Share With Us One Secret You Are So Proud To Know About Writing Good Copy

67 replies
Hi Dear Warrior

I would like to hear one secret from you, Only one.

The secret that impacted your life as a copywriter ...

Go ahead! Be generous

#copy #good #proud #secret #share #writing
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  • Profile picture of the author myob
    Seduce, don't sell.

    (I charge by the word; the first three are free)
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  • Profile picture of the author JPs copy
    If I had a big secret, I'd sell it for a lot of money. Haha

    The name of the game is really creating interest and then turning it into a sales pitch.
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    John Peters | Content Marketing / Email Specialist
    Latest post: Who the hell is on LinkedIn these days anyways?

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    • Profile picture of the author Shawn Cesar
      Originally Posted by JPs copy View Post

      If I had a big secret, I'd sell it for a lot of money. Haha

      The name of the game is really creating interest and then turning it into a sales pitch.
      hahaha! you have the right to do that.
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      • Profile picture of the author JPs copy
        Also, if you had a secret. Would you really want to tell anyone else?
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        John Peters | Content Marketing / Email Specialist
        Latest post: Who the hell is on LinkedIn these days anyways?

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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by JPs copy View Post

          Also, if you had a secret. Would you really want to tell anyone else?
          Some of the most successful copywriters give away free books of their copywriting secrets. Try it sometime.
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          • Profile picture of the author SARubin
            Originally Posted by myob View Post

            Some of the most successful copywriters give away free books of their copywriting secrets. Try it sometime.
            Absolutely!
            I freely give away all (well, most of) my secrets to anyone who sincerely asks a legitimate question. And I share everything I know with anyone I work with.

            While most consultants and marketers guard their "secrets" jealously.
            (Their ultimate fear is that you'll learn too much and won't need them anymore.)

            Personally, I want to teach people everything they're willing to learn.

            There are a number of reasons for this philosophy. Here's just a few...

            (1) I feel the more someone understands about the "reasons why" an advertisement works, the more likely they'll be to adopt the concepts, and the better the chances for success.

            (2) I'm always learning and improving. So I don't need to worry about anyone discovering all my secrets. Because while I'm teaching you everything I know, I'm continually learning, and studying different marketing strategies that are working in the real world.
            In other words: A few months from now I'll already have new strategies to share with you.

            (3) If I teach a client so well, that they don't need me anymore - then I take great pride in knowing I'm a good teacher.
            And besides, there's so many businesses that need my help, I never worry about running out of work.


            Honestly, when I first saw this thread I thought it was a joke thread (another wannabe asking for the magical "secret" to instant copywriting success)

            When I saw the funny responses, it made my heart smile so I joined in. But then some people took the question seriously, and that just made me sad , so I walked away...
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            • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
              Thanks you SARubin,

              Oh, copywriting as a BIZ-OP and the want and need of shortcuts, secrets and insider, fast track take me to the top of the money mountain quickly, secrets of express success.

              Asking a legitimate question is half of it, and appreciated, but taking legitimate, time tested and results proven advice...is the other half and often ignored. Recently Jason Kanigan offered an in depth answer about S & H offers, and then someone posted about a marketer being a "genius". Most of us here know many successful people and very few geniuses in the group, eh?

              Smart people, even one MENSA type, that I knew were very generous with their time and knowledge for the SINCERE seeker, who respected both.

              We can find over 50,000 copywriters ready to take our money for their services. 32k in the Cult of Copy Facebook group, 19k in the Halbert group, tens of thousands on Freelancer, Fiverr, Upwork, etc., and some use their recently acquired KNOWLEDGE as a sales point...

              I took the AWAI class and read a couple of books, now I'm ready to help you make big bux moolah with my dazzling writing. I only charge 3 cents a word.

              Sigh.

              Knowledge is important, contextual UNDERSTANDING is too, and then the APPLICATION of the knowledge.

              Every successful copy writer I knew (and today may be different, I'll grant you that)...but eveyone,

              PAID HIS/HER DUES.

              Their secret was work. Study, write TEST. Get answers from the people with the money in their wallets to tell you how good your copy is. That is the secret.

              And very few if any, shortcuts to get one there. Writer's write. Copywriters write and TEST. They get answers, they don't guess, they don't know until the results come in, how good they really are.

              TIME, taken to gain the KNOWLEDGE, time to really UNDERSTAND it, and then time and often money, to APPLY it until they know it works. But shhhh, it is a secret.

              GordonJ

              PS. My newest secret, just discovered, is also my latest formula...KUA Pronouced KOO AH. But I'm not willing to share what it means, not yet.


              Originally Posted by SARubin View Post

              Absolutely!
              I freely give away all (well, most of) my secrets to anyone who sincerely asks a legitimate question. And I share everything I know with anyone I work with.

              While most consultants and marketers guard their "secrets" jealously.
              (Their ultimate fear is that you'll learn too much and won't need them anymore.)

              Personally, I want to teach people everything they're willing to learn.

              There are a number of reasons for this philosophy. Here's just a few...

              (1) I feel the more someone understands about the "reasons why" an advertisement works, the more likely they'll be to adopt the concepts, and the better the chances for success.

              (2) I'm always learning and improving. So I don't need to worry about anyone discovering all my secrets. Because while I'm teaching you everything I know, I'm continually learning, and studying different marketing strategies that are working in the real world.
              In other words: A few months from now I'll already have new strategies to share with you.

