Why Did You Start Copywriting?

by Lauryn
39 replies
I switched hosts earlier in the year and had no help moving my WP. After messing up I figured out how to move my blog but lost a ton of images. I also had to revitalize the poor SEO job I had done.

As I'm going through the posts adding pictures I realize how crappy some of the articles are, mainly due to outsourcing them to terrible writers who I didn't confront on their content.

I'm a decent writer myself, but it's lack of practice which stops me from becoming better. Now that I'm ready to start practicing the art of creating copy, I'm interested in learning what drove you to learn - besides money, and the best methods which helped you.

I already heard about writing "Magic Words that Sell" by hand repeatedly - as well as other sales letters. What else helped? I want to create good content that I'd be proud of - I just have high standards.
#copywriting #start
  • Profile picture of the author wcmylife
    Selling is in my blood and it just amazes me how guru's like Gary Halbert plays with words and packs his offers. There are very few and i mean VERY FEW things that give me a rush like when I take an idea, package it and then sell it - and get even higher when it sells repeatedly....

    Copywriting is one of those highs for me...
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    • Profile picture of the author dorothydot
      I am a copywriter because I LOVE to write; been writing all my life.

      I am a copywriter because I LOVE to help make someone else's life better, by using my talent for writing.

      I LOVE writing copy, weaving in scenarios and story threads among the basic sales elements and content! It's fun! Very close to writing poetry, where every word has to be absolutely dead-on.

      And I LOVE working with good clients! More fun!

      Dot
      Signature

      "Sell the Magic of A Dream"
      www.DP-Copywriting-Service.com

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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    I started writing copy to promote my woodworking business. I was
    passionate and a good writer, so while I wasn't technically skilled
    or knowledgeable about copywriting, my enthusiasm helped carry
    the letters.

    Later, I got into marketing online and was bumbling my way through
    writing copy - I was making money but I thought my copy could
    be a lot better. I paid a "copywriter" a few hundred bucks to
    fix my sales page and the result I got back was cliched and
    retarded. "I can do better than this tripe!" I said to myself, and
    I started studying copy in earnest.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    Initially I learned copywriting the hard way... by trial and error, selling my own products, and imitating how others did it. I learned it because I loved marketing, and I saw copywriting as an extension of marketing... the final act, as it were.
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    • Profile picture of the author Irish Intuition
      Why did I start? Emptiness of pockets
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  • Profile picture of the author Warren.Richards
    I always wanted have my own business and also wanted to sell at the same time.

    Psychology is my favorite subject. I like to play with words and when i combine them with human psychology to sell something, its a perfect match.

    That is why I am doing copywriting.
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  • Profile picture of the author patadeperro
    Why did I start? because I was trying to sell my own products and I did not know how to do it, how to "multiply me" until I discover Gary Halbert, Direct Maketing and Copywriting, Bless that day
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    • Profile picture of the author VyctorB_10
      "They say if you want something done right then you must do it yourself" -

      That's exactly how we all should treat our precious gifts of art & writing...


      - I grew up as an artist at a tender age, and transcended into a full rounded writer at the age of 15, writing poetry spontaneously unto love poetry. Which was where my heart was knitted on my sleeve at...

      As time progress it translated into Gospel Poetry to Gospel Lyrics that could suit the most tasteful rhythmic beats of POP to Hiphop...

      Then age I aged I found my niche in Contemporary worship song writing lyrics & I still would think I would KILL THE MARKET, IF ONLY I HAD THE EXPOSURE.


      But at the meantime, I am learning to harness that RAW POWER & EMOTION onto a different kind of Paper the White Paper of Copywriting and Sales Ad Copywriting, etc... It's been a long road so far but the soul-journey's just begun...


      But my skills are RAW just like Honey and Natural, with many more years to come in refining & perfecting it I WILL BECOME THE BEST WRITING THAT EVER LIVED _ I SWEAR ON OATH BY THIS!


