Free Shortcut Course On How To Write Copy Like The Legends... Even If You Feel Like A Copy Moron Now

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FREE ShortCut Course -

"How to Write Sales Pages as Good as the Copywriting Legends - in One Easy Lesson - Even If You're a Complete Copy Moron!"

If you'd like to know how you can begin to write ads as good (or better, in some cases) than the "gurus", and do so without-gut busting effort or so much as a hint of strain... even if you've struggled with copy and have yet to be truly satisfied with your skills in the past... then you may be interested in reading the rest of this post.

Here's why: I'm going to do something unheard of.

I'm going to give away, for free, (almost) everything you'd ever need to know to begin to write compelling copy that really will make you money... right here on this post.

I know it may sound ridiculous, but I'll tell you exactly why it would benefit you to believe that I can deliver on this promise... in a moment.

Before we get to that... there's something you need to know.

Otherwise this post won't make sense and you won't get any benefit from the rest of it.

Usually I consider it bad form to drop names.

Because pissing contests are for suckers.

But also... the really important reason why I don't like to drop names is because it encourages the sort of thinking that keeps people trapped in the first place.

If it's assumed that one guy is a guru or an authority... that automatically implies he's inside and you're outside.

Well... as they say in foggy London-town... that's ballocks.

I've met the gurus.

In many different walks of life (not just internet marketing culture).

And don't you believe anybody who tells you they're not the exact same quaking mess that you are. Life doesn't stop being life once you've "made it". "Making it" at all is an illusion and it's a dangerous one because it's that very image that allows people to take advantage of you and keeps you running inside the hamster wheel.

If there's somebody sending messages to your inbox telling you any different... who's seriously trying to convince you there really is some "inside" to finally be a part of that will solve all your problems or something like that... they're just as happy with you eating a menu instead of food, so long as you pay.

That is... they're charlatans.

Fakes. Phonies. That's a challenge I'll back up 'till I'm blue in the face and I invite any of them to try and prove otherwise.

All that said... I know that to move with the stream, instead of against it, is the intelligent way to go about things. So because I know about this structure of authority and... how nobody will listen to you if you're a no-name... I feel it's only fair I tell you why I'm qualified to teach you how to write ad copy.

First, I work as a copywriter professionally. At the moment, my main client who I'm an "in house" writer for is a global hydroponics company called "Advanced Nutrients".

The man who hired me co-founded this company and David Garfinkel (who, if you know copywriting today, you should be aware of) said of this man "he's one of smartest direct marketers I've ever met".

He has before hired writers like Dr. Harlan Kilstein and Tina Lorenz and he regularly attends copywriting and persuasion seminars.

The guy knows his stuff.

I met him at a seminar and during the seminar was able to sell him on hiring me without a portfolio, resume or even sample of my work.

(To learn how I did this, you'll have to wait. This is something I want to keep guarded for now because it actually is a pretty juicy secret that I may end up selling.)

Also, I do nothing to promote myself. I have no website set up, no portfolio put together, no resume... I don't even have a business card. But I regularly get calls from people I've never heard of who have been referred my services. Recently, I even got a call from as far away as Thailand asking me to write (though I turned the offer down).

Scott Haines said of the first assignment I ever wrote professionally, "That's damn good copy." If you've ever worked with Scott, you know he's not one to dole out enthusiasm recklessly. I was hugely flattered.

I'm not saying any of that to brag. I know I'm no better than anybody. I get uncomfortable when people sing my praises even when I deserve it, most of the time, because it's all so superfluous.

Also, I'm currently something of a cripple. I'm fighting a very difficult battle with anxiety and panic disorder I developed while deployed as a Marine last year which has stymied me in a lot of ways and put me in and out of hospitals for the past year (and is in large part the reason I'm spending a Friday night on this forum writing to you all instead of out and about drinking myself silly with friends. For anyone who's ever had to deal with this, the constant tension, high blood pressure, and feeling that this really might be the moment you die knows how awful this thing is).

So uh... I'm a bit behind the curve in some respects.

But one way I'm not behind the curve is in the arena of persuasion. And I had to give myself some credibility so you'd know I have at least some idea... a single clue, if nothing else.... of what I'm talking about.

Because of that, I want to demystify this process for you.

And I want to do it... for free.

Why?

Because it's fun, that's why. And who says you can't have fun in the midst of slight agoraphobia?

I like writing anyway. If I'm not reading, I'm writing. That's generally the pace of my life.

But mostly I'm reading and writing.

So now I'm going to make very plain how to write copy effortlessly. And... just to spite my critic down below (nothing personal, it's just fun to spite people)... I'm going to do it without bullets. >

There will be three parts to this post. Each is equally important. They will each be surprisingly and pleasantly short. And altogether they will mesh into a beautiful tapestry of literary genius (cue eyes rolling) that will include all the basic anatomy of a sales letter as well, from headline to P.S.

Ready?

You're witnessing history here. I don't want your e-mail address, and there's no back-end to this. This really is completely free. I'm excited.

Here it goes:

Part I: Wu-Wei

It's a Chinese phrase used by Taoists that translates roughly to "doing without doing" or "effortless action". All it means is you don't have to help life along. Once you "get" this principle, your writing really will become effortless in the sense that you won't strain to do any of it.

It will be as shockingly pleasant as when you learn how to swim correctly... because the best swimmers have to learn to let the water and their stride carry them along. (Novices have way too many strokes per lap because they don't trust the water or the effort they already put out to glide along just as fast.)

For example... when you see or think about someone who gives you butterflies, we say it happens to us. It's spontaneous.

Of itself so.

That is, it's not through gritting our teeth and muscular strain or grunting that the butterflies start flapping (that'd be a funny sight though, wouldn't it?).

So then... I'm going to present compelling copy to you as nothing more than good news that when delivered will work its magic anyway. You don't have to try to make it work.

When you've got good news, you want to share it. You don't have to get worked up or try to force excitement out of anybody... good news is of itself exciting.

In the same way, when you deliver any sort of message... if you're trying to, by way of some strenuous effort, squeeze the reaction somebody ought to have out of them when they hear good news... you'll kill your efforts.

You'll get strange looks and hear crickets.

This is how things become drenched in hype and we recognize instantly that they're not genuine.

And it is the quickest way not to be believed. (Which, as Gary Halbert wrote, is very high on any market's list of reasons not to buy.)

Here's how you fix it: Just tell the good news.

If you don't have good news, there's no amount of copywriting magic that's going to save you.

Unless you lie, in which case, may God smite you with lightning or even worse... bring you success. (Not all it's cracked up to be, but I've written more about that in another post.)

Remember the butterflies. If you're presenting a pretty picture, they'll flap on their own. You don't have to do a damn thing to get them going.

I'll give you an example.

Here is a ****ty headline:

"I Demand You Be Impressed By My Offer Because I'm An Awesome Copywriter Who You Should Hire Because I'll Make You Lots Of Money, Believe It Dammit!"

The knee-jerk reaction to that is of course "screw off, buddy!"

