Mastering the Craft of Copywriting

One month (and change) later, I am still reading Robert Bly’s The Copywriter’s Handbook. Have I given up? No.

In the introduction to his book, Bly mentions how the Internet has changed (or not changed) copywriting. I will recap (from memory) in my own words.

  • Because human nature remains unchanged, copywriting remains largely unchanged
  • However, people are keener of scam and spam, therefore copy must be intelligent (and honest)
  • In addition, people have shorter attention spans, therefore copy must be concise
  • The amount of information has increased, but knowledge has decreased, therefore copy must be relevant
  • People live in a fast food mentality, therefore copy must promise a quick delivery
  • On the other hand, delivery options have increased, and this is a benefit for the copywriter
  • Copy remains KING

I purposely left out one important detail in this list: the Internet has increased the necessity for the copywriter to master her craft.

This is why I am only half way through Robert Bly’s Copywriter’s Handbook. And able to ramble off this list from memory. [And willing to begin sentences with conjunctions and use sentence fragments.]

I am not memorizing the book word for word, just what I feel is important. Others have shared the futility of approaching copywriting in this way, discovering memorization was not necessary when a checklist would suffice. I intend to make use of both methods.

In all honesty, I have only consistently had minutes at best to study due to commuting and work. However, I have found that driving is a great time for recalling what I read in those few minutes.


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