Do we need a different kind of copywriting?

Do we need a different kind of copywriting?

I’m sure you’ve seen
your share of aggressive, hard-sell copywriting.

The big screaming
headlines, the flashing red text, the yellow highlighter, the countdown clock…

The kind of sleazy
stuff that feels like its only goal is to part you from your money.

Let’s call that cash-first copywriting.

And, for the record,
I’m tired of it.

I bet you are too.

Because it’s a new era.

And as more and more
businesses start to wake up to the idea of doing what’s right, both for people and for the planet…

Cash-first copywriting
feels like it’s overstayed its welcome.

It encourages us to
treat our readers as a means to an end.

We get tempted to
embrace ideas like “You don’t even know
what your problem is… But if you stick with me, I’ll show you—and then I’ll
sell you the solution.”

And when we do that, we
move away from saying simply “If you’re having a problem, let us help you fix
it.”

Consequently, it
becomes all too easy to imply that our
readers
are the problem.

That they don’t work
hard enough.

Or they’re not using
the right formula.

Or—let’s get right down
to it—they haven’t spent enough of their money with us yet.

Cash-first copywriting
promises that we can eliminate our readers’ insecurities…

Even as we’re the ones
who are making those insecurities worse—or even creating them in the first
place.

That has to stop—and
it’s why I’m excited that people are waking up to the alternative.

I call that alternative
real-world copywriting. (Not the
sexiest name in the world, but it’ll do.)

Now, before you think I’m turning my back on all of the great
copywriters who’ve come before me, I want to make sure you don’t misunderstand
me.

Real-world copywriting
as I envision it is still definitely
focused on conversions, and on using psychological insight and persuasion
tactics—and, yes, great writing—to make more sales.

But real-world
copywriting does all of that from an ethical place.

It’s a kind of
copywriting that makes it easier, as marketers, for us to sleep at night.

You see, when we tell
our readers over and over that they have to listen to us because only we can fix what’s wrong with them…

We end up believing it
ourselves.

Which is dangerous.

Instead, let’s listen
to what our readers are telling us they need and what they believe…

And then write copy
that speaks to those needs and beliefs.

Reader-centered copy,
that creates conscious conversions, in the real world.

Real-world copywriting—

Get it?

Part 1 – Do we need a different kind of copywriting?
Part 2 – Real-world copywriting is still copywriting
Part 3 – What happened to copywriting?

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