Interviews C.J. Haughey

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Q1. Where are you from?

Armagh, Ireland

Q2. How did you discover copywriting?

I was a lost soul in South Korea in 2015. I had a short-term plan: save up to go backpacking around South America. Between teaching English and travel blogging, I fell into content writing. 7 long hard months of slaving for mills and agencies kept me off the mean streets of Bolivia and Chile before I bagged my first good client. One day, as I counted my dwindling pesos while taking refuge from a thunderstorm in Colombia, he sent me an email that changed my life. It was an offer to do a huge website copywriting project. The conversation that followed changed my whole perspective on freelance writing. I was like: “Wait, Jeff, you’re telling me I can stop pounding out thousands of words about lightbulbs in exchange for peanuts, and instead, make good money, and be more creative while writing fewer words? You son of a bitch, I’m in!”

Q3. What forms of copy do you write?

I’ve done a lot of website projects and used to own/run a content agency with a 7-strong team pumping out blog posts like a bakery does buns. But I crushed it to focus on becoming a kick-ass copywriter. Right now, my focus is on direct response: Emails, Video Ads, and Landing Pages. I like the ability to ship quickly, track the data, gauge feedback, and go again. Test, learn, adapt, improve.

Q4. What are your favorite niches to write in?

I get that the big gurus swear by picking a niche. Personally, I like variety. The thought of doing 3 website projects back-to-back on the same niche, like cybersecurity or skincare is terrifying. I’m enjoying the SaaS + Ecommerce worlds because they have so many sub-niches within them, but I don’t see myself “niching down” any time soon.

Q5. What is the #1 lesson you've learned as a copywriter?

What you say is a whole lot less important than how you say it. Also, if you shut your piehole and become a really good listener and researcher, you can figure out the answer to just about anything.

Q6. Who is your favorite copywriter & why?

Eddie Shleyner, hands down. 3 reasons (of many): 1/ His site is a goldmine of amazing little creative stories with nuggets of copywriting wisdom in everyone. It should be in every copywriter’s bookmarks. 2/ I’ve stalled on launching a newsletter for years because of the doubts/fears about the added workload or wondering what to write each week. From Eddie, I learned that it’s okay — hell, not just okay, but a fuckin’ genius idea — to re-use your blog posts as your newsletter content (and also your LinkedIn content). In doing so, Eddie turns each little micro-post into a 3-pronged flywheel that sucks in followers and subscribers. 3/ Lastly, despite his real experience writing copy for big Fortune 500 companies, he’s super down to earth, not like a lot of the posers and fake gurus selling $2,997 courses because they had a viral meme.

Q7. Do you have any recent wins to share?

One of the best results so far is a website copy project where I helped a leading PEO gain 80% more leads in under 90 days. The total overhaul transformed the site from a digital graveyard into their #1 source of new business. Also, I created a new brand story and voice guide for a popular haircare company, Luseta. Shortly after, conversion rates increased 68%.

Q8. What would you say to a prospective client who wants to hire you?

If you already want to hire me, let’s chat. If you’re on the fence, here’s my offer: We test-run 5 emails. We’ll check the metrics of my sequence against your existing ones. If I don’t get you more leads and conversions, you get a 110% money-back guarantee. That’s right, I will pay you for wasting your time.

Q9. What is a good email address for prospective clients to contact you?

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