But how about this:

"3 Spots Left To Learn How To Cheat The California Lotto From A Pissed-Off, Recently Fired Employee, For As Much As A Million Dollar Prize... Our Lawyers Have Actually Confirmed This Is Legal, But Only For 3 More People. All You've Got To Do Is Send Your Name And Address And We'll Ship You The Information Free of Charge."

Is there anybody that's not going to read that?

Not if you a) desire more money and b) have a pulse.

Notice, there's no use of the words "amazing", "incredible", or anything like that. No exclamation marks. I'm not throwing streamers into your face to get you to look at this thing.

But it's good news. And it's not that any of those words are bad per se... they, or words like them, could probably be used to breathe a little more life into that headline.

Do you see though this point of how you don't have to grit your teeth and go GRRRR! to make good news good?

You can get into all sorts of specifics and measuring out just what elements make it so and all this stuff like how it's specific (3 spots) or how there's a human motive (employee got canned) or blah blah blah but really... "good news" is sufficient.

If you complicate things and get lost in the details, it all becomes very frustrating. Just tell the good news you've got. If you haven't got good news, you need to craft a new offer because you're either selling something nobody wants, or you're lying.

In which case, may God smite you with fame and fortune, because you deserve both, you deceitful creep.

Act II: That's it?

Mostly, yes.

Once you understand that writing copy is telling good news, you've got all you need to know to write compelling headlines.

That's too simple though, and most people like to ask questions and complicate things for a bunch of weird reasons, not the least of which is just being difficult, not the greatest of which is if you solve your problems now... what will you do with so little to squirm around about? So here's one more tip...

A quick and easy way to know you're writing headlines correctly: are you matching your message with what the market wants?

Gary Halbert used to say that the one advantage, if we had competing hot dog stands, that he would want over any other... including the best tasting ingredients, or the friendliest cashiers, or whatever... would be a hungry crowd.

The whole mystery of successful selling lies here.

Is your crowd hungry for what you're putting in front of them?

If so, the food will sell itself. They'll eat. You don't have to do anything else but put it in front of them. It's difficult to shew them away even.

Now there are a couple of details in Part 3 that'll clear up some confusion.

But before we get into that... one final word on this.

You may be reading this post (it's coming to a close soon) and thinking that I'm leaving a lot of important details out. Where are all the bullets, and subheads, and P.S.s, etc!

What about using "headers" like pennies or dollar bills instead of headlines to get attention, or mailing a fedex package instead of a big envelope with teaser copy? What sort of font type and size should be used for specific parts of the sales message?

To that I reply... the Coat of Arms letter, perhaps the most successfully mailed letter of all time... was less than 400 words.

It brought home over $650,000,000.00 throughout its lifetime.

A full-time staff had to be hired in the beginning just to cash the checks. That's a staff of people working 40 hours per week doing nothing but cashing checks.

It had no headline. No subheads. And God help us, it had no bullets.

It was as bare bones as you can get.

If people are hungry for what you're putting in front of them, they'll eat.

Don't get lost in the details of the format your message takes.

There is no magic in the format of writing.

Find out what your market wants, and tell them how you've got the solution.

If nothing else, if you look different than everyone else, especially if everyone else is being loud and obnoxious (which is the case these days online)... you'll get noticed much, much more quickly if you're not.

(Ex: what kind of envelope does everybody open? The personal envelope that is quiet and nice. What do they throw away? Obvious "junk mail". The brilliance of this strategy wasn't in the paper, the medium. It was in the principle. THe same thing applies online.)

Act III: The Details

That said, we're going to solve once and for all the problem of bullets, and enough other details to make sure you've got a solid structure to work with that you feel comfortable beginning to use as soon as you finish reading this post.

Creating compelling bullets is like carving a raw, natural, dirty tree stump into something fascinating.

The tree stump, as it is, is what we call a feature.

If you're selling a DVD on self-improvement, a feature might be that it's light weight.

So the first step in our journey is to identify all the features we can.

List every feature about this thing you can possibly list.

Its color.

Its shape.

It's size.

All the facts.

Then, you turn every feature into (at least one) benefit.

The benefit is what you begin carving the feature into. The value of it. What it does for the person using it. It's no longer just a tree stump, it's a beautiful carving of a flying duck that you can put above the fireplace on the mantle that everyone will ooh and aah at (it should be noted here that the only reason you should be carving a duck out of the tree stump is if you know the market is crazy about ducks. Do you get that? It's what the market is hungry for that shapes how you present what you've got.)

So if the DVD is lightweight, maybe that means they only have to pay $1.50 for media mail shipping. Or free shipping even. Why not? Let's not be cheapskates. You self-improvement folk have pretty good markups anyway.

That's a pretty nice benefit, free shipping.

Get it?

When stating a benefit, you don't say "it weighs x ounces, YOU figure out why that's great, moron!"

You tell them, plainly, why that's great.

"Because it weighs only x ounces, we can offer you free shipping."

Ah, how nice...

And maybe on the DVD you reveal how to stop hating yourself or some other self-improvement lesson.

So what's the benefit of that? Well when you stop hating yourself it'll be nice because you can hang out with your friends again because you won't be a drag.

What the market wants will tell you what the benefits of your product are.

Finally, the finished bullet is the presentation of the carving. You need features to make benefits, and benefits to make bullets.

So you might polish it all up by saying "A concrete, surefire way to get a million friends who will all beg to hang out with you - because you'll be the life of the party! (This works so quickly, it's not unusual for your phone to begin ringing off the hook as early as tomorrow)"

Maybe you throw a drum roll in and build up the suspense before you reveal everything, by making a bullet "blind".

On that note, one more example.

Product: Dating E-book.

Feature: Teaches a trick to get noticed and approached by girls that works right away and can be used anywhere.

Benefit: Never have approach anxiety again.

(Blind) Bullet: "-One trick you can perform tonight that will completely destroy approach anxiety once and for all, no matter where you find yourself or who you're after."

Get it?

So here's a starter formula for a good sales letter:

1. Headline

2. Tell your story briefly... who you are, how this all came to be, and what's inside in a way that works with the headlne... I'll give you a great structure for this in a minute.

3. List a ton of bullets to get them amped. Or don't. You may just create bullets to know where to steer the writing and keep it in normal paragraph format. But in general, bullets are nice eye relief and encourage people to read messages that are longer than they would otherwise.

4. Ask for the order.

5. You may also include a post-script or P.S. as a final note to knock them off the fence. Usually this is where you mention a guarantee or something to do with scarcity... like limited supply or time.

Speaking of which, here is where we're going to talk about guarantees.

If you want to learn to write guarantees (or any part of a sales letter) well, study John Carlton. Especially his OHP and TRS Direct stuff. (In fact, here's a free swipe file you'll find invaluable: ohpdirect. com and trsdirect. com. Both great marketing in very different niches.)

The purpose of a guarantee is to reverse the risk. At the advice of Scott Haines, I've learned that you can include guarantees in your headlines or subheads to increase response dramatically, especially if you're struggling to come up with a big benefit for the headline.

Scarcity, also, will increase response but this isn't always easy to do believably. It's sort of common knowledge that people will lie about scarcity to get you to buy and there have been all sorts of dreadful internet fads like counters and other script junk that are obviously phony.

Use wisely.

