Read Millionaire Fastlane
- Nov 13, 2014
Disagree on this one Lex.Programming is better in the long term. The world is getting more automated every day. Copywriters will eventually be replaced by AI that crafts better copy than humans. But somebody will have to program that AI first. So if you're looking for long-term solutions, then programming will always be the better option.
Copywriting is not going to make you startup capital at a useful level from scratch in under six months, and probably more like a year. That's assuming you are good at selling yourself. Since you said "if the ideas don't work out" I'll assume you're not confident that they will which also says you may not believe in yourself enough to make copywriting worth your time.
Whichever way you go will require big shifts in mindset before you make money. If you haven't read The Millionaire Fastlane, then I would pick up a copy before going any further in any direction.
This is my perspective as someone who is reasonably good at both skills and used/uses them both to do biz. Sorry if I write weird things, I'm pretty hungover.
In no particular order, and as they come to mind:
- Becoming proficient at copy is much easier/faster than programming. Lex says 6mo/1y, but honestly, I started making a livable wage in around two months. You won't beat sophisticated controls. But you will be delivering results to clients who had BAD marketing before you came along, and that's fine. Or you can do affiliate marketing. In programming you could do Lambda School or a bootcamp and maybe find a job pretty fast. But you aren't a professional, not really. You are only leveraging a huge gap in labor supply/demand to get a job where they know they'll need to train you.
- Copy is something you can leverage pretty much on your own. Bang out copy for clients, and you got a freelancing biz. Being a one man band in programming is much harder, and usually reserved for either full stack devs (lots of skills needed, lots of time) or veterans who are hyper-specialized in some hard/niche thing. That's not to say you shouldn't increase in both breadth and depth of skills when working on copy, but it's easier to get in motion.
- To somewhat rehash the same point in another way, basic copy skills are easy to get and will be very, very useful for any business you start. Basic coding skills are harder to get and stop being useful fast. It becomes a simple matter of expected value.
- Never work in a cost center.
- The state of AI is way over-hyped. AI is not going to write decent copy on its own for a long, long time. By the time it can, the problem will be moot. Besides, it will be copywriters that make that AI, not programmers.
- More to the point, you want to be a businessman? You need to deal with human psychology. That's all there is to business. Copy will teach you a lot of that. If you want to go from A to B, make your path as straight as possible. Don't invest thousands of hours learning something you won't use once you are doing what you want to do.
- You will learn the basics of copy anyway as you start business, so might as well get two birds with one stone.
- There is only one skill you need to learn. Selling. Copy is selling in written form. What other skill to fall back on could you possibly need? The day there is no need for selling is the day there is no need for labor, and so the whole point is moot.
- You definitely need to fix your mindset as Lex says. Why do you need a fall back? Burn your boats, man. If an idea doesn't work out, you try another thing.
- You will know your mindset is fixed when you problem is not "what business do I start?" but "how do I decide what to pursue out of all these problems I see?".