Your Copy Sucks

Why Your Copy Sucks

Why Your Copy Sucks, And Why Your Copywriter Might Not Be Able To Help

Please don’t be mad.Your Copy Sucks

I’m not making any assumptions here…although there is a very good chance your copy does suck. I’m just using the title to filter. If your copy is great then there is no need to keep reading.

So your copy sucks for 1 of 3 reasons:

1) You, or your writer, just aren’t a good writer. Wordy, poor style, no flow. All that sort of stuff.


2) There’s no foundation, spine, plan, story, whatever, behind your writing. Your copy needs an overall theme, a story, something tying it all together. You won’t make many sales just listing facts or benefits.


3) You don’t know how to sell your product and have been hoping that somehow “the internet” will magically solve this problem. If you add enough words and red text someone has to get confused and buy right? When I taught copywriting workshops in Vancouver I never discussed grammar or structure. I taught benefits, human needs and motivation. In fact, I really just taught a sales workshop and talked about writing for 10 minutes at the end.

If you can’t sell your product in person or on the phone you WON’T be able to sell in print or online. You need to be able to articulate the reasons people buy from you, and the reasons they don’t, and then translate it all into copy.

Usually reasons 2 + 3 are where you run into trouble if working with a copywriter who is a writer first and a salesperson second, if at all. Most of the great copywriters had little formal education or came from mixed backgrounds like Clayton Makepeace and David Ogilvy.

Great copy is about understanding people and making a sale.

Dan Johnston I have been obsessed with psychology and marketing since, well, forever. This was confirmed when I recently found a sales letter and marketing materials for an advertising agency I started at 13: Today I help business owners develop and execute effective online marketing strategies and high converting web sites. I’m also a superstar copywriter. Learn If, and How, You Should Integrate Social Media Into Your Website

Dan Johnston – who has written posts on Owen Clark.


  1. Write Ahead says:

    I LOVE this post! In our business we approach every copywriting project by helping the client articulate their ideal customer and what benefits their products or services will provide for that customer. It’s business first; we’ll dot our i’s at the end!

  2. Rick Sloboda says:

    Good piece! To help define what benefits and value your business can deliver, simply swap the all-too-common “What can the market do for us?” question with “What can we do for the market?” This can help you determine what people want to buy, and what they REALLY WANT out of your product or service.