Write Better with 4 Tips from
Bestselling Author Alex Green

If you’d like to guarantee your success in a long-term writing career, listen to these tips from Alex Green.

Alex is speaking at Bootcamp this year, and has also authored three national bestsellers. He’s the Investment Director of The Oxford Club, where one portfolio he directs — The Oxford Club Communiqué, is ranked among the top investment letters in the nation by the independent Hulbert Financial Digest.

Here are some of his best writing tips to help make you a better, faster writer:

1) Give yourself a lot of short-term deadlines

You’ll become a good writer much quicker if you write all the time — and that’s where too many “writers” fall short. They may love the idea of writing, and the romance and respect that comes with it. But they spend most of their time reading books on how to write better instead of actually trying to write better.

You can’t just plan and study if you’re serious about writing good copy. And that’s where deadlines come in. They’ll force you to practice your writing skills.

Here are some tips for implementing short-term deadlines in your own writing habits:

  • Set up your own blog with a regular publication schedule
  • Blog for others who post on a schedule
  • Create a mastermind group of other copywriters to be your accountability partners
  • Hire an editor for a month so you’ll have someone regularly critiquing your stuff

2) Remember that writing is a serious mental game

Alex also recommends following a writing schedule. He recommends finding the time of day when you’re at your mental peak, and doing your writing during that time. It might be the pre-dawn hours, it might be after your cup of coffee and a paper-skim, or it might be late at night. Whatever it is, find it and capitalize on it.

Remember, writing — good writing — is a challenging mental game. Alex says a professional runner wouldn’t do sprints for eight hours a day. Not only would that be physically damaging, but also exhausting.

Writing is the same. It’s a tough mental sport.

3) Ideas are all around you

Thank your stars for the Internet! In seconds, it gives you idea prompts, facts, figures, and any other kind of information you need to plug into your writing.

Alex tells of his endless quest for information back when he wrote research reports in pre-Internet days — always on the phone begging some company to send over some analysis. Sometimes they would, sometimes not.

So he advises you to take advantage of the Internet and constantly pursue good research. Remember, your job is to write something so good that the people who read it walk away thinking, “Man, I’m glad I took the time to read that!”

Also, read as much as you write. Dig around for nuggets of information. Do this, and ideas for great topics, angles, and articles will surface.

4) “Make your writing invisible”

You might hear this one a lot, but it’s a classic stumbling block for writers: Write like you speak.

You don’t want your writing to look or sound like writing. That means no lengthy sentences, large blocks of text, or words a sixth-grader won’t understand.

Always use the classic bar stool test (or coffee shop test, depending on your preference): Read your copy aloud, and if it doesn’t sound like something you’d say to somebody over a drink, strike it out and try again.

Alex points out that in copywriting, you’re not trying to land a Pulitzer Prize. You’re trying to get people to take action.

The Value You Bring as a Good Copywriter Is Tremendous

Beyond all that, daily diligence and seeing your goals through is what’ll get you where you want to be.

Alex points out the two essential elements to success as a copywriter are to write clearly and communicate persuasively.

Both elements can be studied, learned, and mastered by anybody. As Alex says, “No one, I think, is a born copywriter.”

Let me close with these final, very inspiring words from Alex:

“The copywriter is really the most essential part of a publishing operation.”

And …

“There’s a tremendous demand for top quality copywriters, and it’s a very lucrative field to be in.”

Best of luck as you accelerate your goals to write better and faster. And if you want more tips like Alex’s, check out the Bootcamp Home Study Program while it’s still available.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: October 24, 2012

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