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Copywriting 101

Secrets for Launching Your

Million-Dollar Writing Career
By Katie Yeakle

Your Exclusiv
30-Day Laun e
Protocol ch
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Part 1
What Exactly Is Copywriting?

“On the road to wealth, developing a financially-valuable skill is the most

important step. It’s the foundation upon which every other step is based.”
— Mark Morgan Ford

W hen most people think of “writing careers,” they think they have two
You can become an author and write books — fiction, non-fiction, biographies,
and so on.
Or, you can get yourself a journalism degree, and write articles and news stories
for newspapers and magazines — either as a freelancer or staff writer.
Both are noble professions that can be very rewarding and garner a lot of respect.
Problem is, they’re hard work. They’re highly competitive. You need to spend a lot
of time getting very good at what you do. And, unless you’re among the elite, the
pay is typically pretty average at best.
The kind of writing we do isn’t either of those two — although there is an
element of storytelling and reporting in what we do.
And, even though you see the writing we do every day — in the mail, on the
Internet, in magazines and newspapers — few people stop to consider who’s
writing it … and just how lucrative of a career it can be.
Master Copywriter Mark Morgan Ford, the man who’s mentored hundreds of up-
and-coming copywriters and will be helping you, put it perfectly some years ago:
Ÿ You’re a good writer if you can write a story that can make people cry …
Ÿ You’re a better writer if your writing can make people laugh …

Learn more about copywriting 1

Ÿ But, if your writing can persuade people to take action — that’s when you
know you can be a very wealthy writer.
That, in a nutshell, is what copywriters do.
They persuade people to take action — whether it’s to support a cause, read a
special report, buy a product, request some more information, and so on. It may
just be some well-written copy on a website landing page … an email you send
a potential customer … an ad in a publication … or a personal letter written to
someone with an interest in the product you’re offering. But, it all boils down to
good, conversational, persuasive writing.
You may be wondering … how is this different from ordinary advertising — like
the kind you see on TV and in magazines?
Simple. The difference between “traditional” advertising and the kind of
persuasive writing we do is, while they create awareness for a product — we get
people to take immediate action.
Click on a link … fill out a questionnaire … complete an order form … buy a
product …
Not a week from now. Not tomorrow. Right now.
And, don’t worry if you haven’t a clue on how to do it.

We’ll Teach You The “Formula”

There’s a basic formula to all the writing we do. It’s a secret structure that you’ll
find in every piece of good, persuasive writing … one that’s been tested and
proven to work millions of times in millions of ads. A structure anyone can know
— and one you’ll learn here today.
Once you learn it, understand it, and start using it — well, that’s when your life
will change dramatically.
Because the fact is, once you can write a letter, an ad, or a web page that
persuades — you’ll have a financially-valuable skill that will reward you for
If you can write “copy” that persuades, there isn’t a business in the world that
won’t beat a path to your door to get you to work your magic for them.
Think about it: If you’re able to sit down and in a week write an ad or a letter that
results in $100,000 in additional sales — and the company you write for pays you

2 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

$5,000 to write it — where is the downside?
The business is happy. They just boosted sales by $100,000.
And you — you got $5,000 for a week’s worth of work, writing a few hours a day.
Now, multiply that by all the weeks in the year and you’re earning over $250,000 a
But, it gets better.
There’s an entire $2.3 trillion industry that relies on writers like us who know the
secret to persuasive writing exclusively. It’s called “the direct-response industry.”
And, because the words we write are the engine of this industry, they pay writers
like us very well for our expertise.
How well?
Experienced writers can command between $5,000 and $10,000 (and more) per
sales promotion. Plus, often you’ll get a percentage of the sales you generate —
“royalties” they’re called — that can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars
for every ad or letter you write!
Whether you’re helping someone land a better job more quickly as a resume
writer … helping a worthy charity raise money … selling your own words and
expertise as a self-publisher … helping drive new customers to a business’s
website as an expert web writer … or a copywriter writing ads and “story-style”
letters that sell directly to customers — persuasive writing can pay you millions
over the course of your lifetime!
All while affording you the kind of lifestyle most can only dream about — where
you make your own hours, working when and where you want.
So, the question is: Are you eager to get started right away?
Great! Because in just a minute, I’m going to reveal the secret to writing ads
and letters that persuade — knowledge that will form the foundation for your
successful copywriting career from this day forward.

Five Financial And Lifestyle Options

Copywriting Offers
Have Complete Control Over Your Schedule For The First Time
By the time you finish reading this report, you’ll have a pretty good idea if a
freelance copywriting career fits both your financial and lifestyle needs. Which

Learn more about copywriting 3

makes this the ideal time to take a look at some of the financial and lifestyle
options copywriting offers:
1. You can do it in your spare time to supplement your current income
— You can boost your current income by writing copy in your spare time —
and then, should you so desire, transition it into a full-time career.
2. It’s a great full-time career — You can launch a full-time freelance
copywriting career immediately. It’s financially satisfying and offers up a
lifestyle of freedom and flexibility that few people get to experience these
3. It will enhance your present career — Depending upon where you work
and what you do, your copywriting skills have the potential to increase your
value to your current employer.
4. You can boost the effectiveness of a side business — If you have a part-
time business, your copywriting expertise will help you increase your sales
and profitability.
5. You’ll have a future filled with unlimited options and opportunities —
You can really take your new set of skills and use them to branch off and
pursue a wide range of lucrative opportunities (more about this a bit later).
To give you an idea of the kind of money you could make, here are four typical
“copywriting scenarios”:
David works full-time, but wants to earn some extra money for vacations
and for the family’s savings plan. He puts in a few hours during the evenings
and on weekends and makes $25,000 a year. One day, he plans to transition to
copywriting as a full-time career.
Elaine is a stay-at-home single mom. She has two young children to care for,
but still manages to find twenty to twenty-five hours per week for her freelance
copywriting business. She makes over $75,000 a year.
Paula is ambitious and works 40+ hours a week, not only on copywriting, but
also on the growth and development of her freelance business. She makes
$120,000 a year.
Jack is a real go-getter. He not only found he has a real talent for copywriting,
but also that he’s a terrific networker and business developer. He has negotiated
some lucrative contracts with a number of big companies and will be making
more than $300,000 this year.

4 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

The Freedom And Flexibility
Of The Copywriting Lifestyle
Of course, money is important, we need it to survive, but the first reason many
copywriters give for loving what they do is the freedom it offers.
Because as a professional direct-marketing copywriter, you have complete control
over your schedule.
You no longer have to show up at a certain time and be restricted in what you do
over the course of a typical workday.
You decide how hard you work and when.
If you’re a night owl, you can do your writing at night, leaving your days free for
your favorite leisure activities.
If you like to start your day early, you could start writing at say 6 a.m. and finish up
by early afternoon.
Then, you’ll have the rest of the day to do whatever you feel like doing. Go
golfing, play tennis, play with the kids, shop — it’s entirely up to you.
No boss is watching you. There’s no time clock to punch.
Plus, you can do it from anywhere in the world.
Maybe you’ve dreamed of living in a log cabin in the mountains — miles from
anyone. Or, maybe you like the excitement of an apartment in downtown
Manhattan, London, or Paris.
The point is, you’re not forced by your job to live in any one spot. You can live
wherever you choose — even travel the world if you like — and still make an
excellent living.
Plus, on top of offering a flexible lifestyle and a proven path to financial
independence, copywriting is also very stimulating intellectually. It’s a chance
to continually flex your creative muscle — to always be learning about new and
interesting things.

You’ll Be In Big Demand

Another thing that makes a career in copywriting so attractive is that your
services will always be in big demand.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, marketers spent an estimated

Learn more about copywriting 5

$163 billion on direct marketing last year, which generated approximately $1.91
trillion in incremental sales.
Not only that, the Internet has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for
copywriters … and made it global!
Ÿ 52.7% of all ad expenditures in the United States were made on direct
Ÿ U.S. online advertising revenue in the first quarter this year hit $8.4 billion,
the best quarter recorded to date and a jump of $1.1 billion over the same
period last year, according to the numbers released by the Interactive
Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Ÿ Thousands of new products and services emerge through Internet
marketing every day, creating a never-ending, always-increasing demand for
high-powered web marketing copy and SEO techniques.
Virtually every business that has a website has a need for someone who possesses
copywriting skills!

If You Can Write A Simple Letter Or Email,

You Can Do This
What You Don’t Need To Be A Great Copywriter Will Surprise You
One of the great things about copywriting is virtually anyone can do this. It
matters little what education level you’ve reached or what you’ve done in the
past. If you’ve ever written a letter to a friend or sent an email at work, you have
the basic skills you need to succeed.
To thrive and flourish as a copywriter, as with any worthwhile achievement, first
and foremost you need to have within you a burning desire to succeed.
And, while you definitely don’t have to be a good writer, you have to have some
“speaking” ability. Because the key to writing a successful letter is your ability to
connect emotionally with your reader. And, the best way to make that connection
is by writing “conversationally.”
If you can write like you talk, you are well on the way to becoming a great
Here are a few things you don’t need to be a copywriter …
You don’t need a lot of money to get started. You don’t need extensive computer

6 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

skills — or even an expensive computer.
You don’t need to be a creative genius. Many of your ideas will come from your
clients. As a copywriter, your job is to present those ideas based on a few basic
techniques for writing hard-hitting, focused copy.
You don’t need to be a “natural-born salesperson.”
And, while we’re on the subject of sales, I’d like to say a few quick words on “sales”
and “selling.”
Because when a lot of people see these words, they get nervous and think to
themselves “that’s not for me. I can’t sell anything.” The thought of doing any
type of sales for a living paralyzes them with fear and literally stops them in their
It’s important to remember that to varying degrees in life, everyone is a
salesperson. We constantly sell our ideas to others every day of our lives.
Have you ever encouraged a friend to see a movie you just saw or read a book
you liked? Or, convinced somebody to hire you for a job… go out on a date with
you… or do you a favor?
If you’ve done any of those, you’re more than qualified for a career as a freelance
copywriter. Because all a copywriter does is persuade people with words.
It’s arguably the best, most relaxed, most fun type of selling there is.
You’re not promoting products face-to-face with a prospective customer. You’re
writing letters, emails, and so on from the comfort of home — they do the
“selling” for you.
And, you’ll be using proven techniques that can be easily learned by anyone, no
matter what age you are or what you’ve done in the past.
To help you understand the power of persuasion process, here are Mark Morgan
Ford’s …

Three Fundamental Rules Of Selling

1. People don’t like the idea of being sold. While most people love to shop,
they don’t want to be sold. They love to buy things — because buying
implies control. Being sold, the opposite.
Have you ever been shopping and encountered a salesperson that tried
to pressure you into buying something? Maybe you were in an electronics

Learn more about copywriting 7

store shopping for a new television or in a car dealership looking to buy a
new car. While high-pressure tactics might work on some people, most of us
retreat and vow never to do business with that person ever again.
The most successful salespeople do not make you feel like you are being
forced into doing something. They make you comfortable and give you the
features and benefits you need in order for you to make a decision.
So, if you’re concerned that you’re not a natural-born salesperson or you
can’t see yourself writing high pressure, hyped-up copy, don’t be. That’s not
what successful copywriting is all about. In a minute, we’ll take you through
the various elements of a successful sales letter so you can see for yourself
how easy (and logical) it is.
2. People buy things for emotional, not rational, reasons. People don’t
buy Rolex watches because they keep track of time more accurately. They
buy Rolex watches to show the world how successful they are. Buying a
Rolex watch appeals to their sense of pride (or perhaps, in some cases, their
Pride, vanity, lust, and envy are very important sales motivators. As are
greed, the desire to be richer, more successful, happier, more secure, more
independent. And, the fear of losing something — money, independence,
friends, happiness — can be a very powerful tool in the direct-marketing
As a successful copywriter, the copy you write will appeal to your prospect’s
feelings and desires. In other words, you’ll sell to the heart first … not to the
3. O
 nce sold, people need to satisfy their emotional decisions with logic.
Once the prospect is emotionally sold, he needs to justify his irrational
decision with rational reasons. He needs to justify his purchase in his mind.
It’s very important that he be able to tell himself (and others), “I’ve made the
right decision.”
A good example of this is TV commercials for cars. First, you see a stirring
image of the car itself — beautiful, stylish, new. There’s a mountainous
landscape for the prospect who wants to see himself as rugged. A five-star
hotel for the prospect who wants the car to enhance his status. A beautiful
woman by his side … interior shots of the car … you get to listen to the
state-of-the-art sound system … then there’s a shot of the car driving by
the ocean. All designed to show how luxurious and great your life will be

8 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

with this car. It’s designed entirely to appeal to emotion.
But, car commercials don’t stop there. They usually give you numerous
bits and pieces of information — the size of the engine, statistics on fuel
economy, speed, weight, interior space, and so on.
All the data is not meant to sell the car. Its purpose is to make the prospect
feel good about his decision. This is almost as important as the emotional
appeal as it justifies the sale in your prospect’s mind and makes him feel
good about his choice.
Those are the three basic rules of selling. When you become a full-fledged
copywriter, you’ll be able to use them to sell a vast array of products and
services … from jewelry to cars to weight-loss systems … to just about
Make sense, don’t they?
Okay, now it’s time to get down to the nuts and bolts, so to speak — to look at
what it really takes to build a successful direct-marketing package.
As you continue further in this report, you’ll discover the extremely interesting
and educational parts of the types of direct-marketing packages you see in the
mail and online now. And my guess is, after reading through this, you’ll never
look at a sales letter you receive in the mail or view a message online the same
way ever again.

But first… more details about what you need and

don’t need to become a successful copywriter in
this excerpt from AWAI’s Accelerated Program for
Six-Figure Copywriting, created exclusively for
Your 30-Day Launch Protocol.

Learn more about copywriting 9

What Is A Copywriter – And Why
Would Anyone Want To Be One?
by Paul Hollingshead

R ecently, our neighborhood had a small get-together to cel-

ebrate someone’s birthday. About midway through the
evening, a few of my neighbors pulled me aside and asked me
a question they’ve been longing to know… what do I do for a
Apparently, they’ve been baffled for some time.
No wonder …
After all, for the past several years they’ve watched me
not drive to work every morning, lounge around the yard So, when I
while most people are just settling into their office desks, finally told my
load my golf clubs into my car most every afternoon,
and take off for week-long excursions whenever I please,
neighbors I
instead of driving to work every morning or sitting in an write copy for
office all day. a living, it’s no
But what really had them wondering was how I could do
surprise I was
all these things while not appearing to work – and still greeted with
have plenty of money left over for other things. For exam- disbelief.
ple, they see my wife and me constantly making improve-
ments to our home, buying new furniture, and redecorating. They see 2 new cars
sitting in our driveway. They watch us set out on at least three major trips a year.

10 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

So, when I finally told my neighbors I
write copy for a living, it’s no surprise Insider Tip:
I was greeted with disbelief. “Katie, I just got off the phone
with the BBB (Better Business
“But it looks like you make a lot of Bureau). They wanted to know
money,” they told me. if I could really make $160K a
“I do,” I said. year writing sales letters. I said,
‘No, I can do it in a month.’ ;-)”
“And you can do that … writing out
of your house?” – Carline Anglade-Cole, Master
Their surprise is understandable.
After all, working from home is only a dream for most people. And writing –
unless you’re a best-selling author – isn’t a high-paying lucrative career … or
is it?
Obviously, most people wish they could stay home and make a lot of money.
So they wonder – how do I do it? Before I answer that question, let me clarify
exactly what it is I do.

What Is Copywriting?
Copywriting, simply put, is any writing that offers a product or service for sale.
That covers a very wide spectrum.
For the purpose of this program, let’s divide copywriting into two categories.
The first category is “advertising agency” copywriting. The second is “direct
response” copywriting.

You can listen to legendary ad man, David Ogilvy talk about the value
of direct-response copywriting on YouTube by searching for “David
Ogilvy direct response”.

Most of the ads you see in newspapers, magazines and most television com-
mercials are written by “agency” copywriters. The copy is short, clever – even
humorous. But typically, those ads have no “call to action.” Let’s take a look
at two ads for Hpnotiq liquor.

Learn more about copywriting 11

Ad “A” for Hpnotiq doesn’t ask for a sale. It’s a “soft” sell. Its objective is to
make you feel good about Hpnotiq in hopes that you’ll buy it the next time you
want a refreshing drink. It’s up to the reader to find stores that sell Hpnotiq.

12 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

Ad “B” for Hpnotiq, on the other hand, has a strong call to action – enter a
contest to win $100,000 or other exciting cash prizes, but only for a limited
time. This drives the reader to purchase Hpnotiq now in response to this offer.

Learn more about copywriting 13

“Direct response” copywriting is the kind of advertising that makes people
open their checkbooks and buy. Not next week. Not tomorrow. But right now.
There’s a big difference – particularly if you’re a direct response writer.
Because while “agency” writers may get all the fame and glory, direct response
writers who can get people to open their checkbooks get the cash.
Do that consistently and direct response marketers will be knocking down your
door asking you to write ads, sales letters or online promotions for them – and
they’ll be dangling some mighty big checks in front of your nose just to entice you.
They might ask you to sell just about anything.
Maybe a gadget like one of those new-fangled “Direct response”
exercise machines. Maybe a book that will copywriting is the
make you better in bed or more attractive to the kind of advertising
opposite sex. Maybe a newsletter that will help
you get rich … or be healthier … travel for less
that makes people
… or shed unwanted pounds. No matter what open their checkbooks
you’re asked to sell, the object of the kind of and buy. Not next
writing you’re going to learn here is to get the week. Not tomorrow.
prospect excited enough about any product or But right now.
service to buy it right then and there.
This type of selling – direct-response selling – is done through radio, print,
and TV ads. But by far, the most effective method of direct response selling is
through the mail or the Internet. According to the Direct Marketing Association,
companies spent an estimated $183.1 billion on direct marketing in 2008. Total
U.S. direct-marketing sales were expected to surpass $2.158

Key to Success
“The volume of direct mail in the U.S. grew 5% annually through
2011, to $72.3 billion, despite the downturn in the economy.” This
includes the costs for preparing (that means copywriting and designing),
printing/binding production and postage for postcards, catalogs and letters.
Source: Winterberry Group’s analysis of data from the Direct Marketing Association,

14 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

A good direct mail piece – the kind you’ll learn to write in this program – can
be anything from a four-page letter… to a 32-page magalog… to a 100-page
booklet … to a single online sales page… or a multi-page web site.
Direct response marketing appeals to some very basic emotions.
are big sellers in the direct marketing world. So are …
The fear of losing something – money, independence, friends, happiness – can
be a very powerful tool. So can greed, the desire to be richer, more successful,
happier, more secure, more independent. (By the end of this program, you’ll
know all the emotional “hot buttons” that can boost your chance of making a

Join The “Club” – And Rake In The Money

Summed up, direct response copywriting is demonstrating, through a powerful
emotional appeal, that your prospect’s life would be much more complete if
only he or she owned what you’re selling.
Convince one to two people out of 100 of that
and you’ll be wealthier and better off than
99.9% of all writers on earth.
How much better?
Let’s look at the facts.
It’s accepted that the average,
successful, full-time freelancer
writing for newspapers and maga-
zines makes a mere $25,000 or so per year. Staff writers are paid about the
same: $25,000 to $30,000 for entry level positions. If you survive, put in 10 to
20 years, and rise to the top of your profession, you’re looking at $40,000 to
$50,000 tops.
If you want to write books, short stories, poetry, or screenplays, better take
it up as a hobby. Average fiction writers make a miserable $1,500 a year – if

Learn more about copywriting 15

they can get published. Only one in a million writers ever hits the jackpot and
makes enough to live well.
Technical and business writers are pretty
well paid by comparison ($45,000 to There’s no limit on what
$55,000), but the work is painfully te- you can earn once you get
dious. Let me ask you: Do you want to established… and YOU
spend the rest of your life in a tiny cu- control how, where and
bicle somewhere translating long, de-
tailed notes and specs into “user-friendly”
when you work.
Ad agencies seem glamorous – as long as you’re the one person in 10,000 that
“makes it.” Even then, the brightest stars burn only so long in this very com-
petitive, cut-throat business. And if your agency loses a major client, your job
usually goes with it.
But direct marketing is a whole different ball game.
There’s really no limit on what you can earn once you get established … and
YOU control how, where and when you work.
But here’s what’s most ironic …

Less Talent – More Money

This is the only business I know of where the less talent you need to be a suc-
cess – the more you get paid!
Here’s what I mean …
Fiction writing is a painfully meticulous art form. At least it is for me. You
have to know different literary techniques and understand how to work them
into multi-layered stories. You have to be able to write convincing dialogue,
create characters, be aware of simile, irony, and a whole barrel full of techni-
cal terms I can barely recall from high school, let alone college.
In other words, writing good literature takes study, time, and a tremendous
amount of talent.

16 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

Even to write for newspapers and magazines, you have to know quite a bit
about a lot of things and you need to be able to write in a very distinct style.
In fact, just to get a job on a major daily these days, you have to have the right
degree, lots of working experience, and the willingness to work like a dog at
all hours for a few hundred dollars a week.
Writing direct response copy, on the other
hand, takes considerably less talent. All you
Success Clue need is an understanding of a few simple
secrets, the ability to write in the same con-
“As I listen to myself ex- versational style most people speak in, and
plain what copy-writing the drive to practice these skills. As you put
is, how my hours work, these together, you stand a good chance of
and how good the pay is; succeeding.
I realize I really am living
the writer’s life.” Once you’re good – and you can consistently
convince people to buy what you’re selling
– AWAI Wall of Famer (something you do everyday of your life …
Joanne Sullivan, AWAI every time you try to “sell” an idea you have
Member since 2004 to your wife, friend, or co-worker) – you’ll
make more in one year than most “real” writers will make in a lifetime.
No fancy degree needed. No “slugging it out” in the trenches. No years of
paying your dues. No hoping some publisher will discover you as the next
great writer of this generation.
Your success is based entirely on how many people respond to your copy.
Even if you write a “literary monstrosity”… if you make enough people open
their checkbooks or pull out their credit cards – you’re a success.

What’s More, Good Writers Are Forever In Demand

People will always be calling you and begging you to write a letter that sells
what they’re selling. That’s because you’re money in the bank for them. In the
movie industry, it’s called “bankable.” You’ll be the “Will Smith” of the direct
marketing industry – a star they can count on to bring in the money. And you
know how much he can command per film…

Learn more about copywriting 17

As a successful copywriter, you will be able to
name your price. How much? Michael himself
Key to Success will tell you about that in the next section.

How big is the demand But let me tell you this: One letter I wrote made
for copywriters? me over $60,000. That’s twice the amount of
money I’d ever made in one year working for
On a single day recently,
someone else. And you know what? I wrote that
on one web site alone,
letter in a mere three days – in my first year of
Poe, there were
copywriting. And these may be the truest words
816 copywriting projects
ever spoken: If I can do it, so can you.
available for good writers.
To sum up, if you can write a letter that sells,
you’ll never be out of work.

