Are you a beginner copywriter struggling to impress potential clients with your work? Feel like your career has stalled while others around you are cruising ahead on a speed boat?

Use these five underrated ways to improve your copy:

1. Get your copy critiqued by successful writers

One of the best ways to hone your copywriting skills is by getting successful copywriters — those who have sold hundreds of thousands worth of products or services with their words — to review your copy.

Seasoned copywriters can provide constructive criticism to help you identify (and rectify) holes, weaknesses, and areas of improvement in your copy, though that’s not the only benefit you’d get from ‘hiring’ them.

Copywriters who are successful have a deep understanding of what turns potential customers into buyers. Having them go through your writing can help you remove roadblocks that are hindering your copy.

All of the above is great and all that, but how do you get the veterans to review your copy? After all, won’t they already have enough on their plate to spend their time reviewing copy and giving suggestions?

That is where copywriting courses come into play.

The best copywriting courses are a win-win situation for both parties involved. While the veteran gets paid, you’re getting actionable tips to improve your writing and invaluable feedback on the health of your copy.

As a bonus, you’d get a certification to impress your potential clients with, letting them know that you’re willing to invest whatever it takes to turbocharge your copywriting skills.

Don’t have the money to purchase copywriting courses?

Let ChatGPT (or Google’s Gemini) come to your aid.

A simple prompt like: “I want you to critique my copy in the style of (enter the name of the copywriter whose style you’d rather mimic)” will unleash the insights that would take your copy from good to great.

If unsure, pick Gary Helbert (the author of the famous ‘Boron Letters’) as your virtual mentor. Why? Gary was known for pulling no punches, so you’d get some much-needed straight talk by asking for a critique in his style.

2. Take successful samples and hand copy them

When the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991, Russia sold China some cool fighter jets called SU-27 and SU-30 flankers.

Seeing how powerful these jets were and how quickly they moved in the air, China made its own versions of the duo: the J11, the J-15 Flying Shark, and the J-16.

Fast forward 30 odd years, and China is now exporting fighter jets to Russia, showcasing the benefits of reverse engineering.

You, too, should do what the Chinese did, especially if you want to get ahead and be seen in the competitive world of copywriting.

Pick copywriting pieces that are known for meeting their target, whether it is driving sales, building brand awareness, or signing up for a newsletter.

Next, study the chosen samples carefully, analyzing elements such as headings, body copy, call-to-action (CTA), tone of voice, storytelling technique, and other persuasive elements.

Finally, write out the entire copy by hand.

Doing this once will let you absorb the copy’s structure, rhythm, and word choice. Doing this many times will let you understand key principles of persuasive writing and include them in your own work.

3. Read poetry on a daily basis

Imagine you’re tasked with writing copy for a luxury socks brand.

You want to convey the exquisite craftmanship, sheer comfort, and excellent durability of the product, but you’re at a loss of fresh language.

All you are able to come up with are stale cliches that your competitors have already used to death, diluting their ability to generate sales.

What would you do to come up with words that feel stir emotions and make the reader excited to learn more about your product?

You turn to Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to My Socks“, in which he elevates the humble sock to something magical, using words like “two woolen firebrands”, “immense blackbirds”, and “threads of twilight” to rouse sentiments.

Reading such rich and vivid metaphors will ensure that you think about socks not as a mere object but as a masterpiece of craftsmanship, sparking new ideas and approaches to take your copy from good to great.

4. Study cognitive biases

Cognitive biases are little tricks our brains play on us, convincing us to make choices that may not be the smartest.

These biases play a crucial role in how we perceive the world around us, how we remember stuff, and how we make decisions.

While there are many cognitive biases that influence our decision making, the three most important ones are:

Understanding these biases can help you use words and phrases that tap into your audience’s natural thought processes and convince them to say “YES” to the offer presented in your copy.

For instance, if you understand the power of the social proof bias (where people follow the actions of others), you can include reviews and customer testimonials in your copy, giving the audience reasons to trust your brand.

Similarly, exploiting loss aversion bias (by using phrases like “limited-time offer” or “while supplies last”) can trigger the feeling of missing out in the reader’s mind and force them to act quickly.

5. Read your copy out loud

Reading copy out load is your secret weapon against grammatical errors, stylistic issues, and areas where the flow could be improved.

As your voice brings the words to life, you become acutely aware of any awkward phrasing that may have slipped past your initial editing.

Sentences that seemed smooth on the page now feel clunky and disjointed when spoken aloud, like speed bumps on a well-paved highway.

Additionally, reading aloud engages multiple senses simultaneously, enhancing your ability to detect subtle nuances in your writing.

You’ll be more attuned to the musicality of language, recognizing when a sentence sings with lyrical beauty or falls flat with monotony.

In essence, reading your copy aloud is like taking it out on a test drive, allowing you to identify and address any issues before it goes live.