May 19th, 2009 by Bob Bly
On 5/15/09, Susanna K. Hutcheson said on this blog that copywriting is a skill that takes many decades of learning and doing before one is truly a master at it.
On the other hand, many of the superstars in Internet marketing — a key skill of which is writing (of both copy and content) — are barely out of diapers.
Which would lead one to conclude that copywriting is fairly easy and can be learned rather quickly.
I am increasingly ambivalent about this question.
At times, I read copy by the top pros (Clayton Makepeace, Frank Joseph) that dazzles me and turns me green with envy — and I conclude that copywriting is a skill that, after 3 decades, I am just starting to get the hang of (and that I have so long to go in my training!).
On the other hand, I have also seen writing from younger folks that has me pretty damned impressed (and also some that makes me cringe, which I almost never see from the masters).
So what’s the truth here?
A–Susanna is right: it takes decades to master the skill of copywriting.
B–Copywriting is easy. Any idiot can do it.
C–Copywriting is a skill that can be learned. Yes, it takes practice. But it’s not brain surgery.
D–Other (fill in your answer here):__________________________________________
My view is that writing in general and copywriting in particular is like learning to play the piano: easy to do poorly; exceedingly difficult to do well.
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