Copywriting is a skill anyone can learn. There are several copywriting exercises you can do right now, which will help you learn this skill better and faster. These copywriting exercises are for anyone who wants to become a high income copywriter. They’re also great for those who want to upgrade their skills. Many are exercises I learned from my mentor Alan Jacques, and master copywriter Gary Halbert.One of the best copywriters in the world, Gary Halbert said, 'The written word is the strongest source of power in the entire universe.' Click To Tweet
One of the best copywriters in the world, Gary Halbert said, “The written word is the strongest source of power in the entire universe.” So, it’s no wonder why copywriting can be such a lucrative career.
Anyone can become a copywriter, but with the copywriting exercises I’m going to disclose, you can start becoming a master copywriter. I’m going to give you copywriting exercises that you can do right now, from home. That’s what’s so great about the gig economy, also known as the freelancer economy. Some of the most highly-paid freelance jobs, such as freelance copywriting, don’t require much more than a laptop and a learned skill. Copywriting is a learnable skill that beginners can quickly master.Some of the most highly-paid freelance jobs, such as freelance copywriting, don’t require much more than a laptop and a learned skill. Copywriting is a learnable skill that beginners can quickly master. Click To Tweet
I personally became a high income copywriter even though English is not my first language, and my writing abilities weren’t that great. I flunked English in high school. If I could learn copywriting and earn over $10,000 per month as a new copywriter, so can you.
Perhaps you’re reading this because you want to learn how to become a copywriter. Or, maybe you want to become a better copywriter, so you’re curious which copywriting exercises might upgrade your skills. If you’re already a copywriter, wanting to enhance your skills, these copywriting exercises I’m about to share will help you accomplish exactly that.
If you’re a copywriter with no experience, know that these copywriting exercises can be done by yourself at home, and will help you gain copywriting experience.
Before I provide you with 7 of my favorite copywriting exercises, let’s discuss more reasons why it’s important to do such exercises.
Why Is It Important To Do Copywriting Exercises?
It’s important to commit to the specific skill you’ve decided to learn. Setting aside time each day to do some copywriting exercises will help you become a higher-paid, more successful copywriter. When you commit to these copywriting exercises, you’re practicing your skills.There’s a reason why the ancient proverb Practice makes perfect is said so often. But it’s not just practicing that leads to success. It’s often the act of practicing one specific skill over and over, that separates successful… Click To Tweet
There’s a reason why the ancient proverb Practice makes perfect is said so often. But it’s not just practicing that leads to success. It’s often the act of practicing one specific skill over and over, that separates successful entrepreneurs from the rest.
Renowned martial artist Bruce Lee famously said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Lee was known for the thousands of hours he dedicated to perfecting his skills as a martial artist. He was legendary because of his perseverance, and his commitment to ongoing training and practise.
A lot of the decisions I made which expedited my success, were because of things I learned from Bruce Lee.
Bruce Lee didn’t just believe in the importance of practising. He understood the power of narrowing your focus to one specific skill (in his case, one specific martial arts move at a time) and practising that specific skill over and over until it was mastered.
It’s beneficial to practice the skill of copywriting by doing copywriting exercises in your spare time. That’s how you become one of the best. And many of the best freelance copywriters are making so much money that they’ve achieved financial freedom and their dream lifestyle.
Practising one specific skill every day, such as the skill of copywriting, is how you master a skill. So, if you want to master copywriting and not just learn it, below are 7 copywriting exercises you should start doing right now:
1. Create a Separate Email Account to Receive Copywriting Materials from Competitors
Create a special email address which has one sole purpose: To review and keep track of your competition. For this exercise, you’ll need to create a new email account, and this will be your ‘learning email address’.
Part of this exercise involves subscribing to receive email newsletters from other companies or brands. When you visit a successful company’s landing page, for example, do you get prompts to sign up or subscribe? Do it, using the special email address for learning that you’ve created. That way, your primary email inbox won’t get flooded, but you can track your competition.
Once you sign up or subscribe on multiple company websites, you’ll start receiving their offers, newsletters, sales letters, etc. You’ll get to read their sales copy. It’s genius, because you’ll now be receiving the copywriting materials your competitors send out to their prospects each week. You’ll get to review how your competitors close in print, and see their copywriter’s handiwork.