              (3) If I teach a client so well, that they don't need me anymore - then I take great pride in knowing I'm a good teacher.
              And besides, there's so many businesses that need my help, I never worry about running out of work.


              Honestly, when I first saw this thread I thought it was a joke thread (another wannabe asking for the magical "secret" to instant copywriting success)

              When I saw the funny responses, it made my heart smile so I joined in. But then some people took the question seriously, and that just made me sad , so I walked away...
              Signature
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              • Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post


                PS. My newest secret, just discovered, is also my latest formula...KUA Pronouced KOO AH. But I'm not willing to share what it means, not yet.
                Don't wanna talk like no baby but this sounds kinda excitin' to Moi.

                Bcs we all lost off rn on how EXCITING ENTREPRENOORIAL INITIATIVES gonna delivah TROOLY MEASURABLE RESULTS.

                But ain't cooin' so sweet, huh?

                Speshly if'n satisfaction follows.

                We reach out ... an' get sumthin' we kinda wanted.

                Coo bcs curious ... becomes Ah bcs YEAH THIS IS IT.

                Keep us all posted, Sweetiepoppet.

                Less'n this is no kinda acromym, like Klutzed Undergarment Arrangements.

                Tellya , the Zoom generation don't care what you got gowin' on down undah.

                Gotta figure the White House even makin' policy c/o sub-torso buffsters maxin' on slacker lame.

                But, hey -- I trust your acronyms be OK.
                Signature

                Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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              • Profile picture of the author myob
                Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

                PS. My newest secret, just discovered, is also my latest formula...KUA Pronouced KOO AH. But I'm not willing to share what it means, not yet.
                Add an S (pronounced sh.....) at the end.
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                • Originally Posted by myob View Post

                  Add an S (pronounced sh.....) at the end.
                  Why quosh when you can squish?

                  Why squash when you can dish?

                  Why squelch when you can smothah?

                  Why squeeze when you can discovah?

                  Tellya, I missin' my Ditzy Dainty yogah class so much I bendin' out on my lonesum here.

                  Prolly I would grant access to a rampagin' Godzilla rn if'n he weren't so scaly an' death-dealin'.

                  "Turns out nowan gotta breathe on nowan else bcs we all gonna die, irrespective of monstrous flamethrowah lung actschwaahn smarts, Sweetie."

                  *pauses for reptilian nod of agreement*

                  "So mebbe make yusself useful an' go vacuum my apartment or sumthin' while I check if my local store guy ain't died while I been growin' FRICK CRAZY RAPUNZEL HAIR."
                  Signature

                  Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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                • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
                  Originally Posted by myob View Post

                  Add an S (pronounced sh.....) at the end.
                  KUAS. That helps you, eh?

                  Next thing you'll want IT too.

                  GordonJ
                  Signature
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            Originally Posted by myob View Post

            Some of the most successful copywriters give away free books of their copywriting secrets. Try it sometime.
            And the result?

            The reader thinks "This guy really knows his business"

            And then "There's no way I want to take the time to learn all this. I'll just have him (or her) do it for me".


            For several years I gave 3 hour seminars about local online marketing. I told them everything, answered any question. I held nothing back. Why?

            Because it was a complex subject, and I wanted that complexity...the difficulty...the work involved to be crystal clear.

            Why did I share everything I could? Because then they would hire me to do it for them. I couldn't think of a better sales presentation than just telling them whatever they wanted to know, holding nothing back.

            In fact, I was paid to deliver these seminars. Paid to market my own services.
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            • Profile picture of the author myob
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              And the result?

              The reader thinks "This guy really knows his business"
              Presenting seminars or writing books essentially makes the competition step aside, making way for the "expert". This perception is extremely powerful.

              For example, I've written dozens of books using a generic formula such as "Secrets of [niche] No One Ever Tells You". Writing a book is perhaps the epitome of copywriting.

              These topics include real estate, auto sales, insurance, finance, advertising, medical, network marketing, politics, ancient history, conspiracy theories, UFOs, aeronautics, etc.

              Distributing these books through offline/online channels to targeted demographics bypasses nearly all of the most intense competition.

              "Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it's an ad."
              - Howard Gossage
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  • Profile picture of the author Alffie
    With so many freelancers in the copywriting field, writing unique content is inevitable. Whatever the topic you are writing about, try to educate your readers. So, what makes an article unique? This is simple. Clarity, and perfect presentation of ideas. Mixing up ideas in paragraphs makes an article very hard to understand. The article lacks clarity and chases your audience away from your posts.
    Any content should have three basic components, stating, showing, and explaining. That's how you make the readers interested in your work. The reason being, the content will be informative and engaging. Again, you don't just state, show, and explain, you need to organize your work.
    That's what I referred to as 'perfect presentation of ideas". Meaning organizing your work such that each paragraph explains one item. It ensures that a reader gets educated even if they read a single paragraph. In that case, if that one paragraph was informative, they will want more. They will get enticed into reading all of your work.
    If there's any secret that could get you going, it is how you organize your work. Try that and believe you me, it works.
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  • Profile picture of the author mandiradebnath
    How to disclose, with that secret I claim a higher salary from my employer.
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  • Profile picture of the author cyberdenizen
    "If you can describe their problem better than they can, they automatically assume you have the solution." (I think Eben Pagan said this.)

    It's important to know your audience.

