Biggest Copywriting Myths Revealed, Part 1

Paper with the word myths all over it torn to reveal the word facts

Copywriting is proven time and time again to be the best opportunity for writers to make a living.

No other writing opportunity has the potential to help so many aspiring writers make a living doing what they love, while enjoying the lifestyle they’ve always dreamed of.

The challenge, however, when navigating the path to copywriting success, is deciphering what’s real and what’s simply a myth.

If you believe the myths, you might unknowingly create roadblocks that can stop you from reaching your goals.

When American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI) first launched its copywriting course in 1997, the advertising industry had a strong negative reaction to what we were doing. They told us we were way out of line for presuming we could teach people who weren’t pros how to write persuasive copy.

Back then, the belief was that copywriting was a closed profession for “Madison Avenue” writers only. They treated copywriting like it was meant for only a select few oddball geniuses with years and years of experience.

We believed that to be a myth …

After all, Mark Ford and Bill Bonner had already trained numerous six- and seven-figure copywriters, including our very own founders, Paul Hollingshead and Don Mahoney.

But, we were still a little worried …

What if the “Madison Avenue” exclusivity myth were true? What if the naysayers were right?

Fortunately, our doubts didn’t last long. Within just months of launching The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, we started hearing from our earliest members that they were getting paid assignments … quitting their “old jobs” and becoming freelance copywriters … even being hired as staff writers by big-name marketing companies.

Katie often tells the story about one of our first success stories, Steve W., who, after his first week working as an in-house writer for a huge self-help publisher, called her and said, “I just sat in on my first copy review session, and they think I’m a marketing genius. I casually mentioned the basics I’ve learned from AWAI, like the 4-Legged Stool … the 4 U’s© … the Power of One … and I was able to make all the copy we reviewed instantly better.”

Over the past 20 years, we’ve helped thousands of other members like Steve launch successful writing careers.

Thank goodness we didn’t buy into the “Madison Avenue” myth!

And that’s why I want to dispel four very prevalent myths you may have heard about the copywriting industry that may be holding you back from living the life you’ve always dreamed of having.

Because, it’s true …

If you enjoy reading and writing, it’s possible to make a very good living as a direct-response copywriter — even if it’s just part-time.

You can do it all from home, or the beach, or the neighborhood café … or from wherever you want. (I’m writing this article from an upstairs balcony overlooking the green Texas Hill Country, enjoying a lovely breeze, and listening to the beetles sound off in the trees. Even after 14 years, I still can’t believe this is my job!)

You just need to know the real truth when it comes to this opportunity.

So in this two-part series, we’ll address those myths head-on, and hopefully remove a few roadblocks that may be in your way. Let’s get started …

The first myth is the one I hear used as an excuse on a weekly basis for not getting started …

“I’m not ready …”

“My copy isn’t good enough …”

“How will clients know I’m good enough?”

Myth #1 — It takes years of experience to turn out good copy.

I’m going to be honest with you …

And it’s going to annoy a few successful copywriters who believe this myth to be true …

As long as you have a foundation in persuasive writing, your copy is probably good enough.

Sure, you’ll get better and better as time goes on and you gain more experience.

But that doesn’t mean you need to wait to start getting paid to write copy.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of companies who would gladly pay you to write their sales letters, emails, online ads, video scripts, e-newsletters, landing pages, social media updates, website copy, white papers, case studies, online content, blog posts … the list is quite extensive.

When it comes down to it, you don’t have to be an expert to make a great living as a copywriter. You don’t have to know everything.

You just have to know more than your client.

If you thoroughly study just one copywriting program, there’s a good chance you’ll already know way more about copywriting than your client. This means you’ll be able to talk intelligently about the subject to a prospect or a marketer.

And, if that one copywriting program is The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, you’re going to have powerful tools to help you deliver winning copy.

Tools like the 4 U’s© … which is, hands-down, the SUREST way to guarantee a winning headline … to AWAI’s Peer Review System, which ensures your idea and lead are strong and engaging … to the highly effective CUBA system we use to evaluate all of our finished content before it gets published or broadcast.

And, if something comes up that you don’t know? Simply tell your client you’ll look into it and get back to them. And then, take advantage of the many resources available to you from AWAI to find the answer.

With each new question, request, or task, you’ll find your knowledge snowballs, so eventually you’ll become an indispensable resource for your clients.

So, take heart, you don’t have to be an expert. And there’s more than enough copy that needs to be written. Which means plenty of opportunity for you to build a solid monthly income for yourself.

In Part 2 of this series, I’ll share three more myths about copywriting that may be holding you back.

But in the meantime, I’d like to know what myths you’ve heard about the copywriting industry, as well as any questions you’d like answered once and for all. Share them with me below.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: January 16, 2018

5 Responses to “Biggest Copywriting Myths Revealed, Part 1”

  1. It is impossible to get new clients, they want to go with someone they know.

    Guest (Ann Johnson)January 16, 2018 at 1:44 pm

  2. I do not have a college education, but I love to write. Will this be a roadblock for me like in so many other industries? Are clients going to ask about that and hold it against me? Or are they going to be impressed with the other learning I've had like AWAI training?

    Guest (Knels)January 16, 2018 at 3:42 pm

  3. Ann and Knels, perhaps I can answer both questions for you.

    Knels ~ No, you don't need a college education. In fact, I'm a college dropout myself. Yet, I made $40K last year as a writer. And ... with a full-time job. Few, if any will ask about your college experience. None have asked me.

    Ann ~ All of my clients were new to me. In fact, I've met only one in person. None were previous contacts either.

    To both of you ~ you CAN do this if you will learn how. I did. Wishing you the best!

    Steve MaurerJanuary 17, 2018 at 1:10 pm

  4. I am a caregiver for my husband (AlzheimersD) and lead a rather chaotic life, but I always find time to write and use writing as a balance to the 'everyday'. A little bit scared, I am curious and ready to try learning something new.

    Guest (Annelore Chapin)January 29, 2018 at 2:49 pm

  5. Annelore: First, I want to express my appreciation for what you're doing for your husband. I know it can't be easy... you are a gem!

    We all are a little bit scared in the beginning. But, that's what is so different and amazing about AWAI. You may be in business for yourself... but never by yourself. Plenty of help available should you need it!
    Have a wonderful day, Steve Maurer

    Steve MaurerJanuary 30, 2018 at 8:20 am


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