by Raz
14 replies
Do you need talent to be a great copywriter? Or can you be a great copywriter by learning the skill despite having no talent? Do you believe copywriting ability is something that's recorded in the genes?
#talent
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Raz View Post

    Do you need talent to be a great copywriter? Or can you be a great copywriter by learning the skill despite having no talent? Do you believe copywriting ability is something that's recorded in the genes?
    Apologize for all the questions, but in order to give an informed answer, it would be helpful to know what you mean by:

    GREAT copywriter, how do YOU define this?

    TALENT, which talent do you have in mind?

    To the question about in the genes? NO. Absolutely not. Gary Halbert taught many talentless people to write terrific copy. One was a bus driver from Miami, who didn't even know what copywriting was, but Gary whipped his shit-weasel ass into a very good copywriter. Just one of scores of greats, people who made a full time living at way above average pay from their SKILLS.

    DESIRE may be one of the more important factors. WORK ethic probably more so.

    Some, with literary and business backgrounds, or psychology and salesmanship may appear to have natural talent, but even then, great copywriters got there by writing a lot of crappy copy along the way.

    GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamell
    Having talent would help but I'd rather be disciplined to learn the skill set and apply myself .

    Absorb as much as you can and apply yourself because .You have to get into the act of doing it in order to gain the experience you need
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by Raz View Post

    Do you need talent to be a great copywriter? Or can you be a great copywriter by learning the skill despite having no talent? Do you believe copywriting ability is something that's recorded in the genes?
    Nobody is born with a talent to write great copy. It's all developed and absorbed through study and practice.


    Everybody starts at zero.
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  • Profile picture of the author art72
    At the core... be a well-versed communicator. For some they possess a triple-threat as they can speak, write, and visually embody great communication skills... others may have a face for radio, a voice that'll rattle Simon Cowell's inner-demons (*sarcasm)... and cannot write for the love of God.

    Meanwhile, we entered this realm screaming, kicking, and crying... and somehow we're still here. Obviously, communication of any kind is a learned skill. Copywriting to me, is the ability to igrab attention, influence, compel, persuade, or manipulate others into taking a specific action... similar to 'giving directions' to the lost soul who cannot find the local Starbucks or the Turnpike!

    However, words possess a great deal of power and are often open to interpretation based solely on the recipient's ability to define, understand, and in-turn consume, digest, and absorb the useful information, while excreting (*or dismissing) what they feel or believe does not serve their own primary interests or well-being.

    Thereto, BIG PHARMA knowingly sells drugs... many of which possess long lists of potentially harmful side-effects... others may actually save your life. But, somewhere between their deadly and life-saving prescriptions... one can certainly LEARN that even a lousy product with the right message (*copy) can become a big hit to the masses, if communicated properly.

    I think great sales copy requires honesty, transparence, and of course, a quality product or service that actually delivers on it's promises.

    Meanwhile, these VSL's, MMO-styled sales copy (*stories) will sell like gold to the right recipient... but, not all sales copy delivers on it's promises, as is so with (dare I say) most advertising...

    Does that new saucier Big Mac provide any real nutrition or value... probably not, but they've served billions (*if not, trillions) while reducing the girth, weight, and meat - while raising the costs, increasing the sodium levels, and the buns stayed fat...no pun intended,

    Even Jimmy Dean... "Oh, how I love me some Jimmy Dean breakfast bowls" have no deduced the portion to about 50% of what was $2, and now you ONLY PAY 2X more - for 1/2 as much.

    Is this great sales copy?

    or...

    Building a trusted brand?

    BOTH.

    It almost appears, once someone has purchased an item or service, and are to some degree satisfied with their purchase, then... those repeat sales (*and, upsells) are believed to be much, much easier to create repeat buyers in nearly any marketplace - good or bad product/service alike.

    WHY?

    The buyer committed, acted, responded, and received something (*they perceived to be valuable) in the exchange.

    What baffles me is the psychology of buyer's and seller's - as it almost appears you could sell lies, poison, and unhealthy solutions - just as easily as you can sell the truth, healthy remedies, and solutions...

    I dare you to sit in front of ANY corner store or local gas station... And, just observe what is being SOLD.

    What are people buying?
    • Coffee/Soda/Caffiene/Energy Drinks & Products
    • Beer, Wine, Liquor
    • Cigarettes, Rolling Papers, Chew (*or Dip) - Tobacco products
    • Greasy - Non-Nutritional Roller Items, Junk Foods, Snacks
    • Lottery Tickets, Scratch-Offs, and Raffle Tickets for the Liquor Filled Yeti Cooler (*Give-Away)

    In all due fairness... people DO buy gas, water, an over-priced fruit bowl, or maybe a salad... (*you know, must have's and healthy stuff) - BUT, in most cases - they are sub-consciously feeding their addictions (*beer, wine, smokes, chew, lotto, sugar, caffeine, and well GARBAGE that most know is 100% unhealthy.)

