Back in 2018, I decided I wanted to become a copywriter.
I went at it for almost a year.
I threw in the towel because I struggled to learn the essential copywriting skills and could not get enough work to support myself.
Then, in 2020 (when the first COVID lockdowns hit), I jumped back into copywriting and took off like a SpaceX rocket.
I had a lot of early success – over 50 clients in my first few months. And have been working as a full-time copywriter for the last 3 years.
One BIG reason why I was able to break into copywriting so fast and get steady work, is because I practiced my copywriting skills EVERY DAY.
For the first 3 months…
I read 15 copywriting books (around 50 pages a day) and did 5 specific copywriting practice exercises – DAILY.
I believe that daily copywriting practice is the NUMBER ONE way to improve your copywriting skills.
This blog post will cover the importance of copywriting practice, how to practice copywriting for free (without clients) and my 5 favorite copywriting practice exercises to help you become a better copywriter lickity split.
Why Is Copywriting Practice Important?
It’s not secret…
The key to mastering a skill is PRACTICE.
This is no different with copywriting.
When you practice copywriting, you will inevitably improve your writing and persuasion skills.
However, the key to getting the most out of your copywriting practice is to practice DAILY.
It doesn’t have to be long.
Many of the valuable exercises I reveal take just a few short minutes to complete.
When I practiced copywriting as a beginner, I only practiced for 30ish minutes each day.
You too can experience tremendous results from simple, DAILY practice.
How to Practice Copywriting for FREE Without Clients (Perfect for Beginners)
When I discovered these copywriting practice exercises, I was a complete beginner and had ZERO clients.
All the exercises I did were 100% FREE.
However, you will need a computer & a notebook.
But you DO NOT need clients, pay expensive monthly fees or any prior copywriting experience.
I recommend ALL beginner copywriters to do these 5 exercises…
5 Copywriting Practice Exercises to Instantly Become a Better Copywriter
#1: Handwrite Successful Direct Response Ads
Perhaps the best way to get EXTREMELY good at copywriting is to write PROVEN successful ads by hand.
Because Gary Halbert tells you to.
Gary Halbert, the Michael Jordan of copywriting, preached this method (this is where I learned it from and WHY I continue to do this practice exercise for 3 years & running).
He said that the best way to become a better copywriter, fast, is to find great direct response ads and write them out by hand.
Because, by doing so, you will internalize the writing process and understand what makes good copy – the structure, selling psychology, what to say, how to say it – on a very deep level that you can ONLY get from writing ads out by hand.
Want to gain 10 of the most successful ads of all time to write out by hand?
See my previous post – 10 Best Ad Copy Examples that will Make YOU a Better Copywriter
#2: Read Ads Out Loud
Another great way to improve your copywriting skills is to read great ads OUT LOUD.
Because you will pick up “the flow” & rhythm of great copy.
Successful copy is very conversational.
It reads like you’re talking 1:1, to your best friend.
As you read successful copy out loud, notice how you barely stumble.
It’s very easy to read out loud because it’s written in a very down-to-earth, conversational tone.
You can use this practice exercise to improve your copywriting.
By reading your copy out loud.
I do this during the editing phase.
Whenever I stumble over a word or a confusing sentence or phrase, I go back and simplify it.
#3: Analyze the Top Ads
In addition to writing the best ads out by hand and reading them out loud, you should also STUDY THEM.
Do so by analyzing each sentence.
Break the copy down, line by line, to uncover WHY it worked so well.
Uncover the hidden psychology, sales techniques, emotional triggers, irresistible offers, biggest benefits, etc., that are going on “behind the scenes”.
When I practice copy, I do these 3 steps all at once.
I start by reading a successful ad out loud, then write it out by hand, and then break it down to find out WHY it worked so well.
This is the only copy practice I do now.
I find it to be the BEST way to quickly improve your copywriting skills.
