How to write copy (and why no one should get paid for it)

When I got my first copywriting gig, I couldn’t believe I was actually getting paid to write. Only recently have I realized the full implications of this: society is massively illiterate. So today I decided to help solve the problem with all I have to offer: judgmental advice taken solely from my own experience. If it puts me out of a job someday, I’ll spend my last check on a bottle of champagne. (Which honestly I would do anyway. But this time with giddy laughter instead of tears.) Enjoy:

1. Use specifics. Are you selling a sweater? Or are you selling that cozy, cuddling-by-the-fire feeling? (You might just be selling a sweater. That’s OK too. Try reversing it: “It’s a sweater. If you want a fluffy cuddly feeling, adopt a kitten. This just keeps you warm.”)

2. Try grammar. It’s really not so bad every once in awhile.

3. Don’t be afraid to tell grammar to suck itself.

4. Delete until it stops making sense. Then add in some specifics.

5. Reward people. Encourage those rare individuals who actually bother to read. Don’t punished them with boring crap.

6. When in doubt, delete something.

7. When you think it’s finished, delete something.

8. There was a number 8, but I deleted it. See above.

9. Spell check. Seriously. It’s like right there.

10. Pay attention. To everything. Because real life is always, always better inspiration than some other writer’s interpretation of it. Plus, books are for pussies.

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One Comment

  1. Posted February 20, 2013 at 21:40 | Permalink

    Love the article. I’m going back to my draft post and deleting…something.

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