How to Become a Master Copywriter

Joshua Ford

Ready for another Bob Bly “client-getting” secret?

Let's get started. Bob mentions two types of copywriters …

He says you can be a “generalist” or a “specialist”.

If you choose to be generalist you would take just about any project that comes your way.

If you choose to be a specialist (which Bob and I favor) you would only do projects in a specific niche (or niches). You may go even further by only doing certain types of projects.

So, you might only do sales letters, video sales letters, and landing pages. If a project doesn’t fit into one of these categories … you don’t do it.

When you choose to only write for certain markets and product categories you become an expert in those. You’ve probably heard the saying, “Jack of all trades and master of none.”

By choosing a niche you become a master in that niche …

I’ve read that many of the top copywriters choose to specialize in only a handful of niches. They master their niches, so that writing for them is almost second nature.

You may be thinking … why would they limit themselves like this? At least that’s what I thought the first time I heard it …

They said by specializing in only a few niches you get really good at them.

You become intimately familiar with that market. You know how they think … How they buy … You also know the language and lingo of that market.

So, what would you say is easier and more natural to write for … something you know little about … or something you know well?

A market that’s new to you … one you have to do a lot of research to learn … or a market you know like the back of your hand?

Let’s say your client is looking for a copywriter to write for his nutritional supplement.

If he has a choice of hiring a nutritional supplement copywriter with product samples and testimonials in his market …

Or a general copywriter with little knowledge or experience with nutritional supplements …

Who do you think he’s gonna choose?

If you’re the niche copywriter you will stand out from the crowd. You will be the clear and obvious choice.

Isn’t that what you want? To be the “go-to copywriter” for projects you like to do?

It’s a good feeling to be sought after and chosen as an expert. As opposed to being chosen because you’re the cheapest option.

I don’t like being seen as a commodity (cheap gas, fast food) and I bet you don’t either.

You can probably see how this makes sense … Think about it …

If you needed brain surgery … would you want any ole doctor slicing open your brain or would you want a doctor who specializes in brain surgery (like a brain surgeon)?

I’m guessing you’d feel more comfortable with the brain surgeon … I know I would.

Who would you guess makes more money … the general doctor or the brain surgeon?

This is another benefit to becoming a specialist.

You will make more money and be seen as an expert.

So, are you going with the “generalist” or “specialist” approach? What niche are you going to choose?

Here’s what I’d like you to do …

In the comments section below … Let me know which route you’re going to take and why.

I look forward to reading your comments.

Coming up tomorrow …

Another of Bob Bly’s secrets to help you get more clients.

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Published: January 26, 2016

38 Responses to “How to Become a Master Copywriter”

  1. Definitely have chosen a niche - working with regional and municipal airports to help them find, connect with, and attract businesses to their airport and catchment area. (I'm a former airline Captain, so this was a natural choice of niche for me.)

    Gina Longo

  2. I'm going to be a specialist and write for companies in the alternative health market. Your article and others I have been studying all suggest that is the best way to go. I just have to write a bit more and start building a portfolio so that I become an "expert" in my niche. Thanks for an inspiring article!

    Kim Smyth

  3. I'd rather be a specialist. I know from past experience in my Ductwork business.I worked for years to before I became an expert n installation n design of residential HVAC duct systems. Now I wwant to be a copy writer. To have more free time for family.


  4. I want to be a specialist with a niche. There are several niches i have expertise on. Fitness Children Nutrition One at a time, i believe i have the knowledge, experience and education to represent anyone in these categories and sell their product for them. Please tell me how to get started.

    Guest (BJ)

  5. Writing for the Web, Social Media and E-newsletters. The Internet is never going away so people will always need Web Cooy. If a Business does not have a Social Media presence they are missing the boat. As a Freelancer, I want a niche that has the potential for a constant stream of business and the Web is that place in my opinion.

