Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Marketing Copy

When we sit down to write, the voice, the style we choose isn't always the same; depending on which medium we're writing in, we taper our words to flow in sync with the chosen form.  Underneath the large, shady umbrellas of fiction and nonfiction there are genres and sub-genres.  Learning how to adapt to the task at hand isn't always as simple as it seems.  In a business letter, for instance, there isn't a great deal of room to maneuver in language or template; conversely, writing marketing copy, a skill that will come in handy for writers in queries, pitches, social media and any sort of communication associated with selling your work, is more difficult to define because it merges aspects and qualities of different forms.  Case in point, don't think you won't be using your creativity here.

As practise makes perfect, I'd like to share an adaptation of an exercise I was given in a journalism course quite a few years back.  It might sound off topic but as writers, we are constantly pitching ideas and now more than ever we need to know how to be authors and marketers.  The purpose is to get you mind thinking in terms of marketing- write as a copywriter, write as an advertising firm- say something in an unusual way.  Do this on your own time and if you'd like feedback, feel free to post your example here.

EXERCISE:   To train your mind to think on its feet, choose one clothing item (can include shoes, accessories, jewelry, watches...) that you have on right now and write 300 words to promote this product.  Start with an intriguing headline and time yourself (5 minutes on the clock ladies and gents).  Be witty, be fresh and identify in your mind the target audience you're addressing.  Say the target audience is working moms and you're selling fuzzy slippers; what does this market want, need most?  What imagery would appeal to them?  What are their lives like and why would they just love these slippers?  Why should they buy these above any other fuzzy slippers?  Try this out and see what you come up with!


  1. oiy. tough one, but very necessary. I like the little exercise at the end as it's got lots of good questions to help stir the juices.

    that doesn't mean I did it well. grin.

  2. Dear Thea, it's all about the practice- and having fun with it is important. The more natural it feels to write in that style, the more easily it'll come to you when you need it ;).

  3. LOL, I didn't did your exercise...I was hung up on signing up as a follower 'cause I wanted to be your first one...but your page doesn't work like mine...alas...Congratulations on this complementary activity! And have fun with it! I might even do an exercise once in awhile...

    Best, Glenda