Whether you are a freelance copywriter, working for an agency, or pursuing other forms of writing — how you write impacts your income. Perhaps you have, at some point, wondered – how to write faster and better?
Let’s assume you currently charge $100 per email and it takes you two hours to create one email. That means you currently earn $50 per hour. Now, what would happen, if you could write the same email in on hour instead? You just doubled your hourly rate and your earning potential.
Keep in mind, writing faster doesn’t mean you should sacrifice quality. That’s why you want to learn to write faster and better.
This is especially true if you’re a copywriter. The quality of your writing determines your results, so you should never sacrifice quality for speed.
But you see, it is possible to work on both at the same time: your writing speed and quality. In this article, we will show you techniques and strategies for writing better and faster. They will allow you to write more effortlessly — so you never have to stare at a blank page ever again.
Why You Write Slowly And Feel Uninspired
You open a blank page on your computer, determined to write. But your brain feels foggy and scattered. You type a sentence, just to delete it the next moment. Before you know it, you spent hours trying to write and have nothing to show for it.
So you tell yourself that it’s writer’s block and you can’t write today. That’s just how it is right? You can’t be creative on demand. Well, that’s not completely true.
The thing is, writer’s block is a myth. But why are you then writing slowly and feeling uninspired? It’s likely because you didn’t consume enough content.
That’s right. The quality of your output is determined by your input. If you don’t read, research, and enjoy being a “consumer” for a bit, you’ll have trouble writing faster and better.
So, the next time you struggle to fill your page, try to consume content from others. Below, we are showing you 10 techniques on how to consume strategically. So, you can improve your copy’s quality and speed.
Why Is Your Output Determined By Input?
You might be thinking that all great copywriters come up with their ideas by themselves. In reality, all great writers get their inspiration from somewhere.
Copywriting is to a great extent just a mechanical process. Instead of coming up with unique ideas, look at what’s working for others, and emulate their success.
Coming up with a winning idea is hard. But taking something that’s already working and making it your own is much easier. It will vastly improve the quality and results of your sales copy.
So, instead of trying to be a creative genius, focus on what already works. Over time, great ideas will naturally flow to you as you teach yourself to think more like a marketer.
So what are the best ways to use input strategically?
1. Do Your Research
As a copywriter, research is more important than the actual writing process. During your research, you find out:
- What the product you sell can do
- Why the product you sell is working
- Who your target audience is
- What problems your target audience has
- What they tried before to solve their problem
Research helps you understand your reader. That way you can write in their language and build trust with them.
But, research also helps you to write faster and better. When you immerse yourself in a topic you come across new ideas and concepts. Your target audience might have struggles you never even thought about.
So, the research helps you to broaden your mind and find new interesting things to write about. And since you read it before, your subconscious mind processed it. It is stored in your memory somewhere, your brain can access it and you write faster.You can’t pour from an empty cup. Click To Tweet
You can’t pour from an empty cup. But when you write without research you do exactly that. You try to create something from nothing.
Do your research and see how much faster you can fill your blank page.
2. Consume Content — Even If It’s Unrelated
This tip is especially important for writing better. To improve your copy, you need better ideas. But what is an idea actually?
An idea is what happens when you merge two existing things together. The iPod for example was a new idea. And you could say it was the mixture of a mobile phone and a walkman.
The best ideas take existing concepts and match them with something new. But what does this mean for your writing?
It means that sometimes your best ideas will come from content that seems unrelated to what you are writing. Allow yourself to enjoy reading, even if it’s not directly related to your work. (You might want to set a time limit for it though – the rabbit hole goes deep.)
What you’ll notice is that you have more of those “shower moments.” You know these situations when you try to come up with something all day but it just doesn’t happen. Then the moment you step away to take a shower, the solution flows to you naturally.
That’s your subconscious mind working on the content you consumed before. You are doing something unrelated, your conscious mind doesn’t interfere. So, you come up with better ideas.
3. Use Writing Prompts
So, what you probably understood by now is that you don’t want to start writing with a blank page. To write faster and better, you want to have some materials waiting for you already. Maybe it’s your research, maybe it’s some content you consumed before.
Now, another thing you can do to avoid blank pages is to use writing prompts. Prompts can be a few words or whole paragraphs. Their purpose is to give you some context to start drafting from there.
For example, your prompt can give you the headline or first sentence and you write based on that. Or, it could give you five words you have to include in your writing. Whatever it is, it trains you to write using a framework.
You don’t have to come up with the whole copy yourself. It’s like a jump-start for your brain.
4. Leverage Swipe Files
Another technique to write faster and better is to use swipe files. Your swipe file should be a collection of winning sales copy and pieces of copy you like.
It’s like an idea pool that you can reference when coming up with headlines, bullet points, or even CTAs.
The advantage of a swipe file compared to writing prompts is that your swipe file includes proven copy. So you know it’s proven to work.
During your research, you can also come back to your swipe file. Maybe you collected sales copy from similar industries. Or maybe you remember a certain hook you want to use.
Your swipe file is the best way to never start with a blank page — and will, therefore, allow you to write faster and better.
It has one downside, however. You need to build it up first.
If you are only starting out, it can take some time for your swipe file to grow. But it’s definitely worth it.
