Real-world copywriting is still copywriting

Real-world copywriting is still copywriting

In my post on real-world copywriting, I came out strong… “Flying the flag” for a new kind of copywriting that turns its back on hard-sell nonsense.

But as soon as I posted
it, I started hearing the chatter.

“Who do you think you
are—Jerry Maguire?

“Like you’re just going
to write up some kind of manifesto and ask who’s coming with you?”

Well, no.

But I am allowed to do the kind of work I want
to, right? Real-world copywriting is about only that—nothing more, nothing
less. It’s about trying to find some kind of practice that makes me feel good
about getting up in the morning.

Regardless, it’s the
second question I keep hearing—more than a few times—that’s got me shook.

“Copywriting is about
getting conversions. Why wouldn’t you want to do whatever it takes to get them?
Don’t you think clients are going to fire you? Selling is a
copywriter’s job!”


I’d be lying if I said
I hadn’t really thought of that—because the truth is I’ve gone back and forth
on that very issue for a couple of years now.

Funny thing though—I’m
actually not shrinking from the job
of a copywriter.

I’m not even remotely against using psychology and
behavior to inform copywriting to help clients sell more.

In fact, I’ve built a
thriving copywriting practice—as well as a beautiful house if you’ll allow me
to brag for a second—by embracing psychology and behavior, and by relentless
pursuing better copy.

Here’s a quote from
Eugene Schwartz, author of Breakthrough

[Copywriting is] not about building better mousetraps. It is, however, about building larger mice—and then building a terrifying fear of them in your customers.

I’m behind that sentiment, 100%. 

You’ll always sell more
by identifying a problem your reader didn’t quite realize they had, then
agitating that problem until they’re interested in the solution you have to

And I’ll always be able
to write better copy for you
if you let me do that.

Unfortunately, the
spirit of that quote has been perverted, and now we see a lot of this kind of
sales copy:

I’m ready to STOP missing out on the big-ticket income I deserve! I’m excited to sell $500 to $5000 Big Ticket Offers without all the hassle! Give me your course so I can start selling big-ticket products like clockwork using email and a special order form. I understand I only need to write at a 6th-grade level and I WON’T be required to put on webinars, write long sales letters, or be tied to my phone doing strategy sessions.

That’s cash-first copywriting right there—and that’s what I want to stamp out.

No, I don’t want to
write bland copy that doesn’t do anything to sell your product or

But I won’t write
cheesy, sleazy, hard-sell copywriting, either—the kind of stuff that makes your
customers think you’d say anything and do anything to increase the percentage
of people who bought from you.

I want—

And I think you want,

Copywriting for the real world.

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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