However, keeping this all short and sweet, and in an honest (although probably failed) attempt not to overload you with information, I'm going to move on.

Number 4 is huge.

It is, next to headlines, the most important on the list.

You've got to ask for the order. If you've got them all worked up to eat what they're hungry for and you don't take their money... they leave hungry and you leave broke.

Bad juju.

And the best way to ask for the order is, like all the rest, just do it.

After you've written your headline, told your story, amped up the emotional charge with some bullets... just say, "here's what to do now".

Like this:

Here's what to do now:

Click this link.

Or Call this number.

Walk them through it a bit too. "Call this number and you'll reach my assistant, Tracie, who you'll be blown away by because she's so nice and pleasant to talk to. She'll take care of you and all you need to do is have your credit card out and you'll be done before you know it. You won't hear a busy signal because we've set up a voicemail box you can leave your information on if the lines are tied up, and we'll get back to you lightning fast."

Or something like that.

If you want a good example of this formula in action (there will be more going on than JUST this 1,2,3,4 5 formula, mind you, because the page I'm about to recommend is written by THE copywriter, John Carlton)... check out simplewritingsystemdotcom. But you can relax. All you need to absorb for now is what we've covered here.

There you have it.

A free, basic course on how to write compelling copy that will make you money.

Don't sweat buckets about the structure. This post is about principles that when applied will take care of the rest. Like I said, there is no magic in the medium of writing. Your job, really, is to be a salesman.

That's it.

Is there any way to tell anyone on this planet that someone special to them has passed away that will keep them from being sad?

Is there any way to tell somebody that their baby was just born that will keep them from being thrilled?

Of course, it should be noted that "salesman" is just as much a misleading word as "copywriter"... that people will keep themselves down with and put things off with (I've got to study all the best courses and spend roughly $2,000.00 before I can really consider myself a salesman. Maybe even go to a few seminars too and get a piece of paper that tells me so.)

So let it be known, if you're selling something, you're a salesman. Poof. Hocus pocus.

Congratulations, welcome aboard.

If you're writing sales messages to multiply your efforts, I officially deem you a copywriter.

Congratulations, welcome aboard.

Your biggest hurdles will be: 1) trying too hard to MAKE the selling process work, which is why I included some esoteric Chines stuff as the first part of this course... and 2) perfectionism. IF you're constnatly anticipating your mistakes and trying to get it "right" (as if there were such a thing) before you get the message out... you'll never get anywhere.

This post SUCKED in its first draft. I know that. I knew it as I wrote it. I wrote it "stream of consciousness".

There are even lots of areas it coule be improved now.

But, it's received a good amount of traffic since it's been up and even in its ****ty infant stage, I have testimonial proof that it helped at least somebody.

"So good I could hug it."

That's a pretty damn good testimonial, wouldn't you say? How many pieces of writing have you written lately that people have told you they want to hug?

I'm pretty satisfied with that.

Speaking of which, something should be mentioned about testimonials before I cut out.

When other people sing your praises, it goes a lot further than you singing your own praises. The internet climate is changing the rules for this a bit, because you have independent forums where people come to discuss the truth about products. And they're going to trust forums a hell of a lot more than they will the testimonials you, the seller, post.

But in general, they increase response.

If you're going to use testimonials (and you should), keep them specific and credible.

Ex: "Your product is great! - Anonymous"

That's not nearly as convincing as the following...

Ex: "Using this method, I earned $5,000.00 more in February than I did in January. And... I was doing it slightly wrong. Thanks for an amazing product! - Gnarls Barkeley, Walla Walla Washington, 55555 somewebsitewhereyoucanseemyfacedotcom"

Get it?

So there you have it. Free starter course on how to write great copy that will make you money.

P.S. You'll pick up the details on the way. Just start writing. The road to mastery is the road that repeats the basics... over, and over, and over, and over...

P.P.S. If you do visit John's site I mentioned above, simplewritingsystemdotcom, you'll notice scattered about the page are what look like newspaper clippings. Each of these is a story about a student they trained that has had enough success that they consider it bragworthy.

My newspaper clipping is "Case #152." At some point or other, Stan Dahl and Kevin Rogers had a phone interview they did to learn my story about how I studied their course through mail order while I was deployed as a Marine in support of OIF, but I'm not sure if it's up anymore.

But I was proud to have made the front page of John Carlton's flagship course.

It's my sincere hope that this post has been of some benefit to you all and I wish you the best in all your efforts.

Just don't take things too seriously, alright?

Copywriting is fun, dammit.

Mandatory fun.

-Peace

Free Resources:

ohpdirecdotcom
trsdirectdotcom
thegaryhalbertletterdotcom


P.P.P.P.P.P.S

The if/then structure!

Earlier I promised I'd show you how to tie in your headline with the rest of the copy.

The easiest and most effective way for beginners to do this... a real fail-safe... is the if/then structure.

You see it all the time. Because it works.

So you've got your headline

"They All Laughed At Me When I Said I'd Teach You Basic Copywriting... But Then When I Began To Speak!"

so here's how you use if/then

if you'd like to learn how to write a simple letter that you can turn into money, then here is why this letters is important.

My name is... blah blah blah.

The if/then is a bridge from the headline and main benefit of your message... to the story of how it all came to be.

Phew. Almost forgot that. I'm off for now.
#copy #feel #free #legends #moron #shortcut #write
  • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
    @it's alright to join the words copy and writer

    Hahaha, yes I know. Though it does make me look like an outsider, doesn't it?

    I did that because the word "copywriter" seems to have everyone under a spell.

    It's like a mystical being who weaves words in a way that mere mortals can't.

    Which is, as they say in foggy London-town... ballocks.
    Signature

    "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

    "तत्त्वमसि"

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  • Profile picture of the author zthfitness
    This post is dead on...here's to you good sir...
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  • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
    Ken... heh heh heh, very clever.

    Well put.

    zthfitness... thank you, cheers and a million internets to you my friend.
    Signature

    "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

    "तत्त्वमसि"

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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Way too long and dry. Needs bullet points and a decent headline. No-one is going to read all that. And you don't need this - "There's no time to waste. So I'll get right down to it" - just get to the point.
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  • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
    Maybe. : D
    Signature

    "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

    "तत्त्वमसि"

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    • Profile picture of the author Lucius
      It's so beautiful, josephkerr, I could hug it.
      I'm brand new to the copywriting game and you know, after reading so many posts, I was beginning to despair... Buy this. Buy that. You will learn the secret/trick/formula/niknak/whathaveyou that will pay for itself, millions of times over; But here's the thing. I don't have that time. Or money.
      I'm too busy keeping up with the constantly evolving Internets, trying to avoid what most everyone else is doing.
      And you nailed it for me. Most are trying too hard to sell.
      There is no magic formula. Magic tools maybe.
      Thank You for opening the window and letting the breeze in.
      These are great Forums.
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  • I'm new to Warrior too, so I know how steep the etiquette learning curve can be.
    But something just strikes me as plain wrong about your post. I'm not sure what the point is - which is dangerous for an aspiring copywriter. I believe this is where Ken is coming from.

    However, If I am to assume the best of intentions then I will leave you with this one observation. Stop talking at me and start talking *TO* me. The lecture you have posted right now just turns me (and others) off.

