On Twitter, Chris Tweten asked, “What’s the fastest way to level up as a copywriter?”
The answer? Write more (and read more).
Good copywriting means writing something that resonates with a reader. Word choice, word order, sentence structure, length — amongst many other factors — are all important.
If you want to quickly improve in copywriting, challenge yourself to “say more” with less words. Keep in mind that:
- A Google Ads headline is 30 characters (only 2 headlines are shown, usually)
- Meta descriptions are ~160 characters (if Google doesn’t change them for you)
- A tweet can have up to 280 characters
These restrictions force you to be more creative and precise when writing. But if you find yourself getting stuck, read more and keep a swipe file of good copywriting. Follow people who write well on social media (I highly recommend Twitter).
Know your audience
Before you start writing, I recommend thinking about this:
Who do you want to write for?
Write with that person in mind. There are hundreds of ways to say the same thing, but once you know who you want to write for, it’ll help you determine how formal/casual you should be, the vocabulary you use, and the metaphors you create.
The difference between good copy and great copy is how much it resonates with your reader.
It’s important to also keep in mind that it’s okay if nobody reads it. Write more so that you can improve. You might not have an audience now but I’m sure you will so long as you consistently work to improve your writing, discover your voice, and find your niche. (Heck, I can be your audience! 😂)
Not sure what to write? You can do what I did with this blog post and use Twitter to find writing prompts. You can also read Amanda Natividad’s tips to never run out of content ideas on Twitter (many that apply outside of Twitter too).
The second fastest way to level up your copywriting is by reading what good copywriters have written. Alexander shared a great quote from David Ogilvy (the “father of advertising”), “Until you’ve got a better answer, you copy.”
With that in mind, there are lots of great copywriters you can follow on Twitter to find the latest copywriting tips depending on what you like to read. Outside of Twitter, here are the 2 main articles I’m always going back to and reviewing:
- Copywriting formulas (mostly short-form copy) from Copyhackers
- Landing page copy from Julian Shapiro
Now you have your audience, your inspiration, and (hopefully) some motivation. Here are a few free tools that may help you regardless of the type of copywriting that you do:
- Grammarly: gets rid of your typos and more with their Chrome extension
- Hemmingway App: improve the readability of your writing
- Power Thesaurus: find better words
- /r/whatstheword: ask kind internet strangers when there’s a word you can’t recall
- Thread Creator: draft and schedule Twitter threads for free
- MarketMuse (a free plan is available!): optimize your copy for SEO
The above lists are just based on the writing that resonates with me and the tools that I’ve used so far. If you have a cool inspiration or tool to share, let me know on Twitter.
Remember that it’s almost impossible to do marketing without copywriting. It doesn’t matter if you decide to specialize in PR, social media, content marketing or SEO — writing great copy is incredibly important. It’s a fundamental skill for marketers and one that’s really hard to master, so keep calm, and just write.