Are These 4 Dangerous Myths Delaying Your Web Copywriting Success?

Will Newman

Welcome back! Today we continue our discussion of writing for the Web. If you missed my previous two articles about why I’ve pledged to learn more, click here and here to read them.

The Web offers huge opportunities for making money. But because anybody can proclaim themselves an ‘expert,’ it teems with misleading myths about web copywriting.

I’m not an expert. Far from it. I’m as much a novice as you. Maybe more. The information I’m passing on comes from real experts like AWAI and web-writing pioneer Nick Usborne.

These myths may sound true … often because they’ve been repeated many times over. But believe and follow them, and they’ll send you in the wrong direction.

Here are my Top 4 Web Copywriting Myths to avoid …

Web Copywriting Myth #1 (The Big One):
Content writers aren’t copywriters

You’ll hear the term ‘content writer’ a lot in talk about web copywriting as if it’s different from copywriting. Here’s one example culled from Quora. (A website where people ask questions and other people answer them.)

A copywriter usually writes advertising text, in which the main focus is on the seller and his products. A content marketer writes text in which the main focus is the buyer and his problems.

You know how wrong this is. Any good persuasive copywriter knows you must focus on the buyer and his problems.

Nick teaches that a good content marketer does exactly the same. Content might differ, but the end point doesn’t change: To persuade. To focus on the needs of the buyer, and provide solutions. Which brings us to …

Web Copywriting Myth #2:
All web copywriting is about making a sale

Simply is not true. Your goal is to persuade and to develop a relationship with your reader. Beyond that fundamental goal of all copywriting, the objective of web copy varies with your client’s marketing needs.

Some examples: If you’re writing a landing page, your objective might be to make the sale … or it might be to get the reader to click through to another page. If you’re writing a blog, your objective is to engage, inform, build relationships without necessarily leading directly to sale at all.

Web Copywriting Myth #3:
Write for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO means your copy must contain ‘keywords’ that search engines spot and use to understand what your web pages are about. Keywords help get your site noticed.

Some misinformed web writers have elevated SEO to a religion. They preach you must write first for search engines, peppering keywords throughout copy, in a specific ratio or quantity. Only later do you worry about how your writing sounds to real people.

HUGE error. Even if your copy ranks #1 in search results, poor, SEO-laden copy won’t keep your reader on the site long enough persuade him.

Web Copywriting Myth #4:
Short copy is better than long copy or
long is better than short

Nick teaches the copy’s length doesn’t determine success. Success comes from knowing key strategies and secrets. One secret: the purpose of your copy dictates length.

The reality about long or short copy: It depends. It’s not how much copy you have, but what you do with it that counts.

These myths prove one thing about web copywriting. If you believe what you ‘learn’ from anybody other than a trusted, acknowledged, working expert, you risk going off in a wrong direction.

I relied on someone I admire and trust. The man who brought me my 2:57 moment I described yesterday … Nick Usborne.

We’ll be hearing directly from Nick next week when he talks about a part of web copywriting I haven’t even mentioned (and, that frankly confounds me at times). It’s a part you can’t ignore.

Until then, please leave your thoughts by commenting below.

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Published: April 22, 2016

8 Responses to “Are These 4 Dangerous Myths Delaying Your Web Copywriting Success?”

  1. Hi Will,

    Thank you for writing and posting this article.

    I have been studying Nick's programs this past year and am currently studying his Web Copywriting 2.0 program. I took a course on HTML in 1999, so I've been interested in the Web and social media for quite some time.

    I am surprised, though, that since Nick is a colleague of yours that you hadn't explored writing for the Web before. I am looking forward to Nick's series next week. He really knows what he is talking about.

    [FROM WILL: Good point. But Nick is a colleague in as much as we've spent time together at Bootcamp. I've known of his sills as a teacher and web copywriting master, but it took a more 'personal' contact as the interview to get me off my duff.]


  2. Thank you Will for sharing your invaluable resource and knowledge.

    Guest (Wiliam)

  3. I just finished a quick run through Nick Usborne's 2.0 program and I changed my webpage from trying to get SEO to what my potential clients would really want. The results: I moved from page 6 in google to page 1. Thanks Nick! It seems when you really are in something for the passion not the placement, say whatever you want, but the so-called stars align and some divine intervention comes your way!


  4. Great article Will. Differentiating the content marketers from us copywriters.
    As for length of copy here are some recent studies I received in an email from Drayton Bird.

    Copy length (words) Response rate
    1064 - 17.08%
    1999 - 19.09%
    2763 - 24.24%

    Quoting Drayton "If an extra profit of 41.9% doesn't interest you, please stop reading now. You are making far too much money"

    [FROM WILL: This very much supports an article Mark Ford has contributed for next week. Thanks for sharing.]

    John Paul

  5. Will, Thank you,again, for your valuable input! I am in a quandary because I can understand how valuable these classes are, but just can't afford them right now. Is it possible to get into the copywriting pool to make some money so I can afford to take your classes? I do have some writing talent as I have always loved the use of words. Majoring in English and business have given me a wealth of starting points for writing. I enjoy proofreading and helping others create effective sentences.

    [FROM WILL: What I recommend, Kathryn, is to make money writing and editing right now. Save it, when you can afford it, start working on the Accelerated Program. It provides the necessary foundation for all types of copywriting. Good luck.]


  6. Hi Will...

    Thank you for this post, 'Dangerous Myths' I realize that a Blog is the easiest way for me to begin bringing people together...Then I realized that I already have a Word press account...

    Can't afford a web-site yet, LOL, but I have taken the step of faith.. It's up to me how long this transition takes place for me, and that's the Gift.

    Thank you again!

    P.S. I'll be looking forward to next week!

    Be Blessed,



    Guest (Monica P)

  7. Hi Will,

    You always have such a wealth of knowledge to share. I am forever honored and grateful to have access to this pool of knowledge. Knowledge, experience, and successful execution you can only get from AWAI leaders and affiliates. I do not trust anyone else, unless I know they have some connection with AWAI. Thanks for the great article, another winner, and really very helpful.


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