All the stories you’ve heard about making money as a copywriter are true. Copywriters can make more money than lawyers and doctors. You can choose to live a writer’s life or become the best copywriter you can be. And you can achieve whatever lifestyle you desire without years of school or being on call. But there’s a catch.
While you can achieve a lot as a copywriter, there are two things you need to know. First of all, it’s not easy. And second, it’s not meant for everyone. This is why 99% of people fail to make money as a copywriter.
Now, the stories you don’t hear all the time but are the most common are of the people who didn’t make any money in their first year as a copywriter.
Case in point is none other than Dan Lok himself. Dan had started and failed at 13 businesses before he discovered his first success in copywriting. But in his first year of learning copywriting, he didn’t make a dime.
And most people in his situation would have given up and accepted defeat. Unsurprisingly, it’s something hundreds of “wannabe” copywriters do. But not Dan.
Dan was committed to success and he’d do whatever it takes to make it happen. For 365 days, he invested all his hours into acquiring this one skill of copywriting with his mentor, Alan Jacques. And he did this with no money coming in to provide for his mom and a $150,000 debt weighing on his shoulders.
As a direct result of Dan’s commitment, within a few months of starting his one-man advertising agency, Dan received a total of $10,000 from one client. Yes. You read that correctly. Just one.
How is this possible?
It’s simple. He just did the complete opposite of what most “wannabe” copywriters would have done.
But you might be thinking –Well, it must be because he had a world-class copywriting mentor to show him the way. And you’re right. It is. But to say it was the only reason is like saying you only need to exercise to lose weight. It’s silly.
So today, we will uncover some common pitfalls that stop so many people from making money as a copywriter. And we will show you what you can do to set yourself on the right path to achieving your goals faster than you ever thought possible.
Mistake #1 – You Neglect the Power of Failing Without Feeling Like a Failure
In an interview with David Garfinkel on the Copywriter’s Podcast, the Copy Chief at Agora Financial, Joe Schriefer, shared three qualities he looks for in a copywriter. And among the three, the last one was the ability to fail without feeling like a failure.
Knowing how to fail is the first and one of the most important mistakes that hold copywriters back from making the money they want. It’s a necessary evil. But on the journey to success, you will never taste success if you don’t know how to fail for success.
A great example of someone who knows how to fail without feeling like a failure is Jack Ma, the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group. He calls himself “a blind man riding on the back of a blind tiger.”
It’s a metaphor he has used many times to illustrate his path to success. And the way to get there is by failing over and over again. He never saw his failures as failures. He always saw them as opportunities.
In the early days of Ma’s online business, he had many false starts and didn’t make any money. Throughout his life, he flunked his university exams twice until he finally got accepted at what he calls, “my city’s worst university.” Harvard’s graduate school rejected him 10 times. When Kentucky Fried Chicken came to China, 24 people applied and only 23 were accepted. He was the only person who got denied a position.
Every “failure” Ma faced was a chance for him to get back up and try again. His failures are the reason we acknowledge and respect his success as an entrepreneur and philanthropist today. And the same goes for you.
As a copywriter, you are bound to fail a lot. And you have to. You might write up a sales letter or do a promotion you’re thrilled about and then watch it bomb right before your eyes. And then suddenly you refuse to try again because you’re too afraid to fail. But if you never try, you’ll never know what went wrong and you lose a good opportunity to set things right.
Unlike wannabe copywriters, successful copywriters are “successful” because they can fail without feeling like a failure. If they send out promotion and it sucks, they say – What did I learn from that promotion? And how can I do it better next time?
Until you can distance yourself from your failures, you shouldn’t expect your results to be different. Accept that you need to look at failures objectively to gain more clarity about what you’re doing wrong. Only then will you be well on your way to starting making money as a copywriter.
Mistake #2 – You Lack a Daily Routine to Write 6-Figure Copy
If you want to prosper as a copywriter or anything for that matter, you need a strategy. You need a writing strategy that can help you achieve three things: consistency, quality, and income.
