Bob Bly

Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter who has written copy for more than 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Praxair, Intuit, Forbes, and Ingersoll-Rand. McGraw-Hill calls Bob “America’s top copywriter” and he is the author of 90 books, including “The Copywriter's Handbook.” Find him online at www.bly.com or call (973) 263-0562.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

The top reason I love my work is the fascinating people I have the privilege to meet. I’ve always thought B2B marketing attracts unusually interesting professionals. People who see the potential, embrace the complexity and relish the challenges of our field.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about companies developing software that can write copy. Naturally, copywriters are both a bit skeptical and a bit nervous that, if the software works well, it will put them out of work.

Back in 1923, people loved their brands. The people who ran them, I mean. Roaring ad writers thrust their products in buyer’s faces, as if they’d pounce like Pavlovian hounds. We do the same. But there is one man who knows that heartless advertising only makes the sellers salivate.

The search engine Google is a boon to freelance copywriters, giving us fast access to much more information than we could ever dig up at those old-fashioned data depositories we used to call "libraries." As a result, it's easier to write stronger copy today, because specifics sell, and Google gives us all the specifics we need.

In a recent issue of my e-newsletter, "The Direct Response Letter," I wrote about how many of my readers send me their URLs and ask me to critique their websites for free, with no offer to pay me for it ... And how that irks me and I refuse to do it. In his Oct. 28, 2014 article, Denny Hatch took me to task and said I was making an error refusing my subscribers their free critiques.

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