Copyrighting Myths and Facts (You Should Know About This!)

So, true story. A copywriter once told me his client asked if he could type faster to produce a sales page sooner and cheaper. That’s not how it works, people! This week, I am counting down 10 of the most laughable myths about copywriting that you need to stop believing ASAP.

Hey guys! It's Alex. I’m really glad you’re here with me this week as I EXPOSE 10 of the most eye-rolling myths about copywriting… And be sure to stick around because at the end of this article because I will share my BIGGEST TIP of all to get started copywriting.

Now, I’ve had my copywriting business for about 8 years now, and it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. Something that would never have happened if I didn’t jump at the opportunity to move halfway across the world instead of going to law school, which was the original plan! But that is another story for another time... 

Since then, I’ve travelled all over the world, connected with amazing entrepreneurs, and have had countless unforgettable experiences that would've been almost impossible if I had a location-dependent, time-restricted J.O.B. 

What is copyrighting?

Copywriting can be done completely remotely. All you need is a laptop and great internet connection, of course. But listen guys, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows all the time! Despite the fact that copywriting is a skillset that is needed by every single business on the planet, it always surprises me how many people have misconceptions about what it is that copywriters do and how they work.

So I am here to set the record straight! This is for you aspiring copywriters out there who are looking to get into the game (for those of you who have been freelancing for awhile… 

You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about)… But this article is also for you entrepreneurs out there who are looking to hire a copywriter for your own business. And no matter which camp you fall into, be sure to hit subscribe below because my channel is 1000000% dedicated to helping you start and scale your business with copywriting.

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Every single week I provide tips and resources from my copywriting vault, so go ahead and browse the tutorials I already have up, and after you subscribe, be sure to hit that little bell icon so you don’t miss any more articles from me! Alright, let’s countdown the 10 copywriting myths you need to stop believing ASAP! Myth #10. 

Copywriting in Advertising

Copywriters Can Sell Anything We are writers, not magicians! No, we can’t hypnotize people to hit the ‘buy now’ button, or pull money from a black hat, or make an irresistible offer out of thin air. Sometimes copywriters get a bad rap, like we’re using evil powers to convince the masses of unsuspecting consumers to buy stuff they don’t need. [Really].

Of course, like in any industry, there are bad people who do crappy things, but I’m here to tell you that what good, authentic copywriters do is help great businesses sell great products with great solutions that solve real problems. That’s how we convince people to buy. By actually helping them! Hmm. Interesting concept. But, the truth of the matter is, not every single piece of copy or campaign we write is a success!

We aren’t mind-readers, we’re highly-skilled best guessers. Writing a high-converting piece of copy takes practice, dedication and yes, real customer feedback. It’s about showcasing and communicating VALUE to the people who actually need it, without any filler, or fluff or just making stuff up! 

Therefore, copywriters rely on the business owners they work with to give them all the relevant information needed to get their sales message across in the most concise and authentic way. So that includes case studies, product features and benefits, target market research and anything else required to write a compelling and value-driven offer.

Copyrighting Myths and Facts 

But, copywriters, a word of caution… That is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. It’s your job to be discerning about the projects you choose and the clients you work with. Because ultimately you need to ask yourself what kinds of brands, people and products you’d be proud to be aligned with. Alright moving on to myth

#9... Copywriting Is JUST Writing If copywriting involved nothing more than typing words into a document, everyone would do it. The truth is, there’s a lot that goes into great copy before even a single word gets written. The biggest chunk of copywriting time actually goes into research, customer and brand analysis and offer mapping.

In order to write compelling and effective copy, you must FIRST have a clear grasp of the brand voice you’re writing for, understand the target audience – their fears, their aspirations, their pains, identify the objective, context and deliverables for the campaign, and get all the specifics of the offer you’re writing.

Then you have to go outline and write the copy, which requires a whole bunch of rounds of revisions and drafts until you end up with a version that’s worth presenting to the client or customer. If you want to learn my writing process, from the first outline all the way to the final draft, you can check out my article right here on How To Write A Sales Letter.

Alright let’s move on to myth #8... Copywriting Price Equals Word Count So after myth #9, it’s probably no surprise to you that what you charge for copywriting has NOTHING to do with word count. While charging by the word is a common practice for articles and blog posts, it is not the same for copywriting. Every piece of copy needs to go through the planning process I just mentioned and the shorter it is the longer it takes to write! And that’s because it is HARD to pack a punch in just a few words. Think about it.