    Stan
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Not sure what the point of your post is but whatever it might be, you're trying too hard. This is from your post:

    "It's like the guy who takes a course on "How To Win Friends and Influence People". He just makes everybody awkward. He comes off as smiling and laughing too much. Or using first names too frequently."

    I'd say that line pretty much describes your own efforts in this endless and aimless post.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lucius
      Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

      This thread inspires those who know no better. The post is
      not all that accurate (in my opinion) and I am not sure on
      the intent as people new to copywriting should certainly not
      believe this is the "Free Shortcut Course On How To Write Copy
      Like The Legends... Even If You Feel Like A Copy Moron"

      Of course a few newbs will be like "hell yeah!" because they
      know no better. Those of us making a living doing this give
      it an eyeroll :rolleyes:

      Is the OP a paid copywriter?... that's what I want to know
      I'm sure most can see this is not a course per se, that should be taken as gospel or even face value;It's a post which simply and effctively cuts through the esoteric world of the Copywriter. For all the tongue-in-cheek, it seems to have hit a nerve with the old guard.
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      • Profile picture of the author biz2bee
        Interesting discussion. Maybe you have seen this one before Writing effective sales copy to increase your sales which I actually learned basic copywriting from and its quite amusing. PLEASE notice, I dont wish to hurt anyones feelings or be rude...
        Signature

        biz2bee

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      • Profile picture of the author Lucius
        Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

        Ha, if I were you I would shout that from the mountain tops.

        It's not bragging, it's a fact. A fact that carries heavy relevance
        in how prospective clients perceive you.
        Now I'm getting all confused. Bencivenga says in his $5000 sales pitch for his Marketing Bullets course.

        You see, almost all copywriters and marketers today are using the same old-fashioned techniques. But the world has changed, and the consumers you're trying to influence have grown increasingly immune to these conventional headlines and approaches. In today's overmarketed, overhyped world, the "same old" techniques for generating response may occasionally work, but not nearly as well as they used to. This is why most direct marketers are seeing their response rates decline every year. And this will inevitably continue, as consumers grow increasingly immune to an ever-rising flood of these same tired, overworked approaches. You need something new that works better.
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  • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
    For everyone who has replied, especially Travelinguy who actually made me laugh out loud, thank you. This... "endless and aimless post"... is a pretty good one-two punch and for some reason reminded me of Hunter S. Thompson.

    So kudos to you sir. You've joked the joker.

    No hard feelings here.

    This post was just an experiment because I've got too much free time lately. But because there is obviously room to improve, and because I enjoy writing anyway... I'll improve it today. Which is also important to show the new guys... you can always improve your work later on.

    The people who end up getting results though are the people who do something. Anything. Even if it sucks at first.

    To Paul McQuillan... I am indeed a paid copywriter. And thanks for the pat on the back.
    Signature

    "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

    "तत्त्वमसि"

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    • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
      Originally Posted by josephkerr View Post

      No hard feelings here.


      Hey...

      It wasn't my intention to cause hard feelings either. I read maybe a third of your post and you've got some talent. You also have a very low post count. And even though that might not mean a damned thing in the big picture, you've got to realize that no one in here knows you and that this isn't always the warmest environment even for many of the regulars.

      It's almost like going to a comedy club to do your act and you find out you're the only newcomer in a room full of regulars who are all drinking buddies and very tight. And... they've been swilling JD all day long. You're going to have to be telling jokes and spitting gold coins at the same time just to get out of the joint alive.

      So hang around and throw in on topics where you think you can add something legit and save the long-ass instructional courses for some other venue. And maybe one day people will be asking for your opinion. Welcome.
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      • Profile picture of the author dezfutak
        Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post


        Hey...

        It wasn't my intention to cause hard feelings either. I read maybe a third of your post and you've got some talent. You also have a very low post count. And even though that might not mean a damned thing in the big picture, you've got to realize that no one in here knows you and that this isn't always the warmest environment even for many of the regulars.

        It's almost like going to a comedy club to do your act and you find out you're the only newcomer in a room full of regulars who are all drinking buddies and very tight. And... they've been swilling JD all day long. You're going to have to be telling jokes and spitting gold coins at the same time just to get out of the joint alive.

        So hang around and throw in on topics where you think you can add something legit and save the long-ass instructional courses for some other venue. And maybe one day people will be asking for your opinion. Welcome.


        So poetically put & so true!

        Scene: two experienced IM'ers in the bar (aka forum), chewing tobacco & spittin' it into the pan every 30 seconds.

        Marty: "Hey Henry, looky-at-what-we-have here...."

        Henry (finishng off his chicken leg, followed by another shot of JD): "Another noob who thinks he can sling a gun <chuckle>.....?"
        Henry moves to the side, flicks open his '45 & pops the hat off the noob, causing it to deftly land on a neighbor's beer bottle...

        Offended beer-drinker: "Hey, Noob! You just ruined my beer with your dusty hat - get outta here before I show yer what it's like not to miss a shot!" Offended winks at Henry, who turns to Marty, winking.

        Noob rushes out of the bar, trying to find a place to off-load his breakfast, he's so scared.

        OK, that was my bit of fun for the day - back to my accounts now

        Dez.
        PS: This isn't meant to knock JosephKerr - well done mate for getting your thoughts down & taking action. I was more laughing at the comedy club picture that travelinguy came up with....which inspired me to take the imagery further.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    The problem with writing good copy is that doing it well is as much art as science.

    It takes countless hours of study and hard work... and nothing but.

    The second problem is that we all perceive things differently.

    So while you can "bang out" what you THINK is the solution... and because parts of it are there, in your mind, it makes sense.

    But you end up with half-finished instructions.

    I'm not trying to diminish your contribution... there's some great stuff in there... especially about trying too hard.

    But I think it's important for newbies to understand that this is really just a few points of opinion... that this is NOT a "blueprint" by any means.

    There's a reason pro copywriters get paid what they do... what we do isn't easy... and we make people a lot of money.

    By all means... read it... think about it... take on board the parts that make sense to you.

    But don't fall into the trap of thinking this is everything you need to know about writing good copy... because it's far from it (understandably, given that it's a single post).

    -Dan
    Signature

    Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

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  • Profile picture of the author keystothemind
    Man this forum is a rough crowd - some brilliant minds but I reckon it's a bit harsh that when Joseph here spends his time to give us something great for free - and several people her do naught but criticize.

    As a new copywriter who has been put in his place many a time by the resident experts, I for one found this post extremely valuable, and got a lot from it.

    Thank you very much for posting this - your efforts were not wasted.
    Cheers
    Nathan
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    • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
      Thanks Nathan, I appreciate the support. Really, my most sincere hope is that it benefits people out there struggling. If I can take the sting out of the process of learning for somebody or give anyone the "aha" moment they need to really get what's going on... then I've done what I set out to do.

      But also in that spirit there is a more subtle, guilty pleasure I have here in that... in this play, the role I've taken on is the role of the court jester. In ancient times, to keep the people sane, in the royal court there would be a court jester.