    Be where they hang out, either online or offline. Read what they write on forums and social media groups. Interact with them. Ask them questions. Get into their heads. Study their language, especially the words they use when describing their problems. Know their pains, struggles, and aspirations.

    This is the key to writing copy that resonates with your audience and converts them into buyers. (Of course, your offer has to be good, too.)
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  • Profile picture of the author Tung Dao
    "If you're good at something, don't do it for free."
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    • Profile picture of the author Shawn Cesar
      Originally Posted by Tung Dao View Post

      "If you're good at something, don't do it for free."
      Well said, Joker! LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Originally Posted by Shawn Cesar View Post

    Share With Us One Secret You Are So Proud To Know About Writing Good Copy

    I would like to hear one secret from you, Only one.

    The secret that impacted your life as a copywriter ...
    Well, if I gave you my secret then it wouldn't be a secret anymore.

    So by answering your query I would no longer be answering your query.

    Oh the travesty of paradox...
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    • Profile picture of the author Shawn Cesar
      Originally Posted by SARubin View Post

      Well, if I gave you my secret then it wouldn't be a secret anymore.

      So by answering your query I would no longer be answering your query.

      Oh the travesty of paradox...
      looks like you have a very big secret
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  • Profile picture of the author surfer30
    I think while you are writing ad copy, you focus on the audience to feel something so they buy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shawn Cesar
      Originally Posted by surfer30 View Post

      I think while you are writing ad copy, you focus on the audience to feel something so they buy.
      What is the best way to do that, in your opinion?
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  • Reward Dreams 'bout the Seemingly Impossible
    by dishin'
    Whole Lotta Stuff Gonna Turn Out Actschwl Actschwl



    If'n anywan you writin' for don't ansa


    WHAT THIS 'BOUT???


    satisfactioristically ...

    fore'n you get typin' ...


    don't type nuthin'.


    Hey mebbe go write a powim or sumthin'!

    bcs you mortal.

    -- an' so is their noplace audience
    less'n real transformational stuffs be gowin' on.


    We ain't nowan tasted 2020 before.


    So, hey -- what mattahs now for 2021?


    An' how you gettin' your hands on that PERFECTLY INTANGIBLE fkr rn?


    As a writah for stuffs,

    I would want smart people headin' my way

    steada the usual stomp of the deloosionally vacuous.

    Gotta be choosy, I guess.


    That Your Answer, O Princess?



    Tellya, I gotta write this out twice, prolly ima manifest musself real PISSED.
    Signature

    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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  • Ahhh the elusive secret.

    There are a few - but the main one - which most advertisers miss by a country mile is...

    It's not about you, it's not even so much about the product (of course it should be outstanding and do sing its praises).

    So wtf is it then?

    Empathy.

    It the good people feel you have genuine empathy for them - you exponentially increase the odds they'll have enough empathy to buy from you.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post


      It's not about you,
      You beat me to it.

      I was watching the movie Doctor Strange, and His Mentor told him a secret to the universe. She said "It's not about you". It was that moment I realized the folly of my point of view.

      It stung, and it clarified. An "Aha" moment.

      Now, more about me! Me, Me, Me!

      In my selling, and in selling in print, I know what people want. They want certainty in their life. If you show a path with absolute confidence...in tone, language, posture....it's extremely attractive to everyone except psychopaths (Don't ask me how I know).

      Creating certainty in the minds of others is also the secret of how hypnosis works.

      I have now exhausted everything I know..about everything.



      Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

      My secret? Lots of Wild Turkey.

      I thought I was a copywriter and I though I was a salesman. Then I met Claude or started reading Claude to be precise. Since then I don't know what I am anymore.
      Obviously, you are a genius....a very stable genius.
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Shawn Cesar View Post

    Hi Dear Warrior

    I would like to hear one secret from you, Only one.

    The secret that impacted your life as a copywriter ...

    Go ahead! Be generous
    My secret, I quit calling myself a copywriter. Made all the difference. Went from push to pull overnight.

    GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    My secret? Lots of Wild Turkey.

    I thought I was a copywriter and I though I was a salesman. Then I met Claude or started reading Claude to be precise. Since then I don't know what I am anymore.

    My secret / read between the lines...

    "It was a dark and stormy night."
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    W A R N I N G - S P O I L E R - A L E R T
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Originally Posted by Shawn Cesar View Post

    Hi Dear Warrior

    I would like to hear one secret from you, Only one.

    The secret that impacted your life as a copywriter ...

    Go ahead! Be generous

    It was an email from PayPal. Something about..


    Refund Request.
    Signature
    W A R N I N G - S P O I L E R - A L E R T
    The Best Source of Free Traffic is in This Very Forum.
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  • Hellor Shawn Cesar,
    Originally Posted by Shawn Cesar View Post

    Hi Dear Warrior

    I would like to hear one secret from you, Only one.

    The secret that impacted your life as a copywriter ...

    Go ahead! Be generous
    My secret is....

    I never reveal my secrets.

    Chinchilla
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    SEO Content Marketing Writer
    Online Writing Portfolio
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Sometimes there is "no copywriter secret", rather just "good 'ol suggestive selling"
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    W A R N I N G - S P O I L E R - A L E R T
    The Best Source of Free Traffic is in This Very Forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Once upon a time, I was in a convenience store. They sold condoms. Three 18-ish guys were facing the usual array, with one exception. One of the options had "Large size" on the label.


