In copywriting, as with any writing-based professional, it is important to keep your skills sharp. If you have several freelance clients or a full-time job, you'll be able to keep your copywriting skills sharp through paid work. However, if you are between jobs, you should stay sharp by doing copywriting exercises.
It's also a good idea to do copywriting exercises if you are a student that plans to pursue a copywriting career. Few universities offer courses specifically in advertising or marketing copywriting. This means that you will need to do exercises on your own to ensure that you have relevant experience when you graduate and enter the job market.
If doing copywriting exercises seems like too much of a hassle, you should keep in mind that prospective employers will likely test your copywriting skills by having you do a copywriting exercise as part of the interview process. If your copywriting skills are rusty because you have not been practicing regularly, you are much less likely to get the job.
Remember that copywriting is a very competitive field and there are many more copywriters than there are quality jobs in the field. Doing daily copywriting exercises will give you the edge you need to get a great job.
Read on to learn about all the copywriting exercises you will need to keep your skills sharp.
Table of Contents
Why it's important to practice copywriting
Types of Copywriting exercises
Digital banner ad
Print image ad
Audio-visual ad script
UX copywriting exercises
The benefits of doing copywriting exercises
Why it's important for copywriters to practice the writing process
There are many different types of copy that you will be required to create throughout your copywriting career. These varying copy formats have widely different requirements and require different approaches.
Unless you are a specialist who only writes one format of copy, you should practice in all the major formats. This prepares you for the widest range of jobs possible, making it easier for you to get a good position.
Types of Copywriting exercises
Text ads are one of the most straightforward types of copywriting. This makes text ad practice a great first task in your daily routine. If you are new to copywriting, you may even want to focus on text ad copywriting practice for a while before trying your hand at other types of copy.
Google Ads, previously known as Adwords ads, are the most common type of text ad that you will have to create. These ads can either show up at the top of search results pages or on websites that serve Google Ads.
Google Ads have a specific format that you can find here. Google may be best known for their text ads, but they also offer several other formats. For this exercise, focus on writing text ads that meet their Search and text-based Display ad formats.
You can make up a product or service to advertise. Alternatively, you could write sample text ads about real products or services that you know very well.
An image ad is any add that features text over an image. In such ads, the image is usually the focus and there is only a line or two of copy. These ads can be difficult to write because you have to communicate the ad's message very concisely.
There are quite a few different kinds of image ads. These days, however, the majority of image ads that you will have to write are either digital banner ads or print image ads.
Digital banner ad
The three most important copy components of a banner ad are the tagline, the call-to-action (CTA), and the purchase information. Not all banner ads contain all of these components. In fact, some banner ads simply contain the company's logo over a background images.
Obviously, there isn't anything for a copywriter to do with such an ad. This is why it is best to practice writing copy for image ads that include all three of the components mentioned above.
The tagline is also called the slogan. You must write a single line that communicates the benefits of the product or service in the client's brand voice. It's absolutely vital for the tagline to be both snappy and memorable.
The CTA is what convinces the target audience to make the purchase or contact the client. It could be as simple as "Buy ABC today," but you should try to make it more memorable. Try to communicate the product's benefits in the CTA. For example, you may want to write "Get in shape today" as the CTA in an image ad for a gym.
Remember to use words that inspire strong reactions, which are known as "power words."
The purchase information should tell the reader where they need to go to purchase the product or service.
Print image ad
Writing copy for print image ads involves similar copywriting strategies as writing for digital banner ads. In fact, banner ads are designed to look like print image ads.
However, your print image ad copywriting exercise should be a bit different than your exercise for digital banner ads. This is because digital banner ads often feature text over images. However, print ads usually have text in the blank spaces for better readability.
You should find an image that features a model filling up about two-thirds or three-quarters of the picture. Practice writing your tagline, CTA, and purchase info copy in the blank space.
SEO articles are quite different than ads, and many copywriters specialize in writing SEO copy instead of writing ads. An SEO article is essentially a journalistic article that is focused around a certain popular search term. The idea is to get the page to show up in the first few search results, which will bring a great deal of traffic.
