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5 copywriting tools that have nothing to do with copywriting

So, your website is rocking a pristine design, and your search engine optimization has been fine-tuned to perfection (mostly). Now all you need is the scintillating content that’ll convert visitors into customers and customers into advocates.

But cranking out crisp, engaging copy every day isn’t easy (at least, not until SEO-generating algorithms gain sentience and take over the planet). Every content creator stumbles into a rut now and then.

Often, the trick to revivifying your writerly instincts is as simple as changing your perspective. Think of it like mental crop rotation—mixing up your creative nutrients to keep your brain matter fertile. Here are a few tools I use to stay sharp.

1. The visual arts

Give your left brain a breather, and tap your right brain in for a round. Decorate your workspace with stimulating sights. Take up doodling. Visit a museum’s online collection (try The Art Institute of Chicago and theNational Gallery of Art, for instance). Rather than one static wallpaper on your computer, use the slideshow feature to keep your favorite images in steady rotation.

Whether your taste runs towards landscapes, architecture, abstract expressionism, or…whatever the heck this is, indulging in non-verbal creativity can spark fresh and unexpected inspiration.

2. The musculoskeletal system

When the body is sedentary for too long, it’s easy for the mind to follow—so get kinetic. Take a stroll around the block, squeeze a stress ball, or find an out-of-the-way corner of the office where you can play air guitar to “Achilles Last Stand” to your heart’s content.

Reading other styles and genre can help you as a copywriter.

3. Entirely different writing

It’s a given that you have to read plenty in order to be a good writer. Just as important as the volume of your reading, though, is the diversity. Cramming your cerebrum with nothing but marketing strategy and search engine optimization tips leads to stale, generic output.

4. Twitter

Cultivate a diet of history, fantasy, feature journalism, literary fiction, poetry, humor—whatever happens to grab you. Absorbing various styles of writing hones your craft. And studying a broad range of human behavior sharpens your understanding of, and ability to connect with, different audiences.

Many consider Twitter the arch-nemesis of productivity, but it’s really more of a frenemy. Yes, it’s a distraction—but don’t underestimate the power of distraction for maneuvering around mental roadblocks. One of the great joys of Twitter is scanning your feed for jokes and insights about a dozen different topics at once, and then spinning your gears to add a joke or insight of your own. It’s the epitome of large-scale brainstorming.

5. Free association

Just start writing down words. They don’t have to be relevant, or even real. Mash two together at random, and then invent a definition for your shiny new portmanteau. Games like these let you nudge your conscious brain out of the way and see what tumbles through.

Adapted from a post originally written for Vodori.com.

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