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Copywriting tip 28: It’s not personal

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We’re getting to the end of my 30 copywriting tips.

And you can, hopefully, see what a journey good copywriting takes.

We do our homework, digging into the audience and topic.

We get passionate.

Pour our hearts onto the page.

Edit like crazy.

There’s a lot of us in the copy.

And then someone reads it, and gives you feedback of: ‘That’s crap’.

Yep. Actually happened to me.

It’s hard not to take criticism personally.

But you can’t.

Even though you may feel it personally.

Be objective – even if the reviewer isn’t.

The good news is that the process we’ve followed over these 28 tips will arm you.

You should have a counter-argument for everything the reviewer puts up.

They question you about a word? Well, you chipped at the marble. Considered it. Took it out. Put it back in. Looked at alternates.

Bore them with the details.

They’re not sure about the opening? Well, you started in the reader’s world – based on your research. Explain it.

They question the facts of the topic.

Again, you did your research.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t listen.

Before you get defensive, make sure you really hear their objections.

(Copywriters are renowned for being prickly, by the way. There’s a lightbulb joke. ‘How many copywriters does it take to change a lightbulb?’ Answer: ‘I’m not changing anything!’.)

But because every piece of ink – whether real or digital – has been considered, you should be able to explain.

Now, if they’ve got new information or a better insight, wonderful. That’ll only enhance the end result.

Objective, rational feedback is a wonderful thing.

I’ve had mediocre pieces of writing turned into something special, thanks to the right feedback.

So, next time a piece of your writing is being reviewed, don’t take it personally.

Just take it.


This tip is based on my 30 Tips in 40 Minutes webinar.

Feel free to download a version of the slides and watch a video of the one-hour webinar.

Image source: Pixabay


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Jon Maxim

Jon is a multi-award winning copywriter. For over 30 years, he’s helped clients – large and small – develop engaging concepts, content and copy. For 25 of those years, he’s been teaching people how to do it themselves. His courses on copywriting, ideation and presentation skills are highly sought-after and highly effective. Jon lives in Sydney, Australia: but is often found on a plane, heading to where he’s most needed.