Nearly every top-performing copywriting has a writing routine they rely on to produce their best work. It’s one of the defining differences that separate them from the rest of the crowd. Let’s look at a few examples of their daily routines.
Michael Masterson, the author of the book Great Leads, starts his day working out first thing in the morning and then writing for 3 hours straight.
Hall of Fame copywriter, Gary Bencivenga, swears by his daily writing routine. Before brushing his teeth, eating breakfast, or worrying about anything else throughout the day, he sits down to write for 3 hours as well.
Stefan Georgi, one of the greatest copywriters of our time, fires up his computers and writes his daily emails almost every morning at 5:30 am.
A daily writing routine is their big secret. Sometimes it’s not so much about the fancy writing tactics or tips and tricks. It’s just the consistent practice of writing every day that will help you become the copywriter you want to be.
And as you probably noticed, each copywriter we named started writing first thing in the morning. This is no surprise. For most people, early mornings are a time where there are very few distractions and allows them to conquer their most important and productive work.
But keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you have to write in the morning. For some, writing at night works better. The goal is for you to find out what time of the day you are most productive before your brain turns to mush.
Mistake #3 – You Put Your Ego On a Pedestal and Refuse to Learn From Anyone Else
Do you remember when you were in high school and you joined extracurricular activities like sports, art, band, and chorus? Well, you always had what we call a “mentor” – someone to teach you the ropes. Someone to show you the right way to succeed. It sounds quite simple and obvious.
But unfortunately, so many copywriters don’t have someone behind them to lean on for guidance and advice. They try to go at it alone. For some reason, these aspiring copywriters fall victim to the belief of playing the “lone wolf.” They will keep to themselves, attempt to carry everything on their shoulders, and suffer alone in silence.
Oftentimes, they have such a big ego that they choose not to learn from people who have more experience. But the more they do, the more it eats them alive. They find themselves suffering from chronic stress, overwhelm, and confusion. But that’s not all.
They also have to face their lack of high performance, loss of income, and even unnecessary mistakes. All of these struggles can be avoided with the help of a mentor.
And believe it or not, the smartest and most successful copywriters double down mentorship. For them, it’s not a “would like to have” or even a “nice to have.” For them, mentorship is a mandatory prescription for “real” success as a copywriter. And here’s why.
There’s a saying you hear a lot in copywriting: Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. It’s a philosophy copywriters apply when they’re coming up with ideas or writing a sales letter. If there is a trending idea or a successful sales letter that’s working well in the market, they will try to emulate it for their projects.
The same idea applies to mentorship. You shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel. With a mentor, you’re looking for someone who has very deep knowledge in copywriting or any area where you don’t.
And when you can work with someone who has been where you want to be, they can help you avoid many of the pitfalls you’d end up experiencing if you were to go at it alone. So if you intend to start making money as a copywriter, do yourself a favor and leave your ego at the door.
Mistake #4 – You Expect to Earn 6-Figures Living a 5-Figure Lifestyle
This mistake might seem obvious. But it’s one of the biggest mistakes holding copywriters back from realizing their 6-figure vision because they’re living a 5-figure lifestyle.
Think about it. How can you begin making money as a copywriter if your habits, beliefs, and actions are incongruent with the amount of income you want to make? In most cases, you can’t. And if you can, it would be very challenging to achieve.
You say you want to make 6 or 7 figures as a copywriter in the next 12 months. But you spend your mornings sleeping in until 10 am, you don’t practice writing every day, and you mess around on social media. With these habits, t’s hard to say you will ever break free from the 5-figure level.
Dan often says: Money is a byproduct of value creation. Likewise, the result you achieve as a copywriter is a byproduct of the lifestyle you live.The result you achieve as a copywriter is a byproduct of the lifestyle you live. Click To Tweet
It doesn’t matter how much you desperately desire to make money as a copywriter. You will only produce results by taking action.
