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12 Ultimate Copywriting Myths Debunked

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Copywriting is the art and science of writing persuasive messages that inspire people to take action.

It’s a unique skill that is invaluable.

But sadly, many people de-value this skill, by believing something about ‘copywriting’ that is untrue.

Let’s debunk the 12 ultimate copywriting myths right now!

Copyright Concept. Chart with keywords and icons on white background

1. Copywriting and Copyrighting are The Same

‘Copywriting’ and ‘copyrighting’ are spelt similarly, but are different.

To simplify:

  • Copywriting is about ‘impacting’ a target audience with words and inspiring them to take action
  • Copyrighting legally ‘protects’ people who express ideas and information in creative forms.

And for elaboration: You can best understand the difference between copywriting and copyrighting in this useful post.

So now, if you know anyone confusing ‘copywriting’ and ‘copyrighting’, you can tell them the difference!

copywriting-just-writing

2. Copywriting is Just Writing

So untrue!

And if that was the case:

  • Anyone could be a copywriter
  • Every writer would be a copywriter.

Because copywriting is not just ‘fancy’ words and success is only achieved with:

a) Objective understanding (to move forward / ensure client satisfaction)

b) Winning research (to establish the baseline for success)

c) Brand analysis (to understand the brand voice you’re writing for)

d) Target audience identification (to craft compelling copy that connects)

e) 80% art and 20% science knowledge (to learn the art can take years).

And only now is it time to ‘outline’ and ‘write’ the copy.

But remember, any copy will go through many rounds of drafts and revisions, before being sent to the client.

So are you starting to see now that ‘copywriting’ is an invaluable skill, that is more than writing?

Good!

Red and white bowl with silver spoon

3. Copywriting is Easy & Cheap

These are the 3 statements (you may have heard before):

  • “I know how to write. I don’t need a copywriter.”
  • “Don’t worry, I’ll just write it myself, it won’t take long.”
  • “There’s no point paying for expensive copywriters when I can just hire a cheap freelance copywriter.”

False!

Let’s dispel both the ‘easy’ and ‘cheap’ myths immediately.

We already mentioned earlier in this post that copywriting is 80% art and 20% science (with the art often taking years to learn), but you need to think beyond grammar and spelling skills.

Because copywriters understand:

  • Marketing
  • Branding
  • Advertising
  • Psychology
  • Human behaviour.

And if it was so easy to understand all of these, and become a copywriter, everyone would!

That’s the ‘easy’ myth dispelled and dispelling the ‘cheap’ one is simple: You pay for what you get in return (and that is value).

One of Warren Buffet’s most famous quotes is: “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”

Remember that!

Woman wearing academic cap and dress

4. Copywriters Need a Formal Writing Degree

What matters is results.

A writing degree means little when a copywriter understands:

  • The 80% art and 20% science of copywriting (outlined here)
  • Bending the rules in their copy to achieve success (outlined here)
  • Proven methods to fast track success (outlined in this 60 second tip video).

And besides (as we mentioned in myth 3 – copywriting is easy & cheap): Is there a degree that teaches spelling, grammar, marketing, branding, advertising, psychology and human behaviour all-in-one?

No is the answer. And those are the skillsets you need to be a copywriter!

Takeaway: All the greatest copywriters (like David OgilyBrian Clark and Joseph Sugarman) are not afraid to fire their English teacher to better connect with a target audience and maximise success.

So what’s it going to be?

A successful copywriter (without a degree) that has proven success or a qualified writing degree copywriter that can write (but is not proven).

We know who you’ll choose (unless you have a serious emotional attachment to a degree, that means nothing in this industry).

Set of black teaspoons on beige surface

5. All Copywriters Are The Same

Copywriting is 80% art (as discussed in this post).

So when you think of the greatest artists of all time (RaphaelDa Vinci and Michelangelo – to name a few): Do you really think they were are all the same?

Of course not!

Because ‘sameness’ in art establishes zero competitive advantage.

And the whole point of any business is to establish one.

So ensure you do due diligence before hiring a copywriter (great guide here), because the difference between copywriters (like any industry) is significant, and a:

  • Great copywriter (can making your project a raving success)
  • Another copywriter (can turn your project into a disaster!).
Two people shaking hands

6. Copywriting is All About Selling

No. 

The most valuable brands in 2021 do not achieve success through selling alone.

And copywriting is no different.

Copywriting is about convincing your target audience that a product or service will:

  • Solve a customers need
  • Offer them value.

The key, is to focus on benefit-driven copy, that proves that the value of your offer far exceeds the price you are asking for it.

