A copywriter is one of today’s most sought after professions. This occupation isn’t new (ever since there exists a product to be sold, there is a sales message that accompanies it), but it has gone through a great transformation – practically evolution. Namely, most copywriting activities have moved online nowadays.

Job advertisements for copywriters generally won’t indicate a specific formal education since it’s a job that requires a little bit of everything: creativity, knowledge of the way social networks work, familiarity with the current trends, information about SEO, talent to present information clearly and concisely or to talk about a particular product or a service extensively while keeping the reader’s attention. Enviable knowledge of grammar and spelling is implied, while knowledge of foreign languages is a bonus. A lot is expected of a copywriter, thus they must search for that knowledge and information independently using various sources.

Copywriters often encounter the problem of the impossibility of practical application of acquired knowledge. A talented and ambitious copywriter won’t make progress if they don’t get the opportunity to apply their skills in practice. Companies mostly look for experienced copywriters and require a portfolio as an attachment to their CV (a list of clients whose campaigns they have worked on so far). Copywriter often receives a test assignment from a potential employer to prove their abilities. To develop their skills in practice future copywriters can do useful exercises. The result of practicing will be reflected in the increased speed and dexterity of their work performance, as well as in the growth of self-confidence.

What kind of exercises are of use for future copywriters?

1. Designing the existing ads

At first glance, it may seem like a waste of time – why bother trying to re-design the ad which already exists? However, it’s about mental exercise which will help you writing appealing copy become a routine.

Example: a local supermarket advertises an offer using the words “always fresh fruits and vegetables“ along with an image of washed fruit in a basket. Think over how you would change this ad and make it more attractive. Maybe you will add “in your neighborhood“ to “always fresh fruits and vegetables“. Or you will leave out fruits and vegetables from the copy and keep the mystery: “always fresh…“. You don’t have to limit yourself to text only. Think about the visual display as well. Apart from that, the copywriter’s task often includes giving input for visuals to a graphic designer. Think about what you would change in the image. Your conceptual solution will probably never reach the management of the market being advertised, but this time the goal isn’t cashing in on your creativity. The goal is to improve your skills through interesting mental exercise.

Task: Try creating a new ad based on an existing one.

2. The Creative Folder

It’s not about an active exercise, but about adopting the habit of archiving interesting ideas. Namely, every time you lay eyes on an ad that sweeps you off your feet, save the link or screenshot in your creative folder (you can name the folder whatever you want, the purpose remains the same). This way you will form the basis of creativity, which you can return to every time you need inspiration. Merely copying other people’s ideas is strictly forbidden. Nevertheless, you can find inspiration in the strangest places and one of those places is certainly the folder overfull with ingenious ads.

Task: Simple – create a folder and start archiving.

3. Work on Conciseness

Celebrated copywriters are particularly proud when they manage to convey complex information clearly in just a few words. The target audience’s attention is fragile and easily lost. That is why we must make an effort to make a person read the ad to the end. If the ad is prolonged and there is no sign of conclusion, we will lose the readers’ attention and a safe way to conversion.

When you design the first rough version of the copy, try to “cut“ it so that the point remains intact, and the message becomes concise. Bear in mind that a long copy is sometimes inevitable – the point is to convey the message in the best possible way. If we write too extensively, and in addition to that, we don’t offer any useful information – we will lose the audience’s attention.

Task: Design copy and try to shorten it as much as possible without losing its point.

4. Emphasizing Benefits Instead of Product Features Exercise

The common mistake many companies make in advertisements is pointing out their achievements instead of the ways how their product or service can meet their potential customers’ needs. The goal of the sales post isn’t for the company to brag about its business success, but to highlight how the work results can help the target audience. Offering a solution to a certain need – you will easily sell a product/service. If you persistently praise yourself, the only thing you can get is congratulations.

On the other hand, you can also publish posts whose aim is to highlight business success. In business, there is no room for false modesty. Still, if you want to sell the product, try thinking like your prospect rather than a salesman.

Example: A software company is selling their product with the message “our software supports multiple data streams at the same time (multiple cores) which means that, even in cases of increased downloads or uploads, the server will remain stable.” Their fellow software engineers will be delighted. However, we must always keep in mind who we are addressing. A message similar to “and when you achieve huge business success, and score site traffic of 300,000 visits per hour – your website will remain stable“ will more likely work in case of the audience unfamiliar with the performances of software solutions.

Task: Choose a company and a product and figure out how to bring them closer to the prospect.

5. Read the ad out loud

This exercise may seem unusual, but it can actually improve your writing skills for marketing purposes. We address the target audience through advertisements which means that our tone mustn’t be monotonous, and the message must be loud and clear. It’s not about a business letter, so we should set aside the formalities. Ads on social media are mostly based on the form (even though we never write it): hey, have you heard… Surely, the tone of addressing must always be following the brand policy and the audience’s age group. Regardless of who you are addressing, your tone should sound just as good both out loud and in your head.

Task: Read out loud all the copies written so far (if you haven’t already) and think about whether you would change anything.

The job of a copywriter is very interesting, creative, inspirative, you constantly meet new people, inform yourself about new products, and enter new topics. It is also responsible since you actually represent the voice of the company. You have to listen to what the audience is looking for and what the clients expect all the time.

One additional piece of advice for you is to try stepping out of your comfort zone and think of something different that makes you stand out from the crowd. Even if your ideas are considered too bald in certain situations, potential employers will certainly remember you as a creative copywriter who wasn’t afraid to try something new – supported by knowledge and perfectly formed.