      Dare to try me??? Anyone??? we can have a writing contest right heerrre!




      Lol,


      Vyctor~
      Signature
      "To learn is to unlearn, to know is to unknow, rediscover & remaster everything...then relearn it ALL again!"
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  • Profile picture of the author edcampbill
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author straygoat
      Because writing is pretty much the only talent I have! I was working as a technical author and getting bored with the same stuff every day, so decided to try and make some money writing more creatively.
      Signature

      Craig Wright
      UK Copywriter - SEO Copywriter, Web Copywriter
      www.straygoat.com

      Looking for reciprocal links from copywriters - PM me please!

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  • I started my online business as an affiliate marketer. I watched my income drop, go up drop and go up. Ive went from having absolutely nothing (not even a car) to driving a brand new benz, tons of rental properties and BACK to having absolutely nothing.

    Ive been rich and poor more times than I cant count until one day I decided If I dont make a change (and a big one) that this affiliate marketing thing wasn't going to last and one day I WOULDN'T bounce back ( I knew it was only a mater of time)!

    It got to the point that I was just throwing good money after bad trying to get SOMETHING to stick! And, at the same time, trying to live on a budget big enough to support 5 families.

    I thought I was losing my mind. I felt like I was going nuts. I had a new born baby on the way. HOLY MACRO!

    I knew if I didn't do SOMETHING to secure my family's financial future that one day I was going to hit bottom and not be able to git back up. I got scared!

    After TASTING success and having come from nothing (literally) I wasn't ABOUT to go back to some small wadge job washing dishes (which I have done many times in the past). Id rather be DEAD!


    Then I asked myself a simple question...

    What skill can I learn online that NO ONE can take away from me? Then I knew what I had to do. I didnt WANT to do it but I knew that I could and I HAD to.

    I took a little framed picture of my little girl (from the 4d ultra sound), put it on my desk (so I could see it every time I sat down and...

    I bought a few domains, picked a few niches, put together some ebooks and over the course of the next several years I wrote and rewrote that freaking copy from top to bottom (starting from scratch at least 20 times).

    When I woke up...I was thinking about sales copy..when I went to bed I was DREAMING about sales copy and how I could increase my conversion rates (but I was really thinking about my little girl and how I was going to FEED her!).

    I told myself sleep is for dead people! I was a mad man. You might as well of put a gun to my head and told me "learn this stuff or DIE!"

    I did over 2,000 split tests over the course of a few years, I harnessed my skill to a fine blade and now...

    I can spit out a sales letter in just a few hours (a high converting one too).

    If I was broke, I could write. If I had no money but my family was hungry...I could ALWAYS write.

    It was the hardest skill I have ever had to learn my my life. It was GRUNT work (and still is sometimes). But you know what? The investment isn't in a bank, its not in some 401k or stock option that can go bankrupt...Its in my HEAD.

    And NO ONE can take that away from me!
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    • Profile picture of the author seoweb2000
      Originally Posted by TheSalesTechnician View Post

      I started my online business as an affiliate marketer. I watched my income drop, go up drop and go up. Ive went from having absolutely nothing (not even a car) to driving a brand new benz, tons of rental properties and BACK to having absolutely nothing.

      <Good story goes here>

      And NO ONE can take that away from me!

      Man, you sure know your copywriting. Every compelling story, one of the few that I actually read word for work. Thanks for the inspiration.
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      • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
        What originally got me started was that infamous AWAI sales letter for that 6 figure copywriting course, which I bought and worked my way through.

        As a pretty darn good writer and a linguist, and a long-standing interest in marketing, I figured it was right down my alley.

        And I was right.

        Unfortunately, that AWAI course didn't lead to any figures at all, let alone 6 figures, but eventually, after studying some more and getting my first gig, I decided to pursue this line more deliberately.

        And after taking some more courses, especially Jason Fladlien's courses, I started offering my first WSO's and things grew from there.

