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A great mentor of mine told me, "One of the best ways to learn is to teach."
And I've always admired people who "get" their craft.

They seem to spend more time than I do organizing my thoughts.

Because of this, I'd like to write my thoughts down for you to read, so I can
better understand our craft.

A few of my credentials:

* 25 years old with 5 years experience as a professional ad writer. I quit school
at 20 years old and haven't needed any other job since.

* Helped create the single most profitable affiliate offer running in the last 3
years (although, as you know, the business owner should get 95% of the credit
for an offer's growth and continued success)

* My copy has pulled in more than 8 figures, worldwide.

* And I've written more than 2 million words (conservatively) of finished
draft, "Let's publish this shit" copy that pulls in money.

I'm no Clayton Makepeace. I bow down to Gary Bencivenga. And I worship
the ground the late Gene Schwartz walked on. But I may have something
worthwhile to say.

I'll leave that up to you.

Our first topic: What Is Copywriting?

John E. Kennedy says - "Salesmanship on Paper."

Claude Hopkins says - "Salesmanship, multiplied."

Joe Sugarman devotes an entire paragraph to his description, which tells you
to bring together your general experience, your specific knowledge, your
passion and put them on paper in a way which sells products.

Eugene Schwartz says great copywriting is market making.

In a nutshell, good copywriting sells products. But how?

Through presenting benefits. Through tugging our reader's heartstrings.
Through making the new familiar and making the familiar new.

We all know that. But what does this really mean? Well, it means that great
copy causes your reader to desire your product more than he fears parting with
his hard earned money, more than he fears getting ripped off and more than he
distrusts you (since he hasn't met you, face to face.)

Zen Monks will tell us desire is the cause of all suffering. They say this
because they truly know desire. Most people think of desire as being drawn
toward something.

As being attracted to something or someone because of it's virtues.

The truth is: Desire is a dissatisfaction towards your current situation. Desire is
a form of pain. Desire is your attempt to run towards a better life... a better
outcome.. and a more fulfilled existence.

Desire is the manifestation of the sentence, "I will be happy when..." "I will
feel sexy when..." "I will feel like I have arrived when..."

Building desire in someone is about shining light on what they lack and then
showing them a paradise in which they lack nothing. In which they are
fulfilled. In which they are the very best version of themselves.

In which they no longer have the suffering Desire causes.

And it's a two fold process:

1. Shine light on the hole in their life.

This can be harder than you think. Because our minds are extremely powerful
machines. We can ignore what we don't want to see. And cover up parts of
ourselves we would rather ignore.

Carl Jung was a genius philosopher and psycho-analysts around the world use
his techniques to heal people. One of his concepts was called "The Shadow."
And The Shadow is the part of ourselves we refuse to see.

The truths about us we cover up, to spare ourselves pain and suffering.

You may think, "Not me. I don't have a Shadow." But the truth is, we all do.
We all hide flaws from ourselves. In fact, Jung's main way of "outing" your
own Shadow is to look for those negative characteristics you project onto

Those are often your own flaws. The flaws you're scared to notice in yourself.

I hate people who are lazy, put off work and procrastinate. I also spend most of
my "bad" days watching YouTube and wasting time.

You may get angry at people who have an inflated sense of self. You may take
a good, hard look at yourself and find yourself SCARED that your own
self-image is too inflated. That you have too high an estimation of yourself.

The copywriting lesson here is simple: Many people will not openly admit
their flaws, their problems or their struggles to themselves. Which is often why
Problem Agitate Solve is a broken formula.

Most people will say, "No. I'm fine the way I am. I just have this outside
problem that's bugging me." Or, "No. I don't piss my money away because I'm
scared of success. I just can't make this new business thing work!"

Your job, in shining the light on your prospect's problem, is getting them to
peek at the underlying cause of their problem. Because this short, simple peek

This peek is often enough to change their entire outlook on life. And changing
someone's mind is the very first step in any form of persuasion. Whether
you're giving them a new technique to try (which makes a former problem
easy to solve) or showing them a new side of themselves they did not know

Just a peek. You don't need to beat them - your customer is your wife. You
don't want to let her live under an illusion. But you don't want to assault her
ego, either.

2. Show them the Promised Land.

Show them a life where they lack nothing. A paradise where they have
everything - everyone - and every feeling they need.

This is where Benefits come in. This is where Features come in. This is where
Proof, Credibility, Testimonials and all the rest comes in.

This is where Grasping comes in. This is where Dimentionalization comes in.

This is where you bring your prospect out of the darkness and into the light.
You lead them by the hand - step by step - towards a bright new future for
themselves. And then you stand at the gateway and let them take the first step
towards their idyllic future.

