One of the best copywriters in the world, Gary Halbert said:
So, it’s no wonder why copywriting is such an in-demand and profitable career. It is the heart and soul of a marketing campaign.
With that being said the good news is Copywriting is a learnable skill. You don’t have to be very good at writing or have some extraordinary ability to master it, you can do it by putting consistent effort.
Even if you become a good copywriter you will leave about 90% of people behind you, you don’t need to become a pro in it.
The only pre-requisite required to enhance your skill is you must be willing to learn more and upgrade yourself (which I believe you are).
So to help you on this journey, there are several copywriting exercises, which will make your path a lot easier.
Remember when you’ve decided to learn a particular skill, it’s important to commit to it.
Setting aside time each day and doing these exercises will help you become a higher paid and successful copywriter.
It’s the act of practicing the skill over and over again that separates successful people from the rest.
So without further delay let’s dive into these copywriting exercises.
Read Books Of Great Copywriters
Throughout your copywriting journey, you must become a life long learner. And who’s best to teach you than the copywriting greats themselves.
I know you can’t get direct lessons from them, so why not read their well-written books which will provide you with everything you will require for your journey.
Here is a list of 3 best books you can start your learning with:
“The Boron Letters” – by Gary Halbert
“The Adweek Copywriting Handbook” – by Joseph Sugarman
“Scientific Advertising” – by Claude Hopkins
Now, these are few books that will be well worth your time but it doesn’t mean you should stop here. Make it a habit to read daily.
Also, look for sales letters and copies of these greats and read it thoroughly.
It’s one thing to read books and sales letters but another to use them. I prefer to use them.
As you’re reading, apply the key concepts in your masterpiece. See by yourself how these books have helped you in writing your awesome copy.
Write Proven Piece Of Copy In Your Handwriting
This is one of the most important exercises which you should do.
Handwriting a proven and winning piece of copy is the best way to get good at this skill. This exercise is known as Copywork.
Not typing on a laptop. Simply using pen and paper and writing down the copy word to word.
You should write it multiple times (at least two times).
This copy doesn’t necessarily need to be from your niche, it could from anywhere.
You can start your journey from these 3 proven pieces of copy.
Rolls Royce ad by David Ogilvy.
Lazy man’s way to the Riches by Joe Karbo
Famous Dollar Letter by Gary Halbert
Most people are too lazy to do this exercise. They’ll ask can’t they read it or type it. The answer is no. You should mindfully put pen to paper. This will give you a great competitive advantage.
So why is this exercise of writing by hand so effective?
Writing by hand forces you to slow down and connect to every word you are writing. Your brain is more engaged in the process. This leaves a long-lasting imprint in your brain.
You might be also thinking that most of these sales messages were written way behind from now so how could this help you now?
The answer is that time has definitely changed. We have become modern. But the reason for people buying a product is still the same.
So hand-copying and studying these ads will help you in understanding the reader’s mindset and what are the psychological triggers that drive their buying decision.
Also by handwriting every word of the master’s copies you’re effectively understanding their writing style. When you practice this, again and again, you begin to pick up their style of writing, voice, and their patterns.
You begin to understand what the copywriter was thinking when he wrote this copy. You start to retain their techniques. This will enhance your copywriting skill.
If you don’t believe me try doing this exercise by yourself. You have to experience it by yourself to truly believe how and why this exercise works.
Maintain Your Own Swipe File
“Get yourself a collection of good ads and DM (direct mail) pieces and read them aloud and copy them in your own handwriting.” by Gary Halbert
A “Swipe File” is just a folder where you keep all the advertisement and pieces of copy which has grabbed your attention.
You should save everything in your swipe file that you think is awesome, or that made you take an action e.g. an advertisement, a landing page, quotes, headlines, even bullet points…anything.
The purpose of your Swipe File is to refer it for inspiration, to get ideas on how to write your masterpiece. It’s a great resource that will help you in overcoming your writer’s block.
For example, you have to write a copy for your client and submit it tomorrow. But you are not able to figure out and put words in your copy.
Then you can read these sales messages. This will warm up your brain and can also give you ideas and inspiration.
You can use any digital folder for storing it. I use Evernote as it is easy to segregate into folders and subfolders and I can sync it with my smartphone as well.
I will highly encourage you to create your own swipe file. It will help you in writing your copy quickly and will save you a ton of time.
So if you don’t have a swipe file, create one. And if you have one, use it.
Subscribe to the email list of your competitors and big brands
Want to learn and grow faster? Follow and Subscribe to the email list of your competitors and bigger brands of the industry.
It’s very essential to read books. This will help you know the basics and the mindset of the buyers.
But you will get more of an insight into what’s working and what not when you follow your competitors. They would have also read the same books as you, so why not leverage their knowledge and experience.
They are also in the market to make a sale. So they will put their best foot forward and provide their customer with lots of value nuggets. Learn from them and utilize their knowledge.
Create a separate email and subscribe to their newsletters. This will help you in keeping track of what your competitors are doing.
If you can then buy their products so that you can have a better idea of their follow up sequence and upsells.
You can create a separate folder inside to categorize the emails.
You will be able to figure out how they are persuading people to buy their products? You can analyze their tone. What call to action they are using? How they are keeping the reader completely attached to their copy?
When you observe and figure out the style of their writing, it will help in your growth and you will learn a lot. It will also help you in scaling quickly and will keep you in check with the changing times.
To get better at something you must do it. Unless and until you implement the learnings you will not benefit from it. You have to get your hands dirty.
To become a basketball player you must go to the basketball court and practice. Only learning the techniques won’t help you.
To become an entrepreneur you must start a business and experiment. Only having a great idea won’t help you.
Copywriting is no different.
To become a master copywriter you must sit down and write every day.
Writing every day is one of the copywriting exercises that matters the most and you cannot ignore it whatsoever.
As in order to keep your body fit and fine, you must exercise daily so that your muscles become strong. Similarly, in order to write better copy, you must write daily and keep your ‘copywriting muscle’ strong.
You can write the descriptions of the Amazon products or various writing prompts to practice your skill.
You’ll get faster and better with each passing day. This will help you in making more money in less time.
You can start with a short-form copy first, like an email or social media posts. This will help you in getting the flow and will prepare you for writing better long-form copy.
Plus you can also mentally Re-write the banners and posters you see in your daily life. Utilize your knowledge and try to make the posters better.
This will boost your brain muscle and you will get the first-hand experience on the ads which the companies are using to promote their product.
No one can become a perfect copywriter. There is always a scope for improvement.
All the masters are also looking for their next level. They also want to enhance their skill and become better. You are no different from them.
You must keep learning and put in consistent effort.
These copywriting exercises will help you on your journey. It will increase your pace and will help you reach your destination quickly.
The more you practice, the better you get.
Remember that copywriting is a learnable skill. But to learn the skill, you should be consistent with your efforts.
So keep on improving and improvising. Soon you will surely achieve your dream.
Is there any other copywriting exercise that is helping you to enhance the skill that I might have missed?