Write with Personality: Copywriting Tips for Dynamic Writing | Ruth Clowes | Skillshare

Write with Personality: Copywriting Tips for Dynamic Writing

Ruth Clowes, Professional Copywriter

Write with Personality: Copywriting Tips for Dynamic Writing

Ruth Clowes, Professional Copywriter

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
10 Lessons (38m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:47
    • 2. Tell a Story

      5:16
    • 3. Get Conversational

      3:43
    • 4. Appeal to the Senses

      3:52
    • 5. Use Contractions

      4:19
    • 6. Choose Your Words

      2:44
    • 7. Try a Metaphor

      2:53
    • 8. Break the Rules

      4:53
    • 9. Tips, Tricks and Tools

      5:27
    • 10. Next Steps

      2:20
26 students are watching this class
  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

1,329

Students

8

Projects

About This Class

You = human, engaging, unique
Your writing = robotic, boring, generic

Sound familiar? If you want to write natural, conversational copy but struggle to get your personality (or that of your brand) across in your writing, this class is for you.

No sound needed! Give your headphones a break and enjoy accurate captions and fully visual walkthroughs.

Learn how to engage with your reader through your words. As a professional copywriter and marketer, words are my bread, my butter and my passion. In this super-practical copywriting workshop, I’ll teach you 8 simple and effective ways to transform your copy from tedious to terrific.

In this class you’ll learn how to:

  • Build storytelling into your copy to make it more impactful
  • Write in an informal, conversational way – without sounding like the back of an Innocent smoothie bottle!
  • Use questions to build a relationship with your reader
  • Let your personality shine through in your writing.

By the end of this class, you’ll have the skills and tools to rewrite a short piece of your own copy in more conversational, engaging way.

This class is for you if:

  • You want to make your writing flow better and sound more natural and dynamic
  • You know you can improve sales and conversion rates by making your copy more persuasive
  • You need simple and effective techniques for improving existing copy.

USEFUL WEBSITES

Otter Voice Notes - https://otter.ai/login
Prompts Creative Writing App - http://getprompts.com/
Hipstersound - https://hipstersound.com/
Guardian and Observer Style Guide - https://www.theguardian.com/guardian-observer-style-guide-a

Connect with me: Website | Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ruth Clowes

Professional Copywriter

Teacher

Your website text, online bios, social media posts and emails define you. They are what make people notice you, connect with you and buy from you… or not.

Learn to communicate more clearly, dynamically and persuasively with classes that focus on straightforward, practical techniques that get great results – fast.

Each session is full of real-life examples and hands-on exercises to help you practice as you learn.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
    0%
  • Yes
    0%
  • Somewhat
    0%
  • Not really
    0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.

