What Holds You Back From Being a Copywriter is Not Writing Any Copy

Edgar Rice Burroughs

“If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.” – Edgar Rice Burroughs, Born Sep. 1, 1875.

Until you are a copywriter…

Stop buying copy books.

Stop collecting swipes.

Stop hand-copying old ads.

Stop it. Instead…

Start writing some copy.

Start publishing it.

Start selling stuff to people.

When you're doing that, THEN you're a copywriter.

THEN you can start learning about the finer points in books and refine your skills, and use templates and formulas, and find a mentor. Only then.

And it's not going to work your first time, unless you're lucky. By the tenth time it works, you might be okay. By the hundredth time, you'll be better than most who self-apply the label of “copywriter.”

But calling yourself a copywriter doesn't make you one. Having a guru mentor doesn't. Reading the right books doesn't. Copying the right ads doesn't. Knowing the right names and who wrote what offer doesn't.

Writing copy does. If it converts, it's copy.

So go do that.

No need to discuss this one.

7 thoughts on “What Holds You Back From Being a Copywriter is Not Writing Any Copy”

  1. What perfect timing.
    Being new at the Copy game i can feel myself doing most of the things you list at the top. Such short article but the advice is so incredible.
    Thanks so much!

  2. This is an absolute gem piece!

    Every one else, like the other commenter mentions, seems to think you need to go through some kind of learning first.

    Truth is, if you can write, then you already have the tools to start.

  3. Bernadette M Amaker

    I like your approach and advice. I want to be a copywriter or at least find out if I enjoy copywriting. I did some research. You're one of a few people who has said NOT to do what everybody else has said TO do. I like that. Sometimes you have to get off the beaten path and just go for a swim.

    1. Thanks! I’ve always found it interesting that practitioners of an art called “direct response” would advise against going straight for that when you want to learn, especially when it’s so cheap to get traffic now. Back when it cost $10k to mail a postcard to prospects, maybe. Now? Just get out there and try selling stuff, and learn as you go.

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