What I Wish I Knew When I Started Copywriting

Copywriting is a skill that takes patience and lots of practice to perfect. But the more you do it, the better you’ll get at writing great content that converts readers into customers. In this post, I’m going to share with you some lessons learned from my experiences as a freelance writer over the past year or so.

I wish I would have known this BEFORE I started copywriting
Invest time in understanding your target audience.
Practice writing regularly to improve your skills.
Embrace experimentation to find your unique writing style.
Seek feedback and learn from constructive criticism.
Study successful copy to learn from experienced writers.
Don’t be afraid to iterate and revise your work.
Focus on clear and concise messaging.
Building a network within the industry can offer valuable insights.
Understand the power of persuasive calls to action (CTAs).
Stay updated on industry trends and best practices.

Try To Make Something That’s Fun, Attractive, And Surprising

When it comes to copywriting, the best way to get your point across is usually by making sure that the reader enjoys reading it. This means that you’ve got to make the text fun and attractive, while still being relevant and interesting. You should also try to make sure that they’re surprised by what they read.

If possible, try to make something memorable. Don’t forget: people see hundreds or thousands of ads every day; if yours isn’t memorable, then chances are high that it won’t be effective at all no matter how well-written or well-designed!

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Think Of Your Card As A Piece Of Art, Like A Comic Book

The most memorable comic books tell stories through art and dialogue. The characters come alive in the way they react to each other, how they handle their problems, and what kinds of situations they get themselves into. The funny thing is that you don’t have to be an artist or writer to do this you just need to know how people react when faced with certain circumstances.

Think of your card as a piece of art, like a comic book where you can imagine all the details and emotions being expressed by your characters (the front-of-house team). You can even put sound effects on it if that helps (e.g., “BAM! No one would believe me if I told them…but guess what? It happened anyway!”).

The point here is not necessarily about telling a story using pictures; it’s about conveying emotion through visuals so that people understand exactly what kind of experience you want them to have when they visit or interact with your business.”

Write Something Personal, Not Generic

I’d like to share with you a few tips that I’ve learned as a copywriter.

Write something that is personal, not generic. When you write about yourself and your business, it’s easier for the reader to relate and be interested in what you have to say. If people feel like they know the writer of a piece of content or blog post, they are more likely to trust what is being said and take action based on those words.

Be conversational instead of formal when writing (at least some of the time). Copywriting can be very dry at times so if possible break up these long paragraphs with bits of humor or friendly dialogue between characters (if necessary). You might also consider letting an outside writer take care of all your content so that it’s written in their style which could even be funny!

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Don’t Take Too Many Liberties With The Facts

There are times when you might need to bend the truth a little. But don’t overdo it. I would say don’t take too many liberties with the facts, especially when you’re writing for a client or boss who may not have a background in copywriting and may not see the relevance of what you’re saying or why it matters to them.

If you need an example, let me give one: I worked on a project where we were selling electric toothbrushes, and there was one specific type that had extra features that other types didn’t have (like being able to track your brushing habits). We talked about how this particular feature could help people improve their dental hygiene. 

But then someone asked me if there was any research that showed how much better those who used this type did at improving their dental hygiene than those who didn’t use it and there wasn’t! 

The answer was no there wasn’t any research showing this product’s effectiveness at improving dental hygiene; all we knew is that those who used these toothbrushes tended to do better than those who did not use them. So we ended up using something like: “these brushes work best for people who want information about their brushing habits.”

Don’t Focus On The “How” But On The “Why”

The most important thing to remember is that you should focus on the “why.”

For example, if you’re writing about a bike lock, don’t just say it’s heavy-duty or water resistant. Instead of focusing on features, focus on benefits: how does this product benefit your customers? Is it going to protect their bikes? 

Will it make them feel safer when they’re riding downtown at night? You see where I’m going with this. The more you can connect your product with a positive outcome for your customer, the better!

I know what you’re thinking: wouldn’t people rather read about the amazing features of my product if they want to buy it? Yes and no but mostly no. 

Customers are generally looking for solutions; they want to know what problems they’ll be solved by buying this thing and how much effort it will take them to solve those problems (and whether or not said the effort will be worth their time).

Effective storytelling can elevate your writing to new heights. Discover the steps to become a storytelling rockstar in our article on storytelling made easy.

Convey Emotion

When it comes to copywriting, emotion is the name of the game. Emotion is what will help you make a person feel something as they read your copy, and ultimately lead them to take action. What exactly kind of action? Well, that depends on what you’re trying to sell! Here are some examples:

If you’re selling a product or service, an emotional connection can make people feel more comfortable about purchasing it. For example: “Your car needs an oil change every 3 months for optimal performance.” Without conveying sentimentality in this sentence above, it sounds like something that could be read over and over again without any reaction from the reader. 

