“If you write copy for a living (or want to) . . .
“If you want to be a better copywriter than you are today . . .
“If you want prospects to buy what you have to say and sell . . .
“Copywriter’s Clearinghouse is dedicated to you . . .”
Dear Fellow Copywriter,
If you haven’t read Drayton Bird’s article What Some Famous Copywriters Taught Me, you should.In it, he writes:
“Few copywriters study enough. And many who commission copy study even less. So the partially sighted serve the blind. No wonder most copy isn’t very good.”
I didn’t know better.
But you don’t have to make the same mistake.
Are you new to copywriting?
Are you an experienced copywriter?
Are you someone prone to (I paraphrase David Ogilvy) skidding about on the slippery surface of irrelevant copywriting brilliance?
Regardless, here’s what I humbly suggest . . .
• Start thinking of yourself as a salesman—not a writer or a “creative” professional . . .
• If you are a copy cub, quit your job if your employer is not a direct-response or mail-order firm—or does not really care about copywriters and advertising results . . .
• Find a mentor. Or at least sign up for a good copywriting course. I recommend without reservation American Writers & Artists Inc.’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. I don’t know of a better copywriting course.
And if you want to drastically reduce the learning curve involved in learning to write great copy, page 3 of the Accelerated Program introduces a powerful learning method . . .
• Build your own copywriting library. A few of the authors you should consider: Clyde Bedell, John Caples, David Ogilvy, Ted Nicholas, Drayton Bird, Maxwell Sackheim, Eugene Schwartz, Claude Hopkins, Robert Collier, Joseph Sugarman, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Robert W. Bly, and Victor O. Schwab . . .
• Don’t just read books. S-t-u-d-y them. First, read a book cover to cover. Then read it again. But this time, take notes. Write the chapters in your own words. Block dates to revisit the book a few months later. Repeat . . .
• Network. I’ve been guilty of isolating myself from other copywriters and advertising professionals in the past. Big mistake—especially if you are the only copywriter at your workplace, a copy cub, freelance copywriter or a loner by choice.
A good place to start is LinkedIn. Join groups such as Claude C. Hopkins Copywriter and Copywriters International. Join or start a discussion. Build bridges. Help out a fellow copywriter. Be an active member . . .
• Absorb copywriting advice from those who have been there and done that. The easiest way you can do that is by signing up to receive free newsletters such as American Writers & Artists Inc.’s The Writer’s Life . . . Ted Nicholas’s The Success Margin . . . Chris Marlow For Writers . . . John Forde’s Copywriter’s Roundtable . . . and Robert W. Bly’s The Direct Response Letter.
As you can see, copywriting advice is what Copywriter’s Clearinghouse is all about. And it is dedicated to copy cubs as well as experienced copywriters obsessed with writing credible, selling copy. I invite you to sign up for the free This Week newsletter . . .
• Try to write at a Flesch-Kincaid Grade 5 (or lower) level. This tool here also uses four other readability benchmarks. Caveat: Don’t let readability tools rule your life. The important thing to remember is to write simply, using short words, sentences and paragraphs . . .
• Start building your own swipe file. A swipe file is a collection of successful ads, sales letters, et al, you look up for ideas, inspiration and as part of your research. AWAI’s Accelerated Program has an entire chapter about how you can start building and organizing your own swipe file. (The chapter dovetails with the powerful learning method I mentioned earlier.)
AWAI recommends the Who’s Mailing What! archive, ‘the world’s largest swipe file’. (AWAI members pay less than non-members to gain access.)
You may also find the Info Marketing Blog and Hard To Find Ads useful . . .
• Last but not least: Always remember that your prospect is the greatest “copywriter” in the world. The copy you write must be dictated by your prospect’s emotions, wants, fears, desires, likes, opinions, attitudes, doubts . . . . To paraphrase Maxwell Sackheim, the copywriter must start from where his prospects are . . .
What else . . . ?
You tell me!
If you have a suggestion you’d like to share, don’t hesitate for even a moment. Go to the Contact page to get in touch.
To your success,
Owner and webmaster, Copywriter’s Clearinghouse
American Writers & Artists Inc.-trained copywriterP.S. I’m sure you will find dozens of articles on this website whose advice you’d like to implement immediately. If you yourself write articles which you think can be of great help to fellow copywriters, let me know. I’d like to feature them on Copywriter’s Clearinghouse. Of course, I welcome any suggestions you may have to make the website more useful.
P.P.S. If you do nothing else today on your copywriting journey, I urge you to sign up for the free
This Week newsletter.