Once you decide to become a copywriter, you’re on the way to a very satisfying, rewarding, and just plain fun daily routine. In no time at all, you’ll have happy clients, a portfolio chock-full of high-quality samples, plus a happy bank account as the cherry on top.
Honestly, I love writing copy every single day. Using my skills to help my clients achieve their goals is the most incredible feeling. The thing is, you can’t forget to improve your copywriting skills every single day too.
You know the many reasons for this sage wisdom—to stop you from getting complacent, to keep your clients happy, to keep your work interesting and satisfying every day…
But how, exactly, can you improve your copywriting skills without spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on classes that take months to complete?
Please know this is a common conundrum for many writers. I had to watch my budget like a hawk in the early days to stop myself from going broke before I had any clients… and I’ve heard the same from my colleagues.
Now, every day is a mix of honing my skills, writing for clients, and coaching business owners just like you. I’m going to break down the 5 things I do every single day to improve my copywriting for my own business.
I’m ecstatic to say the 5 daily habits I practice every day—and have practiced since the first day I decided to become a freelance copywriter—are easy and free of charge. Plus, you can do them entirely from the comfort of your own home.
(Or, from the school parking lot while you wait for the kiddos… from your favorite coffee shop… or even from your vacation beach house!)
I’ve yet to meet a writer who doesn’t love to read. If you’re anything like me, you’re thrilled that a highly recommended habit for improving your copywriting skills is, quite simply… read.
One detail I do want to mention, though—consider making your daily reading relevant to your writing tasks for the day.
If I’m writing blogs later that day, I’ll read through mostly new blog posts. If I’m lucky enough to get a full day to work on my own book, I’ll read other novels in the morning.
I wouldn’t say your daily reading needs to be in the same genre, though. On days when I write beauty blog posts, I don’t typically read beauty blogs. My brain just gets a bit oversaturated if I take that approach, personally.
Finally, you can do this any time of day. I like to ease into my mornings with reading. If you’d rather finish out your day by reading, I don’t see any problem with that.
It’s hard to improve your copywriting skills if you don’t read with a critical eye.
I’m not saying to cover every square inch with red ink, but rather to stay focused on what you’re reading. Consider how each sentence, each word choice, and even how the punctuation makes you feel.
Compare that feeling to your logic. Is the piece correctly written? Are any grammatical errors purposeful, to make the piece more conversational or improve the flow?
Try to work out what kind of a reaction this piece is supposed to create in you. Then consider if reading it had that effect.
Throughout all of this, grade the effectiveness of each piece. Good? Bad? Clearly written by AI? Think about what you would do differently, if anything. You can take physical or mental notes for each piece you read.
Keep in mind this is a great time to add well-crafted pieces to your swipe file, should you find any of that caliber.
I recommend you also make note of any topical events you can use in your writing—for example, the 2022 Oscars slap gave content marketers worldwide a popular event they could easily use for blog posts.
These days, I’m so happy to say I do work for my clients every day. Whether it’s writing a how-to guide for my mindset coaching clients or marketing emails for beauty brands, there’s always something to do.
But how do you improve your copywriting if you don’t have any clients yet? Or just a few?
Quite simply, you have to write every day. Writing good copy and content is like competing in a bodybuilding competition—you can’t just walk in without doing any prep and expect to steal the show.
You have to be disciplined and motivated to hone your craft and train those muscles, every day. As a copy and content writer, this means writing every day.
When you don’t have many (or any) clients, this doesn’t sound particularly fun. Or doable. I get it—I felt that way, too. Deciding all of these things is so overwhelming at first… keywords and word counts and drafts, oh my!
But it doesn’t have to be hard.
If you’re really stumped, take a look around your location. I mean the immediate space around you. Pick an object, a product you (or someone) had to buy. Did you have any questions when you first bought it? Did an ad or article convince you to do so?
Think through this product as if you were a customer thinking about buying it, and then as if you were the company trying to sell it. What would you say to bridge that gap? Write it down!
Turn it into a blog post or a landing page, and you’ve got a sample for your portfolio… plus you managed to improve your copywriting skills. Win-win!
Now, I like to aim for 500 to 1,000 words a day on my “lazy days.” When I first started out, I could only do 500 to 1,000 words a day.
Editing is absolutely crucial if you want to improve your copywriting.
The thing is, you always want to let your copy and content sit overnight before you try to edit. You’ll just be massively more effective and focused when there’s been a night of sleep between you and the piece you wrote.
So, every day, edit whatever you wrote the day before. If you’re writing every day like you should, you’ll always have something to edit.
To spend even more time honing your skills, edit the pieces you read each day. You can do this physically by printing out the page or copy-and-pasting it into a text document. Notate any edits or changes you feel would make the piece stronger.
Lately, I tend to do my editing of others’ writing mentally. I’ll think of replacements for words and phrases, swap paragraphs around, and edit headers all in my brain. I do advise starting out by doing it on paper or a computer before swapping to purely mental editing.
If I’m editing work that I’m doing for myself or a client, though, I’ll make those changes in my document and save them.
You can even edit the same pieces a few days in a row. Personally, I have never felt a piece was weaker post-editing—it will only improve your copywriting if you continue refining.
Make sure you aren’t sucked into an endless cycle, though. Eventually, you have to publish that piece.
As I began my journey to becoming a professional writer, I heard many, many people advising me to get a writing buddy (or buddies). As much as you can write and edit on your own, a second pair of eyes will almost always improve your copywriting.
I’ve found this to be absolutely true. I met mine in a Facebook group for copywriters, and we’ve spoken almost daily ever since.
We had both just gotten our business licenses and completed a program to help us get started. Early on, we spent a lot of time helping each other stay accountable with applying for projects, adding pieces to our portfolios, and editing each other’s work.
My writing buddy is very familiar with the type of projects I do, and we’re always there to build each other up. We’ve honestly become best friends!
This certainly doesn’t have to happen with your writing buddy—everybody looks for something slightly different in their colleagues, and that’s fine.
Today, she’s a full-time content manager making just shy of 6 figures at a large organization. I continue to work in a freelance capacity—it just suits my lifestyle better. We both feel that our relationship was instrumental in each of us finding success.
There you have it-- my 5 daily habits that helped me become a fulltime freelance copywriter! But this is only the beginning…
You see, starting these 5 habits yourself will certainly help you land clients—but being a writer doesn’t stop there. Because writing is a craft, it’s something you’ll hone for the rest of your career… maybe even your life.
The satisfaction you feel from watching yourself grow, learn, and thrive is difficult to put into words. But I do want to point out that many writers “retire” and keep on writing, just in a less formal capacity. That’s how powerful the feeling of improving your writing is.
My hope for you is that, with these tips, you can break through any barriers you’re hitting and improve your copywriting. If you’re still struggling to carve out time or stay motivated, I’d like to invite you to contact me.
I offer 5 free coaching sessions to new clients every month. Why not find out if you can snag one of them?
Rooting for you,
Your freelance beauty copywriter and mindset coach