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Should I learn copywriting or programming?

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astr0

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Or we can partially agree.

I believe that if a person cannot take the time to learn to write properly and especially considering the tools you mentioned, I shouldn't trust them to do more complex tasks. Again, I am talking good enough skills to pass grade school language classes.
Makes sense, especially considering such low requirements.

If a person cannot take the care to check their emails or mass communications, how are they going to execute the plan we are working on?
Sure, the person should definitely care when it's something that important. But I would still forgive if someone is uber busy and just wrote a quick email with lots of mistakes.

It can also lead to miscommunications which can end up causing a lot of problems. I had a Marketing Executive cause a $50k fine with the SEC because she used the wrong language.
Totally agree, and you have a nice real-life proof for that.

Now that I've better understood what you're talking about, I'm really more on the same side.

However, you would not hire me.
I've had C (I guess, we are using a different scoring system in schools here) on writing and languages all the time. And every attempt to improve that had very little results if any. In fact, I've had a better score on English than my native Ukrainian, but maybe that has something to do with the actual scoring system for the foreign languages here.

Yet, having far from the best writing skills was never an issue for me in adult life. Nor I've ever thought it could be.
 

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Process

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Both are good leverage points if you are great at marketing. Both are useless if you are piss poor at marketing.

I know people who are great at marketing and closing deals. They keep things simple and find people who can do these things for them.

How did they get money? Commission sales jobs/saving money from their slower lane job.
 

rjrobbins2

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Yet, having far from the best writing skills was never an issue for me in adult life. Nor I've ever thought it could be.
Yeah, I think we are on the same page. I can tell from your posts that you are just fine. I am also not talking about a quick email in a back and forth exchange but rather something more broadly sent and formal.

Carelessness just irks me. For example, I run an auto glass company and I edit all our customer's invoices for the next day before we print. Having an invoice go out with windshield spelled wrong or getting the make or model wrong would bother me. It only takes me 10 minutes and could prevent a customer from thinking less of us as a company. Small details can be important.
 

Remiremi

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Définitions: I define short term as about nine to fifteen months and long term as about four to five years.

Let's just be clear : you won't make money short term with programming if you start from scratch today, so funding your startup this year with programming gig is just a pipe-dream.

Though you can learn webdesign and make money short term but this is not programming per-se.

If you must pick one skill to fund your startup go with copywriting, for the many reasons explained in the previous posts.

This said, for your long term interest I will strongly suggest you to learn how to program. I would recommend to choose or Python3 or Javascript (pure, no framework) and to practice + learn a little bit every three to four days.

How to learn those two? (remember, you can only chose one and master it)

  • Best ressource for learning python from scratch : learn python 3 the hard way by Z. Shaw (you can find it for free somewhere on the internet). This is the best no bullshit quickest way to learn python. I use it to get absolute beginners ready in 10 days (full time).o
  • For javascript https://github.com/getify/You-Dont-Know-JS/blob/master/Readme.md (free) disclaimer : I am a python expert but I know very few js so my recommendation may be decent but not optimal. You might want to ask for second opinion on the best way to learn it.
From what you say javascript (no framework) might be your best bet:
- very useful for front end if you want to do your designs and UX yourself
- you can use it full stack (meaning create whole web apps thanks to it)
- you can use to create cross platform mobile app (iPhone + Android in one shot)
- future proof for edge computing AI (AI embedded in mobile phone)
In a nutshell : Very useful to create your MVPs for free!
 
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MythOfSisyphus

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I would go with copywriting because its a skill that will be applicable to far more areas of business and life in general.

It's also cheaper to outsource good programming than it is good copywriting.

And speaking from experience, copywriting has more immediate pay-offs. With a couple of months worth of copywriting experience under your belt you'll be able to write better ads and product descriptions than 99% of people out there. 2 months worth of programming however, won't get you far.
 
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srodrigo

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This said, for your long term interest I will strongly suggest you to learn how to program. I would recommend to choose or Python3 or Javascript (pure, no framework) and to practice + learn a little bit every three to four days.
Great advice. I would probably start with Python, it's a far less complex and messy language, and very suitable for beginners. Then learn the bits of JS as I need them.

It's also cheaper to outsource good programming than it is good copywriting.
I'm a copywritting ignorant, but are you sure about that? Any software project, even small ones, can easily take weeks or months to build. I would imagine most copywritting jobs don't take that long (I might be wrong here)?

Coincidentally, I was having a look at mobile apps estimation websites yesterday, and even fairly minimal apps with a low number of features can easily go above 10k, which also matches up with the prices I saw when I was working for a mobile apps agency. Example here (I'm not affiliated in any way): Estimate My App
 

GoodluckChuck

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To me this question is weird. Is like asking should I learn how to learn French or Spanish? The real question should be what problem are you trying to solve?

Unless you are looking for a new career working for a company as a cog in a wheel, I feel like you should be asking more broad questions like what skills to I have and what problems can I solve?