phone

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Welcome! Hello, my name is Ruth. Welcome to my class on writing with personality. In this class, you'll learn how to make your writing more natural, more engaging, and more uniquely you. It's full of tips, tricks and techniques from my career as a professional copywriter. In the class project, you'll write or rewrite a piece of your own copy in an informal, conversational style. The techniques you'll learn in this class are both simple and effective, and I know you're going to be amazed at the difference you can make to your own writing, just using the skills you'll learn in this class. As an extra bonus, when you start writing in a more personal and creative way, it will become a lot more enjoyable as well. This workshop is aimed at students who want an overview of some basic copywriting skills that can be used to make their writing sound more natural and more engaging. You don't need any particular skills to be able to take this class, just an appetite to improve your writing. You'll find this class particularly useful if you find that your writing tends to sound a little dull or boring, or if you struggle to express yourself in writing, in a way that's in keeping with your personality. Among the things we'll cover in this class are; how to use storytelling techniques to really draw your reader in, how to use contractions and metaphors effectively to improve your writing and make it more vibrant and informal, and also, which writing rules you need to follow, and which ones you can break and improve your writing even more. I'm going to talk you through each of these techniques using practical hands-on examples so that you can see exactly how they work and how you can use them to improve your copy. The skills you'll learn in this class are useful for all sorts of different writing. But you're going to find them particularly helpful if you sell products online or if you have a blog or connect with your readers and your audiences using social media. These techniques are really helpful for forming a deeper, more personal connection with your reader, to more persuasively sell your products and services. Writing in an informal and conversational way is easy when you know what the rules are and which rules you can break. That's why I'm here. I'm going to talk you through each of these techniques and show you how you can put them into action. The best thing is that as you practice these techniques, they'll become second nature and all of your writing will be more dynamic and more engaging as a result. Shall we get started? 2. Tell a Story: Tell a Story. It's no accident that I'm starting this class by talking to you about storytelling, because stories have been told by human beings for millennia. Back when our ancestors were living in caves and hunting woolly mammoths, they were telling each other stories. Why is that? Well, if I tell you an exciting dramatic story about how I nearly got eaten by a lion near the waterfall, you're going to remember it much better than if I just tell you not to go to the waterfall because it's dangerous. Stories, with all their detail and drama, are incredibly memorable, and that's what makes them so powerful. Not only have they helped us survive and thrive as a species, but you can use them in your writing to connect with your reader and make your words remembered by them. At this point, I'd like to introduce you to the Characterful Copy worksheet. You can download this worksheet from the Resources section of the class Projects tab. You'll use it to complete your project and I'm going to work through an example project during this class so that you can see it in action. For your project, I'd like you to choose a piece of copy that you've written and would like to improve. It should be between a hundred and three hundred words. A short blog post or a product description would be ideal. Alternatively, you can write a piece of text from scratch; just jot down the basic content and facts you want to include before you start. That way, you've got all the information ready. For my example, I'm going to work through a short blog post I'm writing for my client Lois, who owns the local flower shop called The Flower Yard. The blog post will be about why roses are an excellent choice for a wedding bouquet. I've jotted down some notes from our conversation to keep me on track. A blog is an excellent place to experiment with storytelling. That's because a story is an effective way to connect with your reader and build your brand, which are probably two of the main reasons you started your blog in the first place. That's certainly the case with Lois. Let's look at a few ways we can use stories to infuse this short blog post with personality. One of the easiest ways of telling a story in your writing is to draw on history. That's what I've done here with my rundown of the history of the rose. It's a great way to start a piece of writing because it draws the reader in and puts your message into a wider context. Think about how you might zoom in and out of a moment in history so that your story backs up your message. For example, if I wanted to highlight just the luxurious element of the rose, I can zoom in on the Cleopatra story and fill that out with more detail, or I could focus on another aspect of the rose's history, such as its biological or geographic heritage, or I could take you on a journey through the use of roses in medicine or how they've been portrayed in art through the centuries. There are so many possibilities and the great thing about using history and facts in your storytelling is that the information is already out there. You just need Wikipedia. Just make sure that you choose the story that best aligns to your message and objective. In this case, focusing on the romantic aspects of the rose's history is most apt. This is a blog post about wedding bouquets after all. Telling a personal story about your connection