Copywriting Myths And Lies

18 replies
We are flooded with copywriting courses these days.
Every "guru" jumped on copy wagon.
How to choose wisely?
How to learn REAL craft? What is the truth?
#copywriting #lies #myths
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Originally Posted by Mark Stronghold View Post

    We are flooded with copywriting courses these days.
    Every "guru" jumped on copy wagon.
    How to choose wisely?
    How to learn REAL craft? What is the truth?
    You want the truth about great copywriting?

    A simple truth that most of those wannabe gurus overlook in their courses?

    Here it is in 2 words...

    "OTHER PEOPLE"



    You want the more advanced course? Here it is in 8 words...

    "Show People The Promise Of A Better Future"


    It's not about you or your product. And it's not about just using fancy adjectives or power words and formulas (although those can help spice it up).

    Forget about all the gimmicks and tricks. Instead, spend your efforts learning what your target audience wants or needs... Then figure out a way to connect what you're selling, to what they desire... Then sell it to them.

    And if you want to learn how to refine the craft of selling through the written word, you can start here...

    https://www.thegaryhalbertletter.com...experience.htm
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Stronghold
      Great advice Steve!
      I was on Your web page and at Your forum and I must say: EXCELLENT STUFF!
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      • Profile picture of the author SARubin
        Originally Posted by Mark Stronghold View Post

        Great advice Steve!
        I'm just happy I could help you guide your course of direction, Mark.

        Originally Posted by Mark Stronghold View Post

        I was on Your web page and at Your forum and I must say: EXCELLENT STUFF!
        Thanks for the compliment. I started building that forum earlier this year when I got bored one weekend. It's basically a free platform (well, I'm paying for it but it's free to you guys) where novice and intermediate copywriters can come to learn, teach, and share their insights.

        And by participating on the site you can build your reputation as a writer, and also earn credits that can be used for free classified ads and other advertising on the site (only for writing related services).

        It started out as just a hobby site, built to help young writers spread their wings. But I should probably figure out what I want to do with it, because it's starting attract people. And if it starts to grow wings of its own, then I'll need to find more people to help me run it.
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    • Profile picture of the author fakhara
      great advice sir
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Mark Stronghold View Post

    We are flooded with copywriting courses these days.
    Every "guru" jumped on copy wagon.
    How to choose wisely?
    How to learn REAL craft? What is the truth?
    You ask 3 questions. The first about CHOOSING a copy writing course.

    The second about "real" craft of copywriting. Then the truth.

    Starting with 3, there isn't a truth, because, there isn't universally accepted definitions of what copy is. There are 2 schools of thought, one is descriptive and the other is response.

    Great descriptive copy is found in places like Joe Sugarman's old company JSA, had those marvelous catalogs. As did J. Peterman and Stauer. The avg. Agency copywriter does a lot of descriptive work.

    Response copywriting, which is often mistaken as THE copywriting course is wrapped around the idea that copywriting is SALESMANSHIP IN PRINT. And most of the courses are about getting someone, somewhere to spend money.

    And that is a large misconception about the CRAFT in general, due to the direct response copy written by brilliant writers whose intent is to sell you (us) their wares.

    Internet Marketers latch on to this idea, because they mostly want to get someone somewhere to BUY their products or services.

    Today, CONTENT writing has been piled on the heap too. Blogs, websites, landing pages all are the work field of today's copywriters.

    It all goes to INTENT, as writing does. As a writer, what is the intent of your copy?

    And Mr. Rubin hit the nail on the head...and a majority of newbies, or those who are targeted by the "gurus" you mention, are wanting to cash in on the need for people who can write and persuade others to spend money, because getting money from people is difficult...when they are being sold, and easy when they are shopping and buying what they want.

    Why do YOU want to study the craft?

    What is your motivation to select any course on copywriting? What is your intent in learning the craft?

    Your answer might determine the truth you seek.

    It is as simple as "other people", and "show people the promise of a better future" which is distilled down to

    BEFORE/AFTER.

    My preference is an INTERSECTION and a BRIDGE. The intersection is the WHERE is your copy going to meet your ideal target...and the bridge is what you say to them.

    And I literally have a pic of a bridge as my background image on my desktop as a reminder.

    On this side of the bridge, the BEFORE YOUR COPY (bc) is a person who wants or needs something or may be unaware of solution to a problem...and on the other side of the bridge is a solution, a wish fulfilled, the dream made manifest...whatever suits the product or service.

