if Copywriters are good enough to charge 10K... why do they?

29 replies
Those Famous Copywriters... That can charge 10 Grand for a salesletter...

Why do they?



Shouldn't they be creating products themselves and using those skills to make millions instead of one off fees?

they do the hardest part!
#10k #charge #copywriters #good
  • Profile picture of the author imontie
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    • Profile picture of the author Max Ramocsai
      While I am no expert copywriter I would imagine it being it much easier to write a sales page rather than going through the whole product creation process.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Clare
    Good question.

    My thought on that, is they might also be doing other things as well. While they can make ten grand off of one sales letter, with the writing/selling skills they posses to be so sought after, they have to have come from somewhere. This might be their weekend thing, while during the week they hold their high power writing jobs or something...

    Just a thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author Collette
    The copywriters in that range are usually charging $10k and more for a retainer. They get that PLUS a royalty percentage on sales.

    It's a win/win deal both ways. The client gets the copywriter's best efforts, because the copywriter makes a lot of money if sales are good. And if sales are good, the client makes a lot of money.

    In the off-line world, it's not unusual for the top direct response copywriters to ask for, and get, $25K and more, up front. They're usually working with clients who are rolling out to millions in their campaigns (think American Express or Publishers' Clearing House).

    Lot of pressure at that level...
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  • Profile picture of the author imaddict
    Originally Posted by BizBooks View Post

    Shouldn't they be creating products themselves and using those skills to make millions instead of one off fees?

    they do the hardest part!
    Because running a full-fledged business that involves product creation, marketing, customer support, keeping ahead of the trend, gathering competitive intelligence, and the countless other things that one must do keep a full-fledged business afloat vs. writing a salesletter are two ENTIRELY different ballgames.

    Sure, a winning salesletter is paramount to the success of a product but it is by no means the hardest part... creating a winning product that will sell/market selection is the greatest challenge (a wise copywriter once said, "A gifted product is mightier than a gifted pen") - and a main reason why many copywriters shy away from unproven products/markets.
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    • Profile picture of the author Collette
      Yah - Word. The big mailers spend a LOT of money making sure everything ELSE is in place, not just the copy.

      That includes segmenting lists, market research, focus groups, split-testing, etc. All done BEFORE the actual roll out.

      It's a whole 'nother ball game at that level.
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  • Profile picture of the author Louis Raven
    I would NEVER pay over $10,000 for copy.

    You could get the exact same job for $400 that you could at $10,000.

    Only stupid people with too much spare cash pay that rediculous amount.

    for $2000 I'd get 8 letters wrote with free split testing thrown in for proof of converting!

    That alone justifies NOT paying $10,000.

    Louis
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by Louis Raven View Post

      I would NEVER pay over $10,000 for copy.

      You could get the exact same job for $400 that you could at $10,000.

      Only stupid people with too much spare cash pay that rediculous amount.

      for $2000 I'd get 8 letters wrote with free split testing thrown in for proof of converting!

      That alone justifies NOT paying $10,000.

      Louis
      Hi Louis,

      There are a lot of things that I wouldn't pay the "going price" for but I
      wouldn't call the people who pay that price "stupid".

      There is also a 'law of the mind' that says that if I can't see myself paying a
      price I can't see myself getting that price also.

      Most people who say, "I could never see myself paying XXX for this or
      that also limit in their mind what comes to them as well, so be careful."


      -Ray L.,
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      The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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      • Profile picture of the author Spotted_Doe
        I agree with Ray.

        Not all people WANT to create products. If their joy is in the writing, then they should stick with what they love.

        Life is about finding what you love and doing it. If you can make great money at it as well, you've found what we're all trying to attain. Happiness, joy, a sense of satisfaction and a superb way to pay the bills. :-)
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        Do (like doe) Engelhardt

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        • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
          Writing the copy is only part of the marketing process.

          Keep in mind that you're going to need a large number of people to see that sales letter no matter how well it converts...if you want to make a lot of money.

          Also most copywriters charging in the $10,000+ range are also getting a percentage of sales on many of their deals.

          So they write the copy and may continue to tweak the copy once it's live but they don't have to worry about finding JV partners, setting up a support system to handle problems and inquiries, SEO, pay per click and all the other methods of driving traffic etc etc.

