As an ex-Digital Copywriter turned Creative Director, here are some ‘pearls of wisdom’ on digital copywriting in the rather strict format of ‘rules’. Feel free to follow or totally ignore.

  • Don’t get paralysed. This is the number one rule: don’t seize up and get blocked. Keep on moving and swimming. If that means spreading yourself across six briefs at a time, so be it. Just don’t stop. You’ll lose momentum and struggle to get back on track.
  • Write with reverence and joy. Even if you’re writing about carpets, write with respect for the words you are using. Get excited about the mechanics of language and the rhythm of writing. Read great copy and learn from it.

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  • Edit later. You need time to breathe. Leave the piece for as long as you can before you revisit it.
  • Specialise in something. Anything. Whether it’s tech, SaaS, or email marketing, find your niche and develop yourself there.
  • Be as clear as you can. Enjoy puns and relish in wordplay, but don’t be too obscure.
  • Short sentences, please. Online copywriting is all about being direct and punchy. Learn how to be economical with your language. Offer value in short sharp punches.

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  • Keep learning about the industry. Keep pushing yourself and going to conferences, attending webinars, reading books, blogging. Keep learning.
  • Network as much as you can. Talking to people is a great way to learn by osmosis. Make a not of the interesting things people say.
  • Listen to technical people: they have a lot to teach you. Don’t hide behind your ‘creative’ label. Be bold and wade into code. Become a digital native.
  • Hone your commercial skills. You need to understand how writing maps onto sales funnels, customer journeys, and client campaigns. Be rigorous in your analysis.

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  • Get social. Social media is where a lot of content is created, shared, and seeded. Get to know the top social platforms well.
  • Explore new formats. GIFs, video, Stories: keep pushing the boundaries of copy to stay one step ahead.