Help BL Become an A-List Copywriter

One of my e-newsletter subscribers, BL, wrote me the other day with a question:

“I was wondering, in today’s Web 2.0 world, what I can do to write great copy? I feel like today’s world of podcasts diminishes my copy. How can one succeed in today’s landscape? I’m an aspiring copywriter and could use any advice I can get.”

What would be your advice to BL?

A. Continue to write great copy using the proven principles of persuasive direct marketing and you will be successful and in demand.

B. Combine a mastery of traditional marketing with web 2.0, social networking, and other new media techniques to rise to the top of the game.

C. Become a blogger, podcaster, viral video expert, SEO copywriter, or web 2.0 guru. Forget traditional freelance copywriting. Copywriting as we know it is dead as the dinosaurs.

D. Other.

Be careful in your answer. BL is genuinely confused and uncertain. He is a real person and really needs our guidance at this early stage of his career.

And thanks in advance for helping him!


62 thoughts on “Help BL Become an A-List Copywriter

  • First of all, I’m still in my early stage of my career and trying to learn all I can to become an A-list writer. I’m serious about it – quit my day job and took the plunge into it full time, even though my resources were not built up to the point to make it a “safe” move by most standards. If I waited for that, I’d never do it. So, I probably need this advice too.

    But I started with A and have been working on B. Slowly, but steadily adding a new ability as I go along.

  • I would go with A) and know enough about B) and C) (B an C because you are forced by customers to play the bs-bingo) Said that, I would say that a blog would help. Help to proof you are part of the in-crowd, to feed Google and to show your writer-skills – in short: a blog for your online-marketing.

    Especially with A) i recommend for a writer to write letters (direct mailing) to the target-customer with a real offer.

  • B) Combine a mastery of traditional marketing with web 2.0, social networking, and other new media techniques to rise to the top of the game. Great copy is copy that persuades your target audience to buy. Great traditional marketing and web marketing are not exactly the same. The techniques are not ALWAYS similar. When you are marketing to an audience, follow the successful techniques of the writers writing for that audience. If you see the same copy over and over, chances are, it’s because it’s working. Watch him or her; learn that guy’s technique. A great traditional copywriter is not necessarily a great web copywriter. Master both and understand their differences. We may not love podcast writing, but if it’s working, what we want doesn’t really matter. Learn what works!

  • It sounds like BL needs to clarify his goals a bit.

    He’s got “write great copy” and “succeed in today’s landscape” as stated outcomes. Who does he want to write great copy for? How does he define success? Working for a top publisher? Having his own business? Lifestyle design a la 4 hour work week? Once he gets more clarity in those areas, he’ll mostly have answered his own question.

    It’s no secret that to write great copy you need to learn from the masters. That involves studying and integrating things that worked well in the past as well as testing everything. You can speed that learning curve up by getting mentoring. I’ve always heard A listers also invest in cross training with things like fiction writing or NLP.

  • BL should learn and master copywriting. Master all the old tactics and try to use them to create new tactics.

    BL should find that marketing his services… he will use web2.0, use blogs, perhaps create a podcast, etc…

    I am not just a copywriter, but a business owner… and blogs, podcasts, web2.0, social sites, etc… are used as traffic generators. Use those methods to build a relationship… drive the prospect to a sales letter where you sell them on your service.

    So “traditional” copywriting is what needs to be mastered… A is the answer… all the rest come from A.

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