Enjoy Complete Financial And Personal Freedom

But, here’s what I consider to be the best reason for becoming a copywriter:
freedom. As a professional direct marketing copywriter, not only can you
make a great deal of money – you can do it from anywhere in the world,
whenever the mood strikes you.
If you’re a night owl, you do your writing at night, leaving your days free for
your favorite leisure activities. Or, if you’re like me and you like to get an
early start on the day, you write from 6 a.m. to early afternoon. The rest of the
day’s your own. Go golfing, play tennis, play with the kids, shop – it’s entirely
up to you. No boss is watching you. There’s no time clock to punch.
You are in complete control of every minute
of every hour of the day. There’s no one to tell As a professional direct
you what you can and can’t do. marketing copywriter,
If leisure time is not as important to you, you not only can you make
can work “regular” hours and make double a great deal of money
the money someone like me makes. That’s – you can do it from
what my friend (and fellow American Writers
& Artists Inc. board member) Don Mahoney
anywhere in the world,
does. He takes on enough work to keep him whenever the mood
busy all day long. And for his effort, Don’s on strikes you.
target to make well over $400,000 this year.

18 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

A few good hits, and he’ll make considerably more. (By good “hits” I mean
letters that sell big. Keep in mind, not every letter you write will be a winner.
If half do well, you’ll be in the big leagues. But I’m getting ahead of myself
here. There’ll be a lot more on how much you can expect to make and how to
increase your chances of success in the sections ahead.)

A Word from AWAI’s Executive Director…

“AWAI is built on a big promise … that we can teach you a
new skill that can lead to increased income … independence
from the 9-to-5 grind … and the freedom to live and work
where you choose.
All of us at AWAI stand behind that promise. In fact, that’s
how we measure our success – by how many people we
help reinvent their lives.
I look forward to counting you among the many successes we’re so proud of …”

Why Do Copywriters Make

So Much Money?
by Mark Morgan Ford

T o answer this question, I’m going to speak to you not as a

copywriter, but as a direct marketer. In other words, I’m going
to tell you why my clients – your prospective employers – are glad
to pay copywriters the big bucks after completing this program.
First, some background. Sales letters written by copywriters I’ve
trained have generated sales of well over a billion dollars. Conserva-
tively speaking, these writers have been paid in excess of $30 million.
Now I ask you, would I let my clients spend that kind of money if they didn’t
have to? You’re damn straight I wouldn’t.

Learn more about copywriting 19

Those checks were paid because I believed that for every dollar spent, my
clients made 20 back.
And more often than not, that’s exactly what happened.
To understand why direct response copywriters make so much money – why
they make more moolah than other writers (except the most successful novel-
ist or screen writers) – you have to understand a little about how the direct
marketing business works. Let me give you a revealing illustration.


You think of something to sell. Maybe it’s the story of how you lost 30 pounds
eating peanuts. You write a book and have it printed (cost $8,400). Then you
write a letter (“Dear Dieter, If you like peanuts, I’ve got good news for you …”)
and send it to 30,000 people who, in the past, have bought diet books
through the mail. The mailing – includ-
ing printing, postage, and lettershop
Direct marketing is a
services – costs $18,600. You are now
sub-discipline and type
of marketing. There out of pocket $27,000.
are two main definitional
characteristics which distinguish
Your letter tells the prospect: Guess
it from other types of marketing. what! I’ve found a great new way to
The first is that it attempts to send lose weight, and it doesn’t require you
its messages directly to consum- to diet. All you’ve got to do is stuff
ers, without the use of intervening your craw with peanuts. I did it and it
media. This involves commercial
communication (direct mail, e-mail,
worked. So did my sister Sarah. And,
telemarketing) with consumers or my cousin Billy. Even my physician, Dr.
businesses, usually unsolicited. Blahblah, likes it. He says it’s the best
The second characteristic is that it is way to lose pounds since amputation!
focused on driving purchases that You end the letter with the news that
can be attributed to a specific “call-to- you’ve got a “limited” number of books
action.” This aspect of direct market- available for $19 each, and a promise to
ing involves an emphasis on track-
able, measurable positive (but not refund the prospect’s money if he or she
negative) responses from consumers isn’t happy.
(known simply as “response” in the
industry) regardless of medium. You send the letter to your list of
30,000 names … and wait.

20 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

Waiting Is the Hardest Part
Nothing happens for days … many days. You stare mournfully at your depleted
bank account balance and think about what it will be like to live on ketchup
sandwiches for the rest of your life. Then suddenly, two orders come in. “Great,”
you think, “$38 bucks. I’m only down $26,962.” You wait some more … and
then one day, you go out to your mailbox and there’s a single piece of mail.
“Damn,” you think, “I’m all washed up.” But you read the note. It’s from your
Please come down to the central office to
claim your mail. There’s too much to fit in
your box.
… next month you can
send out the same letter.
Hooray! You hit it big! In the end, you’ve But this time you won’t
deposited $58,342 in your bank account.
After fulfillment of the books and all up-
send it to 30,000 names –
front expenses, you’ve made a profit of you’ll send it to 300,000!
more than $20,000.
But that’s not even the best part. The thought that’s keeping a smile on your
face is the realization that next month you can send out the same letter. But
this time you won’t send it to 30,000 names – you’ll send it to 300,000!
Your profit will grow from 20 Gs to 200 Gs! And you’ve just begun.
Now imagine that it’s an eBook (electronic book available via download from
the Internet) with no printing or shipping costs. Suddenly your profits sky-
rocket that much faster… especially if you’re selling it through a sales letter
email or web page.
Now don’t go running off to write a book on the peanut diet. In fact, don’t go
running off at all. There’s a lot more to the direct mar-
keting business than that.
Direct marketing is a tough, sophisti-
cated enterprise. It requires good
judgment, an instinct for what sells,
and a lot of hard work. Most direct
marketing efforts don’t do as well as
the example I just gave you.

Learn more about copywriting 21

But that doesn’t matter. I’m not trying to convince you to become a direct
marketer. I’m just showing you how the business works – when it works well.

A Single Sales Letter Can Launch Your Career

The peanut diet example illustrates the potential power of a single sales letter.
In this case, a simple, straightforward letter about a peanut diet made hundreds
of thousands of dollars.
If the letter hadn’t worked, it could not have been mailed again. But since it
did, it can be sent again and again to new lists of similar prospects, and we
know they’ll continue to respond to the same sales letter.
Mailing out a successful letter to increasingly larger groups is called “rolling out”
a winner. In the direct marketing business, a successful letter can frequently be
rolled out to millions of prospects, generating millions of dollars in sales.
That’s the great thing about the direct
marketing industry. You can cut your
Roll out – To follow-up a losses short (by NOT rolling out letters
successful test mailing that don’t work) and let your winners
of a package or mailing
run (by rolling out). Very few business-
list with a larger quantity of
that same package or list. es allow you to leverage your success
this way.

The Point
What does this mean to you, the potential copywriter?
Simply this. If you write one of these letters, you can make a lot of money.
And if you get a piece of the action (a royalty on rollouts, which some com-
panies pay), you can make even more. And people will be happy to pay you
because your letter will be making them rich.
I know it’s true from personal experience. The first sales letter I ever wrote
was a big success. So big, it shocked the guy I wrote it for. So successful, it’s
still mailing today – more than 25 years later. That one letter, with minor revi-
sions, has been mailed to more than 100 million people and has generated tens
of millions of dollars in profit.

22 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

It didn’t make me rich (the guy I wrote it for sure got rich, though), but I did
okay. Most importantly for me, it jump-started my copywriting career. Before
long, a whole lot of people wanted me to write for them – for a lot of money.
Now let me stop here and make a point. I don’t have a natural talent for writing.
I’ve always liked to write, but I was never good at it. In high school, I barely got
by. Later, I did better, but I’ve never felt comfortable stringing words together.
I’ve always felt like a sculptor working without thumbs.
So how did I become such a successful copywriter?

I Really Wanted To Succeed

Honestly, I think it was half because of my desire – I really wanted to succeed
– and half because of the secrets I learned along the way.
By investing in this program, you’ve proven your desire. My job is to teach you
my secrets. And that’s what you’re going to learn. Secrets about how to write
powerful sales letters. Simple secrets that have worked for me, Paul, Don and
other members of our Advisory Board, over and over again. Secrets you can
learn and use to launch your own six-figure freelance copywriting career.

Success Clue
“I became a copywriter because I needed a copywriter. Some 30
years ago – my first book was published. It was called Zen and the
Art of Writing. It was published by a small publisher, who like most
publishers, knew nothing about marketing. I quickly learned that if
anybody is going to sell this book it’s going to have to be me or some-
body I hire.”
– Joe Vitale, featured in AWAI’S Copywriting Genius: The Master
Joe Vitale invented hypnotic writing, using his hypnotist training to put the reader of
his sales letters into a buying trance. His web-based sales letter for Hypnotic Market-
ing, Inc. earned him $25,000 in 24 hours!

Learn more about copywriting 23

Let’s Get Back to the Main Question
Well, I’ve told you how the direct marketing business works and I’ve revealed
something about myself, but I haven’t answered the question I started out with:
Why do copywriters make so much money?
The answer lies in our little peanut story.
Let’s say that, instead of being the guy who writes the letter, you are a direct
marketing publisher – and you’ve decided to sell a book about losing weight
by eating peanuts. You hire two copywriters, Mutt and Jeff. Each writes a dif-
ferent letter. You mail both of them, at a cost of $10,000 each.
Mutt’s letter results in $5,000 in sales. Jeff’s brings home the bacon – to the
tune of $25,000.
What do you do?
Well you thank Mutt and toss his sales letter
in the waste basket. Then you congratulate
Jeff and mail his letter again. You mail it
to 250,000 names this time and it brings in
$100,000 in profits! Then you mail it again Key to Success
– to a million names – and bring in another
$300,000. Copywriter Salary Survey
Now you want to start the marshmallow Proves It
diet. Mutt gives you a call. Can he write Chris Marlow, an expert on
for you again? “Sorry,” you say, “Not inter- the business of copywriting,
ested.” But Jeff has made you over $400,000 publishes the results of her
from his letter, so naturally you ask him. He national copywriting sal-
tells you, “Thanks but my price has gone up, ary survey every couple of
I want $10,000 to write another sales let- years. This survey confirms
ter.” What do you do? Tell him to shove off? that copywriters can indeed
Argue with him? Of course not. You pat him earn a 6-figure income.
on the back and pay him what he’s asking,
because you really, really want him to write
this next letter for you.

24 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

Direct Mail Marketers Are Happy
To Pay Top Dollar for Winning Copy
Money. That’s the basic motivation on both sides. Copywriters are not paid
well because they are smart or talented or cooperative or because they type
clearly or bring their copy in on time. They are paid well because their copy
makes money.
Later on, after we’ve taught you the secrets of writing great direct response
sales letters, we’ll show you how to get top dollar for your writing.
Here’s the main point. Once you know the secrets of writing powerfully, you
can charge an awful lot for your time and direct marketers will be more than
happy to pay you.
I’ve personally shown dozens of ordinary
people how to become copywriters. Al- Copywriters are not paid
most all of them have succeeded. well because they are
That’s why you’re in this program today. smart or talented or co-
You’re taking your first steps toward that operative or because they
goal. type clearly or bring their
It can happen. And faster than you think. copy in on time. They are
And if anyone can help you, we can. paid well because their
Stick with us and you’ll see. copy makes money.

Learn more about copywriting 25

So far, we’ve told you a little about how exciting, rewarding, and creative a
copywriter’s life can be. Now, here’s Kieran Doherty to help you figure out if
you’ve got what it takes to be a part of our world.

What Do You Need To Be

A Copywriter?
by Kieran Doherty

W e’ve told you how you can earn a great living as a copy-
writer. And we’ve told you that we do this while working at
home or anywhere – without having to worry about bosses, time
clocks, commuting hassles, and all the other things that go with
working for someone else. Sounds great, doesn’t it? (Well it is.)
Now, you may wonder: Do I have what it takes to be a good copy-
writer? What strengths and abilities do I need to be successful?
A group of us at American Writers & Artists Inc. were sitting around one day
discussing this very topic. We came up with a brief list of what we know – from
experience – is needed by anyone who wants to make it in this business.

