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Kelly Exeter is an experienced copywriter and was a keynote speaker at CopyCon 2017.

In this post Kelly will tell us a little about her copywriting journey and the gems she has learnt along the way.

How long have you been a copywriter?

Hmm, for as long as I can remember. I’ve been writing stories and ‘books’ since I was in primary school.


Tell us how you became a copywriter:

I was an avid reader from an early age and just loved writing my own stories too. A common theme since an early age is that I’ve always had ideas I’ve wanted to express.

Writing has always been the medium through which I could most effectively express those ideas.


What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?

Finding the time to do all the things necessary to build a profile and get noticed (by the right kind of reader) as a writer and author.

For example, it’s all well and good to write a book (or three), but if you don’t have the time to properly launch and promote the book, it will struggle to make an impact. And that’s been my situation to date.

It’s great that I’ve found the time to write and publish three books – but I’ve not had the ability to promote any of them properly – and that’s a challenge I’ve yet to overcome.


What achievement are you most proud of?

Becoming Editor of

It was a big deal for me to get that role, and I just love being able to drive the conversation for solo operators and small businesses in Australia.

If you don’t mind me naming two achievements instead of one, I was also pretty stoked when two of my articles were named in Copyblogger’s ‘Best of 2016’ last year.


What advice do you have for newbie copywriters?

The sooner you embrace your own voice, the better.

Every copywriter I’ve ever hired, was hired based on their voice. It doesn’t need to be as distinct as, say, a Kate Toon’s. It just needs to be theirs.

The quality of someone’s writing always goes through the roof when they start writing like themselves instead of trying to sound like someone else. (Don’t worry; we’ve all done it. For years I tried to write like both Mia Freedman and Sarah Wilson.)


What advice do you have for worn out old copywriters! 

Challenge yourself to write outside your niche, or for a different publication, or even in a different form (enter a short story competition for example). Allow yourself to write things that will never be used (like Morning Pages). The latter always breaks me out of a funk.


What’s your writing quirk? 

I love ellipses and em dashes.

I am completely addicted to them. Oh, and exclamation marks. If there was an easy way to type interrobangs, I’d be addicted to those too.


What are you fave writing apps?

Word and Evernote. I know, so boring!


What do you do when you hit a writing block?

This only happens when I don’t have enough mental whitespace in my life. (Like when I’m overwhelmed and being pulled in 30 different directions.)

My quickest cure is to go for a walk. And then get busy dealing with the source of the overwhelm.


What is your favourite thing to write about?


Over to you

Have you had any similar experiences to Kelly? Please share in the comments below.