      And the jester was often a crazy person who had about him a certain way of making inappropriate comments that give people the giggles where usually they'd be serious. You know, if he could plan it out he'd be the guy who farted in church just when the sermon got to be too much for people to nod along with anymore.

      It's like in ancient Rome when a certain emperor (whose name escapes me at the moment) as he walked among the people would hire a jester of sorts to walk along with him and remind him regularly, even as the crowds were roaring in praise... "you're just a man, you're just a man, you're just a man."

      So in exactly the same way, when you have institutions that become dogmatic and serious all the time they become a drag. Which is really a bummer because we started these things like a game. Copywriting and marketing and all this, when you've got a balanced perspective, were suppose to be a way of playing the game of life that was more congenial to our tastes and more fun than the drag that had come before it, whatever that might be. Washing dishes, serving food, saying "yes" and smiling when really you were boiling with anger on the inside... or worse, apathy or depression.

      But I see happening in this culture exactly what happens in every culture which takes itself seriously. I mean the word seriously here as grave or grim. "We must make that extra dollar! We've got to make this work! We must succeed. Never give up! You've got to stick to this format in your writing!" And that sucks all the fun right out of it.

      This was Bruce Lee's criticism of the whole Chinese martial arts culture. Human beings ceased to be human beings at all because they had the gospel of a certain "style" that was passed down from master to master with the attitude that this is how it ought to be done. Never you mind your own experience... how tall or short you are, how fast or strong you are... this is how it ought to be done because this is how an old guy taught his students hundreds of years ago.

      So... when this all gets to be too much... in steps the joker. And just when everyone's getting to be too serious, he throws his voice and puts funny words in somebody's mouth and everybody has a good laugh and remembers it's okay after all. They can come off it now.

      Some of the readers here have been kind enough to send me messages backstage so to speak to encourage me. Which I really do appreciate. For those of you who get what I'm doing and can nod along with me, I'll give you a little wink here and say that if they're laughing at what I'm doing... it's not getting me down.

      That's the point. At least one of them, anyway.
      Signature

      "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

      "तत्त्वमसि"

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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Yes, the Gary Halbert "Coat of Arms" letter had no bullets. But it had short simple sentences, plenty of paragraphs and was easy to read - unlike your first draft of this missive. And it was a Direct Response letter - physically mailed - an entirely different animal to online copy. In this game you only have a second or two to capture interest before your reader clicks off. It's been tested and proved that bullet points work - no more than seven in a block of them.

    Funny isn't it? You say you don't like "dropping names" and then you go and drop a bunch of them.

    I have two problems with your post - you're talking down to me and you're trying to be too cute. Doesn't work.

    Seeing as though you're so keen on quoting Halbert, here's two for you -

    When it comes to writing, people don't have time for your pathetic subtleties.
    And

    Being on target is much more important than being facile with words.
    And perhaps I do indeed have no pulse because this brilliant headline of yours just left me cold - "3 Spots Left To Learn How To Cheat The California Lotto From A Pissed-Off, Recently Fired Employee, For As Much As A Million Dollar Prize... Our Lawyers Have Actually Confirmed This Is Legal, But Only For 3 More People. All You've Got To Do Is Send Your Name And Address And We'll Ship You The Information Free of Charge."

    And then you go on to say "There is no magic in the format of writing." uh, right. Which is why you completely re-formatted this post I suppose - including bolding, underlining and subheads.

    P.S. if you're going to link to resources, make it a hyperlink.
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    • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
      Metronicity,

      You have my sincere apologies if I came off as talking down to you. I was teasing the same way I tease my buddies in the service. Giving people a hard time is just a way I've learned to get along and if that offends you I'll cut it out. I'm a pretty open guy and don't have too many hangups, so I tend to treat people like friends until I've got a reason not to.

      No hard feelings or putting you down intended. I hesitate to defend myself because that implies an attitude that I don't want to imply

      You're perfectly welcome to criticize me and I have no problem with you saying whatever you'd like about my post, kind or nasty, it really bothers me none.

      But you've raised some complaints that I think might confuse some people if they don't have a strong grounding in what I was trying to communicate.

      To say that there's no magic in the format of writing is to say that writing is just one form of a communication. My intent was to show that it is the message itself, not the format, that should be focussed on. As for bolding, underlining, etc. These are ways to pull tone and emphasis out of writing precisely because they imply what the inner voice as its reading should speak in the readers head. So really, these are a function of speech, not writing necessarily.

      I agree with you that my lotto headline was less than brilliant. But it was there to operate as a contrast to what came before it to demonstrate a principle I was trying to teach. I don't blame you and I'm not offended you slept right through it, but for someone who plays the lotto or was looking for an easy buck, if I knew those were established markets, I'd bet that'd be an alright headline to start with. Maybe not. That's really not the point. Although, if I took the same principle and applied it to a headline I think might interest you more...

      "3 More Spots Left To Be Part Of A Firing Squad That Gets To Off Joseph Kerr Tonight! Our lawyers confirmed this is legal, but only for 3 more people. All you've got to do is send your name and address, and we'll send a limo to pick you up and even provide a rifle and ammunition."

      Maybe that doesn't get quite as sleepy as a response? ; D

      As for the name dropping... I had hoped my explanation above was sufficient but maybe not. Like I said, I really wish it wasn't necessary because it encourages a mode of thinking that in my opinion keeps people stuck. But none of you know anything about me and I was getting some pretty harsh criticisms and the truth is... if some big wig recognized marketer had written what I wrote, you'd all nod and find a way to say how great whatever you liked was because most often what is much more important than content is structure. And the structure of authority, in this case, I believe is more important.
      Signature

      "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

      "तत्त्वमसि"

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      • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
        Banned
        Originally Posted by josephkerr View Post

        and the truth is... if some big wig recognized marketer had written what I wrote, you'd all nod and find a way to say how great whatever you liked was because most often what is much more important than content is structure. And the structure of authority, in this case, I believe is more important.
        Nope. Doesn't matter who it is. If some "big wig" comes on here and pontificates a bunch of crap we'll tell him/her exactly what we think.

        BTW having a couple of drive-bys saying they want to hug your copy or whatever, is hardly the same as John Carlton or the like endorsing your work with "This guy writes some brilliant copy - converts like a mother - hire him" - now is it?

        As travelinguy said -
        save the long-ass instructional courses for some other venue.
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    I am confused.

    Why is this post up? I read it and got confused. what is the purpose of this?
    WD
    Signature

    "As a man thinks in his heart so is he-Proverbs 23:7"
    Coming Soon http://graphicsdon.com

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    • Profile picture of the author Matt James
      I am confused.

      Why is this post up? I read it and got confused. what is the purpose of this?
      WD
      I think the guy was trying to contribute something to the forum.

      Nice post Joseph, I don't agree with everything you say but there are some gems in there.
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      • Profile picture of the author keystothemind
        Originally Posted by Matt James View Post

        I think the guy was trying to contribute something to the forum.

        Nice post Joseph, I don't agree with everything you say but there are some gems in there.
        Well said Matt.
        I don't get the logic of people going up in arms to try and shut down someone who just wants to be helpful!