However with emotion added in (i.e., “your car needs an oil change every 3 months so that YOU have optimal performance”), then suddenly people will feel connected on an emotional level with their vehicle because now it’s not just another thing they own but something they rely upon every day! 

The same goes for food products such as cereal or granola bars you want people eating these items out of habit rather than by necessity (which is why brands constantly try new things to keep things fresh).

Don’t copy other people’s work when you don’t want to; come up with your ideas and then do the research.

Don’t Copy Anyone’s Work When You Don’t Want To

You shouldn’t copy other people’s ideas, words, facts, style, look, or tone. And if you do any of these things on purpose even once it’ll be so obvious in your copy that it’ll make people cringe.

It’s better to create your content instead of copying someone else’s work because then you won’t have to worry about being accused of plagiarism (which I’ll explain later).

The art of persuasion is a copywriter’s secret weapon. Explore strategies to master the skill of convincing others in our post about the copywriter’s secret weapon.

If You Are Unable To Find The Research, Make Something Fictitious But Plausible

If you can’t find any research about the topic you are writing about, make something up.

You do not want to be caught making up facts and statistics because it will ruin the credibility of your work. Your readers must trust that what they are reading is true.

The best way to achieve this is by using common sense and your experience with similar topics in the past. If there is no data available on a topic, use your imagination and write down as many plausible ideas as possible. You can also rely on common knowledge of how things work in the real world if you see someone doing something at an event or conference, just ask them!

Use Humour Sparingly

Humour is great, but it’s not the best way to convey your message. If you use too much humor, readers won’t take you seriously and may even find your content unprofessional. So go easy on the jokes; funny writing should only be used for special occasions when you’re trying to get someone’s attention or break the ice.

Don’t try too hard! Remember that copywriting is still writing and good writers know their audience well enough not to push their skills past their limit (or their taste). 

If at any point while writing something feels forced or unnatural (like an over-the-top pun), scrap it immediately! You can always come back later with a fresh perspective and try again; there’s nothing wrong with starting over if needed!

Be Confident About Your Ideas Always

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should always be confident. There will be times when you’re not sure about an idea, or when you think your work could be better. But those are the moments where being confident will help you learn and grow. Confidence is a skill that can be practiced, and it’s something that’s gained over time even if it feels like it’s taking longer than expected!

Being confident also means not being afraid to show your ideas to others for feedback or criticism.” I’ve been told by some of my mentors to “practice the art of rejection” meaning that I needn’t worry about getting rejected from pitches,” says writer Nick Olsen in an article on Copyblogger. “

They want me to learn how to handle rejection early in my career so I don’t get discouraged later on.”

Don’t be afraid of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors because they can be easily fixed once you’ve completed the cards!

Don’t be afraid of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors because they can be easily fixed once you’ve completed the cards!

Copywriters often get caught up in the details of language, worrying about using the right preposition or verb tense. But if your message is clear and concise, who cares if you accidentally use “your” when it should have been “you’re?” 

People are much more forgiving than you might think and they’re also much less likely to notice a mistake in your writing than you think.

Recognizing the characteristics of good copywriting is crucial for success. Dive into our insights on what good copywriting looks like to refine your writing skills and captivate your audience.


I hope this article has helped to inform and inspire you as a copywriter. If you have any tips of your own, please share them with us in the comments!

Further Reading

Dani Paige: What I Wish I Knew: Gain insights from the author’s personal journey and learn about key lessons they wish they knew when starting their copywriting career.

The Post-Grad Survival Guide: 7 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started Copywriting: Explore the seven valuable insights shared by a seasoned copywriter, offering advice to newcomers in the field.

Ash Chow: What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Copywriting: Delve into the lessons learned by a copywriter with two years of experience, offering practical tips for those embarking on a similar journey.


How can I improve my copywriting skills quickly?

Practice is key to improving your copywriting skills. Engage in regular writing exercises, study successful copy, and seek feedback to refine your craft.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in copywriting?

Avoid overly complex language, vague messaging, and neglecting to understand your target audience. Clear, concise, and compelling copy is essential.

How do I find my unique copywriting voice?

Finding your voice takes time and experimentation. Read widely, write regularly, and pay attention to the style that resonates with you and your target audience.

Is formal education necessary for a copywriting career?

While formal education can be beneficial, copywriting is a skill that can be developed through practice and self-learning. Many successful copywriters are self-taught.

How do I create persuasive calls to action (CTAs)?

Effective CTAs are clear, action-oriented, and offer value to the reader. Use strong action verbs and create a sense of urgency to encourage engagement.