There is virtually no other skill that can make you as much money as copywriting.
Copy That Sells
Copywriting is the art of choosing the words for marketing materials. While many people have grown to strongly dislike anything that resembles "writing" (myself included), copywriting can literally 2x or 10x or more your sales and/or income simply by learning to communicate with the right words.
That means leverage and high-demand are on the side of the copywriter.
Of all marketing skills, if you invest the time to learn the art/skill of copywriting, you'll sell (and earn) more, your business will grow faster, and your boss, clients, and strangers' pets will love you.
What's Copywriting Again?
Copywriting vs. Copyrighting
Copywriting. You've heard of it, you know a friend of a friend who does it, and you often get it mixed up with copyrighting.
What Copywriting Is NOT
"Copywriting" is completely different than the same-sounding "copyrighting", which has to do with protecting the usage rights of soft property. I will NOT be discussing the legal "copyrighting".
Also, most copywriting is copyrighted. Get it? Good.
What Copywriting Is
Copywriters are basically wordsmiths, and copywriting (aka copy-writing) is the creative art of choosing which exact words to communicate or persuade in any situation.
This includes the writing in any and all marketing materials, including:
● Brochures & Business Cards
● TV Commercial Scripts
● Billboards and Banners
● Blog / Magazine Articles
● Direct Mail Ads
● Online Salespage Text
● Magazine / Newspaper Ads
● Ghost Writing Books + Book Jackets
...and anything else that involves presenting written words to the public. A copywriter can specialize in any of these areas and as an example, I specialize in direct-response online copywriting, which means I write everything related to getting people to take an online action right then and there.
The ability to persuade via the written word is a skill that is, and always will be in very high demand.
The Ultimate Sales Letter
Out of all the skills entrepreneurs and marketers can have, copywriting is the most leveraged and can make the biggest difference on your bottom line.
Many professional marketers have voiced their opinions that copywriting is the first skill that should be learned before going into any profession, including entrepreneurship.
To get started, simply tweak or write a better ad than one you see in the mail or on the web. Change something about the ad that sells more? Congratulations, you're a copywriter. And it pays.
5) Freelance / Employment Opportunities
Get paid for results, not amount of hours in your cubicle
A Hungry Market
Along with software programmers, traveling nurses, and a few other professionals, copywriters are always in demand and always in short supply. This is partially because every business and even organization on Earth needs a copywriter, and partly because writing isn't glamorous.
But it is profitable, if you learn to do it right.
Whether you seek the security of employment or the freedom of freelancing, copywriting is one of the best sectors to go into for high pay and a hungry market.
Copywriters aren't the most visible people in agencies, but they are the most important.
Ogilvy on Advertising
Life's a Niche
There are many copywriting niches that allow you to specialize, charge more, and ultimately be of more value to your clients and to the world. These niches range from brochures and documents, to direct-response copy such as paper or online advertisements that require immediate action.
Similar to most freelance careers, freelance copywriting lends itself to giving you control over your work load, work hours, and most importantly, work location. Even if you are formally employed in an office, you may be able to work out a remote work deal.
4) Entrepreneurial Opportunities
Go as high as you want
Job vs. Business
While we've primarily been discussing copywriting jobs so far, it's important to know that copywriting skills may be even more useful for the entrepreneur than for the employee.
Effective copywriting has the power to create a company or at least boost sales, so imagine the margin and profit when selling your own products instead of those of your company or client.
At the very least, selling your own products will skyrocket your motivation to learn more and to do well, as the business results will be directly tied to your income and reinvestment account.
Make Money Online
While working with a client will bring income to a freelance business, copywriting skills allow you to work with your own products and websites instead of someone else's.
It all starts with the basic building blocks of any business which are 1) a product or service to sell, and 2) someone to sell it to (and who is willing to buy it).
"But I want to go into..."
If you find yourself saying "well that's great and all for people who love to write, but I want to go into the XYZ industry", then you should know that:
1) You don't have to "love" writing to be a copywriter. You just have to know which words get people to take action. The best place to start is by seeing which ads get YOU to take action.
2) Copywriting is a business function more than a "job", which means you can potentially go into any industry and even any company, since every business needs copywriters & marketing.
3) I'm not suggesting you commit your life and career to copywriting, just to learn it first.
If you can write effective sales copy, you can literally write your own paycheck.
Copy That Sells
3) Leveraged Function
He's smarter than he looks
Let's say you own a business and sales are down. Which departments of your business can you work on to give you the most results for your efforts? Here are some common areas of focus:
● Advertising Channels
● Management & Operations
● Customer Service
● Product Development
● Marketing Strategy
● Salespage / Ad Design
● Production & Distribution
When sales are down, these are some logical places where business leaders look to make changes. Why not just cut costs, you ask? Because for many reasons we won't go into here, money problems are better solved by making more, not by spending less.
Out of the million changes and departments and employees you can edit to improve sales, none will be more effective than improving your business's copywriting.
A headline can cause a 10x difference in sales.
Confessions of an Ad Man
On one hand, you can fire or hire salespeople, switch advertising channels, pour more money into (ineffective) advertising, or change your marketing strategy. Although these are common tactics, they are very time-&-money expensive, and are unreliable.
On the other hand, you can hire a skilled copywriter or learn it on your own. With copywriting knowledge on your side, you can re-tool the wording and design of all your marketing materials from your online sales pages to your advertisements and emails.
Being able to drastically improve your marketing materials and sales, copywriting is a skill that alone can grow your sales more than any other skill.
Salesmen vs. Copywriters
The clearest example is how many businesses often turn to hiring more sales reps to increase sales. This means more people, working more hours, requiring more supervisors.
Or you could hire one great copywriter for a week once to improve your sales script. You could then increase your sales with your original number of staff, saving tons of hours and dollars.
2) Improve Sales / Conversions
Pictured results not guaranteed
A Single Purpose
If you hire an ad agency, they'll make you pretty ads/commercials so they can win hip awards. But if you hire a copywriter, his sole job is to find the best ways to increase your sales. That means no fancy awards to try to win and no wheel-spinning. Just measurable results.
While words are their final product, that does not mean copywriters spend most of their time writing. A lot of that time is also spent researching the product & customer, brainstorming, editing & formatting the text, and working on an infinite amount of daily marketing tasks.
Some of the many principles that guide copywriting standards include:
● a focus on clarity and brevity - aka relevancy and getting to-the-point quickly
● a preference towards benefits and advantages over features and facts
● guiding the audience through an attention / reading funnel
● effectively communicating your point and often eliciting a specific response
1) Always Know What to Say (and Type)
Writing copy that sells is not a creative act so much as it is mechanical process, adhering to formulas, and assembling essential component parts.
The Ultimate Sales Letter
Get What You Want
While learning copywriting has very tangible benefits in business, many of the lessons can carry over into your daily life, as what would be considered "persuasion" or selling ideas.
When learning copywriting, you will literally be learning about which words to use to provoke people to take action. This means you will learn a lot about topics such as persuasion and psychology.
Long story short, copywriting teaches how to employ knowledge about psychology and persuasion to get people to do what you want, inside and out of the business arena.