In this ‘learning’ email account, you can create folders for the different brands or businesses you’ve subscribed to. You’ll start collecting all of the copywriting materials that they strategically send to potential customers. Have you ever wondered how successful companies talk to – and close – their prospects? They often do it using persuasive copywriting, and you’ll now have an accessible database of their persuasive copy.
By doing this exercise, you’re building an email archive that showcases the work of other talented copywriters, and you’ll learn a lot.
2. Write Out Proven Pieces of Copy In Your Own Handwriting
Writing out copy by hand is one of the most important exercises you could practice, and my mentor Alan Jacques taught me its importance. Gary Halbert also swore by this exercise of writing out famous advertisements by hand, word-for-word.
My mentor Alan told me that most people he teaches this exercise to, are too lazy to do it. Writing by hand does take a long time, but that’s one of the reasons it works. It takes even longer to do this exercise my way. I suggest that you take proven pieces of copy or successful ads, and copy them down word-for-word in your own handwriting, multiple times. I’d encourage you to write out the same ad copy or sales letters by hand, more than once.
Most people are too lazy to do this. Can’t I just read it twice? They’ll ask. Can’t I just type it out using my laptop? The answer is no. The whole point is to mindfully put pen to paper.
So why is the exercise of writing by hand so effective? There’s a reason why so many of the world’s best copywriters – and the world’s best writers – write by hand as a technique. World-famous writers such as Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, and F. Scott Fitzgerald all chose to write by hand even when a typewriter or computer were available to them.World-famous writers such as Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, and F. Scott Fitzgerald all chose to write by hand even when a typewriter or computer were available to them. Click To Tweet
Let me tell you what happens to your brain when you put pen to paper. Handwriting increases neural activity in certain regions of the brain. Putting pen to paper integrates more sensory-motor skills, which means that your brain is more engaged when you write by hand.Putting pen to paper integrates more sensory-motor skills, which means that your brain is more engaged when you write by hand. Click To Tweet
A 2017 study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that brain regions associated with learning are more active when humans write things out by hand.
In a 2015 study entitled Handwriting versus Keyboard Writing: Effect on Word Recall researchers at the University of Stavanger found that cognitive benefits of handwriting include better memory – especially better recall.
Writing by hand forces you to slow down and truly connect with the words you are writing. When you write things out by hand, you truly process each word and each sentence. This leaves more of an imprint on your brain.
In copywriting, your goal is to imitate the masters, since you know what they do works. By handwriting every word of a master copywriter’s sales letter onto a piece of paper, you’re effectively downloading their writing style to your brain. As you handwrite their copy again and again, you begin to pick up their style of writing, their voice, and their patterns.By handwriting every word of a master copywriter’s sales letter onto a piece of paper, you’re effectively downloading their writing style to your brain. Click To Tweet
As you handwrite a master’s ad or letter over and over, it’s this bizarre experience where you get into the psyche of the copywriter who wrote that famous ad or letter. You begin to understand what the copywriter was thinking when he or she wrote each sentence. You also start to comprehend the mental state of the copywriter who wrote that piece of copy.
As I carried out this exercise, I would start to memorize the sentences and be able to finish writing the sales letter by memory. I would also start retaining specific techniques used in the copy.
Many studies have proven that writing by hand helps with memory retention and comprehension. A 2014 study from researchers at Princeton University and the University of California entitled The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking found that students who wrote their notes by hand in class, ended up with a better understanding of what was taught that day. Students who wrote their notes by hand engaged in more mindful note-taking, which improves one’s memory of what they’ve learned.
My advice to a student who took notes during class using their laptop, would be to rewrite those notes by hand when they get home. It helps you remember. And, my advice to a copywriter who wants to be as good as one of the masters, is to write out every word of their best pieces copy by hand.
This is how I got good at copywriting. If you don’t believe me, try doing it yourself. You have to experience it for yourself to truly understand how and why this exercise works.
3. Talk to Customers and Ask Them Questions
This exercise is so simple, yet it’s one of my best secrets. Taking the time to talk to the customers gives you a tremendous advantage. When I was a copywriter, clients used to contact me, wanting to hire me to write their copy. Do you know what I asked them? I asked my clients if I could talk to a few of their best customers.
All you have to do is ask your client if they can get permission for you to reach out to some of their existing or previous customers.
