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So, you want to be a copywriter?

That’s probably why you’re reading this, right?

Or you’ve ventured into the sector but copywriting jobs are hard to come by, so you’re fighting for scraps?

For the most part, what you may have heard about working online in Kenya is true – mkwanja iko kwa wingi. And we’re here to show you how to increase your copywriter salary.

However, that doesn’t mean copywriting is a walk in the park simply because you get to work out of your living room.

Kuna ukweli fulani unfaa uelewe kikamilifu ndo uweze ku-scale the heights of copywriting success.

Only then can you live the life of your dreams!

A Blank Page Is Your Adversary

Life as a copywriter revolves around the written word — thousands upon thousands of written words.

Some days you’ll have a gung-ho zeal, registering numerous creativity and productivity spikes.

Only to draw a blank on others with just an empty page and a blinking cursor to show for it.

In fancy writer’s terms, plummeting motivation is known as writer’s block.

In most cases, a writer’s block is triggered by:

  • Procrastination – it leads you to prioritize menial tasks over productive work.  
  • Distractions – from family members, TV, social media, UEFA, Premier League, you name it.
  • Fear – especially when handling a particularly challenging or unfamiliar subject.
  • Waiting for the perfect idea – great ideas don’t just pop up; you must build up to them, and that takes some effort so you keep pushing it off.

Unaeza relate na issue gani hapa? Moja? Mbili? Zote? Usitense. These techniques can help you surmount writer’s block once and for all.

The Headline Wins Half the Battle

A great heading piques the reader’s curiosity, compelling them to explore the rest of the copy.

“Headlines receive 5x more attention than the body.” — David Ogilvy


“The headline is responsible for 73% of the sales.”Ted Nicholas

An effective headline captures the essence of the copy in a single sentence.

It entices the target audience to read the rest of your offer, where you apply copywriting elements to persuade them to buy a product.

Winning headlines:

  • Grab the reader’s attention
  • Are concise
  • Offer a promise
  • Are in an active voice

Hone your ability to craft compelling and irresistible headlines from Copy Blogger.

It’s Okay to Drop the Grammar Rule Book

Forget all they taught you about writing in school.

Well, most of it anyway.

Copywriting requires you to write the same way you would talk to your ideal client.

It has no room for formal, stilted sentences or complicated words.

You’re on a mission to connect with the reader and persuade them to buy a product or take a desired action.

Stilted, pretentious writing only serves to drive them away.

So, no. Don’t borrow a leaf from PLO’s playbook.

You can throw out the grammar book, but not in its entirety.

Breaking these rules helps to spice up your writing

  • Prepositions are great words to end sentences with. End your sentences with about, for, to, and of. Or start them with conjunctions such as and, but, and so.
  • Sentence fragments are crucial. They punctuate the message. And slow things down.
  • Write two to three lines per paragraph. It makes your article more scannable so web readers can easily skim before delving deeper.
  • But and because are a perfect way to start a sentence. Because they improve the flow of your story.
  • Sometimes verbs are optional. That’s right, verbs can be dropped. Like this.
  • Drop “that” from a sentence. But only if the meaning remains clear in its absence.

However, grammar rules are not created equally.

Don’t break these particular rules:

  • Always write in an active voice. Passive voice is weak and boring.
  • Proper spelling and punctuation are vital. You can’t afford to slack on these two, ever.
  • Editing ruthlessly. Human beings are the best spell checkers; way better than Grammarly and other apps. Read your work aloud to pick up hidden errors.

Here’s a proofreading cheat sheet to help you produce a stellar, error-free copy, all day, every day.

Breaks Are Crucial to Your Productivity

“Mimi huchapa works hadi midnight; sijawahi lala before midnight. Daily. Monday to Sunday.”

Such a confession might seem admirable.

But what are you doing to your body?

You’re building wealth at the expense of your health.

Working long hours or over the weekend should be the exception rather than the norm.

Have the best of both worlds by scheduling:

  • Breaks throughout the day
  • Breaks for the weekend
  • An occasional holiday

Here’s why you need to take it easy:

  • Improve mental health: Crafting ideas into a compelling copy drains your brain. A well-rested mind lets you deliver your best work without fail. Health experts recommend at least eight hours of sleep daily.
  • Safeguard your physical health: Humans aren’t meant to sit for long hours. Studies show that sitting for many hours is detrimental to your health. Long typing spells increase the risk of repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel. Regular breaks let your body recover.
  • Build relationships: Human beings are social animals who thrive on building healthy relationships. Being too introverted can hinder your social life, increasing the risk of stress and depression.
  • Experience the world: There’s more to life than staring at your computer. Pursue a hobby, travel, take up music, interact with your neighbours. Explore all aspects of life for fun and inspiration.

Here are some insights to help you structure your day when working from home.

Effective Copywriting Is All About Psychology

What’s the purpose of a copy?

Two main reasons: to generate leads and drive sales.

A copywriter is a salesperson behind a computer.

Your sole purpose is to build the trust of the target audience and persuade them to buy the product you’re advertising.

The funny thing about trust is that it’s never freely given in real life, let alone over the internet.

You have to earn it.

How do you go about earning a reader’s trust?

Luckily, it’s not a tall order:

  • Be mindful of grammar. A sloppy copy undermines your professionalism and erodes a reader’s trust.
  • Be mindful of your tone. A courteous, professional tone creates a resonance between the audience and your message.
  • Respect the reader’s time. No one has time for a long-winded copy. Show the reader that you respect their time by getting to the point quickly and explaining your message succinctly.
  • Make the copy about the reader. The reader is out to solve a problem, not read about your accolades. Explain what your product can ease their pain or improve their life. Use the magical word YOU to address the reader and build your message around helping the audience.
  • Ease off the thesaurus. No one has the time to wallow in the miasma of your grammatical eloquence. In English, that means the reader isn’t there to fawn over your extensive vocabulary. At best, complex words serve to obscure the message and drive the reader away. Use simple everyday words to drive the message home.

“It only takes a reader 0.05 seconds to decide whether your site is helpful or not, whether to leave or stay.”

Keep Soaring

If there are footprints on the moon, the sky can’t be the limit. — Logic Rapper

Is excelling as a copywriter, the be-all and end-all of copywriting?

No, not at all. Copywriting is a timeless dynamic craft.

You can strike the delicate balance between growing your skills and giving back to the industry. Be a beacon of light to fledgeling creatives.

Here are some pointers to set you off in the right direction:

  • Blog about your copywriting journey and monetize it.
  • Pack your knowledge and skills into a punchy copywriting course.
  • Put all your marketing skills to practical use and start an online store.
  • Start an agency and apply your copywriting skills to grow the clientele and take on employees.
  • Complement your current skills with additional skills – graphic design, SEO copywriting, or email marketing.

Itakuwa Aje?

Ukitaka ku-thrive kama copywriter lazma utilie hii story maanani. Hamna shortcut.

Kama umeiva lakini job ni nadra sana, it’s time to expand your search efforts bila additional costs.

Pitia job board ya kaziwork.com. It lists copywriting jobs from trusted sources around the world. Pia uneaza signup and ku upload CV. Clients akinice na skills zako atareach out.

Photo by katemangostar / CC BY


I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of McKinnon Group and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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