Every trade has its own tools and copywriting is no different. Having the right tools…
Four Easy Steps To Better Copywriting
Good copywriting requires focus, and not everyone has the natural discipline (and/or lack of manners) required to successful ignore friends, neighbors, family members, pets, televisions, telephones, the lure of the Internet, and other distractions on a routine basis. Finding focus and clarity can often be far more difficult than it sounds, especially when it seem as if just about anything is more desirable any pondering the difference between adverse and averse or insure and ensure.
Rule Number 1: Keep it Simple
Keep the work area as simple as possible. No distractions should be presenting themselves, and this may mean moving the laptop or desktop. Family and friends are great, but copywriters must learn to politely and adroitly let others know that just like any other job, work time is work time and play time is play time; work before play is a key to success. Find ways to navigate these pitfalls before single distracting events become repetitive distractions and eventually breed bad habits.
If the home PC has too many distracting games and bookmarked websites (for the love of tabs) to look at, then use an alternate login or use another PC. Keeping a distraction free environment might mean using an ‘alternate’ OS such as Linux or OS X, both of which are (not surprisingly) heavily favored by writers and other artistic types.
Rule Number 2: Learn to Write Faster
Just like any other skill, practice and honest effort will result in tangible progress. This does not mean that progress is completely automatic. Instead, it should be taken to mean that eliminating problems and taking the time to learn tools more thoroughly is important. An old expression in baseball states that the reason that the word ‘error’ is used instead of ‘mistake’ on the scoreboard is that anyone can make a mistake, but those who know better do not make mistakes… they err. The difference is the wisdom to know better but the lack of appropriate action taken to avoid repeating the same problems over and over again.
Tools of the trade are also important. It is surprising to see how many copywriters do not know how to use even basic tools such as an online dictionary/thesaurus gadget or widget. Shortcut keys are another essential trick to saving time, even if they only save a second or two each time they are used. After all, a second or two on an action performed once or twice a minute starts to add up when one looks 40+ hour workweeks.
Rule Number 3: Track Progress
How can one know where they are going when they do not know where they have been? A good way to accomplish the latter in order to know the former is to keep track of how long it takes to write and edit a piece. Try to continually refine and lower this number without sacrificing quality and the floodgates of opportunity will open wide. Fail to keep the quality and value issues in perspective and those floodgates may lock up tighter than ever before.
Rule Number 4: Routines
Building a routine is helpful for almost everyone, even those who live the erratic schedules demanded by many copywriters. The fact is that copywriting is a highly competitive business and most customers do not want to wait for their work. This creates pressure to sacrifice relationships, hygiene, health, and other aspects that are a core part of the human experience. Learn how to schedule life and work around each other in a harmonious way and stick to that schedule whenever possible.