Writing vs Copywriting


When writing is selling, writing is copy. When writing isn’t selling, writing isn’t copy. Period.

So be careful when you hire someone to write “copy” for you, and make sure you are getting “copy” and not prose.

Because there are many people out there, hustling to make ends meet and they will tell you they can write your copy for you. And some can.

But not many.

So these are things to look out for when you buy “copy”:

  1. Are the right emotions present in the words you’re reading?

    If there is no emotion, then you don’t even have good writing on your hands. 

    If there is emotion, but it’s not the emotion that your ideal client is looking for, then you aren’t going to make any money off of it.

  2. Are the right elements present in the copy?

    Elements you need to make sure are in the copy: Doubt-crushing arguments, the pain they feel with their current struggle, the relief they need to feel in order to know this is the right solution for them, details about the delivery.

    If you don’t have these elements, you’re likely not going to make money or get the email.

  3. What if the elements are in the wrong order?

    There’s a mental flow to copy that takes the reader on a journey. And while you can dance around them, if they are completely jacked? You’re screwed.

    What I do when I write sales copy is present the headline (duh), then a supporting blurb, then dive into pains, then dive into solutions, then I give the deets of the owner (solidifying WHY they are the only choice), and then complete journey by revisiting the pains and struggles and benefits and give the details.

    Now, that’s too much for, say, an opt-in, but this is the trip my readers go on right before they say yes to my clients.

  4. Is your copy written in a voice that elicits trust?

    That means weak, doubt-inducing words have to be avoided when necessary.

    If your copy has “if”, “maybe”, “perhaps”, “could”, “can”, “might”, etc in it, your readers are not reading that you are an expert that is to be trusted.

    And making money? Well...will be hard.

  5. Does your copy snap your brain out of Snooze?

    There are ways to say things that keep the brain at attention and there are ways to say those same things that literally put the brain to “sleep”. What happens is when we read words we’ve read over and over again (like buzz words and phrases) our brains say, “Stop reading here, we have already read this and know it...NEXT!”.

    Not a joke. Take that for a test drive and see if your brain doesn’t shut down after reading “transformation”, “change your life forever”, and crap like that. So make sure your copy is not written in ways that put the brain to sleep.

  6. Does your copy have character?

    Following #5, this is the best way to avoid that problem. Because if you’re throwing yourself or your writer has thrown your character (assuming you’re slightly entertaining and not the least bit vanilla), your copy should shine.

    That personality also allows further bonding with the reader, helping to nurture the trust you need to make money from your copy...or to get that coveted email address.

  7. Is your copy wordy and doesn’t hold attention?

Wordy copy that doesn’t hold attention is copy that won’t be read. You cannot take long, meandering routes to your point. Copy that’s good is concise and makes powerful points with fewer words.

It lets the emotion do the selling for it.

So, regardless of WHO wrote your “copy”, whether it was you, your VA who, ahem, said she could write “copy”, or a writer you hired because they said they knew how to write copy, hell, even if it was a copywriter!, you have to make sure these elements and components are present, otherwise the writing isn’t copy that sells, it’s writing that distracts.