Beginning a Copywriting Education?

10 replies
I am looking to start learning copywriting. I have never written a sales letter and am looking to build a solid foundation. Where should I begin
1. read Tested Advertisement - John Caples
2. read Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
3. Look at the gary halbert newletters online
4. any other product

Thanks in Advanced,
#beginning #copywriting #education
  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    All great starting points...

    Report back here when you're done.

    And visit the sticky about copywriting books at the top of this forum.

    Oh and.... WRITE!

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  • Profile picture of the author Adaptive
    Here is how Gary Halbert himself answered that very question:

    The Gary Halbert Letter


    Success only requires four words.

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    • Profile picture of the author elsvirtual
      Sign up the Clayton Makepeace's "The Total Package."

      He gives priceless info on copywriting and marketing and he's got awesome guest bloggers.

      You'll learn a ton.

      I'd also say jump right in. A great way to start building a portfolio is to offer 1 free marketing piece on various forums. You can search small business forums, realtor forums, etc to find some takers.

      Action = results. So do your research but also don't wait too long to get started, you'll learn as you go.

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  • Profile picture of the author Nikki Dee
    One easy and fun way is to write copy for products that you make up. This takes the pressure off of you about getting all the details right and lets you concentrate on the writing. Plus it can create some good additions to your portfolio. I've gotten a couple of jobs by writing crazy sales letters about things I completely made up - one was a computer program that you log in info about yourself and it spits out the name of your true love. The client loved it, and I got the chance to write a sales letter for one of her real products.

    Also, study sales letters. Print out sales letters that you think are effective and break them down. See what techniques are really powerful and then mimic them in your own writing.

    Most of all just write and don't give up. It can be a scary business, but it's so rewarding if you stick with it!

    Good Luck!!
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    • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
      Some folks start writing copy in a sort of vacuum, as if it is
      an academic thing. It's not.

      I started writing copy for my own business stuff and it
      was only when I started getting a lot of compliments on
      my skills that I said to myself "maybe I should really study
      this stuff and see if I can develop another business as
      a copywriter/consultant".

      Basically, I was making money off my own copy before
      I even started educating myself about it... though I had
      read Hopkins and Ogilvy years before just because the
      books were given to me and I found them enjoyable.

      I don't feel there is a wrong way or a right way to
      do copywriting. I do believe however that the most
      important thing is to be clear with your communication.

      In my experience clarity goes a long way towards winning
      people over. I know that isn't a big bombshell and it's
      certainly not a "secret" for "kicking ass", but it's my
      prime directive and it usually leads to good places.
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  • Profile picture of the author James A. Miller
    I'd recommend Maria Veloso's Web Copy That Sells. It's one of those cheap Amacom books. I'm sure you'll find it in your local library as well.

    Read sales letters. That's the most important point. I've seen so many people willing to learn copywriting but when I asked them how many sales letter have they read recently... the answer is none.

    Do read them and do criticize them. Look for things you like and don't like. Think how you could improve them.

    Most of the seminars on DVD or teleseminars are not worth their prices, don't buy them. Copywriting is about writing (and copying, erm, "swiping"...) so stick with written materials.
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  • Profile picture of the author snyd
    Thanks for all the tips everyone.

    You can spend a ton on copywriting courses and
    still not do anything.

    Taking action on what you have learned and then growing
    from there is important.

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  • Profile picture of the author mimo
    Try write a sales letter for an imaginary product or one you see some where and have your friends review it.It just might help.
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  • Profile picture of the author skyjoe76
    Read at other people's sales letter. Read many of them, they can be found in the web easily. Understand why they write it in certain way, understand the principle behind it.

    Then you write one. Post it here to ask for review. Do this a few times, then get those courses. Because those courses don't come cheap, and unless you are really into it, don't waste your money yet.

    Further more those courses will give you a distinction of what you already have been doing. It will enhance your copy writing skills. It is better that way.
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