Copywriting to many seems this elusive, difficult practice that only a few chosen have mastered. That is sheer nonsense! These five basic truths can make anyone a successful copywriter — and you only need middle-school-level writing skills to master them!
I’ve been making a comfortable living as a full-time freelance copywriter for a number of years now, so believe me when I make a claim like the one above. Obviously, I know what I’m doing, or clients wouldn’t keep covering me up with regular work month after month.
Copywriting is a skill that uses words to sell — anything from products and services to memberships or brand loyalty. That is really what a copywriter must remember above all the other tricks and tips: you are a salesperson first, a writer second.
Is Copywriting Really a Skill?
“You’re not really a writer then; you don’t write books.”
A Unique Boast
I often make the boast that anyone with middle-school-level writing skills can be a copywriter. That statement is often met with raised eyebrows or an emphatic “No way!” How can I make such a claim? I spent a few years as a middle school writing coach for 7–8th grade students. By the 8th grade, students are taught the basics of grammar, punctuation, formatting, research, word choices, and more that every type of writer should possess.
Aside from that, they also practice creative writing and formal writing, which are helpful skills to employ in copywriting. After all, copywriters are storytellers much of the time, so creativity is helpful. And some formal writing is also needed for certain industries, such as legal or medical organizations.
The rest is easily learned, as I’m about to show you. If you have decent writing skills and average intelligence, you can become a successful copywriter. The essentials I share below are more often caught from a mentor than taught in writing or journalism courses. At least, that’s how I learned them. And, more importantly, I continue to prove their worth every day in my own busy copywriting business.