Have an uncanny ability to spice any conversation with your storytelling skills or a sparkling power to bust out an A paper for a 400 level college course in 3 seconds flat? Well, copywriting may not necessarily be for you. Writing copy means the writer must follow directions – then ignore them as needed, all the while persuading the reader into buying into whatever you’re selling.
Copywriting may seem like a cakewalk, but it can be made more difficult than necessary if you believe all the myths out there about what it takes to be a great copywriter.
Here are the 4 most common myths associated with what it takes to make it as a successful copywriter:
Myth #1 – It takes a literary genius
It is fair to think that a good copywriter must possess a fairly decent ability to play with words and string a coherent sentence together, but it doesn’t take a master to write some fantastic copy. A writer with a good grasp of the technical workings of the English language and an understanding of what “good” copy is can produce some of the best copy out there. There are essentially a handful of really important rules to follow and often times with average writing skills and a good sense of humor, even a novice copywriter can produce copy that produces.
Myth #2 – The longer the copy, the better the copy
The length of the copy absolutely does not correlate with how great the copy may be. In fact, sometimes just the opposite is true. The best copy a writer can produce is copy that compels the reader to continue to read because it’s packed full of useful and/or entertaining content. No one is going to read an article, short or long if it’s simply peppered with facts throughout the fluff of the piece. 500 words of copy filled with sprawling, irrelevant, and obvious information can definitely seem much longer than a thousand words full of interesting information and attention-grabbing language. In this way, the length of the content is much less important than the quality.
Here’s a quick rule on this subject:
If you’ve run out of anything important to say, then stop saying it.
Myth #3 – A copywriter can just… copy
If this were the case everyone would be a copywriter. The best copywriters are able to not only create a unique work of copy but also do so to reach a specific audience. Listening can be just as important in copywriting as writing. While creativity is a fantastic attribute for any writer to have, it must take a backseat at times to tailoring your content to your readers.
Understanding the format, voice and goals of the content are at least as important as the actual content. If the end result is not what appeals to your audience, all you’ve accomplished is a huge drain on your time and effort. Knowing who your readers are and what they want is vital, so listen!
Myth #4 – Experience will make you king of copy
When it comes to copywriting, practice doesn’t necessarily always make perfect. The greenest copywriter can still punch out fantastic copy on par with a war-torn veteran. This seems counterintuitive, but it all falls back onto the very important basis that successful copywriting calls for a clear adherence to the strict unwritten rules of copywriting. Tireless adherence to technical perfection, writing a compelling and informative “sell,” and being open to evolve or change a writing style as needed are a surefire recipe for success in copywriting.
Being a successful copywriter means that you must be an effective writer, a great listener, and an adept sales person all at once. No sweat right? What advise do you have for great copywriting? Share your insights in the comments section!
Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.