You know what’s great about the news cycle? You get to interpret it however you want. And if you can do that, then you never have to actually read the news to write a headline!
That’s right: no more spinning your wheels trying to come up with something fresh and original, because we’ve got all of these templates for headlines that are way better than anything you could ever dream up on your own.
Take a look at what we’re talking about:
|Takeaways from “The Lazy Copywriter’s Guide to Mastering the News Cycle”|
|1. Understanding the importance of timely and relevant content.|
|2. Leveraging current events to enhance copywriting strategies.|
|3. Crafting attention-grabbing headlines in a fast-paced news environment.|
|4. Adapting copy to suit different platforms and news mediums.|
|5. Maintaining a balance between creativity and accuracy in news copy.|
|6. Utilizing storytelling techniques to convey news effectively.|
|7. Engaging with audience feedback and staying updated on trends.|
|8. Incorporating humor and unique angles to stand out in news writing.|
|9. Establishing a workflow that accommodates rapid content creation.|
|10. Embracing the challenges and rewards of writing within news cycles.|
1. Don’t Stay Glued To The News
News is good for you. It’s a great source of inspiration and it can help keep you in touch with current events. But if you’re like most people, scrolling through the newsfeed on Facebook while you eat breakfast has become part of your daily routine. And there are some problems with that:
News isn’t always the best way to learn about what’s happening in the world right now – although it’s sure better than nothing! That’s why we created our weekly email newsletter where we send out original writing and links to articles we’ve found useful around a specific topic (like this one).
The news is not always accurate in its reporting – especially when it comes to reporting breaking news events as they unfold. We recently wrote an article titled “How To Make Sense Of The News Cycle” that goes into more detail about this topic but suffice it say: sometimes journalists get things wrong and try their best but other times they intentionally mislead us or purposely leave out certain details which changes how we perceive an event or issue altogether (this isn’t just limited to politics either – businesses do this too).
This means two things:
1) don’t take everything at face value when reading any kind of report online because there might be some underlying factors influencing what’s being said;
2) don’t rely solely on what someone else says when making decisions based off their opinion alone unless they have personal experience working directly within an industry where those decisions would affect them directly (e..g., if someone tells me there are no longer any good jobs available anymore then I won’t believe them until proven otherwise).
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2. Don’t Trust Headlines.
Headlines are meant to sell the story, not necessarily tell the truth. I don’t mean this as a knock against headlines; they’re great at their job and should be applauded for their ability to get attention and drive readership. But when you’re trying to figure out what is actually happening in the world, it can be easy to get lost in misleading or sensationalized headlines.
Let’s take a look at a few examples: One of my favorite websites is The Onion, because they make fun of so many things that happen in real life and sometimes those things aren’t all that funny (like this headline). Other times they’re spot-on (like this one).
Headlines like these are usually making fun of something silly and obvious—how could anyone think otherwise? But then there are other headlines that may seem innocent enough but actually conceal their true meaning behind catchy words or phrases like “breaking news” or “shocking revelation.” When we click on such articles with an open mind, we often end up disappointed when our expectations aren’t met by actual reality.
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3. Stick With The Facts
The big takeaway here is that you should never be afraid to ask for help if you don’t understand something. If you’re in over your head and your boss is pushing for a 60-page report on the latest tax proposal, maybe it’s time to find another job. It’s okay to admit when you don’t understand something and it’s even better if someone else can explain it in plain English for everyone involved.
The same goes for admitting when something isn’t your area of expertise: “I’m sorry but I’m not familiar with how this particular drug works; perhaps we could get Dr. Smith from upstairs on the phone so he could give us some background?” No one will think less of you if they discover that there are some topics or areas where their employee doesn’t know everything there is to know about them (or even anything at all).
4. Avoid Hot Takes And Opinions
It’s important to remember that hot takes and opinions are not the same thing. An opinion is something you have based on facts, whereas a hot take is an opinion based on no facts at all, or an exaggerated amount of facts that easily could be wrong.
A lot of people confuse these two because they’re both pretty easy to create. You can make up whatever you want about anything, and if someone else disagrees with you, call them biased or say their points aren’t evidence-based and voila! You’ve just made a hot take! The problem with this approach is that it rarely leads anywhere productive; instead, it usually results in arguments about who’s right and who’s wrong (which might be fun for some people).