with the subject can be a very powerful way of connecting with your reader. Lois has a lovely story about why roses are important to her, which I'm going to use to top and tail the blog post. This is going to make the post flow really nicely, and it works especially well in this case because there's a 20-year break in the story, which gives us a natural place to break the text. When you're writing a blog post or product description or social media update, think about your connection to the subject and if there are any stories of your own you can share. Let's look at one more way of using storytelling; transporting your reader to another place and time. This is particularly powerful because it puts the focus of the writing on the reader. By starting off by asking the reader to imagine themselves in a situation, you're clearly signposting what's coming next. You then walk them through the scenario. Using short sentences, like I've done here, to lead them through the story, is often effective. You can then end by bringing the reader back to the present with a line that links the story to your objective or message. Having the reader interacting with your product is particularly powerful. Notice I've used a lot of sensory words in this example to help the reader imagine themselves in the scenario. We're going to explore these sensory descriptions further later on in this class. For now, I hope these examples have shown you how you can easily use stories in your writing to give it more personality and character using one of these three methods; a journey through history, a personal story, and transporting your reader. In the next class, we will look at a few techniques for giving our writing an informal, conversational tone. 3. Get Conversational: Get Conversational. When you talk to someone face-to-face, it's a two-way thing. You focus on the other person, just as much (or perhaps more) than you do on yourself. You ask them questions, you give them time to respond, and you ask them their opinion on things. Replicating this conversational approach in writing is tricky, because the other person isn't there with you. They're in another place and time, so they can't join in the conversation directly. As a result, writing can come across as very one-sided. From the reader's point of view, it can be the conversational equivalent of being on the receiving end of a long monologue, that's delivered without any eye contact and without any opportunity to join in or respond. Not very engaging. There are a few techniques that you can use that will get that conversational tone into your writing, and make your reader feel more involved and more likely to keep reading. Can you guess what the first one is? Asking questions is a technique I use a lot in my writing. It encourages people to think about what you're telling them and how it relates to them, just like it does in conversation. Look at the difference between these two pieces of copy. The first one sounds dry and distant. It's just a statement of fact that doesn't explicitly connect with the reader. In the second example, we're taking the reader as our starting point. We're using their objective, which in this case is choosing flowers for their wedding bouquet, and linking it directly to the main benefit of our product, which in this case is the fact that it comes in a lot of different colours. We're doing it by using a question as the starting point. Something else has changed in the before and after examples, and it's all about you. The word "you" that is. In the after-text we've used "you" and "your" to create a natural conversational tone, and make the reader feel part of what's being said. It's all about focusing on the person you're communicating with. Putting yourself in their shoes, asking them questions, and involving them in what you're saying, exactly as you would if you were talking to them. Here's another example that's been reworked to focus on the reader, rather than the writer. You can see how re-framing your copy in this way feels much more direct from the reader's point of view. It also makes the benefit of the product more obvious. Look at this next paragraph. The difference is quite subtle, but what is it that makes the after-text just that bit more conversational? We've used the word "you" again, but it's not just that, it's the use of direct suggestions or instructions. In the first example, we are just mentioning the theoretical possibility of experimenting with blooms to our reader. In the after example, we're outright telling them to do it. It's so much more direct and engaging, not to mention more persuasive. Let's recap the three techniques we've just learned for making our writing more conversational. Asking questions, use ''you'' and "your'', suggest and instruct. I'm going to add the examples I've just shown you to Lois's blog post. Since the ultimate online instruction is a call to action, and I know Lois wants to direct people to her product page when they finished reading, I'm going to add a CTA on the end that will do just that. Now, that we've shifted the focus of our writing, so our reader feels more involved, It's time to really bring our writing to life, by making our copy a sensory experience. 