Really, is GREAT Copywriting a gift or something that can be learned?

19 replies
I ask this question because I am really curious of the answer;

Is GREAT, EXTRAORDINARY, EFFECTIVE Copywriting a gift, or is it something that can be learned?

I just find copwriting fascinating so I'm curious to what y'all will say.

Cheers,
GJ
#copywriting #gift #great #learned
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
    Banned
    If you've got fire in your belly...

    If you've got the passion...

    If you've got the desire...

    If you've got confidence in your abilities...

    ...and lots of self belief...

    If you've got oodles of enthusiasm...

    If you ooze marketing knowledge...

    If you love psychology...

    ...and human behavior...

    If you're willing to dedicate a hell of a lot of your time to learning...

    ...and practicing the copywriting craft constantly...

    If you've got persistence...

    If you've got tenacity...

    If you can listen to others...

    ...and don't mind putting yourself in other peoples shoes...

    If you're inquisitive about the world around you...

    ...and have by nature a huge amount of curiosity...

    If you love communication via the written word...

    If you love people...

    If marketing is in your blood...

    If you love the acrobatics of the English language...

    ...and you have an insatiable appetite for new knowledge...

    If information overload is not a problem for you...

    If you never suffer from writers block...

    If you love storytelling...

    If you love selling...

    Anything is possible.

    Smoking hot,


    Mark Andrews
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    If you've got fire in your belly...

    If you've got the passion...

    If you've got the desire...

    If you've got confidence in your abilities...

    ...and lots of self belief...

    If you've got oodles of enthusiasm...

    If you ooze marketing knowledge...

    If you love psychology...

    ...and human behavior...

    If you're willing to dedicate a hell of a lot of your time to learning...

    ...and practicing the copywriting craft constantly...

    If you've got persistence...

    If you've got tenacity...

    If you can listen to others...

    ...and don't mind putting yourself in other peoples shoes...

    If you're inquisitive about the world around you...

    ...and have by nature a huge amount of curiosity...

    If you love communication via the written word...

    If you love people...

    If marketing is in your blood...

    If you love the acrobatics of the English language...

    ...and you have an insatiable appetite for new knowledge...

    If information overload is not a problem for you...

    If you never suffer from writers block...

    If you love storytelling...

    If you love selling...

    Anything is possible.

    Smoking hot,


    Mark Andrews

    ......and that's just the beginning but well said Mark!
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  • Profile picture of the author copystud
    You can definitely learn. But, it takes a lot of discipline to learn without having a polished, professional mentor to guide you. You either write, post and test constantly -- or have constant feedback from people who know what they're talking about -- and be able to make the necessary changes, then test again to see if you're going in the right direction.

    Nothing beats working for a top-notch copywriter and taking their criticism/abuse on a daily basis as a learning tool.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jillsescape
    I believe it is both a gift and something that can be learned. Some people are naturals and just do it. Others have to learn by followed the naturals...just keep doing it and practicing it and reading copywrite from skilled people--your skills get better and better.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Warriors
    Both.

    There are natural skills that make someone more likely to succeed at copywriting.

    But even if you're not a "natural," you can still succeed... Just takes more effort.
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  • Profile picture of the author AshwaniGaur
    Millions Of Talented People Waste Their Talent Each Day By Taking Wrong Decisions.
    Millions Of Hard-Working People Make Fortunes By Making Smart Decisions And Backing Them Up With Perseverance!

    Some people seem to have a flare for languages and that's the only talent there is to copywriting. The rest seems to be loads of practice, hard work, perseverance and smart decisions.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
      Originally Posted by AshwaniGaur View Post

      Some people seem to have a flare for languages and that's the only talent there is to copywriting. The rest seems to be loads of practice, hard work, perseverance and smart decisions.
      Gonna disagree with that.

      The capacity to write well comes from reading good writing, absorbing it's rhythms, usages and structure. Nobody writes well without much reading, followed by much practice. And I might add, much living.

      I was going to say that the ability to empathize is the natural talent every copywriter needs that can't be taught, but sociopaths learn to mimic it convincingly.

