Copywriting is not easy

Posted October 28, 2005 by Evan Tishuk

Writing is hard. Communication is difficult. Why is it so often sloughed off as a trvial task that anyone can do well? This is bullshit.

I wouldn't tell the contractor building my new home that, "I can handle installing all that sheet rock and insulation. No problem." Sure, I could do that work, but I probably wouldn't do it as fast or as well. And after I finished making a mess and wasting time and energy, I know I wouldn't have the cahon├ęs to hold the contractor accountable for the delay.

So why do people think writing good content is easy? Well-written comments only please.

UPDATES:
It appears that others feel this pain at AdPulp and Ads That Suck.

9 Comments

James Simons ~ October 28, 2005

maybe I am the wrong person to be replying to this post.....;-)

Ralph ~ October 28, 2005

If I may dust off an old chestnut

Me fail English, that's unpossible

David Burn ~ October 28, 2005

Great question.

Most people, much less clients, haven't the first clue about copy or copywriters. People who do have a slight clue often think we place words in their ads.

We do. But doing so is the last step in a long process. Real copywriters condense abstract business strategies into tight, memorable prose, any consumer can understand and act on.

Evan Tishuk ~ October 28, 2005

I just wonder if the client wants a sense of authorship or if he simply underappreciates the medium.

Adam Gautsch ~ October 29, 2005

That's a good point that Evan just made.

Evan and I went to a lunch a week or two ago where John McCann (don't let the picture fool you) gave a great speech on sales, etc.

An interesting point that he made was that people always want to add their two cents. His example was, "if you walk into a room and say, 'wow, this ceiling is 15 ft tall.' The guy next to you will almost always say, 'nah, it's 17 ft if it is an inch.'" People want to feel like they contribute.

Mike D. made a similar point on Keith Robinison's blog.

This of course happens with copywriting, design, house building, no matter. It's a bitch but it is life. There are always those people that say, "You're the expert and I trust you,"and God love those people, but there are a much larger number of people that want to add their two cents into every aspect of life/business.

PS: The second thing I took away from John's speech was the phrase, "It's the best thing since they took the bones out of chocolate ice cream." Which is going on my Bear Approved list of sayings.

[...] This idea was mentioned in our last post, but I want to explore it a little bit more. How hard are you suppose to fight for an idea? As an agency (design, marketing, advertising, law, etc) you are paid by a client to tell him what to do. Clients rarely like this idea. They want to be involved in the process, they demand to be involved in the process. They are writing the f’ing check. [...]

The Lesson of Avis ~ November 02, 2005

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Tricky English Words ~ November 08, 2005

I said it before, writing isn’t easy. Here are a couple hundred reasons why. If you’re strapped for time, here are a couple dozen...

copywriting ~ April 11, 2013

Theory of the 2nd Best As I'm writing some ad copy for an ebook your article today was timely. But in the world of the single guy/gal entrepreneur, we often live in the world of the 2nd best. I wish I could outsource my ad copy to someone, but I just don't have the resources to do so on my small ebook. But I think your good reminders will help me write decent ad copy for my entrpreneurial efforts. Thanks for your article.

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