          Many copywriters charging $10,000+ are doing direct mail pieces where royalties are paid on each letter sent...in some cases those royalties can add up to $100,000+ over the course of a promotion.

          And everyone is different.

          Some copywriters just want to be copywriters...they don't want to run their own business.

          Kindest regards,
          Andrew Cavanagh
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    • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
      Originally Posted by Louis Raven View Post

      I would NEVER pay over $10,000 for copy.

      You could get the exact same job for $400 that you could at $10,000.

      Only stupid people with too much spare cash pay that rediculous amount.
      The funny thing is, the ones that can pay that are probably making a lot more money than you and your $400 letters. Most $10,000 copywriting fees are recouped within minutes of launch.
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    • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
      Originally Posted by Louis Raven View Post

      I would NEVER pay over $10,000 for copy.

      You could get the exact same job for $400 that you could at $10,000.

      Only stupid people with too much spare cash pay that rediculous amount.

      for $2000 I'd get 8 letters wrote with free split testing thrown in for proof of converting!

      That alone justifies NOT paying $10,000.

      Louis
      And if it's making a $10,000 product convert at 3 in 10?

      It's a question of scale, of course you wouldn't pay that at a lower level.

      When and if you ever reach the "Big Leagues" you might think different.
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      Originally Posted by Louis Raven View Post

      I would NEVER pay over $10,000 for copy.

      You could get the exact same job for $400 that you could at $10,000.

      Only stupid people with too much spare cash pay that rediculous amount.

      for $2000 I'd get 8 letters wrote with free split testing thrown in for proof of converting!

      That alone justifies NOT paying $10,000.

      Louis

      What you're saying doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

      First you should expect to pay $2,000 to $10,000+ for a sales letter and accompanying emails, optin forms etc to make your site profitable.

      A really good copywriter has the experience to save you a lot of costly split testing (keep in mind that many split tests reduce response).

      When you start with a high converting sales letter that in itself is worth a small fortune to you if you have any kind of serious traffic.

      Look at your site and ask yourself if I convert 5 times more visitors into paying clients how much is that really worth to me?

      If I can pay up to $1 a click when I do pay per click advertising and still make a profit instead of only being able to pay 15 cents a click what kind of difference will that make to the potential market I can sell to (hint: it's an ENORMOUS difference).

      If I'm making $1 to $5+ a visitor because all my copy is finely crafted to create the maximum number of sales per visitor how many more affiliates will I end up with?

      How many more joint venture partners will I pick up because they're making many times the profits from the people they send to my site?

      Cheap copy is not cheap and it's exceptionally rare that you can find a good copywriter bidding for the lowest price on a freelance site. Marketing professionals know how to market themselves.

      Do you want the copywriter who only knows the lowest, least profitable marketing strategy - discounting?

      Long term (and often short term) good copy pays for itself over and over.

      And good copy and a well refined marketing process gives you easier, more profitable access to hungry markets through pay-per-click, affilliate and joint venture promotions.



      Do the sums for yourself.

      If you have a sales letter that converts at 1% immediately after being written and you get 100,000 visitors buying a $20 product you've just made $20,000 in sales.

      If you hire a really good copywriter whose sales letter converts at 2% immediately after being written and you get those same 100,000 visitors buying a $20 product you've just made $40,000 in sales.

      If it's a digital product the difference in profit is likely to be around $20,000 (twice what you paid your $10,000 copywriter).

      And yes a good copywriter (compared to someone you might hire cheap) will often get you 2 or 3 times the conversion and help you in other ways that will make you more profits too.




      Now you might be thinking...well I'm not going to get 100,000 visitors to my sales letter in the first week or two like the big guys do...it might take me 3 to 12 months to get that much traffic (at say 300 to 1,000 visitors a day).

      But the figures are still the same the only difference is that it takes you longer to get the money you invested back or to effectively lose the money you could have made hiring a higher quality copywriter.

      It just becomes a question of what you can afford to invest...and of finding a copywriter who produces high converting sales letters.

      The value of the copywriter is dependant on the scale of your business and the conversion of his copy.

      There is no dollar figure set in stone of how much a sales letter is worth...it will vary from situation to situation.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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    • Profile picture of the author Lance K
      Originally Posted by Louis Raven View Post

      You could get the exact same job for $400 that you could at $10,000.
      That's complete and utter bullsh!t.