        Elisabeth
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        • Profile picture of the author Lauryn
          Originally Posted by wordwizard View Post

          What originally got me started was that infamous AWAI sales letter for that 6 figure copywriting course, which I bought and worked my way through.

          As a pretty darn good writer and a linguist, and a long-standing interest in marketing, I figured it was right down my alley.

          And I was right.

          Unfortunately, that AWAI course didn't lead to any figures at all, let alone 6 figures, but eventually, after studying some more and getting my first gig, I decided to pursue this line more deliberately.

          And after taking some more courses, especially Jason Fladlien's courses, I started offering my first WSO's and things grew from there.

          Elisabeth

          Elisabeth,

          What was it about AWAI that you didn't like?
          I just purchased Cashvertising and another book.
          Signature

          I Go Hard = "Slanguage" for putting forth a lot of effort.

          Don't be an arse and try to flip something you clearly have no knowledge of against me.

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      • Originally Posted by seoweb2000 View Post

        Man, you sure know your copywriting. Every compelling story, one of the few that I actually read word for work. Thanks for the inspiration.

        Glad you got something from it!
        Signature

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        • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
          I learned the skill of copywriting indirectly initially. In 1999, I took my extremely successful solo therapeutic massage business and converted it into a massage therapy center. Suddenly, I had big overhead and a staff to get clients regularly for.

          So I started studying the marketing greats... all of them.

          I started writing marketing every day. In the early years, there were plenty of "Gun To The Head" moments (Gary Halbert's phrase, not mine) where I needed to write a marketing piece or ad that converted well or else I might have to lay off staff or miss payroll. Fortunately, the marketing and ads I wrote always converted well enough to keep the cash flowing in.

          In 2004, I hired a well-known marketing firm to take over the marketing for my center. I was working 110+ hours per week and needed to lighten my workload.

          For 8 months, they tried to beat any of my controls... and they couldn't. Not a single one.

          That's when I knew I was pretty good at writing marketing. And that's when I fired the marketing firm and started doing my own marketing again.

          While they were on monthly retainer, we had numerous meetings. During one meeting, one of my marketing consultants said in frustration that I should check the message board for their firm to see if anyone else had experience with massage centers and if I did, then my consultants would contact them to bring them in as yet another consultant for my business.

          During that research I found the firm's recommended reading list and the one book on the list that I hadn't read was John Caples Tested Advertising Methods. Neither one of my consultants had ever read it (a huge mistake IMHO).

          I quickly bought Caples' book and read it cover to cover. To this day, it's my favorite copywriting book (sub $20 that is). My marketing got even stronger as a result.

          I got into copywriting the profession by accident in 2006. This post is long enough and I give the longer version of the story on my copywriting website.

          The short version is one of my best friends owns an industrial farm. He's also the same guy who introduced me to my wife so he guilted me into writing a new home page for his business when it had hit a rough spot.

          The new home page converted like gangbusters and immediately turned his business around. My friend decided to refer 4 other business owners to me for help and then asked me what exactly my "job title" was.

          I didn't know that what I did was called copywriting or that was an actual profession then. I had to tell my friend initially that I didn't know and would have to do some research to tell him exactly.

          A few months later, I decided to treat my "copywriting hobby" seriously like a business... did some tactical and strategic planning... put a number of business generation tactics into play and within 2 months I had enough client work to go full-time as a copywriter.

          Anyways, that's my story. I've enjoyed reading everyone else's and I hope more of my copywriting collegues share theirs.

          Take care,

          Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author C.J Rodriguez
    It is a fun job to have.Work you own hours, help people make money.It's a win win for everybody. Make lot of friends doing it too.
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  • Profile picture of the author arfasaira
    Copywriting is my last ditch attempt at doing something worthwhile after having my kids. I never went back to work as a classroom assistant after having my son who is now 20 months old - simply because I could not afford the childcare.

    I was going to become a teacher, but things worked out differently. Now I write from home when my little one sleeps and I get to look after him myself during the day.

