Bob Bly on the Joy of Copywriting

Copywriter looking at tablet while sitting at a desk

Subscriber SZ writes:

​"Bob, I'm on my 4th listening to your Copywriter's Handbook. Each time I listen to it I get more things out of it.

​"I would like to ask you a question if you don't mind: What about copywriting do you find thrilling?"

​Well, I don't know about copywriting being thrilling.

​Rather, the words that come to mind, for me, anyway are intellectually stimulating … enjoyable … satisfying … challenging.

​But I thought about it, and to answer SZ's question, here's the list I came up with:

​1—I love writing.

​And, copywriting is writing. So I love it. I also love writing books, articles, essays, and many other things.

​2—Variety of subjects.

​As a freelance contract copywriter, I write on a wide range of interesting topics.

​Everything from precious metals and dietary supplements—to fiber optics and energy.


​I am a direct response copywriter. The results of my work can be precisely measured. As a numbers guy (engineer), I like that. Removes subjective judgment from the equation.

​4—Helps businesses.

​Many people dislike selling, and find it distasteful.

​But when your client sells a good product, you improve his business by helping him sell more of it.

​5—Helps consumers.

​Your copy gives consumers the opportunity to discover and buy things they need, want, like, and enjoy.


A by-product of being a copywriter and consultant is that you pass on your marketing knowledge to people who benefit from it, thereby paying it forward.

7—Sometimes even changes lives.

​You will occasionally have students and clients whose lives change in a major positive way.

​One more thing: FUN.

​For me, writing is just plain fun.

​In the movie "Kick Ass," Jim Carrey, playing Colonel Stars and Stripes, tells his fellow superheroes:

​"Try to have fun. Otherwise, what's the point?"

Robert W. Bly is a freelance copywriter, a long-time supporter and contributor to AWAI, and the author of 100+ books. McGraw-Hill calls Bob “America’s top copywriter.”

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Published: May 10, 2024

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