7 unusual places to go for copywriting inspiration.
You’re sitting down to write copy for your website, blog, or newsletter and… nothing. You’re stuck. Writing can be a drag, and the hardest part is getting started. So where do you go when you need copywriting inspiration? Here’s a hint: not where you’d think.
Seems logical to go see exactly what your competitors are doing, right? Nah. You know what the competition looks like. What you want is to write in character, with vivid description. You want your audience to salivate.
Let’s go through a short list of places you can go to for better, more descriptive, more resonant writing inspiration.
So hot right now. There’s no shortage of astrology-related memes, Instagram accounts, blogs, and sites dedicated to telling you exactly who you are based on your star chart.
The brilliance of horoscope writing, though, is that the writer writes to an archetype. Geminis have two sides and you’ll never know which one you’re going to get. Taurus is stubborn. Earth signs are grounded and reliable, fire signs are, well, fiery. And horoscopes can range from beautiful and elegiac to carefully crafted and comprehensive—but to those who dutifully read them, they are speaking directly to their very essence.
This is a goal the very best copy fulfills, too, which is why horoscopes are a surprisingly good place to turn for copywriting inspiration.
Food and drink – the niche-r the better.
The deeper you get into food documentaries, food writing, user-generated reviews of cannabis and craft beer, the myriad ways to describe the taste of wine—the closer you get to your audience. “That’s not my audience,” you say? Fair, but you want your audience to feel the same level of connection, the same passion, the same level of expertise the most outspoken sommelier uses in speaking about their favorite orange wine.
Satire is an exercise in writing as if something was true, and sites like The Onion, McSweeney’s, Reductress do it so well you’ll sometimes see headlines like “How To Value Your Man Even Though He Is Not Terry Crews” shared as if they were real.
What these publications do right is take a concept so intensely relatable you barely think to fact-check—the feeling is the same as fact.
Movie plot summaries.
Even if you’re someone who feels the book version is always better than the movie, hear us out. Writing plot summaries can be a single sentence, but they can also be incredibly descriptive. It’s a challenge: how do you best describe what you see, what you feel, what you experience—without actually seeing the thing? Which secrets do you keep? How much is too much to share (do you want to convince the person you’re talking to to see the movie)? These are all choices you need to make as well, which is why they make such great copywriting inspiration.
Celebrities are characters, especially in profile. Because we want to know more, the interest is naturally there. Did you love Cardi B before Caity Weaver’s GQ profile came out? Well, you’re in luck—Caity’s as much of a fan as you are, and details every second, describes her obsession with presidents, her truffle mac and cheese, her glittering manicure, her tone and inflection.
“‘He was the 15th president,’ [Cardi] says, and her tone is as neutral as if she were reciting types of weather. ‘Buchanan is the only president that was a bachelor.’”
Maybe you weren’t really a fan before, but the description, the relatability, the passion—after that article, you are a Cardi B. fan.
So where do you turn when you need copywriting inspiration? This isn’t even close to an exhaustive list, so let us know in the comments!