    Your job as a respone copy writer is to get them to agree to cross that bridge.

    And this is where CRAFT comes in. A lot of descriptive copy is about CREATIVELY painting pictures with your words in the target's mind, to arouse a want or desire.

    Response copy, the Craft is more understanding human behavior, persuasion, influence and less creativity. Albeit, we call the copy components (in remote direct response) the creative.

    These are general ideas to help you decide the WHICH and why of wanting to become a copy writer.

    OPINION HERE, any one skilled enough to write and be understood should be able to create a 60k dollar (USA) income a year by offering descriptive writing services with a hint of response in it in less than a year. That craft is fairly easy to master. And maybe no course is needed at all.

    To become a mid six and seven or EIGHT figure a year copywriter and get high paying gigs from big companies requires a study of success which may eliminate 90% of the courses offered. There are only 6 people who offer courses of any significance, once a decision is made as to what YOU want to do with your writing ability.

    Any WSO course would be good enough to make an extra 1k a month, or even 3 or four thousand a month. Anyone can get an account set up at the freelance sites and call themselves a copywriter.

    So, the long winded answer comes full circle.

    YOUR truth may be different from mine. The craft is a lifetime ongoing learning process but you can start earning a good living as you define it, in the first year as long as you know what YOU want, and what you intend to do with your writing skills.

    It isn't about the TRUTH, or the craft, BUT it is about what you want from it and that makes choosing the right course, if any...much easier.

    The MYTH you mention is actually, do what I did, get my results. That is the biggest lie and myth in all of marketing. There is NO OFF-THE-RACK course which fits everyone, choose a course which suits you.

    You can NOT simply copy someone else and get the same results.

    GordonJ
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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Good stuff Gordon. Except for one thing...
      Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

      And Mr. Rubin hit the nail on the head...
      "Mr. Rubin" was my dad. And even though I'm starting to look more like the old guy with each passing year, I'm still just Steven. I only use the screen name SARubin because it's quicker and easier for me to type than my full name (and "StevenR" was already taken)
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        In that case, StevenR owes you $46 million for emotional damage. You did suffer emotional damage, right?



        PS I liked how concisely you got it done.


        PPS (Because I know from reading many gurus that one PS is not enough) Ahem, um.. Yeah, I don't have a real one.



        Originally Posted by SARubin View Post

        Good stuff Gordon. Except for one thing...

        "Mr. Rubin" was my dad. And even though I'm starting to look more like the old guy with each passing year, I'm still just Steven. I only use the screen name SARubin because it's quicker and easier for me to type than my full name (and "StevenR" was already taken)
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        • Profile picture of the author SARubin
          Originally Posted by DABK View Post

          In that case, StevenR owes you $46 million for emotional damage. You did suffer emotional damage, right?
          Now that you mention it, I did feel a little "triggered" when I first found out about it.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      The OP owes you at least $500. I hope he comes back and reads it.



      Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

      You ask 3 questions. The first about CHOOSING a copy writing course.

      The second about "real" craft of copywriting. Then the truth.

      Starting with 3, there isn't a truth, because, there isn't universally accepted definitions of what copy is. There are 2 schools of thought, one is descriptive and the other is response.

      Great descriptive copy is found in places like Joe Sugarman's old company JSA, had those marvelous catalogs. As did J. Peterman and Stauer. The avg. Agency copywriter does a lot of descriptive work.

      Response copywriting, which is often mistaken as THE copywriting course is wrapped around the idea that copywriting is SALESMANSHIP IN PRINT. And most of the courses are about getting someone, somewhere to spend money.

      And that is a large misconception about the CRAFT in general, due to the direct response copy written by brilliant writers whose intent is to sell you (us) their wares.

      Internet Marketers latch on to this idea, because they mostly want to get someone somewhere to BUY their products or services.

      Today, CONTENT writing has been piled on the heap too. Blogs, websites, landing pages all are the work field of today's copywriters.

      It all goes to INTENT, as writing does. As a writer, what is the intent of your copy?

      And Mr. Rubin hit the nail on the head...and a majority of newbies, or those who are targeted by the "gurus" you mention, are wanting to cash in on the need for people who can write and persuade others to spend money, because getting money from people is difficult...when they are being sold, and easy when they are shopping and buying what they want.

      Why do YOU want to study the craft?

      What is your motivation to select any course on copywriting? What is your intent in learning the craft?

      Your answer might determine the truth you seek.