4. Appeal to the Senses: Appeal to the Senses. When we talk with someone, we don't just use our words to communicate. Our facial expressions, tone of voice and gestures also play a part. In fact, up to 93 percent of communication is nonverbal. When we're writing, however, all that nonverbal communication is stripped out and the words that are left behind can seem stilted and dry. That's why often we'll talk to someone and will find them very eloquent and engaging, but if we see their words written down, it just doesn't have the same effect. One way we can make our writing more conversational and engaging, is having more sensory words in there, so that our readers feel like they're experiencing what we're talking about themselves. It means they can engage with our writing on a deeper level. It's also been proven that if someone imagines themselves using a product, they're more likely to buy that product. If you can help your reader see, hear, feel, fully experience your product and service through your words, you're much more likely to make a sale. Let's explore the five senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. As we look at each example, inspired by Lois's blog post, think about how you might draw on your reader's senses to describe your products and services. I do appreciate that some of these are going to be easier for some businesses than others. For example, incorporating taste into your writing should come easily if you're a restauranteur or a baker, but it's going to be less straightforward if you're a plumber or a painter. Don't worry if you find some of these difficult. Just have a go and be a bit playful and experimental with it. You can use sensory words and descriptions anywhere in your writing. I'm going to incorporate them into a one-line product intro. This is a good place to start if you want to begin experimenting with sensory writing. Notice how you can't help but visualise the flowers even as you're reading the words in this example. And notice that some words are more powerful than others. It's the word "dazzle" in this example that really stands out. This sentence uses sensory words in a different way. Rather than describing the product, here, I've used words relating to sound and listening to add a little pizzazz to the message. Isn't this more colourful than just saying, "We really like spray roses"? The way I've focused on the experience of smelling the roses, makes this passage so much more powerful than if we just told our reader that our roses smell nice. It's all about using specific details to really guide your reader. Here, we get across the opulent, luxurious nature of our product by likening its petals to velvet, which is itself associated with luxury. Now, you might think this sentence is a bit sickly sweet, and you'd be right, but doesn't reading it make your mouth water? That's just the kind of instinctive reaction that's going to bring your writing to life for your readers. This last example also uses a metaphor by comparing one thing to another. We'll be finding out more about how to use metaphors to revitalise our copy later in the class. Here's a quick update on using all five senses to bring your copy to life. Describe how things look. Bring sounds to life. Wake up and smell the whatever it is. Get touchy-feely - but don't be tasteless. Now it's time to explore contractions and find out how they can help make our writing more natural and informal. 5. Use Contractions: Use Contractions. A contraction is where you run two words together to make one word. They're very common in everyday speech. For example, most of us would probably say, "I'm going out tonight" as opposed to "I am going out tonight", or, "it's a nice day" as opposed to "it is a nice day". Because contractions are so commonly used in everyday speech, they are really good technique to use in your writing to make it come across as more natural and informal. In fact, contractions are so regularly used now in written writing that if you read something that doesn't have them in, it can feel quite formal and stilted. You'll notice that I've used contractions throughout the text of the blog post on writing for Lois. In fact, I'm so used to using them, that I have to concentrate quite hard not to use them when I'm writing for a client who has a more formal tone of voice. Let's focus on one example. It's easier to appreciate the difference contractions can make if we read the two versions out loud. "With their romantic reputation, it is not surprising that you are considering using roses in your wedding bouquet." It sounds rather formal and a little clunky. Let's read the version with contractions added. "With their romantic reputation, it's not surprising that you're considering using roses in your wedding bouquet." That version has a more informal feel to it, and the words flow together in a more natural way. All we've done is make two quite small changes. This really is a powerful way to make your copy more informal and natural-sounding. To use contractions effectively, you need to know how they work and when to stop, because if you misuse them, it can interfere with the clarity of your message. So the best way to get started with contractions, is to use just the common ones until you get used to how they work. Here's a master list of the most common English contractions that you can introduce into your writing straight away. Even if you just stick with this list and don't use any other contractions, your writing will instantly become more informal and natural sounding. I've added this list to a comment in the class Discussion tab so that you can use it for reference or copy and paste it elsewhere. You'll notice that most of these common contractions are formed in the same way. Two words are pushed together and letters are then removed from the middle of the new word and replaced with an apostrophe. Notice that the apostrophe replaces the missing letters, it doesn't signify where the two words join. I don't want to get too bogged down in details here, but I do just want to quickly point out a few common pitfalls. The contractions of you are and they are, both have other words that sound the same as them but have different meanings. Look out for that and make sure you're using the right one. ''Won't'' is an exception to how contractions usually work, because the letters have been changed, not just removed, to make it easier to pronounce. Finally, we have the word ''its''. With an apostrophe, "it's" means "it is". Without the apostrophe, "its" means "belonging to it". That's confusing, because usually the possessive is indicated by an apostrophe, but "its" is the exception to that rule. I hope those exceptions haven't put you off using contractions in your writing. They really are very powerful and if you stick to this master list, you really can't go wrong. As with many of the techniques we'll explore in this class, with contractions, there's no right or wrong, and whether or not you use them, is really down to your own tone of voice and personal preference. For example, if a more formal tone of voice is appropriate for your business, you may choose not to use contractions at all. Alternatively, if you want to cultivate a very informal tone of voice, you might want to go even further and use, for example, "wanna" instead of "want to" or "gonna" instead of "going to". It's all about experimenting and finding your own unique tone of voice, which brings us nicely round to our next lesson, which is all about choosing the right words. 