    Chris S

  6. This was so exciting for me to read because I finally nailed down my niche!I was constantly torn between a desire to help people, talents as an artist, and belief as a Christian. I couldn't figure out which one to settle on.
    After doing soul searching into 3 industries, it hit me. I am a young Christian who can communicate and relate to the younger generation that the Christian market has been trying to reach. Duh! Found my niche and how to sell myself by offering the solution.

    Guest (Sarah S)

  7. Hello Joshua, When I get started in this writing business, everythibg was so new to me.
    I did not know what a "niche" means.I thought it was a niche for the bird. I said to myself :"what writing had to do with the bird?" Then I follow AWAI experts, I read every day. I write every day. Slowly, I found myseld a niche which is Health , Wellbeing.
    I just set up my website.

    Of course I still have many pages to add, but at least I move forward.
    Happy New Year to you. God Bless jennie


  8. I choose to specialize in several niches that are somewhat connected or related to each other. I have over 6 years of education and over 10 years of experience easily in a few fields that are connected. I can take off in this work very easily. I know how to help others with similar challenges that I have been taught from. I know how to motivate, inspire, teach, guide, uplift, and give hope to so many people in many ways in their life. Please respond back to me ASAP about this. I would like to know the exact steps to pick up on this work ASAP. Thanks, Chantal

    Guest (Champion)

  9. Since my background is social work with past experience writing grants, fundraising letters/speeches and some cause writing, those are the niches that come naturally and blend well together.

    Guest (Lynn H)

  10. I have a soft heart towards topics that touch on politics, casino gambling and/or airline business.
    The reason is due to the following:
    Firstly, politics intrigues me since it is the college course I graduated from.

    Secondly, I had been a casino dealer for almost ten years and you could probably say, I had had a good grip of what takes place in the world of casino gambling. As a matter of fact, at the moment I have two (2) casino poker inventions that I invented and in need of a financier to jumpstart the project.

    Thirdly, I was a technical assistant to the EVP of a national airline tasked to writing memos, letters of appreciation/commendation and even speeches if the occasion so warrants.


  11. A sample of a political verse:
    Obama! Obama! Obama!

    O-ver the GOP obstruction he fought to undO B-een and always will be his rule of thumB A-gainst all attempts to create a brouhahA M-eant only to mislead and reduce to a minimuM A-ll his best efforts to uplift a great many in the United States of AmericA


  12. Rest up good, O Hillary Regale yourself with hilarity Those times past of joviality Should never detract from reality; That leading this nation to prosperity Is divinely inspired, meant to be your destiny.


  13. Having a niche makes sense, but unless you're a generalist at first, you will be waiting a long time to find clients. I think a niche will follow naturally. But as you start out, you will need to be a generalist in order to put food on the table.

    Guest (Tom)

  14. Interesting article for sure but I wonder if this is just the best way to start, that is, specializing in what you know already. I mean, logically, if you were so good at that why be looking for a writing career? In the long run do we want to "be fulfilled by doing what is good and interesting" or is it all about money? I mean let's face it, AWAI pitches 6-figure income like Kershaw throws a fastball. But it would seem to me that long-term success would center on what we enjoy writing. And when we start we probably don't know what exactly that is. So sticking to the familiar probably makes sense.


  15. Definitely see myself as a specialist with my niche being gardening in the Southeast by adults no longer young or those affected by physical limitations other than time's toll, such as illness. Narrowing my focus will better enable me to become an expert in the fast-growing field affected by aging Baby Boomers. And plants are my passion.

    Pat H

  16. I am a specialist. My niches are Entertainment and Media, and Travel. My background is in Theatre Arts with 15+ years experience, and Entertainment in general. I have a passion for travel as well. They can easily work together. :)

    Guest (Sandra K Lynne)

  17. Hello Mr. Bly, I am definitely going to be an "expert". I have decided on "health" as my niche. I have a few other ones that I am thinking about but, I am putting them on the back burner for now. I have always read a lot so, my interest is abroad. Thank you for your professional advice. I'll tune in tomorrow.

