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Starting with a blank page is never a good idea. For me, it’s the quickest way to realize I need to check my inbox one more time. Or finally organize the files on my desktop. Or run to grab a coffee so that I can focus. (I don’t think I need to tell you that these coffees don’t do much for focus.)
The bottom line is that, whether I’m writing an email or a blog post or a tagline, if I don’t start with some words on a page right away—or, better yet, already there—I have a very hard time getting started writing at all. That’s where copywriting tips and exercises help.
Copywriting exercises are like warm-ups; but instead of lunges or jumping jacks to get you moving, they’re short little prompts to help ease you into writing. By giving you a head start at generating or planning your writing, these prompts help you focus your copy before you even jump into the project at hand—or reset when you hit a wall that you can’t write through.
Whether you need to avoid the blank page or revise a project you’re stuck on, here are 10 quick, easy copywriting tips and exercises to help you start writing better copy sooner.
1. Write down the requirements
Most of us aren’t starting from scratch. We have a medium and, likely, we have a topic and goal. That could be writing a Google Ads headline for your dog walking business. It could be drafting Facebook posts for your restaurant. It could even be writing a blog post about copywriting exercises.
If you have this information—the medium, the topic, and the goal—use that to get started. Are there word count goals or restrictions? Will the copywriting appear on a blog, on product packaging, or on social? Is this a blog post, a PPC ad, or a video script? Jot all those details down at the top of the page so they stay top-of-mind.
copywriting tip underlining keywords example
Remember underlining key words in school writing prompts? Same idea.
From here, you should be able to identify the audience, the scope, and the purpose. Write that down, too. Once you have that, you have a clearly outlined project. And, well, you’ve started copywriting.
2. Rewrite your favorite ad
A good way to get started is to start with something else. Have an ad campaign that you loved? A blog post you always use in your portfolio? A favorite commercial?
Grab those copywriting examples, read them, watch them, and then rewrite them. Rework that ad campaign so that it’s applicable to your company. Take the best part of your blog post—the introduction, the title, the structure—and brainstorm how to use it again. Rewrite your favorite commercial for your company’s latest product or service launch.
Rewriting is writing—and who knows, maybe you’ll stumble onto something great!
3. Draw your assignment or idea
Not at all copywriting exercises have to include words. Hear me out.
Sometimes, the project at hand can be messy. Maybe you’re writing YouTube video scripts for a product launch. Maybe you’re working on email drafts for a new nurture path. For big projects like these, with lots of moving parts and little pieces, figuring out where to start writing can be challenging.
Less challenging? Drawing out the structure.
copywriting tips drawing out structure
A visual representation of sentences in On the Road that might actually be more challenging...
Use different shapes to represent the pieces of copy, and arrange them in order. Grab some scissors, cut them out, and rearrange if needed. Visualizing this helps—and pinning down the structure is such an important step.
4. Do a 10-minute freewrite
Can’t bring yourself to start writing those headlines or product descriptions? Give your brain a break and freewrite.
Freewriting is an exercise that requires timed continuous writing with no oversight and, most importantly, no feedback—that means no worrying about grammar, no stress about getting off topic, no need to even set a topic, and no requirement to show anyone or look at it ever again. Championed by Peter Elbow in the 1970s, this practice has made its way into classrooms everywhere because writing is an iterative process and learning to generate without oversight or feedback is an important part of it.
copywriting freewrite Peter Elbow quote
That’s also exactly why it can help you as a copywriting exercise. So set a timer for 10 minutes and grab an actual pen and paper, and let yourself get started without any rules.
5. Find some data
A lot of copywriting will require research, but all copywriting can benefit from it. Take time to read industry sources on your topic, check out relevant Twitter threads, ask an expert, review your account for interesting data.
In some cases, this research can help you write the copy.
But even if it doesn’t make it into the final product, having the background will make the copywriting stronger—and make the copy better.
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My name is Shaheen Ahmed, I am Writer, I love reading Urdu novels and books, I wrote many famous Urdu Novels and short stories, I am also writing an article for shaheen Books.