The first thing I learnt after writing my first copy was – it all boils down to how much your copy sells. No matter how good it is, no matter if it beats Hemingway and Dickens in efficient employment of language, if it does not sell, it is worthless.
Whenever you sit down to work on a new copy or edit an old one, just keep one thing in mind: how you can deliver “the message” in minimum words. Remember that literature written for sake of promoting a product or a service needs to be succinct and direct, and above all, understandable. The average reader of your literature is a person who is in a hurry. He/she is bombarded with similar messages already (and he/she might be cynical).
Keep end result in mind and create copy around that. Relinquish your inherent proclivities and biases, and just focus on message. Present copy in a way that it is highly informative, convincing, and compelling. Before sitting down to write, think of your target readership. Are they children? Are they housewives? Are they teenagers? Are they hardcore technocrats and scientists? Formulate your language and presentation according to that.
A method I find useful is, make a list of all words that can be associated with current copywriting project. It is fun, and it helps you create supersets, sets and subsets of your project.
I have seen many copies where creative writers lose focus, get carried away with their “creativity”, and end up creating a message that can win accolades as a piece of art, but makes no sale for client. The way you present your message should not dominate actual message. Your writing style should not impede actual message and end up creating a distraction.
I myself am a writer. It is often extremely hard to resist temptation of sprinkling powder of my style on copy, but I have to resist it for sake of message (and my income). I have learnt to become detached. I keep telling myself: it’s just a copy for my client for which I’m getting paid, and it is not a piece of literature that I’m creating to further cause of my art.
This is age of information. I don’t know if it is true or not, it used to take an entire life-time in eighteenth century to process amount of information we process in a single day. With so much information (most of it is junk, by way) around, it becomes difficult both for reader and writer to pinpoint right tone and pitch. With so much fraud around, it becomes difficult to establish credibility.