    Wanda Simpson Miller

  18. I have finally come around to the ideal niche for me... that of writing cause marketing campaigns. What I would really love to specialize in is helping Self-Help groups hook up with a well matched non-profit...sort of a cause marketing matchmaker!


  19. I want to be a specialist but I am unable to choose my niche. I have narrowed it down to 14 but I see them all as Blog ideas. How does one make that leap and choose 2 or 3?

    sylvia h

  20. Joshua Ford:To start i would be a generalist, because take that brain surgeon, he did not start out a brain surgeon he first decided, learn, then train . Well that's me, first decide, learn, with AWAI,then train, with AWAI help, then go to work knowing i can produce for my clients, that is what i would do.

    Guest (will do nel)

  21. I will be going the specialist route. My problem is that I am always the last one at the table to order in a restaurant. Mainly because I can never decide what I want. Then I always change my mind or second guess my choice. This is my first comment ever on anything on the web. By doing so, it is my first step in my copywriting career aside from being a part of AWAI. I am declaring that I will be a specialist!
    Now which niche to pick, gardening, homesteading, senior care...?


  22. Being a specialist is the best way to go. I agree and understand why from what you have written.

    I've recently narrowed my niche down to the Sports Industry (Health & Fitness),i.e.Physical Exercise for the over fifty year old market.

    My specialty is writing Direct-Response Sales letters,Landing Pages and e-mail campaigns.

    Guest (Marcellus)

  23. Hey Joshua! Care of the elderly...Geriatrics, that would be a great niche for me! I have taken care of the elderly, off and on, for over 28 years. Tied in with being a christian and someone who enjoys reading and writing, this would be of something I enjoy doing and have much experience and knowledge of. This country has millions of Americans dealing with the scenario of having to care for elderly parents in their lives right at this very moment! Some who need care outside of the home and many who want to keep their loved ones at home as long as possible while they continue to need more and more care perpetually.They are looking for guidance and advise. And if nothing else....ENCOURAGEMENT!
    Pamela D. Hall AKA : TyLynn Markka LaVonne

    Guest (Pamela Hall)

  24. My niche will be in Christian Marketing. But I am not sure exactly how. In the last 12 years I have been a Mentor, Volunteer Chaplain and a Teacher at Indiana State Prison. Also mentored released inmates and it is very difficult for them to get housing and employment because the community has an unfounded fear of them. I want to educate the community to accept theser men and women back home. Also have a 70000 sq ft office building into forty apartments for ex-offenders. Too big for a newbie?

    Wayne E Beachy

  25. Joshua, My brother gave me the money to join the Six Figure Accelerated Program and again for signing up with the Accelerated Companion Series on one condition. That he would get the first copy of my autobiography. I have lived all over the United States and in Mexico as a Volunteer. And have founded and directed a number of non-profit organizations. There are many stories to be told about how blessed I am to be alive today. So can I be an author as well as a freelance copywriter?

    Wayne E Beachy

  26. Hi Joshua, I agree it's best for copywriter and client when copywriter is focused on niche. (All copywriters need to be computer/Internet literate). From the client's perspective however, I wonder about the practicality of needing different copywriters for different types of copy. I specialize in mental health. But if my client needed to find a copywriter for e-mails, another for brochures, another for direct mail... How can copywriters specialize in just one type of copy. Comments about this?

