Am I on the Right Learning Track?

15 replies
I've got a few things I think are going to be a good help for me, but I Wanted to see what you guys think, and if you had any other suggestions for a re-budding marketer like myself to learn the valuable art of copywriting.

I've got:

"Masters of Copywriting" by George Frederic with advice from about 2 dozen writers,

"Reason Why Advertising" by John Kennedy,

A Gene Schwartz lecture on breakthrough copy,

and the One Sentence Persuasion by Blair Warren.

You guys think I'm on the right track, and do you have any suggestions for me?

Thanks a ton!

-Sean
#learning #track
  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    If you don't get bored silly by the George Frederic book,
    you're a better student than I.

    Ogilvy and Claude Hopkins probably give the best overviews
    I've read of what makes advertising work. If you want specific
    methods you start looking at Caples, Schwartz, Clyde Bedell,
    and Vic Schwab.
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  • Profile picture of the author Buildingfutures
    Thanks Loren!

    I was just getting into it the other day, and as one of my resolutions (kinda) I decided to teach myself the art of ad copy, and then put it towards my marketing needs.

    I'll definitely look into those other authors you mentioned, I want to learn this and be badass when it comes to it.

    -Sean
    Signature

    Simple Mission Statement "Under the Radar and Over the Top!"
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    Thoughts of a 22 Year Old Marketer

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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Sean,

      If I had it to do over again, I'd do this ...

      1. Get and study a good copywriting course. One with a step-by-step approach that takes you from A to Z.

      2. Find a mentor who will work closely with you and help you improve.

      Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    I suppose I would be blowing my own trumpet if I mention my own video copywriting series, where you get to see me write 3 sales letters from scratch on video.

    So I won't mention it.

    Paul Myers' "Million Dollar Copy" is another great read... it's an ebook, is fairly short (at around 60 pages), and contains some deeper truths about buying psychology... I especially loved the part about benefits (which are not what 97.6%* of marketers think are benefits), and also about the thing that drives most people to buy.

    Oh, and Cialdini's Influence is a must read, for buying psychology.

    * Statistic for display purposes only. This post may contain nuts.
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    yeah, Paul's course is really good. He explains some real
    freaky NLP mind control stuff quite well in it too, though
    in my opinion you'd have to study NLP pretty diligently
    to use it in copy intentionally - it's not like learning how to
    row a boat where you watch a guy do it and just pick up
    the oars and do it yourself - not for me anyway.

    Compared to the hamfisted description of how to use NLP
    in Maria Veloso's book, Paul's video course is a work of art.

    Of course you don't have to use NLP intentionally to
    be effective as a copywriter, but it is a cool thing to
    learn about that may help you write more persuasively
    and engagingly.

    P.S. I am referring to the esteemed Paul Hancox. Paul
    Myers's stuff is great too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    Thanks, Loren. Yeah, I agree with the NLP thing... it's not essential for a
    copywriter, although it can be useful to know - because it gives you a
    fascinating insight into how the mind works... but it can definitely be
    over-used or used badly.

    Richard Bandler's Persuasion Engineering is an interesting read, in that
    regard. (I noticed you have a blog on that, my favourite subject!)
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  • - Scientific Advertising - Claude Hopkins.

    Also read alot of fiction - I like Harold Robbins. You need everyday, street vocabulary to sound natural when you write. So add at least one nice fiction drama, thriller to your reading list to "keep it real"

    Stan
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt James
      I'm with Alex on this.

      You can read a whole bunch of books and get confused by the different writing styles and points of view.

      Pick one copywriter you like and devour all of their stuff (courses and their own sales letters.)

      Then... if you can afford it... get a mentor. Vin Montello and Kevin Rogers spring to mind.

      Also, be aware that copy is constantly evolving. Sure, the fundamentals may stay the same but it's the framework we build around those fundamentals that changes.

      In my mind, writing a truly great sales letter means taking everything that's come before and building on it until the letter feels fresh and new.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    If you haven't read Dan Kennedy's Ultimate Sales Letter, it's a must. He lays out the foundation for what every sales letter must have to work. As smart as I think I am, I always get something new every time I read that book. There's something in it for every level writer from novice to the experienced professional and it's an easy read. You can pick it up used for small change on Amazon or eBay.

    Another one I really like is The Buy Impulse by Danny Wall. It's pretty much a copycat of Joe Sugarman's Triggers but the guy does an excellent job of identifying a buyer's emotional hot buttons and explaining how to exploit them in your copy. This eBook is still for sale out there but if you try you can sometimes find it as a freebie. If you can't find it and want a copy, PM me. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Buildingfutures
    Thanks for all the info guys! I know I havn't checked back in a few days, but between being sick (damn stomach bug) and working on several offline ideas, its been a strained few days to say the least.

    But I will follow the collective advice (find one writer, and get a mentor) and get to it!

    Thanks again guys!

    -Sean
    Signature

    Simple Mission Statement "Under the Radar and Over the Top!"
    Sean's Guide To The Forum
    Thoughts of a 22 Year Old Marketer

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    • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
      It depends what sort of copy you want to write. To get the best you need to take a more defined approach (Check Ben Shaffer's (sp?) 100 Greatest Letters to see many different samples of copywriting not just the long letter stuff). For me I recently I purchased some books that are more new to the market like "Write to Sell" and "The Copywriters Handbook" and felt like I got a lot from them, more than some others.

      Also I will blow the trumpet on Paul Hancox video series being a good investment as he does a good job at teaching you his method and another book that's not a copywriting book but must be added to your inventory is Jay Abraham's Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got. It will ultimately set the scene for understanding why copy works.

      Mark
      Signature

      Owner bestfivereviewed.com

      Started this stuff 2009. Time is what will teach you the skills you need.

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  • Profile picture of the author Hillary Dale
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt James
      Try to visit these sites: ilikepike.com and pikerpro.com. These sites will add up tons of knowledge about copywriting.
      ...or maybe they won't since these are thin affiliate sites. :rolleyes:

      EDIT; Nice catch, Matt. URL's edited.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hillary Dale
    Originally Posted by Buildingfutures View Post

    I've got a few things I think are going to be a good help for me, but I Wanted to see what you guys think, and if you had any other suggestions for a re-budding marketer like myself to learn the valuable art of copywriting.

    I've got:

    "Masters of Copywriting" by George Frederic with advice from about 2 dozen writers,

    "Reason Why Advertising" by John Kennedy,

    A Gene Schwartz lecture on breakthrough copy,

    and the One Sentence Persuasion by Blair Warren.

    You guys think I'm on the right track, and do you have any suggestions for me?

    Thanks a ton!

    -Sean
    You're on the right track with these. Continue learning. John Carlton is a guru of copywriting. He offers DVD's to help you along with copywriting. Try surfing the net for John Carlton's copywriting course
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  • Profile picture of the author amigosg
    Hello

    Another possible approach is suggested by the late Gary Halbert. Please refer to the following newsletters:

    Hands On Experience For A Basic Education In Advertising Principles!
    thegaryhalbertletter.com/Newsletters/zfkj_hands_on_experience.htm

    The First Step If You Are At Ground Zero!
    thegaryhalbertletter.com/Newsletters/zfkl_first_step.htm

    Good luck!

    (Sorry, I could not put in the proper http link format. Just copy them to your browser and you will be able to access)
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    • Profile picture of the author Nigel Howell
      Words that Sell, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Thesaurus to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas (Paperback)

      by Richard Bayan

      I bought this from Amazon and find it really useful.
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