11 Copywriting Exercises to Help Improve Your Skills–Fast!

copywriting exercises to improve skills fast

One of the most common questions I get from new copywriters (I see you in my DMs!) is how to improve copywriting skills.

And as a copywriter, you will ALWAYS be improving your skills. 

From your very first copywriting courses to your 100th client, you’ll constantly be evolving. 

Seriously. Even just a few months after you begin your copywriting career, you’ll look back on your earliest work and be shocked at how much your skills have improved.

But, if you want to improve your skills even faster, you can practice with these mind-stretching copywriting exercises.

The 11 Best Copywriting Exercises for New Copywriters

Open up a Google Doc and let’s get to work!

  1. The Mind-Games Exercise

As a copywriter, you’ll start to develop your “writer’s brain,” and, for better or worse, it will never turn off. 

This is an exercise you can do while you’re driving, walking, riding your bike, or anywhere you don’t have something to physically write with.

With this exercise, you’re going to rewrite copy in your head.

Step 1: Pay attention to billboards, signs, car wraps, any kind of advertisement that catches your eye.

Step 2: Assess whether or not you think the advertisement was effective. Did it intrigue you? Did it make you want to make a purchase? Did it completely turn you off of whatever they were selling? 

Step 3: Rewrite the advertisement in your head. How can you mimic what worked? How can you change what you feel needs work?

  1. The What vs. Why Exercise

This exercise is going to get you into the practice of really paying attention to what makes an audience tick…and then click. 

One of the biggest reasons someone hires a copywriter is that they don’t know how to position their product to solve a problem.

Often, business owners (and even marketing departments) find it challenging to write the WHY of their products and only focus on the WHAT.

For this exercise, you’re going to do just that.

Pick a random product. You’re going to write a product description of this product. Make a list of all of the features. Then, write WHY each one of those benefits is important.

For example, a chair isn’t just “built for back support.” It’s ergonomic, allowing for all day support and comfort.

A bike doesn’t just have “sturdy tires,”  it’s ready for you to take on adventures with even the rockiest terrain.

Think: WHY were the features created, and why would someone want them?

Remember: people don’t care about features, it’s what they do that’s important.

  1. The Action/Result Exercise

Focusing on the benefits of a product or service is part of great copywriting, but taking it a step further and focusing on the transformation really touches on someone’s desires.

This exercise has 4 steps.

Step 1: Choose a service-based offer (this can be anything from coaching and consulting to marketing to therapy, etc).

Step 2: Assess the overarching goal of the service. How is this service supposed to make someone feel? Empowered? Stable? Relieved? In control? 

Step 3: Choose 10 “Power Verbs” from the 50 Power Verbs for Energized Copy list. Make sure to choose power verbs that fit the overarching goal in step two.

Step 4: Write 10 sentences, starting each sentence with one of your power verbs and finishing the sentence with a result of the service.

For example:

  • STREAMLINE your writing process for ultimate productivity
  • MASTER the art and science of portfolio building and land high paying gigs
  • ENERGIZE your marketing with content that attracts your ideal audience 

Complete the Limiting Beliefs exercises using these sentences.

  1. The Limiting Beliefs Exercise

The Limiting Beliefs Exercise is going to help you address where pain points and objections meet. 

Consumers nearly always have some type of objections. Some of those objections stem from their own limiting beliefs.

Take your sentences from the Action/Result exercise and add the words “even if you” at the end, and then complete the sentence. Touch on either WHY your audience may be hesitant to purchase or their limiting beliefs about themselves. 

For example: 

  • STREAMLINE your writing process for ultimate productivity, even if you think your current systems are “good enough.”
  • MASTER the art and science of portfolio building and land high paying gigs even if you’re new to copywriting.
  • ENERGIZE your marketing with content that attracts your ideal audience even if you’ve all but given up on social media.

  1. The You Vs. Me Exercise

This is a copywriting exercise that doesn’t just sharpen your skills and get you into the right mindset, it can actually help land you clients.

The You vs. Me exercise is one of the most important copywriting exercises you’ll ever do. And here’s why:

One of the biggest mistakes that newbie copywriters or marketers make is forgetting to center the audience, which is one of the most important techniques for effective copywriting.

For this exercise, you’ll need to do some research (here’s where some of those research skills that we talked about in the Introduction to Copywriting module come in handy!).

Make a list of businesses you would like to work with. Then, you’re going to do a brief audit of their website, looking for a weak “you” vs. “me” ratio. 

That means taking note of how many of their sentences start with “I/we/my/our company,” and the like. How often are they centering themselves rather than their audience? 

A company that takes up the majority of their website’s real estate with business-centered copy is wasting prime space.

Remember: people don’t care about the business as much as they care about what the business can do for them.

