Classic copywriting books. Any ideas?

7 replies

I want to take on copywriting. Someone recommended me Maria Veloso's "Web copy that sells". I've read half of it, I really liked the simple blueprint, but I don't like some parts of the book, and the NLP section is even frown upon in a video on YouTube, and even I don't agree with those tactics.

With this in mind, I would like the people who are good at copywriting to kindly provide some titles worth reading. I've heard classic copywriters are the way to go, but to be honest, I know none of them. I've head about John Carlton, do you think he's good?

It would also be good to recommend books that are not heavy on specific formulas or step-by-step systems, but rather on the mindset. I also don't want to write copy full of hype and to deceive people, I want to write good copy, the type of copy others will look at it and say "I'll be damned, who wrote this beautiful story that just makes people click on the order button?"

Thanks in advance.
#books #classic #copywriting #ideas
  • Classic books you say?

    Eugene Schwartz - Breakthrough Advertising
    Claude C. Hopkins - Scientific Advertising
    David Ogilvy - Ogilvy On Advertising
    The Robert Collier Letterbook

    Also try anything by:

    Gary Halbert, John Carlton, Clayton Makepeace, Gary Bencivenga.

    A lot of people say focus on one person, but I say focus on them all. Get a great grasp of copywriting, and you'll naturally find where it is you want to be (i.e your style, voice, and preferred niches).

    Hope this helps.

    50% converting squeeze pages, 12% converting WSO's, and more...
    BenPalmerWilson Copywriting
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Hoffman
    For someone just starting out I would recommend Vic Schwabs How to write a good advertisement and John Caples Tested Advertising Methods. Also, Joe Sugarman's Adweek Copywriting Secrets. After all that, Breakthrough Advertising...which I would read several times to ingest all that it offers.

    If you focus only on one person, you only get one point of view. You also tend to become a copycat. I would focus on one person at a time though. Absorb what they have to offer and then move to the next one.
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  • Profile picture of the author JJaouli1
    I've read a bunch of books on copywriting and unless you really wanna be a copywriter, not just become good enough at copywriting to make alot of money then you just need to study the following. Forget bencivenga and makepeace, they write in truthfully 2-3 markets and nothing else and unless you want to be a copywriter for the big newsletter publishers or whatever it's a waste of your time.

    study all three John Caples books (making ads pay, tested advertising methods (4th edition) and how to make your advertising make money). Also, dan kennedy's "ultimate sales letter" (2nd edition) victor schwab's how to write a good advertisement and The Robert Collier letter book. All of these can be found on amazon and collectively will probably cost under $100.

    Then you should go find some of gary halbert's ads (ryan mcgrath's website has them, just google him) and go to which is a golf site john carlton wrote alot of sales letters for. Lookup his one legged golfer ad, and a few others and write all these ads out IN YOUR OWN HANDWRITING. Ideally write these 3-5x a piece. If you do that with 5-10 really good ads and study those books you won't need much more to be an very solid copywriter.
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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    If you want to start writing decent copy and you already have some talent for writing, study the Caples books and Dan Kennedy's Ultimate Sales Letter book and create a swipe file of successful sales letters and ads.

    When you've completed this, you will have an excellent start for decent copywriting.
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  • Profile picture of the author ejunkie
    Great suggestions all.

    One report you would want to read is called ONE SENTENCE PERSUASION. And it is free.

    It is not exactly about copywriting... more about persuasion. But at the end of the day isn't copywriting about persuasion?

    This one report has entirely changed the way I look at copywriting and human nature.

    Do a Google. And read it.

    That one sentence is the best 'copywriting' advice you will ever get.
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