      It is as simple as "other people", and "show people the promise of a better future" which is distilled down to

      BEFORE/AFTER.

      My preference is an INTERSECTION and a BRIDGE. The intersection is the WHERE is your copy going to meet your ideal target...and the bridge is what you say to them.

      And I literally have a pic of a bridge as my background image on my desktop as a reminder.

      On this side of the bridge, the BEFORE YOUR COPY (bc) is a person who wants or needs something or may be unaware of solution to a problem...and on the other side of the bridge is a solution, a wish fulfilled, the dream made manifest...whatever suits the product or service.

      Your job as a respone copy writer is to get them to agree to cross that bridge.

      And this is where CRAFT comes in. A lot of descriptive copy is about CREATIVELY painting pictures with your words in the target's mind, to arouse a want or desire.

      Response copy, the Craft is more understanding human behavior, persuasion, influence and less creativity. Albeit, we call the copy components (in remote direct response) the creative.

      These are general ideas to help you decide the WHICH and why of wanting to become a copy writer.

      OPINION HERE, any one skilled enough to write and be understood should be able to create a 60k dollar (USA) income a year by offering descriptive writing services with a hint of response in it in less than a year. That craft is fairly easy to master. And maybe no course is needed at all.

      To become a mid six and seven or EIGHT figure a year copywriter and get high paying gigs from big companies requires a study of success which may eliminate 90% of the courses offered. There are only 6 people who offer courses of any significance, once a decision is made as to what YOU want to do with your writing ability.

      Any WSO course would be good enough to make an extra 1k a month, or even 3 or four thousand a month. Anyone can get an account set up at the freelance sites and call themselves a copywriter.

      So, the long winded answer comes full circle.

      YOUR truth may be different from mine. The craft is a lifetime ongoing learning process but you can start earning a good living as you define it, in the first year as long as you know what YOU want, and what you intend to do with your writing skills.

      It isn't about the TRUTH, or the craft, BUT it is about what you want from it and that makes choosing the right course, if any...much easier.

      The MYTH you mention is actually, do what I did, get my results. That is the biggest lie and myth in all of marketing. There is NO OFF-THE-RACK course which fits everyone, choose a course which suits you.

      You can NOT simply copy someone else and get the same results.

      GordonJ
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Stronghold
      Thank You, Gordon!
      Seems that You have a deep understanding of Copy Art.
      Thank You for wise words.
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    • Profile picture of the author Davey2020
      This is great advice Gordon. I'm leaning towards descriptive copy actually. Please which courses would be great to learn this?
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      • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
        Originally Posted by Davey2020 View Post

        This is great advice Gordon. I'm leaning towards descriptive copy actually. Please which courses would be great to learn this?
        My advice is, and this from someone not big on copy courses ...

        Pick some areas out, and I'll give you a list here in a moment, of products or services you would like to write on, and get your hands on as many catalogs as you can can don't forget your local library, if you have a decent one, there are many magazines which have a lot of descriptive copy in them.

        For luxury items, for example, subscribe to THE ROBB REPORT, you can get a year of 12 issues for 19.95, ask your library to subscribe if they don't.

        A faux luxury catalog is STAUER, visit their web site to see some examples of very descriptive copy.

        Check out the Lakeside collection too.

        The important thing is the space, how many words do you have to use, the TARGET market, always the #1 thing, and matching your copy to what they expect to find.

        There is a copywriter, Angie Colee, who is very experienced in catalog copy, she might be a good resource to ask questions of, I think she is on Facebook.

        She can also tell you the downside of working on that type of copy too.

        I think, your best bet is in the little known, arcane, off the beaten path niches where few copywriters tread. Astrology, charms, books, jewelry of an off beat nature, stamps, coins, collectibles. Those are good fields for descriptive copy and they flourish.

        Best bet, just read as much as you can, get catalogs coming in, go over descriptions on Amazon, eBay and see if you can improve them. And if you do find a good course, let us all know too, OK>

        GordonJ
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        • Profile picture of the author Davey2020
          Thank you so much for this Gordon. You've been really helpful.
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  • What figures in copy is zackly what goes on in evrywan's hearts, day to day.

    We all gotta walk on into tamara, an' sumtimes that ain't easy to do.

    So what goes on in our heads when we facin' up to hardships & challenges?

    How could life be sweetah ... if only?

    These evryday thoughts -- necessary dalliances with dire circumstance an' upliftin' salvation -- command our evry endeavor.

    Less'n you figure we automata.