    BTW... I smoke, drink, and gamble... so, I speak from experience here, lol. (*Not actually funny to admit it... but hey, I prefer brutal truth over lying about anything!" - *100% Transparency)

    Before you write ANY sales copy or pursue a career in advertising, writing headlines, or scripting your next webinar... be sure you know first; are you in for the money? or are you seeking to guide people to healthier solutions?

    Lastly...

    That simple 30-minute observation of what is being purchased on nearly every corner mini-mart or gas station, may serve as a foundation for all the problems that come later and NOW require solutions being sought by people in the millions... who now suffer from such decisions prior... so, you can sell tobacco or sell the means for people to quit smoking - BOTH are trillion dollar industries... as is cancer treatments, rehabs, weight loss clinics, casinos,... you get the point.

    So... be consciously-aware of what you say(ing), do(ing), think(ing), apply(ing), and communicate(ing) (*i.e., marketing) through your words...sales copy (*copywriting)... words have the power (*and, the command) of guiding people to longevity or straight towards an early grave...

    And these days, it seems people are so concerned for money and power - the early grave may actually outsell the "truth about longevity" and how you communicate with others will certainly play a roll at work, at play, in relationships, and especially in writing content, copy, or any method you choose to communicate/market your message or knowledge!

    I would say being a prolific writer is a talent, but moreover; a learned skill... as with anything, we entered a blank canvas at birth... and much of what we've learned may be UNHEALTHY... doesn't stop most of us from subscribing to all the crap we buy and consume.

    Funny thing being... I wouldn't promote what I know to be unhealthy, even if I; myself am guilty of contributing to those that sold us this crap!

    I like Myron Golden's take on selling... let those who want what you're offering come to you. Never chase or force sales upon those who do not already want what you have to offer!

    *end of rant
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Originally Posted by Raz View Post

    Do you need talent to be a great copywriter? Or can you be a great copywriter by learning the skill despite having no talent? Do you believe copywriting ability is something that's recorded in the genes?
    I do think it takes talent to be a 'great' Copywriter.

    Thousands have bought the same Copywriting Course...thousands have sat under mentors to learn Copywriting...

    only a few become 'great'

    Anyone can be a Copywriter by learning the principles and make a decent return...but, as I've said a lot of times, there's a reason some are good and others are so so.

    If we took a product and asked 100 Copywriters to write a sales letter selling it...most could probably make a decent amount of money from sales...

    one would probably make millions.

    Great Copywriters are creative. They go mentally into realms where so so Copywriters are unable to go. Good Copywriters transcend normal thinking...their minds think on a different level...they know the basic principles, but create magic where others can't see it.

    In this day and age where everyone is a Copywriter, most won't understand there's a reason why some are so so Copywriters, and others are really good.

    It's kind of like sitting 100 people in a class and teaching them how to paint a landscape. With practice, most will succeed...but, a couple will come out of the class able to paint landscapes that only a truly creative individual could ever imagine...

    same with Copywriting. The problem is, most don't understand that Copywriting is actually an artistic expression that sells products.
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  • Profile picture of the author Moodesburn1977
    I dont think u need to at the start, it takes time by learning, one of the best way of doing this is a very simple one, find out who are your competitiors are, and actually sign up to their email lists, u would never copy paste their emails, but instead you would see what kind of content they write, and what type of emails they write, and what time of day they send emails you can learn a lot by doing some keyword research is what i would do i hope this helps you
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I have never met an author who was not also a voracious reader. If you don't have some talent it will be much harder to write great copy...or even passable copy.


    The talents go beyond crafting a sentence or flaming the imagination. A full understanding/appreciation for what you are promoting with words....an empathy for how people respond to certain triggers, etc...will make the task easier but you can perhaps get around that with practice and a logical approach.


    Copywriting - great or mediocre - will be much easier if you have some fluidity with words, an interest in the impact of words, and an understanding of how people might react to words.


    As someone with her head buried in a book since she was 3, writing has always seemed a natural process to me. I'm not convinced that someone who is not a 'reader', someone who has little interest in stories, can be a great writer of any type. But....I could be wrong about that.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I have never met an author who was not also a voracious reader. If you don't have some talent it will be much harder to write great copy...or even passable copy.
      .
      That may be the heart of it.
      Understanding the subtleties of language means you have read a ton of good fiction.

      Another distinction (at least it's my theory) is that you have to love the process of learning copywriting. You have to love the process of studying great ads, great sales letters, trying to figure out what they have in common. Taking them apart and trying to discover the underlying principles involved...the realities of real persuasion.

      If someone asked me about learning copywriting, I'd ask how many books they have read on the subject this year...this month. How many hours have they studied ads to see the differences.

      I'm only a fair copywriter (I know, because I've met several good ones, and they are far better than I am.)

