Tag Archives: writing skills

3 simple ways for a casual writer to improve their copywriting skills

typing, copywriting, freelance, writing tip, business vocabulary,The best way to improve your copywriting skills, as with any skill, is to keep practising. Learning from your mistakes and guiding yourself towards aspirational goals is the only way to master a skill (as I hope I made clear comparing us writers to athletes). But not everyone has the time or inclination to regularly sit rearranging the English language. Writing might be an incidental part of your work, you may only feel inspired when the moon turns red, you may actively avoid writing altogether. Everyone has to write eventually, though, be it a business email or a passive-aggressive note left to stop people stealing your sandwiches. So when writing isn’t a part of your everyday life, how do you make sure you’ll do it best when you have to? Here’s three ideas to sharpen your copywriting skills as a casual writer.

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Hyperbolic Copywriting

hyperbole, mad sales, what is hyperbole, hyperbole explanationWhat is hyperbole? It’s when you tell someone that the product they’re about to experience will change their lives forever. The chances are they won’t believe you. When you further explain that it’ll open their consciousness to dream-filled fields where the only clouds in the sky are those that rain joy and success, they’re likely to snigger or scowl. When you wave your hands at them insisting that no, wait, it’ll crawl inside their brain like a vivacious squirrel burrowing nuts of happiness into their central nervous system, they back slowly out of the room. The simple explanation is that hyperbole is overly dramatic language. It’s not necessarily convincing, but it certainly has its uses.

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Writing in the present tense

writing, copywriting, freelance, just workingDuring a recent English lesson, my student read from a Time Out article written in the present tense. This confused him: as a learner of English as a second language he was taught that the present tense is used for general or repeated actions, or states. Why would anyone write a report in the present tense, as the events had already happened? I explained that writing in the present tense is a common device in journalism, especially with interviews (as this was), to bring about a sense of immediacy and familiarity. As a literary device, this isn’t easy (or generally necessary) to teach, but in the present tense is more useful than just labelling habits and states. Here’s a short list of potential uses of writing in the present tense in copywriting:

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