Copywriting is a high income skill that is always in demand. Companies need copy for a range of purposes from marketing to digital content.
If you’re seeking to start a career as a copywriter, here are five things you need to know to make your copy a cut above the rest.
1. Write for your audience
Always keep in mind who your target audience is as you’re writing your copy. Think about how they would react to your copy and what actions they are most likely to take after reading it.
Do your research. There’s nothing wrong with looking at past examples of the copy your trying to write as a guide. Make sure you know everything you need to know to get through to your audience.
2. Spelling and grammar is everything
Your writing is a representation of you. It’s important to remember that spell check software is never 100% reliable. Proofreading your copy for errors is essential.
For long copy, proofread one section at a time to ensure you don’t miss anything. Only use a spell check software as a tool.
3. Follow industry guidelines
There can be significant consequences for companies that breach advertising guidelines in the form of inaccurate or inappropriate marketing. Make sure you’re familiar with both broadcast and non-broadcast codes to ensure your work complies with the rules.
4. Keep it interesting
Some clients may want you to work on longer copy. A good copywriter can adapt their writing to the project and still keep it engaging. It’s okay to deviate from the rules sometimes. Vary your sentence structures, use relatable adjectives and add images where possible.
You can find free images to use for your blog posts online via Unsplash and Pexels.
5. Avoid unnecessary jargon
Most copy requires you to engage readers from the beginning and keep them engaged throughout. Always make the key points of your copy clear, and avoid any unnecessary jargon. You’ll often have a word limit, and each word in every copy is valuable.
As you all know, mental health is a big topic for me. The coronavirus pandemic has the world on edge during isolation, so I want to share five tips that will help you stay productive and look after your mental health at the same time.
During this time it can be easy for those with mental health issues to relapse. Keeping the mind stimulated is essential to try and maintain some balance at a point in life where everything is uncertain.
1. Burn lavender incense
This is a ritual for me every night. Lavender calms the mind and allows the body to relax in an organic way. For those who are working from and find it difficult to focus with everything that is going on, this could help you get the mind space you need.
Holland & Barrat and local pound shops stock lavender incense sticks for affordable prices.
2. Work on old projects
The feeling of accomplishment is great for those suffering with mental health problems. Aiming to complete something you’ve been putting off for a while can make you feel a sense of achievement even though you’re unable to share it how you want to.
Go back to that book you’ve been meaning to write or start researching those recipes you were interested in last year. Turn your isolation period into a productive period. Create the feeling of making progress.
3. Keep in touch with loved ones
As we fight this health battle, it’s essential that you keep in touch with your loved ones. It’s a lonely time for us all. Many people are living alone and some people just need to hear a voice on the other end of the line.
Mental health problems are often invisible. We generally don’t know what people are going through. Looking after your mental health means caring about the health of others too. Knowing that your loved ones are doing well can boost your mood and theirs.
4. Don’t panic!
Easier said than done, I know. There’s people panic buying, leaving others without. Tensions are high as people are laid off work and the elderly are locked inside for safety. This is the perfect recipe for an anxiety attack, but you’re stronger than that. Use your isolation time to tell yourself that you are surviving through one of the worst times in history. You haven’t given up and you don’t plan to.
Look in the mirror and tell yourself some positive affirmations. Utilise breathing exercises if you plan to go outside, and only go outside if it’s absolutely necessary.
If you know if would be too difficult to go outside for the essentials you need, please turn to a neighbour. We’re all in this together.
5. Utilise social media
This is a contradiction in some way, because social media can have a negative impact on mental health. In this extreme case, creative organisations, retailers and more across the world are spreading positive energy.
We are praising our brave healthcare workers for their hard work. We are supporting those that have contracted the virus through their distress. We are finally coming together as the community we were intended to be and the unity is refreshing.
Read positive stories and engage with people. Make new friends and become part of this positive energy during a dark time.
It’s a whole new decade and it’s time to dust your writing ideas off and share them with the world. I published four books before by the age of 24 (I’m turning 25 this year), and here are six tips that helped me do it.
1. Writing on the go
Writing a book is no small feat! It takes so much thought and more importantly, so much time. Writing on-the-go helped me develop ideas and concepts for when I really had the time to flesh them out. Utilising my time on the train or the bus really shortened my writing time for all my books.
It sounds simple but it isn’t. Planning an idea for a book is the hardest part of it all for me. My advice is to break down your story into parts. Plan your story in a way that is most readable and relatable to you, and only once the planning for each part is complete; you write.
3. Proofreading is essential
If your book is being published by a traditional publisher then the proofreading and editing side if things will be covered. If you’re a self-published author like myself, then it’s important to make sure your self-publishing company does a good job proofreading your manuscript. If you’re publishing your book independently, then be sure to hire a professional proofreader to work on your manuscript before submitting the final proof to your printer.
4. Formatting is even more essential
When I published my first book at 15 years old, my self-publishing company at the time didn’t format my manuscript correctly before print. As a result, I pulled the book from production and I re-published the book in ebook format with another company.
