There may be affiliate links in this article on how to improve your copywriting skills, read the full disclaimer here.
Rare thinking people like you already know that you need to improve your copywriting skills if you are producing content online.
Most people will just keep staying busy and working hard rather than taking the time to improve these skills. I would like to tell you that if you just keep practising your writing you will get better in time. The truth is, it can actually just take a writing cheatsheet to see a huge improvement.
This blog post will show you different ways to improve your copywriting skills quickly.
#1 Imitate Writers you Admire
“Whoa! Are you saying that I should copy other people’s work?
I’m all for unusual ways but that’s just plagiarism!!”
No pumpkin! I’m just saying start looking out for great copy! If you read something and it makes you want to buy it then keep hold of it.
Better yet, if you notice a family member or friend that has bought something due to an advert… KEEP THAT COPY!
Start a Copywriting Collection.
- Use a physical box for the stuff that you find physically (leaflets/ magazines/ newspapers etc.)
- Use Evernote (your digital brain… and it’s free) to “clip” or save articles you find online.
When you need some inspiration simply check out your collection and imitate your favourite copy. Books are a great way to learn more about copywriting and find some of the best copywriters that you would like to imitate.
#2 Write in the Morning
That heading was almost “write when you are most productive”.
But do you know what? I am yet to hear someone say that they tried to be productive first thing in the morning but found that they couldn’t!
Yes, it’s hard to get out of bed earlier.
Yes, you want to listen to your procrastination monkey.
But speaking from experience (and other people that have tried this), I guarantee you will boost your productivity and write better. It may take a few days to get used to it if you like your lay-ins. However, these are the basic steps to write better and more efficiently:
- Set your alarm 1 hour earlier
- Go to bed 1 hour earlier
- Write the template for your post the night before (if you’ve already written it then re-read the template before going to sleep)
- Force yourself to wake up when the alarm goes off
- Get some water (and a coffee if you must!)
Now, there is some sort of magic that goes on overnight. I can’t explain the neuroscience behind it, but with practice, your brain will magically have formed what you want to write.
This is one of the simplest ways to improve your copywriting skills.
CHEESE! Yes, that’s me writing this post early doors.
#3 Spend More Time Editing Than Writing
This is the author of Hypnotic Writing, Joe Vitale’s, secret!
Hypnotic Writing Review- How to Persuade and Seduce Customers with Only Your Words
He spends much more time editing and rewriting his work than he does actually writing it.
There are 3 reasons for this:
- He researches and plans his work before writing it.
- When he writes he uses a blank page and lets his subconscious mind take over.
- Only after he’s finished writing does he go back through his work with his cheat sheet.
Note, he even admits that his cheat sheet is his secret weapon and crutch.
Let’s see if we can write that sentence more hypnotically…
You don’t realise it yet, but the best copywriters admit that a cheat sheet is their secret weapon and crutch.
Let’s see if we can make it more active now…
You don’t realise it yet, but Joe Vitale reveals, “my cheat sheet is my secret weapon and crutch.”
Without this cheatsheet or some sort of swipe file, writing to persuade and influence people’s decisions would be so much harder. When you have the cheat sheet you just look for places to add in hypnotic phrases.
You probably know this already but using the Grammarly extension (free) helps to correct spelling and grammar mistakes as you write online. It’s a MUST HAVE!
You can find out some of the other resources that all digital marketers need to save time and make money.
#4 Use a Hypnotic Writing Cheatsheet
This is the easiest way to improve your copywriting skills.
Have you ever read someone’s work and been amazed at how easily it flows?
Did it make you wonder how you ended up scrolling through a super long web page for the past 10 minutes? Even though you knew it was clearly trying to sell you something!
Well, my amigo, that is hypnotic writing.
It occurs in books that you can’t put down and it exists online.
Are you beginning to realise that there are words and phrases that are scientifically proven to grab your readers attention and persuade them to buy something?
Drift back to a time when you bought something online. What was it that made you make the purchase? Chances are that the copy you read used hypnotic words and phrases whether the writer realised it or not.
Now, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could get a hypnotic cheatsheet for free right now?
#5 Entertain! Use an Analogy or Simile Book
Going overboard with humour when you are trying to sell something is as welcome as a french kiss at a family reunion.
But let’s face it…
People want to be entertained.
Plus if you can make your point through a metaphor or analogy people can come to the conclusion themselves! This is much more powerful than spelling something out to them.
Which sentence do you think is more effective?…
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#6 Tell Stories to Sell in Stealth Mode
Hey buddy! Why don’t you buy this top of the range course that I’m about to sell to you in just a moment?