Success in showing the overall value, is achieved, when the prospect is persuaded that the cost of purchase is a tiny thing compared to the benefits your offer delivers.

Note: For a better understanding of value, check out this useful resource by Brian Tracy: how to sell value rather than price.

good-copy-sells-regardless

7. Good Copy Always Sells

Good copy is a big piece of the puzzle, but only ‘one piece’, and does not always sell.

Over 90% of organisations use content in their marketing efforts, but you need the right:

  • Demand (from your target audience)
  • Offer (that is irresistible)
  • Marketing (using proven methods)
  • Follow-up (to build relationships).

Useful: And for elaboration on each of the above, check out 5 key components to a successful content marketing campaign (that includes good copy).

And remember: Don’t de-value the importance of copywriting because of this myth! Because as Neil Patel writes here, copywriting is the one skill that will improve almost every aspect of your marketing overnight, and so it’s a great skill to master.

Women in black tank top holding white smartphone

8. Copywriters Can Create Copy from Nothing

No.

Copywriters are not magicians!

This is a team game of ‘copywriter’ and ‘client’, therefore, some direction is needed from the client to enable the copywriter to achieve the best possible outcome.

And once ‘direction’ is given, any good copywriter will aim to maximise this direction by probing (12 ultimate tips to doing so here).

Takeaway: As the client, you must give a ‘little’ direction, to get maximum success.

SEO text wallpaper

9. Copywriters Don’t Need to Know About SEO

False.

Any copywriter who does not have, at least a high-level understanding of SEO, is not worth dealing with.

Because crafting winning content is useless if your content can’t be found (the purpose of SEO).

We discussed this in ‘the 6 essential skills for a copywriter’ (read here if interested).

So make sure when hiring a copywriter, you ask them this question: How do you go about optimising content for SEO?

And be sure to listen carefully for an understanding of SEO through:

  • Keywords (like Title tags / Image Alt text / Meta descriptions)
  • Knowledge (insights on SEO they give you).
Rewrite edit text on a typewriter

10.Editing Copy is Easier than Writing It

This is false!

Because unless the ‘copy’ is written by another great copywriter, chances are there will be a significant investment of time by a copywriter to:

  • Understand
  • Assess
  • Restructure the copy (before even beginning writing).

And the reality is most copywriters would like to start from scratch and control the outcome (using their experience, skills and expertise).

Over your life, you would have had instances (work or home), where you have heard someone say: “We need to start from scratch.”

And the common assumption is it’s to make a business more money.

No!

It’s to control the outcome, satisfy you and get the best result (what matters).

Pricing concept on blue background

11. Copywriters Charge by the Word or By The Hour

Just a few different types of copywriting (out of many), and all not created equal!

Some require:

  • A different strategy
  • More research
  • A different expertise.

But while concise and persuasive copy is fundamental to all copywriting success, copywriting is a stop / start occupation.

In fact, someone (early in my career) once told me: You’ll spend at least 9 seconds strategising for every one second you spend writing (proven to be true!).

And this is why successful copywriters prefer to charge per project.

Charging by the word is wrong for the reasons we’ve just outlined, and because the last thing you want is a copywriter sweating on the word count (potentially jeopardising quality).

Charging by the hour sounds great, but can punish an efficient copywriter, while blow out the budget for a less experienced copywriter (that needs more time).

More / Useful Reference: For a comprehensive guide on Australian copywriting rates, go here.

copywriters-should-give-me-free-sample

12. Copywriters Should Give Me a Free Sample

Free samples take time.

Time is money.

So why?

And don’t worry, because copywriters know, you want to evaluate their writing, before moving forward on any project.

But that is why, any good copywriter, will have a portfolio on their website.

And to add to this, you can evaluate their:

  • Website (a copywriter’s greatest asset)
  • Blog posts (reading at least 3 to get a greater feel for their writing ability)
  • Reviews (key social proof coming from past / present clients, highlighting strengths and weaknesses).

So there, you have it.

A few more steps on your part, but remember (and the bottom-line): Free samples don’t pay the bills, so don’t ask for one!

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Conclusion

Before believing something, check the facts. 

And here is the biggest fact about copywriting: Content will always be king and here is why according to Forbes (if you need the proof).

So learn from this post, and abolish your false beliefs about copywriters, to conclude that successful copywriters are game changers to any business and their service is invaluable.

Because when you see this value, the sky is the limit for your business success!

Over to You…

Do you agree with 12 Ultimate Copywriting Myths Debunked? Or is there something missing or you would like to add?? Would love to hear from you in the comments – any feedback is greatly appreciated.

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