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Key Takeaways:

  • When you’re not ‘feeling it’, writing can be really tough
  • There are a number of free online resources that can get ideas a-sparkin’
  • As long as you come up with work that moves the needle, there’s no wrong way to write!

Writing. Sometimes it’s pedal to the metal. Sometimes it cruises right along. And sometimes it flat out stalls. When coming up with hooks—headlines, tag lines, subject lines, etc.—I find it useful to seek outside inspiration when my brain is in neutral, or can’t get out of first gear.

As a career copy-type person—and the Creative Director here at Gunderson Direct—I have to pursue any number of different paths on any given day. And I’ve gotten a lot of mileage (yes, I am still milking that metaphor, thank you) out of the following sites:

One Look

OneLook

If you only bookmark one of the sites in this post, let it be this one. You can easily go down a rabbit hole here, searching keywords in different ways. My personal fave search is ‘Phrases that contain the word’.

Rhyme Zone

RhymeZone

Super-easy to use, super-useful. But remember that rhyme is something to be used with care—at the end of the day, you’re writing to drive an action, not to show a client how clever you are

Thesaurus

Thesaurus.com

Sometimes you need a shorter word. A longer word. A smarter word. Or a dumber word. Chances are you’ll find a synonym to suit on this site.

And a final pro tip: To get the most out of these sites, use them together, in different combinations. For example, find a synonym for your search term that has a few different meanings. See what words rhyme with your synonym. Then search for phrases that use some of those words, and mess around! And remember: as long as you come up with work that will move the needle, there’s no wrong way to write.

Interested in working with Jeremy and the rest of our team? Then drop us a line.

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By combining strategy and data-driven insights with empathy and human understanding, Creative Director Jeremy Hainline has spent the last 15+ years driving engaging and actionable creative for top brands like Google, eBay, Dell, and 24 Hour Fitness.

A winner of multiple advertising industry awards—Gold in the Summit Creative Awards, Platinum in the Hermes Creative Awards, and Platinum in the MarCom Awards—he is also a dedicated father, passionate musician, and avid road-tripper.

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