4 Common Misconceptions About Copywriting

person typing on laptop

Here’s a question: what first comes to mind when you hear the words “sales copy”? If your mind went to one of those “old-school” TV infomercials or scammy-looking pages with red flashing arrows, don’t worry – that’s not what we’re doing here. 

Let’s look at 4 common misconceptions about copywriting.

1. Copywriting is not about tricking or manipulating people.

Copywriting is NOT the same as aggressive selling. High-pressure sales tactics, exaggerated claims, and empty promises might have been widely used in the past, but this type of copywriting feels inauthentic and sleazy now. 

Instead, get into the mindset of connecting with your audience and helping them solve their biggest problems. That’s the key to writing genuine, empathetic copy that doesn’t make the reader cringe.

Think of it this way: you’re not pressuring anyone into buying something they don’t want, you’re genuinely helping them solve the biggest problems they have.

2. Copywriting is not the same as content writing. 

Many people confuse copywriting with content writing. These are two different things! I can’t tell you how many times when I tell people I am a copywriter they ask me if I write blog posts. 

Content writing, as the name suggests, involves writing content — blog posts, social media captions, articles, and such. 

The main goals of content writing are brand awareness and creating a better relationship with the audience, while the main purpose of sales copy is to inspire action. 

Therefore, effective sales copy = copy that gets people to take the action you want them to take.

Sales copy will help you get:

  • More opt-ins for your free resources (guides, eboks, mini-courses etc) – and, in turn, more subscribers to your email list
  • More call bookings
  • More registrations and attendees for your events and trainings
  • More people clicking on your ads and going to the offer page
  • More sales of your offers

3. Copywriting is different from literary and academic writing.

If you’re reading this, you probably want to grow your business, not win a Pulitzer prize or get published in an academic journal. 

The good news is that you don’t need to use fancy words or follow all of the grammar rules to write copy that sells. 

In fact, the best sales copy is short, punchy, and written in sentence fragments — mimicking how we speak.

The only thing you need to worry about when measuring the effectiveness of your sales copy is this: Can your words get people to take the action you want them to take?

Your sales copy, unlike literary fiction, should NOT be open to interpretation. Why? Because confused reader = lost sale.

Here’s a simple way to test if your copy is clear:

Read it out loud. If it sounds unnatural or cheesy, rewrite it.

4. Copywriting is more about research than writing.

To paraphrase a legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz, great copy not written, it’s assembled. It’s equal parts science and art – I’d say about 70% research and 30% writing/editing. 

Writing copy is NOT just coming up with things and making assumptions about what your customers want. The best copy is based on voice-of-customer data – words taken straight from your customers’ mouths

man and woman drawing on the whiteboard


And there you go! Now that you know more about what copywriting is and is not.

In my next post, we’ll take a look at how to write effective copy – and spot and fix ineffective copy.