I would call my client’s existing customers, and talk to them. I would ask, “Why did you do business with this company? What motivated you to buy from them, instead of someone else?”
This exercise of simply talking to the customers made me look like a genius, because of how much valuable information I gathered. Even though the concept is so simple, not many people actually do this. Many business owners don’t talk to their customers or ask questions. And most freelancers don’t think to do this when they take on new clients, either.
When I executed this exercise, the customers would often tell me anything I wanted to know, and I would write it all down. My client’s customers would tell me things like, “I love the customer service, I love the brand message,” and go on and on, providing priceless feedback.
Then I would ask my client, the business owner, “Do you know why your customers buy from you?” Most of the time, my clients would guess reasons why their customers like them, and they’d often be wrong.
This means I’d often get to look like a genius and say, “That’s actually not true. Let me share some of the things your customers told me. Let me share some customer feedback with you. I’ll tell you why they buy from you, and I’ll tell you what they like about your company.”
My clients thought I was a genius when I brought this type of information to them. They’d say things like, “Oh my … ! Why didn’t I know about this? Why didn’t we know this is what our customers like?”
My clients didn’t know the true feelings of their customers, or some of the underlying things that truly motivate their customers to buy. They didn’t know, because they never asked their customers.
But I did ask, and I soon realized that most people buy for the same reasons.
I took the guesswork out of it. By actually talking to the customers, you’re doing proper research, and taking the guesswork out. When you seek to understand the customers like this, you’re going above and beyond.By actually talking to the customers, you’re doing proper research, and taking the guesswork out. When you seek to understand the customers like this, you’re going above and beyond. Click To Tweet
A perk of this exercise is that now, you can add something to your pitch that will make you stand out to a potential client. You can add the part about how you’ve talked to the customers of this industry, and you understand this industry’s customers on a deeper level than most copywriters do.
4. Use The Wealth of Knowledge on Swiped.co
Another one of the copywriting exercises I highly recommend is continually browsing the wealth of knowledge Swiped.co has to offer.
Swiped.co is the go-to resource for copywriters and savvy marketing professionals who need inspiration for their next big project or marketing campaign. Almost every copywriter or marketing professional has some type of swipe file where they store inspiration, ideas and old copy that worked in the past. Swiped.co is a place to share that valuable information with others.
It’s not about swiping or copying the work of other copywriters. Swipe.co will actually help you understand why what that copywriter wrote worked. This platform will encourage you to use what others created as inspiration to create your own masterpiece.
On this platform, you’ll see a lot of different swipe files and sales letters. My advice is to look for ‘control’ pieces. Do you know what I mean by ‘control’ pieces? Look for marketing pieces that have been proven to convert. Look for formulas or copywriting pieces that have been proven to generate revenue. Save the control pieces that other copywriters have written and shared. Save those pieces written by the masters that have been proven to convert.
You’re building your own virtual library for mastering copywriting when you save these control pieces, ideas, and inspiration.
So what do you do next, once you’ve saved powerful pieces of copy and innovative ideas to your virtual library? Dissect these pieces of copy. Take each piece, and figure out where the story-telling part is, what the punchy headlines are, where the guarantee is, and what the call-to-action is.
This gives you an understanding of what works, what has worked for others, and what makes a piece of copywriting good.
5. Get Random People to Read Your Copy
Gary Halbert was one of the greatest copywriters of all time. He sells to the masses. It’s been said that Halbert would often get strangers to read his copy. This is one of the most important copywriting exercises you could do. Back in Halbert’s day, it was likely a piece of direct mail copywriting that he was asking people to read. It’s been said that after he finished his copy, Gary Halbert would take what he wrote with him to a bar, or somewhere public. He’d show people what he wrote to sell a particular offer. He’d see what people thought of his copy. Some strangers will surprise you by showing in buying it after reading it.
So yes, you should show your work to other people as an exercise. You could even show it to strangers. They might give you feedback that you would never have otherwise been aware of.
What types of things might you find out if you get random people to read your copy? Maybe something in your writing is confusing, or not as clear as you thought it was. It could be something that is obvious to you, but you learn it’s not obvious to every reader. For example, I thought everyone knew what closing was. I’ve been in the sales industry for so long, and I used to assume everyone knows what closing means. I learned that many people don’t know what that word means. So now I explain what it means.
