What Makes a Great Copywriter?

“What makes a good copywriter?”

This was one of the questions I was asked yesterday by Naomi Knight. She was interviewing me as part of a project for her digital media course.

My answer?

  • Curiosity
  • Business brain
  • Creativity

My rationale?

Curiosity Made the Copywriter

While copywriters can get away with being just an average writer, they really need to have a head that’s stuffed full of information. A natural curiosity about our world tends to leave a person with just such a stuffed head.

All those seemingly pointless facts come in handy when you’re writing copy about something weird.

Business Brain

Copywriters are business people, not artists. Writing copy is about selling products, persuading people and delivering messages effectively. It is not about beautiful prose and winning awards.

To write copy well you need to understand your purpose. David Ogilvy’s On Advertising is a great book about advertising that hammers home this point.


Foster creativity. If you want your brain to be creative, you have to feed it first. In my experience, ideas happen because there is something in your mind that leads you to another, brand new, thought.

Without that stock of knowledge or inspiration, you may find it hard to be brilliant.

And the rest…

Copywriters require a great many other skills to write great copy, but I think these three are the most essential. If you’re a copywriter or if you’ve worked with copywriters, please let me know what you consider to be classic copywriter traits (good or bad!).


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