It makes sense, right?
As a copywriter, the faster you write, the more money you’ll be able to make.
While I’ve always been an advocate for getting beyond copywriting and actually showing that you’re a real person outside of the office, this is a truth that can’t be avoided—the wealthiest of copywriters not only love to work, they love to work quickly.
That said, let’s say you’re a slow writer. There’s nothing innately wrong with that, but it does mean you’ll be at an immediate disadvantage when it comes to making money.
So, can you learn to write faster, or is it one of those things you’re born with? Trust me, you can learn to write at an alarming rate.
Though I’m by no means the fastest writer on the face of the earth, here are three methods that have yet to have failed me when looking to produce as much copy as humanly possible:
1) Move On Before Having Finished Anything
Almost seems like this would be worse for efficiency, doesn’t it? That might be the case for some, but I’ve seen completely different results.
Writers aren’t perfect people. We’re not geniuses. Heck, most of us probably weren’t smart enough to get into med school or made the mistake of majoring in English—so, here we are.
Whatever the case, our brains tend to bog down sometimes. Instead of getting distracted and doing a bit of “research” on Facebook to get the ol’ mental wheels turning again, simply move onto another project.
A few weeks back, I read a piece by Robert Bly (I’m a disciple of his) who said that he’s always working on at least half a dozen projects at one time. When he encounters some writer’s block with one, he simply minimizes the project on his desktop and moves onto another one.
If you’re fingers are moving, you’re making money. When they’re not, you’re just an unemployed person with a really sweet computer.
Needless to say, keep typing.
2) Don’t Allow Yourself to Fixate On Wording
I used to be awful with this and still, from time to time, find my real inner OCD coming out.
As of January 1, 2014, the Global Language Monitor estimated that there are upwards of 1,025,109.8 words in the English language. How that decimal got in there, I’ll never know, but that’s the result my Google search yielded and I’m sticking to it.
Anyway, the point is this—there are thousands of ways to express one singular idea. Odds are high that, regardless of how experienced you are, you’re not going to pinpoint the perfect method.
Doesn’t feel right? Doesn’t sound quite the way you’d wanted it to in your head? Keep on keepin’ on and see where you’re writing takes you.
At the end of a piece, you’ll just go back and fix things anyway. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I get that this is easier said than done, but loosen up a little, will ya?
If you can manage to do that, you’ll see your editorial pace increase in no time at all.
3) Treat Your Copy as If It Were Intended for a Friend
Have you ever sent a lengthy email or—heck, I can’t believe I’m going to say this—text message to a close friend or relative? That was me channelling my inner 12-year-old girl, by the way.
My guess is that it took you all of 5 seconds to figure out what you were going to say, even if you were talking about something that was difficult to put into words.
You didn’t think, you just spoke.
Well, seeing as how I make my living as the Master of the “Write Like You Talk” methodology, there should’t really be much of a difference between the ease with which you speak and the way you write.
I mean, they’re kind of one and the same, if you think about it. After all, it’s coming from your brain.
Furthermore, I understand that this method might not work for each and every industry you’re covering, but regardless of tone or level of professionalism, this can still produce great results.
In fact, it was the Ninja Turtle wannabe Leonardo Da Vinci who once famously said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Come the start of your next copywriting project, make the conscious effort to write simply, yet persuasively. If done correctly, your production level will most assuredly increase.
Now it’s your turn—how are you writing at lightning speed? What’s worked for you in the past and continues to work for you today? As always, share you best copywriting secrets in the comments section below.
Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.