    It was more expensive. There was no hesitation. First boy saw the word large and reached for the box. The other two boys clearly were not less endowed, for they, too, purchased the one with the word 'large' on the label.


    The secret: know who's going to look at your stuff and what's on their minds.


    Darn, now that I've said it, it doesn't sound so secretive, does it? (I walk away in shame now.)
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  • Bang goes my pelvic floor regime.

    Only exercisin' I botherin' with now is mebbe drinkin' low cal milk till I so torpid it dribbles down mufface,
    Signature

    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      I'm going to tell you the biggest secret ever in the history of copywriting and if you take my advice you'll be wealthier than you ever dreamed possible.

      You will never worry about money again.

      You'll make the nice cars I have look like junkers...you'll make the jet I fly around in look like a cheap Cessna 172...you'll make the expensive suits I wear look like thrift store stuff...you'll be unstoppable and in such high demand, you'll laugh at ever having to ask for work again.

      You can be very wealthy.

      You can have everything you want.

      You can start today right where you are and with what you have right now. I guarantee you it is possible.

      You need to go outside your comfort zone.

      You need to be so bold that nothing deters you.

      You need to be a force to be reckoned with.

      It's one word. Creativity.

      It's what separates the copywriters begging for work and those that quit answering the phone because they're too busy.

      You can read every book ever published on copywriting and still suck so bad that you're broke if you don't have creativity.

      There can be 10 weight loss ads stacked on top of one another in a magazine and if you come along with creativity you can reach right through the ad and slap that fat piece of lard that's sitting on the couch and force them to waddle over to their dresser, get out their charge card and send you an order. The order may come in with fried chicken grease all over it...but you're hitting home runs.

      Everyone else can be selling bath products to women using beautiful models and you can come along and say, "Hey, not all women feel that sexy, some actually think they look like crap when they're naked...let's show those women that look like everyday women"...and sell a crap ton of product.

      There's a secret to being creative.

      Once you learn how to be creative, you can take the wildest, wackiest thing that has nothing to do with what you're selling and make it fit with what you're selling. It takes a little practice. And it's good practice because it expands your thinking.

      Too many copywriters will start with a product and be so boxed in with their thinking they can't see the whole big wide wonderful world out there that has so many dimensions with a million twists and turns.

      If you want to do what Napoleon Hill did in Think And Grow Rich where he had pretend meetings with great people from the past...if you want to meditate...get drunk...do yoga...run...jump off a cliff...

      whatever you need to do to open up your mind and expand beyond what the "average" people do, do it.

      Average doesn't make you insanely wealthy.

      I'm telling you this after almost 40 years in the business and having seen too many people come and go to even start counting.

      It's the biggest secret ever in copywriting and you have my word on it.
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      • Hellor Max5ty,

        Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

        I'm going to tell you the biggest secret ever in the history of copywriting and if you take my advice you'll be wealthier than you ever dreamed possible.

        You will never worry about money again.

        You'll make the nice cars I have look like junkers...you'll make the jet I fly around in look like a cheap Cessna 172...you'll make the expensive suits I wear look like thrift store stuff...you'll be unstoppable and in such high demand, you'll laugh at ever having to ask for work again.

        You can be very wealthy.

        You can have everything you want.

        You can start today right where you are and with what you have right now. I guarantee you it is possible.

        You need to go outside your comfort zone.

        You need to be so bold that nothing deters you.

        You need to be a force to be reckoned with.

        It's one word. Creativity.

        It's what separates the copywriters begging for work and those that quit answering the phone because they're too busy.

        You can read every book ever published on copywriting and still suck so bad that you're broke if you don't have creativity.

        There can be 10 weight loss ads stacked on top of one another in a magazine and if you come along with creativity you can reach right through the ad and slap that fat piece of lard that's sitting on the couch and force them to waddle over to their dresser, get out their charge card and send you an order. The order may come in with fried chicken grease all over it...but you're hitting home runs.

        Everyone else can be selling bath products to women using beautiful models and you can come along and say, "Hey, not all women feel that sexy, some actually think they look like crap when they're naked...let's show those women that look like everyday women"...and sell a crap ton of product.

        There's a secret to being creative.

        Once you learn how to be creative, you can take the wildest, wackiest thing that has nothing to do with what you're selling and make it fit with what you're selling. It takes a little practice. And it's good practice because it expands your thinking.

        Too many copywriters will start with a product and be so boxed in with their thinking they can't see the whole big wide wonderful world out there that has so many dimensions with a million twists and turns.

        If you want to do what Napoleon Hill did in Think And Grow Rich where he had pretend meetings with great people from the past...if you want to meditate...get drunk...do yoga...run...jump off a cliff...

        whatever you need to do to open up your mind and expand beyond what the "average" people do, do it.

        Average doesn't make you insanely wealthy.

        I'm telling you this after almost 40 years in the business and having seen too many people come and go to even start counting.

        It's the biggest secret ever in copywriting and you have my word on it.
        You could not have said it any better.

        You really got me thinking.

        Your words sparked some creativity in me and that got my client jumping out of his seat yelling, "YES, YES!"

        Your words of wisdom are so simple.

        You made my day.

        You need anything shoot me a message.

