I know that using the word ‘retard’ is not quite the ‘done thing’ in these politically correct times. Well to heck with that. I like the word so I’ll keep using it. And that’s the nice thing about writing: you can use whatever words you want, as long as it makes sense to do it. Got it?
And let me tell you something: before I started my copywriting adventure, I was (somewhat) retarded as a writer. Very much behind the eight-ball. That’s why I decided to do something about it.
So, what’s this course about?
Not much. Unless of course, you want to make money with words. Oh yes, that’s why you subscribed right? Ha ha. I’m playing with you which is quite ok – mirth and merriment is part of my schtick.
I wasn’t born a writer. In fact, my late wife often questioned if I was born at all: she used to say I was hatched. Like a turkey, or possibly an emu. So here I am. Pecking away, but now I peck at the keys of my laptop, and I do it in exotic places all over the world.
But seriously I took an interest in copywriting when my wife and I started a home loan business in London, England. I wanted to place display ads in one of the leading mortgage magazines and it struck me that I had no idea how to write sales copy.
So, I hot-footed it down to the local bookshop and bought some books on advertising and copywriting. I bought books written by industry luminaries such as David Ogilvy, Drayton Bird, and John Caples. That was in the 1980s, and since then I’ve built a library of books on the topic, my favorites being Direct Mail Sales Copy that Sells and The Art of Copywriting. The author of both books was Herschel Gordon Lewis, a copywriting genius.
Can you become an ace copywriter by reading books alone? No, but it can help change your thinking, even if the authors do not teach technique. And the use of proper technique IS essential – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I’m telling you this so you understand that I wasn’t a child prodigy or anything like it. I was average at school. Although above average at English, it hardly qualified me as a literary genius.
Almost anyone can write good copy. You can learn it if you have the desire to do it. Simple as that.
Why Do You Need to Write Good?
Well, I presume you’re trying to sell stuff, especially online. If so, it will help a lot. Face it, the internet is about content. That’s the game we play so if you want to generate leads and make sales you have to master the content game. Or at least become highly proficient at it.
So, let’s start with the first lesson. Are you ready?
Oh yeah, well here it is:
Forget what you learned in school. When it comes to creating marketing-oriented content it’s ok to break some of the rules you may have learned at school. So, eliminate formal language. I always tell my students and clients to ‘write as you speak but clean up the grammar, and spelling’.
And yes, it’s ok to start a sentence with ‘and’ or ‘but.’ Even the word ‘so’ can work. I’ll be digging deeper into this topic in future lessons, but remember this: the key to success is to write for the reader, not for you.
That was easy, wasn’t it? A short, simple lesson. But be warned; I’ll be stepping it up in future lessons.
Lesson 2 is called Keep it Simple, Stupid. What’s it about? Well, it’s probably not what you think. Curious? Plug in tomorrow.
I've been an online marketer since 2006. During that time I've learned alot and made a full time living from month 1. I established this site to share my knowledge with you. Who knows - maybe you will change your life, just like I have.