Here’s how we’d like to avoid this scenario: by sticking with what we know as truth and nothing but the truth and reporting on things that actually happened in our world today.
5. Beware Of Think Pieces
Think pieces. You’ve seen them, you know what they are: long ruminations on some topic, often written by someone who doesn’t have any direct experience with it.
They’re also written by people who don’t have much data to back up their claims. You can tell because they’ll start a sentence like “I think” or even worse, “I believe.” Those alone should make you pause before reading the rest of the paragraph because they indicate that the person writing it has no idea how accurate or inaccurate their opinion actually is.
Think pieces are easy to write and often go viral online because they feel like insights into important conversations but they lack any kind of critical analysis and rely on anecdotes instead of evidence-based arguments.
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6. Limit Your Time On Social Media, Both Personally And Professionally
Social media is a double-edged sword. On one hand it can be an incredible time sink, both personally and professionally. On the other hand it’s also incredibly useful for research, inspiration, networking and connection.
The key is to find balance between using social media as a distraction from work versus using it for work purposes. When you’re working on specific projects and campaigns you should be spending no more than 20 minutes per day on social media—just enough time to get some ideas flowing or do some quick research if need be.
Once your project is over or you’ve completed a certain amount of writing in a day (depending on how much content your client needs), then by all means spend as much time as you’d like browsing through links shared by friends or catching up on trending hashtags!
7. Be Wary Of Breaking News Alerts
While breaking news alerts can be helpful, they’re not always the most reliable source of information. It’s important to read the story carefully and make sure you don’t fall for sensationalized headlines or clickbait headlines that do not deliver on their promises.
Be wary of news stories that are based on a single source (e.g., “Company X reports $10 million loss after CEO leaves; stock value drops 20% in one day). The same goes for articles that have not been verified by multiple sources (e.g., “Company X is planning to launch new product line in 2019).
8. Don’t Take News Out Of Context Just To Make Your Point Or Fit Your Narrative
With that in mind, I’d like to note that while it’s okay to take news out of context, it’s not okay to take the news out of context just to make your point or fit your narrative. Context is important! You should be able to use context in order to make your point or fit your narrative.
That said, there are times when taking news out of context can be helpful: when you’re writing an article about how misleading headlines mislead people into thinking stories are about things they aren’t about!
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9. Treat Anonymous Sources With Extra Skepticism
As a copywriter, you’re going to be exposed to a lot of different sources. Some sources will be named, some will be anonymous and some will fall in between those two extremes.
Sometimes there is nothing wrong with using an unnamed source; for example, if you were writing about an incident at the White House where someone was arrested for punching an intern in the face (true story), it would make sense not to name that individual because there are still legal proceedings pending.
On other occasions though especially when dealing with opinion pieces or news stories it can be difficult to gauge how reliable your sources are without knowing who they are. This can lead to situations where one person may present their own opinion as fact simply because they know more about something than anyone else does (which might not necessarily make them right).
10. Read A Mix Of Outlets, Including Local And National Ones, And Those That Lean Left, Right, And Center Politically
You should read a wide variety of news sources because the way you see the world might be completely different from another source’s take on it. You can gain insight into situations you’re not familiar with or learn about issues in new ways when reading about them from an outside perspective plus it’ll help your writing to be more inclusive when addressing topics that affect groups outside your own experience or understanding.
11. Remember That Most Big News Stories Can Be Broken Down
The problem, solution and obstacle (PSO) is a simple formula for breaking down any story. It’s what we use when we’re writing blog posts or explainer videos, but it can also be applied to other forms of storytelling as well.
Let’s take a look at how this works by looking at an example. Imagine you’ve been tasked with creating a video that explains the latest news story on social media: “Facebook has acquired Instagram.” You might start out by asking yourself these questions:
- What problem did Facebook solve? They wanted to get into photo sharing, so they bought Instagram.
- How did they solve this problem? By paying $1 billion in cash and stock for the company.
- Why did they do it? To stop Twitter from buying them first (and thus locking up their competition).
12. Give Yourself Time Before Making Decisions In Response To Big Stories Or Events..
When a big story breaks, you should not rush to make a decision about how you will respond. There’s no need to panic and make an ill-informed choice just because the clock is ticking and you don’t want the world to forget your brand name.