I’ll tell you what it has…
- How to drive traffic from SEO
- Training that will smash other stuff out of the park
- How to make a killing from Facebook ads
- A ready-made website that will make you $3,789 a day for doing nothing!
Right, be honest now… How many times have you seen something like this before?
And what did you do after you read it?
Too right! You clicked that fat red cross in the top left and never went back to this spammy website!
NOBODY likes to be sold to! However, everyone likes to buy things 😉
This means it’s your job as a copywriter to persuade someone to make a decision that will help them, without forcing a sale down their throat.
Three Feet From Gold
Let me tell you the story of Napolean Hill’s “Three feet from gold”…
R.U. Darby was caught by the gold fever in the gold-rush days. He spent weeks digging and using his pickaxe plus machinery to discover a shining ore. His family and some of his neighbours helped him dig along the gold vein thinking they were sure to find gold at the end of it.
And then one day, they lost the vein.
Darby panicked. They drilled hopelessly trying to find the vein again, but it was gone.
Eventually, they quit.
They sold all the machinery they had bought to some junk man and set off back home.
However, this junk man had also heard of the gold rush. So he hired a mining engineer to do a bit of calculating. The engineer told the junk man that he thought the tunnel already created was only 3 feet away from the vein.
The junk man took millions of dollars in ore from the mine.
Well, let me tell you something else. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get blogging experts knowledge, some of whom are making over $100,000 per month from their blog?
These experts courses have been condensed into 11 days worth of knowledge that can be dripped into your inbox, with simple actionable steps each day.
If you feel like you have been digging for gold for a long time, this may well be your engineer…
#7 Recommending Something Great… to the Right Person
This is a bit of a no brainer but you would be surprised how often this one gets overlooked!
Let me ask you this.
If you knew someone that loved football and you managed to get tickets to the World Cup final for £100 do you think they would be interested?
Now, let me ask you this…
Do you think you could sell those tickets to an introverted music lover who can’t stand being in big crowds?
I think you get the point… NEXT!
#8 Get Out of Your Ego
What you want doesn’t matter. You must write to your readers wants.
Don’t write what you want them to do… write what will benefit them!
Personally, I find it really time-consuming marketing and getting my blog posts in front of people. So I’ve spent a lot of time researching how to use Pinterest to make my blog marketing more automated. I’ve managed to double my traffic within one month of using these Pinterest strategies.
The Top 4 Secret Pinterest Hacks
How to Use Pinterest for Beginners
That previous paragraph is irrelevant!! You don’t care!! Let’s see if we can rewrite that paragraph by getting out of my ego…
Of course, you’ve heard that Pinterest is by far the best social media platform to drive traffic to your website. But do you know why?
People use Pinterest to find information in a similar way as to how they use Google. You can use keywords in your titles and descriptions of your pins. Plus, it’s possible for people to find a pin from a couple of years ago, unlike a tweet. Other forms of social media are primarily to interact or see what other people are up to. Simply put:
- Google = User to content
- Pinterest = User to content
- Facebook = User to user
- Twitter = User to user
Are you beginning to see how Pinterest can help you to get a constant stream of traffic to your blog posts?
STOP and picture what you could do if you could automate this traffic from Pinterest.
#9 Use Short Sentences & Paragraphs
They are easier to read of course.
It helps to keep your readers attention.
The more they read, the more engaged they are in your writing!
Plus, it’s a proven fact that people skim a lot more when reading things online…
How do people read online #content? You'll be surprised: #infographic #contentmarketing pic.twitter.com/Rg831PBr92— Boost The News (@BoostTheNews) June 15, 2016
So you want to make it easy to read… but don’t overdo it! It can make the text look too choppy and even make it harder to get a sense of the flow of ideas.
If you want to see some excellent use of short paragraphs and sentences online then check out the book review of Kelvin Dorsey’s book below.
Book Review 81 Days to Becoming on Online Sales Machine
#10 Create Excitement and Curiosity
Here’s a fact for you:
You can create excitement and curiosity by placing mental images into peoples heads.
Here are some ways to inflame curiosity:
- Unknown resolutions
- Violated expectations
- Access to information known by others
- Weird and wacky
If you can do any of these things you’re much more likely to get clicks on your links.
Experts explain how to persuade and seduce customers with only your words.
#11 Write Damn Good Headlines!
You probably know that the title is more important than the post itself.
If you can’t get people to start reading your copy then is there any point in writing it?! That is why you want your headline to grab attention and push peoples emotions so that they want to read your writing.
The one job of your headline is to get people reading the first line.
The only job of the first sentence is to make people read the second sentence. I think you see where this is going…
There are so many proven headline templates that you could use. It would be too much to write about in this post, but here are a few examples:
- Promise a benefit i.e. Free from backache in 10 minutes!