Kieran Doherty was a professional writer for nearly 40

years. He maintained a successful copywriting career, while
authoring hundreds of articles for magazines and newspa-
pers. Kieran also has 15 children’s titles to his credit, includ-
ing William Bradford: Rock of Plymouth and William Penn:
Quaker Colonist. His last publication, his first adult book for
St. Martin’s Press – Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and
the Salvation of Jamestown – was released in 2008. Kieran
Doherty died in early 2010.

26 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

1. First and most importantly, you have to have
the desire to succeed.
Almost everyone has it. One sticking point people face in copywriting is that
in order to succeed they have to sell.
Now, I have to be honest here. When I hear the word
“sell,” I have horrible flashbacks to when I was in
college and thought I could make tuition by going
door to door “pitching” encyclopedias. I tried – and
failed miserably. I decided then that I never wanted
to “sell” again. And, for much of my working life, I
didn’t. Instead, I became a “serious” writer. In fact,
I’ve written about a dozen non-fiction books and
thousands of articles. I thought of myself as an edu-
cator or maybe an entertainer, but never a salesman.
Then the copywriting bug bit me.
Before I could make any serious money as a copywriter, I had to stop thinking
of myself as a writer and start thinking of myself as a salesman. And that was
tough for me to do until I started to look at it this way:
• I like to convince people that my point of view is right. (Don’t you?)
• I like to get my own way. (Doesn’t everyone?)
• More often than not, I do get my own way. (How about you?)
You know what? That makes me a salesman.
If you’re like me … if you like to get your If you’re like me … if
way and use words to persuade others that you like to get your way
your point of view is right … you already and use words to per-
possess what is probably the main skill nec- suade others that your
essary for success as a copywriter. point of view is right
We are salesmen who use our abilities as … you already possess
writers to sell products, services or ideas. what is probably the
We use the written word to convince our
main skill necessary for
readers to take action.
success as a copywriter.

Learn more about copywriting 27

Have you ever done any of the following?
Success Clue
• Persuaded your spouse to go to the
movie you wanted to see? “Even a love letter is sales
• Convinced a friend to go shopping copy – you’re trying to sell
with you when he or she really didn’t yourself to another person.”
want to? – AWAI Wall of Famer Suzy
• Cajoled an acquaintance into trying Sharpe, AWAI Member since
your favorite pasta dish, buying your 2002
favorite brand of shampoo, or going
to your dentist?
• Gotten anyone to do you a favor?
If you have, you’re enough of a salesperson to learn how to sell with copy –
and enough of a salesperson to make a great living doing it.

2. You have to have some “speaking” ability – but

you definitely DON’T have to be a good writer.
Being a successful copywriter has nothing to do with “good” writing. And
most good writers – men and women who publish novels, nonfiction articles,
books, and poetry – don’t know the first thing about writing a successful sales
letter. The direct marketing business is crowded with copywriters who don’t
know the difference between a compound sentence and a compound fracture –
but they earn top dollar (six figures, year after year) writing sales letters.
In fact, most of the very successful copywriters I know don’t consider them-
selves to be great writers. Many of us don’t even think of what we do as writ-
ing, per se. We certainly don’t write to entertain or to make our readers gasp
with wonder at our creativity. We don’t want them to laugh or cry. We want
to create a desire. We want them to act. We write to sell. That’s why we write
“conversationally.” In other words, we write as we talk.
If you can write as you talk – simply, directly – you can write well enough
to be a copywriter. To be a great copywriter – to make the big bucks - you’ll
need to know certain secrets. And explaining those secrets is our job.

28 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

3. You need to be willing to read.
To talk to somebody into something, you need to seem like you know what
you’re talking about. That can’t be done without some basic reading – nothing

Success Clue
“Being a writer is one of the most wonderful jobs in the world, be-
cause you’re never bored. If you’re a writer, you’re also a reader. And
if you’re near a book, you’re not bored. If there is no book but you
have a pencil and paper, you’re not bored because you can write.”
– John Carlton, featured in AWAI’S Copywriting Genius: The Master
Rodale hired John to write a promotion for “Sex: A Man’s Guide” because their writ-
ers couldn’t write “edgy” enough pieces to sell a lot of books. John did the trick. His
letter knocked off their top writer and continued mailing for 5 years to 30 million
names (not counting Rodale’s house list).

Before you ever write a word about whatever it is you’re trying to sell –
whether it’s a peanut diet or an imported watch – you have to know something
about your product. You want to know what’s good about it, how it helps
your prospect. You want to know why this car runs faster, why this plane flies
higher, or why this newsletter is better than any other on the market. And you
want to share this information with emotion – from your heart – just as if you
were talking directly to that person.
So you need to do research to know how your product is made, how it works,
how it helps your prospect, what makes it superior or unique. And to do all
that, you’ll need to do some reading.
But that’s not all. Especially when you’re a beginning copywriter – and to a
lesser degree later – you need to read the work of other successful copywrit-
ers. The AWAI “Hall of Fame: Great Selling Ideas from 50 Super-Successful
Direct Mail Letters and Direct Response Ads” is an excellent place to start.

Learn more about copywriting 29

Reading great sales letters gives you good ideas
you can use for your own work. You’ll also In direct market-
pick up phrases you can borrow. Most impor- ing, there are proven
tantly, you’ll learn the rhythms and structures formulas that have
of selling that can’t be explained or even under- worked over and over
stood any other way. That’s why your first two
exercises are to read and copy classic direct again. That’s just one
response sales letters – and why you’ll be see- of the things you’ll
ing many more of these treasures before you’re learn in this program.
Creativity – at least in the world of copywriting – is NOT making something
out of nothing. It IS the art of taking two or three or four things that have been
done successfully in the past and juxtaposing them in a new and powerful
way. In fact, one of the most successful marketing pieces I ever wrote was a
one-page letter that used elements from two other successful mail pieces I’d
studied. One of those elements was visual: the other was a headline. Nobody
else had ever melded those two elements together in quite the way I did. And
when that letter mailed, it had a response rate of about 8 percent! I was hailed
(for a few days, at least) as a creative genius. All I’d done was “steal” some-
body else’s ideas and make them mine.

Quick Tip:
Average Response Rates in Direct-Marketing
The Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA’s) 2009 Response Rate
Trends Report includes a study of more than 1,175 campaigns that revealed
the following direct mail figures and response rate information:
• 35% of marketing budgets are allocated to direct mail
• The forecast for the coming years is for digital media to take an increas-
ing share of marketing spending.
• Response rates were higher than in previous years, perhaps as a result of
better list management and more sophisticated targeting.
• The Catalog and Retail segment outperform other industries in direct
mail response rates.

30 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

In other words, there’s huge opportunity for
writing sales letters and you don’t have to What we (and other
reinvent the wheel each and every time you successful copywriters)
sit down to write a letter, a direct response
display ad or Web page. But you do have to
do is not arcane or mys-
know what has worked in the past – and why. tical. It’s a skill that can
In direct marketing, there are proven formulas be learned by virtually
that have worked over and over again. That’s anyone who’s willing
just one of the things you’ll learn in this pro- to work and practice –
like playing the piano,
Obviously, you’re not going to plagiarize only easier.
another writer’s work word for word. That’s
a crime and it will get you in trouble. But you will borrow ideas and phrases
… and, “readapt” them. When you get good at what you do, other writers will
reinvent your ideas. In fact, that’s one of the ways you’ll know you’ve arrived.

4. You need to know your value.

No matter how good the product is … no matter how good the company is …
without the sales letter, money can’t be made. The sales letter you write starts
the business going. It generates the cash flow. That makes you the most impor-
tant person in the direct marketing world … and that’s why you can and will
make a six figure income – even working freelance from home.

5. Finally, you need the drive and dedication to

learn your craft – and the understanding that
there’s nothing magical about writing powerful,
money making copy.
What we (and other successful copywriters) do is not arcane or mystical. It’s a
skill that can be learned by virtually anyone who’s willing to work and practice
– like playing the piano, only easier.
We’ll show you exactly how to do it, step by step. Ready to work some more?
Here you go …

Learn more about copywriting 31

We just talked about what you need to be a successful copywriter. Here’s what
you don’t need …

5 Things You Don’t Need

To Be A Copywriter
by Kieran Doherty

B y now, you should be pretty confident that you can become a top copy-
writer, and that you can do this simply by combining your own natural
abilities and your desire to succeed with the skills we’re going to teach you
in this program.
Now, let’s look at the things you don’t need.

1. You don’t need a lot of money.

Unlike other businesses that require deep pockets, you can start your own
copywriting service with little more than a basic computer. Your main invest-
ment is your time and effort. You don’t even need a lot of money to market
yourself once you learn the copywriter’s craft.
Good copywriters – those who can
consistently make money for their cli- Unlike other businesses that
ents and themselves – are in such de- require deep pockets, you can
mand that you’ll be able to write your start your own copywriting
own ticket. Once you’re known at all, service with little more than
you won’t need to worry about finding
work. They’ll be looking for you.
a basic computer.

32 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

2. While you do need training – specifically the kind
of training you’ll get with this program – you
don’t need a college degree or a license or any
kind of certification.
Clients, the people who will pay you big bucks to write winning copy for
them, couldn’t care less about certificates or training. You write strong copy,
they love you. It’s as simple as that.

Key to Success
Choose from a wide range of clients
There are hundreds of different types of clients that need good copywrit-
ers. You’ll find them in different industries from financial, health and
fundraising to self-help and B2B (Business-to-Business). Our own AWAI
jobs directory, Direct Response, lists projects from dozens of
different kinds of clients.

3. You don’t need to be a master of the

English language.
You don’t need the vocabulary of an English professor and you don’t need to
be able to rattle off the rules of grammar. In fact, one guy I know, Steve K.
(also a friend and protégé of Michael Masterson), never got beyond the 6th
grade. Yet he has been writing successful direct mail copy for 25 years – and
he’s never made less than $100,000 annually during this time.

4. You don’t need extensive computer skills – or an

expensive computer.
While you can write your copy in longhand or print it in pencil, you’ll ulti-
mately need to draft it on a computer because that’s what your clients expect.

Learn more about copywriting 33

But it doesn’t have to be a high-end computer. All you need is a good standard
model with Word processing, Internet access and email capabilities.
Think of a computer as a down payment on your copywriting success… as well
as your best friend. Today, you can buy a new desktop or laptop computer for
well under $1,000…and you’ll easily make that back once you start writing for
clients. A simple word processing program (the most commonly used is Micro-
soft® Word®) will help you write and format copy very easily and will likely be
pre-loaded onto your computer. Then you can email it anywhere for review and
feedback from your clients. Plus, you can conduct extensive research online.
Read on for details about the advantages of online research.

5. You don’t need to be a creative genius.

You don’t have to come up with one original idea after another to sell unique
products or services. The ideas come from your clients. They’re the ones who
develop the concepts for selling their own products. As a copywriter, your
job is to write mail pieces, display ads or online sales letters that work within
those concepts. And you’ll learn exactly how to do that in this program.
You just need to know a few basic techniques for writing hard-hitting, focused
copy. And a couple of tricks for structuring your argument. You’ll learn those

Success Clue
“I look at copywriting as a formula. You need to find that formula.
You’ve got to be unique and you’ve got to get to that close and you’ve
got to ask them for the business at the end. There is the formula. If you
keep to that, and you keep practicing that formula, it’ll become easy.”
– Al Serin, featured in AWAI’s Copywriting Genius: The Master
In “Don’t Let Age Steal Your Life Away ...”, Al was very frank with readers. He let
them know the product was going to cost more but it was going to work. “Spend a
few extra dollars. See the difference.” This approach worked, generating responses
over 3%.

34 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

simple secrets in this program, from professionals who use them day after day
to write one control after another.
Michael Masterson has a history of taking untrained novices (just like you)
and turning them into copywriting pros. One of his protégés – who’d never
put a money-making word on paper before meeting Michael – earned $50,000
in his second year as a marketing copywriter – working less than 20 hours a
week. Another Michael Masterson protégé earned more than $150,000 last
year, just three years after writing his first sales letter.

