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Intellectual stimulation — from copywriting?

October 30th, 2018 by Bob Bly

A few weeks ago, Ben Settle wrote an email comparing the two of

Specifically, Ben said how he dislikes writing for clients.

He prefers just to write for himself to sell his own info

Then he noted that I am the opposite: while I do write copy to
sell my own products, 94.7% of my time is spent writing copy for
a variety of clients.

Ben wrote, “I remember Bob telling me he loves writing for
clients because he’s easily bored and likes working on lots of
different products. It’s exciting and fun for him, and I am
assuming very profitable, too.”

Everything Ben said is true, but there are many additional things
I like about being a traditional freelance copywriter.

For instance, when a client emails to tell me that my copy
performed well for them, it absolutely makes my day.

But a less obvious perk for me of writing for a variety of
different clients and products is that it gives me something I
crave above almost all else: intellectual stimulation.

When you only write about your own products, they are almost
surely all in the same niche — for Ben and me, that’s marketing.

To me, writing about only one topic is boring.

Much of my intellectual stimulation from copywriting comes from
learning about new technologies, discoveries, markets, and

I get that by working on a wide variety of products in multiple
industries. It keeps me fresh, and I am virtually never bored.

My recent copy assignments have ranged from a formula that makes
crops grow bigger and faster … to an automatic fire protection
system for data centers that’s safer than either water or carbon
dioxide for both equipment and people … to a dietary supplement
that keeps older people from falling and breaking their hip.

I’ve mentioned before in this e-newsletter TB, a writer who has
spent his entire career writing almost exclusively about silver.

Through this, he has built a reputation as an expert in investing
in silver — something I was heavily into years ago (both bullion
and coins), and therefore I got his newsletter.

But if I had to write about one subject, and the same topic over
and over again, I’d go batty.

As I said, I like variety, and I get it in both copywriting and
book writing.

Yes, I write a lot of books on marketing, and enjoy it, because I
am always improving my knowledge of marketing by doing so, as
well as teaching others.

But again, if all my books were about marketing, it would begin to
get tedious for me.

As a result I have sold books on a wide range of other topics to
my publishers — including science … science fiction … biography …
essays … popular culture … real estate … leadership.

Also public speaking … vocabulary … writing … self-employment …
time management … food … ethics … and even sex!

Because if all I did was write copy and content to sell my own
info products on marketing … well, I’d slip into a coma.

I hate boredom — and have taken great pains in my writing career
to avoid it — pretty successfully, I might add.

The secret is the old saying: variety is the spice of life.

And it’s absolutely true.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2018 at 12:44 pm and is filed under Writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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