Help, I’m a writer, but want to become a copywriter, what should I do?

Here’s a reply I sent to Felipe Augusto, who is a writer, but thinking about becoming a copywriter and is not sure what that means.

Felipe, think of it like this: a book or some content on the internet is a product, whereas a piece of copy (from a copywriting context) is the means to sell that product.

The difference is the intent. Content (or books, sonnets, magazines, etc.) are there to inform or entertain, whereas copy is there to sell (and, depending on market awareness, inform or educate as well).

If there are any tricks at all, it’s down to how persuasive your copy is to get someone to take out their wallet and buy the thing you’re selling.

If you’re a villain, this is easy, you just lie. But if you’re a hero copywriter, then you’ll do your best to let your prospects know how a product might benefit them. Or in other words, exactly why they might choose to buy that thing right now (eg. to fix some problem they currently have).

This process is not easy (obviously), and to show that, the best way to start is to pick some object you love and write a letter to someone you know explaining why they might also learn to love (and buy) it too.

This is best done to someone you know really well (eg. a family member or close relation). That will bring home just how hard it is – and why every sale starts by identifying a market and its problems first (and not a product).

Good luck and the best to you.


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