Formatting involves the layout of your book. The paragraphs, line editing, headers and footers. Without a good format, your book lacks readability, and without readability you have no audience.
5. Writers Block
Every writer has encountered writers block. It’s normal to go through periods where you can’t come up with ideas or work out that storyline you’ve been trying to nail down for weeks.
My trick has been to brainstorm words that relate to what I’m trying to work out. For example, if I’m having trouble developing a relationship in a story, then I’ll write down different words that come to mind when I think of relationships I’ve had in my own life. I’ll then look at those words and try to create links that relate to the writing I’m trying to complete. This technique has helped me so many times when I get stuck on a writing project, and I hope it helps you too.
This is probably the most significant tip of them all. In order to get that book finished this year, you have to be consistent. That doesn’t mean writing everyday, but it means that you have to think about your book everyday. Schedule time for your writing and set goals so you can see how your book is developing. It’s easy to procrastinate when writing a book. There’s so much competition out there and some people think that it’s not worth it. Write your book for you. See it as a personal achievement whether you sell 10 or 10,000. Writing a book is no small feat, so be proud!
I hope you’ve all had an amazing festive season! It’s definitely been hectic for me here behind the scenes of Time is Money Media. I’ve been dealing with a family bereavement and have taken some time out to focus on my mental health during the process, but I had to drop one more blog post before 2019, and this decade comes to an end!
Firstly, I’d like to thank all my followers and readers for their love and support. You guys are the reason I keep blogging. The aim is always to inspire. To do better and be better. I published Time is Money nearly three years ago and it has changed my vision of life. Saving, investing and having my own lane became a priority, and I’m glad you’ve allowed me to share that with you through my posts.
It’s the end of 2019 and the end of a decade. I’m never really this personal in blog posts, but I know that the last 10 years have been challenging, and I know many of you must feel the same way! I may only be 24 years old, but after how much I’ve accomplished already, sometimes I feel like I’m 54 instead. There’s always more to learn and achieve on this journey called life, so here are my three main goals for 2020:
1. Prioritise your mental health.
I say it time and time again that your mental health is the most important thing that matters. It needs to be acknowledged and nurtured. Make time for this when you need to, and you’ll see the benefits.
2. Start that project or venture you’ve been sitting on.
I’ve been wanting to launch an official event under Time is Money Media since I first came up with the concept two years ago. I’ll finally be taking that step in 2020 and launching my very own poetry and music event to promote poets and artists across London and beyond. Even after all I’ve achieved already, I was scared. I thought about the event not going to plan, or what if I can’t do this on my own? But after hosting 200 people at a poetry event run by a collective of us at Boxpark Wembley, I knew I had to follow through.
3. Master evaluating yourselves.
Everything you do starts with you. How you see a situation and how you react to it. Learn to evaluate your feelings before reacting. This goes for both positive and negative scenarios. Mastering how to do this isn’t easy but it’s worth it. You invest your energy into those who deserve it, and you keep a distance from those that don’t. 2020 needs to be a positive year for all of us!
Some of these posts really take me back! They show how I’ve developed as a writer, a creative and a business woman. I hope you all can value the achievements you’ve made over this last decade, and I hope you achieve so much more in 2020!
– Keep moving your money to get the most value out of it. When one offer ends, move your money to an account with another good offer.
– Always compare accounts to see what works best for you. There are so many offers on the market. Do your research!
– Be realistic! If you think you would need to access your funds over time, then go for an easy-access account. If you know you can’t afford to pay the minimum on one account, then go for an account that allows you to pay in what you can afford.
I’m all about people making the most of their money, because it’s ours. We’ve earned it and we should get the most value possible out of it.
Whether you’re running a business, working full-time or going through the many difficulties that life can bring, these techniques can work for anyone. Here’s five little ways to align your senses that make a big difference.
Sounds super simple, but I’m not referring to heading to bed for the night. I’m talking about when the mind is so overwhelmed that your thoughts hardly make sense to you. You’re working on so many different things but aren’t really focusing on any. When everything is falling apart and you’re on the verge of a meltdown, just stop everything. Find a comfortable place where you can close your eyes and take a short nap to refresh the senses.
You’re giving the mind time to slow down, and figure out the best way to move forward after times of mental distress.
2. Essential Oils
Essential oils give off deep aromas that can soothe the mind. You can incorporate these into your bath, take them to the steam room with you, or burn them in the space that you regularly work in. Add some breathing techniques and this method has the ability to calm the mind and allow you to think more clearly.
Some of my favourites that I would recommend is Lavender, Lemon Grass, and Tangerine.
The sensation of water can be calming when you’re feeling stressed. Standing under a warm shower or relaxing in a hot bath does wonders for the mind. The combination of steam and the water against the skin makes it one of the best ways to slow the mind down.
I can’t stress enough how helpful meditation can be. The Headspace app is an good starting point for those unfamiliar with meditation. It provides sessions for almost any situation, including feeling flustered.
You don’t have to use an app to meditate. You can meditate in the bath while breathing in your essential oils, or say some positive affirmations aloud with your eyes. It’s all about finding a way that works for you. A way that you find most effective.