This all takes about 30 minutes to do (Depending on how long the ad is. Some can take days to write out by hand).
#4: Turning Features, to Benefits, to REAL Benefits
Benefits are one of the most important elements of copywriting.
To become a top copywriter, you must be a master at finding and dramatizing the TOP BENEFITS of your client’s products/services.
Here’s how to get scary good at turning boring features into irresistible benefits that force your readers to hand over their hard-earned cash…
Go on Amazon.com
Search for any product you want to write about.
Then, open up an Excel spreadsheet (you can use Word or Notepad but Excel is more organized).
AND Create 3 sections at the top labeled – Feature, Benefit, Ultimate Benefit.
Then, add the product’s name to the left-side column.
And add in 3-5 features from the Amazon product listing, below the column labeled “feature.”
When you’re done it should look like this:
Now, turn each bland feature into a benefit.
Write each benefit under the “benefit” column.
Then, take the benefit you just created and dig deeper.
Find the ULTIMATE benefit of what the customer gets by USING the product.
I like to find this by saying “So what?” – until I uncover the REAL benefit.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you’re doing this practice for a car.
The car is the product.
The feature you are turning into a benefit is - “oncoming car sensor.”
A benefit of this feature could be… to avoid crashes and fender benders.
But, so what?
So what that you can avoid crashes?
What’s the REAL benefit of this?
The ULTIMATE benefit (which you’d add under the last column in Excel) is that you’ll protect yourself and your loved ones from deadly accidents.
That’s the REAL benefit.
That’s what this feature DOES for the customer.
It’s WHY they would buy this product.
They wouldn’t buy this product to simply avoid crashes.
But they WOULD buy it to protect their children and ensure they are safe when driving.
To do this copy practice exercise…
I recommend doing one product and turning 3-5 of its features into benefits, each day.
This is super easy and very effective.
You can complete this in 10 minutes or less.
#5: The 4 U’s Headline Practice
The last copy practice that I did as a beginner to quickly feel confident in my copywriting skills was practicing headlines.
Here’s what I did:
I opened a new window in Firefox and looked at the clickbait headlines from online articles.
Most web browsers have this as a default. If you don’t see it, use Firefox or Google Chrome.
I copied and pasted headlines into a Word document.
And would improve upon them with my copywriting chops.
I made each headline better by using….
The 4 U’s headline formula:
Ultra-specific – specifics are more believable and interesting.
Unique – what’s unique grabs our attention. This is why clickbait articles get read, even though we KNOW they are going to disappoint us. (don’t clickbait your readers but you can write unique headlines as long as you pay it off early in your copy).
Urgent – urgency makes us take ACTION NOW (and read from headline to CTA).
Useful – the biggest benefits of your client’s product or service.
I wrote a few headlines for each U headline.
The reason why you want to improve existing headlines using the 4 U’s technique is because each “U” makes your headlines more attention-grabbing and persuasive.
Here is an example to help you understand how to do this copy practice exercise:
I just jumped on Firefox and found this headline…
"Book a free trip with our new card"
Here’s how I would improve upon it using the 4 U’s headline technique:
BREAKING: For the first time ever… New “mystery” card allows you to travel anywhere in the world - for FREE
Spice up your love life by taking your spouse to a sexy tropical getaway – without spending a single dime! Here’s how….
10 vacation spots you can travel to for FREE this summer
Use this card to book your next trip for FREE – only good until the 30th
Do this each day and you’ll get muy bueno at writing attention-grabbing headlines.
This takes no more than 10 minutes to do.
If you want to become a better copywriter fast, then practice these 5 copywriting exercises.
The key to becoming a better copywriter is to practice these exercises (along with learning from the top copywriting books and writing for clients) EVERY SINGLE DAY.
The copywriter who is CONSISTENTLY improving their skills will be able to earn the most amount of money WITHOUT having to work crazy hours.
If you’d like more copywriting tips to help you sharpen your skills, enter your email below: