Copywriting books - reference or read?

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Hey you guys posted in the internet marketing forum a was blown away at how helpful those responses were!

So, I'm starting a review type blog. I was writing my first round of content and realized I had no idea what I was doing so I scrapped my first try.

I bought three copy writing books that came highly recommended to me by a trusted source:
  1. The copy Writers Handbook
  2. Copy-writing: Successful writing for design, advertising and marketing
  3. How to wright good advertisement

I've skipped around from chapter to chapter and annotated the first two books heavily. I learned some good info about audience analysis, product research, writing to sell etc.

BUT I have not read any of the three books from cover to cover.

Should I do read and take notes to make sure I thoroughly understand the techniques before starting my research/writing? There are some gaps in my knowledge.

OR just keep both books handy for reference at all times?
#books #copywriting #read #reference
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by longfacebear View Post

    Hey you guys posted in the internet marketing forum a was blown away at how helpful those responses were!

    So, I'm starting a review type blog. I was writing my first round of content and realized I had no idea what I was doing so I scrapped my first try.

    I bought three copy writing books that came highly recommended to me by a trusted source:
    1. The copy Writers Handbook
    2. Copy-writing: Successful writing for design, advertising and marketing
    3. How to wright good advertisement

    I've skipped around from chapter to chapter and annotated the first two books heavily. I learned some good info about audience analysis, product research, writing to sell etc.

    BUT I have not read any of the three books from cover to cover.

    Should I do read and take notes to make sure I thoroughly understand the techniques before starting my research/writing? There are some gaps in my knowledge.

    OR just keep both books handy for reference at all times?
    You're starting a REVIEW type blog, so what will you be reviewing? The one common thing with both content and copy writing is; a message to market match.

    What is the INTENT of your blog? Will it be monetized, and will you be selling stuff, and if so, as an affiliate/dropshipper/or proprietary?

    Maybe you don't need to read any of the books on Copywriting, or maybe you do.

    You will be researching/writing...WHAT? AND WHY? Your answer might dictate to you the kind of books, reports, courses or even Cliff Notes/Dummies type books.

    What do you expect your readers to do, my opinion is, if you KNOW your target market well enough and their reasons for reading your reviews in the first place, then you probably have enough information to make your reading decisions much easier.

    Don't you think this is true?

    GordonJ
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    • Profile picture of the author longfacebear
      Thought provoking response haha thank you.

      I'll answer all of your questions by saying, yes I have planned this out. Since it's important to the question affiliate.

      Since it's a buyers guide (homepage) and review type site obviously the people reading are ripe to be convinced that the product can solve their problems. They are in the market too. So I know I need to wright to sell.

      My question remains, do you think it's worth the time (time is money) to read the whole book to build that baseline knowledge of copy-writing skill. Or is just writing and referencing the book a better way to do it?
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      • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
        Originally Posted by longfacebear View Post

        My question remains, do you think it's worth the time (time is money) to read the whole book to build that baseline knowledge of copy-writing skill. Or is just writing and referencing the book a better way to do it?
        You don't become a good writer just by reading a book. You take the lessons on board and put them into practice. Then you revise and improve. Constantly.

        Try it now. With what you've learned, write out a review. How does it look? Are you happy with the result? How could you improve it? Go back to your books and check it against the principles mentioned. Good writing is a process. The skill won't suddenly be bestowed on you, no matter how many books you read.

        But saying that "time is money" indicates a wrong approach. First off, if you're getting some value from a book, why wouldn't you finish it? Don't you think the lessons you're ready to skip might eventually be useful to you?

        Time invested in learning isn't a waste. I hate to break it to you, but it's going to take a lot more reading, researching and practice before you can call yourself a good writer.

        Your blog will be a great way to guage your progress. The first few posts might not get much of a response, but you'll learn from that. If you keep reading, researching and applying what you learn, your results will improve.

        All great copywriters continue to read and learn. If you're serious about your craft, those three books will be but the start of an ever-growing reference library.

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        • Profile picture of the author longfacebear
          Thanks for the input you hit both of my concerns fairly well. I'm was really worried about reading all about copy writing and not actually doing anything with the knowledge. That's why I'm so anxious to put pen to paper!

          However, based on your response and Gordons response I should read completely for a solid understanding, apply immediately, review and reference, refine and repeat.

          Thanks for challenging the mind-set that I'm approaching this with.
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          • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
            Originally Posted by longfacebear View Post

            Thanks for the input you hit both of my concerns fairly well. I'm was really worried about reading all about copy writing and not actually doing anything with the knowledge. That's why I'm so anxious to put pen to paper!

            However, based on your response and Gordons response I should read completely for a solid understanding, apply immediately, review and reference, refine and repeat.

            Thanks for challenging the mind-set that I'm approaching this with.
            You have 3 -popular books listed, but let me give you three more, TWO for reference books, which you should scan, highlight and keep handy as a reference, and one book, which could be the most important book you will ever read (and is hardly ever talked about)...

            For reference: Bob Stone and Ron Jacobs, SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING METHODS.

            Reference two: Benjamin D. Suarez, 7 STEPS TO FREEDOM II.

            These men were masters of remote direct marketing, both are "text" books based on years of experience.

            But the one book, you should read, cover to cover, (lock yourself away for one week, don't visit anything on line and read this book, take copious notes, and you will emerge a smarter, wiser more knowledgeable marketer)...

            And yet, we seldom talk about it. But it is GREAT.

            When it first came out, it was known as the MR. X book.

            Jay Abraham had a fit. If one was lucky enough or smart enough, they grabbed an original copy, when the dust had settled and Jay took back his IP (Intellectual Property), well, it is simply a MASTERPIECE.

            Today it is called, MONEY MAKING SECRETS OF JAY ABRAHAM AND OTHER MARKETING WIZARDS. Amazon has it.

            Get it. R E A D IT, and apply what you learn.

            GordonJ

            PS. I'm sure the two or three dozen standard recommendations of which books to read will appear or you have already stumbled across them, do yourself a favor and start with Mr. X. If it doesn't help you, then don't ever read another book, ever.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    If you're just planning to stop at a "review type blog" then I'm not sure it's necessary to master all of the copywriting principles in those books - although it won't hurt if you do, either

    You don't need to sell. That's the sales letter's job.

    What YOU need to do is pre-sell.

    - Know how to attract the kinds of people who may need the product.

    - Learn how to share information in a way that builds your credibility and authority, and makes you seem like the "go to" person in that niche.

    - Learn how to steer people to a product, without (obvious) hype.

    That said, those traditional copywriting books could be useful, for example, in recognizing when a product has a USP, or some other element that makes it stand out from the crowd.

    But instead of SELLING that USP or distinctive aspect, in pre-sell material, you'd PRE-SELL it - i.e. talk first about why such an idea is important, when it comes to readers solving their problems.

    For example, if you were pre-selling my copywriter coaching program, you could write an article on WHY coaching makes such a big difference to a person's learning curve.

    Heck, there are dozens of quotes you could use, from people in all kinds of fields, that "prove" this to be true... although (haha), most of them also tend to offer coaching programs of one sort or another.

    My point is... when you're PRE-SELLING, you don't say, "Hey, Product X is great because it offers personal coaching."

    No, you say (in a much more long-winded way than I'm about to, i.e. in an article)...

    "Hey, having someone tag along to help you solve Problem A, is really, really effective. Here's some logical reasons why. Here's some research showing it. Here's some famous grinning gurus who also support this idea. It's also what Product X offers.[What a coincidence!] Go take a look."

    Of course, that's just my simplified version

    This is also much more effective if you've built up Authority and Credibility as well, i.e. if you've actually used the product you're pitching, and/or you've established yourself as something of an Expert in your niche, so you can genuinely filter out the good products from the bad. In other words, if you've built up Trust with your readers.
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    • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
      Originally Posted by Paul Hancox View Post

      If you're just planning to stop at a "review type blog" then I'm not sure it's necessary to master all of the copywriting principles in those books - although it won't hurt if you do, either

      You don't need to sell. That's the sales letter's job.

      What YOU need to do is pre-sell.

      - Know how to attract the kinds of people who may need the product.

