Many believe that there are only 3 qualities necessary for becoming a great copywriter:
1) Good copy
2) Delivering on time
3) Pleasant to work with
However, I'd like to add a fourth quality.
It's one that can easily add an extra zero to your bank account.
It's not a skill you develop after decades of studying and hard work.
In fact, it's something I'll teach you in a few minutes...
...and you can start applying by the end of the day.
I'm talking about...
Viewing yourself as a business partner
Instead of just delivering copy, you always look for ways to help the business grow or tackle pressing issues.
(You literally behave like a partner who gets a headache when something bad happens hahaha!)
"Sounds cool, Ning, but how can I do that?"
First, gain a solid understanding of the business.
Discover as much as possible about their offers, numbers, customers, urgent problems, goals for the next 6-18 months, etc.
Next, flex your creativity muscle and come up with...
A while back I asked what questions ya have about writing emails.
One of the most common ones was:
How do I come up with ideas?
Many copywriters think they need creativity to come up with lots of ideas.
But I got good news for you.
As the great copywriter Eugene Schwartz said:
"There's no such thing as creativity. There's only connectivity"
He went on to explain that only God can create something out of nothing.
The rest of us mortals need to tap into pre-existing material for generating ideas - aka connect something with something else.
How can you do this?
Allow yourself to go down as many rabbit holes as possible when doing research.
Let's say you're a financial copywriter.
These days, there's a lot of noise around the Chinese economy and how bad it is.
And as a copywriter, you can use what's happening in China.
As I've said in the past, one of my favorite places for research is Reddit.
You can get the specific language your...
A while back I reviewed an email without a subject line since the writer forgot to include one.
I gave a tiny tip on subject lines but I only scratched the surface.
Today we’ll dig deeper.
As you know, if your subject line doesn’t grab attention, people won't open your email.
When this happens, even an amazing email will generate zero sales.
So you must practice till you become a subject line gangsta.
If you're a beginner...or you don't have a lot of confidence in yourself...you should tap into existing material.
One of my favorite sources of inspiration is cover blurbs on magazines like:
Magazine blurbs are great attention-grabbing copy pieces.
They have a couple of seconds to grab your attention...trigger curiosity...and stimulate your interest glands enough to make you buy the magazine.
That's hard in our short-attention-span world!
The people who write those blurbs...
A few days back I heard from a struggling writer.
She wants to pivot to copywriting, but currently works 12 hours a day 6 days a week.
So she's stuck.
She wants to find copywriting clients but her job has her pumping content 72 hours each week.
Today, I'd like to tackle the mammoth in the room:
These are a lot of hours.
Something doesn't make sense to me.
I'm not suggesting she's lying...
But as anyone who writes for a living will tell ya, you only have so many productive hours in a day.
The best copywriters write 2-3 hours and call it a day.
(We might hit 8+ hours if we're under a tight deadline but that's an exception)
However hitting 12 hours/day, 6 days per week?
Here's what I believe is the issue:
This person has experienced some kind of “block” that messes up their word output.
So I wanna pose 3 questions to her and anyone who struggles with their writing speed.
The answers to those questions can help you discover what your block is.
I always tell new students:
Get your first client any way you can. Deliver kick-ass work. If the client is happy, you will have more gig opportunities with them.
Now, here's the tricky part:
Many times, the business owner will not come up with opportunities.
You will have to come up with those gigs out of thin, digital air.
You also need to prove why a gig is a smart idea...and (ideally) show ways for the client to spend minimum time on it.
Let's see an example:
Suppose you're writing daily emails for a business coach and they have two offers:
1) one-on-one coaching for $3,000/month
2) 12-weeks group coaching for a one-time fee of $497
They also have a big library of trainings for coaching students. The library consists of 3 parts - client acquisition, positioning, and growth strategies.
Let's also suppose that the main offers have started fatiguing.
The business owner would love to get new clients, but they're unsure how.
Plus they got...
