Marketing trends change. Trends that dictate the way we use language change. And a piece of writing needs to change depending on who the reader is, or who you want your reader to be. To keep up, you need to keep your skills sharp. You won’t be able to get by re-hashing the same style of copy over and over. Here are five copywriting exercises you can do regularly to keep yourself in the loop.
1. Rewrite ads
Head onto Facebook or Instagram, or flip through a magazine. Choose a couple of ads you come across and jot down their copy. Make sure you have selected both ads you know could be of a better standard and that you know you can improve, as well as those you think are solid and feel inspired by. From there one of the best copywriting exercises you can do is to rewrite them. Try to make them more punchy without being too obscure, and more direct without pushing a hard sell. Keep some of your favourites and look back at them in a couple of months’ time. As well as actively practising this skill, you will be able to monitor how your writing style is evolving to refine it even further where needed.
2. Write three headlines and leads a day
This differs from our first exercise because you’ll be writing these from scratch. When deciding what to write headlines and leads for, use the world around you for inspiration. Choose products from your grocery list, items you see for sale on Facebook Marketplace, influencers you follow on Instagram, even things lying around in your own home. The larger the diversity of products you can write strong draw-ins for, the more adept your short-form copy skills will become.
3. Build an inspiration library
Whenever you see an ad, quote, statement or piece of language you think is incredible, take a screenshot and save it. You can organise your library by topic, length or style of the copy. Visit your library often when you are feeling lost for inspiration. You never know when a word might jump out at you as the perfect fit for what you’re working on. Constantly referring back to pieces that you aspire to writing the likes of yourself will also help you keep your mind on the goal and in the game.
4. Read psychology blogs
Writing copy that sells is not just about writing according to market trends. It is also important to understand why these trends are popular, and gain enough knowledge and experience to be able to roughly predict which trends are here to stay and which are fleeting. This is what makes these kinds of copywriting exercises so valuable. Aside from this, reading the work of well-reputed psychology sources will also give you insight into what kind of content makes us engage, has always made us engage, and how you can evolve it for audiences of different demographics.
5. Work with a creative club
And no, not with other copywriters. Within your own team at work, or with other creatives from your personal life or on social media, gather a group of different creatives. This way, you’ll have people who aren’t writers evaluating your copywriting exercises and giving you advice about how it reads as an outsider, an audience member. In turn, you would do the same for the designers, musicians, photographers, etc in your group.
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