefit to customer, secondary benefit, description of customer, personality of your campaign, and call to action. Then write your copy so it meets those criteria.

  2. Language register

    It can be hard to speak in your customer’s voice. This tool helps writers formalise the language of their customers, by showing the many variations of any particular word and why you’ll have to choose some and reject others. Write down five on-brand language terms, then write several off-brand language choices next to each one. Use the on-brand words in your copy and you’ll gradually get a sense for this new voice you’ve adopted. (See ‘Authentic voice found at my local bar’ for more on the subject of voice).

  3. Hierarchy structure

    This is a top-heavy structure where chapters, sections and paragraphs start with a summary statement. You start by writing out the main themes you’ll be discussing, then putting these in order and expanding on them in the order promised at each opening statement. It’s a structure best suited to longer marketing and business pieces, and I’ll write more about this in my next post.

  4. Narrative structure

    The most intuitive and timeless way of relaying a set of facts, the narrative is bottom-heavy, with conclusions and resolutions at the end. The narrative starts with a generally accepted premise, then builds on this before reaching a turning-point and the outcomes. Think the classic fairy tale: boy plants bean seed, boy climbs beanstalk, boy encounters giant, boy nearly gets eaten by giant, boy escapes with his life intact (along with a rather handy goose that lays golden eggs).

  5. Mindmap

    After deciding whether you’ll write along a hierarchy or pyramid structure, jot down all the topics you’re planning to include. The best way to do this is by sketching out a mindmap on paper, showing the main branches of thought and then the sub-branches off each one. Number all the parts in the order you’ll address them. Then start writing. This tool is a phenomenal time-saver.

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