        Chinchilla
        Signature
        SEO Content Marketing Writer
        Online Writing Portfolio
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

        It's the biggest secret ever in copywriting and you have my word on it.
        Not quite the biggest secret. Saving your best copywriting for ratcheting in the most qualified prospects is one of the most tightly held secrets of all. Never show your best copywriting in public. Study post #2.
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        • Profile picture of the author max5ty
          Originally Posted by myob View Post

          Not quite the biggest secret. Saving your best copywriting for ratcheting in the most qualified prospects is one of the most tightly held secrets of all. Never show your best copywriting in public. Study post #2.
          Creative people really don't care if you swipe from them because what you're swiping is old news and already been used. What they're coming out with next is probably more mind-blowing than what they did before...

          also, not really sure how you don't show your copywriting in public. Once you do something for a company it's pretty much around the world.

          You can take 100 people and teach them everything there is about copywriting...very few will rise to the top...the ones that do are the creative ones.
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          • Profile picture of the author myob
            Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

            Creative people really don't care if you swipe from them because what you're swiping is old news and already been used. What they're coming out with next is probably more mind-blowing than what they did before...

            also, not really sure how you don't show your copywriting in public. Once you do something for a company it's pretty much around the world.

            You can take 100 people and teach them everything there is about copywriting...very few will rise to the top...the ones that do are the creative ones.
            Of course, when selling copywrighting "services" to other companies, your "mind-blowing" creativity is the secret sauce for attracting and maintaining clients.

            But in reality, copywriting doesn't need to be "mind-blowing" to convert. I have found that subliminal copy which quietly embraces emotional triggers to be the most profoundly attractive and effective content.

            The highest form of copywriting does not look like copywriting.

            "A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself."
            - David Ogilvy

            It should be noted Ogilvy mastered the power of propaganda during WW2 before becoming king of Madison Avenue. He coined the phrase. "The customer is not a moron, she's your wife". (Confessions of an Advertising Man, by David Ogilvy)

            (Study post #2 again)
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Originally Posted by myob View Post

              "A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself."
              - David Ogilvy
              A big mistake some make in advertising, is to be clever.

              "What a clever ad" or "What a funny ad" is usually a bad sign. The cleverness detracts from the message. Like wearing an outrageous outfit when delivering a serious message.

              For a year or so, I ran a television ad that featured a huge inflatable vacuum cleaner that I had a friend lay underneath, kicking his legs as though trapped. My line was 'We're sweeping up the competition at The Sweeper Store!"

              And I got lots of people seeing me in town saying "What a clever ad". But I never heard "What a clever ad, and I want to buy a vacuum cleaner from you". Bad ad. Funny, maybe even clever...but bad.

              I remember a Gary Halbert story (I don't know if it's true) that he would write a direct response ad, take it into a bar and ask people to look at it.

              If they said "Great ad", he knew he had a loser. If they said "How can I get this?" he knew he had a winner.
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              • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
                To add more to the point, "it's not about me" or "drawing attention to the ad writer"...

                The ad I wrote for a web designer which brought in $25,000 of annualized revenue in three days and became the most ripped off ad for web design on the Internet, had the biz name or about the biz in the last two words of the ad.

                To also quote Gary Halbert, since it's his birthday today, you can get 5 times more sales from your ad if it doesn't look like an ad.

                Some will say that's clever or creative to even think it doesn't look like an ad.

                Best,
                Ewen
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              • Profile picture of the author myob
                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                I remember a Gary Halbert story (I don't know if it's true) that he would write a direct response ad, take it into a bar and ask people to look at it.

                If they said "Great ad", he knew he had a loser. If they said "How can I get this?" he knew he had a winner.
                I first read that story in Halbert's newsletter about 17 years ago. But the worst response of all he said was, "Would you run that by me one more time? I'm not sure what you're getting at."

                He often said "clarity" in copywriting was his biggest secret. It is achieved by writing in an idiom in which your audience is conditioned to understand.

                There's a fine line between words that touch prospects deeply, and so-called "creative" copy that gets under their skin.

                "Maybe my phrases aren't original; maybe they aren't creative but... They Sure As Hell Are Clear As A Bell."
                - Gary Halbert
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                • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
                  To add further to clarity, the team at Marketing Experiments have tracked split test results between clarity and "persuasion".

                  Clarity Trump's persuasion is the term they use.

                  https://youtu.be/K6vvw4BUItQ
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              • Profile picture of the author max5ty
                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                A big mistake some make in advertising, is to be clever.

                "What a clever ad" or "What a funny ad" is usually a bad sign. The cleverness detracts from the message. Like wearing an outrageous outfit when delivering a serious message.

                For a year or so, I ran a television ad that featured a huge inflatable vacuum cleaner that I had a friend lay underneath, kicking his legs as though trapped. My line was 'We're sweeping up the competition at The Sweeper Store!"

                And I got lots of people seeing me in town saying "What a clever ad". But I never heard "What a clever ad, and I want to buy a vacuum cleaner from you". Bad ad. Funny, maybe even clever...but bad.
                Unfortunately, to some, it seems when I talk about being creative they're assuming I mean throw in some monkeys on tricycles.

                The ad you ran was selling your business. Nobody wanted to buy your business. Not that it's a bad business, but you were trying to sell it to people that just wanted a vacuum.

                The ad was all about how great your business is and what it's doing.

                I realize the message you were trying to get across is that you have great prices and you're outselling the competition. Sadly, people watching the ad don't take the time to delve into the meaning.

                Creative/clever ads do work. Clever ads that are stupid don't work.

