I was looking at some other copywriting websites the other day, and it made me a little sad, and also surprised.
Most of my old copywriting friends are gone. Well, I can’t say “friends” – I only really conversed with a few, and those few I am still Facebook friends with – but a lot of my old competitors are gone.
Back in 2003, and up to about 2012, there really weren’t that many of us. There were maybe 10-15 people I considered real competition. And I admired them – they had awesome websites with great writing. I got so many good ideas from them, and I hope they got a few from me as well.
See, I never really worried much about competition – there’s only so much work any one person can handle, and all of these people were either singular writers or a very small team. They were real, and I felt a bit of a kinship.
So anyway, they are largely all gone. And they’ve been replaced by (more or less) copy agencies. But the thing that really surprises me about most of these copywriting websites today is how bland the writing actually is. Basically a short paragraph about business writing, then a list of what they do.
No engagement. No personality. And no fun. It’s like AI wrote everything (hey…).
Note: not every single one is like this, of course. There certainly are some good ones. But through my eyes, having been there 20 years ago, it’s nothing like when every copywriting website was run by an actual writing entrepreneur, and the individual websites reflected that.
But time does move on, and things do change. And that’s how it should be. The kids are alright, and so is this guy.
My own website here is decidedly word heavy. Oh, I have a little fun with pictures on many pages but let’s be honest – this website is not going to win any flashy design awards. But that’s on purpose – I want you to READ. Period.
In fact, I PURPOSELY designed this website to weed out the impatient person who doesn’t care much about style and just wants quick work at a cheap price. Wanting that isn’t bad or wrong, mind you, but it’s not my game.
My game is the business that likes what I say here, and maybe needs a little marketing or opinion thrown in with their writing. I purposely designed and wrote this site to appeal to that person, and wants “me” working for them. That’s how I effectively compete in this new copywriting world. Know yourself, and know your customer.
And you know what? It works. I cannot count the number of times a client said “I read your entire site and was there all night”. They get a sense of “me” before they even contact me. That’s my bread and butter client. And like I said earlier, there’s only so much work one guy can handle. I don’t need the phone to ring off the hook – I just need the right rings.
Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough about this. Just a little wistful today.
I sincerely hope some of my old copywriting collegues read this. I noticed you back then, and I miss you. I’m still here, and I hope you are doing well also.