1. aberdeen
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    aberdeen Member

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    Anyone here do copywriting?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by aberdeen, Jul 7, 2015.

    I realize that the vast majority of people here only want to write fiction. I am different in that respect, and that's why I haven't posted in a while. Anyone here do copywriting? Have taken a course with AWAI? Six months ago, I self- published a more than four hundred page collection of essays on a variety of serious topics but discovered that there is little, if any, market for this. I may be good at copywriting, and then again, I might be terrible at it. At least it's worth a try.


    Bill
     
  2. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    A little. I love it.

    :)
     
  3. Mordred85
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    Mordred85 Active Member

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    I used to do some copy-writing. It was a way to make some extra change on the side. Also reviewed metal albums and movies a few years back.
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm so unaware of the topic I don't even really understand what you mean. I thought copywriting was, like, advertising copy, or marketing materials. But a collection of essays counts as copywriting? I didn't know that.

    So what does copywriting mean? Is it just a synonym for non-fiction?
     
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  5. Mordred85
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    Mordred85 Active Member

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    Yeah, I didn't get the essay part.
     
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  6. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    That is essentially what copywriting is -- writing for advertising, promotions, clicky stuff ... you get the gist. I thought the essay comment was the reason OP thought he might be good at writing copy.

    This is how I interpreted it:
    "I wrote a collection of essays, but there isn't much market (read:money) for that. I might be good at copywriting, though ..."
     
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  7. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Before I got my stupid anxiety disorder, I used to do copywriting for my friends e-marketing business. He mostly targeted logistics companies, and since I did my degree in business studies, it was a pretty easy task with some research. I also wrote a few monthly newsletters for the actual business itself. The quality of my writing was no were near as good as it is now, though, but my friend said the companies seemed happy with the stuff I did. :p
     
  8. aberdeen
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    aberdeen Member

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    Any suggestions as to how best to get started in the copywriting field?

     
  9. aberdeen
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    aberdeen Member

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    Essay writing is entirely different than copywriting. If there was any money to be made with essays, I would still be doing it. That's why I may pursue copywriting.
     
  10. aberdeen
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    aberdeen Member

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    How does one "get" an anxiety disorder? You may just be going through a hard time - I did in my early to mid twenties - and don't really need any medication or psychotherapy, although it might help in some cases. A month ago, I read that highly verbal intelligent people tend to more anxious than others. That's actually a good thing, since it shows that you are more socially aware than average types and think about the consequences of your actions and of the many bad things that could happen to you and others, both now and in the future.
     
  11. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    Copywriting's my day job. It's not for everyone, but I do think it's probably the most reliable way of making a living out of writing.

    Your best bet for getting started is working out what you're interested in. To write advertising effectively, you need to be able to understand the market - and while eventually, you'll want to be able to research and get into the heads of pretty much anyone, you'll have an easier time to begin with trying to sell to people like you, who are interested in the kind of stuff you're interested in.

    So: what are your hobbies? What are your values? What do people try to sell people like you, and how do they try to sell it? What was the last thing you bought and why did you buy it?

    Then, read these books:

    Cashvertising, by Drew Eric Whitman

    Influence, by Robert Cialdini

    How To Write Sales Letters That Sell, by Drayton Bird

    Cashvertising will give you some great ideas. Influence is more a psychology textbook but a fascinating read, and will explain why those ideas will or won't work. How To Write Sales Letters That Sell will give you some excellent (if slightly dated now) examples of those ideas in action.

    If you're still interested when you've done that, start writing some ads.
     
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  12. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    To be honest, I'm not really sure. I got that job because my friend who I'd known since primary school ran the company. I started off doing research and constructing databases for him, but he knew I also enjoyed writing, so he asked me if I fancied giving copywriting a try. I did a piece for this logistics company website and he said it was decent so it became a regular thing.

    From what I could tell from my experience, you need to study and understand a few factors, such as what you're writing for, the audience you're targeting, using specific words that will burn into the readers psyche, and understanding the media platform you are writing for. Like, for websites, it would focus more on relatively short but punchy paragraphs, but try to convey as much information as I could within them; the one thing you always want to avoid in copywriting is writing irrelevant information that has little to do with the product you're trying to sell, because a lot of time, you have limit workspace. I was never actually deemed as a professional copywriter or anything, though, and I wouldn't be surprised if my work was actual quite crap to a trained eye.

    I'd always been quite a nervous person, but I could deal with it fine and lead a normal life. However, a little over a year ago, I was preparing to study a PGCE to go into teaching, and I was doing a lot of teaching observations at my local college. During one of them, I had drank a shit ton of coffee that morning because I'd only had about 4 hours sleep, and during the observation I started to feel really light headed and dizzy resulting in a panic attack. This was not totally unusual as I'd suffered with them before, but only rarely -- one a year, if that. Anyway, a few days later, I went out with one of my friends, and when I was in his car I started suffering another panic attack and made him stop so I could get out -- that ended my trip to the pub pretty fast. :p And then again, a week later, during the initial mandatory English and Math test for teaching, I suffered another panic attack.

    So what had happened is, because I'd suffered a number of panic attacks in a short period of time, it had burrowed itself into my subconscious, and every time I went out to do something, that niggling thought that I might suffer a panic attack made me actually suffer a panic attack. It created a loophole, because it's self reinforcing the notion that I'll have a panic attack, even though I realise how absurd it is, it always lingers in my subconscious. Over the months, I unwittingly let it consume me, until I got to the point were I can't even walk into shops now without dread pouring over me, and then it's like the Countdown clock to another panic attack.

