Copywriting is hard. And as a direct marketer, it’s high time you start realizing – if you haven’t already, that writing sales and marketing copy involves more than putting words together and making it sound good.
As a verified AWAI direct response copywriter, and a freelancer for the past three years, I can tell you that copywriting is more than sitting in front of a desk and start typing senselessly until you meet a deadline or word quota. And I have two resources that back up my claim.
The first resource is the Accelerated Copywriting course from the American Writers and Artists Institute. This online class is about what is copywriting – offering you the fundamentals of persuasive writing, as well as the structure for producing direct-response sales copy.
The second resource comes from Quora.com. The question is “What is the hardest part of learning copywriting?”, and features answers from copywriters and digital marketing experts – including Neil Patel, Danny Marguiles, Kristine M Smith, and others.
3 Reasons Why Copywriting Is Hard
Now, drawing from the information in the resources mentioned above, as well as my experience as a direct response copywriter, here are three valid reasons why copywriting is hard:
Copywriting Requires Detective-Type Work
If you watched or read detective dramas as a child, then at one point, you wanted to be a detective. Going around and looking for clues, to find and arrest the bad guy. Well, copywriters do the same thing for their clients – except for the “arresting the bad guy” part.
Before a copywriter can sit down to write, he must fully understand what they’re writing about. As well as who they’re writing for. Therefore, the copywriter must go out of their way to find relevant information about their client’s product and prospect to create a mental picture of the conversation the copywriter will have with the person they’ll be writing to.
The copywriter can find this information in a variety of ways. The easiest one comes in the form of the data card the client has on their prospective customers. That data card offers so much information about the prospect – from demographics to favorite past-times – the copywriter will quickly get the picture of who they’ll be writing to.
Another way to get information is to look through the paperwork the company has produced related to the product. The copywriter can find valuable information about the product and the prospect as they read blueprints, company memos, and marketing material to get extra-hidden nuggets that can become extremely valuable for the sales copy.
And then, there are the interviews. The copywriter can collect important marketing data by taking the time to talk with the people working, marketing, and selling the product. They know the product and the market better than anyone else – so getting their insights is an important part of the research process.
When you write copy, you need to be more than just a writer. You need to become a detective and do proper, thorough research before you type your first word.
Copywriting Demands a Certain Level of Charisma
If you don’t have charisma – as David Lee Roth would say – you cannot produce persuasive sales and marketing copy. Which presents another reason copywriting is hard.
Your copy must make people love you or hate you. They can’t like you or dislike you – I mean they can, but that will only mean that you’re going to sell a short, limited amount of product. Because having people like or dislike your product isn’t enough to make the people go out of their way to buy your offer.
Copywriting aims at people’s emotional heartstrings. Your sales and marketing copy must connect with your audience in such a way, they say to themselves “Yeah, I know what this guy is talking about, and I want some of that too!” with such passion that the audience feels they have no other choice but to order right away.
Think of the movie Armageddon. The critics went hard on the film because they thought it was too obvious the way it was playing with the audience’s emotions. And – as a copywriter – that is exactly what you want to do. You want to guide the reader through the “highest of highs” and the “lowest of lows” … the “really mads” and the “really happies” through your writing. And for that to happen, you must have the trait of connecting with people and influencing people into taking a course of action.
Copywriting demands a certain level of charisma. If you don’t have it, you will produce OK sales and marketing copy at best. And OK copy doesn’t do much in business.
Copywriting Is All About Making Money
This is the most important reason of them all. Because if you hire a copywriter who doesn’t come with the mindset of making money for you – why do you have them on payroll to begin with?
The only purpose for the existence of a copywriter is to produce sales – either directly or through lead-generation. If your copywriter is not capable of meeting the sales expectations for your product or service, then you should have fired them yesterday. And you should bring someone in who knows how to make money and has a clear understanding of why you need to generate revenue.
I’m sure the Wall Street Journal produced thousands of sales letters – from 1975 to 2003 – to promote their subscription service. But it was the two-billion-dollar letter (A Tale of Two Young Men) that ended up being the control during that period. Because it was the one letter that generated the most money. And that is what marketing and advertising are about. Generating attention that translates into revenue.
Moreover, copywriting is all about making money. That’s all you should expect from your copywriter. Everything else is either icing on the cake, or completely irrelevant.
Copywriting Is Hard
Starting today, you should understand that copywriters don’t just sit down and put words together. You need to do detective-type research work to collect valuable information before writing. And charisma is of the utmost importance to communicate a persuasive message through sales copy. But without the money-making mindset, the copywriter’s efforts are all for naught.
Do you have a comment, suggestion, or question on why copywriting is hard? Leave a comment explaining your side of things. And if you think this article could be useful to someone you know, feel free to share it with them!