I remember when I first started out. I would read other people’s copy and just say to myself, “Wow!”
I mean, they knew how to strike emotion inside me, get me to follow each word on the page (even if there was 5,000 of them), and they knew what I was thinking. More importantly, what I read was actually entertaining.
I never pictured myself being as creative or having a keen sense for what the average Joe or Jane wanted to read. I shouldn’t have discredited myself though.
We all must start somewhere and surprisingly, the best copywriters out there aren’t born; they’re made. These expert wordsmiths are doing so well because they are constantly improving and looking for ways to be a more creative copywriter.
Taking what I’ve learned from those writing cowboys and gals, I’ve lassoed onto the insider tricks and figured out my own method for revamping myself into a creative, successful writer.
How’d I do that?
You Don’t Have To Be Naturally Creative To Be A Great Copywriter
I know what you’re thinking reading that. You’re thinking I’m nuts.
It’s true though.
You don’t have to be some creative genius to churn out excellent copy. While it might take you a little longer, you just have to learn how to tap into your inner creative and let out what has been lying dormant inside of you forever. You have ideas in there somewhere — we all do.
There’s plenty of ways to boost up your creativity capsule inside of yourself and give yourself a leg up on the competition.
4 Methods I Use To Boost My Creativity (& They Work)
I’m going to share with you my four methods for boosting my creativity. Some of these may work for you, some may not. However, I promise just using one of these will already help inspire you for your next assignment.
1. Stop Comparing Yourself To Everyone Else
The first thing you need to do is to stop comparing your writing to everyone else.
You are your own person; therefore, your writing will take on its own personality just like you. That’s a good thing!
If you try to emulate everyone else, you are stifling your inner creative and you don’t even know it.
So, stop comparing yourself to everyone else and work on finding your own voice. Think about how you email friends and family, or even how you chat in person with someone. That is your voice that should be transferred to your work.
Sure, you might have to quash a few things to meet the demands of the assignment, but when you’re guest blogging or writing a piece where you’re given full creative reign, your voice should be loud and clear.
Cori Padgett at Copyblogger shared tips on how you could find your inner voice even if you’re stuck with a very specific assignment:
- Speak the language of your reader. Talking to business folk? Well, then you need to use business-level speak. Talking to college students? Slang and buzzwords could be your friend, “bro.”
- Know the reason you’re writing before you actually write. When you have purpose, you’ll naturally develop flow, and your “voice” is more natural too.
- Develop your own brand. Padgett uses words like “ya’ll” in text and “crikey” because they are branded to Padgett’s style of writing.
2. Want To Be A More Creative Writer? Read More
Yes, you do have to read if you want to be a creative copywriter.
Where do you think writers get their inspiration and outrageous ideas? From reading!
Mike Hanski at The Huffington Post states that reading is cool again, and I totally agree. Despite the fact that you’ll look super awesome at Starbucks reading with your pumpkin spice latte (or is that just me?), you are also doing your creative mind a favor.
Reading gives you new knowledge. I personally soak up every type of book I can find. I’m a sucker for self-help and dystopian books though.
I’m also open to reading all sorts of books, including non-fiction. As a copywriter, you need to be open to read almost anything.
Doing so helps you learn from genius wordslingers, but also helps you grasp the understanding of language and how effective writing works.
The vaster your reading library is, the more creative you will be. I have taken inspiration from my favorite books to create spin-off blogs and articles. Such as financial lessons inspired by Game of Thrones or relationship no-no’s taken from Pride and Prejudice to spinning advertisements to attract the Harry Potter crowd.
One of the biggest benefits I’ve received from reading is the vocabulary. You wouldn’t believe all the odd words that are out there and when you branch out with reading, you’re exposed to the different ways to use those words that are hidden in the English language. I almost find myself giddy to run over to my computer the next day and find a way to inject that word into my latest work.
Regardless of how you utilize what you read, you must read more.
3. Give Your Brain Some Time Off
Brain breaks are a must for any writer.
Not only will they help you avoid the dreaded writer’s block, but they are a necessity so that you don’t become a typing drone that stares blankly at the computer screen while your hands go haywire on the keyboard. I’ve been there…
I personally walk away from my desk throughout the day. Granted, I have kids tugging me away more than I would like, but in the end, they are doing me a favor. By forcing myself up from the desk, I walk away and my mind has time to think, chew on some details, and churn out something fun when I return later.
I get inspiration from everyday things — right down to mixing up baby oatmeal and cutting my daughter’s hotdogs in the required lengthwise method (because cutting them in circles somehow makes them taste “different”). Your inspiration doesn’t have to come from the oddities of parenthood, but you get the gist.
One of my favorite brain breaks I do at the end of the day is to sit down in a quiet room with an adult coloring book.
Sure, you could break out the Crayola’s and go to town, but I take it a step further and make a hobby out of it. I’ve purchased every coloring pencil type (water color, blenders, etc.), gel pens (including glitter!), and fine liner.
I also have a library of adult coloring books that span from mandalas to paisleys to fun patterns to life scenes and forests. Depending on my mood that day, I pull out a book and sit down to color.
Adult coloring books have been shown to relieve stress, says Elena Santos at The Huffington Post. It’s true. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I find myself dragged deep into the world of color, and suddenly I’m no longer fretting over the little stuff.
Adult Coloring Books Boost Creativity Too
It’s not just a stress-relief tool either. I use adult coloring books to activate my creative side. Adult coloring lets you create something without being a natural artist. Dana Dovey at Medical Daily agrees with me here too.
You can use whatever colors suit your personality that day.
I use it as a creative exercise and challenge my brain. I start by picking out a picture I want to color. Then, I pick my medium (i.e. coloring pencils, crayons, pens, or fine liners). Then, I have my organized set in front of me and I close my eyes to pick colors at random.
After I’ve picked four colors, I force myself to find a way to make those four colors work on the page I’ve selected. It’s a fun exercise I created myself to stimulate my inner creative side.
Try it. You might surprise yourself with how it works.
4. Embrace Research
Say you’re hired to write copy for a topic or industry you’re unfamiliar with. While this may make you groan, a creative copywriter is one that gets excited.
Seriously, I jump and wiggle in my seat when I’m assigned something new. It’s like I am getting paid to learn something. How can you get upset by that?
I embrace the fact I have to research and I soak up everything there is to learn.
Since becoming a copywriter, I have ventured into so many unknown paths and topics that I’m a world of knowledge. Someone will talk about something and I instantly refer back to all of the research I’ve done on topics similar to it in the past. These days it seems rare someone brings up a topic I haven’t at least heard about once or twice.
Research boosts your creativity, too.
The more thoroughly you research a topic, the easier it is for you to put yourself in the shoes of the reader and educate them on what you’ve learned. You are not afraid to go in-depth, because you know the topic well now. You also aren’t afraid to add in a little personality, because you know just how much you can inject without turning the target audience away.
Research is your friend, people.
Now You’re Ready To Mold Into A Creative Copywriter
Okay, I’ve shared my secrets.
Now you know what I do to tackle assignments, relax my brain, and break those barriers.
I’m not a super creative person, but I don’t let that hold me back from writing any longer. Instead, I embrace the fact I’m not naturally savvy with ideas and find ways to stimulate the creativity lying dormant inside of me.
You can do it now too.
Just remember, a great copywriter is one that is constantly adding to their inner library. The more you seek out, the more creative and awesome you will be.
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