I didn’t know what copywriting was 5 years ago.
Since becoming an entrepreneur in 2010, I started learning about it.
I discovered that it is essential for marketing.
It’s also something that fascinates me. Persuading people with your words. That is really cool to me.
With the exception of the product or service, I think it’s the most important part of a website. Sadly, most small business websites (see attorneys) talk about themselves too much. If they focused on the end user and the benefits the user received from the product/service that is offered, revenue could double from their website.
According to Wikipedia,
copywriting is writing copy for the purpose of advertising or marketing. The copy is meant to persuade someone to buy a product, or influence their beliefs.
It’s also referred to as salesmanship in print.
I have also read this on the web;
Learn to write copy and you will have a license to print money
Copywriting is an extremely valuable skill to have. If you can master the skill of copywriting, you can write your own ticket (pun intended).
There are copywriters out there that charge $100,000 for ONE sales letter.
Success Leaves Clues
I have always wanted to learn writing copy. I have read a couple books on the subject and quite a few blog posts on it. I know consuming the information is only going to do so much.
I needed to get out there and “do it”.
Over the years, I heard the fastest way to learn copy is to — do it!
That’s pretty much the case with anything, really. I also heard that hand writing successful direct response sales letters/advertisements is one of the best ways to learn copy.
That sounds like a lot of work, but it also makes a ton of sense. I like to work efficiently and any “shortcut” I can take to become a better copywriter, I’ll take it.
Some call this the “secret” to learning copy.
How Dan Kennedy Became One of the Highest Paid Copywriters in the World
Dan Kennedy had to get his start somewhere, right?
Well, years ago, Dan went to his career counselor to inquire about internship opportunities.
Unfortunately, at that time, the career counselor told him that there was nothing for him at the blue chip companies. However, she did know about a man who needed some assistance with his direct marketing business.
That man happened to be Gary Halbert, who was considered “The World’s Greatest Copywriter”
Dan arrived at the white office which had three tables. The first table, people were stuffing envelopes. At the next table, people were filling orders. At the last table, people were counting stacks of money.
Dan was intrigued and turned to Gary and said, “I want to do what you do”.
Gary then handed Dan a stack of sales letters, about 2 feet tall, and told him, “Copy each of these letters by hand. And when you’re done, copy them again”.
Obviously, not an easy task.
Dan finished his “assignment”.
It only took him two years.
Dan know charges $100,000 for a sales letter plus a commission on each sale made.
How to Drastically Improve Your Copywriting
Well, 2 years is a lofty goal and I know I needed to start somewhere.
So I challenged myself to hand-writing sales letters and/or advertisements for 30 days. I would copy the greats like Gary Halbert, Claude Hopkins, Dan Kennedy, David Ogilvy, Eugene Schwartz and others.
My ultimate goal was to create a daily habit of this.
I found this site Swiped.co, which is a fantastic resource for for marketing inspiration. They have new age material, along with a section on the classics (Early 90s & older).
Another great source for copy is The Gary Halbert Letters, arguably the greatest free resource on the entire internet for copywriting.
Gary passed away years ago, but this site still serves thousands, if not millions, of entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Talk about leaving a legacy. I believe his sons now run that website.
Today was my 30th day of hand-writing the copy from the greats. I can say it has helped me tremendously.
I am a much more skilled writer than I was 30 days ago. I notice it in the emails I am writing, which is a big revenue source for me.
I wrote for an hour straight on some days. In total, I have 75 pages in my notebook of these letters/advertisements that I have written out.
It is not easy.
It takes a lot of work and is a big commitment. Like I said, this was something I really wanted to get better at so I was committed to it. The best part is this is now a daily habit of mine that I plan to continue with. I have been incredibly sick the last few days, but still found time to write out my advertisements.
I am not charging $100,000 for a sales letter, but am closer to charging that than I was 30 days ago.
My time will come 🙂
It’s about progress, not perfection.