You can’t communicate your message if you use a word, a term or an acronym that some of your readers don’t understand. Perhaps they’ve never heard this term before, so now they’re getting confused. And do you know what happens when people are unclear or confused? They don’t buy. That’s what happens.
6. Read Your Copy Out Loud To Yourself
Just as you can to the gym and exercise your muscles, you can also exercise your copywriting abilities. If you put in the extra effort to exercise your ‘copywriting muscle’, your copywriting skills will be stronger, more persuasive, and more valuable.If you put in the extra effort to exercise your ‘copywriting muscle’, your copywriting skills will be stronger, more persuasive, and more valuable. Click To Tweet
The exercise of reading your copy out loud to yourself will definitely strengthen your copywriting skills. That’s why after you finish writing your copy, you should read it out loud to yourself. I know this takes extra time, but it’s worth it. Why? Because when you read it out loud, you’ll notice which parts don’t flow. You’ll notice which parts sound awkward. If it doesn’t flow when you read it out loud to yourself, then it won’t flow for your reader either.If it doesn’t flow when you read it out loud to yourself, then it won’t flow for your reader either. Click To Tweet
Maybe you’ll notice certain words that should be replaced with a simpler word, to make your copy easier to understand and easier to read. You aren’t trying to dumb it down, but the goal is to make sure your copy is simple rather than confusing or complex.
7. Set Aside Time Each Day to Write
You must set aside some time to write each day. Schedule it if you have to. It’s crucial to devote some time each day to writing and practicing. Perhaps every day, from 8pm – 9pm is your scheduled time to practice copywriting.
The practice of devoting time to write each day is one of the copywriting exercises that matters the most. The exercise of writing each day helps keep your ‘copywriting muscle’ strong.
I believe that if you don’t write every day, you won’t be a very good copywriter.
You’ll also get faster and faster if you practice every day. And if you’re faster, you make more money using less time. I set aside time to write each day. I’m so fast now, that it only takes me 5 – 10 minutes to write a sales letter and email it out.
Remember that copywriting is a learnable skill, but after you learn the skill, you should exercise the skill every day.Remember that copywriting is a learnable skill, but after you learn the skill, you should exercise the skill every day. Click To Tweet
Register For My 7 Week High-Income Copywriter Certification Program
Before you can exercise your copywriting skills, you first need to learn copywriting. Do you want to learn the skill of copywriting? Do you want to learn specific techniques, strategies, and learn how to craft a compelling call-to-action? Would you like to learn how to craft an attention-grabbing headline?
If you want to learn how, check out my specialized training programs and my on-demand training. You can register for my 7 week High-Income Copywriter Certification Program, which launches in September of 2019.
Copywriting is a skill anyone can learn. But once you learn the skill, you must exercise it to become a master. Here are 7 copywriting exercises you can do right now to become a better copywriter:
- Create a special email account to receive copywriting materials from competitors. This email address will have one purpose: To review your competition and learn from them.
- In your own handwriting, write out proven pieces of copy, word-for-word. Put pen to paper and write famous advertisements out by hand, multiple times. The exercise of writing by hand helps you learn the style of master copywriters.
- Talk to customers to understand what persuades them. See if your new client will give you permission to contact some of their existing customers. Talk to their customers and ask them questions. Impress your client by bringing them this information.
- Use the wealth of knowledge on Swipe.co and get inspired. Almost every copywriter or marketing professional has some type of swipe file where they store inspiration, ideas and old copy that worked in the past. Swiped.co is a popular place to share that valuable information with others.
- Get people to read your copy before sending it out. See what people think of your copy. This is a good exercise, since some people might give you feedback that you would not have otherwise been aware of.
- Read your copy out loud to yourself. When you perform the copywriting exercise of reading your work out loud, you’ll notice which parts don’t flow. If it doesn’t flow when you read it out loud to yourself, then it won’t flow for your reader either.
- Devote time to write each day. You won’t be a very good copywriter if you don’t write every day. Not only will you be a better copywriter if you practice everyday, but you’ll also be faster.
Copywriting is a skill that is just as learnable as it is valuable. It is a learnable skill. If you want to learn it, you can register for my 7 week High-Income Copywriter Certification Program, which launches in September of this year.