Copywriting: My Odd Love Brought Me to The Writer's Life


David Colbert

Have you ever fallen in love with something misunderstood?

I have. I am a copywriter.

When I tell people “I’m a copywriter,” I get curious looks. Some ask me about how to patent their incredible inventions. (I don’t know, but I’d like to hear more.) Some ask me about trademarks. (I’m still not your guy.)

Most have caused me to speak slowly and carefully. “Copy … writer. I make words. In fact, I make words work for you.”

“To explain … when I’ve spent the time to learn about you or your business, I’ll write about it. I’ll tell your story through my eyes. You’ll be surprised by how much you learn, are reminded of, and like about my subject.”

If you’re in any way a lifelong learner, you could do this, too.

Do you consider yourself an optimist? If so, copywriting could play to your strengths. It requires discipline. You must be voracious in studying your topic. Tenacious in digging up features. Empathetic in revealing core benefits to your reader.

Above all, you’ll be paid to look for the good. To point out ways to help people make their lives better.

Your introduction to this work may be very different from mine. But here’s a glimpse of my journey.

The Long Way Around

I ventured into writing more years ago than I like to think. Even during high school, while many of my classmates groaned and rolled their eyes over written assignments, I rejoiced having something I felt I could do well.

Written communication became a career for me.

I wrote reports during my time in the military and afterward, drifting from translation into technical writing and editing. I learned to pare away bits that didn’t serve a purpose. I learned to bring out important details.

I also learned that technical writing often does not have much room for creativity. It was about presenting facts.

To find that missing piece, I began copywriting as a side business.

Well before the Internet, I aligned myself with a talented graphic artist. He provided the visual tune. I was the lyrics guy. Together we did annual reports, brochures, and a variety of supporting pieces.

The Knowledge Switch

I’ve been providing words to my clients for quite a while now operating from intuition. If a client had asked why I wrote a certain phrase, I’d have said, “It felt right.” That’s not a good reply for a client.

Now, if asked, I can explain … because I’ve sought out training to make me a better copywriter.

I’m only now delving into the structure and purpose of what I do. The AWAI mentors and the Circle of Success program are helping me grow. They’ve studied and mastered this craft called copywriting. They’re passing on that knowledge to me.

My relationship with words is evolving.

I’ve pursued copywriting because I enjoy it. But it’s become much more than that.

I’m writing persuasive conversations with people I’ve never met. I’m encountering new ideas. I’m learning things I might have passed over otherwise.

With newfound understanding, my writing is becoming richer. My intent is that I will as well.

It can happen for you.

The more I study, the more confident I become.

I’m billing what I believe I’m worth — which is more all the time.

I’m offering well-grounded insights to my clients.

And I’m still meeting people who need help with their inventions and trademarks. We’re misunderstood, but we’re teaching the world one person at a time.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: May 2, 2017

7 Responses to “Copywriting: My Odd Love Brought Me to The Writer's Life”

  1. I have not made that initial invest, mostley out of fear, partly out of ability, but I keep being drawn to this over and over. I've written in journels for years, and I've made up stories, or part of stories that too me, are good. The most inticing thing about this is that i'd love to be finacially free to live a fullfilling life and not that of a low paid office worker. I'm tired of being poor.

    Guest (Shelia Hollis)May 2, 2017 at 12:54 pm

  2. Thanks, David, for sharing your story! I, too, have always loved writing, and have had teachers commenting on it since high school and college. The one word that sticks with me throughout is "enthusiasm." I have lots of that, and then some. I've signed up for the Virtual program, and will now start the 12 week Steve Slaunwhite program of training. I'm thinking that with the help of these two programs, I'll be ready to venture out into the world of writing! Wishing you the very best with your writing and pricing.

    Guest (Kathleen)May 2, 2017 at 1:42 pm

  3. I've always loved writing. I have a creative mind. I've written many things over the years: songs, stories, poems and plays.

    I am miserable in my current job and getting up in age yet have no retirement to speak of. I need something.

    I stumbled on AWAI and thought I can do this and enjoy it. I'm going through the AWAI's Accelerated and Companion Course.

    AWAI has so much to offer, but having a lack of funds, I have to hold my self back and finish those courses.

    Some day I hope to join COS.

    Michael MitchellMay 2, 2017 at 6:57 pm

  4. I was drawn to copywriting beecause number one I like to write. But I also love to help people. That along with the freedom and income that could be made-makes this the perfect business to be in.

    Guest (Melvin)May 2, 2017 at 7:02 pm

  5. Great article, thanks David and Will.
    I do get despondent when I see all of the courses and training available and 'needed' to get into the space. They are not cheap either. So I am developing a portfolio of Spec Adds and samples of my other writing. I am now working on my 'niche market' and sending off letters.No responses yet I am rapidly learning about SEO, Google Console in relation to web site management and improvement, for my own website. It's all slow and sometimes painful and I do wonder where it is going at times. I don't believe in the hype about going from no clients and no background to success in three or less months.

    But sites like wealthy writer and AWAI are fantastic. cheers Nic Richards, struggling apprentice

    Guest (NKRichardscom)May 2, 2017 at 8:38 pm

  6. Hi Will and David, copywriting is a great way of writing,AWAI has many copywriting programs thanks.

    DarrickMay 3, 2017 at 10:59 pm

  7. At 79 years old, I am finally doing something I enjoy. For the past 35 years I have been a self-employed accountant. I still do this on a part time basis, but only for income as I find no pleasure in it.

    I find myself in the same position as David Colbert, as well as all the other people who have become copywriters. My transition is similar to all in the fact that the more I read and study, the more I want to learn.

    Thank you for your article David, It is just one more bit of proof that a transition can be made by those who try.

    David McBurnettMay 8, 2017 at 1:00 pm


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