      I'd never in a million years trust someone to wrte me a SALES letter if they can't even SELL me (let alone themselves) on the value of the service they provide.

      With the exception of a new copywriter looking to build a portfolio...A $400/letter copywriter is an oxymoron.
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      "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
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    • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
      This is absolutely one of the most foolish thing's I've ever heard. Bruce Wedding and Ray L. are absolutely correct in their responses. The others have also added good information.

      Specialization is key. It's impossible to be good at EVERYTHING and everybody knows it. From a business standpoint, the more you specialize, the greater your profits because you can leverage your time and expertise. You can also charge more -- a LOT more. And when searching for a service provider, everybody wants to work with an expert.

      As previously stated, copywriters generally love to write marketing copy. They don't want to deal with product creation, customer service hassles, managing employees, etc. They want to write. That's it. Other businesses without that expertise go find outside expert copywriters who can help them sell their products and services. Because THEY'RE experts in their products or services --NOT in copywriting! But they still need to sell their products or services. And it's a lot more cost-effective to hire someone to do it -- at $10K or more -- than go find a cheapie writer or tap their clerk to do it for them.

      Publisher's Clearinghouse, NordicTrac, Nightingale-Conant, and other big and small direct marketers have a lot riding on their promotions and need to hire the best. The best comes with a price tag, but as someone else commented, it's generally a bargain and is usually recouped by the time (or before) the promotion has even ended. When you realize that rolling out a large promotion can literally kill a business if it doesn't bring in the bucks, you'll realize that businesses often live and die on a single promotion so hiring a good copywriter is CRITICAL. They can't afford to NOT hire a $10K copywriter.

      I think that the WF is a great resource, but 1) too many people here forget that there's a great big world out there outside of the Internet and the WF and 2) too many people here get caught up in trying to get the best for nothing or almost nothing. Internet marketing and Internet-based businesses are some of the cheapest and most cost-effective businesses to start. It's lowered the bar for everybody and made so much possible for so many.

      But focusing mainly on trying to get something for nothing or dirt cheap is a crippling mindset. It hurts you a lot more than you realize. A lot of people here would cringe or complain about having to spend $500 on getting their IM business up and running. But tell me where else you can start a business for so little?

      Suppose you're trying to set up a bricks-and-mortar business. If it's retail, you'll need inventory and supplies. If it's a restaurant, you'll need specialized equipment. But let's go with a cheapie example: you're a service provider and need only office space and a receptionist. So what are your expenses?

      1. First and last month's rent (which can run a few thousand dollars)
      2. Security deposit
      3. Electricity
      4. Phone (And not a home line. You'll need a business line which is much more expensive.)
      5. Salary for the receptionist.
      6. Insurance
      7. Office equipment leases

      And that's right out of the gate, BEFORE you even start marketing! And marketing is where your money should be. Radio, TV, and newpaper ads. Association memberships. Direct mail campaigns. Etc. But the Internet makes that even better since you don't have to pay for traditional ads and advertising!

      But it's the copywriters who make your ads profitable. So they are absolutely the most critical and most expensive part of the business. That's not a scam. They really ARE the most critical. Traditional advertising firms, public relations firms, marketing consultants and copywriters all perform copywriting functions and that's why they charge the big bucks and get them. (of course, different agencies, people and ads are better than others, so the standard getting the most bang for your buck caveat still applies.)

      That's why Publisher's Clearinghouse would laugh at a $400 copywriter (or sniff a fraud). They would never take a $400 copywriter seriously, nor should they. As Bruce Wedding stated, that's why Publisher's Clearinghouse is making a lot more than you and your $400 letters.

      Focusing on why "I would never pay $XXX" is tremendously limiting -- and incredibly foolish.

      I love the WF and all it has to offer. But this kind of thinking and attitude isn't helpful or professional at all. Unfortunately, the WF is peppered with it. I'd seriously like to see a more professional, business-like attitude here all around.

      Everybody wants to make millions on the Internet from home. It can be done, but not until you approach it with a business-like attitude and discipline.

      Michelle


      Originally Posted by Louis Raven View Post

      I would NEVER pay over $10,000 for copy.

      You could get the exact same job for $400 that you could at $10,000.

