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Imagine you’re living a roguish life as a bank robber in the Wild West… You drift from town to town ‘sticking-up’ the local bank… You’re damn good at it too. Just yesterday you moseyed on in, stuck your gun in the bank teller’s face and delivered your usual “this is a stick-up” line. The teller knew the score straight away and handed over the bag of swag. You moseyed on out. But you have a…

I’ve just published a new book for Kindle… Buy This Now: A Beginner’s Guide to Direct Response Copywriting. Inside I’ve brought together ten simple rules that I recommend you follow when it comes to starting out in your copywriting career. This isn’t abstract stuff. It’s specific advice that you can apply to any copy you’re working on. From understanding the importance of a varied vocabulary to learning how to swallow your creative pride, Buy This…

Often the first few lines of a direct response sales letter are redundant. Sometimes, even the first few paragraphs are too. Look again at the opening of any sales letter you’re working on and ask if it would not be stronger to start a little further in. You see, when we start writing we are heading into the dark. Even with a well thought-out idea and a tight structure in mind, those first words are…

So this is a trick I teach any copywriter or editor I work with… It isn’t difficult. It isn’t time consuming. And it certainly isn’t fancy. In fact, it’s a very simple and purely technical change you make to your word processor each time you’re writing copy that will be read via email. It’s particularly effective for articles, auto-responder copy and email endorsements. It also returns great results for copy that will be read on…

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 Tony Owl’s brand new copywriting seminar. That’s great news – you love Tony Owl. But is it the best way to promote Tony’s 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…

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…

As with most things in modern art, the first time it happened, it was down to Picasso… He painted a picture of a chair, but not satisfied with paint alone, he stuck an actual chair on the canvas. Surrealist Marcel Duchamp, took it a step further, and in 1917, he just signed a toilet, turned it upside down and said “finished”. More recently, for the Turner Prize, Tracy Emin brought her bed in, didn’t bother…

Copywriters can be precious people… I should know… I am one. And sure, tell me my copy doesn’t work or that I could do something better and once upon a time I would have sulked for a week. Yup, I used to be like that. But these days, I’ve calmed down. I’m wiser. You see, I realised sometime ago that you simply cannot be precious about your copy. And that’s never more the case than…

Aristotle’s idea was to start in the middle… And I have no doubt that in creative writing classes all around the world they’re preaching the same message as we speak. But hey, I was brought up under contrarian copywriter supreme, Bill Bonner, so why not throw a spanner into Aristotelian theory. Someone’s got to, right? So… I’ll say this – and I mean it – you should start EVERY sales promotion you write at the very end. You…