You are going to rewrite a page on their website that is “me” centered and transform it into “you” centered copy, where you make the audience the focal point of the copy. 

Bonus: You can send a portion of your rewritten copy to the business to show them what you can do for their company. 

Here’s a tip, though: Don’t send an entire page. Don’t work for free. Send them a small sample and ask them if they’d like to discuss a potential working relationship and have you complete the project.

This is a real, effective way that many freelancers get clients!

  1. The “Elevator Pitch”  Exercise 

For this exercise, you’re going to summarize long form sales copy into a single sentence. This will help you laser-focus on what your clients offer. The “Elevator Pitch” exercise is great practice for writers who have trouble being concise in their copywriting.

To practice this, go to ANY sales page, study it, and then write in a single sentence what the company does, who they serve, and the most significant benefit of their offer.

  1. The Peacocking Exercise

The Peacocking Exercise is fun––and just a bit snarky. Think of a male peacock. They display ALL of those big, beautiful feathers to catch the attention of a mate. The bigger their feathers, the more they win attention over the other males. With this exercise, you’re going to look at your copy as if your copy is a peacock, and your competition is another peacock. 

Think of a product. Then, think of the direct competition of that product. What makes one product better than another? Without naming names (because that’s just never cool, and usually backfires), write headlines that showcase WHY the product you chose is better than the competition.

For example, if you were writing about two of the largest competing phone brands like Samsung and Apple, you might write:

“Our phone chargers won’t cost more than your phone bill. {Brand Name}. ACTUALLY versatile.”

Or, if you were writing for two competing coffee chains such as Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, you might write:

“Better Than That $5 Coffee. And Still Less Than $5.”

(Can you pick out which brands these headlines were written for?)

  1. The Speech to Text Exercise

This exercise is great practice for writing conversationally. Conversation copy converts because people are more apt to buy the less they have to think about your offer. For example, if someone has to translate big words and industry jargon into words they can understand, they’ll lose interest. 

For this exercise, instead of typing out your copy, use a “speech to text” software on your computer or even on your phone. Then, once you feel your copy covers all the bases, go in and edit and format as you normally would.

Bonus practice: do this while you’re taking a walk. Walk at different paces and see how it impacts the “energy” of your copy and how quickly (or slowly) things flow.

  1. The “So What?”  Exercise

Practice cutting through the fluff of what your customer THINKS they want, versus what they ACTUALLY want when we get to the roof of the pain point. Copy that puts the pain point front and center immediately strikes a nerve with your audience. 

For this exercise, you’re going to ask “so what?” until you get to the root of the customer’s pain point.

For example:

Product: Whitening toothpaste that claims it is the fastest whitening toothpaste available

Why the customer THINKS they want the product: To whiten their teeth

Let’s answer ew “so what” questions to find out why they REALLY want the whitening toothpaste. Imagine this is a “real life” conversation between the brand and a potential customer.

Brand: We’re the fastest whitening toothpaste on the market!

Customer: Ok, so what?

Brand: You’ll see results faster with our brand than other brands.

Customer: Ok, so what?

Brand: That means not having to hide your smile when speaking to people.

Customer: Ok, so what?

Brand: That means no more feeling embarrassed about your discolored teeth.

Customer: TAKE MY MONEY!

So, now we’ve gotten to the root of someone’s pain point. WHY are they insecure about their yellow-hued teeth? It’s not just that their teeth are discolored, it’s the emotions associated with having yellow teeth.

Using the above information, write what could be a new tagline for this toothpaste.

Pick a product and try this yourself!

  1. Read Out Loud Exercise

Similar to the Text to Speak exercise, the Read Out Loud Exercise helps you keep your copy conversational. But, instead of speaking it outloud, you’re going to read a piece of copy you’ve written out loud.

Notice the parts that don’t flow as if you were having a conversation. There may be sentences that are too long, words that don’t flow with the rest of the copy, or an overall feeling of inauthenticity. 

Read your copy out loud and edit anything that SOUNDS like marketing. The less it sounds like marketing, the more effective it will be.

  1. The Speed Writing Exercise

Your brain works better under pressure than you think. With the Speed Writing Exercise, you add a little adrenaline to your writing process and give you a rush of creativity.

For this exercise, choose any product.

Now, set a timer for 30 minutes and SPEED WRITE your sales copy. Yes, it will look like a complete brain dump at the end of the exercise…and that’s exactly what it’s supposed to look like.

After your speed writing session, go back through and pick out the very best lines. Keep those. Chances are, you’ll keep more than you expected to.

Keep Up the Momentum With Copywriting Exercises

No matter how advanced you are in your career, you will ALWAYS benefit from honing your skills. 

Plus, like I mentioned earlier, once you turn on your “copywriting brain” you’ll be practicing copy every time you look at an advertisement. 

And you’ll get better every single time. 


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