    I left my job as a webmaster and database developer with PricewaterhouseCoopers when I had my first son, and although my manager asked me to go back, I spent 3 years sat at home looking after my little one because my actual workplace was an hour's commute from where I lived, and I would have struggled getting my son to a nursery and then to work. (add to that he never used to sleep all night!)

    I wish I had started freelancing then - it would have saved me years of boredom from being stuck at home - there is only so much cooking and cleaning that can be done during the day - and it's so mind-numbingly boring I am surprised I didn't turn into a cabbage during that time!

    Now I raise my family and have a bunch of steady clients I work with, plus have just been awarded another contract by a college to write their reports and newsletters. I am learning copywriting to give me a financial boost and hopefully exceed my salary when I was working with PwC.

    My writing provides me with mental stimulation and prevents me from dying of boredom as well as putting money in my pocket so when my eldest bugs me for things like a Ben 10 bag and watch, I can actually buy it for him and make him smile...
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    • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
      I applied for a job as a copyrighter only to find...

      --- Ross
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      • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
        I'm interested in learning what drove you to learn - besides money,
        I'm sure I have one of the more unusual stories in this regard. I got interested in copywriting because I got offered a book contract in 1995 to write a book about it. My editor at Plume (part of Penguin) asked me to write a book on copywriting and convinced me I could do it. I had previously written a book on getting publicity. Naturally, writing a book on the topic got me interested in learning more and more about the subject.

        It sounds backwards, I know, but I'm not the only expert who learned a subject "on assignment."

        Marcia Yudkin
        Signature
        Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Jones
    I just found myself writing papers and enjoying it while at college. I even enjoyed the research papers. Copywriting is just an extension of speaking. If you can captivate with words you just need to feel confident enough to write them down. Advertising copy is like a series of one-liners delivered over a round of drinks at your local watering hole!
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  • Profile picture of the author Vincenzo Oliva
    Copywriting, whether it be short ppc ads, long form sales letters, or direct mail is an addictive art form. The challenges, excitement of getting into you "gun to the head" copy writing mode (thanks JC). And seeing the results, I imagine is like seeing an architect's vision built to fruition. I've never met a copy writer (successful) who didn't love what he does.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Newman
    I have been writing since I was 15.I love the process of turning some inchoate stuff in my brains into stuff that can enrich myriads.I love the fact that it fills my bank account too.I stumbled into copywriting,darting from one site to another.I think the AWAI guys started it for me.I did some copywriting before then,but they opened my eyes to the huge potential in direct response copywriting.

    I did the copy for an ebook that I wrote, and it is very nice when I receive dough or compliments from buyers.The ability to persuade is an awesome skill that I will keep honing.The main reason is the opportunity to share with others.One of the guys who bought my book just wrote a physical book,motivated by what he read in mine.Guess who is feeling like a sage.I want to make more dough and enrich more people.
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  • Profile picture of the author JPROPS
    I strongly believe that great writers, whether they are copywriters, journalists, or authors (I personally wear all 3 hats!) are born to write. It's just in my bones. It is one of the reasons I don't become a copywriting coach because I don't believe that someone can be 'trained' to be a great writer.

    You can teach structure, you can teach grammar, but you can't teach great copywriting!
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    I'm a 37 year old Professional Copywriter & Part-Time Internet Marketer from London, England.
    Are you a product owner or affiliate manager? Check Out JV Attraction Formula and learn how to create an army of JV Partners and Affiliates To Promote Your Product.

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  • Profile picture of the author 48dayscoach
    Hi,

    I started copywriting because I've been partnering with small business owners to boost sales and revenue.

    No matter what kind of strategy I'm using to boost sales... it ALWAYS comes down to the ability to do three things.
    1. Identify a target market
    2. Clearly comunicate a compelling value proposition
    3. Select a media that fits the clients goals and budget.
    In every case... the communication of the message is CRITICAL.