                The loudest sound you hear in a Rolls Royce at 60 MPH is the clock...was a creative ad. "Where's the beef?" was a creative ad. The porn industry for Eat24 was some creative advertising...they ended up selling the company for millions. The billion-dollar company Dyson had some creative advertising after almost going bankrupt. PG with Fabreeze made billions with their creative advertising after they almost dropped the product because they used average advertising.

                I always tell people, if what you're doing is making you happy...and you're satisfied with the results, then, by all means, keep on keeping on.

                I click links in the profiles that post here, and quite honestly, I'm amazed some are even breaking even. But if that's the path they want to follow then who am I to argue?

                There are some that will put up a landing page and expect great results. I'm like why just one landing page, why not two or three or 50? I've worked with companies that have well over 100. You can't just do one thing and expect to capture the market. You may catch the few that will be able to drag you along long enough to make a couple bucks, but you're only being part-time. And if part-time is what you're looking for, then as I said keep on keeping on.

                As one judge on T.V. said, don't P*** on my leg and tell me it's raining. There's a big difference between creative copywriters and those that just want to quote those that have gone before...the biggest difference is money.

                A few years ago I saw a local ad on T.V. and thought it sucked so bad I called the owner up and told him it was ridiculous. Was the first time I've ever done that. Of all the things wrong with the ad, the last sentence was, "We only service what we sell or we wouldn't have time to take care of our valued customers." I was thinking wow, your stuff sucks so bad that you spend all day fixing it? The conversation didn't go well...but 4 months later he was out of business.

                So, creativity is what's important. Everything else is just everyday blah.
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                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                  Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

                  Unfortunately, to some, it seems when I talk about being creative they're assuming I mean throw in some monkeys on tricycles.

                  The ad you ran was selling your business. Nobody wanted to buy your business. Not that it's a bad business, but you were trying to sell it to people that just wanted a vacuum.

                  The ad was all about how great your business is and what it's doing..
                  And that's why it failed. There was nothing for them to look at and say "I want that".


                  Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

                  The loudest sound you hear in a Rolls Royce at 60 MPH is the clock...was a creative ad.
                  To me, that's a brilliant line. It give a benefit, implies high quality, and creates a picture of you in the car. If you are interested in quality at all, it makes your heart pound a little harder. And the thought that most new cars will do the same thing, never occurs to you.

                  Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

                  "Where's the beef?" was a creative ad.
                  I don't know the results of "Where's the beef", but I can tell you my first thought.

                  To me, it's clever. But I cannot imagine seeing the ad and wanting to buy a hamburger. I just see an old lady complaining in a fast food restaurant. it didn't make me hungry. It didn't make me want to eat at Wendy's.

                  Wendy's had a line later that was "We put more hamburger in our chili that most places put in their hamburgers" (or something like that). To me, it showed a benefit, and created the idea that you got a lot for your money. in fact, it made me want to order their chili.

                  Again, I don't know the results these guys got on their ads.
                  Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

                  "We only service what we sell or we wouldn't have time to take care of our valued customers." .
                  To me, that's an example of an intelligent person, writing something clever, and assuming that because it's a clever way to say it...that it will bring people in their door.

                  to be fair, it's better than most ads I see. But the only thought I got from it was that they won't service anything they don't sell. It actually requires that the reader understand retail for it to make any sense at all.

                  Never require the reader to do mental gymnastics to understand your message. And that's what some "clever " ads do.

                  I watched an ad years ago that had the line "If it has anything to do with fabric, we do it at Burlington, and we do more of it than anyone else in the world".

                  My first thought was that it was designed to impress the ad buyers...and nobody else.
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                  • Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                    I just see an old lady complaining in a fast food restaurant. it didn't make me hungry. It didn't make me want to eat at Wendy's.

                    Don't wanna scare nowan, but she still OUT THERE.


                    Poisonin' minds ... yet deliverin' no bounties.


                    An' at dead of night, you can almost hear her seethin' from the shadows.


                    Tellya, that gal is real mean.
                    Signature

                    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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                  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
                    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


                    I don't know the results of "Where's the beef",
                    Sales jumped over 30%.

                    Clara died I think in 1987, but it was an ad that put Wendys in competition with the others.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

                      Sales jumped over 30%.

                      Clara died I think in 1987, but it was an ad that put Wendys in competition with the others.
                      Damn. One I got completely wrong.
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                      • Profile picture of the author max5ty
                        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                        Damn. One I got completely wrong.
                        LOL, as successful as you are and have been, I don't think anyone will hold it against you.

                        Haven't met a successful person yet that gets everything right...and those that are truly successful are the first ones to admit it.
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                      • Profile picture of the author myob
                        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                        Damn. One I got completely wrong.
                        I don't think you got that one wrong at all. That wasn't really the type of copywriting we have been discussing, at least to me.

                        Wendys was engaged in a branding war, which incidentally was quite costly in similar ad campaigns before Clara.

                        These type of ads are not made for direct sales, and have no clear CTA. There certainly is a place for such "institutional" ads, but they are for a different marketing model and far above our payscale.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                          Originally Posted by myob View Post

                          I don't think you got that one wrong at all. That wasn't really the type of copywriting we have been discussing, at least to me.

                          Wendys was engaged in a branding war, which incidentally was quite costly in similar ad campaigns before Clara.

                          These type of ads are not made for direct sales, and have no clear CTA. There certainly is a place for such "institutional" ads, but they are for a different marketing model and far above our payscale.
                          Thank you for massaging my bruised ego.