Part of being an author means doing a lot of reading. Not just for inspiration or research, but to get lost in a great story or content. Most booklovers are like this. If you ever feel like your mind is moving too fast, then take a time out and do some reading. Let your imagination calm you down.
These are simple ideas that have worked for me, and are easy to integrate into a busy lifestyle. It’s about being aware that you may be doing too much at once, and taking control of that.
You can purchase my business/self-development books here.
It’s been a while since I’ve shared my poetry on my blog. If you’ve been following me for a while, then you will know that this blog started with me writing poetry and has evolved over time. I plan to merge both my creative side and my business side on here more often, and I hope you enjoy.
This is a poem called Please Don’t Rush Me. It was inspired by the Windrush Generation, the recent Windrush Scandal, and the fact that we celebrated the first annual Windrush Day on the 22nd June 2019.
The Windrush Generation refers to the immigrants who were invited to the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and Barbados. They were invited by the British government to help re-build the country after World War 2 which came to an end in 1945.
The Windrush Scandal emerged in 2018 where people were wrongly detained, denied legal rights and in some cases, were wrongly deported from the UK by the Home Office.
Ethnic minorities continue to be marginalised, and this will never change. That doesn’t mean we can’t express how we feel through our talents, our work, and our voices. We can never be silenced. Let that be known.
There’s different ways to engage with clients or customers when you offer a service or product. You can actively seek out your audience via engagement on social media or attending networking events.
You can also improve your business by making your clients come to you. In my latest book, How To Become A Freelancer, I dedicate a whole chapter to this topic, so here are a few tips that people have found most helpful.
1. Create A Website (A good one too!)
A website is the perfect way to showcase your products or services in a way that reflects what you have to offer in the right way. Having everything all in one place makes finding out what you do easier for clients.
Top Tip: It can be difficult to maintain your own website if you’re not familiar with things like coding or content creation. Be extra thorough when with your content, descriptions and images. Use the resources that come with website builders to learn more about how to make your website the best that it can be. After all, it is the face of your business.
2. Do Marketing That Suits You (Not what’s popular)
Marketing is a broad topic that I cover in depth in my book, How To Become A Freelancer available here.
In a nutshell, social media is one of the best ways to be seen organically and non-organically. However, not every social media platform works in the same way, and one platform may work for you better than another. It can be a challenge to navigate social media, so here are my top tips to help your clients come to you.
Top Tip: If you do different things that may not interlink, create a different social account to avoid confusing customers. For example, I’m an author, but I also own a fashion business. I have separate accounts for each.
Top Tip: Avoid using Google Ads if you’re a start-up. This marketing method takes a substantial amount of money to run continuously for a specific period of time. It’s important to make sure that you have a consistent amount of clients or customers first before using this method to build on that.
Top Tip: Schedule your content. This allows you to still reach people when you’re not actively posting yourself. Potential clients may be seeing what you have to offer while you’re asleep. Being consistently visible is how your clients and customers will start coming to you.
3. Freelancer Platforms Are Gold
If you’re a freelance, then you should know that freelancer platforms are a gold mine for potential clients and customers. They are a great way to make sure your clients come to you without having the hassle of creating a website. They are flexible, and allow you to directly engage with your clients so you know the best way to complete what’s required.
Being a freelancer is like running a business, but with more flexibility. As a freelancer, you need to think of yourself as an actual business. You need to engage with others like a business would, and you need to have goals that you want to achieve.
In my book, How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms, I talk about what makes a successful freelancer in depth. I want to share my top tips from my book that helped me stay organised and make money as a freelancer for over five years.
– Money management is crucial. The flexibility you have as a freelancer means that if you’re not careful, you could end up spending endless amounts of money and getting nowhere. Set a limit for what you want to invest in yourself.
– Your network is your net worth. The more people you get to know and connect with means that those people now know about what you do. You have a list of people you can market your services to instantly, and can potentially get bigger opportunities because of who you know.
There was once a time when I didn’t like networking at events. You spend most of the time talking about yourself which made me feel slightly boastful. In order to become a successful freelancer, that’s exactly what you need to do. Promote yourself relentlessly. Don’t ever feel guilty about networking with others, and letting them know what you have to offer.
– Work smarter not harder is easier said than done, but once mastered, being a freelancer is more rewarding. Don’t take on more than you can do just because the work is available. Not only could you burn out, but you start to compromise the quality of your work. The quality of your work is your selling point. Everything you do should have real meaning and shouldn’t be rushed.
– Know your financial limits to avoid losing more than you make. It’s easy to get carried away with money as a freelancer. It’s important to be mindful, and realistic about your. Make sure you have work coming in coinsistently before heavily investing in what you do. For example, if you’re a freelance photographer, you would need to invest in a camera, but not necessarily a studio space.
Budgeting whilst freelancing is essential, especially if it’s your only source of income.
In my book, How To Become A Freelancer, I talk about my top tips in depth. I talk about the different ways you can avoid the challenges that come with freelancing, and provide useful links to help with websites, funding, and more. The book is on sale for £3.99 including shipping.