Talent is just a cultivated skill. No one has ever rolled out of bed one morning and suddenly joined the Russian Ballet; it takes years of practice (and pain) to become good at something, and writing is no exception. It takes perseverance to be able to write well, so here are a few handy tips that I have learnt to help you improve your writing game.
Know your stuff
Get to know the rules of grammar and style. There is nothing worse than a sneaky commenter letting you know you’ve used the incorrect verb form or the wrong form of ‘there’. Not only does it make you look bad, but it also reflects the company you are writing for. Most of the time a Head Editor picks up these errors, but if you’re writing freelance it’s entirely up to you to spot your own mistakes.
Practice makes perfect. Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing for work, be sure to write something everyday. Allocate a time where you sit down and write. Just think, if you wrote 200 words a day, then in a month you would have a short story, and in a year you would have a novel. And while you write everyday, learn to self-edit for grammar and style.
Often a client will have an idea about what they want written, but may not be able to articulate that idea clearly for you to write. As a writer, you are often handed a topic and asked to write something with little to no instruction. Remember to ask questions and practice your active listening skills otherwise you might end up writing something completely irrelevant. Make sure you’re on the right track. As with any profession, no one wants to spend hours working on something only for the draft to be rejected.
Follow the Brand
Writing for a company means lots of research into their brand identity. Don’t start writing until you have a clear idea of how that company represents itself and the language they tend to use. Many companies will have branding guidelines available that are essential to their identity. These guidelines usually outline the overall voice and style the company is looking for, so learn to be adaptable.
Copy writing is not easy, but seeing something that you have spent hours researching, writing, and editing on a website or in a magazine is incredibly fulfilling.
Copy Writing Intern with Strictlymarketing