- Offer something free i.e. Free Book on Car Repairs
- Use how-to headlines i.e. How to Win Friends and Influence People
You can find 13 headline templates plus the best emotional and eye-grabbing words to use within your headlines in the Hypnotic Cheatsheet freebie above.
Once you have thought of a few different headlines, run them through these 2 headline tools:
- Coscheduler– Great to get a quick rough idea
- Aminstitute– More accurate at giving an emotional score
Wondering how to write better #headlines? Here's a quick #infographic just for you!#contentmarketing #blog #writing pic.twitter.com/TOhDUVkX74— Andreea Dutescu (@andreea_dutescu) March 30, 2018
If you are writing copy online and you want it to be found on search engines then the keyword you use is so important. That’s why using a keyword research tool can help to show you what keywords get the most searches per month and what keywords have the least competition (other websites using the keyword).
It’s a great way to reach the low hanging fruit that exists!
#12 BONUS- Use the Word “Secret”
Why does the word “secret” entice people in so much?
- People are innately fat and lazy! “Secret” implies doing less work
- People are curious creatures
- Most people feel like everyone else is in on something that they aren’t
- People are competitive (have you ever looked for a car park space in a full car park?…)
- “Secret” implies you’ll gain an advantage over others
If you want to get more clicks on your work, then use this secret!
Improve Your Copywriting Skills Summary
So there you have it!
It doesn’t have to be a really long and tedious task to learn how to improve your copywriting skills. Have you noticed yet that there are so many ways to see an improvement quickly?
Imagine what it would be like if you could help reach more people to live a life that they dream of.
Your copywriting skills may just be the one thing that will help you to be able to help them.
Keep changing for the better,
P.S. If you have any questions or thoughts please feel free to drop a comment below… or send me a message on WA here
Quite a useful summary of techniques. Telling story is a really powerful one. Not only do I use it in my writing but I just can’t resist it as a reader.
I love how you lay it out with the word secret. Certainly have seen it a million times but never really think about thy it is so powerful. The way you explain it totally make sense. Some human nature eh.
Thanks for sharing this.
Thanks so much for your comment! Yeah, human nature is a wonderful thing 😉
I hope it helped!
Edit more than writing really jumped out at me. As an indie author, I can’t stress this point enough. I think a lot of those in my field tend to focus more on writing than editing, because writing is what we love to do. However, editing is where books, and even copywriting for that matter (a la book description) are made. I spend far, far more time editing than writing, perhaps a 10 to 1 ratio at minimum. All I can say is it has made my texts close to if not error free in both grammar and plot. While a professional editor would be my choice, they can cost four-figures, so for all my writers out there, hit hard on the editing.
10-1 is a very strong ratio! For most people they want to get content out there so spending the time editing can be really hard.
Personally, I have found using a cheatsheet has saved so much time in making my work flow better, I simply just plug in statements where they fit! I’ve also found that by practising and using it regularly I’m starting to use statements that read better.
Trying to work smarter not harder!
Another drop in the treasury of my knowledge! Thank you for sharing tips on how to improve my copywriting skills. I am using Grammarly for one year, plus a couple of months. It made a huuuuuge difference in my writing skills. I highly recommend this fantastic tool!
Also, I can confirm the tip #2 with full confidence. It pays to know your psychology 🙂
Thanks for the book recommendation. Mr. Joe knows his stuff. I will buy it immediately and devour as soon as it comes in the mailbox.
Glad you enjoyed it! Joe is a brilliant writer and I learnt so much from his book. Another one is 81 Days to Becoming an Online Sales Machine.
It’s just so easy to read and so many useful tips.
Thanks for stopping by
Very helpful information! Thank you.
Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help
Gonna have to book mark this one, you’ve given some great advice here. Thank you for the freebie =)
You are most welcome I hope it’s useful to you! I honestly spend so much time using it, I don’t really know what I used to do before having the cheatsheet!
Let me know if you have any questions about it
Hey Mike, great tips. I really am in need of improving copy writing skills. Can’t wait to put in practice your tips!
I hope they help!
Thanks for checking it out
Great post, thanks for sharing.
I started to write my posts in the morning only a couple of weeks ago, and I must say I have been a lot more prolific.
Also, I went back to some of my older posts and changed my headlines to make them more keyword rich and can jump out…hopefully.
Your post and site will definitely help me and other internet marketers, so I have bookmarked your site.
Thanks again for sharing,
Thanks for the kind words, I hope it does help. There’s a never-ending stream of things to learn aren’t there?!