      So I guess the only thing that can't be taught is the will to learn. If that part is in place, the rest can be acquired by any person of average intelligence.
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      • Profile picture of the author AshwaniGaur
        Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

        Gonna disagree with that.

        The capacity to write well comes from reading good writing, absorbing it's rhythms, usages and structure. Nobody writes well without much reading, followed by much practice. And I might add, much living.

        I was going to say that the ability to empathize is the natural talent every copywriter needs that can't be taught, but sociopaths learn to mimic it convincingly.

        So I guess the only thing that can't be taught is the will to learn. If that part is in place, the rest can be acquired by any person of average intelligence.
        That's cool, what I said was from my own observations.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
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      Originally Posted by AshwaniGaur View Post

      Some people seem to have a flare for languages and that's the only talent there is to copywriting. The rest seems to be loads of practice, hard work, perseverance and smart decisions.
      Not even close. Halbert hit it on the head when he said -

      Being on target is much more important than being facile with words
      Wanna be a good copywriter? Get out and sell. Go door to door. Work in retail. Sell used cars. Sell copiers. Sell anything. Thats the best experience and best foundation for a copywriter.

      Wanna fast-track your copywriting career? Get a gig writing radio copy. 30 second spots. Write a million of them. Fast and furious. Short and sweet. On target and on deadline. You'll know soon enough if your copy converts. Overnight in most cases.

      But forget this BS about needing to be "creative" or good with languages. In fact a Bachelor of Arts or a diploma in Creative Writing will only hinder you.

      A Copywriter is first and foremost a salesperson. Using print as his weapon.
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      • Profile picture of the author AshwaniGaur
        Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

        Not even close. Halbert hit it on the head when he said -

        Wanna be a good copywriter? Get out and sell. Go door to door. Work in retail. Sell used cars. Sell copiers. Sell anything. Thats the best experience and best foundation for a copywriter.

        Wanna fast-track your copywriting career? Get a gig writing radio copy. 30 second spots. Write a million of them. Fast and furious. Short and sweet. On target and on deadline. You'll know soon enough if your copy converts. Overnight in most cases.

        But forget this BS about needing to be "creative" or good with languages. In fact a Bachelor of Arts or a diploma in Creative Writing will only hinder you.

        A Copywriter is first and foremost a salesperson. Using print as his weapon.
        Collier also said something similar in the Robert E. Collier Letter Book.
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  • Profile picture of the author immedicine
    practice practice and practice makes you master in copy writing
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  • Profile picture of the author DWK
    In the words of novelist Stephen King, the way to learn to write well is "to write." Do a lot of it. I'm a firm believer in reading great writers as you develop your own writing style. By what I call "reading osmosis," you'll pick up their cadences, vocabulary and great thoughts.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
    Along the lines of the OP, what is the difference between someone with outstanding street smarts, and an outstanding copywriter?

    Are street smarts learned ... or do they get beat into a person .

    Marvin
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
      Originally Posted by Marvin Johnston View Post

      Along the lines of the OP, what is the difference between someone with outstanding street smarts, and an outstanding copywriter?

      Are street smarts learned ... or do they get beat into a person .
      In my experience, street smarts are the voice of applied experience, either learned by first-hand experience (the hard way) or by the guidance of a mentor combined with experience. Otherwise, it's just book smarts.

      As for copywriting (and everything else), some people do have more natural talent than others, but hard work beats lazy talent.
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas Michal
    Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.
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  • Profile picture of the author InTh3Moment
    I would say that time is probably the single most important determining factor in achieving mastery of any skill.

    I believe it has been well documented that the top performing athletes, musicians and people in any other vocation have one thing in common. They have all put in thousands upon thousands of hours of time to achieve this uncommon level of competence. Perhaps it is only uncommon not due to their talent, but merely due to the fact that it is rare for any individual to put as much time into a sport or endeavor as these peak performers have and are willing to continue to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author wrcato2
    My opinion, it is a skill and a craft. If you hate writing then you will never achieve Greatness.
    When someone beats Halberts record then they have achieved Copy God.
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  • Profile picture of the author eugenedm
    Copywriting is not a gift it could be learned. It's all about practice and there is a formula for it so if you keep on practicing writing copy you will be good at it.
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