“Is copywriting the right profession choice for me?”
“How do I become a copywriter?”
“Is copywriting a good career?”
I bet you have had these questions in your mind if you’re a beginner or an intermediate copywriter.
I still the remember the first day at my job as a copywriter.
It was a beautiful office in New Zealand with a beach view. My coworkers were awesome people. But as soon as my mentor asked me to write a blog about an unknown topic, I was like, “Wow, I’m screwed.”
I’ll tell you the rest of the story at the end of this article. But first, let’s discuss the top 10 traits of copywriters who make thousands and even millions of dollars.
Trust me, these traits are related to my story. This whole thing is going somewhere. So, hold your curiosity for a while and let’s begin the article with the attributes of a successful, highly paid copywriter.
“I started copywriting because I’m not creative at all,” said no copywriter ever. Creativity is at the core of copywriting – period.
I personally don’t know a single copywriter in this world who isn’t into some type of creative activity, such as music, painting, photography, videography, design, or even arts & craft.
Without creativity, a copywriter will most likely have ‘writer’s block’ and feel like giving up. And if you’re creative enough, you won’t even feel like you’re working and your job will be a heck of a lot easier.
The goal of copywriting is to convince the reader to take action. You can’t do that if you don’t understand why humans take actions.
Now, by action, I mean, it could be anything from persuading people to sign up for a video streaming service to having them take out their credit card and buy a fidget spinner.
3. Language Skills
Yes, even though you don’t necessarily need a university degree to become a copywriter, your English has got to be as good as a Harvard professor.
There’s no room for grammatical errors or spelling mistakes in a copywriter’s career.
I know this because if my clients find even a single comma in the wrong place, they put a big read highlight in the Google Doc — which is nothing but a professional way of saying: “Excuse me? What the heck are you doing?”
I know it’s sounding funny to you now. However, when you’re a copywriter who’s getting paid by these clients, it sounds like a fire alarm!
4. Hunger to Learn More
Let me ask you a few questions: A
Are you fond of reading books or watching documentaries?
Do you check a company’s ratings and reviews before doing business with them?
Do you find yourself mucking around of Wikipedia every now and then?
Well, then you’re the type of person who has a hunger for knowledge. A very profitable trait in copywriting, because you’re going to have to conduct a lot research before writing copy.
Yes, you heard that right. Copywriting is not just about the number of words, it’s also about digging deep and understanding the customer so you can come up with the right words they can relate to.
In an ideal world, you could just write copy, and then, the clients would approve it, and the readers would love it. Well, based on my years of experience as a copywriter, I can tell you that this is hardly ever the case.
You will have to make a lot of changes in your copy and clients can be very picky sometimes.
It might hurt your ego, it might make you question your career choice, and it might make you want to quit.
But if you stay the course and keep honing your craft, then you can be a successful copywriter and make a fortune with your words.
6. Laser-Sharp Focus
Do you get distracted easily? Don’t worry, I can relate. That’s how most creative are usually.
However, when it comes to your copywriting career, you’re going to need a sharp focus on your tasks.
What do I mean by that? Well, as I mentioned before, copywriters need to conduct a lot of research during a project.
So, for example, if you’re conducting research on weight loss exercises, you’d want to stick to that. What might happen is, you might end up mucking around on a random article, such as “10 Celebrities Who Gained a Lot of Weight Last Year”.
Stay away from the crap, and focus on your task. The internet is full of distractions, and research requires you to use the internet – use it wisely.
Truly, if you succeed as a copywriter, give yourself a pat on your back. This is a pandemic-proof profession which allows you to work from anywhere.
I personally have worked from different cities and even on aeroplanes. Not sure how many professions can allow you to do the same.
Although all these things may give you a sense of pride, stay humble. Your work as a copywriter will be judged. People will say mean things to you. Your clients might not pay you on time. And there’s a whole lot that could go wrong.
When this happens, it’s your humility that’ll keep you grounded to reality.
8. Strategic Mindset
Do you like playing chess, or any other game that requires strategy? Are you fond of ancient history, wars, and power struggles?
Well, now you might be wondering: “What the heck is this guy talking about?”
Here’s the deal:
Unlike creative writing, which is meant to entertain or inspire, copywriting is meant to get readers to take action.
You’re not a poet, you’re copywriter. For this reason, you need to be very careful and strategic with your words.
Shakespeare is not your competitor, other marketers are.
You might have heard the term ‘6-figure copywriter’ or ‘full-time freelance copywriter’ a lot. But let me tell you this: You do not become a highly paid copywriter overnight.
Personally, I started my copywriting career as an employee who got paid a cheap hourly rate – true story.
However, the reason why I succeeded, and still get freelance copywriting work for a way higher rate, is because I was consistent.
Yes, it will take some time. But hey, if it was that easy, everyone in this world who is creative and can speak English would be copywriter right now.
But there aren’t too many, simply because a lot of aspiring copywriter aren’t consistent and they give up too soon.
Whoops! Didn’t expect that one, did you? Gregariousness, meaning the quality of socializing like a boss, is really important to be a successful copywriter.
I know you’re probably thinking: “Why do I need to socialize as a copywriter? Why can’t I just be at home with my laptop and be a freelance copywriter there?”
Well, I hate to break it to you, but insights on consumer behavior you get by stepping in the field and actually talking to people are priceless.
So, don’t be shy – go out and meet different types of people.
Back to my story…
Alright, let’s continue with the story I started in the introduction.
So, where were we…
Oh, yes! My mentor gave me an article to write and I found it very challenging.
However, I had a few traits of a successful copywriter, such as, creativity, hunger to learn more, strategic mindset, and the humility to raise my hand and ask a question when I was in doubt.
I used these to get the work done. And I kid you not, my first ‘paid’ article was the best experience I ever had.
I was officially a professional copywriter now. I felt like a million bucks.
Later in my career, I wrote hundreds of pieces, some of which generated hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I hope that you found this article useful. If you like it, please share it on your social media using the icons below! And if you want to read more high-value content on copywriting and blogging, subscribe to my mailing list or say “Hi” on LinkedIn.
By the way, I also have a YouTube channel if you’re into videos.