But keep in mind there’s a difference between action and activity. If you’re going to evolve into a six-figure earning copywriter, you need to make sure you’re taking actions that’ll get you closer to your goal. In this case, actions include finding clients, writing sales emails, and strategizing sales funnels.
So take an objective, look at your day, and find out what’s preventing you from achieving your goal. If you honor your word and do as you say, then go find out three things you want to change and do whatever it takes to upgrade your habits.
Mistake #5 – You Forget to Cater to Your Ideal Client’s Needs
Imagine you own an online cosmetics business. Your business is generating 5x more revenue than it did the previous year and you have thousands of customers who love your anti-aging line.
One day you discover a new skin-brightening supplement trend that’s spreading like wildfire. And suddenly other brands are hopping onto the bandwagon and they’re now selling over-priced skin-brightening supplements.
Not only that, but these brands are also doubling their revenue. Everyone seems to be getting an extra share of the market and you start to let your fear of missing out seep in.
So you devise this brilliant plan to ride the same wave and release your very own brightening supplement. Little did you know, the results were not what you expected.
First of all, you don’t know a thing about selling supplements. And second, you never did your due diligence to figure out if your customers even wanted a beauty supplement. You merely assumed that it was working for everyone and therefore thought it would work for you.
So several months and thousands of dollars later, you launch your skin-brightening supplement and could barely break even on your investment. The product launch bombed and turned into a complete disaster.
You see, the problem had little to do with the actual product itself. The problem was that you didn’t think twice about whether your customers even wanted a brightening supplement. To your surprise, they didn’t. What they wanted more of were anti-aging products.
This mistake seems to plague so many copywriters when they’re crafting their offer.
You forget to find out your customer’s biggest pain points and fail to cater to their needs. But if you have a solution for their biggest challenges and you can communicate it better than anyone else, your customers will be begging to buy your solution.
Mistake #6 – You Don’t Realize Your Customers are Marketing Geniuses
It doesn’t matter how great you think your writing is. If you don’t know how to sell and you don’t understand marketing you can forget about making money as a copywriter.
Much of it has to do with knowing who your ideal customer is and realizing your customers are the ultimate marketing geniuses. Once you have a deep understanding of their genius, you really can’t go wrong.
And as simple as it may sound, nearly 90% of new and seasoned copywriters overlook the power of this one strategy we will share with you today. It’s another huge mistake.
But once you understand it and follow this advice, you’ll have trouble stopping the money from coming in. It’s a strategy Justin Goff believes to be “the most un-sexy, yet profitable secret when it comes to copy.” So here it is…
All you have to do is talk to 5-10 different people who bought your product and interview them about it.
That’s it. This is a tactic Dan has mentioned countless times and for good reason, because it just works. You know you’ve struck gold when your customers share with you their biggest pains points, what they like and didn’t like about the product, what motivated them to buy, or maybe even why they didn’t buy.
All the magic happens when you take their words and use them in your copy. Now, you’re not just speaking to an imaginary buyer. Your writing and connecting with a real person. This way your reader will feel like “this person understands me and knows what I’m going through.”
Again, it’s nothing flashy but sometimes simplicity is the most effective and most profitable tool in your toolbox. But you really won’t appreciate how powerful it is until you go try it out for yourself.
Are You Ready to Achieve Your Six-Figure Goal in the Next 12 Months?
These are some of the biggest mistakes that cause so many people to fail at making money as a copywriter. But if you’re tired of running your show alone and you want a faster way to reach your six-figure income goal, then we’d like to help.
On Team Dan Lok, we’re always looking for good copywriters and we have many copywriters who are making a great living working from home.
But the catch is – we only hire copywriters who have gone through Dan’s training. And the reason is simple – they understand Dan’s brand and the culture of Dan’s organization.
And if you decide to train with Dan, we’ll give you everything you need from templates to checklists and show you step-by-step how to become a six-figure copywriter within 12 months.
So if you are very serious, coachable, willing to learn, and do whatever it takes, then click here to join Dan in his on-demand training where he’ll walk you through the fastest and easiest way to become a High Income Copywriter®.