Monica Day transformed her career as a result of AWAI.

“(I went from a) little of everything: Sales, Trainer,
Organizational Development and Fundraiser to an
18-month contract to write a bi-weekly health e-letter
for an Agora franchise – through an ad in The Golden
Thread. I made $2,000 a month – which really launched
my career because it helped with cash flow issues while I
looked for other clients, learned more about copywriting,
etc. It goes to show you that editorial writing can pay the bills and be a
good way “in” while you’re working on getting promotional clients.”

Joshua Boswell knew he was living the copywriters’ life

the day he submitted his first proposal for over $30,000
and the company came back and simply said, “This looks
fine.” He said, “The assignment only took me 6 weeks to
complete, and I worked on it while concurrently work-
ing on two other projects – one worth over $20,000 and
another worth over $8,000. That’s when I knew this was
going to be good!”

The bottom line is that virtually anybody can join us and become a successful
copywriter – once they learn the ropes. You can, too.

Learn more about copywriting 35

Now, let’s talk about everyone’s favorite subject – how much money you can
expect to make as a copywriter. We’re going to let Don Mahoney tell you
about that, because he’s living proof of how quickly you can possibly get well
into six figures. Here’s Don …

How Much Can I Make?

by Don Mahoney

O kay. You’ve heard lots of good stuff so far. You’ve heard Paul
talk about all the reasons copywriting is such a great profes-
sion. You’ve heard Michael explain how the direct mail industry
works and you’ve heard Kieran tell you what you do and don’t
need to be a successful copywriter. This is all great stuff, but …
Enough already!
At this point, you want to know only two things:
How do I do it?
And …

How Much Can I Make?

We’ve said this before, but I’m going to say it again right now.
You can easily – easily – make many times what
the average writer makes. Not only that, you can You can easily – easily
earn more money than most people make after – make many times
40 years on a job. Even more money than the what the average
average doctor or lawyer – with a lot less stress. writer makes.
But let’s talk about writers first.

36 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

As we’ve said, the average writer starts at about $25,000-$30,000 a year accord-
ing to (Many well under even that shockingly low figure.)
You can make 10 times that.
In 2007, the average household income in the United States was around $50,000,
according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A good direct marketing copywriter can
make between $50,000 and $100,000 a year. A very good direct marketing copy-
writer has the potential to make between $200,000 and $500,000. And the best
– well, I’ll tell you what they make in just a minute.
Basically, I can sum up your opportunity in just a few words …
With direct response copywriting, you can write your own ticket.
But, before I explain exactly how the business works, let me show you a little
bit about how most writers get by …

The Life And Times Of An Average

Freelance Writer
Let’s look at a recent sample ad for freelance writers:

Freelance Lifestyle
Articles on moonlighting and night jobs or second
careers, 500 to 1,000 words in length. Offer to
pay: $50 to $150

Fillers (anecdotes, facts, gags to be illustrated

by cartoons, news briefs or short humor), 35 to 250
words in length. Offer to pay: $25 to $100.

Well, as a direct mail copywriter, I know I can easily get $2,500 for a 5,000
word letter. So how does that compare to the top pay offered in the above ad?
Let’s see … $150 for a 1,000 word article. Multiply that $150 times five (to
make it the equivalent of my 5,000 word letter) and we’re at $750. Right off
the bat, I’m getting over three times what that magazine is willing to pay a

Learn more about copywriting 37

freelancer. Plus, in order to make that lousy
$750, the freelancer has to submit, negotiate,
edit (and probably re-edit) five pieces. In other Key to Success
words, he’s looking at much more than five
times the work – for less than three times the The Simple Secret to
pay. Getting Royalties
By Krista Jones, Master
But here’s the kicker … it’s possible to 1% Copywriter
to 2% in royalties on gross sales, which often
average $100,000 on the first mailing. That Simply say to a potential
translates into an extra $1,000 bonus for me. client, “What’s your bud-
And many of my letters have grossed over get for this project? Can
$300,000, bringing my total income on a single we negotiate a royalty if
piece to over $5,000 – almost seven times the you re-send it after the
top pay in the above ad. initial test?

And I can easily write a 5,000 word letter in four or five days. In fact, one
friend of mine wrote a piece like that in about 16 hours. (He had a mailing
deadline, and he simply had to get it done.)
See what I mean?
Let’s look at another recent posting:

Articles Pay! Get Paid to Post Articles

“You can get paid for submiting articles that are aproved,
each article that is aproved will pay you $0.05 and the
more popular this site becomes the amount per article will
rise. To be aproved for payment you must place a link to
this site on your web site homepage.”

Just 5 cents for an article? Really? In this scenario, not only do you need to
write the article for practically nothing, you also need to link to their site,
which is filled with spelling errors, as above.
And here’s another one ….

38 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

Writers wanted!
Stories wanted for a magazine on science fiction
and fantasy, approximately 2,500 words.
Pay: $25.00 on acceptance.

Wow. I can’t even buy an ink cartridge for my laser printer with that. I mean,
really – if you worked like a maniac and managed to dash off a story in a day,
you’d be lucky to make $25 to $125 a week … $6,250 a year. And that’s not
counting time wasted by rejections, negotiations, rewrites, and all that jazz.
Or the taxes you’d pay on that measly $25.
Unfortunately, that is about what the average writer earns.
Here are just a few more “exciting” ads for writers …

A ski and snowboarding journal offers $50 to $100 for

800 to 1,200 word articles.
Large, multi-channel publisher seeks articles on
health, business, travel, high-end home decorating and
design, sports, and pop culture. Stories must be “time-
less, written for a national audience, and upbeat.”

That should be easy, eh? Pay? 15 cents per word – final editorial count!

A petroleum industry publication in business for 40

years is looking for two freelance writers to do
articles with “serious pizzazz.”
Long-term relationships: 7 to 8 assignments a year.

Of course, they only pay $4 to $6 per column inch, or $250 to $350 for the
average article … get out your calculator … we’re back at the $750 mark for
5,000 words.

Learn more about copywriting 39

Let’s see … at $350 (top pay), times eight assignments per year (top range) …
that totals $2,800 a year. Humph! If I don’t make that much in a week, I figure
something’s wrong.
Don’t forget – in every one of these cases, you’re writing on spec. You don’t
have a clue whether or not your article will be accepted – and rejection rates
are very high.
On the other hand, every piece I write is SOLD. I’ve never had a project killed
(though even if one is killed, you would be paid for it – usually at a rate of
50% of the fee). Every one I’ve ever done has gone to mail or appeared online.
Let’s see you factor that difference into the price structures I quoted above.

So Let’s Compare Notes

Here’s the way your typical freelance article writing assignment might go …

A Typical Freelance Writing Assignment

1. You outline your idea.
2. You submit it.
3. It gets rejected.
4. You submit it again, somewhere else.
5. It gets rejected again.
6. You submit it, yet again.
7. You get an offer!
8. You negotiate.
9. You strike a deal.
10. You write the piece.
11. It comes back with comments.
12. You rewrite it and submit it again.
13. It comes back with more comments.
14. You do your final rewrite.
15. It’s accepted!
16. You finally get paid (maybe $750 if you’re lucky).

Time elapsed? A bare minimum of one week to two weeks – probably longer.
Now let’s look at how a direct mail copywriter’s average project goes …

40 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

Typical Direct Response Copywriting Project
1. You get a phone call from a client with an offer, quote
your rate, and make a deal on the spot.
2. You receive an advance to start the job (usually half
your total fee).
3. You write the copy.
4. You submit the copy.
5. It comes back with comments.
6. You rewrite it and submit it again.
7. You receive the balance of your fee!
8. Time elapsed? No more than one week, total.
9. Bonus! Royalty checks from time to time.

Here, I’m comparing direct mail freelance copywriting with ordinary freelance
article writing.
But, of course, you do have other options as a writer.
Bonus! You could take a financial step up and enter the world
Royalty checks of advertising. The pay is better but the quality of life
from time to time. is much worse, and …

Most People Start At The Bottom

Let’s say you’ve decided to be a writer. It’s creative and you don’t have to dig
ditches, unclog toilets, or ladle out soup …
Eventually, you hope to be able to work from home. Then, even if you don’t
make a lot of money, at least you’ll be able to be your own boss, take vacations
when you want, and take naps.
So you set out to make a career in writing. You scout around and you’re lucky
enough to get hired as a junior copywriter at an ad agency. You start out writing
copy for brochures, magazine ads, and “non-direct-response” mail promotions
(ads that are mailed out but not directly responded to by the people who receive
them – for example, flyers for furniture, cars, or appliances that are purchased
from a store or dealer).

Learn more about copywriting 41

Your starting pay? Around $25,000 to $30,000 a year. And you learn very quickly
that you are in a cutthroat business. To advance at all, you have to battle your way
up the company ladder, stomping over bodies every step of the way. And what is
that like?
Here’s a quote from a 34-year-old copywriter at a New England agency, quoted
in ADWEEK Magazine:
“I’ve worked at three agencies – it’s always been stress city. I’ve
seen women cry, guys melt down. I’ll give it another chance
with another agency, but after that I think I’ll find a new line of
Sound like fun? Well, that’s …

Life in the Ad Lane!

Let’s face it – it’s a bummer. There’s no real challenge and you write crap. Every-
body beats up on you, because writing is the easiest thing to criticize (even easier
than movies or music), and everybody tries to get into the act. Even the mail
clerk will be telling you how you should have tackled the subject.
Then people climb all over each other for awards that don’t mean anything.
Oh sure, you might work on an ad that looks good (in which case everybody
involved pats himself on the back and takes credit for this “winner”). But did
the ad sell even one item? Who knows?
That means you have no direct way to prove
your value. And that makes your position sub- Success Clue
ject to the whims of the idiot over you.
“I realized I could earn
Maybe you get lucky. You fight your way up a healthy living writing
the ladder. But you still wind up working far DM instead of pennies
too hard, eating tons of crow – and not making per line of a fictional
nearly enough money to make it worthwhile. writer and poet. Wow,
I know, I know – you’ve heard enough about did I find a treasure.”
what other people make or don’t make. You – AWAI Wall of Famer
want the nitty gritty … the bottom line … you Patricia Ogilvie, AWAI
want to know … Member since 2003

42 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

How Much Can I Make?
Well, I told you that you’d be able to write your own ticket.
Now let me tell you exactly how that works …
First of all, like any freelance writer (meaning anyone who writes for a living
who isn’t employed full time by a company), as a direct response copywriter,
you will get paid a fee for each piece you write.
That could be as simple as a postcard with a reply form on it. It could be a
one-page letter asking somebody to renew a subscription or take advantage
of a tremendous sale. It could be a four-page promotion that’s mailed with
a regular issue of a magazine or newsletter (which is known as an “insert,”
because it’s inserted in the envelope with the primary material). It could be a
6-, 8-, 16-, or even 100-page piece. Or it could be an online sales letter, email
promotion or web page.

But How Much Can I Make?

Alright, alright! Sheesh! I’m getting there.
Here’s the bottom line. The most money – per project – is in a full sales pro-
motion. It might be anywhere from a 16-page letter to a 100-page booklet, or
even an extensive web sales page.
And here’s what you’ve been waiting for:
You can make anywhere from $2,500 to $250,000 per piece!
Some people charge only $2,500 to write a “pack-
age,” as it’s called. But a seasoned writer will charge I’ve had pieces
from $5,000 to $10,000. Big names charge anywhere mail six times
from $12,000 to $20,000 to write a package. over the course of
And many of them get royalties from the mailings, a year. The same
once they’ve established their ability to write sales can happen on
letters that work. The average royalty range is $.01 to the Internet.
$.05 for each name mailed, or 1% - 2% of gross from
online sales.

