Direct Response Copywriter on Writing Copy Quickly

"Speed is a strategy," says one of my mentors in direct response copywriting, Andrew Wood. The concept also comes from one of the world’s most accomplished copywriters, Clayton Makepeace.

Andrew and Clayton write copy quickly. I strive to write copy quickly and I might be faster than the aforementioned. In a copywriting race, it would be close.

Some copywriters like to write between three and five major direct mail promotions a year. These might be upwards of 50 pages. It will take a month to research the project. A month to provide a draft. A month to go through revisions. A month to work on the design with the graphic designer. Then a couple of weeks for final changes.

I’m not one of those copywriters, unless I find a client who is paying me a decent sum up front for that promotion … with the probability of royalties on the back end. This can happen.

However, most of my clients typically want to move much faster. The faster they get their products and services to market, the faster they generate cash. They’re not looking for copywriting perfection. They want copy that will create a positive response and they want it quickly.

One of my clients will contact me on Wednesday. They will need about 4,000 words of copy for a product by the following Monday. I’ll get them the copy and the promotion will be up and running in 10 days. That’s called SPEED. It’s easier to move faster on the web. But you can be almost as fast with direct mail.

Some companies like to take their time and take months before sending copy live, either online or offline. Others like to move extremely quickly. I’m happy working in either environment.

I’ve always written quickly. Back in high school, and even earlier, I was always under some degree of pressure to write a lot in a short space of time. This happened every day with homework. Then it happened during exams where I’d have three hours to write four long essays. I also wrote for the school newspaper, regularly writing long pieces in a couple of hours. Earlier in my career, I’d produce a 100-page quarterly magazine without any freelancers. I’d write the ads and write all the articles plus sell advertising and manage the entire publishing cycle.

Speed is great for my clients. I can turn work around quickly so they generate revenue faster. But it’s also good for the writer because it means more opportunities.

Where can you speed things up when it comes to marketing? Speed is a mindset. I eat slowly. I usually ski relatively slowly and in control. But I can produce copy quickly. I've worked to become a fast professional copywriter.