      Only stupid people with too much spare cash pay that rediculous amount.

      for $2000 I'd get 8 letters wrote with free split testing thrown in for proof of converting!

      That alone justifies NOT paying $10,000.

      Louis
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      "You can't market here. This is a marketing discussion forum!"
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  • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
    Originally Posted by BizBooks View Post

    they do the hardest part!
    ha, that's not even half true.
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    "I Pay Less Attention to What Men Say. I Just Watch What They Do."
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  • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
    and if you want 10k copy training for free its easy...

    find a letter that cost 10k and re-write it many, many, times over. you've just written a 10k letter.
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    "One Man's Ceiling is Another Man's Floor
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    "I Pay Less Attention to What Men Say. I Just Watch What They Do."
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    • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
      Some people just prefer to stick to their area of expertise. Writing is what they're good at, so they write. Some will have an interest in branching out, and some won't. I'm sure some of them DO create their own products.

      Bob Bly, for example, has a whole line of information products out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Well I'm a $10K copywriter so I'll give my perspective.

    First, this could be applied to many professions. Why would
    a lawyer teach law students rather than make all the money
    from arguing cases etc., ... doctors, accountants, musicians,
    all these professions have people who teach them.

    Why do internet marketers sell their "secrets" when they could
    just keep them to themselves and make all the money?

    I speak for myself here: Money is not all. There is the sense
    of creative satisfaction, the thrill of writing a winner, the sense
    of knowing that you help someone else improve their lives.

    And there is the joy of writing.

    I also write and sell my own products, so it's not true that copywriters
    just write for others. In addition you need a product to sell so there is
    also product development that you don't have to worry about as a
    copywriter.


    But I do copywriting because I enjoy the creative process of researching
    and writing a sales letter, not the money. I've made lot easier money
    than writing copy but it doesn't give the same 'high' as copywriting.

    -Ray L.,
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    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Profile picture of the author CurtisN
    If your passion was writing and you created a couple $10K salesletter per month every month, why would you want to do anything else? It's not all about the money
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    Curtis Ng (blog) - Product Launch Manager
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    • Profile picture of the author Adam Kenzington
      People play to their strengths. If you can make a great income with your writing skills, why would you necessarily want to branch out into uncharted territory (for you) when "the fishin' is fine" right where you are?

      Even a letter a month will put a minimum of $100,000 into a top-notch copywriter's pocket. Why work harder than you have to? I'd do what I do best and outsource the rest.

      Adam
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      "I can" is much more important than I.Q.

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    • Profile picture of the author Corwinnx
      Reason #1: They're Business Persons. They understand the value of
      Reason #2: Multiple sources of income, a necessity for
      Reason #3: Econonmic cycles. When one industry is down, another is up
      Reason #4: They enjoy it
      Reason #5: BECAUSE THEY CAN.



      -Marcus
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  • Profile picture of the author wclements
    BizBooks,

    You pose a great question. As many great
    questions do, this question has several answers.

    The basic philosophical answer is pretty
    straightforward: most humans are never at their
    peak of "highest and best use" of their time,
    energy and money investments.

    Which, in all honesty, is probably ideal for
    most people. If you want to live a happy, laid
    back, or leisurely life, the last thing you should
    attempt is to squeeze every drop of money and
    success out of your life.

    It's futile in any case, because there will always
    be a way to earn more money than you do. The sky
    is the limit and there's always somebody making
    more than you make -- and you could make that much
    if you really wanted to.

    Bringing it down to practical advice, if you
    are good at something and you can earn really
    good money doing it, the temptation to sit tight
    and let the money roll in is very strong.

    Some people sit still and enjoy it.

    Other people sit still for awhile, and then
    find a way to raise their fees.

    Still others sit only momentarily while quietly
    engineering what they believe to be bigger and
    better ways to earn money.

    There's nothing wrong with being at any of these
    three stages in your career and business life.
    Frankly, it comes down to what makes you happy.

    To look at someone else and say, "why in the
    heck would he settle for...?" is to only look
    at a small part of the story.

    There are other related answers, which I will
    speak to, but in a lesser capacity.

    Some copywriters honestly enjoy writing first
    and foremost and wouldn't sacrifice a life they
    enjoy for a career they may not.

    Some copywriters are not aware of how to setup
    a real business and churn a profit. Maybe
    they're intimidated by certain parts of the
    process.