6. Choose Your Words: Choose Your Words. There are many different ways of saying the same thing. In fact, the words that you use are just as important as the message itself. Especially when it comes to expressing your personality. That's because it's the words that you use that will define your own tone of voice and make you stand out from the crowd. If you've ever read back something that you've written and felt like it just sounds a bit boring and generic and meh, then experimenting with word choice could be just what you need to put some personality into your writing. Let's start looking at how word choice can alter the tone of a simple mission statement and give you some inspiration so that you can start getting playful with your own copy. Here's Lois's mission statement. It's straightforward and accurate, but it's also just a little bit dull and not very memorable. It doesn't set her apart from the crowd. It doesn't use any of those powerful sensory words we learned about in the earlier lesson. Well, this is a bit more dramatic. There's a real energy behind this version and that's because the words I've used, "powerful", "explosive", "stellar", give a real sense of drama. This version is a lot more memorable. This version is also upbeat, but it has a gentler, more feminine feel to it. That's mainly because of the words "sparkle" and "pretty". Isn't it amazing the huge difference that just a few simple word changes can make? There's a simplicity and directness to this mission statement that matches the rebellious description. The visual picture of stamping out flowers is also really memorable. There's something refreshing about someone in a profession that's often seen as wishy-washy and girly presenting themselves in this slightly aggressive way. This is a very gentle version of the mission statement that uses words drawn from nature and therapy. It's the words "nurture", "soothe" and "soul" that jump out at you here. Now you've seen how word choice can dramatically alter a simple mission statement, Why not have a go yourself? Start with this word template and fill in the blanks. Begin with a very simple description of what you do, then play about with different words and styles to see how you can present yourself, your work or your business in different ways. Remember that, as we saw from that earlier example, it's often when we challenge stereotypes and expectations and really express our individuality that our words are most memorable. I'd love to see some of your mission statements in the comments section. But right now it's time to focus on a technique we've already flirted with in this class, using metaphors. 7. Try a Metaphor: Try a Metaphor. Metaphors can make your writing more personal and more memorable. They're also a shortcut to making your writing more persuasive. What is a metaphor? Well, put simply, a metaphor compares two things. When you compare something abstract or dull to something concrete or surprising and exciting, it helps make your copy more engaging. Let's look at some examples. Strictly speaking, although it's often used as a blanket term, a metaphor is when you state that something IS something else, without using the words "like" or "as". A simile is similar, but it uses "like" or "as" to make the comparison. All of our examples take the abstract concept of versatility, something it's very difficult to visualise, and turn it into something concrete that we can see in our mind's eye and imagine holding in our hand, a Swiss army knife. In this way, metaphors automatically make your writing more vivid. The trick is to take as the starting point, the quality you want to get across, in this case, versatility, then think of a concrete and perhaps surprising object that shares that quality. Here are some more examples. Straightaway, the image of a dramatic show-off peacock is in our heads and we can imagine just how dramatic this particular variety of rose is. In this way, you can use metaphors as a cheeky shortcut when you're describing something. I've added an analogy into the mix here. An analogy is an extended metaphor that makes comparisons on more than one level. This allows you to really draw in your reader. Notice I've used lots of visual words in the description to help the reader visualise the colourful strutting peacock. You can inject more of your personality into your metaphors by focusing them on topics that are close to your heart. If you write about painting and you love going to the movies, draw metaphors from movie scenes or stories about the movie industry. Like why movies succeed or flop, how movies are pitched, or how they're made. If you're a big cricket fan, focus on sports metaphors. There are almost unlimited comparisons that can be made from sports training, tactics, or refereeing. Just make sure that you keep your reader in mind when you're constructing your metaphors to avoid confusing them with a niche reference that they may not understand. I'm going to add some of these metaphors to Lois's blog post to add just a little extra drama. Now, you may have already noticed that I'm a bit of a rebel when it comes to breaking some common writing rules. In the next lesson, I'll show you which rules you can (and should) break. 