    I had one of those light--bulb moments wherein I realized that copy is a cornerstone of effective marketing. Even when you're speaking to the right market... you've GOT to be able to clearly communicate why someone ought to do business with you.

    I love helping business people to become more productive and profitable. I that saw copy was the next logical step to strengthen my core skills.

    Ramon
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  • Profile picture of the author Lauryn
    Since making this thread and reading some others, I have now purchased:


    - Ultimate Sales Letter
    - Content Rich
    - Ca$hvertising

    and a few other marketing books... and I've written a press release... with great reviews. NO it's definitely NOT copy, but I will be practicing copy AFTER reading these books.
    Signature

    I Go Hard = "Slanguage" for putting forth a lot of effort.

    Don't be an arse and try to flip something you clearly have no knowledge of against me.

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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    I started writing copy out of necessity.

    First I had an email list I was marketing to and wanted to improve my response.

    Second, I had products of my own I had to write copy for and didn't want to pay someone else to do it.

    Third, since I did a decent job at both, I have been asked to do it by others.
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    "Human thoughts have the tendency to transform themselves into their physical equivalent." Earl Nightingale

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  • Profile picture of the author Hesster
    I got started due to my job. I was making $15.25 an hour (in an area where that's a pretty decent, livable wage) answering tech support calls for Verizon, and then they decided to cut our pay. I saw a job posting for my old job recently on craigslist. It's now down to $8.25 an hour to start. Sad.

    I actually stumbled across writing for pay when someone on another board suggested textbroker as a way to earn extra cash. I wrote a few articles for them, before doing the math and working out that I was making less than minimum wage. So I read some books on freelance writing, and discovered copywriting.

    I've always been a decent writer, and been fascinated by advertising. So I did a lot of studying. These days I mostly write case studies and other non-DR stuff like brochures and white papers, though.
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  • Profile picture of the author sarah_9
    Hello,


    It is the only thing i love to do without any external force , it is my love, prayer, passion everything.



    Regards,
    sarah_9
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  • Profile picture of the author RefundHost
    The science of the mind
    and experimenting with it to cause results
    is what caused my interest.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stephen Bray
    I was in so much pain that
    my mind started to collapse!

    So I decided to return to my

    home town, hang out with
    old friends, put up my shingle
    and start a counselling practice.

    But there was one problem, as

    well as losing my wife and kids
    I also had lost all of my money!


    The solution was to get a job

    so I started work selling on a
    small newspaper. I was selling
    ad space, which I soon
    discovered was nearly impossible!

    The reason was, the ads I was

    selling weren't making my
    customers any money, and since
    I was on commission this was BAD!

    Undeterred I bought a copy of

    'Ogilvy on Advertising' and
    borrowed a copy of 'Common
    Sense Direct Mail', by Drayton
    Bird, (who co-incidently worked
    with David Ogilvy).

    Using these two sources I

    started writing the ads my
    customers bought, and some
    began to like the results.

    After a year I had four jobs,

    I was 'The Marketing Consultant'
    for the paper, I handled the
    marketing and PR for a number
    of small businesses, I taught
    counselling at evening classes,
    and I worked as a therapist.

    At this point I needed to decide

    which direction to take so went
    back to working full time as a
    therapist.

    Many might think that therapy

    and copywriting are poles apart?

    They aren't. You really have to

    be persuasive to talk someone
    with an eating disorder into
    putting on weight. It takes
    real skill to help a victim of
    torture, or rape, accept that
    the world isn't always a dark
    and hateful place.

    For many years I've lived in

    Turkey and trained a generation
    of medical doctors and
    psychologists but now, semi-
    retired I've taken up writing
    copy again.

    Here's one site I'm about to

    revise:

    Journey Into Blue


    Then there's my wife's site:


    On-line Therapy


    I'm not quite ready to take

    on new people yet. I'm
    working in the background to
    get all my ducks in a line.

    But I will be up for hire soon.