    On a good note, I have actually got a lot better over the last few months, and I'm starting to beat it. I refuse help or medication of any kind, though, because there are things I still want to do in life that would be difficult to achieve with such medical records. In fact, I couldn't even got the doctors if I wanted to; I'd suffer a panic attack. :p

    Edit: As for the intelligent people suffering such things, very true! A lot of the greatest minds in history suffered anxiety and other weird conditions, like Howard Hughes, and Nikola Tesla.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
  13. No-Name Slob
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    TL;DR - however, one can easily "get" or "develop" an anxiety disorder. Many people don't develop mental illness/disorders until later in life. Sometimes they aren't permanent, either. So you can just as likely grow into one as you can grow out of one.
     
  14. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    For those who are unaware aberdeen has a history of trolling. I'm not going to tell anyone how they should or shouldn't interact with that member, but it's something to be keep in mind.
     
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  15. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Really? The questions seemed legit to me so I replied.

    I never saw the point in people trolling, especially on a writing forum. They must lead very dull lives to have to amuse themselves through such methods.
     
  16. Sigma081
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    Sigma081 New Member

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    Good to see people who understand the difference between copywriting and content writing. I've had to start calling myself a "sales and marketing copywriter" to avoid confusion with potential clients thanks to how muddied the term has become.
     
  17. Foxe
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    Foxe Active Member

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    I've been a copywriter for a year now. I write anything from web content to scripts to taglines. I am a 'political scientist and historian' by education, writer by calling, and copywriter by profession. Being knee deep in words throughout my young adulthood onwards was enough qualification to make me a writer in the advertisement and branding world.

    I went in with some foreign affairs/political/opinion articles, a play, some unpublished poetry and short stories as experience. If you're a writer, intelligent, and are generally an interested individual, then any kind of writing position should be attainable.

    As @NigeTheHat said, it's a very reliable way to make money as a writer.
     
  18. Sigma081
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    Sigma081 New Member

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    Have you ever written political propaganda? It's something I've always wanted to to but I've never had the opportunity.
     
  19. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    I did a bit of (unpaid) consulting for the local Greens in the last election, though probably rather too late to have much/any effect. I quite fancy having a go at writing that stuff properly.

    That started after getting one of their leaflets and e-mailing them to say 'This is rubbish. Here's why...'
     
  20. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @NigeTheHat - I'm reading the sample of Influence on Amazon, it's pretty interesting! Got to the bit where people complied because the person used the word "because" and that reminded me of something that happened recently. A woman on the street was going around begging for money - she just showed me and my friend her polysterene cup with two coins in it and said, "Please... please..." I must say I felt kinda sorry for her cus she looked so sad, but I ignored her and carried on chatting with my friend. The woman left us, but later as we were walking towards the metro we bumped into the woman again. Again she looked at me and said, "Please, please." And then she added, "Food. Please."

    It's not like I didn't figure she wanted money for food before she said the word "food". But upon hearing the word "food", I got out my purse and gave her a coin. In my head, I told myself, "C'mon, give her something, it's for food." But only after I heard her say it.

    So yeah, the whole "because" thing just reminded me of that!

    Anyway what's the difference between copywriting and content writing? I remember when I worked for a website aimed at students, part of my work was to write FB and twitter posts and then track how many clicks each one got and "analyse why". I was a fresh graduate without a clue as to what I was doing, and neither of my bosses knew what they were doing either - they were hoping I'd come with the ideas without any kind of training... :rolleyes: I think all of us suffered from the delusion of, "It's just writing - how hard can it be!? You don't need to know anything or be a professional!" And I remember how I'd try to use similar wording as I did in the more successful FB posts the next day or next week and it wouldn't work, and my boss would ask me why and I'd always scratch my head. There was something about trying to predict the market and what people would like that's so abstract that I never got my head around it :(
     
  21. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    Like @Sigma081 said, the term 'copywriting' is becoming a bit blurred, and people are starting to use it to mean any kind of content writing.

    But what it originally meant was specifically writing to persuade - largely adverts and sales pieces, but also hard and soft propaganda, pieces designed to capture contact details and so on.

    The FB and Twitter stuff you were doing counts, as you're trying to get an action - in this case, the click. That kind of thing taken to an extreme level is how Upworthy was born.
     
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  22. jen_writer
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    jen_writer Member

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    I had severe panic attacks in my pre-teens. Doctors didn't have a clue. I found out from tv and got a book with CBT to help me. I still get anxiety but I've finally after yrs found ways to ease my worries etc
    mindfulness and yoga are very helpful
     
  23. aberdeen
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    aberdeen Member

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    Thanks for the information and advice. Although I am not a sales/marketing/extravert type, people have told me that I write well so I might as well give it a shot.
     
  24. aberdeen
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    aberdeen Member

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    Thanks for the information and advice and good luck dealing with your panic issues. Unless there is a serious core issue with this, it should gradually get better without any need for medication or seeing a psychotherapist.
     
  25. aberdeen
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    aberdeen Member

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    A history of trolling? A rather unfair accusation I must say. Where is your evidence?
    Just because you don't agree with someone doesn't mean they are a troll.
     

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