Bloopers of a copywriting newbie: missing the target

Who else feels like they’ve taken on rather a lot all at once? Like there’s a lot to do but you don’t know where to begin?

And it’s even worse when everything’s new. Brain overload! On top of this I jumped straight on the freelance train. Am I mad? I’ll let you decide.

So, as a result of exploding brain syndrome I made a bit of a blooper (ahem, I mean a learning experience…). I’m sharing this whoopsie with you now, plus two key takeaways, so that hopefully, you won’t make the same mistake as me.

Copywriting essential: know your target audience

We all know how important it is to understand your client before writing for them. We focus on them, find out who they are, how they tick, what they want/need etc. If we don’t how can we hope to grab their attention?

And this is just as vital when creating your own website/blog as it is when you write a paid piece for a client. Who is the website for? Who is your target audience?

My mistake: missing the target

So how did I manage to fluff this one up?

Well, firstly I was so busy with all that’s involved in setting up a new business, excited at the prospect and I just wanted to get on with it. I didn’t take the time to stop, think or plan well.

But really, I just didn’t want to ‘conform’. I didn’t like the fact that all copywriters seemed to write about in their blog posts was copywriting! So my stubborn streak kicked in saying: “noooooooooooo, I don’t want to be like them! I am Susan Hammond and I am unique.” While I still think it’s a mistake to write for other copywriters all the time (I’m not trying to attract their custom) it would have been sensible to target potential clients with my copywriting know-how. Doh!

So what did I do instead? I focused on several audiences at the same time. I tried to be too clever, and perhaps a little arrogant, thinking I was better than others and could do it all my way. I targeted people interested in the great outdoors/nature, those with an interest in mental health and wellbeing, and other copywriters.

While this is not inherently a bad thing, I had focused on subjects I love instead of targeting the audience I needed. I’m now targeting potential clients, including those in the outdoor and wellbeing niches. Hopefully my website/blog is beginning to reflect this. Any comments welcome.

How you can avoid this mistake: 2 key takeaways

So what can you learn from my experience?

  1. Slow down, think and plan before you write. Even if you are feeling the pressure to get things done quickly. Believe me, if I had slowed down with my website it would have taken less time overall.
  2. Don’t be arrogant. If you think you know it all you are wrong! There’s a reason why there are so many successful copywriters out there so learn from them.

And perhaps my little blooper was actually an important (essential?) part of the learning process. I’m not likely to make that mistake again and I’m a better copywriter as a result. So take heart. You can be a great copywriter, mistakes and all!

Now over to you

Perhaps you’ve learned from making similar mistakes. Or maybe you’re worried about getting it wrong in the future. Either way, I’d love to hear from you.

Let’s help one another be the best copywriters we can be!

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