Why this copywriter will never write an article about copywriting

There, did I say copywriting enough times that Google crawls it and thinks I am one? Great, now that that’s out of the way.

Here’s the deal. If you need a copywriter, you don’t need an article about 10 tips on copywriting. Like, if you need a heart surgeon, you don’t need an article about 10 ways to perform a vascular suture. You need someone who’ll get in there, assess the damage, fix it, and make you better than you were before.

Better. Stronger. Faster.

(For those of you who didn’t grow up in the 70s, that’s a Six Million Dollar Man reference. You know, back when $6 million was a lot of money and we built cyborgs with it.)

What you really want is someone who is a student of the human condition. Why? Because all the people reading these ones and zeroes are still people. They’ve only been around this whole Internet thing for the last decade or so. Not that long.

Measure that against emotions and instincts that have developed over billions of years. (Evolutionarily speaking, of course. If you follow the Bible literally, that’s 10,000 years or so. Still a lot longer than 10.)

You also want someone who is a student of marketing strategy.

Marketing strategy is a combination of rules, insight, attitude, application of said attitude and adjustment to results. Many of the best rules come from direct marketing, of which I’ve been a student for 20 years and counting.

This whole Internet and social media thing has more in common with direct marketing than anything else. It’s about making offers and getting them accepted. (Do I offer to follow you? Do you offer to follow me? What’s in it for each of us?) Brevity or length and knowing where to use which (Twitter vs. blogging, anyone?). Testing and measuring (try something, see if it works. Refine. Repeat.). Structuring arguments, engagement (still with me?).

All good direct marketing skills.

If you want 10 tips that include things like when to use subheads, or how to write a winning headline, there are lots of places to get that.

But that’s not what you need, is it?

About the author: Karen Goldfarb


I’m a freelance San Francisco Bay Area copywriter that can help you get more sales, more leads, more subscribers and more awareness for your brand and business.

Whether you’re local, across the nation or across the globe, I’ll give you solutions that help you succeed and drive your customers to take action.

From direct marketing to big ad campaigns, I use the right words in an engaging, persuasive way (that’s copywriting) to get you leads, new customers, and repeat customers who buy again and again.

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This article was first published by Karen Goldfarb

3 replies
  1. Peter T. Britton
    Peter T. Britton says:


    Well said.

    “Think outside the box, but color inside the lines.”

    Copywriters need two things: a love of people (how they move, think, act) and a love of words (how they sound, feel and move.)


    Peter T. Britton
    The Write answers

  2. Andrew Stiller
    Andrew Stiller says:

    Brava! Excellent article. “Come in assess the damage, (or situation) and fix it.” Couldn’t have said it better.

  3. Eric Cooley
    Eric Cooley says:

    The $6mDM reference flew right over my head, but I get it. I’ll also add that a copywriter should also know when NOT to write, and preferably be in tune with the visuals to convey the key message. (It was Miles Davis who once said a good musician knows when NOT to play a note.)

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