                          But to be fair, I thought the ad wouldn't work because an old woman was complaining about fast food in an irritating voice. And frankly, it takes my appetite away. So, I was wrong, because my reasoning was wrong.

                          In the last several years I have done a modest study of institutional advertising. I used to think it was just stupid big companies not knowing how to market. But I now know that it's about changing the feelings (usually on an unconscious level) about brands.

                          Usually, institutional ads are national, and the support the local direct response ads. At least, that's what I remember from my studies.

                          Not something I would ever engage in, but at least I now understand the reasoning behind it, a little.


                          By the way, A local friend in the life insurance business for years had his photo on billboards all over the town.

                          I asked him if he ever got a call from a buyer from the billboard ads. He said almost never. I asked him why he had the ads. He said something like "The billboard ads make me a local celebrity. People recognize my name when I call, and they take my calls. And they buy, because they know me a little"

                          I never copied what he did, but his explanation sure made sense to me.
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                          • Profile picture of the author myob
                            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                            But to be fair, I thought the ad wouldn't work because an old woman was complaining about fast food in an irritating voice. And frankly, it takes my appetite away. So, I was wrong, because my reasoning was wrong.
                            That ad was simply an inappropriate example in this context and mistaken as direct response copywriiting.

                            "Institutional advertising", branding, and direct sales of course are different kinds of copywritng.

                            They all serve different purposes, and it seems to me these distinctions have been all jumbled up in this thread.

                            But offending non-buyers is as strategic as drawing in qualified prospects in any advertising format.
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                            • Profile picture of the author max5ty
                              Originally Posted by myob View Post

                              That ad was simply an inappropriate example in this context and mistaken as direct response copywriiting.

                              "Institutional advertising", branding, and direct sales of course are different kinds of copywritng.

                              They all serve different purposes, and it seems to me these distinctions have been all jumbled up in this thread.

                              But offending non-buyers is as strategic as drawing in qualified prospects in any advertising format.
                              Who mistook the ad as direct response copywriting?

                              And who said they only wanted direct response copywriting secrets?

                              And who said the secret I offered can't be used for any purpose?

                              And who said they only wanted what you consider "your kind" of copywriting to be discussed?

                              I must have misread the OP's post because copywriters write for a whole lot of different businesses and not all of them are always doing direct response...there are times when indirect response works.

                              Not all businesses are one-man operations. Some companies are worldwide and are not only worth hundreds of times more than the little operations but sometimes require different approaches to their marketing.

                              I don't consider a copywriter that does work for huge corporations to be any less of a copywriter than the little one-man operation that is trying to write their own copy or hire someone else to help them sell affiliate stuff or a book.

                              If you look at my post, I was talking about being creative. Whether it's the copywriters that write for oatly cartons or the ones that write for Tony Robbins...my point was the creative copywriters are the ones that get the big work because they bring in the big bucks and in turn make big bucks.
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                          • Profile picture of the author myob
                            Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

                            Who mistook the ad as direct response copywriting?

                            And who said they only wanted direct response copywriting secrets?

                            And who said the secret I offered can't be used for any purpose?

                            And who said they only wanted what you consider "your kind" of copywriting to be discussed?

                            I must have misread the OP's post because copywriters write for a whole lot of different businesses and not all of them are always doing direct response...there are times when indirect response works.

                            Not all businesses are one-man operations. Some companies are worldwide and are not only worth hundreds of times more than the little operations but sometimes require different approaches to their marketing.

                            I don't consider a copywriter that does work for huge corporations to be any less of a copywriter than the little one-man operation that is trying to write their own copy or hire someone else to help them sell affiliate stuff or a book.

                            If you look at my post, I was talking about being creative. Whether it's the copywriters that write for oatly cartons or the ones that write for Tony Robbins...my point was the creative copywriters are the ones that get the big work because they bring in the big bucks and in turn make big bucks.
                            My apologies if you think my comment about the Wendy's ad was a negative reflection of your illustration on creativity. I simply pointed out this was not a direct response ad in reference to a post this ad wouldn't work. An old lady complaining in a fast food restaurant doesn't make anyone hungry, and certainly didn't make anyone rush out to eat at Wendy's.

                            Personally, I don't even think it was a very good ad at all. It was a branding war ad. Wendy's first tried an ad version with a bald man croaking out the catchphrase "Where's the beef?", then three grey-haired grannies tried but it still failed to catch on. The actor, Clara Peller, and millions of dollars of airtime made the difference, not the ad copy.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
                    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                    I just see an old lady complaining in a fast food restaurant. it didn't make me hungry. It didn't make me want to eat at Wendy's.

                    What was she complaining about that didn't make you want to eat at Wendy's? If she was complaining about a man with a sweeper trying to sweep her off of her feet then she had every right to complain and call Jack Bower.
                    Signature
                    W A R N I N G - S P O I L E R - A L E R T
                    The Best Source of Free Traffic is in This Very Forum.
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      • Profile picture of the author josetteisfree
        This is awesome! As I'm sitting here reading this, I'm thinking, "this is reading like a sales copy".

        I'm not an expert, as I'm a wannabe copy writer, but you hooked me into reading the whole thing and having a good laugh.

        I wanted to "Thank this user", but I'm not qualified...whatever that means. So, I'll thank you in my reply...Thank You!

