Construction cranes against the sky

Copywriting tip 29: Never be satisfied

Cranes against sky - trimmed

I’ve been lucky. I’ve worked with some great clients, and talented people, over the years.

As a result, I’ve won a few awards.

The thing is, when I look back at an awarded piece of work, I always see something that could be improved.

There’s a word I could have deleted.

A sentence I could have made shorter.

A piece of punctuation that could be tweaked.

A better idea in there.

I’m never satisfied.

And that’s the way it should be.

Sure, it’s frustrating. It means my copy is always late (apologies to my clients).

It’s a work in progress.

Young man having haircut at barber

Growing up, my best friend used to cut my hair (thanks, Matt).

For days after, he’d follow me round with a pair of scissors.

Every now and again, there’d be a ‘snip’ as he spotted an errant strand of hair.

That’s me with my copy.

Use every moment – right up to (and slightly past) – the deadline.

The only reason I ever hit ‘send’ and email off the work is because I have to.

In the words of Leonardo da Vinci:

‘Art is never finished, only abandoned.’

If you’re a client, expect the copy to be late. In fact, celebrate it: the writer is doing the right thing. Pushing and finessing right up to the end.

If you’re a writer, never have your copy finished early. If you do, you’re bound to have missed an opportunity.

Never be satisfied. Keep pushing. Keep trying. Keep editing and reviewing.

And if you’re writing for the web: well, SEO copy is never, ever done. Cause Google keep changing the rules.

With the deadline looming for this article, time to hit publish.

Then spend the next few days spotting all the things I could improve.



This tip is based on my 30 Tips in 40 Minutes webinar.

Feel free to download a version of the slides and watch a video of the one-hour webinar.

Image source: Pixabay


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Jon Maxim

Jon is a multi-award winning copywriter. For over 30 years, he’s helped clients – large and small – develop engaging concepts, content and copy. For 25 of those years, he’s been teaching people how to do it themselves. His courses on copywriting, ideation and presentation skills are highly sought-after and highly effective. Jon lives in Sydney, Australia: but is often found on a plane, heading to where he’s most needed.