This isn't a game. This isn't trickery.

If you have a good product, this is simply telling the truth. Your job is to have
a larger Vision than your prospect. To be able to see things as they CAN be,
not as they are.

Your job is to look at a customer, then look at a product and then to see your
customer living a beautiful life, having mastered the techniques in your
program. Fulfilled.

Copywriting is having a larger Vision for your customer than he has for
himself. Copywriting is then guiding your prospect to the threshold of this
brand new life with enough momentum that he takes the first step, all by

How? That's something we will go over in future posts. It's also something I
haven't quite figured out, yet.

I just know enough to know this is a lifelong game. There's too much for any
one of us to master.

So let me know how I can help you - give me a topic for my next post. And
leave feedback on this one.

Thank you for reading my ramblings.

- Alex

  • Alex,

    That was a good read.

    You said something that is rarely heard - and I quote - (I underlined the important bit).

    * Helped create the single most profitable affiliate offer running in the last 3
    years - (although, as you know, the business owner should get 95% of the credit
    for an offer's growth and continued success)

    Because copywriting means nothing (in fact it's just a con) unless there is a great product and offer.

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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Ceskavich
    Plus, the business owner is responsible for the rollout itself. The traffic, monitoring ROI, traffic sources and making it sustainable.

    Not enough gets said about the real WORK behind a good offer. We get to do our part then kick back and profit.

    Thanks :-)

    - Alex
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  • As Mr Bencivenga says -

    The Most Important 9-Word Sentence in Marketing History -

    "A gifted product is mightier than a gifted pen"

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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Ceskavich
    I appreciate the response so far. But I'm really interested to hear what you - the rest of the Warrior Forum - have to say about the topics covered in my post.

    You don't need to be an expert to have an opinion :-) And all opinions are welcome.

    - Alex
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  • ...well I got to quote Gary Bencivenga which is always good for my ego.

    It makes me the best copywriter in the whole wide world - errr apart from you know who.

    And that Copy Nazi chap.

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  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    I think this is a great post, and significantly better than the usual drivel on here... Were you at the Boardroom / Benson workshop Alex?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Ceskavich
      Hey Col,

      I was. I didn't do the best networking though. Hit me up on PM and let's exchange some contact info. I'd love to hear what you've been up to.

      - Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author chrisnos
    I don't remember who said it, but I once heard that, "good copywriting is simply taking the passion you have for your product and communicating how amazing your product is to people who love what you love"... I've always been a fan of organic, natural, conversational-style copywriting (like having a conversation and telling a friend about something you discovered, how amazing it is, how it transformed your life, and how it will transform theirs. =)
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
    Good post, and you've clearly identified a subtle but very important point - many people won't admit they have a problem or shadow, but they can readily see it in others.

    Only after they've acknowledged that the problem or shadow exists in themselves does the desire to change it come into play. It becomes an uncomfortable area, a yearning, a desire for something else because they want that uncomfortable feeling go away. If the product will help them do that, then they'll likely buy it. The larger vision you spoke of is fulfilled.

    That's a good topic for another post, though - copywriting techniques to help people admit or see that they do have a particular shadow or problem, since they won't readily admit to it - and therefore wouldn't normally be interested in the copy.
    Learn more - earn more: Books for Copywriters
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    • Profile picture of the author Deb S
      A wonderful post. A lot to think about for a new person entering IM(like me).
      Thanks for your insights.
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  • Profile picture of the author deezn
    I notice you say Problem Agitate Solve is a broken model. That is the formula pushed a lot by Dan Kennedy. Now, I'm not even advanced enough to tell if Dan uses that formula himself, or it's just simple enough for him to tell his audience (who are probably all very raw) . His own sales letters and pages are probably much more advanced than a simple PAS.

    I think there may be some areas where PAS may help? For example, I'm a consumer attorney and am studying this stuff just to write my own material. My prospects have problems, and they're looking for an attorney to solve them. Bad sales materials still land clients, because the crowd is very, very hungry. I want to write semi-half-decent letters to kick some butt.

    The Shadow is very interesting and I need to read more about it. I'm trying to figure out how to tap into my prospects' greed. Because they're hiring me so I can go and get a settlement for them. But most people won't say outright they want as much money as they can get. So I want to tap into that inner greed.
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  • Profile picture of the author eugenedm
    Copywriting is a very broad subject so ask any specific question. If you want to learn more about copywriting check out my blog. I talk a lot about copywriting in my article.

    WARNING: A 50 Million Dollar Man Taught Me His Secret... Which Resulted 6,000 Sign-ups on My Email List.

    "It's easier than you think..."

    => Watch this video here...
    Build Your List to 6,000 Subscribers

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