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Good Copy

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“And the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them.” These days it’s almost cliché to say so… But, as a copywriter, I find the writing of Ernest Hemingway such a useful resource. If you’re not regularly reading his work, you should be. You’ll learn far more about good copy reading The Old Man and the Sea than boring…

I blame Dostoyevsky… Even his name is difficult to read. Is that even how you spell bloody Dostoyevsky? Who knows? Who cares? OK. OK. Yes, I accept – he probably was one of the greatest writers that have ever lived… And yes, his novels are deeper than a deep thing that’s very deep. But here’s my problem… People too often believe only difficult writing is good writing. For years we study the classics, we build…

Too many copywriting gurus go on and on about what they DO know… So to freshen things up a little, here are five things about copywriting that I definitely DO NOT know. 1. I don’t ever know what the best headline is for any particular product or service that I am selling. Even when I write a sales promotion that works effectively and is taken as the control, at no time can I ever assume…

At the end of the 80s there was really only one widely recognized skateboarding company: Powell Peralta. Started by two of the biggest names in skateboarding – particularly Stacey Peralta – the company was very successful. Indeed, it was pretty much THE team to ride for. Its elite skating team – the Bones Brigade – actually included a young Tony Hawk; nowadays, perhaps the only universally recognized name in skateboarding! Another famous rider was a…

I know a lot of people have already got hold of Write Better Copy… But if you haven’t had a chance to get your copy yet, I thought it’d be useful to answer a few of the questions I’ve had from readers. First off, I can tell you that yes… rather than a 30 day money back guarantee that you’re used to finding for products like this, I’ve set the MBG for 60 days. I…

I’ve had a lot of emails from people asking which copywriting products I think are worth the money… It’s difficult. A lot of stuff is nothing more than swipe file collections (which you can build for free), audio interviews (which involve one copywriter gushing over another) or long and boring part-work courses (that take forever and a day to get to the good stuff). That’s why I think this video series from Drayton Bird is…

You get an email telling you the good news… If you act in the next two hours, you can claim a £100 discount on so and so’s latest copywriting seminar. That’s great news. But is it the best way to promote that offer? Is good news always a good thing? Not necessarily. When it comes to good copy, it’s worth thinking twice about leading with good news – it could actually be better to lead…

When someone decides to pay money in return for a product or service, it’s a serious thing. Good copy should respect that. I was sat in a meeting recently when a sales letter I had written was brought up on the screen. Though I naturally recognized it as mine, the people I was meeting with did not. Rather than point out that I’d written it, I thought I’d wait to see the reaction it got…

Coming up with a headline that will grab your reader’s attention is hard. You might spend weeks writing and testing different ideas for nothing. Even if the product or service you’re selling is amazing, it doesn’t necessarily make writing a captivating headline any easier… But there is an exercise you can do that will help you come up with headlines that have a much greater chance of success. And strangely, it involves spending some time…

Whatever you think about Woody Allen ‘the man’… As a filmmaker, he’s made some truly great films. That’s a simple fact. For what it’s worth, I think he’s a brilliant writer, a great director and a good actor…. You only have to look at Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Play It Again, Sam, Deconstructing Harry, Zelig, Whatever Works and on and on and on and… OK, you get the picture! But anyway… Recently…