How Can I Start Writing Copy? 7 Rules To Follow

Man asking How Can I Start Writing Copy

How Can I Start Writing Copy?  7 Rules to Follow to Avoid Total Frustration

 

So, you want to know how to start writing copy.  Admirable.

We'll approach this noble goal by laying out some obvious, and some not so obvious, caveats.

  • One - Don’t start in the middle.
  • Two - Don’t rely solely on Free Content.
  • Three - Don’t follow all the tips you see on X/Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, Instagram and the like.
  • Four – “Never trust anyone you don’t understand.”
  • Five – Don’t shell out $500 to $10,000 for the promise of a quick and easy $10k a month internet business.
  • Six – Don’t depend on free seminars to teach you.
  • Seven – Don’t try to go it alone.

So, with all of these cautions, do I still think you are admirable for wanting to start writing copy?  Damn right I do.

 

Why I Think You Should Start Writing Copy Now

Now, almost everyone who gravitates to copywriting because they like to write.

That’s how I started.  Writing skits, songs, parodies for the enjoyment of my classmates, friends, and – most of all – myself.  I got a kick out of being recognized and praised just for things I wrote, rather than being able to memorize and regurgitate scientific formulas, mathematical equations, notable dates in history, etc., etc., etc.

If you’re anything like me, and your head is filled with ideas more than it is with facts, I’m happy to be your guide to true happiness and satisfaction with your next career or side gig.  And there’s no time like today for you to start your copywriting education and training.

 

One - Don’t Start In The Middle

“Don’t start in the middle” is number one on my list.  Not because it’s first in the process, but because it’s supremely important to get off on the right foot.

Writers to be – control yourself. 

  1. You can’t turn a slick double play without first learning to correctly field a ground ball.
  2. It’s tough to be a rock musician if you can’t play the heck out of your instrument. (If this wasn’t true, the Beatles would be John, Paul, George, and Peter.)
  3. Do prima ballerinas become such at 18? No…they’ve been learning and practicing since they were five.

Almost no one can pick up and be an effective copywriter on desire alone.  You must prepare.  And, in copywriting, that means you learn the building blocks – the techniques, and the strategies, that will make you into a fine writer with a great future.

If you begin anywhere other than the beginning it's a sure harbinger of coming frustration, and an elongated learning curve.

 

Two - Don’t Rely Solely On Free Content

The most significant word in the above headline is “solely”.  Free Content is wonderful.  But it can’t be the basis of your knowledge, your career, or your business.

I say this as a Content Provider and Marketer.  I freely and happily give away over 430 video and audio tips, articles, Twizdoms™, quotes, checklists, reports, newsletters, and self-tests.  All free – all helpful.  But as valuable as they are…they are no substitute for a strong knowledge of copywriting fundamentals.

Free Copywriting Content – and there is loads of it on the internet – is not categorized as “beginner”, “intermediate”, or “advanced”.  So, unfortunately, you can have a hard time figuring out just which piece of content, is intended for your experience level.

 

Three - Don’t Follow All The Tips You See On Social Media

Random copywriting “tips” commonly appear as short individual posts or tweets.  These are even less organized than the free content, which usually takes the form of more substantive articles, checklists, case studies, and videos.

Additionally, simply because it’s posted on social media doesn’t mean it’s correct advice (nor does it mean it’s not).  You have to look carefully at the source of the tip.  There are many successful, knowledgeable, and reputable copywriters on social sites.  Given my 35+ year career including formative years at a top Madison Avenue Ad Agency, I like to consider myself among this group.

Before committing wholeheartedly to the advice of one or another self-proclaimed copywriting expert, check their bios, websites, reviews, and – if possible – samples of their work.

I recently posted this tweet on X – not for anyone specific, but for way too many tweets that came across my feed.

"Expert" is losing its meaning.

To the 24 yr old with a BS in Business who holds herself out as a "Life" coach and the 28 yr old "Copywriting Guru" with a thin portfolio.

Please learn your trade before "helping" people with theirs.