        Joseph: I like your ancient Rome analogy - The relevance is not hard to spot.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ronak Shah
          Originally Posted by keystothemind View Post

          Well said Matt.
          I don't get the logic of people going up in arms to try and shut down someone who just wants to be helpful!
          It's often the case here.

          Nothing new. LOL.

          I agree with what Joseph Kerr said here:

          Originally Posted by josephkerr View Post

          the truth is... if some big wig recognized marketer had written what I wrote, you'd all nod and find a way to say how great whatever you liked was because most often what is much more important than content is structure. And the structure of authority, in this case, I believe is more important.
          I love people who contribute towards the growth of other human beings.

          Great stuff Joseph. Keep it up. You're doing a great job. I really appreciate your efforts.
          Signature
          I AM YOUR Direct Response Ninja Kick-Ass Sales Copywriter.

          Now, Here's The REAL DEAL:
          Either I make YOU at least 10 times of what I charge YOU OR
          I'll Write YOUR Sales Copy AGAIN Till YOU Make MUCH MORE Than THAT. Guaranteed*.
          *Terms & Conditions Apply. Email me at ronak[at]ronakshah[dot]name right now.
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  • Profile picture of the author anwar001
    I have saved this page for later reading as its too long a post and the title is so intriguing that I dont want to miss it either. I think this is going to be fun.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andy Wood
      There as so many other subtle 'mind triggers' that can be used to increase conversions but for anyone new to writing sales letters this post is just great!
      Signature

      =================================
      Andy Wood - Featured in the Who's Who of Business Elite - how cool is that eh!

      List your business opportunity at BusinessOpportunityDigest.com

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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Here's a head for you -

    FREE ShortCut Course -

    "How to Write Sales Pages as Good as the Copywriting Legends - in One Easy Lesson - Even If You're a Complete Copy Moron!"
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    • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
      That is a good headline - thank you.
      Signature

      "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

      "तत्त्वमसि"

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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    Lucius... think about this for a second...

    Gary is a salesman... salesmen LIE.

    Or at least stretch the truth.

    Gary is simply writing some killer sales copy that has some truth to it... but leading you to believe you're screwed if you don't get his course.

    (or if not Gary, whoever wrote the copy... which is damn nice.)

    Yes, in some markets, some things are getting less effective. For example: the "oops" style emails way too many internet marketers send out these days.

    But for the most part, although a particular way something is done may lose effectiveness (eventually), the psychological principles behind them work as well today as they did 50 years ago.

    The truth is a good copywriter knows what needs to change and what doesn't. Copywriting has *definitely* evolved since the 60's... but in some ways it's exactly the same.

    It's difficult to explain in a forum post... but whatever your market... credibility/proof is important.

    And as a copywriter... the results you get for your clients are important for future clients to know you have the skills you need.

    Dig?

    -Dan
    Signature

    Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

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  • Profile picture of the author samlb
    Long post as long as it's a good post... the condensed version greatly complements the very long version. But none the less... it's a gem for people looking and hungry for it. Good job!!!

    Thanks... I'm one of those looking for that kind of stuff!
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  • Profile picture of the author sandra.IMqueen
    Thanks Joseph, I found two small but useful tips in your post. Why? Because I was looking at what I could get from it. Don't worry about the negative responses...

    People's responses say a lot more about them than they do about you.
    Thanks for the useful post - I hope the anxiety improves soon.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lucius
      Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post


      He voiced his and we voiced ours. It's not like we threw him
      under a bus
      He can thank his Lucky Stars that he is a paid Copy Writer
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      • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
        Paul McQuillan for the win!

        That to question is not necessarily negative, I couldn't agree with more.

        Well said, sir.

        Everyone is welcome to question and doubt and if you've got a good head on your shoulders chances are you will.

        I'm hashing out free advice for Christ's sake.

        Although I do find it interesting that the issue of techniques has been raised, as I provide almost zero technique in the post. I'm much more interested in providing a new perspective and attitude than I am in providing technical how-tos, because those really aren't where your focus should be if you want to do a selling job well.

        The whats and how tos of selling will take care of themselves if you understand properly. We sell things all the time anyway, we just don't realize it. When we notice something one of our friends would like, like maybe a new book by their favorite author, a new movie with their favorite celebrity, or we saw their crush shopping at a store they always go to... do you have to wonder at all how to tell them about it?

        Of course not. Enthusiasm takes us over and we say, "Dan, you've GOT to hear this!" And then you tell them about it and everyone's excited and happy and yee-haw, dammit.

        THAT is selling. No more than that. Giving people what they want.

        When it comes to copywriting, it's true that there are certain techniques that will boost response like putting quotes around headlines, or using someone's first name in a letter, etc. etc.

        But those are all secondary to the understanding of what selling really is, and a hell of a lot of them come naturally anyway.

        It's when we start to be unnatural that things go awry.

        The real problem then, the real hurdle to get over is when we consider "copywriting" something altogether different and more difficult than our normal everyday "hey, check this out!" communication.

        That's what I hope to get rid of... the distinction between the "mysterious art of copywriting" on the one hand, and bar talk on the other.

        That is to say, I think I've got a good way of teaching people not to, as John Carlton puts it, "sell from their heels."

        But... this forum is the testing ground for my hypothesis and you've all helped me out a lot. I've seen major weaknesses that could use improving that I never would have got had I not presented the material. I have a much better idea of where to go and how to make this better, and some of the problems to watch out for (egos are never to be underestimated!).
        Signature

        "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

        "तत्त्वमसि"

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        • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
          I haven't bothered to read the OP all the way through yet, but anyone who quotes Warren Zevon in his sig can't be all bad.
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        • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
          Banned
          Originally Posted by josephkerr View Post

          THAT is selling. No more than that. Giving people what they want.
          Nope. Nothing could be further from the truth. That's not selling - that's servicing. Selling is more like "giving people stuff they didn't even know they wanted or needed". In other words "igniting a desire".

          A woman called Susan Ward expressed it like this -
          selling is the art of persuading the consumer that buying the product or service will benefit him or her. Whatever product or service you're selling, then, you need to focus your selling efforts on communicating the benefits of your product or service to the consumer. The benefits may be tangible or intangible, but unless the individual consumer is convinced that he or she will personally experience the benefits, your product or service won't sell.
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      • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
        Paul McQuillan for the win!

        That to question is not necessarily negative, I couldn't agree with more.

        Well said, sir.

        Everyone is welcome to question and doubt and if you've got a good head on your shoulders chances are you will.

        I'm hashing out free advice for Christ's sake.

        Although I do find it interesting that the issue of techniques has been raised, as I provide almost zero technique in the post. I'm much more interested in providing a new perspective and attitude than I am in providing technical how-tos, because those really aren't where your focus should be if you want to do a selling job well.

        The whats and how tos of selling will take care of themselves if you understand properly. We sell things all the time anyway, we just don't realize it. When we notice something one of our friends would like, like maybe a new book by their favorite author, a new movie with their favorite celebrity, or we saw their crush shopping at a store they always go to... do you have to wonder at all how to tell them about it?

        Of course not. Enthusiasm takes us over and we say, "Dan, you've GOT to hear this!" And then you tell them about it and everyone's excited and happy and yee-haw, dammit.