8. Break the Rules: Break the Rules! Many of us learn to write in a very formal, correct way at school or college. It's a way of writing that suits academic contexts, but it can come across as quite formal and stilted in other contexts, especially online. Many long-standing rules around writing, and especially grammar, are incredibly useful, because they make sure that you're getting your message across effectively and with clarity. However, certain rules are just outdated, and breaking them can make your writing much more characterful and snappier. So, let's look at a couple of those rules that you could and should break. You should absolutely start some sentences with "but", "because" and "and". That's because shorter sentences are easier to read. They add energy to your writing. By starting with a word like "and", you can effectively stress a specific point in your writing. Here's an example of that in action. I'll read this passage out loud: "With their romantic reputation, it's not surprising that roses have long been a favourite flower for wedding bouquets. But don't be put off by their popularity." Written like this, there's a definite stress on the main point of the passage, which is the reader shouldn't be put off from using roses in their bouquet. If you merge the two sentences using a comma instead of a full stop, the rhythm of the words changes. Listen. "With their romantic reputation, it's not surprising that roses have long been a favourite flower for wedding bouquets, but don't be put off by their popularity." Can you hear out the emphasis on the main point has been lost? Similarly to the previous point, using broken sentences can really add drama and personality to your writing. Let's read this sentence out loud. "A bouquet of roses can be modern. Minimal. Even quirky." Notice how the full stops affect the way you say the words, either out loud or in your head. They slow you down and make you pay attention to each word and process each word just that little bit more carefully. Here is the more usual or correct version. "A bouquet of roses can be modern, minimal, or even quirky." Don't you think it's lost some of its impact; some of its specialness? Playing around with shorter sentences like this, including ones that start with words like "and", and "but" is such an effective way to add character and dynamism to your writing. It works particularly well when you mix those shorter sentences in with longer ones. The rule that each paragraph must contain three or five sentences is surprisingly pervasive, but it's just plain wrong. When all your paragraphs have the same number of sentences, your writing looks boring. Good writing is well-designed as well as well written. A one-sentence paragraph stands out, attracting your reader's attention. It also breaks up a pattern of monotonous blocks of text. If we look at Lois's finished blog post, we can see that the paragraphs vary in length from one to five sentences. It makes the text look inviting; those short, lone sentences draw you in. This is important with all writing, but as ever, it's even more vital online, where people's attention spans are so much shorter and a big block of text is really off-putting. So there we have it. Three outdated rules that you can and should break to make your writing more impactful. So, start sentences with "but", or "because" or "and". Absolutely you SHOULD use broken sentences, and always try to vary the number of sentences in your paragraphs. But there's one rule that you should never break. The number one rule in writing is to always write with your reader in mind. Those of you who've taken my Crystal Clear Copy class will know that this is something I'm really passionate about. Your job as a writer is to communicate your message clearly and effectively to your reader. You must never lose sight of your reader when you're writing. So when you're experimenting with the techniques that we've learned today to put more personality into your writing, make sure that you're not accidentally confusing your message at the same time. Putting more personality into your writing should be about communicating in a way that's more uniquely you, but that still gets your message across clearly to your reader. Now I'm going to share with you some extra tricks, tips, and tools to help you do just that. 9. Tips, Tricks and Tools: Tips, Tricks and Tools. In this class, you've learned how to improve your writing by making it sound more natural, more conversational, and more uniquely you. I hope that what you've learned has given you the confidence to approach your writing in a more creative, personal way and break away from boring, bureaucratic text. But sometimes we all need a little help, so now I'm going to introduce you to some online tools and resources that will help you make the most of your new skills. You can find links to all of these in the class About tab. These are tools I use myself in my career as a professional copywriter, and I know you're going to find them useful too. The first one is a transcription app called Otter, which is available for iOS and Android. This app transcribes your speech into text. I use the free version, which lets you transcribe up to 600 minutes of speech per month, which is very generous, and it doesn't bombard you with lots of ads either. This app could be especially useful to you if you find that you can talk very fluently and passionately about a subject such as your work or your products, but you struggle to translate that enthusiasm into writing. Record yourself talking about your subject and let the app transcribe your words, then write about your subject using the transcript as inspiration. You probably won't be able to simply use the transcript itself in its entirety - unless you're extremely eloquent. But being able to draw on your spoken words can be a great way to enliven your copy. If you feel awkward