Copywriting Tutorial: Dos and Don'ts in Advertising copies

Learn basic tips to create attention-grabbing copy in a range of advertising formats, with Erica Igue

The art of copywriting requires transforming ideas into words and concepts to convince someone, tell a story, sell products, or spread ideas. But as in any creative field, you have to respect a few basic rules.

Erica Igue (@kikaigue) has created this tutorial full of valuable and practical advice to help you understand what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to copywriting for you and the market.

A selection of work by copywriter Erica Igue.

Erica is a Brazilian copywriter who lives in Madrid and has worked for major advertising agencies including AKQA, R/GA, WMcCann, TracyLocke and Aktuellmix. She has also won some of the biggest gongs in advertising, including: the Cannes Lions, the Ojo de Iberoamerica, The One Show, CCSP and the Wave Awards.

She has created campaigns for brands like Netflix, Google, Skol, 99, Amazon Echo, Amazon Prime Video, Samsung, MasterCard and Hershey’s.

Don’t miss her tutorial!

Do: Value Your Work

All copywriters get asked for writing help from their friends. People often want you to give them a hand free of charge. But being a copywriter requires skill, time and effort. So if that’s what you do, start charging for and valuing your work.

Don’t: Use exclusive language

Don’t use ’he’ or ‘man’ as a generic term. If you can’t find a gender neutral form of expression (for example ’they’ or ’chairperson’), use both genders (’he or she’ / ’policemen and women’). “Good morning everyone“ is better than the binary “Ladies and Gentlemen“.

Copywriting Tutorial: Dos and Don'ts in Advertising copies 6
Being a copywriter requires skill, time and effort.

Do: Write every day

Writing needs practice, inspiration and regularity. So do a little every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tweet, a post-it, a diary entry or an idea in a notebook. It’s vital to practice, especially short texts, every day.

Don’t: Assume people have stopped reading

Meaning isn’t just found in words. It’s in everything we can ‘read’ including music, people, images, films and situations. So stop thinking no-one’s reading and do everything you can to ensure significance is important in your world.

Copywriting Tutorial: Dos and Don'ts in Advertising copies 8
For Erica Igue, copywriting is the art of turning ideas into words.

Do: Adapt your text to different formats

Part of the gift of being a copywriter involves being able to rework a text into countless formats. If you podcast, you know it was born out of your notes and turned into another format. A festival is born out of an idea in text form that grew into something else. Text can give rise to anything and it can also be transformed into new formats.

Don’t: Discard your own ideas

There are plenty of obstacles out there preventing your idea from jumping off the page and coming to light. Don’t be another hurdle. Create, improve and be patient until you see your creations being shared.

Love this tutorial? If you’d like to learn techniques that help turn your ideas into words and create attention-grabbing text in a range of formats, don’t miss Erica’s online course: Copywriting: Principles of Writing for Advertising.

You may also like:

- What is Copywriting?
- Creative Copywriting for Entrepreneurs
- Copywriting for Social Media, a course by Paul Anglin
- Copywriting to Convey your Personal Brand, a course by Andreia Ribeiro

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