If you want to become a successful copywriter, you need to know how to anticipate and overcome the common writing problems.
Having been a copywriter for over 20 years, I believe that there are 4 issues that can crop up unexpectedly.
Now, at first glance, these issues can appear to be little more than a mild inconvenience, but take it from me - they can quickly suck the fun and profits out your copywriting business if left unaddressed.
I don’t want that to happen, so today I’m going to teach you how to anticipate, deal with and overcome these 4 problems.
Let’s tackle them one at a time…
Procrastination is annoying. You know what you have to do, but you just can’t get started.
You know you’re procrastinating when you start doing random jobs, like tidying your desk or dusting your laptop.
From a freelance copywriter’s point of view, the best way to prevent procrastination from happening in the first place is to have a clearly defined structure to your working day.
That means define your working hours and always work in a set area. Having a hard finish at, say 5pm, reduces the window of opportunity for you to put things off.
And, incidentally, doing this will also keep your work-life balance intact. Finally, remove all distractions. Turn your phone off, shut down any social media sites and stick to the job in hand. Look after yourself by doing the basics: exercise, eat healthily and sleep well.
The hardest part of being a freelance copywriter is building good habits and finding discipline, but once you can control all the various temptations that everyday life brings, everything else becomes easier.
I’m sure you’re aware that writer’s block is a condition where the writer can’t find inspiration for anything. In short, they can’t find the right words and are unable to work.
It’s a genuine thing, but much of the time, we tend to make the situation worse by getting in a tizz and overthinking everything.
Either that or we cause further problems by searching too hard for inspiration [which can lead to procrastination].
Writer’s block can be solved in a number of ways. Firstly, you could take a break from whatever it is you’re working on. Go for a walk. Get a change of scenery. That often helps.
If you’re working on multiple projects, swap them around and work on something else. Returning to a job with fresh eyes can be a solution. I find that temporarily working in a different environment can get the creative juices flowing, too. So maybe take your laptop to a coffee shop and sample a different atmosphere.
Sensitivity to feedback
I wouldn’t say that you need a thick skin to be a copywriter, but you certainly need a collaborative mentality.
You must appreciate that copywriters rarely come up with the perfect piece of copy at the first time of asking.
In reality, many businesses don’t know what they want until they see content, remember that they’re probably processing everything under pressure. When they talk about tone not being appropriate or any words you’ve used being confusing, that’s not your fault.
Obviously, some people will be nicer than others, so if you come across a grumpy client remember that they’re hiring you to provide a service that they can’t do themselves. It doesn’t make abrupt feedback any less rude, but it’s part of the job.
I’ve been freelancing since 2013 and I can’t remember many occasions where I’ve felt that the feedback I’ve received on my copy has been completely out of order.
If I disagree with an edit, I’ll politely state my case and let them decide. Other than that, they’re the boss.
Sometimes we all find it hard to motivate ourselves, but this is where having a clearly defined goal comes into play.
Maybe you’re saving up for a special holiday?
Perhaps you’d just like the personal satisfaction of turning over a certain amount of revenue.
It doesn’t really matter. We all need targets to work towards.
And on that note, I always think that it’s important to celebrate your small wins. That could be anything - an awesome testimonial, meeting a tough deadline or a successful pitch.
Ultimately, remember that writing is fun. If you’re not happy when you’re writing, your audience won’t enjoy reading your work.