Career of a copywriter may seem as a dream job – waking up every morning at 9, not having to commute to work and being able to slowly enjoy your morning coffee. Hey, if you wish, you can even work from bed.
This all sounds great in theory.
Reality is much more different. Like any other job, there are numerous things you have to know about copywriting. First of all it is not something that can be done by anyone.
You got a blog where you constantly post articles and everyone tells you they’re great.
Now, go check your on-page stats and repeat that sentence.
Before you commit to a full-time career, here are 8 things you need to know. After realizing all the absurdities of copywriting business you might choose something else.
There is nothing artistic or literary about copywriting
In order to write good articles, you have to have a good command of the English language. Not only that; you also have to constantly improve it.
But, this is just a prerequisite allowing you to do the actual job. That doesn’t mean you will be good at it.
Copywriting is primarily a marketing job.
Your performance is measured by the on-page stats. In other words, you can write like Tolstoy or Dickens. It makes no difference if no one is actually reading your pieces.
With that in mind, it primarily revolves around technical aspects instead of creativity.
You have to produce constantly
Similarly to a worker on an assembly line your job is rather rudimentary.
Even with all the creativity put into the process, the expectations are always the same. You have to create new articles each and every day.
This is where things become even scarier.
Quality of the content is first judged by your employer and only then by the general public. In other words, if they don’t like the article, it won’t be posted. Your articles have to pass 2 different tests until you can call them a success.
They have to be different from anything else and yet, to attain general acceptance. You can easily see how this can be a problem.
Another crazy thing about copywriting is that it is an intellectual process that has repetitive character. Sometimes, it may be really hard to find the right words so that your article is unique. And with that, we come to the next point.
Being uniquely same
Humans are creatures of habit.
They stick to what they know and understand. However, in modern marketing, it is necessary to be unique and different. Otherwise, due to an overwhelming number of messages, your content won’t find the final user.
A great article is a mix of popular things and unique writing.
Again, there is a catch.
You shouldn’t only be unique in comparison to others. You should also be unique in comparison to yourself.
What do I mean by that?
Even if you’re creating highly actionable content, people may get sick of your repetitive writing after a while. This is really disastrous as it can turn-off your regular readers.
If you’re constantly reading books written by the same author, you understand how this can be a problem. Yes, they might produce different, intriguing plots each and every time by the writing itself will become boring and predictable.
In a way, this is every writer’s curse.
Our brains are wired in a specific way and we will constantly create according to it. Ideally, you will be able to “fool your brain” from time to time but this is something that is really hard to pull off.
You will rarely write about things that interest you
Most people think that blogging is great as it allows you to write about things you love.
This is partially true.
Even if you have a personal blog, from time to time you will be forced to write about some sponsored products or to create guests posts in order to boost your SEO.
Life of a professional copywriter is much harder.
Not only will you have to write about things that aren’t interesting, you will also have to learn about them.
As I mentioned before, copywriting is a technical job. Before you can write your first line, you will have to get acquainted with a topic. It becomes even worse if it’s an ongoing project. Then, you will even have to master it so you can create uniquely same content.
Constantly writing on different topics
Here is another cookie.
Besides the fact that you will write about things that are not interesting, you might be forced to change topics on a daily basis.
Isn’t this positive? It gives you some freedom making the job less monotonous.
It is much easier to write similar articles than unique ones. Each time you have to create something new, you will have to rewire your brain and reach out to stored information. In other words, this will increase your mental fatigue at the end of the work day.
On top of that, whenever you need to explore a new topic, you will also have to learn more about it. This will take additional time and energy.
You will actually be surprised as to how much copywriting can drain you. It is a job that seems relaxing and fun but at the end of the day you will surely feel the consequences of all this mental work. Vice versa, if you do not invest yourself intellectually, your career will go down the drain.
Changing your voice
When I say changing voice, I refer to the fact that you will often have to change your natural writing so you can cater to particular demographics. You will have to be able to write as a female, male, teen, adult and senior. Basically, you will constantly have to adapt to target audience altering yourself in the process.
Unlike some other things on the list, changing your voice isn’t that hard. In fact, you can even regard it as an ability to create something new.
But here is the thing.
No matter how much you try, you can never change your sex, age or culture. That being said, you will always have a natural disadvantage in comparison to other copywriters that write exclusively within a particular niche. This may even skewer your results making you appear less proficient.
Changing your voice can be really demanding in certain industries where there is a specific jargon or “inner knowledge”.
For example, unless you have a pet, it will be really hard to write from a perspective of a dog owner.
Your real worth is relative
As mentioned before, every person has a certain taste when it comes to written content. It is really hard to determine whether something is good or bad.
So, people usually judge a content writer or a blogger based on his internet stats.
Now, this is a bad approach as it doesn’t speak about person’s actual skills. Instead, it can be a product of good optimization or good efforts by the marketing team. Surely, content is just the continuation of that effort but it doesn’t mean that the writer is on pair as the rest of his team.
Judging content can also be hard due to “internet persona” factor.
In a nutshell, some people blindly follow their internet role models. To them, these internet bloggers or writers can do no wrong. Such a behavior by the public can only lead to blogger’s increase in value.
Everything on the Internet revolves around marketing and promotion. Regardless of your skillset, if you are unable to promote them you won’t get far.
Content writers have a short shelf life
Visitors ignore most of the things on your website.
One thing they always care about is the blog section.
Unless you have an e-commerce website, everything will revolve around your content. You will be scrutinized based on it. That being said, you can slide with many things but you cannot slide with having a bad copywriter.
As the centerpiece of a website, writer always has to be on top of his game. This becomes harder as you grow older as you can no longer keep track of the newest Internet blogging trends (which constantly change) and your brain cannot learn as it could previously.
Unlike regular writing, where a person is limited by his imagination, copywriter is limited by his learning ability. That ability diminishes with age reducing your career.
If you wish to do this job, you will likely have a short career. Simply put, website owners cannot allow their content to be jeopardized by anyone because without good content, there is no good website.
Writing is not as easy as it seems.
Yes, you can write an article or two but staying in the game for a longer period of time can be really challenging. This is precisely why copywriting is for people who love those challenges and continuous learning.
Nowadays, everybody is a writer. Before committing, make sure you are a good one.
From your perspective, what is the biggest drawback of copywriting profession? Do you struggle continuously producing content? Share it in the comment section below!