Part 2/7: Inconvenient truth #1

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You don’t need any experience or any qualifications whatsoever to become a copywriter.

There’s a popular misconception that you need to put the hard yards in, boast bucketloads of writing qualifications and have an abundance of natural writing skill to become a copywriter and start earning decent money.

But this isn’t true.

I think this notion stems from a lack of understanding about what copywriting actually is.

Copywriting isn’t like other forms of writing where having relevant experience and a natural flair for writing would be more useful.

It’s completely different from writing a novel, devising a screenplay or penning some poetry. It’s a world away from journalism and it’s not something to be confused with content marketing, either. 

Yup, copywriting is truly unique. It’s a form of writing that specifically exists to persuade people to take an action of some sort [one that’s usually related with sales].

As you can imagine, being able to influence people is a coveted skill. However, you don’t require writing experience and natural writing ability to do it.

And nor do you need a strong grasp of grammar, an expansive vocabulary or an impressive portfolio.

It actually doesn’t matter if you’ve never written a word before. 

Why?

Because to become a good copywriter, you only have to know how to influence people.

And this is dead easy to do once you know how, since 50% of copywriting revolves around spitting the target audience's words back at the them, whilst the other 50% is merely applied psychology.

That's it.

Once you have good research skills [there are some amazing tactics for this] and knowledge of what makes people tick, you're good to go. In a nutshell, thankfully, both these things are easy to master.

Are you surprised at how straightforward copywriting is? If so, just think about the last piece of really good copy that influenced you. There's probably nothing flashy about the words.

No matter what the business, market or situation, as a copywriter you’ll always be talking to mums, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, friends and colleagues.

Selling a sofa? 

You’re talking to a real person.

Writing B2B copy? 

You’re talking to real people.

Offering a free ebook? 

You’re talking to real people.

You don’t need fancy words, phrases or formulas. Most of the copywriting ‘tricks’ you hear about are just tactics to help write with more clarity.

So, put any worries about your writing pedigree to one side, because copywriting is much more straightforward than you might think. 

The best copywriters don’t try to be too clever.

They put their audience first.

They’re tenacious researchers who do their homework and use language that their target audience will find familiar [so that they can establish a connection and create an emotional response].

Yup, businesses just want results. They couldn’t care less if you don’t have a single qualification to your name. Or whether you’ve been copywriting for 5 years or 5 minutes.

And this was a lesson I learned the hard way in my first copywriting job. Wanna hear about it?

Click through to read about my embarrassing first day as a professional copywriter.