As a professional copywriter with more than six years of experience writing for companies, ad agencies and myself, I’ve put some thought into what writing advice I can share with anyone else out there striving to be a better copywriter. There’s a lot that I could say about identifying your audience, engaging them emotionally, writing compelling content and keeping it brief (and in future posts, I will) but today I want to share my number one writing tip. So, here it is – the absolute best way to improve your craft:
That’s right. Just read. Read more. Read often. Read fiction. Read poetry. Read prose. Read non-fiction. Read mysteries. Read comics. Read biographies. Read Entertainment magazine and admire their catchy headlines. Read classics. Read the Bible. Just read. Every day. As you do, you’ll naturally become a better writer.
Awhile back I got on a puritan kick and found myself reading works by John Owen, Charles Spurgeon and even a biography called “Meet the Puritans.” It wasn’t long before the eloquent, but dated voice of the puritan writers worked its way in to my very modern magazine articles. Today I’m reading The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne and The Elements of Style by Strunk & White. A little grammar to hone my craft (Eats, Shoots and Leaves is excellent as well, by the way) and a little fiction. Both help me be a better writer.
What are you reading?