Ad Writing / Copy Writing COBWEBS

Image courtesy of "Tina Phillips" /
Image courtesy of “Tina Phillips” /

You’re going to get frustrated at some point while writing an advertisement. (Ad writing, copywriting, whatever you want to call it.) Your eyebrows are scrunched up, the creases in your forehead get a quarter-inch deeper, and you feel like giving up, throwing up, or hurling your Worlds Messiest Desk coffee cup into the wall. It’s like cobwebs are clogging up your “creativity”, man! Ahhh!!!

What is creativity in regards to ad writing though?

Isn’t it just taking a life experience or some piece of knowledge or information…and then linking that to the point you’re trying to make in your ad? (You gotta have a point – what ONE thing are you trying to get across that will move someone closer to buying from you?)

Sometimes we run out of awesome life experiences, so we need to do some digging, research, etc.

There are tons of places out there on the web where you can get some cool and fun trivia and weird facts. Try that. I’ll even pick up a Reader’s Digest and start paging through. The jokes are good for ad starters. Soak up information. That’s how you’ll find the “juice” to write your ad.

THEN…you need to sit down and write. No distractions. I know. It’s hard sometimes. But you have to get absorbed into your project. And then, just start writing. It’s not always going to be a masterpiece in 10 minutes. But you really have to put yourself into it. You have to get your mind wrapped around who the “target prospect” really IS. How would they respond to each sentence you write?

What if you DO have a little bit of A.D.D. though? Then, lock yourself into a quiet room and give yourself an ultimatum. Tell yourself that you can’t eat lunch until the ad is done. Or tell yourself that you get a reward (like a Take 5 candy bar!) as soon as you finish.

Distractions are ad writing killers. If you’re serious about writing good ad copy (either for yourself or if you’re a copy writer working for a business client), then you have to get into your “happy ad writing place”. If you tend to twitch at anything going on around you…then you need some alone time, buddy. I also like instrumental music streaming through my headphones when I’m writing. All sorts. Classical, Celtic, film scores, etc. And you’ll write differently too depending on the style and tempo of the music you’re listening to…so be aware of that.

The cobwebs of ad writing are basically:

1) Lack of information


2) Distractions

Fix those two troubles and you’ll find it much easier to get your copy writing done. Plus, your ads will perform better when you’re not just half-assed about getting some words down on paper to meet a deadline. And if you don’t like to write ads…have someone else do it. The ones who DO like getting intimate and mushy with copy writing (like yours truly) are the ones who can make your advertising go from just adequate (yuck), to effective and memorable.

Happy writing.

Duane Christensen

Non-Fat Advertising

I’m a marketing guy and ad writer. This isn’t just about better ads either, it’s also about a strategy to set you apart and help you be remembered (in a good way). I write this marketing blog because I’m on a mission to help you get more from your advertising bucks. I also wrote a a no-nonsense book about how to take a bigger slice of market share with better advertising. It’s called “Take a Bigger Slice”.


10 thoughts on “Ad Writing / Copy Writing COBWEBS”

  1. Outstanding nuggets of knowledget as always. Another suggestion for a great start line is to ask a question. This has two benefits: it gets you going putting your idea down on the page and better still, it forces the listener to at least mentally answer that question. And they can be really simple questions too.

    1. Right on, Bill. Thanks!
      And a colleague of mine also gave me another tidbit this morning. He said, “When you’re finished…walk away and take a look at it in the morning. You’ll always find something you can improve in your first draft.”

    2. i love the question starter! as a waterproofing company, we do “wet basement?” “nasty crawl space?” “foundation issue?” as the intro, followed up by a ‘we can help you and this is how’ sentence. it helps unblock the cobwebs for me. gets me out of Company mindset and into Consumer mindset

      1. Kim, I’m imagining the horror of a wet basement ruining a nice pair of heels.

        Or… “You like the sausage on your pizza crumbly…but not your foundation…”

        VISUAL words are always good.

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