You want to give yourself enough time so that when you do decide on a course of action, it will be based on thoughtful reflection rather than knee-jerk reactions or secondhand information from media outlets who may have gotten their facts wrong (or might just be spreading rumors).
It also helps if you have someone else look over your writing before publishing it someone who can point out any potentially damaging mistakes (like misspellings) so they can be fixed before anyone else has seen them.
13. Understand How Human Tendency Toward Confirmation Bias Affects You..
This is where you and I part ways. You will be able to take what you’ve learned here and apply it in your writing, but only if you are willing to learn from your mistakes. If not, don’t worry: no one cares! The most important thing is that you enjoyed this article. That brings me to my final point: don’t forget what makes you unique. No matter how much information we have access to on the internet, nothing beats learning from experience or talking with someone face-to-face in person (or via email).
14 Understand How Human Tendency Toward Groupthink Affects You..
Groupthink refers to a phenomenon where people in a group tend to make bad decisions because they are too influenced by each other.
In the context of news cycles, it can mean that everyone is using the same information or sources and therefore reinforcing each other’s assumptions. It can also mean that no one is willing to speak up and challenge their peers’ ideas.
If you’re in a group with someone who makes an unsubstantiated claim, you might feel like you have more credibility if you agree with them than if you disagree.
This may be true, but only until another member of the group challenges your position by asking why exactly this person felt compelled to say what they did and then maybe even suggesting alternate theories based on different information from other sources!
15 Look For Non-Political Stories That Connect People In Times Of Division..
If you’re a copywriter, and you’re looking to create content that connects with your audience in a way that makes them feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves or at least feel as if they’re part of something positive then look no further.
If you can find stories that unite us instead of divide us, stories that are positive rather than negative and ones that don’t get politicized by either side — then your job just got easier.
What you want to do is avoid getting caught up in the news cycle’s tendency to make everything seem political by turning every story into an argument about which side is right or wrong on one particular issue. Instead, look for non-political stories that connect people..
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17 Be Wary Of Stories About Celebrities But Don’t Completely Ignore Them.
Celebrity gossip isn’t news. It’s not important, relevant or interesting. But that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore it—because it can be an incredible resource for learning how to write killer copy that sells.
This post was meant to be a fun take on how we use social media, but in the end I realized just how truly powerful it is. When you think about it, there’s so much content being shared by brands these days that if they don’t do it right — if they can’t capture consumers’ attention and get them excited about their brand — then they’ll never make the cut.
So next time you want to share something on Facebook or Twitter, remember: if you don’t have a strategy behind what you’re doing, there’s no point!
Expand your knowledge with these additional resources:
The Lazy Copywriter’s Guide to the Galaxy
A humorous yet insightful guide to copywriting that takes you on a creative journey through the cosmos of effective writing.
From No Experience to Paid Copywriter in 30 Minutes
Learn how an aspiring copywriter turned their passion into a paid profession in just 30 minutes. Gain insights into their journey and the strategies they used.
Best Copywriting Books: 23 Reads to Make You a Better Copywriter
Explore a comprehensive list of recommended copywriting books that can enhance your skills and deepen your understanding of the craft.
What is the premise of “The Lazy Copywriter’s Guide to the Galaxy”?
“The Lazy Copywriter’s Guide to the Galaxy” is a witty guidebook that offers unconventional insights and strategies for becoming a more effective copywriter, using a humorous narrative set in a galactic context.
How can I transition from having no experience to becoming a paid copywriter?
Discover the journey of transitioning from a beginner with no experience to a paid copywriter within just 30 minutes by listening to the podcast episode “From No Experience to Paid Copywriter in 30 Minutes.”
Are there recommended books for improving copywriting skills?
Absolutely! Check out the list of “Best Copywriting Books: 23 Reads to Make You a Better Copywriter” to find a curated collection of books that can help you enhance your copywriting abilities.
What can I expect from the podcast episode about becoming a paid copywriter?
The podcast episode delves into the personal experiences and strategies of an individual who successfully transformed their passion for writing into a paid copywriting career in a remarkably short timeframe.
How does “The Lazy Copywriter’s Guide to the Galaxy” differ from traditional copywriting guides?
Unlike traditional guides, “The Lazy Copywriter’s Guide to the Galaxy” uses humor and a creative cosmic context to provide unique and memorable insights into the world of copywriting, making it an engaging and effective learning resource.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.