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nDash Writer Profile for Peter Giffen

Peter Giffen


Writer, Editor, Content Developer

About Me

I'm a deadline-driven, big-picture writer, content developer and editor who loves to tell brand stories, engaging audiences – whether through content-rich websites, tight ad copy, hard-working blog posts, social media networks, marketing e-blasts or annual reports. I do work for clients directly and partner with a variety of creative, SEO and digital marketing agencies. I started life long ago as editor of  various magazines but was lured by the power of the dark side into marketing communications.

Industries I Write About


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Mental Health Care

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Leisure & Travel

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Marketing & Advertising

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Financial Services

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Law Practice

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Food & Beverages

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Health, Wellness & Fitness

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Information Technology & Services

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My Writing Samples

Tackling Mental Health Stigma

Working with the Zulu Alpha Kilo ad agency, I produced a content strategy for the 4,000-plus-page site for Canada's largest mental health and addictions centre, CAMH. And then I wrote many of the site's key pages., tackling mental health stigma, offering copious help resources and providing new hope to those coping with addiction and mental illness challenges.


Blogging for MSN.com

I currently write consumer lifestyle blog posts for MSN.com (Canadian, U.S. and International editions), working with Montreal communications agency Espresso. Most are stories told in 20 slides, with images I source through stock agencies.


Water, Water Everywhere

As head writer (contract) for Ecologos, an environmental charity, I worked to promote its Water Docs Film Festival. Writing blog posts, website copy, e-blasts, advertising, social media posts, supporter outreach emails and more, I helped the film festival to achieve highest attendance and best reviews yet.


Branded Storytelling

Using editorial storytelling techniques, I write branded content articles for businesses ranging from telecommunications giants (Rogers, Shaw, etc.) to provincial government (Saskatchewan). The link goes to an article that I wrote for Rogers Communications, part of a four-part package appearing in the Globe and Mail newspaper national edition and on its website. I also worked with a videographer to create web videos for the project.


From Link Building to Brand Building

A blog post I did on the evolution of SEO, and the need to go beyond tinkering beneath the hood of a site provide strong content that people want to consume. The article links to a more-expanded post written for an SEO client.


Who Says Print is Dead?

This is a magazine-style publication I helped to create for Bianca, a condominium being developed by Tridel in Toronto’s New Dupont district. The magazine serves as a city guide for prospective buyers, showing them the kind of the lifestyle they would have in this area with a colorful industrial past. For the project, I developed a story line-up, assigned freelance writers, wrote key stories, edited copy and collected artwork for layouts


Make Miami Your Vice

Over the years I have written websites, advertising, blog posts, social media content, property descriptions and many other types of marketing communications. I'm currently writing a series of e-blasts to clients and travel agents, promoting specific properties and locations. A lot of consideration has to be given to the email subject line. For this sample targeting Miami, I evoked the seedy glamor of an old TV crime show, with "Make Miami Your Vice."


Advertising with Intelligence

Royal LePage Advisors prided themselves on offering some of the smartest commercial real estate advice in the business. The best real estate intelligence. . . . Yes, Real Intelligence. The ad wrote itself from there. (Design and art direction: Soapbox Design)



Writer, Editor & Content Developer

• Websites for clients that include CAMH (healthcare), Allstream (telecommunications), Success for All (educational foundation). • Blogging for MSN.com, Yellow Pages and various SEO firms. • Social media posting for LaCure, Roaring Pavilion, Ecologos and Applied Arts Magazine. • Print, online and social media ads for Canadian Museum of Nature, LaCure, Ecologos and Ballentine Construction. • Branded content for the Globe and Mail newspaper and site, Bell Canada, Tridel and Magazines Canada.

Company: Peter Giffen Inc.

I worked there from 10/1996 until now

Freelance Content Developer

• Developed and implemented a content strategy for web and social media properties of LaCure, North America’s largest villa company• Acted as community manager, handling blog and social media posts, incorporating SEO terms and handling engagement with clients and potential clients through Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.• Writes marketing copy for e-blasts, website, ads, press releases, brochures, video scripts and other vehicles.

Company: LaCure Villas

I worked there from 1/1994 until now

Online & Print Editor

• Responsible for all web and magazine content for Canada's premier source for visual communicators. • Wrote daily blog posts. • Assigned, edited and wrote original web copy. • Launched and wrote a biweekly e-newsletter in MailChimp, achieving a click-open rate of 40 per cent. • Handled all social media engagement • Managed the entire editorial process, including working with a national network of freelance writers, editors, copy editors and designers.

Company: Applied Arts Inc.

I worked there from 1/2004 until 10/2013

Content I Write

Ideas and Pitches I Wrote

Cool Tools for Collaboration

When working on a web project with a client, agency or just among remote developers, the process is aided by the right right online collaboration tools. This blog post would cover 10 of the best, including: InVision, for design prototyping; Visual Inspector – a free chrome plugin allowing mark-up of a live site; Dyno Mapper, which inventories a website to create an interactive site map, with hierarchy and Google Analytics.

Content type: Blog Post


12 Tips for Choosing a Web Development Agency

The number of web development firms out there is increasing exponentially, all claiming to deliver customized, cost-effective solution. How do you separate the diamonds from the gravel? Follow our criteria, including looking for one with a strong strategic process, an impressive portfolio of custom web experiences, and one with in-house development capabilities. . . .

Content type: Blog Post


Trends Already Shaping Web Design in 2018

Well into the year, there are a number web design trends shaping some of the most effective sites out there. Clients and agencies should review this list of the top 10 trends, so they can improve their own web presence and business. This roundup would include broken-grid design, increasing use of illustration and unusual page transitions.

Content type: Blog Post


Taming the Open Office

Open-concept offices have become the norm in the workplace. But how do you stay productive and focused with all the unfiltered distractions around you? Having enclosed meeting and rest spaces, reconfiguring furniture, allowing more work time away from the office, attaching a special light to your computer that indicates to colleagues you are occupied are but some of the strategies that would be covered in this 600-word post.

Content type: Blog Post


Hotels Embrace New Smart Access

Hotels are increasingly catering to guests use of smartphone technology. Besides the now-standard WiFi service offered on premises, hotels are beginning to let guests use their smartphones instead of keys or pass cards to open their room doors, or to skip the check-in process. New technology will allow hotels to "push" information to guest phones on the WiFi network, with info perhaps about a special in the dining room. Or entertainment centres in guest rooms can be set up to work with phones.

Content type: Blog Post


Let Your Guests Market for You

Of course, word of mouth is always a great way to get businesses. But with social media and technology changing the game, the hospitality industry can increasingly draw on user-generated content to help market themselves. Not only can a hotel monitor guests' experiences through social media, it can find ways to use testimonials, images and even videos (with permission) to market itself. This is important in an age where the majority of travelers use online testimonials to select lodgings.

Content type: Blog Post


The Shifting Paradigm of Mental Illness

Around the world, advances in brain science are fundamentally changing how we view mental illness. Leaps we are making in neuroimaging, non-invasive brain stimulation, molecular tools and bioinformatics are changing the traditional way of thinking about, preventing and responding to mental illness. This 1,500-word article would cover some of the most important advances and what they mean for understanding, treatment and prevention of mental health issues.

Content type: Article