How To Keep Your Copywriting Skills Sharp

By Jamie McSloy / April 2, 2018

How To Keep Your Copywriting Skills Sharp

Do you want to know how to keep your copywriting skills sharp?

This article will tell you.

SurvivingMy20s asks:

This is a really good question.

Copywriting is a skill and it’s also a habit. When you’re not copywriting, you’re certainly not getting better at it. If you don’t do any copywriting for extended periods of time, the neural connections you make will get fuzzy and you will be less effective.

So let’s talk about how you keep the skill up – even when you’re not copywriting.

(Time Out: If you’re enjoying this article, then you should probably sign up to my mailing list, where I give out ideas and business tricks that I don’t share publicly. Click here, fill out your details and get yourself on the list! You won’t leave this page.

Now Back To The Regular Programming Schedule…)

Split Copywriting Into Parts

Here’s how to keep your mind sharp for copywriting. You want to split copywriting into two parts:

  1. Market Research
  2. The Writing

This is handy because you can turn the first into a largely mental exercise that you can do anywhere and at any time.

The second is trickier, but we’ll split that up again into two parts:

  1. The elements
  2. The language

The Techniques

Before I talk about the above, let’s talk about what you’re actually going to do. It’s the same as when you sit down to write copy, except it’s a practice run (or not – more on that later.)

When you sit down to write copy, chances are you’re going to sit and do market research. You’ll come up with pain points and you’ll brainstorm your ideas for angles and the like.

Then you write the bullets and other ideas as well as benefits of the product.

Somewhere along the line, you write the copy and then you test it (if it’s your own projects or that’s in your remit.)

When you’re not doing this process for a client or a major project of your own, you can still run through this process.

You can also do a couple of other things:

  1. Read good copy (in your niche and outside it)
  2. Hand copy good copywriting

As a final exercise, you can take those things and pull them apart, ready to be recreated for your own projects.

Let’s talk about specific exercises.

Market Research

Let’s say you’re reading a thread on Twitter. Somebody is moaning about something. Let’s also say you don’t have a project to do.

What do you do?

You engage “Market Research” brain. You think, “This person has a problem. What’s the issue and what can you find to solve it?”

You can then do anything from browsing products that might fit the equation through to following a whole market research process of identifying pain points of a customer and building a profile of a customer.

Essentially, planning a sales letter or business for that hypothetical project.

Or, to take a different start point, you could think, “This issue in my life needs fixing.”

And then you act as a customer in your mind. What are your pain points and how would you go about fixing them if you were a businessman?


So what about actual copywriting?

Sure, you can hand copy ads. It gets a bit boring and here’s a better alternative.

But if you’re trying to keep your skills sharp, then I suggest you keep following the same trail.

A good way to do this is to go on Clickbank or wherever and look at sales pages and think, “How would I do this better?” or “What have they missed?”

This can be everything from the general angle through to specific bullets or a better call to action or whatnot.

To add to this… you should constantly be on the look out for new stuff for your swipe file. There is no time off from this.

Every day, we’re bombarded with all kinds of persuasive material. It doesn’t matter if you find a sales letter or you see a persuasive bit of trickery on the news. Hell, go in your email inbox and find the best P.S. sections from every marketing mail you receive.

Constant reading is how you stay with it.

Reading and rewriting.

Even if you have no projects, you can pull the examples you find apart and replace BUY MY LUNCHBOXES with BUY MY [X] and then store it for when you need it.

But really…

Why Stop Working?

You will always have passion projects. There are always opportunities to use copywriting. You shouldn’t ever think, “I don’t have anything to do.”

If you do, then follow this quick start guide:

  1. Get a hobby you’re interested in
  2. Start tweeting/vlogging/blogging/whatevering about it TRYING to get people to sign up for your mailing list
  3. Start said mailing list
  4. Send emails to those people that are a mix of helpful tips and affiliate sales emails

The above is a hobby that’ll keep you sharp and potentially develop into something else. You can do it for absolutely nothing and write a sales letter every single day for it.

You can even do this with ten hobbies, passions or business ideas you have and write ten emails and ten tweets every single day until you find one that works.

There’s nothing stopping you from practising copy on anything and everything.

P.S. If you’re not sure what to do with anything I’ve said above; If you don’t know how to research a market and develop a sales letter for said market…

Then you should get on my mailing list. I’m developing something that you’ll find super-valuable, and people on my mailing list are going to be the first to know.