Great copywriting has an effortless quality. It can be playful, professional, witty or wise. But is it something that can be learned? Or is it an innate talent that’s hidden deep within? We think it’s a bit of both – a natural flair helps, but hard work can make the world of difference.
Whether you have the ‘gift of the gab’ or you struggle with every sentence, here are some ways we can all improve:
Read. Read. And keep reading.
One of the best ways to boost your copywriting skills is by reading – and reading widely. Fiction and non-fiction, adverts and poetry, billboards and novels… Follow Ray Bradbury’s advice: read a short story, an essay, and a poem every day, if you’ve got the time.
By reading broadly, you’ll begin to absorb the various ways language can be tinkered with and start crafting some colourful copy of your own. You’ll engage with different writing styles – some of it you’ll love and some you’ll hate – and by doing this, you’ll be better at capturing the right tone for your client.
Remember – the client really does know best
You’ve written a piece of copy worthy of an award (in your humble opinion). But when you show your client, they’re less than impressed. Though writing might be your forte, no one knows their brand quite as well as they do. So always listen to their feedback and be ready to learn from it. Being receptive to client needs will undoubtedly make you a better copywriter.
As you may well have guessed, one of the many attributes of a successful copywriter is having a solid grasp of English grammar and spelling. This understanding is crucial. To write good copy you need to learn the rules, practice the rules, and then be prepared to bend them.
Prune the flowers
It’s common for a new copywriter to make their work as elevated and flowery as possible – particularly if they’re used to writing prose. As beautiful as it may sound, it’s often unnecessary and can lessen the impact of your writing. Unless it’s right for the client, avoid long words and the excessive use of adverbs, otherwise it gets really super magnificently drawn out and boring – see?
Whenever possible, cut back your writing. Concise copy makes for easy, much more enjoyable reading.
Join one of our training workshops
As well as crafting copy ourselves, we run bespoke training courses that help keep your comms on brand. Tailored to your business, our courses teach you how to put your tone of voice into practice, as well as covering the essentials of good copywriting. Get in touch to arrange a collaborative workshop, or ask about our remote training services.
Haven’t got the time to learn but still want great copy? Drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0)1225 731 373.