    Some copywriters know how to setup and run an
    entire business, but it would require a shift
    in lifestyle that would be uncomfortable. (For
    example, some copywriters are able to work only
    one week a month and live a rich life outside
    of their work. They know that most business
    owners do not have this luxury and it isn't one
    they are willing to give up.)

    Some copywriters get paid so much per hour that
    it is unrealistic that they'd be able to earn
    as much per hour if they start their own business.
    (In most cases this is unrealistic, however I'm
    talking about the mindset of the copywriters, and
    not my own mindset. Often, this is at least true
    at the very beginning of a new business.)

    Although I'm speaking right now about copywriters,
    the career path doesn't matter. These same
    mindsets are everywhere.

    Is there a lesson you can take from this?

    How about this: throughout life, you will have
    to carefully balance your business life and your
    personal life, and your priorities at any given
    time will be a reflection of that balance.

    You will have a difficult time putting ultimate
    business success first and foremost every minute
    of every day. In my opinion, in fact, your
    business life should come second to your personal
    life (or your preferred lifestyle).

    So, don't worry so much about the career moves
    other people do or don't make, and don't fret
    about the career moves you could have made and
    the potential future paths those moves could
    have had...

    Instead, do the things that keep a balance that
    allows you to enjoy both your life and business
    life, and focus on the present and, occasionally,
    the future.

    I sincerely hope this advice helps you.


    Warm Regards,


    William Clements
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  • Profile picture of the author carlos_a
    They charge that because there is a market for that.If you knew what they know then you would understand.
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  • Profile picture of the author angela99
    Originally Posted by BizBooks View Post

    Those Famous Copywriters... That can charge 10 Grand for a salesletter...

    Why do they?



    Shouldn't they be creating products themselves and using those skills to make millions instead of one off fees?

    they do the hardest part!
    OK, I'll bite. :-)

    The reason they charge $10,000 per project is because they estimate that the product will make at least $100,000 in profit.

    When you say "Shouldn't they be creating products themselves and using those skills to make millions instead of one off fees?"

    The answer is yes indeed, you'll find that copywriters who charge high fees (and $10K is NOT high; it depends on the product) often take a royalty of the sales; it could be anything from 2 per to ten per cent.

    Everything depends on the product and the relationship. On the understanding that 10 per cent of nothing is nothing, copywriters only create such royalty agreements with long term customers who have great products.

    On the "creating products" aspect; copywriters write SALES copy -- advertising. They may also write ebooks and other material (as I do) but that's not copywriting; it's writing/ publishing (sorry to quibble, but "copy" is sales copy, always. :-))


    In brief, copywriters charge for the value they provide. Copywriting is one of the cheapest parts of the marketing package.

    Cheers

    Angela
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  • Profile picture of the author Christie Love
    Coming from a copywriter who's worked with 10K copywriters, I know that most of them do create and sell their own products. It only makes since to have recurring income coming in during times when you aren't able to write. That's just the smart thing to do.

    I mean, what if you get sick or heaven forbids something happens where you aren't able to write. As a writer, we work for ourselves so there isn't a sick leave that we can tap into. These are situations that writers need to think about.
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    Copywriting IS their product (and a damn good product in many cases, like Ray above..)

    If they could create products like you are suggesting then they would be in the product creation business (some of them are, but not all)

    Writing compelling and converting copy is their product.

    Peace

    Jay
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    Bare Murkage.........

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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi,

      I imagine if was hoping to make a few mill from a project, then a $10k copywriting job would be severely cutting corners. But I'm not quite at that level yet

      This looks like food (or should I say, proof) regarding a current discussion over at Bruce's place.
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      Roger Davis

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  • Profile picture of the author Marian Berghes
    True Life example:

    Kern did the launch for Stompernet right? He wrote the front copy and the emails...how much did he charged? $15.000 and the product made $18 MIL...now...
    Tell me one guy that will NOT pay $15k to get those kind of results...

    PS: Excluding those guys that think like "pay 50 cents for an article and make $50k from it"...Iv'e seen alot of those in this forum too.
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  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
    I've been one of the ghostwriters for a few of the big name copywriters you probably know - they have me do the eBook; they do the sales letter. They usually give me the sales letter before I write the eBook so I know what they want to have in it.
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