Learn more about copywriting 43

Since a big mailing may run 500,000 to a million pieces, you’re talking about
some serious money. At $.01 a name, that’s $5,000 for 500,000 pieces. At $.02
a name, that’s a $10,000 bonus. And a good piece may mail several times. I’ve
had pieces mail six times over the course of a year. The same can happen on
the Internet.
Occasionally, there’s a timeless classic that mails for years. For instance, Bill
Bonner, who’s on our board of advisors, wrote a promotional letter for Inter-
national Living (a newsletter) that’s been mailing for more than 20 years.

A well-known pro wrote a financial piece called Plague of the

Black Debt. It mailed about 10 million pieces in a year, and he
got a royalty of $.04 a piece. Get your calculator and do the
math. (If that doesn’t motivate you to finish this program, I
don’t know what will.)
In fact, everyone on the AWAI Advisory Board has written
single packages that brought them six figures.

44 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

Now do you see where all the big money
I’ve been talking about comes from? Where else can you make
It’s quite possible to become wealthy from more money than the
writing direct response copy. Henry Cowan most successful doctors
made $900,000 from a Publisher’s Clear- and lawyers, without even
ing House mailing in one year alone. And a high school diploma?
he reportedly commands a hefty $40,000
fee up front to write one.
Not too shabby, is it?
Where else can you make more money than the most successful doctors and
lawyers, without even a high school diploma?

Why Do Direct Marketing Writers

Command So Much Money?
The answer to that question is simple, really.
In direct marketing, the response can be precisely measured. You see, if some-
body writes a clever or catchy TV ad for a car or a beer, nobody knows how
many people actually buy the product because of that ad. All they can do is
Remember the “A” ad for Hpnotiq earlier in the
There is no way to identify the reader of that ad
with a purchase of Hpnotiq.
But when somebody buys something as a result of
a direct mail ad, like Ad “B” for Hpnotiq, the pur-
chase can be measured. In the case of Hpnotiq, the
customer follows the ad instructions for entering
a contest to win $100,000 or other exciting cash
prizes. The ad has a code on it, and the person need
to enter the code on a contest entry form or web

Learn more about copywriting 45

That code tells the Hpnotiq company exactly which
promotion the sale came from. The code is entered into
a computer along with the order, and that makes it pos-
sible for the company to calculate – to the penny – the
effectiveness of that direct marketing effort.
And that’s your ticket to opportunity.
This is the first thing I learned about direct marketing.
As soon as you’re good, not only can you prove it, but
everybody knows it. (Actually, the marketing people
know it before you do, because they see the sales report
You’ll know you have a winner when they call you on the phone. All of a
sudden, you’re king of the heap. It’s all smiles and sweetness and “Hi! How
are you?”
Sit back and relax. They’re about to ask you when you can do another project.
Now you’re in the driver’s seat. The better your piece did, the more they’re
going to be willing to pay you to do the next one. Get a “hot hand,” and you
can name your price. It’s worth it to them.
Best of all, you don’t have to sell yourself. The black and white print of the
marketing reports does it for you. You may not even need business cards. (I
don’t have them.)
Every day, I see people hustling for work,
handing out business cards every time they
Learn the secrets bump into someone on the street. Not nec-
of direct response essary.
copywriting and it’s Learn the secrets of direct response
like you hold the key copywriting and it’s like you hold the key to
to Solomon’s mine. Solomon’s mine. The people who write the
The people who write checks find you.
the checks find you. After a while in the business, you’ll see this
scenario more than once:
Someone will boast and brag about how good he is, and how he can double

46 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

response rates, and so on and so forth. You can be quiet as a church mouse …
never say a word …
When the numbers come in, there’s no doubt about who’s best. Whoever writes
the better piece brings home the bacon and gets more assignments. And in fact,
that’s how companies decide what to mail. They take their strongest promotion
(called a “control”) and test it against a new piece (cleverly called a “test”). The
winner takes all.
When these results come in, it doesn’t matter who likes you, or who thinks
what about your piece, who dresses better, or who has better skin and teeth –
the winner is the package that brings in the most cash. And it becomes the new

Key to Success
In October, 2008, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) released an
annual forecast of direct marketing’s economic impact on the US econo-
my, including advertising expenditures and sales.
“…in 2009, DM will capture 53 percent of total advertising expendi-
tures, continuing the long-term movement in advertising dollars to direct
marketing from general advertising. Direct marketers will likely see sales
growth of 4.5% next year.”

Time for Your Piece of the Pie

Now, in the beginning, you’re not going to get the big fees. I mean, get real!
You’re probably going to have to take some assignments on the lower end of
the scale and you may not even get royalties at first. Not until you prove your-
self, anyway. But you can easily make twice what the average freelance writer
makes, right off the bat.
Don’t worry. One “hit” and your name will be golden.

Learn more about copywriting 47

Then again, success may not take long, either. One of our American Writers &
Artists Inc. board members started at less than $30,000 a year, but his first piece
brought in a couple of million dollars. Within a few months, he was getting royal-
ties – and by the end of his second year, he was earning over $100,000 a year …
That’s the opportunity, in a nutshell.
Keep in mind that mail order sales are growing at twice the rate of retail and
almost half of the adults in this country buy products through the mail. Plus,
online retail sales grew by 22% last year on average, with 30% for online cata-
logs, according to
The popularity of direct response is growing in other countries too, and a lot
of those mailings and online promotions are done in English. Your potential
market is getting wider and wider.
So roll up your sleeves and sharpen your computer skills. You’re on the path
to an income and lifestyle that most people only dream of.

48 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 1

Part 2
The Secret Structure Of
Direct-Marketing Sales Letters
Discover The Difference Between
Run-Of-The-Mill Copy And Great Copy

The following is an excerpt from the AWAI program Accelerated Program for
Six-Figure Copywriting. It’s included in this report because it’s one of the
most effective ways to quickly and easily understand the “secret structure”
behind a persuasive letter. It’s written by AWAI Co-founder Don Mahoney:

T he funny thing about direct-marketing copy is that it looks so simple. I

remember when I first started out in the business. Someone handed me one
of the classic direct-mail promotions. I looked at it and thought, “If I can’t write
like this, there’s something wrong with me.” Shortly after that, I sat down to write
my first assignment …
Surprise! It wasn’t that easy. Not because the writing itself was hard … but
because great copywriting has an invisible structure that supports it. A secret
structure that holds it up and makes it work.
If you look at a piece of furniture built by a master craftsman, most of the
techniques he uses are fairly simple. You could learn them from any basic book
about woodworking. So, why is it that when the average Joe tries to build a table,
the result is so crude?
Because the master knows hundreds of little secrets about how to put things
together — how to make each little piece work just right as part of the whole.
That’s the invisible structure that holds together a chair … or a hundred-story
building … or a sales letter.
This hidden structure is what really makes the difference between a run-of-
the-mill sales letter and a masterful one. This structure is the way you lead your
prospect through the piece and build his interest in your product — get him so
excited about it that he’s willing to spend cold hard cash to get it.

Learn more about copywriting 49

Now, Let’s Build A Sales Letter
I’m going to show you how this hidden structure works in an effective sales letter.
Let’s say you’ve been asked to write a sales letter to sell the peanut diet book for
First, you have to know exactly who you are writing your sales letter to. Obviously,
it’s going to be mailed or emailed to people who want to lose weight. And, let’s
say your client has actually found a mailing list of people who not only want to
lose weight, but also happen to love peanuts. Does that mean you can simply
write a letter saying, “Hey Fatso! You want to lose weight? Here you go … ”?
Of course not.
And, this brings us to one of the first and biggest secrets of direct marketing. You
have to hook your prospect with an idea and bring him into your letter. You do
this by identifying a desire or fear he has, and hitting a “magic” button to activate
that feeling. Then, you lead him by the hand through a series of ideas and images.
Create a picture in his mind — and a desire in his soul.
Here’s another secret:
You don’t want to spend too much time telling him about the diet. What you
want is for him to actually “see himself” slim and trim, eating his beloved peanuts
by the bushel, and getting skinnier and skinnier. You’re going to make him want
this reality with every fiber of his being … more than anything else in the world
… long enough for him to take out his checkbook and order your book …
So, who is your prospect? Why, he’s a dieter. You say that right up front:
Dear Dieter …
That wasn’t hard, was it? But, this is where most writers get lost. I’ve seen the
brightest people, with degrees from the best colleges, stare at a blank computer
screen or a piece of paper for hours at this point.
What do you actually say?
It isn’t so easy, is it?
Well, in reality, it is easy — once you understand the secret structure of direct-
marketing copy. You see, each part of the letter is there to accomplish a specific
purpose, to provide another piece of the overall sales pitch. But, most writers
think the first thing they need to do is convince the prospect how wonderful the
peanut diet is. So, they say:

50 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

Let me tell you about a diet you’re really going to
love. It’s got fewer calories than the average diet
and more nutrients. Surveys have shown that 9 out of
10 dieters actually prefer this diet to any other diet
they’ve ever tried … (blah, blah, blah) …
This is one of those magical moments when, if you know what to do, the
job is simple. But, if you don’t know what to do, the task before you is an
insurmountable hurdle.
The ordinary copywriter writes and writes, piling long-winded explanation on top
of long-winded explanation. Every so often, he stops, and reads what he’s written.
But, he knows it sounds flat and uninteresting.
What is he doing wrong?
He’s telling people why the peanut diet is so great. There are almost no calories in a
peanut. The shells slow you down so you don’t eat as much. They’re chewy so you
feel satisfied. (Blah, blah, blah.)
He’s trying to argue the prospect into a decision with facts and figures. He’s
appealing to his prospect’s sense of reason.
Remember, people don’t like the idea of being sold … they buy things for
emotional, not rational, reasons … and once sold, people need to satisfy their
emotional decisions with logic. So, you already know what’s wrong with the
“ordinary” approach. It sells first to the head, not the heart.
A copywriter who starts his letter with reasons risks failure because he’s not
pushing the “magic” button. He’s not hitting his prospect’s primary fear or desire.
Here’s how you do it. Ready? Listen closely …
You tell your prospect what the peanut diet is going to do for him. Make him a
That’s what it’s all about. The promise of what the peanut diet is going to do for
him. Tell him, specifically, what the benefit of the peanut diet is — show him
exactly how he’s going to achieve those benefits. (To make my point here, I’m
going to use some very exaggerated examples.)
You begin:

Learn more about copywriting 51

Dear Dieter,
I’ve got some exciting news for you. You can eat all
the peanuts you want and you’re going to lose 50 pounds
in a month. In a little while, you’ll weigh less than
you have since you were 12 years old.
You won’t have to count calories and you won’t have to
deprive yourself of your favorite food. It’s easier
than paddling downstream. Your life is about to get
better beyond anything you’ve ever imagined.
But, wait — I have to tell you something honestly …
there is a downside. You’re going to have to buy all
new clothes to fit your skinny new body. But, I don’t
think you’ll mind one bit …

The Secret Of The Promise

You’ve just learned the first and most profound secret about structuring a direct-
marketing promotion:
Make your prospect a promise. Identify a fear or desire … what keeps him awake
at night or what he daydreams about while driving to work. Then, tell him what
you’re going to do for him — what benefit you have for him — that will eliminate
this fear or fulfill this desire. Now you have his attention.
So, you’ve told him his life is going to get better beyond his wildest dreams with
the peanut diet. What do you tell him now? How cheap it is? That’s what most
writers would do — say something like: Guess what? This peanut diet book is only
going to cost you $19.95, an incredible bargain.
Wrong again.
That writer is well on his way to writing a one-page letter that will simply not be
strong enough to make the sale. Mention the offer or the sales price too soon,
and the prospect won’t even continue reading it. It’s already headed for the trash.
(Please note: This rule, like all rules, is breakable. You may see examples of great
direct-marketing copy that mention the offer early on. Don’t be confused. These
are exceptions that work for other reasons. Reasons you’ll learn about later. For
now, just remember the rule as is.)
Now, let’s get back to your letter. You’ve made a promise to your prospect, but it’s
only a promise at this point. To cement the desire for this promise in his heart, you
want him to actually PICTURE this promise in his mind’s eye.

