Practice makes perfect, so how do you practice?

16 replies
In order to make lots and lots of dough as a freelance copywriter, a guy (or gal) needs to be amazing at it.

In order to be amazing at something, a guy or gal must practice at it every single day.

So, how exactly do you practice copywriting?

From what I gather, the best way to improve is to put together a product, market it, and test the living Christ out of everything.

Everything.

But what kind of daily habits could make a great copywriter?

What would be your routine if you only had an hour a day to practice?

Would you read 10 minutes worth of a book, write headlines for 20 minutes, and then write copy for a random item in your house for the remaining 30?

And then spend 20 minutes the following day sending it to copywriters you've reached out to on LinkedIn for critique, before spending the remaining 40 on headlines?

Or would you just read for the whole hour, every single day?

Would it be dependent on where your career was?

Let's brew some ideas.

Bottom line question: if you had an hour a day to practice copywriting, what would be the most effective way to use that time to improve?
#makes #perfect #practice
  • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
    Originally Posted by ChadHaynes View Post

    So, how exactly do you practice copywriting?
    Write stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChadHaynes
    What stuff?

    Headlines? Sales copy?

    Does reading and research play zero part? Would you not advise learning a new concept and writing afterwards with the intent of incorporating what you've just learned into your writing?

    A detailed description of an erotic encounter on a flight would be "stuff" - I don't see how writing that stuff would improve one's copy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
      Originally Posted by ChadHaynes View Post

      What stuff?

      Headlines? Sales copy?

      Does reading and research play zero part? Would you not advise learning a new concept and writing afterwards with the intent of incorporating what you've just learned into your writing?

      A detailed description of an erotic encounter on a flight would be "stuff" - I don't see how writing that stuff would improve one's copy.
      Yes. Yes. No. No. Copy stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    Making a great copywriter begins with being witty. Hanging out with likeminded and sharing ideas. There are lots of great copywriters here and you may want to learn from what they have to share. It's a nice where you find the most brilliant minds but not necessarily successful, they don't actually make a good business people on their own.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
      Originally Posted by johnben1444 View Post

      Making a great copywriter begins with being witty. Hanging out with likeminded and sharing ideas. There are lots of great copywriters here and you may want to learn from what they have to share. It's a nice where you find the most brilliant minds but not necessarily successful, they don't actually make a good business people on their own.
      Yeah, wittiness is of utmost importance.

      Not.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChadHaynes
    I'm loving the brutal honesty on this forum. The criticism of the copy posted here is detailed and relentless. These forums will certainly be a daily stop for me, whether I post or lurk.

    I'm just trying to find out how people with experience would spend their hypothetical hour to improve their copy. I'm trying to build a daily schedule that will cultivate success in the long term.

    I'm a little bit worried about the tendency to attach assumptions to these kinds of requests on forums, I must say. These questions are always met with responses like:

    - "one hour a day is not enough bra go back 2 mcdonalds"
    - "you need to go to ad school"
    - "just practice"

    When the kinds of responses I'm hoping for are more like:

    "Well clearly you need to be flexible since you'll need to meet copywriters, both locally and online, and you'll need to do a lot of testing and stay on top of a market that is always shifting. To play along with your hypothetical though, I suppose I'd spend ten minutes on reading, another ten on research, thirty on writing some copy, and then ten sending it out to people who could give me good feedback."
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  • Profile picture of the author ChadHaynes
    The question is purposefully broad to receive more information by giving the prospective answerer (answerer lol) more room to fill in the gaps.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
    Read this by Gary Halbert...

    The Gary Halbert Letter

    It'll explain how to get great at copywriting.
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  • Profile picture of the author informavore7
    If you only have an hour a day to practice then make it your mission to observe and rewrite everything you see. Did you get a sales letter in the mail or via email that just didn't convince you to sell? Maybe they lost you within the first two paragraphs. How would you write it differently. What could make it better?
    Do you have a day job and need to convince a boss or coworker of something? Use the opportunity to create a compelling email - see what works. I agree that hanging out with other copywriters is a good gut check. I wouldn't count the reading as part of your hour of writing. The reading should be in addition to your writing. Start with Bob Bly's book on copywriting then keep going.

    Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gh0zt
    Practice by practicing!

    If you are new to the scene, you can offer potential clients good rates because of you're inexpirience - or even give out a few Copies for free.

    Otherwise a good method of practice is to write sales copies (your own) and pre-sales copies for Clickbank products or your own made-up products, and you can ask in Salescopy Writing forums (like this one) for feedback.