The only effective daily copywriting exercises for SEO content involve writing full-length articles that are focused on certain keywords. Some copywriters shy away from these exercises because they are so time-consuming. However, most copywriting positions these days involve writing SEO content. It is definitely worth it to practice your SEO writing skills.
Like this blog, which is optimized for SEO. We use RankIQ and SurferSEO to optimize our copy for our target keywords. These tools make optimizing your writing far easier and faster.
Here is an example score inside SurferSEO
Email campaign copywriting exercise
You should practice writing a full campaign when working on your email copywriting skills. This means that you should include both the initial email and a re-target email. The re-target email is aimed at people who responded to the initial email. It's also a good idea to practice writing an email targeting shoppers who left items in their carts without making a purchase.
When practicing email copywriting, the most important thing is coming up with head-turning subject lines. You also need to come up with body copy that anticipates the customers needs and shows how the product can address them. Finally, you must come up with a CTA that will motivate potential customers.
Email is one of the biggest levers in any business and nailing the copywriting can take time. You must understand exactly who your ideal customers are talk in their language. We recently used email copywriting to launch a new product line to sell $238,740 in 24 hours!
Ideally, you have enough access as an email marketer to see the results from your campaigns. This makes it far easier to truly understand how impactful your email copywriting is or isn't for that matter.
Audio-visual ad script
When practicing video ad copywriting, it's vital to write copy in the proper format. Refer to the image above for the proper format. You will have to visualize the ad playing in your head while you write it, which takes regular practice.
Some people think that audio ads are on their way out because the number of people listening to radio has decreased dramatically. However, audio ads are commonly found on podcasts and music streaming services.
As with video ads, audio ads must be written in a rigidly structured format. Take a look at the image above for an example of this format. It's a good idea to read your audio ad copy out loud when you are done writing your sample. This will enable you to hear what the customer will hear.
Podcast ads do not have to adhere to this formatting as strictly as other audio ads. Check out the podcast ad example below to get an idea.
UX copywriting exercises
UX copywriting can be difficult, even for a world class copywriter. Most of the writers how work in this field do nothing other than write UX copy.
UX copy is the copy that customer will see when interacting with a website or an app. It is intended to be clear and informative, although there is a promotional component. For example, the UX copy for a button on a sales page may read "Change your life now."
Practicing UX copywriting can be difficult. The only effective way to do it is to create your own site or app and write the copy for the interactive elements. This site or app can also serve as your portfolio when you apply for UX writing jobs.
Copywriting is far more than simply typing quickly and accurately. However, typing skills are certainly an important component of copywriting. It's a good idea to warm up for the day with some typing practice. There are many free sites that test your typing speed and accuracy.
Keep in mind that you will eventually find yourself in a situation where you are racing to get a piece in before the deadline. In this situation, you will be happy that you have practiced your typing skills.
When you are working a corporate copywriting job, you will likely have to revise the work of other writers. Thus, it is important that you practice this on a regular basis. You should look for examples of copy in various formats and rewrite it.
Try to identify mistakes that the original copywriter made and come up with solutions. When revising copy, remember to keep the original brand voice and simply improve upon the content.
Improve your copywriting skills by doing copywriting exercises
Practicing your copywriting skills offers numerous benefits. You will get better at all formats of copy. Also, you will be ready for any copywriting test that a prospective employer could possibly dream up.
Through the revisions exercises, you will be exposed to the copy that other professionals in the field have written. This could be both educational and inspiring for you, which will help you improve further as a copywriting.
If you are a student, you may not have completed any paid copywriting work yet. You will need to put together a portfolio of copywriting samples so that you can get an entry-level position in the industry. You can create these samples as part of your copywriting practice.
If you come up with any great ideas while doing these exercises, you should put them in your own swipe file. This is a file that includes all of your ideas for campaigns. Having your own swipe file can come in handy when you need to create a campaign from scratch.