        THAT is selling. No more than that. Giving people what they want.

        When it comes to copywriting, it's true that there are certain techniques that will boost response like putting quotes around headlines, or using someone's first name in a letter, or reversing all risk with a knockout guarantee etc. etc.

        But those are all secondary to the understanding of what selling really is, and a hell of a lot of them come naturally anyway when you're in the right state of mind.

        It's when we start to be unnatural that things go awry.

        The real problem then, the real hurdle to get over is when we consider "copywriting" something altogether different and more difficult than our normal everyday "hey, check this out!" communication.

        That's what I hope to get rid of... the distinction between the "mysterious art of copywriting" on the one hand, and bar talk on the other.

        That is to say, I think I've got a good way of teaching people not to, as John Carlton puts it, "sell from their heels."

        But... this forum is the testing ground for my hypothesis and you've all helped me out a lot. I've seen major weaknesses that could use improving that I never would have got had I not presented the material. I have a much better idea of where to go and how to make this better, and some of the problems to watch out for (egos are never to be underestimated!).
        Signature

        "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

        "तत्त्वमसि"

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  • Profile picture of the author Rinz
    Thanks, nice article.. I will need to bookmark this page..
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
    Joseph, thanks for the read. You made some interesting points. It might have just been more palatable spread over several posts.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    This thread is a kick. Here's the issue: The old guard sees the newb come here and post a 'short course' on copywriting. But it's not a course at all. It's a post with some insight, some blossoming technique and some utter nonsense.

    And to take that a little further, it's presented (poorly) with a sort of tongue in cheek style that, to me, is annoying unless the actual 'instruction' is perfect, and it isn't, it's not even close. Those of us who have been around for a while recognize this.

    Then we have people relatively new to writing come in and read the OP and find themselves wet with inspiration and admiration of the 'genius' who delivered the holy grail of copywriting tips. And that's okay. Neither camp is wrong. Everything is relative. Everything is true based on the reader's perspective.

    The last post by the OP contains this comment: "I provide almost zero technique in the post." I agree with that 100 percent but not for the same reason the OP is claiming. Technique refers to style, to methodology, to delivery. And it's clear to many of the experienced writers in here that the OP has failed miserably in putting the info across with any panache, though I'm sure he feels the overdone 'course' is quite clever.

    As I've already said, some of it is decent, but the bulk of the 'trying too hard' delivery rather sucks. Period. And if a writer comes here and can't take the heat of criticism, that's too freekin bad. So...

    Who's up next?
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  • Profile picture of the author mbrig
    I just knew you guy's would do this to me! I've been on this forum around a week and had a look around and got involved a little. Oh by the way the "this" (that you would do to me) is make my head spin and I mean spin!

    I was hesitant to come here because if there was going to be strong and passionate opinion it would be here. Regulars here may be eyeball rolling already thinking "well what did you expect"
    I got more than I expected, much more. Seems that there is a place in this PC mad world were people can give genuine opinion and if it stings a bit well that's that!

    You lot might well be used to that, not all of us are. It's been a great first visit and lot's of reading too do. Hope it feels this good every time I look you up.

    Thanks very much

    mbrig

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
    Hahaha @ Travelinguy... "I agree with that 100 percent but not for the same reason the OP is claiming. Technique refers to style, to methodology, to delivery. And it's clear to many of the experienced writers in here that the OP has failed miserably in putting the info across with any panache, though I'm sure he feels the overdone 'course' is quite clever."

    Travelinguy... you mentioned before that you enjoy JD. I'm a whiskey guy myself and if we ever meet in a bar, first round's on me. If you like Rye whiskey, there's a great one called High West that's pretty new... you can find it at specialty stores. Spectacular flavor and finish. The reason I say that is because I respect people who shoot from the hip, and I can tell you're not out to do any harm. You really do have the truth as your highest priority.

    Metronicity... come off it already. You keep taking swings at me failing to realize there is nobody to swing at. You said selling is "giving people stuff they didn't even know they wanted or needed". Really? You really want to stand by that statement in the face of any number of interviews I could point to between Joe Polish and Jeff Paul about how selling is market research + arithmetic, or any number of newsletters put out by Halbert or Carlton that mention if you have to educate your prospect you're dead in the water, pioneers are the ones with arrows in their back, find a passionate hungry mob and sell to them?

    Your statement implies come up with a product and then find a market thinking. I'm saying you should find a market and create your product around the interests of that market.

    This isn't going to end well for you if you keep focusing on your bruised ego and trying to get that one up on me... and I'm not saying that to get a one up on you. You're shooting yourself in the foot and then getting angry when you look in my direction 'cause it hurts.

    There is no one to be upped, unless you take things seriously. In which case you've already done more damage to yourself than I could ever do even if I did want to pick a fight (I don't, I've done my share of that).

    Did you ever see that movie "Roxanne" with Steven Martin? There's this scene in the bar where some jock bully is trying to out-do him but he wins the crowd because he can blend with whatever the guy throws at him. Or watch "Thank You For Smoking".

    In a public forum, you're not trying to convince your opponent of anything (even though I hold no opposition to you and don't consider you an opponent at all, you seem to really like opposing me)... you're after the audience.

    So how much good does it do to stay focussed on bringing me down instead of contributing to learning? There's no reason that anyone has to take this post as me trying to beat the gospel drum. It's just that sort of thinking that I've made it my aim to evaporate. It could just as well be a dialog that's begun where everyone contributes.

    There's one thing though, Travelinguy, that I'd arm wrestle you over in your assessment. You said if a writer comes here and can't take the heat of criticism, too bad. If you review my posts, you'll see I welcome criticism with open arms. I'm not afraid of it. What's to be afraid of? I might improve? I might learn something?
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by josephkerr View Post

      Metronicity... come off it already. You keep taking swings at me failing to realize there is nobody to swing at. You said selling is "giving people stuff they didn't even know they wanted or needed". Really? You really want to stand by that statement in the face of any number of interviews I could point to between Joe Polish and Jeff Paul about how selling is market research + arithmetic, or any number of newsletters put out by Halbert or Carlton that mention if you have to educate your prospect you're dead in the water, pioneers are the ones with arrows in their back, find a passionate hungry mob and sell to them?

      Your statement implies come up with a product and then find a market thinking. I'm saying you should find a market and create your product around the interests of that market.

      This isn't going to end well for you if you keep focusing on your bruised ego and trying to get that one up on me... and I'm not saying that to get a one up on you. You're shooting yourself in the foot and then getting angry when you look in my direction 'cause it hurts.

      There is no one to be upped, unless you take things seriously. In which case you've already done more damage to yourself than I could ever do even if I did want to pick a fight (I don't, I've done my share of that).

      Did you ever see that movie "Roxanne" with Steven Martin? There's this scene in the bar where some jock bully is trying to out-do him but he wins the crowd because he can blend with whatever the guy throws at him. Or watch "Thank You For Smoking".

      In a public forum, you're not trying to convince your opponent of anything (even though I hold no opposition to you and don't consider you an opponent at all, you seem to really like opposing me)... you're after the audience.

