I subscribe to Copyblogger. I’m a fan of Brian Clark’s and I usually like the posts on the site…but lately, well, I’m seeing a theme and it’s making me a little queasy.
The fact that some people write blog posts ‘to sell’ makes sense. If you study the last month (at least) of postage on Copyblogger, ‘what the people want’ would be clear: they want to know how to be good copywriters, how to make their copy sell, how to get a lot of copywriting work. Here are a few recent post titles:
- Why a Few Freelance Copywriters Make Most of the Money
- 10 Tips for Kicking Ass as a Freelance Writer
- Freelance Copywriting Success: How to Tie a Bow Around Your Work
From these titles, a few conclusions can be drawn:
1. A lot of people are trying to be copywriters, but are failing.
2. The copywriter market is saturated.
Of course everyone doesn’t succeed, so #1 has to hold some truth. Add to that this scramble for ‘how to make it work’ information.
But, I’m very interested in #2.
When I started my business several years ago, I was one of a very small number of copywriters in my local area. I think there were three or four others. Note: you couldn’t turn around without bumping into a web designer.
Now go on Twitter, or even to Google, and search for a copywriter – there are a bazillion. Oddly, while the pool of prospective work has grown dramatically because of the Internet and social media, the chances of standing out in the crowd and getting hired have decreased. (The Reversal Theory strikes again, eh Dad?)
So, why are these ‘how to succeed’ posts making me queasy? I think it’s the desperation. And the lack of interest in the writing. The vision in my head is of millions of freaked out people trying to make it up the side of a cliff in order to make a buck.
And now I’m laughing at myself because the next logical step here is to make a list of things you can do to stand out…but then this would be one of those posts too. So, I’ll resist…unless any of you ask me for my version of that list. Because whether or not you’re trying to sell something or not, your blog should aim to give your audience what it needs and wants to hear, what they respond to and what they crave.
Although…there is one thing that’s been gnawing at my brain, a possible solution to lift ourselves out of the crowded copywriter pool. I’m still stirring the pot on this one, but when the soup’s done – you’ll be the first to know.
Image credit: mhaithaca