    Hope I answered your question,
    Peace,
    Gh0zt
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    • Profile picture of the author Chriswrighto
      If I was brand new to the game and only had an hour a day...

      1. I would read courses and books for the first month - learning everything I could about the basics, so I can move on to...

      2. I would then move onto writing and breaking down successful letters... why they work, why they didn't, what emotions they're designed to draw out.

      3. I would also start writing copy either for myself or clients... although an hour a day could stretch out the time it takes to complete a client piece.

      Hopefully I'd eventually be able to move into copywriting full-time and commit myself more.

      Throughout every step in this process, I would be listening to podcasts like "I Love Marketing", The Antipreneur Show, Psych Insights and the audio recordings of the Gary Halbert Letter.

      I'd also be sure to have a book handy by the toilet.

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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    First about practice. Practice does NOT make perfect, it makes it repeatable.

    In golf, I've seen a thousand people who practice, some for more than your hypothetical hour a day. Five years later, they still can't play the game, although they can hit a dandelion perfectly with their grooved from repetition swing, different story when it is a ball on the course.

    I've seen many driving range pros, they must be good golfers some are even witty too.

    NO. Your goal should be framed in time. If you practice only one hour a day for a year, then what would the 365 hours look like. Any given hour could be focused on a small part (like maybe today, you'll be on the putting green practicing only 2 footers, the "money" shot in golf).

    I would suggest you spend first block of time with fundamentals, including the reading/studying/applying of salesmanship, psychological manipulation and writing copy.

    Look at all different kinds of copy, see if one area or one niche might best suit you, then study everything in that area.

    Truthfully, an hour a day isn't much time, BUT, you must leverage it and make it part of a bigger longer range goal or else you'll get lost along the way.

    Some here have been writing out copy by hand until they gave themselves carpal tunnel, and still can't write a piece of copy which works.

    So, what you do with your HOUR

    should be determined by what you plan to do with your YEAR.

    And, what I would tell about 80% of my golf students, who just never were able to get it...

    take up tennis.

    gjabiz

    PS. I teach people to write quickly, have something for sale or to opt in to within your first 30 days, or sooner.


    Originally Posted by ChadHaynes View Post

    In order to make lots and lots of dough as a freelance copywriter, a guy (or gal) needs to be amazing at it.

    In order to be amazing at something, a guy or gal must practice at it every single day.

    So, how exactly do you practice copywriting?

    From what I gather, the best way to improve is to put together a product, market it, and test the living Christ out of everything.

    Everything.

    But what kind of daily habits could make a great copywriter?

    What would be your routine if you only had an hour a day to practice?

    Would you read 10 minutes worth of a book, write headlines for 20 minutes, and then write copy for a random item in your house for the remaining 30?

    And then spend 20 minutes the following day sending it to copywriters you've reached out to on LinkedIn for critique, before spending the remaining 40 on headlines?

    Or would you just read for the whole hour, every single day?

    Would it be dependent on where your career was?

    Let's brew some ideas.

    Bottom line question: if you had an hour a day to practice copywriting, what would be the most effective way to use that time to improve?
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    One hour a day? Block it out by week.

    You get nothing out of this by flitting from subject to subject like a deranged hummingbird every 10 minutes.

    Read something by the greats, and take notes. Listen to podcasts or watch a video. Take notes.

    Dissect a control or 20. Take notes.

    Write for an hour one day. Edit for an hour another.

    Spend a whole hour on bullets and headlines for an existing product. If you really want to challenge yourself, make it a boring, mundane, everyday object.

    That's it. Try a bunch of things. Figure out how you learn this. It was a different process for every single one of us, I guarantee it.
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    Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

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  • Profile picture of the author ChadHaynes
    For the record, I have more than an hour per day to practice

    I DID say in the main thread that not every daily hour had to be structured the same way as well.

    Thanks for the replies! Liking the ideas in here. That Gary Halbert Letter is amazing.
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    • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
      Originally Posted by ChadHaynes View Post

      For the record, I have more than an hour per day to practice

      I DID say in the main thread that not every daily hour had to be structured the same way as well.

      Thanks for the replies! Liking the ideas in here. That Gary Halbert Letter is amazing.
      You paying attention or defending yourself needlessly?

      You've got great ideas in here. One hour or fifty, doesn't matter. Get to work!
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      Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

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  • Profile picture of the author ChadHaynes
    No defending, just clarifying. Many useful ideas in here! Appreciate every response
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