52 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

The Secret Of The Picture
Your letter continues …
You’re going to have more energy than you’ve ever had
in your life. You’re going to be slim, attractive, and
you’ll have the best sex you’ve ever had in your life.
And, the most sex you’ve ever had in your life. Just
picture yourself out on the town for a night — to
celebrate your new image. There’s a new spring in your
step and a lively gleam in your eye. People stop to
stare as you saunter by … admiring your powerful, lean
body … you exude the essence of animal magnetism …
In fact, you’re going to feel so good even your work
will prosper. Don’t be surprised to see your income
double or triple in the next few months! (Imagine
buying that Rolls Royce you always dreamed about.) Can
you see yourself driving down the road with the top
down, munching on your peanuts …
Do you see what I mean? First, you told your prospect what you were going to do
for him. Then you made him “see” himself reaping the benefits of your promise.
Now what?
Well, you have to give him PROOF. You have to prove to your prospect that what
you say is true. And, you have to prove it to his satisfaction.

The Secret Of Proof

But, how can you prove to your prospect that the peanut diet will deliver your
promise? Well, this is where you can finally use that mumbo-jumbo you were
going to start out with, telling him about the calories and nutrients, why peanuts
give you more energy, how they produce sex-related hormones, and how peanut
oil smoothes the skin, takes wrinkles out of your face, and makes you look 10 to
20 years younger.
Now, there’s a clever little twist in that last sentence. Notice that instead of just
telling your prospect how and why the peanut diet works, you remind him of
the promise you made — you remind him of the benefit. In other words, you keep
reminding your prospect at every opportunity, what you’re going to do for him.
Even when you’re proving that the peanut diet really works.

Learn more about copywriting 53

This might be a good place in your letter to throw in a few “bullets” to draw
attention to your proof. Let me show you what I mean.
Your letter continues …
Here are a few amazing facts that you may not know …
 peanut has only 0.10 calories. That’s right …
just one-tenth of a calorie! That means you can eat
12,000 peanuts a day and still be getting only 1,200
calories a day … few enough to let you lose eight
pounds a week!
eanuts contain micronutrients A, B, and C. A little-
known study from Harvard Medical School has recently
proven that these are the three most important
nutrients for human beings.
eanuts also contain glandular extracts that
stimulate testosterone production, which has been
proven to boost sexual performance in both men and
nd, according to the American Dermatologist
Association, peanut oil is the single best source of
moisture for the skin. In fact, when my Aunt Rosie
went on this diet, it made her crow’s feet disappear
and she looked 25 years younger.
But, how will your prospect know that you are a reliable source of information?
You see, you want your peanut lover to believe every word you say, so you have
to establish CREDIBILITY.
Let me show you a couple of ways to do that …

Two Secret Methods For Establishing Credibility

First of all, you use reliable and believable sources. Back to your letter:
Now, when I first saw how quickly I was losing weight, I
became concerned. Could this be good for me?
So, I asked my doctor, Dr. Goodbones, who’s been a
successful medical practitioner for over 50 years …
“Doc,” I said, “this peanut diet seems too good to be

54 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

true. Look at me. I’ve lost forty pounds since I was
last here, and I feel great!”
He smiled at me.
“Do you realize,” he said, “that the peanut diet
is really one of the oldest diets known? Why, they
discovered it in ancient Egypt, but they kept it secret
just for the nobility.
“In fact, no less than a hundred societies have used it
and it worked so well, they all kept it secret for the
elite ruling classes. It was only recently rediscovered
in an ancient buried manuscript, and Harvard Medical
School has been doing a study on it.”
That was good to know, but I wanted to be sure. So, I
contacted Harvard Medical School for myself. Here’s a
copy of what they wrote back to me:

Harvard Medical School

From the desk of:

Dean Plato, MD, Ph.D., DDS

Dear Mr. Smith,

You’re absolutely right about the peanut diet. It’s probably the single
greatest weight loss and overall health diet ever known to man. In fact,
we were just getting ready to publish the results of a special new re-
search project we recently completed on the benefits of peanuts on pro-
ductivity and brain power. According to a 7-year study, people who eat
at least a pound of peanuts a day experience a 42% increase in energy.

These are very effective ways to build credibility. And, here’s another one:
Use testimonials from real people. For instance …
33 “It’s a miracle! I thought my sex drive was gone, but I feel like a bull in a
herd of cows!”
— Freddy Jones, construction worker, Camden, New Jersey
33 “This is your Aunt Rosie. Honey, your peanut diet is fabulous! I’ve lost 38
pounds and I look younger than ever. Yesterday, my banker asked for my

Learn more about copywriting 55

phone number! That hasn’t happened to me in 15 years.”
— Rosie O’Grady, Boulder, Colorado
33 “Last January, I weighed 420 pounds and have weighed at least 300
pounds since I was 12. I tried the peanut diet and lost 50 pounds in seven
weeks. Unbelievable!”
— Joe Blow, baker, Santa Monica, California
33 “Thanks so much. I feel better than I have in years … my waist is 8 inches
smaller and I can work straight through the day without tiring. And my
wife says I’ve never been ‘better.’ All that just from eating peanuts!”
— Edward Pearson, bank teller, Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Core Of The Core

Now you are at the heart and soul of your offer. (You are, after all, offering
something for sale … )
It’s time to tell your prospect why your product is the best and only answer to his
needs. In other words, to tell him why it’s unique. This is known as the USP or the
Unique Selling Proposition.
No sense beating around the bush. This is one of the most important elements of
your letter. So, you continue:
This is truly the most revolutionary diet ever to bless
50 million overweight Americans. It works better than
any diet that’s ever been found. There are no powders
to mix, no schedules to remember, no portions to weigh
or measure, no calories to count, and no combinations
to keep track of.
It’s simple, healthy, and works like a charm. And,
everything you need to know about the peanut diet has
now been put together in one place. In fact, my “Health
Through Peanuts” book is the only place in the world
you can find this information.
Now you’ve made your reader drool over this promise: That he’s going to be
reborn into a healthier, happier body through the peanut diet.
You’ve made him literally see himself as skinny, rich, and successful — all by
eating peanuts. You’ve proven that everything you’ve said is true and you’ve
proven it to his satisfaction. You’ve quoted experts and research, and established
the credentials for your USP.

56 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

You’ve convinced him that this is the only place in the world he can find the
secret to this glamorous new being he will become.
What now?
Simple. It’s time to CLOSE the sale. And, you do that by making your specific
OFFER. Here’s your short, but sweet, close and offer.
Right now, for a limited time, I’m making a special
promotional offer. I want to get this book out to the
public, so people can see for themselves the remarkable
results of the peanut diet.
Specialized books of this nature, produced in limited
quantities, usually sell for $50 to $75. But, you’re
not going to pay $75 for “Health Through Peanuts.” In
fact, you won’t even pay $50 for this rare and powerful
If you act today, you can take advantage of my limited
time, introductory offer and get my revolutionary book,
“Health Through Peanuts” for only $19.95.
But please, you’ll have to take me up on it
immediately. I cannot promise to hold this price for
long. When the first printing has run out, this offer
will be over and the next one will be at the full
price of $49.99. So, if you act today, you can save an
amazing 60% off the regular price.
You close the letter, sign it, and it’s ready to go. Wasn’t that eye-opening?
You just learned the basic structure of a successful sales letter starting with the
promise you make to your reader. Then, you paint a picture for your reader —
showing him or her enjoying the benefits of your product. You back up everything
you say with proof, guarantee what you’re promoting, and then ask for the order.
Are you starting to understand how this works?

Why Copywriters Make So Much Money

The One Reason Marketers Will Pay You Top Dollar
Okay, now that you know the secret structure, let’s take a look why writing sales
letters is such a profitable way to make a living.

Learn more about copywriting 57

Let’s say you wrote the peanut diet sales letter to promote the book your client
wrote that contains everything you need to know about losing weight by eating
Your client has the book printed up at a cost of $8,400. They decide to send your
peanut diet sales letter to 30,000 people who, in the past, have bought diet books
through the mail.
The mailing — including printing, postage, and lettershop services — costs $18,600.
With the $8,400 spent printing the book, they’re now out of pocket $27,000.
The end of your letter explains to your reader that there are a “limited” number of
books available for $19 each. You promise to refund the prospect’s money if he or
she isn’t happy.
So, your client sends the letter to the list of 30,000 names … and waits.

Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Nothing happens for days … many days. Your client stares mournfully at their
depleted bank account balance. Then suddenly, two orders come in. $38 bucks.
Your client is only down $26,962.
Another day or two go by until one day, your client goes out to their mailbox and
there’s a single piece of mail. It’s from the mailman:
“Please come down to the central office to claim your mail. There’s too much to fit in
your box.”
In the end, your client deposits $58,342 in their bank account. After fulfillment of
the books and all up-front expenses, they’ve made a profit of more than $20,000.
But, that’s not even the best part. The thought that’s keeping a smile on your
client’s face is the realization that next month they can send out the same letter.
But, this time they won’t send it to 30,000 names — they’ll send it to 300,000!
Their profit will grow from $20,000 to $200,000! And, they’ve just begun.
Now, imagine they’re selling a peanut diet e-book (electronic book available via
download from the Internet) with no printing or shipping costs. Suddenly their
profits skyrocket that much faster … especially if they’re selling it through a sales
letter email or web page.
So, why do copywriters make so much money?
Let’s say that, instead of being the guy who writes the letter, you are a direct-

58 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

marketing publisher — and you’ve decided to sell a book about losing weight
by eating peanuts. You hire two copywriters, Mutt and Jeff, and pay each of them
$5,000 a piece to write a letter for you.
Mutt’s letter results in $5,000 in sales. Jeff’s brings home the bacon — to the tune
of $25,000.
What do you do?
Well, you thank Mutt and toss his sales letter in the wastebasket. Then, you
congratulate Jeff and mail his letter again. You mail it to 250,000 names this time
and it brings in $100,000 in profits!
Then, you mail it again — to a million names — and bring in another $300,000.
Now, you want to start the marshmallow diet. Mutt gives you a call.
Can he write for you again? “Sorry,” you say, “Not interested.”
But, Jeff has made you over $400,000 from his letter, so naturally you ask him. He
tells you, “Thanks but my price has gone up, I want $10,000 to write another sales
What do you do? Tell him to shove off?
Argue with him? Of course not. You pat him on the back and pay him what he’s
asking, because you really, really want him to write this next letter for you as he’s
already made a lot of money for you.

Direct-Mail Marketers Are Happy

To Pay Top Dollar For Winning Copy
Money. That’s the basic motivation on both sides. Copywriters are not paid well
because they are smart or talented or cooperative or because they type clearly or
bring their copy in on time.
They are paid well because their copy makes money.
This means once you know the secrets of writing powerfully, you can charge an
awful lot for your time and direct marketers will be more than happy to pay you.
And, if you can convince one to two people out of 100, you’ll be wealthier and
better off than 99.9% of all writers on earth.
So, exactly how much money can you make?

Learn more about copywriting 59

To answer that question, I thought the best way would be to give you real-life
examples of people I know who are currently making their living as freelance
work-at-home copywriters.

Full-time Pay, Part-time Hours

Starting with Eileen Coale from Annapolis, Maryland. Eileen started writing copy
for the Internet on a part-time basis in 2002.
She works an average of 25 hours a week. Last year, she brought in close to six-
“You can make a lot of money. I earn a full-time income doing part-time work and it’s
really wonderful,” Eileen says.
Her income has allowed her and her husband to pay down their mortgage. It’s
helped them purchase a gorgeous piece of land near a state park where they plan
to one day build their dream home.
This past year, they remodeled their kitchen — something Eileen has wanted
to do for over 20 years. Plus, they’re currently putting two of their four children
through college.
“We have four kids, and family comes first. So, it was important that if I were going to
bring in a second income to our household, it had to mesh well with family life, as well
as be satisfying and well-paying. I knew right away that freelance copywriting was
the perfect fit,” she says.

