How to get started with creative copywriting
If you’re thinking about becoming a copywriter, then you might want to pause here and go check out my other post, Fiction Skills: Not Just for Fiction. That’s a good introduction to the idea that fiction and copywriting can meld nicely in every writer’s life. Good news for those of us who don’t particularly care to rock the “starving artist” look.
Read? Done? Good.
This post is about being a CREATIVE copywriter. You know the kind, the ones that make the rest of us want to smother ourselves with pillows because we read their work and we hate them and yet even we want to send them love letters.
No seriously, I read an amazing post the other day in the New York Times and when I was done, I not only wanted to send the guy a letter, I wanted to be the president of his fan club.
Is that still a thing? Fan clubs?
Doesn’t matter. I’m bringing it back.
But since I can’t be him, I’m forced to instead spend more time enhancing my creativity. As are you. And in that case, what you really need under your belt is a handy toolbox to help you make your work more creative.
A lot of copywriting has the same principles as creative writing: how to tell a linear story, weaving in powerful description, using metaphors, the list truly goes on and on. You can take classes in person or online. One of my New Leaf Writing team members took an online class through Stanford. Afterwards she felt so cool taking a creative writing class from an Ivy league school, she almost bought an alumni sweatshirt.
And by “almost,” I mean she totally did.
But seriously, a creative writing class is a fantastic way to find your voice, and everyone should take at least one in their life. I also wrote a stinkin’ awesome guide to finding your voice, which you can find in the Free Resource Library. Highly recommend you grab it by signing up below.
A cheaper and faster way to get your skills up to par is to read a few books on creative writing, or just writing techniques in general. If you read my review of The Emotion Thesaurus, then you know that I take this book with my everywhere. It’s like my writing security blanket.
Another great nuts and bolts book is called The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White. It’s also a great reference book to keep handy on your desk. Just keep it out of the way of your coffee mug … as my copy would tell you.
Hey, accidents happen at 2 in the morning. Don’t judge!
Another great way to practice writing more creatively is to take a someone else’s work – an article, a blog post, an essay – and read it to get the gist of the information, then try rewriting it in your own voice. Not sure what you would rewrite? Well, if you can even ask that, it means you don’t follow enough blogs. Be faithful to your craft, friend, and go find some more inspiration!
If you’re truly inspiration-less, you can always do it with the copious amounts of adverting junk mail you get in your inbox. I do that all the time. I scroll through and think about how I can make selling sunglasses more personal, how can I make a juice diet more interesting, how can I make erectile dysfunction pills more fun.
Spoiler alert, you can’t make those more fun. Apparently if those things were any more fun you would have to go to the hospital. People do, you know.
But we’re getting off topic here. To get back on: Try one or two of these strategies a week and I promise you will see an improvement. And if you have any more ideas, please feel free to share them with us in the comments! In the meantime, it’s time to become your copywriting best self, so sign up for access to an entire library of free resources below, a true copywriter’s goldmine.
Without the gold.
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