What is harder... Describing yourself in one sentence or getting five minutes to ramble on and on about yourself? How long do you spend writing the perfect tweet compared to that heated Facebook rant? There's a reason why short copy pieces like headlines, ads and calls-to-action have the biggest measurable results when they are split-tested.

These words have the BIGGEST impact on your conversions, which is why I like to say, the right phrase pays! But it’s also why you can absolutely NOT price or pay for copy based on word count. Even Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher famously said — “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” So with that, moving right along to myth.

#7... Copywriting Is Blogging Copywriting isn’t just writing. And writing isn’t only blogging. I know, I know, it can be confusing. So let’s nip this in the bud shall we? There is one major difference between copywriting and other forms of writing, such as journalism, blogging and creative writing... 

While we are all indeed in the same business of capturing and HOLDING attention, the purpose of copywriting is to create a singular conversion, or in other words to activate a most-wanted response, such as a click, a signup or a sale. 

So this might be copy for an ad, or a webinar script, or a sales letter, or a article sales letter, or an email. Blogging, and other forms of content writing, are still very important in business though, for creating rapport, adding value and starting conversations! So for a quick breakdown on these two commonly mixed up types of writing, check out my article on the 3 Differences Between Content Writing and Copywriting right here. Alright, let’s expose another myth shall we... 

Myth #6. Editing Copy Is Easier Than Writing It Not enough writers talk about this one! I can not tell you the number of times I’ve received a message like... “Hey Alex, can you just take a look at my existing copy and inject some marketing lingo into it?” Or “Hey, I’ve already written the copy but can you just review it and make sure it sounds ok?” 

Or, “Hey Alex, do you mind glossing over this sales page to make sure it hits all the points on your Hot Offer Checklist?” Guys, editing work is HARD work. It’s why I charge $500 for a simple copy critique, before I ever start writing or editing. When a copywriter is asked to “spruce up” a page that requires extensive editing and refining, it’s like asking an interior designer to reorganize a room using whatever mess of furniture is already in there. 

Every interior designer will tell you they prefer to have a blank slate to work their magic… And the same goes for us writers. So unless your copy was previously written by another great copywriter and really DOES only need simple optimizing, editing takes a lot time to review, understand, process, and restructure before the re-writing even starts. So copywriters: be sure to review the copy you’re being asked to edit before you set your fee. 

It might be that it only does need a few tweaks, but if a complete overhaul is needed, you need a gameplan! And business owners, sometimes it’s simply better to hire a copywriter to write something from scratch that you can test against your current control. That’ll make sure you’re getting something fresh and not a convoluted mix of different writer’s works. It also gives you a great chance to really test a copywritier’s skill level. 

Alright, we’re halfway there guys, copywriting myth #5 Copywriters Only Work In Advertising  So copywriting has definitely been glamorised lately by the world of advertising and shows like Mad Men, but it’s needed by more than just big name brands looking to come up with a catchy slogan or an award-winning Superbowl campaign. 

The truth is, we are needed everywhere. There are many copywriters who work directly with small businesses or specialize in mediums like email marketing or brand storytelling. So copywriters, get really clear on what type of copy you want to write and look for brands and businesses that use that medium and therefore have a need for your work! And for business owners looking to hire a copywriter, remember to specify the type of copy you need and ask for relevant samples to attract the right writer for your project. 

Ok, moving along to myth #4... Copywriters Need To Write In English You guys, I get asked all the time if someone who doesn’t speak English can be a copywriter. To which I say… OF COURSE! Just not in English. You’re going to have a hard time finding clients to pay you for writing anything if you can’t effectively communicate with them. But here is the good news. 

Copywriting is needed by businesses all over the world, in every language in the world. 80% of people speak a language other than English and millions of businesses around the world are catering to those audiences. So, if you don’t speak or write nearly perfect English, you can start your copywriting business in your mother tongue! 

The exact same tactics apply. So take what you learn, and use it in whatever language you speak! I know excellent copywriters who write in Spanish, French, Malay, and the list goes on…. Cool right? Ok next up, myth #3…. Copywriters Need A Formal Writing Degree “But Alex, I never learned writing in school…” Cool, neither did I! In fact, I went to business school and stayed as far away from Literature and English Writing classes as I could. 