talking to yourself, you could always ask a friend to ask your questions so it all feels a bit more natural. Now this next tip might sound like a bit of a cop-out, but it's so important. There's one thing that's going to help you improve your writing quicker than anything else - and that's practice. Writing is a skill like any other, and you'll get better at it the more you do it. This is especially true when it comes to some of the things we've been talking about today, such as using metaphors and stories, and honing your unique tone of voice. If you exercise your writing muscles for just 15 minutes every day and practice the techniques we've covered in this class, writing will start to come more naturally to you, and your words will sound more natural as a result. What you write, or whether anyone else sees it, really doesn't matter, what matters is that you're doing it. There are lots of habit tracking and productivity apps that can help you develop and maintain a daily writing practice. One that is specifically aimed at budding writers is called Prompts. It's 99p and it's only available in iOS, but it's a really nifty little tool for reminding you to write and encouraging you to approach your writing creatively. Every day, it will prompt you with an opening line. You could use this to start a blog post or a social media update or just to get your creative juices flowing. As well as encouraging you to write a little every day. You'll also find Prompts useful if you find starting with a blank page intimidating. There are hundreds of thousands of starting lines and suggestions to help you overcome writer's block. By the way, there's another habit that will make you a better writer and that's reading, especially reading fiction, whether it's novels or short stories or poetry. Reading other people's creative work is a shortcut to understanding how language works and developing your own personal style. Finding the time to read can be difficult though, that's why I always have a book in my bag that I can whip out when I have a moment, like when I'm in a queue or waiting for the kettle to boil. It's a great way to sneak in some reading time in between other tasks. Finally, I want to quickly mention a tool that I find invaluable in creating the right atmosphere for writing, especially when I'm working from home. It's called Hipstersound and it recreates the sound of a bustling cafe, which has been proven to boost focus and creativity. You can even pick from three different cafe environments, and that's just the free version. Hipstersound might not be for you, but it's worth thinking about the sort of atmosphere that does help you to feel comfortable and productive when you're writing. A lot of people find classical music helpful, for example. Try a few different things and figure out what suits you. Writing isn't always easy, so anything that can help you get into the zone can only be helpful. Next up, do you find yourself regularly getting bogged down in uncertainty around things like how to format dates and whether or not to hyphenate a particular word? If so, you'll know just how much getting distracted by technical details like these can slow you down and hamper your creativity. I suggest you bookmark an online style guide that you can quickly refer to when you need it. My own favourite is The Guardian and Observer style guide, but it doesn't really matter which one you use as long as you stick to the same one. Not only will using a favourite style guide free you up from worries about little technicalities, it will also make your writing more consistent. Now that you've got all the tips, tricks, and tools you need to perfect your writing, it's time to look at next steps and how to get started on your class project. 10. Next Steps: Thank you :-) Thank you for watching my class on writing with personality. You now understand the power of storytelling and of using metaphors and direct questions. You know which rules you should follow to keep your writing conversational and informal and you also know which ones you can break. The techniques you've learned today are simple and powerful. I'm excited to see the difference they are going to make to your writing. So now it's time to start your class project. You'll be using your new skills to write or rewrite a piece of your own copy in an informal conversational style. Start by downloading the Characterful Copy worksheet from the class Projects tab. Choose a piece of copy that you've written and would like to improve. It should be between 100-300 words. A short blog post or a product description would be ideal. Alternatively, you can write a piece of text from scratch, just jot down the basic content and facts you want to include so you've got all the information you need before you start. Copy and paste your initial text, whether it's an existing piece or some outline content, into the 'before' section of the worksheet. Work through the Characterful Copy principles to rework your text. Pick and choose which techniques to use to get your message across in the most dynamic way. Don't aim for perfection and don't feel like you need to use all the techniques at once. Just experiment and figure out what works best for you and your subject. If you're reworking an existing piece of copy, you should see a huge improvements in comparison to what you wrote before. If you get stuck, share your worksheet with me and the Skillshare community and we'll help you work things out. Remember to upload your worksheet to the class project page when you're done so that other people can see the difference you've made to your copy. If you use the writing online, you could also upload a screenshot of it. I'd love to hear your feedback about this class and I'd love to hear any feedback you get about your newly characterful copy. Remember to keep practicing your skills and you'll soon find that they become second nature. Thank you again for joining this class. Enjoy the rest of your day.