A while back Andrew shared a traffic driver email to my Facebook group, looking for feedback.
As I've said, traffic driver emails are the simplest, easiest, and fastest entry point to copywriting today.
You can charge from $50 to $1,000 a pop.
This means you can hit 6-figures per year writing just those short emails.
As a coach, I always encourage students to write at least 3 traffic driver emails a day...
...to build their copywriting muscle.
Anywho, today I wanna review Andrew's work and offer valuable feedback that can help anyone fine-tune their emails.
Here's what he wrote:
Have you ever felt buried under the weight of developing an entire fantasy world?
How can you create an entire history, including all the characters who shaped it? Where do you start?!
Scribe Forge uses real human psychology explained in simple terms. Then, these concepts are used to examine characters you’ll recognize from popular sci-fi and fantasy. Finally, you’ll apply...
As a beginner, you should accept almost any copy gig available.
You will get exposure to multiple formats and niches...and eventually decide where to focus long-term.
But when you have a few projects under your belt?
There's one type of client you should go after and ignore all the rest.
Those clients will bless you with 5-figure months, 6-figure years, and financial freedom.
I'm talking about clients who use direct response (D.R.) marketing.
D.R. marketing makes people take a specific action such as signing up for an email list or buying products and services.
D.R. savvy companies are aggressive testers who figure out what works...
...and double down on it.
Over time, they make a lot of the green stuff while staying lean - aka, only hiring when it’s absolutely necessary.
And since they're lean, they can pay top dollar for copywriters.
How do you find those companies?
There are a few criteria to look for.
The first one is direct response verbiage on their...
I love reading about old-school copywriters like Gary Halbert, Gary Bencivenga, and Eugene Schwartz.
Not just because their copy was awesome...
...but because they all had a quality most copywriters today lack.
Lacking this quality keeps you stuck at $2,000-$3,000 months.
It has nothing to do with writing.
In fact, you can be a mediocre writer...
And still make $10,000/month or more with this.
Savvy business owners love copywriters who possess this quality.
Whenever you show that you have "it," you stand head and deltoids above people who write just copy.
What is this quality?
Being an offer strategist.
As I've said in the past, business owners always place you in a "bucket" when they talk to you. This bucket determines how much they'll pay you.
And if they view you as an offer strategist...
...they instantly put you in the "big bucks" bucket.
Because great copy can only take a business so far.
A so-so offer with great copy, will make a few...
One of the principles I teach students is called copy velocity.
In other words...
How many words do you use to get your point across?
The fewer words you use, the easier it is to hold people's attention.
When you hold their attention, the more likely they are to whip out their credit cards and buy.
So how do you make your copy more velocious?
(didn't know "velocious" was actually a word hahaha!)
We'll use a free tool.
Most copywriters know about it, yet stubbornly refuse to use it...
* drum rolls *
Don't roll your eyes.
Chances are you're also aware of this tool.
But do you use it?
If not, it's a shame.
You should always edit with Hemingway since it lets you catch one of the worst writing habits in existence...
The use of passive voice.
Dave kicks the ball - that's active voice.
The ball got kicked by Dave...Dave was able to kick the ball...The ball was able to be kicked by Dave - that's passive voice.
One of my superpowers as a coach is to look at a piece of copy…
…and transform it from “meh” to “WOAH!”
Whenever a line of copy feels flat and makes my eyes glaze over, I ask:
“If this was a movie scene, what would I be seeing?”
The reason this 11-word question works is because we think in pictures, not words.
When you create a picture in your reader’s head, your copy becomes more interesting…
People are more likely to reach the end of your message…
And when more people reach the end of your message conversions soar.
Let’s say you sell a skin-care product.
“Improve your looks” is a commonly used benefit that doesn’t mean much.
How about “reduce wrinkles”?
Or “wipe years off your face”?
Or “your skin will radiate in as little as 30 minutes”?
More visual and more powerful, right?
Now, try this yourself.
Find a piece of copy you...