    That's why copy non't nevah gotta play smart & stoopid.

    You jus' gotta hit on what is gowin' on.

    An' there ain't nowan here don't gotta figure next week, next month, next year ... lookin' in on stuff they wanna stay put for keeps an' noo horizons they wanna explore outta choice.

    So ... make elevatin' proposals ... say how evry step leads sumplace & don't gotta be wasted ... look your prospects in the eye an' energize their fyooture without dissin' their past ... turn words into steppin' stone imagry points the way positive.

    Ntchrlly this means I gotta rehash sum ART I sketched out a while back in response to Gordon's valuable insights 'bout intersection.

    Perhaps this is bcs there is a PULSE of regulah themes ... regulah questions ... manifestin' ovah an' ovah again --


    ... jus' like all the evryday thoughts we got in our heads as we try to make sense of past, present & fyooture against the backdrop of a changin' world as hooman persons ever transformin' day by day ...


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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Stronghold
    Even Dan Lok put copy course, Nuff said
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    • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
      Originally Posted by Mark Stronghold View Post

      Even Dan Lok put copy course, Nuff said
      Just a guess here, but I'd say 75% of would be new copywriters get into it because of two things.

      1) They can string a few sentences together, maybe even like to write.

      2) They've been told they can make an above average living from doing it (copywriting).

      And ALL the pitches follow the same formula.

      If you can write a letter like this one, then you TOO can make big bux writing.


      This followed by the Hero's Journey.

      Broke, down and out, living hand to hand...NO hope.

      THEN,

      lightening strikes, AH HA moment, light bulb goes off, secret discovered.

      BINGO, voila, and the money flood gates open.

      And IF I can do it, so can you.

      They answer the CALL. Their journey begins and soon find out they are competing with 35,000 other copy/content writers and getting clients who pay is the secret oft left out of the course.

      Their copy all sounds the same. Sure, it works because the masses have hope, unfettered, unbelievable HOPE, hope in secrets...
      hope in hidden knowledge

      hope in something better and hope in someone who will show them the way.

      Netflix has an interesting documentary on: "Birkam: Yogi, Guru, Predator."

      I think it is a good watch for any would be copywriter. Thousands of people are believers, and when you have that kind of a following, interesting things happen.

      The thing with writing copy, even the elite, the GURUS, few have sustained their success, and have hit home runs most of the time. And some of the most revered of all, had a hard time working with a client more than once.

      One can read stories about how the copywriter was "screwed" over by this person or that marketer, and it was never their fault.

      Today, one of the best teachers of copy writing is Colin Theriot and his Cult of Copy Facebook pages. He tells the truth about writing copy, which is: you don't need to take any course to do it, you just have to understand the masses, and build your own cult.

      And all his good stuff is posted for free.

      Copywriting is a commodity, and a very small %, less than 10 rise to the top 7 or 8 figure category, and most of those with their own products having learnt the HOW to get people to buy, they then create or acquire their own products, including the

      COPYWRITING COURSE.

      So, yea, Dan Lok has a course on writing copy, can't wait to buy it...maybe next year, or maybe never.

      And my opinion on all copy writing courses follows the idea put forth by Richard Condon in his Keener's Manual...

      Interest is the key to life,
      Interest is the clue,
      Interest is the drum and fife
      And any God will do.


      It is all a yellow brick road on the way to Copywriter's OZ.

      GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author warddaniel402
    thank you so much for share this
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  • Can I mebbe resuppose the OP question on an ima way yogahed out reflective ticket?

    Myth got story, for sure, but mebbe not so much evidence beyond yeah it still kinda troo, but why the hell the costooms?

    An' FFS who wants lies?

    So what 'bout figurin' copywritin' on a surer emotive scale?

    Like ...

    COPYWRITIN' LILITHS
    & MWAHS?
    Either we all wishin' for solid ground beneath our feet so's we can combat all reality might wanna devour our SOUL ... or we skippin' out sumplace sweet & dinky gonna fulfil our lifelong heart's desire on a whim ...


    ... or evrythin' gets mixed up kinda crazy in the ultimate 2-for-1 offah bcs we so orgasmic we can't stand up for fallin' ovah?


    Copywritin' giveth ... an' it drills down real hard on alla the crapola TAKIN' AWAY stuff.


    Otherwise, why in hell write the f*cker out for nowan?


    Gimme Lilith. Gimme MWAH.


    Anythin' speaks outside this 2-settin' reality prolly kinda crap.
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