Copywriting in the Creator Marketplace

In the creator marketplace, everyone’s a copywriter. Covid mauling the job market and keeping everyone cooped up at home for two years sped this up. People with no history of reading in real life started writing and selling stuff online. Gumroad boomed. Cohorts sprouted. Communities formed. The algorithmic battle for attention blossomed. 

Everyone became a copywriter. 

And while many make the case that soft, fuzzy, organic traffic is not the same as juicing dollars out of stone-cold strangers, the counter-argument is a lot of the same persuasion principles are in action and at an admirable skill level. It’s just the playing field that’s changed. 

A couple of specific things I’ve noticed: 


This positioning that dominates the space and has 17-year-olds striving to build 6-figure education businesses while still in high school is something new. It looks less faddy than coaches for coaches and self-styled solopreneurs teaching semi-solopreneurs how to teach solopreneurism.

My friend Jim Clair has pointed out this positioning is safer because “It allows mistakes as a ‘learning lesson.’ It keeps them safe from others hiring them to coach them, and if it flops, getting roasted.” I don’t think “building in public” is a bad thing. It just means you need to be selective about your sensei. 

Lots more traditional DR guys are popping up on Twitter.

This means they want to build organic audiences and sell. A personal brand is a sensible hedge, but in a world where you can quit your job as a fund manager and have a multi-million dollar online writing business humming within two years, there’s plenty to play for.

Twitter’s become a place where you can build a company out of a person, or a group of people. You don’t have to arrive – immaculate – as the finished article. You can test not just your copy, but your design, your visuals; your vibe. You can ask hard questions and get quick replies from smart people. It’s a satisfying and rewarding creative journey.

So, yes.

There was a “plagiarism” spat on Twitter this week.

Big ship vs. little fish.

The vibe of the gripe:

Nitpicking at best, hypocritical at worst.

Maybe it’s just a function of the people I follow, maybe it’s because the person pointing the finger didn’t have a clever or even clear case, but in following the fallout, it’s evident where sympathy resides. The town hall has tossed this one out. 

I took one of the very first Twitter writing cohorts. I enjoyed it. I learned things. I shipped. And I still use some of their software when I want to write a mini-essay in a graphic. But I’ve since heard some sad anecdotes. The course has become AI and template-heavy. Output at all costs. This is a red flag. The things we do and the words we type are a battle for emotion and expression. Safe, shticky, scalable formulas and carpet-bombing the internet with AI-assisted essays about your sleep routine are poor substitutes for an actual personality. People know this even if they don’t shout it. They want blood and mud. Tears and beer. Love and loss. Connection. 

But as I said, it was a good cohort.

I sent the founders a thank you note after it finished. 

Never heard back.

P.S.P. French

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