5. Create An Outline Before You Write
Creating an outline before you write might not sound very fun. It might remind you of your high school days, where you had to hand in outlines for essays.
But to write faster and better, an outline is a great tool. The fact is, clear writing comes from clear thinking. Creating an outline before you put your pen on paper, enables you to structure your thinking.
As a result, the copy you create will be readable and relatable. Without an outline, your writing might be jumping from thought to thought. It confuses your reader. That’s a problem because a confused mind doesn’t buy.
Depending on what you write, you can create your own outline, or use proven structures. When you write a blog article, you might want to create your own structure to present the info.
When you write an email, on the other hand, you want to make sure it converts. So, it makes sense to use proven structures — like the PAS formula. PAS stands for problem, agitate, solution and it’s a framework often used in sales copy. It’s popular because it works.
An outline allows you to create with a goal in mind. You think about what you want to accomplish before you get to your keyboard and as a result write faster and better.
A possible downside of using outlines could be that you become too predictable. If your readers can already tell what you will say next, then it might not entice them to buy. So make sure to keep that in mind.
6. Write Drunk, Edit Sober
Now, we are not asking you to actually get drunk.
What this means is to write without editing. Just write the whole copy in one go – without thinking. Or, if it’s a very long copy, write it in sections – but don’t edit yet.
You want to keep writing and editing apart from each other. Editing while you type slows you down. Instead of just letting the words flow, you second guess every word. You start overthinking. To create better copy faster, make it a rule to write in one go, without overthinking or editing.
Then, after writing, take a small break. This break is sometimes called incubation. You take your mind off of the writing and do something completely different.
After your incubation, come back to your writing and make your edits. That’s the part when you tweak the words and make your writing stand out.
When you write in one go, allow yourself to produce mediocre copy first. Don’t be afraid that it won’t come out perfect. You will edit it later anyway.
Writers are sometimes afraid to start because they think they have to create a masterpiece. When you allow yourself to just write, you eliminate this fear. As Dan Lok likes to say action drives out thought.
You don’t have to create the perfect first draft. Just get started and you’ll gradually write faster and better.
7. Book An Appointment With Yourself
In an interview, the famous novelist Stephen King shared that he’s writing six pages every day.
You see, Stephen King is a bestselling author, so it makes sense to learn how he approaches his writing. His habit to do it daily might be the key to his success.
If you take the time to write daily, don’t you think you’ll write faster and better? You might not create killer sales copy every single day, but building the habit will allow you to create momentum.
It might feel like you are grinding, but if you keep doing it, there is almost no way for you not to improve. So, set a daily appointment with yourself and make it your writing time.
During that time, you want to avoid all distractions. Turn off your phone or leave it in another room. Tell other people around the house not to disturb you.
Now, some days it will be fairly easy. But sometimes it feels like you have to squeeze the words and ideas out of your brain. On such days, you can use the other techniques we showed you.
Maybe do some research on a topic that interests you? Or, use a writing prompt and have a look at your swipe file? The most important thing is to write every day. Whatever it takes.
8. Write When You Feel Tired
Did you know? Chances are you write better and faster when you feel groggy. That’s what a study on 428 undergraduate students suggests.
They tested early birds (who love mornings) and night owls (who love to work late into the night). The undergrads were asked to solve certain problems. The interesting finding was: the night owls did better early in the morning and the early birds had better results at night.
It seems the human brain is at its creative peak we feel tired. That’s probably because our critical mind is less active and we don’t get into overthinking.
So, if you want to write faster and better it might be worth a try. It’s a great way to stop your inner critic and just get into writing anyway.
9. Write As You Speak
As a copywriter, it’s best to write in a conversational tone, so your audience can follow you — even if they give your writing only half of their attention.
If staring at a blank page got you into overthinking and you can’t get yourself to write, here’s what you can do instead: record yourself and type out what you say.
Think about it, when you talk to a friend, did you ever have a “speaker’s block’? You probably didn’t. So use that to your advantage and write exactly what you would say to a friend.
Not only will you write faster, but it will also be smoother and flow better. Your words are filled with more emotion as you imagine talking to someone you know.
Writing is a transfer of your emotions onto the page. So, how you feel while you write has an effect on your copy. Use this little trick to elevate your writing.
10. Let Software Do The Heavy Lifting For You
Now, what if we told you you can use a software to help you write faster and better? Dan Lok created a copywriting software, called Instant Scripts, to do all the heavy lifting for you.
It’s based on Dan’s personal swipe file, which he built over the years. With his 20 years of experience in marketing, he created a huge swipe file.
Instant Scripts include proven templates, headlines, email subject lines, copy connectors, power words and so much more. All of them are proven to work.
Now, using Instant Scripts means you’ll never have to start with a blank page again. All you need to do is use the fill-in-the-blank templates and tweak them a bit to fit your style and industry.
It’s like you had a swipe file, writing prompts, proven structures, and outlines all in one place. Since all that’s done for you already, it cuts your writing time in half and allows you to focus on what’s important.
Write Faster And Better With Instant Scripts
So, Instant Scripts allows you to create a winning copy faster. You have everything you need in one place. Instead of opening up your swipe file and coming up with a proven structure, all you need is to open up your Instant Scripts software.
If you want to create converting copy and write faster, click here to discover all about Instant Scripts.