Here’s the plan…
I’m going to hit you with five fast chunks of concise copy thought.
Some Ideas Suck
Some of your ideas will suck.
And that’s OK.
No one hits gold every time.
To get the good ideas out of your head you need to let the bad ones out too.
Live The Copy
When Daniel Day-Lewis took the lead in Paul Thomas Anderson’s incredible Phantom Thread, he studied the fashion industry for a year.
But more than just basic research, he went a step further. He learned to sew, studied drapery and even re-created what’s known as a Balenciaga dress from scratch.
As a result, his performance is on another level. He IS the character.
You should approach copywriting in the same way.
The best way to write authentically is to get inside what you’re writing.
Research is one thing, but like Daniel Day-Lewis taking on a part, you should try to go one step further and find a way to live the copy.
Read Read Read
If I sound like a broken record on this…
It’s because I am.
But without doubt the single best thing you can do to improve your copywriting is to read.
Read high brow. Read low brow. Read big books. Read small books. Read good copy. Read bad copy. Read magazines. Read the T&Cs. Read junk mail. Read newspapers. Read leaflets you find in waiting rooms.
Quite simply: the more stuff you put in your head, the more new ideas will come out on the page.
Fill Blanks Later
Sometimes it’s best to write quick…
It helps you get a natural flow and your copy will be stronger because of it.
When writing like this – in a stream of consciousness almost – the last thing you want is to be stopping to research a specific detail or to insert an element of proof.
To get around this as I write my first draft, I’ll leave gaps and Xs wherever I’d be slowed down and return to them later.
Yes it means more editing, but it’s worth it for the more natural copy you’ll write in the first place.
Share Your Ideas
Ideas are infinite.
Don’t make the mistake of keeping your ideas to yourself to somehow protect them.
The more you share your ideas with people, the more feedback you’ll get about those ideas.
And in turn, the more ideas you’ll have.
Find those useful?
I hope so.
If you’d like more bitesize bits of advice, make sure you follow All Good Copy on Instagram as you’ll find (almost) daily thoughts just like this.
P.S. I know a lot of new people have been discovering All Good Copy lately and it’s wonderful. What would be even more wonderful is if you were to pick up a copy of my book if you haven’t already.
You can grab a copy quite cheaply on Amazon right here.