WARNING: Good Writing Kills The Sales and Profits In Your Business

“There is little sales value in fine writing. It is what you say that counts, not how you say it. A valid argument presented in blunt language will sway the reader more than a less valid argument beautifully presented.” — John Caples, Tested Advertising Methods, (p. 27)


Let’s get one thing clear before we get started: the purpose of copywriting is to produce results. If you agree, then continue reading. But if you think copywriting is about being creative, clever or expressing yourself then stop right now. Because you will only get frustrated at what I’m about to share.

If you’re still here I’m assuming you want to discover how to harness the power of the written word in order to grow your business. And one way to learn how to do this is to first learn what not to do.

One sure way to sabotage your marketing message is believing “good writing” will lead to more sales. This is not true. In fact, good writing will do more harm than good. This is why many good writers fail to get results with copywriting. They don’t understand why their beautiful ads fail while other, “poorly written” ads succeed. They’re confused. But after reading this you won’t be. (more…)


Book Review: “My Life in Advertising” by Claude Hopkins

I recently finished reading My Life in Advertising by Claude Hopkins. Hopkins is recognized as one of the “founding fathers” of modern advertising.

Although this book was written over 85 years ago it contains important lessons for those of us doing business in the twenty-first century.

Hopkins was hired by Albert Lasker, owner of Lord & Thomas advertising at a salary of $185,000 a year. That’s a good salary, right? Well, that was in 1907. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics that’s the equivalent of roughly $4.2 million in today’s money.

Why would an ad agency pay one man $4.2 million a year? After you read this book you’ll understand the reason why.

And if you don’t have time to read the book right now you’ll find some of my favorite quotes below.



How To Use Email Marketing Effectively (Without Being a Spammer)

Email is one of the most powerful tools you can use to grow your business. Even today it continues to outperform social media as the marketing tool of choice by savvy business owners. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing gets a $51 return for every $1 spent on it.

And when you think about it you can see why.

Imagine you have a list of 50,000 people who have asked you to email them on a regular basis. And let’s say you have a $47 digital product you’d like to sell.

  • if only 20% of your list opens your email…
  • and out of those, only 5% make a purchase…
  • you’ve still sold $23,500 worth of your product as a result of that ONE email.

Without a list of your own you would be forced to market your product like everyone.

And this applies not only to businesses who sell products online but also to restaurants, dental offices or anyone else who has a product or service to sell. (more…)


7 Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring a Freelancer

Questions to ask a freelancerIf you’re considering hiring a freelancer for a project then this post was written for you.

Small business owners come in all shapes and sizes but there’s a common experience every business owner can relate to…

Unfortunately that experience is known as “chaos.”

And freelancers can be an effective way to reduce the amount of chaos in your life and business. Finding the right freelancer is a dream come true for a business owner. But hiring the wrong person will only make matters worse.

So here are seven questions to ask a prospective freelancer BEFORE you hire them. These are questions you MUST answer if you want to find the right freelancer.



Copywriting Legend Eugene Schwartz Was Paid $54,000 for 4hrs of Work…Learn Why

Breakthrough AdvertisingIf you want to become a master copywriter then you should stop reading this right now and find out how to get a copy of the classic book, Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz. Then read, study and obey it.

Seriously, if you want to look it up in your local library’s website or purchase a copy on Amazon or eBay I’ll wait while you go do that. (You might want to start with the library because even the second editions still sell for around $300 used on Amazon.)

Let me tell you a little about this legendary copywriter.

Eugene Schwartz was one of the highest-paid copywriters of the 1950s and 60s. In fact Rodale Press once paid him a commission of $54,000 for four hours work. And the book I just mentioned, Breakthrough Advertising, has a reputation of being the most stolen book from public libraries (I have to admit I was tempted. But I returned it lest I receive “The Curse of the Schwartz” and never write a winning ad as long as I live).

He also lectured and taught extensively, built one of the most famous collections of modern American art in the world, and was a respected Biblical scholar. (more…)


5 Simple Ways to Keep Copywriting Clients Happy

How to make copywriting clients happy

As a freelance copywriter you understand how valuable quality clients are. If you’ve been in this business for any amount of time you know the most challanging part is not the writing but getting and holding on to quality clients.

And before I go any further I feel like I need to be honest and tell you what my current copywriting workload is right now.

(If you’re anything like me you want to know if the person giving you advice is actually “practicing what they preach.”)

Since this post is about you and not me I’ll keep his part brief.

I’m writing this post on Thursday March 1, 2012. I have a lot of work to get done which motivated me to wake up and be in my home office at 9:00am (OK…maybe it was more like 9:20 but whose keeping track?! Really?).

I just turned in 2 emails for a big national email marketing campaign this week and I’m starting my 3rd. I’m also starting research for another client’s email marketing campaign. He’s based out of London and I did some work for him last year which he was pleased with. (more…)

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How Much Should I Charge for a Copywriting Project? Here are 5 Tips

How much should I charge for a copywriting projectRecently I was asked by fellow freelance writer and friend, “How much should I charge for copywriting on a website?” I answered her question and later thought, This would be perfect for a blog post!

So here’s 5 things to remember the next time you wonder how much you should charge for a copywriting project:


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Here’s Why I Almost Abandoned This Blog for Good

Freelance Copywriters

It’s not a secret. I haven’t posted anything on here since Oct 10, 2011. That’s 82 days ago! So as a full-time copywriter why have I neglected my own blog? I’m glad you asked. Sit back and I’ll tell you what’s been going through my head and why I decided to revive this blog for 2012.

I started blogging in 2007 as a hobby. But in 2010 I got serious and decided to blog once a week on two different blogs. I did just that for several months. Then in May 2011 I left my job as an insurance agent and started a freelance copywriting business. (more…)


Do You Want to Be a Cheap Copywriter or One of the Best?

one of the best copywriters


Before we get started I want to be upfront and tell you who this post IS and who it is NOT intended for.

It’s not for anyone who just wants to improve their copywriting skills. I write a lot of those posts but this is not one of them. Today I want to talk to professional copywriters with a high achievement drive. If that’s you read on. If not, you should stop reading now otherwise you’ll probably just get irritated at me.




How One Copywriter Discovered His Writing Rhythm

Copywriting Rhythm

When you write for a living you don’t have the luxury of waiting until you’re “inspired” to write. You write and meet client deadlines or you starve. There’s no third option. If you fail to deliver on time then you convey an unspoken message that says, “I don’t always keep my word,” and clients don’t appreciate that.

So the question arises, “what do you do when you have writer’s block?”

I can only speak for myself and tell you what works best for me. Ask another a copywriter and he’ll probably tell you something different. The key is to find what works for YOU.

Personally, I don’t allow writer’s block to keep me from writing. I believe in conditioning my writing muscles so I can write anytime, anywhere. I want to share with you exactly how I do this. (more…)