Never Stop Learning
When somebody says, “You learn something new every day,” they’re usually joking.
I don’t think it’s much of a joke because I actually learn several things every day.
As I said on Monday, you’ll never know everything, so it’s important to just get started, then learn as you go.
The trick is to keep working even when you’re learning something new. A lot of new writers put taking action on hold during this stage.
Don’t do that.
Instead, find a good balance between learning and taking action.
Rebecca Matter has a great approach to doing this. She says, “There will ALWAYS be just one more ‘something’ out there for you to learn. The key is to plan your continued learning strategically so that it continues to move you forward rather than slow you down or stop you altogether.”
That’s excellent advice every new writer should use to build their own business faster.
If you think about it, lots of professions (including doctors and teachers), have continuing education. They don’t stop working while they learn.
As freelancers, we are expected to be ahead of the curve. That is why companies and marketers hire us instead of keeping their projects in house. It takes too much of their resources to train and make sure that their staff is up to date with copywriting and current marketing trends.
While traditional copywriting techniques are a great foundation and nearly timeless, there will always be new things to learn that will help you and your clients.
For example, direct mail still works great, but email and SEO are often touted as the best ways to reach customers these days. It’s likely your clients will ask your opinion about these strategies, and it’s great to give an educated answer.
By staying on top of what’s happening in your niche and the copywriting and marketing worlds, you can be the person your clients call when they have a question about a new strategy they heard.
You can keep up to date by reading new articles on AWAI’s blog and subscribing to newsletters in your niche.
It may take some time to find the right ones (try doing a Google search or asking another writer which resources they use). But after signing up for a bunch, you’ll begin to notice which ones are best, and you can pick a few to read often.
Here are some of my favorite learning resources:
- Swipe files – Basically a file (virtual or physical) where you save copy or ideas that you like. Whenever I find myself seeking a spark of inspiration, I pull out my swipe file and have a look. This usually gets my brain working and eliminates writer’s block. Your swipe file might include sales letters, envelopes, emails, web-page copy, or any other copy that made you want to buy.
- Educational programs – I believe in reinvesting in yourself and your business by buying educational materials. I joined AWAI’s Circle of Success so I could have access to all their programs to refer to any time I need them.
- Blogs and newsletters – I subscribe to a lot of blogs and newsletters. Some of them, like ThinkTraffic.net, I read every issue. Others, I file away to read later.
- Membership sites – I usually don’t have time to use membership sites, so I’m very selective. One membership site, however, has been invaluable to my success and I make a point to visit it often. It’s WealthyWebWriter.com. I highly recommend checking them out. They have a lot of free resources if you’re just getting started.
- Other copywriters – I find my fellow freelancers to be a great source of up-to-date information and techniques. They tend to only share stuff they found value from. I follow many of them on Facebook and Twitter so I can see the newest stuff as they post it.
So how about you? What resources do you use to continue your education? Share below with your fellow writers.
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