Yeah, I’m actually just learning a lot about headings currently so I’ll have a post coming out about it next week. Who would have known there’s actually a formula you can use eh?
Thanks for reading
This is a brilliant article, you have presented articulately some great tips to improve copywrting skills. My favorite one is ‘Hypnotic Writing’ and i really would want to know more info on the same. Getting up early in the morning to write a post, is the most difficult one, that said, i will try, as i heard from many people. Thanks Mike really appreciate your smart ways and i will put this into action straight away 🙂
Hypnotic writing was a game changer for me. I started writing more clearly and it put more of a structure to my writing. It’s still a work in progress but the cheatsheet has helped a lot I must admit.
Defo try the mornings. Force yourself to start with and trust me it does get easier. I’ve realised I save so much time by being productive and doing all of my writing in the morning.
Let me know how it goes for you,
This statement, “Write the template for your post before you go to bed” is a thing I have done with really good results.
This has been the most helpful thing to do for me. When I want to write a post it’s usually hard to kind of just start. When I think of what I want to write about and find my keyword, I write my heading and leave it be, it’s amazing how my mind begins to work.
When I get up in the morning I am automatically ready to write! The willingness to begin writing is amazing. I am always surprised at this. It has a magical feel to it.
Copywriters will never go without food on the table if they apply their skills. There are so many copywriting opportunities online.
Thank you Mike for these 11 unusual ways to improve your copywriting skills. I have learned a few things that I am going to implement.
Yeah, I really do think there’s some magic that goes on when you write or re-read your plan before going to sleep. The brain defo does something special there!
Thanks for stopping by Danielle, I hope it helped
Thanks for the information. This is a really useful post.
Thanks Tania, I’m glad it helped!
Hi Mike, a great article you’ve written here! I’m definitely bookmarking it so I can read it back every now and then. Especially #4 was mindblowing for me. Just one question, sometimes I also feel that I’m just writing whatever comes up in me, and I do feel that those are the lines that are quite good and fluent, but how do you involve the keywords you researched for SEO? That’s sometimes a hassle for me, so one time I write an article just with the flow, and another time I try to use keywords and make sure that it’s rich content…
Great question! Something that I have learnt the hard way is that there are kind of “stages” to writing a blog post.
Stage 1. research (keyword research/ anything you are linking to etc.)- make sure everything is there for you to write the post
Stage 2. Writing- this is where the “flow” you talk about comes in
Stage 3. Editing- this is where you check grammar and spelling, but also make sure it is keyword optimised
(Some people add more stages but these are the main 3 for me)
You need to do each stage separately otherwise it won’t flow as you say.
Something that I have noticed with practice is that once I know the keyword I subconsciously add it in as I am in the writing stage. I often find I don’t need to add it in any more in the editing stage.
Glad it helped, do let me know if you have any more questions.
(Really important point **make sure it reads well to humans FIRST, if it makes no sense to add a keyword then don’t do it!**)
That’s great! Thanks!
You are very welcome!
I never really understood the importance of honing my copywriting skills until now, this article certainly puts a lot of things in perspective for me.
Especially the part about telling stories in stealth mode, I will definitely need to work on that…
I also never really realized that people actually hate being sold to, and that they find it spammy if you do.
Haha, yeah well just imagine a sleazy car salesman. People are much less likely to buy from the old stereotype now as they are much more aware when they are being sold to. People love stories, can remember them so much better and figure out the message without you having to spell it out!
This information is very helpful for those who are writing for any reason. The editing of your writing is one of the most important point that most miss. IF you do not have readability in your writing, nobody is going to read all of your information.
Having Grammarly is a great help, I also use reading my stuff out loud, hearing what is written gives you a better understanding on what makes sense to readers.
You have some great points to follow, what do you think is the most important thing headlines or readable content.
Hey John, glad it could help.
Blogging is a moving vehicle really, unfortunately, there is no “one most important thing”.
You need to have a catchy title to get people to click on your article and read it. Your first line needs to be enticing enough to make people want to read the second. The second line needs to be good enough to make people want to read the third… etc. etc. Then if they connect with what you wrote they may sign up to your email list. Then if your emails are good enough and help them, they may buy something from you. They’re all connected and all equally important but you just have to take it one bite at a time.
Saying that I do not think people put enough attention into making their headlines and openings good enough. I actually heard that you should spend a similar amount of time on your headline as you do your article! I think that’s a bit much if you spent 6 hours writing it but it at least shows how important that aspect is. Check out 13 effective ways to make your headlines stand out for a great formula I try to use for over 50% of posts.
As long as you are providing value and answers to people’s questions that’s the main thing.
Hope that helps
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