Helen Nesterenko at Writtent.com was kind enough to link to my humble blog when publishing a list of sources of killer copywriting tips. So when she asked to write a guest post I was happy to oblige.
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Exceptional writers understand it’s dangerous to become stagnant. Challenge yourself with these four shocking sources for copywriting wisdom.
Employee education is a $156 billion industry. While that’s a positively staggering figure, I think it’s safe to venture that the average copywriter is far more engaged in their professional development than most. For most of us, education, research, and improvement are a self-directed part of our daily workflow. However, have your sources for copywriting wisdom become a little stagnant?
The purpose of this post is to shake you up a little, and inspire you to rethink your sources. Sometimes the greatest copywriting wisdom can come from places you’ve never considered visiting before. Here are four you may not have even thought about integrating into your daily education:
- Blackhat SEO Forums
For many content creators and copywriters, Blackhat SEO is a taboo topic and something to be avoided when possible. It’s definitely for good reason, too. Many Black Hat SEOs aren’t entirely ethical in their business and personal practices. It’s difficult to stay entirely above board ethically, if you’re in the business of trying to trick search engines into better results.
Ever since Google’s most recent algorithm updates, the focus of both white and black hat SEO professionals has shifted significantly. The game is no longer about winning in search rankings, but figuring out exactly what constitutes “quality content” in the eyes of search engines. You may be surprised at the intelligence and insight of the content marketers who comment in places like BlackHatWorld. While it’s certainly ill-advised to apply much of the advice from certain SEO forums, you could walk away amazed at some of the insights you gain.
If the entire internet was compiled into a single website, it would be Reddit. On any given day, you could find a mega-celebrity like Arnold Schwarzenegger stopping in to answer a few questions. You’ll uncover dozens of brilliantly funny cat memes, or spectate professional astronomers weighing in on some heavy-duty science. However, what makes this place worth your while are the communities of copywriters and word enthusiasts.
For example, check out the frequent contests hosted on the Writing Prompts subreddit. Participants can compete for the simple sake of it, for the critical feedback they receive, or simply because they like to write. If you’re in the mood to stretch yourself creatively, the real-time feedback you receive on Reddit can’t be beat. There are additional, more topical discussion forums dedicated to education in copywriting, content marketing, and many other subspecialties.
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Many copywriters are inherently private people. For that reason, the idea of spending much time on Twitter or any other social media network can be hard to swallow. However, consider the fact that some Twitter users accomplish the art of actual storytelling in 140 characters or less. The best even make it look easy.
I recommend you implement a Tweet aggregator, similar to this service, which offers a look at some Tweets with major reach each day. Not every Tweet will have something for you to learn from. However, others could really challenge your concepts of what’s possible in 140 characters. Even if you’re dedicated to avoiding social media networking as much as possible, Twitter is a powerful resource for developing the crucial art of brevity.
- Old Internet Resources
Due to the massive volume of fresh content published each day to the web, it’s easy to forget the resources published 5 or 10 years back. However, the first resources available on the web are just a few clicks away with the help of a search engine like the Wayback Machine.
We all know intuitively that the internet has significantly changed language as we know it, which is backed up by research. I recommend you explore the language and writing present in some great resources during the late 1990s. The New York Times’ book reviews can be an exceptional resource for exploring how content marketing has changed language and expository writing.
One of the best means of developing professionally as a copywriter is to challenge your assumptions, and change your habits. I recommend that you consider adding a new site or mode to your professional development efforts in the months to come. You could be amazed at just how rewarding the experience is.
What are some unexpected or even shocking places you find copywriting wisdom? Share your favorites in the comments!
Written by Helen Nesterenko – founder and CEO at Writtent.com. She loves creating quality content that moves people. That’s why she founded her business.