Copywriting Inspiration


As a freelance copywriter, in my perfect world I would be able to generate an unlimited number of original ideas at the drop of a hat.

I would never be stumped by a project, and subject-matter for my blogs, articles, client web copy, emails and newsletters would flow freely without any effort on my part.

But sadly it’s not a perfect world and, yes even I suffer from writers’ block every now and then.  I have been known to be sat in front of my PC waiting for inspiration to strike. Only the number of empty coffee mugs littered across my desk betrays the length of time I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with a winning concept.

So how can you get over a barren spell?

The simple answer is a swipe file.

As I read newspapers, magazines, mail shots, websites and emails I make a note of anything that grabbed my attention.

If a particular layout was particularly effective or an image suitably eye-catching – anything that made me stop and read, it goes in my swipe file.

One word of warning—a swipe file is not there to be directly copied or plagiarised—a swipe file is there for inspiration.

After all if a headline grabbed your attention it will probably grab others’; if an email subject line made you open it others will too; if the layout of an advert made you stop and take notice others will also stop.

Over time you will build up a reference tool of hundreds of ideas to which you can add your spin.

Let others inspire you to create copy that sells.

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#1 Mark Andrews IMCopywriting on 11.26.10 at 7:34 pm

Another simple little copywriting tip if you’re ever stuck for ideas.

Always carry a digital camera with you wherever you go.

If out on the road and you come across a billboard with a catchy headline, snap it. Take a picture of it.

If you come across a bus stop with an advertisement on the shelter, the ad screams out at you or gives you one of those ‘Ah Hah’ moments, take your digital camera out from your pocket and take a picture.

Often, ideas will come to you for a particular copywriting piece seemingly from nowhere and quite often at the most inopportune time.

Scrabbling around for a pen and paper to scribble down the idea, isn’t always the best solution but snapping it very quickly on camera will later jolt your memory to recall precisely what was going through your mind at the time.

Now later, you can go through your photos taken and apply this idea you’ve had to print.

Another hot copywriting tip…Is to always finish off your copywriting for the night on an exciting high note.

Quite often at night, if you write until the point of exhaustion…the next morning when you come to pick up the project you’re currently working upon – you’re once again stuck for ideas how to proceed to the next logical step, (if you finished the night before on a low point of non-excitement.)

The best solution is to always stop on a very high point.

Next morning you wake up, switch on the computer and you can now INSTANTLY recall precisely where you were taking the sales copy the night before.

This will help you to overcome dry barren periods of copywriting which everyone experiences from time to time, including the best copywriters amongst us.

I hope these further copywriting tips help some of your readers out.

Best regards,

Mark Andrews

#2 admin on 11.27.10 at 10:42 am

Thanks Mark, these tips are great – thanks for sharing.


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