    Nora King

  27. I would like to be an expert in a particular niche, though I have not been able to do so yet. I have been exploring the different niche to make a decision on which niche will suite my interest. May be you can help me in some way. I would like to write about relationships in blog or some kind of forum and earn some income. I like to write to advise, educate, motivate people in relationships, and life through experiences gain in life leading to writing books. However,I am also interested in web writing, direct mail response, content page, landing page, content page ads, auto responder page, emails, news- letters, etc. So what special niche entails all these interest of mine? I hope you have some advice for me. Thank you

    Esther O Asiedu

  28. The issue of niche selection is a huge one for me right now as a new student of AWAI. I have completed the accelerated course and Jay White's email writing course. I hoped to find a way to capitalize on my 26 years of industrial warehouse experience in the handling of so many industrial products. I have also been a para-time weekend musician for almost 40 years, with accordion and keyboards and other instruments.And I hoped there would be possibilities there. But it remains a daunting decision.

    Neil Stubbs

  29. WHAT TO DO? What to do! Bills to pay. Gotta make hay. That said, niche sounds the way to go. Persuasive arguments. There is more out there I don't want to write about than seems there is. Teetering on quandary. In the "finding" stage. But your guiding article illumines my pathway. Now its my turn: market research, pros vs cons, likes vs better likes; then just plain ole' whetting ink on paper. Best close this down and get started!

    Guest (ink on paper)

  30. Thanks for the great article Joshua! It makes complete sense to me to choose a niche, however that is challenging when (like most of us) writers have significant knowledge in many areas. For me, I will be working to hone in on few niches that I am most passionate about, and go from there. It is fabulous to see all the comments from others, and their great plans for going forward. Inspiring!

    Guest (honeybeawesome)

  31. My niche is going to be healthcare/medical. I have over 25 years of RN experience in many fields including management.
    I am unemployed & was on Medicaid. I was denied treatments/medications for chronic migraines.
    The paperwork is intense & I understand why some do not pursue it.
    I want to provide people with information on available programs for medications/treatments. What is available in their states.
    I want people to know they can ask for assistance. I will do the search for them.


  32. Definitely specialise in a niche Joshua. As you imply, it just does not make sense to spread yourself thinly and risk losing good clients. Just a great article.


  33. My comments regarding a specific niche I went into proving info for those who may not know what is available. I want to use this for my website.

    My niche will be healthcare/medical I believe I will be effective in more than one area or type of copywriting. I am excited to see where it is going to take me.


  34. Notwithstanding that "ne'er the twain shall meet," particle specificity and unwavering waves DO entangle. Even gravity and acceleration are equitable. So too light and time; each unto the other our staying power's greatest move.

    Guest (Chris Morris)

  35. Im an author and just had my first book published,however as strange as it may sound, copywriting is quite different to writing novels and short stories and Im wondering where my niche could be. Can anyone suggest something that I could perhaps get started on. Thanks in advance.

    Guest (G K Jourdane)

  36. I am a newbie to copywriting although I have written professionally for years. I have numerous articles and reports published in the line of the work I was currently engaged in and for the organization I worked for at the time. Now I wish to freelance in writing and in consulting. My education and experience lead me to B2B but my industry was government and aerospace - neither of which have been open to freelance work in the past as far as I know and I have been involved for a long time. Therefore where do I go from here?

    Guest (Pauline)

  37. Everybody wants to write in their niche. In my opinion, when I get to it, I want to be a generalist for the first couple of months. That does not mean to say that I will be writing baby bottle formulas and handing them to sports illustrated magazines. Being a generalist is a great way to find a larger range of suitable work that you may not even think you are capable of writing for. Also, if your return in two months is diminished, it will inspire you to hone your writing skills when and if you decide to stick to a niche. As a new copywriter, you need experience. I agree not to sell yourself short for pennies a day, but if you set a low price you would accept for an article a day and it is met, write for this amount until you decide you are worth more. It's easier to hold out for more money when you have money to live off of. If you are not writing at all, in your niche or otherwise, why wouldn't you want to reach into a different basket. I recommend generalist first, and then niche wh

    Dimitri Solakofski

  38. I would love to specialize in copywriting for bakers,cake decorators and pastry chefs. I am a certified Journeyman baker with a Red seal.I am also a certified office administrator. I also teach cake decorating!


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