What’s The Most Difficult Copywriting Task?

By Jamie McSloy / May 10, 2018
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I saw another Reddit thread the other day where somebody was asking about the most difficult copywriting.

They wanted to know whether there was any copywriting that was harder than all the other copywriting.

Seeing as I couldn’t think of anything else to write about today, (and I also still can’t type because of injured hands,) I thought I would talk about this subject.

So what is the most difficult copywriting task?

Niches And Market Research

Now, there is a tendency to assume that the most difficult copywriting will be niche based. Some people say that financial copywriting is difficult. Some people say that writing for health and fitness is difficult because of the competition in the market.

Here are my thoughts on that:

The single hardest task that you will do in most copywriting projects is the market research. This is because everything that you do in your sales letter and the funnel is dependent on getting your market research right.

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If you get the wrong audience, then nothing will sell even if it is the best copy in the world.

But I am not a fan of saying that one niche is harder than the other, or that writing white papers is more difficult than writing long-form sales letters. All of those things can be difficult and all of those markets have their own quirks.

Essentially though you can either be a member of the audience or you can learn about the audience. Whatever the niche. I have written for financial letters and survival audiences, I have written for health and fitness and all of them have a learning curve and each of them have an audience which is infinite in its complexity. We’re all human beings.

Some people would say that technical business-to-business documents are harder than business to consumer, but I think that falls into the same category as above: if you are used to writing business-to-business documents, then you will have to get more technical in your language. That is a skill you can learn and a trait you can get good at. Vice versa for the consumer market.

Now let’s talk about actual copywriting and the projects you will do.

What Is The Most Difficult Copywriting Task?

The most difficult copywriting task is one that you will unlikely ever have to do.

The only time you will do the most difficult copywriting task is when the targeting is wrong. Let me explain.

The most difficult copywriting task is to write a sales letter where you are taking an audience which is uninterested in your product and doesn’t know it exists through to buying your product.

This is incredibly difficult because most people who aren’t interested or knowledgeable about your product aren’t going to buy it inherently.

Yet sometimes you will have an affiliate or other person you work for give you this Herculean task.

If you have to do this, then you have to do this. You have to write a headline and lead-in which are going to grab the attention and explain the product whilst giving them a hint of the benefits they will receive. You will then have to follow that up with why the product is going to fix an issue that they never knew they had. Then you are going to have to write the call to action which impresses upon your audience very quickly why they can’t afford to live without something they’ve never heard of 15 minutes ago.

That is a lot to ask of a single sales letter.

Don’t get me wrong; it is possible and people can do it. I’ve done it. But you shouldn’t have to.

Copywriting Shouldn’t Be Impossible

You shouldn’t have to do the copywriting task I said above.

When it comes to most copywriting, by the time you are selling, you have an interested audience that knows about your product and has segmented themselves down into people that want to buy it.

Your whole funnel is designed to get to that point. And when you follow the correct direct marketing principles, each step takes a person from uninterested and unknowledgeable through to ready to buy.

This should be easy and straightforward and if it isn’t, then something is wrong with the funnel before you sell.

So if a publisher asks you to write a sales letter targeting everyone, then you know that the funnel is either nonexistent or not very effective. You should have the target market pinned down by the time they go to sell.

If your sales letter is doing more than one job, then it will be less effective. If you are convincing people they need the results as well as convincing them that they need to specific product, then you are doing two jobs. This should have been sorted out before you get them to the sales letter.

On the other hand, if you are creating a lead magnet or writing an initial ad, you shouldn’t be trying to rush the person into a sale. The whole goal with things further up the funnel is that they aren’t selling. They are establishing a relationship, they are making people aware that there’s a better life out there for them, and they are giving them a little glimpse into how they might get that better life.

Final Thoughts

If you segment the copywriting process like this, then all of your tasks should be relatively straightforward.

They will also be more effective because if you build a good relationship with someone, then they will trust you more and buy your product more. Conversions will be higher. This is true even when the sales letter is more simple, because you’ve done the hard work of making them interested already.

So don’t ask yourself what most difficult copywriting task is. Instead ask yourself how you can make a streamlined process that makes everything simpler and more effective.