The Pitfalls of Copywriting

What made you want to become a copywriter?

Whatever it is, latch onto it and help it flourish – because you’ll need every bit of passion you can muster.

The early stages are the equivalent of rough seas. And every one of us, even the best there’s been, suffer from seasickness at the start. Not only that, but none of us will have a compass and all we have packed for the arduous trip is the pickles you get in a fast food cheeseburger.

Because those early stages, when you’re starting out? It’s pretty brutal. So it’s really important to stick to your decision, remember that you’re pretty good at this writing stuff and don’t let anything let you stray from your path.

These articles are a tool to help you plot a course through the tumultuous times and see you through to more placid waters. It’s an old adage but a copywriter never stops learning. There’s a reason why these things stick around. Because they’re true. And you’ll pick up some really great tips, tricks and shortcuts that will be a godsend at times. And this wee site o’ mine will give you some things to think on, work on and remember.

The knocks are going to come. The rewrites, the awkward clients, the moments when you just can’t muster that line that helps things click together. There will be times when you’re scrabbling for work – especially when you first start searching for work.

And that’s why you really have to keep close the reason you chose this noble profession. It’ll carry you through moments when your determination is thin on the ground and frustration runs high.

When I first set out, I had no idea what ‘copy’ even was. I always thought copywriting was when you patented an idea. I am not from a corporate background. I began by blogging. And learning how my audience reacted to certain types of posts. As my reputation grew, I attracted a few clients and I’ll be honest, it was a nightmare. I could write, but my writing wasn’t what they were looking for.

What they were looking for – and you’ll soon find out, is they want to say what THEY want to say – but better. And the true gold in any copywriter is being able to polish turds. Because you can scream until the veins in your neck become as pronounced as the ropes used in Sly Stallone’s mountain-climbing thriller, ‘Cliffhanger.’ It doesn’t matter if you know better. It won’t matter that you can evidence why what they want to say is stupid.

All that matters is that the lump of crap they give you, comes back shining.

You’ll use your skills to chip away at ugly hunks of rock and hew a masterpiece. You’ll pick up different tones of voice and write messages to different audiences and adapt to any request.

And most importantly, you’ll have happy clients.

But let’s not jump ahead of ourselves here.

You might get clients straight away but the likelihood is that your client base will need some watering. Don’t get deterred though. Keep learning, keep plugging away.

Because everybody needs words – even if you have to remind them.

And keep this page bookmarked and somewhere handy – it’s about to get a wee bit choppy out there.

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