 

Four – “Never Trust Anyone You Don’t Understand”

Jack Trout, the author of the above quote, is an acknowledged marketing expert.  He understands that some "so-called experts" cloak their lack of true copywriting and marketing ability in a tsunami of words meant to impress by confusing.

Even if you cannot EASILY comprehend what is said or written, a percentage of you will, in my experience, decide the speaker/writer must be an absolute genius.  Jack disagreed.

And I agree with Jack.

Complexity is NOT to be admired

Five – Don’t Shell Out $500 To $10,000 For The Promise Of A Quick And Easy $10k A Month Internet Business.

The internet is good.  The internet is great.  And, the internet is also full of traps.

My friends, I like to be transparent.  I make money by selling subscriptions to my “How To Write Copy” system.  But for goodness’ sake, please do not buy or subscribe to any course(s) – including mine – without…

  • An iron clad guarantee, free trial, or preview.
  • A reasonably small initial commitment (less than $100) on your credit card.
  • The opportunity to cancel anytime, for any reason.
  • The chance to upgrade to a more cost efficient plan after you’ve had a chance (7-30 days) to work with the program and determine if it will help you reach your goals.

Be skeptical, be careful, and that goes double for seminars.

Six – Don’t Depend On Free Seminars To Teach You How To Start Writing Copy

I’m fairly sure you all know this, but for 100% coverage, I must include it in the list.  (Besides, as all good copywriters now a list with 7 items is much preferred by readers to one with six of eight items.)

Free seminars exist to grab your attention, create interest (or pain), generate desire, and move you to action.  And the action we’re talking about is to buy whatever the seminar is selling.  Along with some useful information, you get, depending on the vendor, a wonderful opportunity (for today only) or an extremely well-written and rehearsed sales pitch that the product being promoted will solve your problem and ease your pain, or make you oodles of money.

To my thinking these “up-sell seminars” are the highest priced and probably most profitable of all online marketing vehicles.  I don’t do them because I am simply not comfortable with the process.

Some First-Hand Information

Out of curiosity, I watched over 40 online seminars, and I marveled at the presenters’ reasoning skills – even when I had a strong disdain for the way they used them.

Upsell Seminars often work a three-tier method:

  1. Give them something of “value” free or cheap.
  2. Entice them to sign up for our “program” at a “reasonable”, but elevated cost.
  3. Then introduce the “Platinum Program” with all the bells, whistles and promises to disclose the “Secret Sauce”, or even “Do It For You”.

I watched a seminar take me from a $35 sale (I paid it to go further) to a $950 membership (I did not buy) and finally culminated in a $35,000 “Done For You” service.  Whew – some trip, eh?

 

Seven – Don’t Try To Go It Alone

Okay…I realize I have (maybe) scared a few of you.

I did it for two reasons:

  1. To make you aware that there are a whole lot of choices for you if you want to start writing copy. Some of those choices (I’ve expressed six in this article) are meant as cautions.
  2. Although there are some seriously good and honest copywriting course providers, who have both the knowledge and experience to do you some real good, there are some who simply do not.

I  sincerely want you to follow your dream and to start writing copy as soon as possible – but safely and without unnecessary frustration, loss of time, and loss of money.

My advice?  Get trained in the foundational concepts, strategies, and techniques, of professional copywriting.

 

Some Parting Words (And Free Stuff)

I’m happy you chose to read my article – and I would be proud if we got to know each other better. 

If you’re truly interested in starting to write copy, let me remind you to download my Free Copywriters Aptitude Test.  It’s Private and self-scoring.  No one knows your answers except you.

And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to register from my Free Newsletter, “Classic Copywriting”

Self-Scoring Copywriting Aptitude Test

To close with a little serf serving “commercial”, I believe that my How To Write Copy system is a premier educational experience.  I hope you will take a few minutes to get acquainted with it here.

 

To your astounding success,

Posted in Copywriting, Educate Customers, Free Copywriting Content, How To Write Copy, Learn Copywriting, What Marketers Don't Want You To Know, Write Like A Madman and tagged , , , , , , , .