        Peace,
        Josette
        What Is Your Why?
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Combine exclusivity with an irresistible offer.

    When you do, the desire is palpable.

    Alex
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  • You know what - Max nailed it.

    Creativity

    Not in an obvious, contrived, same old stuff, Ad Agency way - "lets bang out an "image" and hope the punters respond."

    True creativity needs a lot more.

    One thing I've found is -

    Being creative with curiousity - can bring you bumper results.


    Steve


    P.S. One of the best Ads ever written was fabulously creative.

    Written way back in 1926.

    Many will know the Ad - for those who don't...

    How do you sell a piano teaching course...

    To people who probably never thought about or even wanted to play the piano? (who knew full well that trying to learn any music instrument is almost certainly going to be a grinding, mind numbing, agonizing process).

    That was the mission given to Mr John Caples - ad man extraordinaire.

    And his creatitive powers sold boatloads of courses for years and years.

    You need to read the whole Ad to discover how he did it.

    (just google John Caples, Piano Course)
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  • Pickin' up on Maxzilla, ima reminded here of the legend of Ishiyamagiri's Ring.

    It is kinda like Aladdin's lamp, only 'steada springin' a genie gonna make all kindsa stuff way bettah in triplicate, you get five more modest choices.

    All you gotta do is throw on the ring, spin the emerald in her socket, an' gaze deep into her soul.

    Sounds kinda easy, but the emerald be multifaceted, an' she reveals her secrets dependin' on your POV -- meanin' you only get to see the fyooture relevant to your current stance toward your hopes an' fears.

    Less'n you stoopid, you prolly figure the deal by Gaze #3.

    An' it is here that Ishiyamagiri opens up all kindsa possibilities.

    Bcs now you can choose how to gaze upon her myriad panoramas with sum chance of exertin' inflooence over what gets to turn out IRL.

    Here be ancient legend revealin' the selectively procreative powah of the transformative lens as applied to focus allied to eventyool landscape.

    Or mebbe ima jus' makin' stuff up again in a fyootile attempt to elevate musself from the status of Benevolent Ditz.

    All I know is ... anythin' pulsin' on invention ultimately gets picked up -- an' from here we derive viable formula stuffs.

    AIDA mebbe.

    Problem from here is ... formula stuffs lose excitement value ovah time, even if they work.

    An' time has a way of changin' the natyoore of what works.

    So you gotta always be wantin' sweet twists on stuff ... same as evrywan else here figures they got a part to play in hoomanity's story cozza their own uniquely emergent journey through time c/o zero tangible spoilers.

    No single Tarantino movie evah happened until Tarantino showed ... but evrythin' he speakin' 'bout be here to witness even if he nevah been born.

    I would want always for copy's miraculature to cosy up dinky sumplace in this areah -- unequivocal truth released an' set into actschwaahn with the idiosyncratic momentum of the immediate.

    Fear defines no-nonsense baseline; hope exalts ceilingless freedom -- an' here be two smart flints to smack togethah to prodooce flame.

    Hey, we all frickin' hooman, mixin' immediate demise with ultimate salvation on a daily basis.

    Here be the flux of life in all its glory -- raw material for evry story.
    Signature

    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Shawn Cesar View Post

    Hi Dear Warrior

    I would like to hear one secret from you, Only one.

    The secret that impacted your life as a copywriter ...

    Go ahead! Be generous
    https://youtu.be/Vn9BUfUCL4I

    Reminds me of a childhood story...

    Clarity, creativity, exclusivity, irresistible offer, know who and why...

    reframing, empathty, seduction, arousal, and that is just so far.

    I feel the generosity asked for is what is palpable.

    Maybe you would like our NEXT best secret too???

    Or did you find what you were looking for?

    GordonJ

    PS Back to a peaceful nap.
    Signature
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

      Maybe you would like our NEXT best secret too???
      Don't worry. He's got a long way to go. There are 26 major secrets in copywriting, and then they must also be arranged in proper order.

      We have only briefly demonstrated this language of enchantment and seduction that throws a bone to the guard dogs of logic and reason.

      This reminds me of a real estate agent I know who wrote a book on how to sell your house without a real estate agent.

      She gave the book away free to everyone who was considering selling their home. At first even her peers thought she was nuts.

      Until, she started receiving listings from those same people who read her book. Dripping "secrets" is the biggest open secret of copywriting.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shawn Cesar
    The word thank you is not enough to thank you guys....

    Thank you so much, was super valuable information and I am reading it over and over
    never feeling bored or tired.
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by Shawn Cesar View Post

      The word thank you is not enough to thank you guys....

      Thank you so much, was super valuable information and I am reading it over and over
      never feeling bored or tired.
      Thanks for bringing up the issue Shawn...you brought up an interesting topic.
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  • Yes Shaun - it was a bazzing question.


    Steve

    P.S. The word "bazzing" has a slightly creative angle - at least to those who live in the UK.

    It's like "brilliant" which is just a touch over used.
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  • Profile picture of the author tyronne78
    Get really good at writing headlines that get people to pay attention and take the action you want them to take.
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  • Profile picture of the author akolipenoukou
    There is a lot of great advice here but the only secret that impacted my life as a copywriteris set a routine and keep to it. No matter what happens, stick to it. Change it iny when it won't work.
    Signature

    Akoli Penoukou, Blogger and Affiliate Marketer
    SecureYourFutureWithUs & eMail

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