Should you use a hammer or a shovel? Well what is it that you're trying to achieve?

Again if you are looking for a job, then maybe the question you asked is ok, but it's more of a personal question. re you more interested in making machines do things or making people do things?

They are dramatically different realms of thinking.

I wouldn't put yourself in a corner. Try both and find real world applications to use as your playground. Hell, you might end up doing something unrelated to both of these things when you get a few steps ahead.
 

LinorCG

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For me it depends on your current situation. If theres an immediate higher paying job you need to get due to your current responsibilities and requires programming then id go with it.

Im not saying learning copywriting wont earn you a high wage. But technology is here, its in demand so I would go for programming first and then study and specialize in Copywriting later on. Nobody's stoping you to learn both! ;)
 

Black_Dragon43

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What do you think is the better option in the long term and why?
In terms of making money, it's easily copywriting. Copywriting is sales in print, and sales jobs earn more than engineering jobs. Paradoxically, it's precisely because of the great success of engineering that they get paid less. Engineering is so successful that by succeeding, they remove the need that got them hired in the first place.

Think about it, after a company has produced a great robot, app, AI or whatever - the focus shifts to marketing. Engineers will still be needed in research and development, but they won't be driving the revenue growth of the company anymore. Sales & marketing will.

Programming is better in the long term.
This is not supported by the data. If you want to be a millionaire, then the fastest route is to open a business. But the alternative, if you're not going to open a business, is to be a salesman. Not a programmer.

The tech to do it is already here.
Here is Mitsuku, the world's most advanced conversational AI chatbot (most human-like), and multiple-time winner of the Loebner Prize (including in 2019). Try chatting with her, and you will easily detect she is not human. For example:

Me: I drank beer with ma buddies
Mitsuku: I hope you didn't get drunk.
Me: nah, but I surely hit the pillow when I got back
Mitsuku: Then why did you tell me you did? It is not nice to lie. You? I don't like violence.
She can't handle it. The implied knowledge that is required for human-like language use is still out of AI's reach for now.

The world is getting more automated every day. Copywriters will eventually be replaced by AI that crafts better copy than humans
I'm not buying it. Humans will always be more in touch with human psychology than AI ever will, just because they are human and have direct access, whereas AI will always have second-hand access. In addition, keep in mind that psychology itself evolves. For example, Freud's theories have trickled down today into popular consciousness. For this reason, the average man's psychology is no longer adequately described by Freud's theories. The knowledge of Freud's theories has changed the actual psychology - people behave differently after knowing it.

For this reason, psychology is an always evolving science. We will never reach a final theory of psychology. We will never achieve completeness. And this means that the direct understanding of a human being, coupled with our intuition, will always be better than AI at this. This is not to say that AI won't be extremely powerful... but I doubt it would be better than a human.

Plus you always have the "hand-made" branding aspect. I suppose you'll have the cheap copy that AI produces, and then you'll have the "human-crafted" mega super awesome copy :happy:
 

Tom Wong

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Interesting thread.

Okay, so here's a question. I currently know nothing about programming (I know HTML & CSS but that's not really programming per se) and I know nothing about copyrighting.

I want to learn both and I will learn both, but which one should I learn first? Should I learn them at the same time, one before the other? Does it matter?

I should also mention I have quite a bit of time on my hands to learn :)
 

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ShamanKing

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Copy writing, programming, sales, coding, SEO, marketing, are all tools.
What matters is can you apply these tools to help solve the need/problem you identified. Yes learning the skill sets will be important when the time calls but without the correct mindset how are they going to point you in the direction of the FastLane.
To my understanding, TMF was about the mindset. My biggest takeaway was identifying Needs/problems in the market.

I think many folks come here and are influenced by the legendary threads about someone achieving massive results with copy/programming or any other skill but forget the fact that that certain individual identified a NEED and fulfilled it. Not saying you cant learn a skill and then identify a need. This is just my 2 CENTS (wow i love how that worked out lol)
I started reading “The Boron Letters” and “The Ultimate Sales Letter” (Wonderful books about copy from this forum). My goal is to rework the Copy writing and ads that I see in my gym and help pull new members for the gym.


Neng
 

MB2

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Why not both?

Communication is the most important skill. Isn't it?

Even if you have no skill , but you have mastered communication within yourself, you can take effective action to do something to make sh*t happen.
 

MB2

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Interesting thread.

Okay, so here's a question. I currently know nothing about programming (I know HTML & CSS but that's not really programming per se) and I know nothing about copyrighting.

I want to learn both and I will learn both, but which one should I learn first? Should I learn them at the same time, one before the other? Does it matter?

I should also mention I have quite a bit of time on my hands to learn :)
Start Now.

Yes, both of them
 

Andy Black

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Hi, Andy. I don't understand. Why do you need to write code to create a campaign in Google Ads?
I mostly do it in Excel now, but I might dig out my code if I had a big project to create keywords and ads for many services for thousands of locations.
 

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