Copywriting 101: Essential Tools of a Copywriter
Every trade has its own tools and copywriting is no different. Having the right tools for the job is important, and with that in mind we have collected a short list of essential tools for any copywriter:
Books – Books on punctuation, grammar, a dictionary, a thesaurus, and at least one book on idioms/phrases should be within easy reach of one’s workstation. More than one of each book might be a good idea if one will be writing on the road and cannot afford to leave their essential tools behind by accident.
Gadgets and Widgets – Gadgets and/or widgets that accomplish the same tasks as the aforementioned books can be a good idea for quick answers, but the content is always questionable. The fact is that a publisher stakes their name on every book they ship, but the same is not said of many apps, gadgets, and widgets.
Workstation – On the subject of workstations, an ergonomically sound workspace with plenty of room to work is essential. The same can be said of the chair, which is an often overlooked tool of a copywriter. There are only a few arguments against having too much space, and those arguments are highly subjective. As a result, consider space to be something that is highly desirable.
A Desktop, A Laptop, A Mobile Device? Sometimes the Answer is All of the Above – Copywriters often need to work on the go, or at least be able to jot down a great idea when something happens. Being equipped to handle the needs of the job is a key part of being a copywriter, but do not forget the book bag! When it comes to computers and gadgets, consider using ‘alternative’ OS devices, such as those powered by Linux or OS X; fewer distractions is a good thing,
Silence is Golden – Sometimes the most essential tool of a good copywriter is that which will grant them silence and/or focus. A good set of sound dampening and/or noise-canceling earphones can be critical to helping one achieve that elusive silence. Silence in turn helps to bring about focus, and that in turn helps copywriters produce more and/or better copy than a distracted copywriter.
Keeping Distractions at Bay – While we have already covered the coveted silence aspect of maintaining focus, it is often just as important to worry about other distractions. Does the computer’s browser beckon you to check out those sites that you probably never thought you would be interested in? Stay focused! Solitaire might seem like a lot of fun, as will that round of the latest online game, but these are time eaters to avoid at any and all costs. Find creative ways to avoid them, such as creating a ‘user’ profile that has limited access rights and no access to games or distractions. The Internet is easy to abuse, but consider an abuse jar that will collect a quarter or dollar for each and every infraction. If the jar is not being filled up when it should, then you need to look into a day job or hire a manager.
Follow these basic outlines, but feel free to add to it as appropriate. Many copywriters add to this list by keeping inspirational posters or rules ready.
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