If I had a copywriting tips guide to follow when I landed my first job, it would have saved me a lot of suffering.
Mum, dad… please look away now.
I’m afraid that my expensive university education and a degree in English didn’t prepare me to write words that sell.
When I finished school in 2001, I was lucky enough to land a copywriting job at a huge media company. And to be perfectly honest, I thought that I’d find the job pretty straightforward.
But it wasn’t. Making the transition from writing academic papers to crafting commercial copy was really hard.
The truth: I used to be quite a horrible copywriter. And I don’t mind admitting it now.
I had to learn to write differently. I studied pro writers, copywriting tips, and the best ad copy. I tested and evaluated copywriting strategies to see what worked and what didn’t. I learned how to write words that sell.
And I’m keen on helping others make a living writing. These three copywriting tips will help you create better content:
Do you feel like everything has already been said? That it’s impossible to be original, in an age where everyone has instant access to everything?
Well, I disagree.
Fresh, original writers and bloggers emerge every day. Each of us is an utterly unique human being.
Yet originality remains a struggle for many writers. Here’s a typical comment I recently got on one of my blog posts:
“I run a blog and I’ve been trying to be original in my content. The more I try, the more I get less original.
“What’s your advice on this?” –Ifeanyi
When you feel like you have nothing fresh to contribute, it’s time to take a step back and shake up your creative process.
I put together this list of 18 originality-enhancing ideas because in Hebrew, the word for life, chai, has the numerical value of 18. Pump some new life into your writing with these!
For a while, I had a large client that hired many writers. My contact was an editor who managed the freelance staff. He was an abrupt man who spared no feelings.
At the time, I had only worked directly with clients. I could meet their goals, but my writing lacked force. I over-wrote, dismissed structure, and indulged my narcissism with unnecessary wit. I wasn’t bad, but I had that collegiate write-everything-you-can-think-of mentality.
My first experience working with a professional editor was heart-wrenching. It was a trial by fire: get better to get paid. But those lessons stuck with me and made me a better writer.
Want to improve your writing?
Avoid making the same mistakes as I did, and check out the seven hardest lessons this editor taught me:
Tagged with: editing
, editor relationships
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Want editors to trust you?
Well, you could flash your portfolio of published blue-chip writing their way.
Don’t have that? Show them great writing, from one concise, interesting sentence to the next.
I’ve been doing that for a decade, since a producer from Macmillan Publishers asked me for help debugging their e-books. They soon asked me to write their website copy. They were the first of many editors who trusted me — all because I learned the craft of writing well. That edge has paid off for me and others — and it’ll pay off for you.
Wondering how to craft sentences that make editors sit up and say “yes”? These four tips will make it happen:
We all know what it feels like to read brilliant writing. It draws you in, awakens your emotions and leaves you feeling alive with personal revelations. Most of all, it changes you for the better.
So what happens when you read your own writing, and it doesn’t quite rise to that level?
Some writers will say, “I know I can do better.”
But too many will say, “This isn’t good enough, and never will be. I should just give up.”
This is the moment when self-criticism becomes unhealthy and debilitating to your career. Your writing is going nowhere because it can’t get past your toughest critic — you.
As a writer and new blogger, I’ve been there. I know negative thought patterns will always creep their way into my consciousness and threaten to shut me down. In order for my career to survive, I’ve developed a few techniques to help turn my harsh self-criticism into constructive learning and growth:
Do you feel overwhelmed by all the competition out there for freelance writers? I recently got an email from a writer who told me she was frantic to find a niche where she could somehow be noticed despite all the…