Because ironically, I hated those classes! Not because I didn’t enjoy writing, but because I didn’t like the subjectivity of it all and struggled to get straight A’s in those classes! Ha! Maybe that’s why I like copywriting so much. You get immediate and objective feedback from your audience on how well your copy converts, so you can continually learn and improve. 

Makes perfect sense! Some of the best copywriters I know actually come from unrelated backgrounds, like computer programming! Formally trained writers often have a really hard time grasping copywriting because they have to UNLEARN all of those “proper” writing habits and knowledge they have around, I don’t know how to write a white paper or a shakespearean play. To be a copywriter, all you need is a flair for written words, empathy and passion for marketing. And of course — you need to be fluent in the language you’re writing in, but you do not need to be a perfect speller! 

Actually copywriters are sometimes the WORST spellers. Not because we don’t know HOW to spell, but because we’re often moving so quickly in our creative brains that we don’t pay attention to those tiny little details that a proof-reader can just fix later anyway. 

Copywriting is more about those broad strokes and the linking together of strategic and persuasive ideas, not the minutia grammar or spelling. So, guys I really do love it when you respond to my emails or comment below my articles and tell me about my typos. 

I’m the first to admit that I really need help proofreading! So thank you!! And when writing, remember, the average audience responds to copy written on a 7th or 8th grade level! So keep it simple and persuasive! And for more super helpful tricks on how to train your copywriting brain — check out my article on 5 Copywriting Exercises right here. Alright, we’re getting closer to the top of the list. 

Copywriting myth #2. Copywriting Can Be Fully Automated So you just take a bunch of powerful words and phrases, and ya slap them on a template and you call it a day, right? Uhh… No. Sales and direct response copywriting is still human and rooted in real life emotions, like connection, empathy, and belonging. So hear this: a memorable brand is not built with automated copy. To convince people to take action, you need to ensure you are writing copy that appeals to their unique needs and evokes an emotional response. 

And no robot can do that!... Yet. Could you just imagine if every business on the planet had the exact same copy? Something tells me people would notice... Sure, there are tonnes of different templates and proven formulas out there that you can use to help you START writing persuasive copy, just like the ones I share here in my article, and I do encourage you to use them… 

But you must always customize your messages to your audience, brand and offer. And you’re way more likely to attract clients if you can demonstrate great empathy and storytelling in your portfolio. Alright, guys that brings us to myth #1…. All Copywriters Are Created Equal I hate to break it to you, but we are not all the same. It’s like saying a dentist is the same thing as doctor! Sure, while they both have medical degrees you wouldn’t go to the dentist if you had the flu! 

A copywriter specializing in one area does not mean that they’re good at them all! We are a diverse breed of creatives, with different specialities, niches and mediums. So here’s the takeaway. if you’re starting or scaling your copywriting business, think about what niche you want to write in and for what mediums. 

Do you prefer to write in real estate? Or parenting? Or tech? Or lifestyle? Do you want to specialize in emails? Or article scripts? Or sales letters? Or ads? Get clear on the type of copywriter you want to become! And guys, here is my biggest piece of advice when it comes to getting started… While I highly recommend you take time to study and learn the art of copywriting, in order to become a true blue copywriter you need practical writing experience! 

So, regardless of how much you’ve learned, if you haven’t yet been paid to write, you have a hobby. At some point you just have to trust that it’s time to get started and build your portfolio so that you can go out there and get your first client! And listen, I know it can be scary but I’m telling you, your first piece of copy will suck. 

Your second piece of copy won’t be that great either. But you gotta start somewhere. In order to call yourself a copywriter, you need to go through the process of trial and error yourself, and get as much feedback and guidance as possible in the process, whether that comes from your clients or a mentor. 

Copyrighting Myths and Facts:- And I might be able to help... My Copy Posse Launch Pad program is designed to give you all the high-converting copywriting skills you need to scale your business and build your portfolio… So that you can confidently approach new clients and customers. So click the link in the description below to learn more about that program and stay tuned for another article coming your way very, very soon on simple ways to start building your portfolio! Please drop me a thumbs up below if you found this article helpful. And, as always guys thank you so much for reading and subscribing! Until next week, I’m Alex. Ciao for now! 

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