      When I used to speak at trade conventions, I'd ask the audience questions like ;
      "How many here studied the local Yellow Pages ads in your category, in your hotel room last night?"

      "How many have recorded and then studied infomercials that are in your industry?"

      "How many have gone on Youtube and watched presentations on the products you sell, given by great salespeople?"

      "How many here have read at least one book this year about selling in your industry, written by someone killing it in your business?"

      Blank stares were my response. In fact, I quickly learned that asking these questions hurt my own sales to that audience.

      But maybe one in ten thousand will ever put forth the effort in any endeavor to be great at it. And to put forth that effort, you have to enjoy the process as much as the reward.
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      What if they're not stars? What if they are holes poked in the top of a container so we can breath?
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      • Profile picture of the author Monetize
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        When I used to speak at trade conventions, I'd ask the audience questions like ;
        "How many here studied the local Yellow Pages ads in your category, in your hotel room last night?"

        I saw a Dan Kennedy YouTube video where he said he keeps
        a bunch of swipe files for future reference.

        That is something that everyone who writes any type of copy
        should do.

        I think it was the one where he was interviewed by Frank Kern.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sophia Camila
    Having talent would help but I'd rather be disciplined to learn the skill set and apply myself .

    Absorb as much as you can and apply yourself because .You have to get into the act of doing it in order to gain the experience you need
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  • Originally Posted by Raz View Post

    Do you need talent to be a ... ?
    Depends whatevah = an ellipse rollin' out to whatevah.

    That is why the best dancahs fallovah always at the start.

    Ask 'em why, an they say, "bcs we jus' did not wanna step out anyplace."

    Gotta figure when evrywan dancin' to the same toon, evrwan will know what talent is, zackly.

    Meantime, our fact-seekin' mesmuttorials will hold sway ovah most eithahothahness.

    (There are two wills in any proactive proclamation-cum-dialog ...

    'an I jus' looked in on both.)

    Are you an actively passifyin' force of natyoore

    or mebbe jus' sum kinda sloth?*

    * I believe this may be the dream tagline for a noo branda vegan sope.

    You in the showah, you easin' out, you figrin' ahead, you joyin' the mome ... an', yeah, prolly you wanna bliss out on that kinda vibe.

    Sope cleanses an' massages sweet,

    till'n you don't evin need talent to stand up straight!

    Thing is, since when was there a talent evah for payin' copywritahs ZILLIONS for writin' out nuthin' stoopid 'bout their (intrinsickly stoopid, actschwlly) SOPE othah than you gotta flush yr crack SUMHOW?

    I should be inclined to disagree with all kindsa stuffs here, but when it comes to sope, you gotta stand up straight an' say you in favor.

    Imagine kids without sope ffs.

    You gonna hose 'em down or plug 'em up, or what?

    Bcs yanno like they do that.
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    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I have multiple 'swipe files' - most of them simple a copy/paste of a 'turn of phrase' or an idea that made me go 'wow, wish I'd written that'.



    One from just yesterday is a line from a book review...


    a book that takes you over as you read it, invading your daydreams, lodging its cadences in your brain

    Yes, I bought the book.
    Signature
    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world changes forever for that one dog
    ***
    Sometimes I just want someone to hug me and say...
    "It's going to be OK - here's a horse and two million dollars."
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    • Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I have multiple 'swipe files' - most of them simple a copy/paste of a 'turn of phrase' or an idea that made me go 'wow, wish I'd written that'.

      One from just yesterday is a line from a book review...

      Yes, I bought the book.
      Spank precedes swipe, always.

      An' we should seek whenevah to be inspired.

      Also, bcs LIFE JOOS is a commodity gotta be effused out by SUMONE, less'n we all idolt consoomahs fore'n AI evin gits started, you gotta pulse out yr own dream brilliance.

      I been srsly SPANKED by the mods recently as I pursoo this beacon-hungry path for the benefit of nowan don't enjoy myootyooly ensured spontaneous combust-u-warmz, but I emerge sharpah an' sweetah an' kinda more necessarily desirabyool than evah before.

      I would wish always to be a servant to the whims of your most glorious sensoriums.

      Yeah, but not all at once, bcs that is jus' a thangschwang.

      Main thing is ... our senses regularly disregard the familiah an' seek out the brightest of lights.

      An' it is here where you gotta size up the horizons of hypnotists vs same thing for gods, while clutchin' yr notebook to yr boobies for smart sh*t else.
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      Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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      • Yea, you do need talent and heaps of it. I remember the midwife saying to my mom, "My goodness, what a great Ad Steve just wrote - you should call him "Steve The Copywriter."

        (The above was for illustration purposes only and was a load of nonsense)

        I imagine some lucky souls may have been born with an innate talent to write copy, books, sprint, play the piano, last 10.5 minutes in bed or whatever else.

        The rest of us just had to read, practise and repeat.


        Steve


        P.S. If your partner reads in bed when you're "practising" - you've been reading the wrong books.
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