      - Learn how to share information in a way that builds your credibility and authority, and makes you seem like the "go to" person in that niche.

      - Learn how to steer people to a product, without (obvious) hype.

      That said, those traditional copywriting books could be useful, for example, in recognizing when a product has a USP, or some other element that makes it stand out from the crowd.

      But instead of SELLING that USP or distinctive aspect, in pre-sell material, you'd PRE-SELL it - i.e. talk first about why such an idea is important, when it comes to readers solving their problems.

      For example, if you were pre-selling my copywriter coaching program, you could write an article on WHY coaching makes such a big difference to a person's learning curve.

      Heck, there are dozens of quotes you could use, from people in all kinds of fields, that "prove" this to be true... although (haha), most of them also tend to offer coaching programs of one sort or another.

      My point is... when you're PRE-SELLING, you don't say, "Hey, Product X is great because it offers personal coaching."

      No, you say (in a much more long-winded way than I'm about to, i.e. in an article)...

      "Hey, having someone tag along to help you solve Problem A, is really, really effective. Here's some logical reasons why. Here's some research showing it. Here's some famous grinning gurus who also support this idea. It's also what Product X offers.[What a coincidence!] Go take a look."

      Of course, that's just my simplified version

      This is also much more effective if you've built up Authority and Credibility as well, i.e. if you've actually used the product you're pitching, and/or you've established yourself as something of an Expert in your niche, so you can genuinely filter out the good products from the bad. In other words, if you've built up Trust with your readers.
      Thank you for the post. It shows exactly what a good presell looks like, and your links to your copy is a good study for services offered.

      It is always nice to have an example to study. Along these lines, another book (uh oh, more reading, or scanning as the case may be) is.

      Robert Cialdini: PRE-SUASION. Another good study.

      GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Hey c'mon guys...

    Reveal the true purpose of copywriting books.

    It's so that when you do a video, your viewers will see a bunch of shelves stuffed to the gills with copywriting books in the background.

    Right?

    Alex
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    • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
      Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      Hey c'mon guys...

      Reveal the true purpose of copywriting books.

      It's so that when you do a video, your viewers will see a bunch of shelves stuffed to the gills with copywriting books in the background.

      Right?

      Alex



      Don't forget to mention all those Copywriting books you've read on your salespage.


      #ClassicFreelanceCopywritingTips
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    • Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      Hey c'mon guys...

      Reveal the true purpose of copywriting books.

      It's so that when you do a video, your viewers will see a bunch of shelves stuffed to the gills with copywriting books in the background.

      Right?

      Alex

      Fallen Down Drunk Dancin' To Your Favorite Songs
      AN' TRASHED YOUR TV STAND?


      tbh life is so monstrously cruel right now, it's mebbe no wonder you ain't also figured mainlinin' on heroin into the mix.

      Thing is ... what you gonna do next?

      Ain't no fun watchin' a TV beached on your carpet bcs your neck gonna ache big time from all the lookin' down.

      TIME TO FIGURE SUM
      HARDCORE ERECTION!

      What better way to MOUNT YOUR TV than to ERECT it on a pile of books?

      Page by page, cover by cover, books stack up and build into a veritable TOWER upon which to rest your TV.


      But don't try this trick with your cherished romcom literature
      unless you a CHAMPION at JENGA!

      Stick to loser tomes you ain't evah likely to need -- shit like copywritin' books.

      From Ogilvy to Carlton to Ferlinghetti, these informative tomes pack the necessary mix & match THICKNESS VARIABLES to hoist your TV into a prime viewing arrangement that's guaranteed to be LEVEL AF.

      Yeah, so when Gary Halbert said "it has long been my belief that a lot of money can be made by making offers to people who are at an emotional turning point in their lives," natchrlly he figured there gonna be plenty people so badly DUMPED by their BAD BOY LOVE INTEREST they gotta dance their tits off so crazed they dooty bound to wreck their own apartment.


      Howevah, when emotion turns to blind practicality,
      only question is HOW EASY THIS HALBERT MOTHER GONNA STACK?


      Copywriting Books
      "Smartness on the Level

      for a Planet Don't Actschwlly Care"
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