    Stephen
    Signature
    Send me a DM, or visit my support desk to contact me: http://support.stephenbray.com
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    • Profile picture of the author jtunkelo
      I've always been a writer at heart - my parents tell me I started banging on the typewriter before I could read..

      I took to copywriting pretty quickly after I realized I could easily deconstruct what the great copywriters were doing, and instinctively model it and incorporate it into my own style.

      Obviously, it's taken a lot of study as well, but I think you can't discount pure talent and having a knack for it.

      I don't think it's any different from, say, programming, in that those who become the best simply have an uncanny knack for it. Just like any other well-paid skill.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Pettit
    Read everything: novels, trash, tabloids, science, magazines. In other words, get out of the narrowness of "copywriting" and see how writers actually write.
    Secondly, practice. It may sound simplistic, but no one ever got good at any talent without practicing it.
    Thirdly (and this is vital, not to be dismissed), get a hold of E.B. White's classic essay, "The Elements of Style." It remains the shortest, clearest and best tutorial for effective writing. I'm sure it's available online, or any librarian would be happy to guide you to a copy.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    When I was a boy, I wrote my grandmother, Grandma Duris, a letter. I gave it to her. She read it. It made her weep.

    I don't remember what I wrote. But I'll never forget her reaction.

    That's when I understood the power of the written word.

    Write a letter to someone you love. See what happens.

    - Rick Duris
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    I'm writing my newsletter again. Go to CopyRanger.com and opt in. I look forward to talking with you soon.

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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Why did I start Copywriting?

      Well having my own business I knew I needed to get good at advertising.

      So I studied.

      Soon found out it fell into 2 camps, Image and Direct Response.

      Direct response was my choice as I would think most others here are too.

      I treated my advertising as a laboratory. testing, measuring and tinkering.

      Man what a fun game, the better you get at it the more money you make.
      It seemed like I was the only one who had this crazy like interest in Direct Response Advertising. Naturally I hang around the guys writing this stuff for others.

      I have never discounted what I have learnt from the books, blogs and online newsletters I subscribe to.

      Since advertising is such a leveragible thing, only one word can make a big difference in the extra money you make.

      I have no interest in writing ads for others, as I'm answerable only to myself if I make a mistake or make a breakthrough.

      Welcome to the journey Lauryn.

      the best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author AdilAmarsi
    Simple answer - Cos I sucked at everything else.

    Real answer - Because I sucked at everything except being a salesperson and influencing people without knowing it (through heavy analysis I found this out).

    I ended up becoming quite intrigued with writing copy because of the psychology. Then I got advised that it was a good career so I started taking courses and found getting clients easy and it was an easy form of cash for me based on my ability to write.
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  • Profile picture of the author ARSuarez
    When I was sixteen, I decided I wanted to start owning and operating businesses. After seeing how wealthy some entrepreneurs had been, the usual story, I went down the road to publish a writer's magazine (always loved writing stories, fiction, etc.)

    As I was discovering the marketing aspects to get the magazine rolling, I stumbled upon "copywriting." I did more research, since Dan Kennedy talked a lot about it. He was the first guru I encountered who really impacted me.

    To summarize, it snowballed and I decided copywriting is where my passion really was.
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  • Profile picture of the author Topgunb
    I disliked sales people who wanted to rip you off with garbage.

    They mastered the art of persuasion using guilt as a motivator.

    I wanted to level the playing fields.

    Do an honest sales letter, writen to a friend, free of hype?

    Once that convinces and persuades them with their permission.

    Just write from your heart, as you speak. Write to a 12 year old.

    But do get excited, and enthusiastic

    Brian
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    swdcomputers@gmail.com For the best real deal in town!
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  • Profile picture of the author topsytoppy
    I am a copywriter because i love writing and besides, i write for the money. I find myself meeting deadlines like as if i am some wizards. I guess there is something more to me being a copywriter that i cannot place myself. I guess i will find out pretty soon.
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