      So how much good does it do to stay focussed on bringing me down instead of contributing to learning? There's no reason that anyone has to take this post as me trying to beat the gospel drum. It's just that sort of thinking that I've made it my aim to evaporate. It could just as well be a dialog that's begun where everyone contributes.

      There's one thing though, Travelinguy, that I'd arm wrestle you over in your assessment. You said if a writer comes here and can't take the heat of criticism, too bad. If you review my posts, you'll see I welcome criticism with open arms. I'm not afraid of it. What's to be afraid of? I might improve? I might learn something?
      I don't follow your logic. You said "selling is giving people what they want". If you mean otherwise then explain yourself.

      As for "bruised ego"? Huh? I could care less. No-one is "shooting themselves in the foot" or "getting angry". You're new here so perhaps you're not used to my blunt style. Too bad.

      "There's no reason that anyone has to take this post as me trying to beat the gospel drum." Oh right. My mistake. I thought you knew it all.

      You "welcome criticism with open arms". Right. We've noticed.

      The rest of your post is gobbledy-gook. And it seems to me you're the one getting his knickers in a twist. I'm cool.

      You say "It could just as well be a dialog that's begun where everyone contributes". That's the spirit. That's why I contributed the headline that I notice you're not too proud to use.

      And BTW, what did you expect when you came out of nowhere with a post titled "Free Shortcut Course On How To Write Copy Like the Legends...Even If You Feel Like a Copy Moron". A post that some of us took issue with. And a post that you quickly took down and completely rewrote.

      And another BTW - you say "Halbert or Carlton that mention if you have to educate your prospect you're dead in the water". Halbert was a great one for education - educating himself and his readers (prospects). One of the reasons he was so good. He'd thoroughly research every product he ever wrote for. And then he'd pass the knowledge on to his readers. Entertaining and educating his prospects at the same time. And often selling them something they didn't even realise they wanted.

      ATTENTION: We Interrupt This Program For a Bit of Light Relief: TOVA-9 in The Gary Halbert Letter
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      • Profile picture of the author Lucius
        Copy Gods, please holster your egos. I'm now finding it difficult just to breathe through all the puffed up feathers. I'm learning things from all of you. I even visit some of your blogs and I'm astounded by the wealth of information freely given. Great Stuff...Special mention to Paul's edgy blog I even tried to buy him a beer; And Joseph; I'm loving your stuff, keep the experiment going; Mind you, if this was the 1470's I'd be burning on some stake...and so would you.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    josehpkerr...

    I know you don't take (most of) this seriously and you're right, there is no ill intent coming from my corner. As for the JD, I only mentioned it in a little analogy I threw up. I have no affinity for that elixir at all. Once maybe, but not now.

    As for criticism, I wasn't referring to you. I was talking to people commenting on this evolving thread who don't really understand what's being discussed. And as for learning something, I'd say this thread will be one of the foundational pieces of your writing education, that is, if I have any clue about writing and/or human nature at all. And who the hell could say what kind of clues I might have...
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    Nope. Nothing could be further from the truth. That's not selling - that's servicing. Selling is more like "giving people stuff they didn't even know they wanted or needed". In other words "igniting a desire".
    Mal, I'm going to disagree with you on this one...

    When was the last time you bought anything that you didn't want?

    I honestly can't remember buying anything that I didn't really want.

    Now that I've disagreed, I'm going to agree with the other part of your post. Frank Kern comes to mind (no idea why)...

    So take Mass Control. If Frank had said "This is Mass Control, it's $2k, click here to buy" it wouldn't have sold, obviously.

    People don't want to buy "Mass Control", nor do they want to buy yet another guru marketing course.

    They do want to know how the "big dogs" work up so much hype before a launch. And how they connect with their customers. And how to get affiliates on board. And how to pull off an insanely profitable product launch.

    Hell, some of them probably bought just to see what kind of content you can package and get away with selling for $2k.

    I didn't buy Mass Control but I've studied the launch. And Frank is tapping into things that people really want to know in order for their businesses to succeed.

    Okay, another recent example. I dropped $100 on Craig Garber's book a few months ago.

    It's a book about lead generation and copywriting for business owners. I'm not his target market.

    I've read most of the books in the sticky thread. I've got some copywriting courses on my hard drive that I haven't had time to go through all the way yet. I'm constantly consuming copywriting/marketing information, and the last thing I wanted or needed was a pricey book and a $50/month newsletter subscription.

    BUT, I'd eventually like to have a similar business model as Craig. I wanted to hear his advice on offline lead generation.

    I wanted to see what kind of content he can package and sell for $100. I wanted to see what makes up a $50/month newsletter that people actually buy and stay subscribed to.

    I wanted to hear his personal philosophies on business, marketing and copywriting. I wanted to hear his thoughts on charging top dollar for services. I wanted to see his back-end sales funnel, etc.

    For not needing or wanting an overpriced book on marketing strategy, I had a lot of reasons to want it.

    I've sold a lot of SEO courses.

    No one wants an e-book on SEO. But they do want to know the fastest ways to build high quality links.

    They want to know how to get results in the least amount of time possible. They want traffic and sales, and they want it yesterday.

    So I do agree that sales is "igniting a spark of desire" and helping people realize why they should want a product... It's also convincing them why your solution is the best amongst the competition and... Well, we don't need another copywriting "how to" in this thread.

    I completely disagree that sales is convincing people to buy stuff they don't want. That's like a vacuum cleaner salesman coming by my house and trying to sell me a $2k vacuum when I have all hardwood floors...

    That's not sales, that's wasted time.

    The most effective way to sell anything is to find out what people already want and are buying. Put a twist on it, supercharge the marketing and you're golden.

    I have a feeling that we may actually agree on this subject and I'm misunderstanding your post.

    But I don't agree that sales is ever about selling people anything they don't want or need. I've been involved with sales my entire life (I believe you have as well) and I've never sold anything that my market didn't want.

    I just figure out how to make them want to buy from me.

    I've sold vacations, mortgages, pianos, and a ton of other stuff... Never sold anything to someone who didn't want a vacation, money to pay for their house or a piano in their living room.

    -Scott
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    Over $30 Million In Marketing Data And A Decade Of Consistently Generating Breakthrough Results - Ask How My Unique Approach To Copy Typically Outsells Traditional Ads By Up To 29x Or More...

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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Scott Murdaugh View Post

      I have a feeling that we may actually agree on this subject and I'm misunderstanding your post.
      Quite possibly. I did say "igniting a desire". The rest was paraphrasing the OPs statement.
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  • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
    @ "You "welcome criticism with open arms". Right. We've noticed.

    ...And it seems to me you're the one getting his knickers in a twist."

    Hahaha. That's more like it. You zinged me. Well done. I had you figured for a reckless buster of chops, guess I was wrong.
    Signature

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    "तत्त्वमसि"

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  • Profile picture of the author Curleyjohn
    Funny how all the "accomplished" copy writers felt the need to read this thread in the first place. For all the talk of this having a bad headline, it sure piqued the interest of the most experienced here.

    It never ceases to amaze me how people manage to show their true colors even though they may be turning their prospective customers off in the process.

    Guess that's the price you pay for freely offering your criticism with a "Damn the torpedo's" attitude.

    Thanks for the post Joseph.
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