$100,593 In 2010!
Mindy McHorse from Albuquerque, New Mexico, had a new baby at home and a
mountain of debt in student loans and expenses when she decided to become a
In 2010, this stay-at-home mom (who recently had a second child) made
$100,593. Since she started copywriting, Mindy has erased $80,510.43 in debt
she’d built up!
Besides the money, Mindy loves the flexibility the copywriting lifestyle offers. Her
husband, an air traffic controller, works “crazy hours.” Mindy schedules her writing
when her husband is home so that someone is always available to look after the
kids. Something she couldn’t do when she worked at her old 9-to-5 job.
Mindy’s advice to aspiring writers?

60 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

“You’ve just got to go for it — and remember that the world won’t collapse if it takes
you a couple of tries to find your copywriting groove. At first, it may feel a lot like
driving with your eyes closed — it certainly did for me! Just remember, AWAI can give
you all the directions you need to get to where you want to be.”

Between $10,000 To $20,000

Consistently Each Month
Sean McCool, from Knoxville, Tennessee, previously owned his own handyman
Only four-and-a-half months from the time he made a promise to himself to
become a full-time copywriter, he landed a job with a $60-million-per-year
marketing company.
Pretty amazing when you considering Sean is a college drop-out who failed his
10th grade English class!
A success tip Sean offers up is to make a commitment to yourself.
“Nothing happens until you’re willing to truly commit to being a great copywriter,” he
He now works from home as a freelance writer and consistently cashes checks
totaling between $10,000 and $20,000 each month!

First Full Year = $163,481!

Prior to become a freelance copywriter, Ed Gandia from Marietta, Georgia, was
earning an excellent wage as a salesperson for an Information Technology
But, as a new dad, the weekly travel the job required was getting him down. Plus,
he was tired of continually-rising sales quotas.
His life changed forever for the better when he discovered copywriting. In his first
full year as a freelance copywriter, he made $163,481!
Ed’s advice to anyone thinking of becoming a copywriter is to “take action
“Don’t wait for inspiration or motivation to strike. If you do, you’ll never get going.
More people fail in this business due to lack of consistent action than for any other
reason. I can’t stress this enough!”

Learn more about copywriting 61

$10,000+ A Month
Pam Foster lives in a beautiful three-story country home located in a valley
between the Cascades and the Coastal Mountain range near Eugene, Oregon. She
works from her snug sun porch, surrounded by towering pine trees and a glorious
landscape, but is free to travel and work from other locations throughout the year.
Pam is at the point now where, on average, she brings in more than $10,000 a
She loves that web writing affords her the opportunity “to work wherever you
want, with whomever you want. It’s just great. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Last year, Pam spent the winter in Florida … Which she couldn’t have done if she
had a regular 9-to-5 job.
“Work is fun. Work is exciting. Work is rewarding and interesting. It’s ever-changing
and never dull. There’s none of that ‘Dang, I have to work today’ anymore. That’s
completely gone,” Pam says.

Start Living The Life You’ve

Always Pictured For Yourself
Of course, we can’t guarantee how much money you’ll make.
That’s entirely up to you.
But, as you can see, the potential is very real.
And, if you have the desire and the dedication to stick with it, the writer’s life and
all the freedom, flexibility, and money that come with it are easily within your
If you’re sick of the status quo, copywriting is your
ticket to finally start living the way life was meant to
be lived.

Now, here’s more from AWAI’s Accelerated Program

for Six-Figure Copywriting for Your Exclusive 30-Day
Launch Protocol…

62 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

What are the fundamentals of selling? There are just a few. And when you
learn them, you will be much more powerful – not only in your writing but in
your ability to get everything you want in life.

How to Sell Anything

by Mark Morgan Ford

I remember my first sales job. I was 16. A man who looked too much like
Joe Pesci hired me to sell aluminum siding. My job was simple: Knock on
doors until I found a housewife willing to “receive a free gift just for learning
about how to make her house prettier.”
At nine a.m., “Mr. Pesci” would drop me off in a strange neighborhood.
Armed with a stack of sales brochures, my job was to go from house to house,
ask that one question, give out the brochures and write down the name of any-
one who said “okay.”
It was as easy as selling gets, but I did a bad job of it. I hemmed and hawed,
stuttered and mumbled. I couldn’t deliver that one line.
The truth is, I was just too damn
scared to face those women. After a Since learning some basic
few weeks, I was dumping the bro- secrets of salesmanship, I’ve
chures in sewers and hiding in the sold those same housewives
woods until old Sour Face showed up hundreds of millions of dol-
to get me.
lars worth of goods, and I’ve
That was a long time ago. Since learn- done so without conquering
ing some basic secrets of salesman-
my fear of facing them.
ship, I’ve sold those same housewives

Learn more about copywriting 63

hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods, and I’ve done so without
conquering my fear of facing them.
For me, and maybe for you, it’s much easier to say something on paper than to
say it in person. You can take your time and think about what you’re going to
say. And you don’t have to look anyone in the eye.

You Don’t Have To Be a “Natural” to

Master the Basics
There is such a thing as a natural born salesman, but you don’t have to be one
to write successful direct response copy. A natural salesman has a peculiar brain
that is insensitive to rejection, eternally optimistic, and capable of intuiting what
his prospects want.
But you don’t need those skills to be a copywriter. All you need is the ability
to write a simple letter – the kind of letter you’d write to a friend – and you
need some secrets. Secrets you can learn quickly and easily by following the
exercises in this program.
Let’s start you off by introducing you to …

The Three Fundamental Rules of Selling

1 People don’t like the idea of being sold.

2 People buy things for emotional, not

rational, reasons.

3 Once sold, people need to satisfy their

emotional decisions with logic.

64 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

The First Rule of Selling: Be Gentle, Be Kind
Let’s look at Rule #1: People don’t like to be sold. On the face of it, this
doesn’t make sense. Every year, trillions of dollars worth of goods and servic-
es are bought and sold. Billions through the mail and online. Think about your
friends. Many of them, no doubt, love to shop.
Does that mean they like to be sold? No. Definitely NOT. People want to buy,
but they don’t want to be sold. Buying implies control. Being sold, the opposite.
Imagine this. You walk into an auto dealership and
People want to buy, are confronted by a pizza-chomping slob asking
but they don’t want you what kind of car you want. If you’re like me,
to be sold. you excuse yourself and hightail it out of there.
Now imagine this scenario: You come into the same dealership and the same
man approaches, but he’s neatly dressed, smiles, and kindly offers you a cup
of coffee. That’s better, isn’t it? While you browse, he pours you a cup, gets
you sugar and cream and refills your cup, without saying a word.
Pretty soon, you’re feeling comfortable with him, so you ask him some ques-
tions about the car you’re interested in. He answers you politely, explaining

Insider Tip:
“Start with the prospect (their needs, concerns, fears, problems) and not
with the product. Follow the copywriting formula:
1. Get attention
2. Identify the reader’s problems
3. Position the product as a solution
4. Prove the value of your solution versus others
5. Call for action”
– Bob Bly, featured in AWAI’s Copywriting Genius: The Master Collection
Bob’s clients are big-name players, including IBM, AT&T, Sony, Brooklyn Union Gas
and Agora Publishing. He’s constantly sharing secrets with AWAI members – including
hundreds of techniques that are proven to boost response.

Learn more about copywriting 65

all the benefits of that particular model. Then he shows you another car that’s
similar – but it’s a newer model or it has more features. Before long, you’ve
bought a new car and you’re happy to have done so.
What happened here? Simple. The
second salesperson understood the In other words, you’d create
first rule of selling: It’s not a good a verbal picture that teases
idea to make someone feel like they his desires – his hunger, his
are being sold. craving for chocolate. You’d
As a copywriter, your job is to help tempt him by appealing to
your prospect. Help him solve a prob- his emotions.
lem or achieve a goal.
People like to buy things. But they don’t like to be sold. Remember this.
Whether you’re writing a sales letter or trying to convince your friend to go to
a concert, don’t apply pressure. Offer to give something. Don’t force. Tempt.
But how, exactly, do you tempt someone?
Let’s say you want to get your friend to buy a piece of chocolate cake. You
wouldn’t start off by listing 10 reasons why cake is good for him, would you?
Of course not. In real life, if you really wanted to get a friend to buy a piece
of cake, you’d probably start by describing how great the cake smells, how
gooey it is, how thick the icing is, and how it will just melt in his mouth ...
In other words, you’d create a verbal picture that teases his desires – his hun-
ger, his craving for chocolate. You’d tempt him by appealing to his emotions.
You would not bore him with reasons or bully him with force. Understand this
first principle and you’ll have people eating that cake out of your hands!

The Second Rule of Selling: Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts

Now we’re already talking about Rule #2: People buy things for emotional,
not rational, reasons.
If people acted rationally, you couldn’t sell chocolate cake. There’s no logical
reason to buy it. It’s not nutritious. It makes you fat. It screws up your metabo-
lism. And it’s expensive.

66 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

So why is chocolate cake a multi-million-dollar industry? Because it makes
you feel good!
To be a successful copywriter, you have to appeal to your prospect’s feelings
and desires. Here are seven very important ones:

Fear! Greed! Vanity! Lust!

Pride! Envy! Laziness!

Do you recognize where these came from? If you are Catholic, you probably
do. Think of the Seven Deadly Sins. These are age-old emotional triggers,
proven to work in direct response, year after year.  
These are powerful emotions. And, although they are, by and large, “nega-
tive,” they are very much part of the game. But they’re not the only emotions
to consider when you’re writing to your prospect. There are other emotions
– better, more noble ones – that you will appeal to as well. And as an AWAI
member, you’ll learn to tap into many emotions –
“good” and “bad” – in different ways and for differ- For now, though,
ent purposes.
it’s important that
Later in this program, we’ll discuss each of these you understand the
emotions in detail and we’ll show you how to use basic concept: Sell
them to sell. For now, though, it’s important that
you understand the basic concept: Sell to the heart
to the heart first …
first … not to the head. not to the head.

Learn more about copywriting 67

The Third Rule of Selling: The Rationale
Now let’s talk about Rule #3: Once the prospect is emotionally sold, he needs
to justify his irrational decision with rational reasons.
Think about TV commercials for cars. How do they work? First, you see a
stirring image of the car itself – beautiful, stylish, new. The background says
something too: There’s a mountainous landscape for the prospect who wants
to see himself as rugged. A five-star hotel for the prospect who wants the car
to enhance his status. A beautiful woman for – well, you get the idea.
Next, you see an interior shot to show how luxurious your life will be with
this car. You get to listen to the state-of-the-art sound system. (The music
depends on the feeling required). Then, there’s a shot of the car driving by the
ocean. Put it all together and you have an effective 20-second movie that’s
designed entirely to appeal to emotion.
But car commercials don’t stop there. They usually give you numerous bits
and pieces of information – the size of the engine, statistics on fuel economy,
speed, weight, interior space, and so on.
All this data is not meant to sell the car. In fact, it has little to do
with the prospect’s decision to buy. The data’s purpose is to make
the prospect feel good about the
Insider Tip: decision he’s already made. And in
the final analysis, this is almost as
“The number one secret is to know
important as the emotional appeal.
your audience, find out what they
Though the information doesn’t
want, and make what it is you’re
sell the car, it does justify the sale.
selling match up with what they
want.” The prospect can tell himself (and
others), “I’ve made the right deci-
– Doug D’Anna, featured in AWAI’s
sion. The ABS braking system will
Copywriting Genius: The Master
keep my family safe. The hybrid
engine is environmentally respon-
Doug’s control for Personal Finance gener- sible. The all-wheel drive ensures
ated a 2.4% response rate. And the pub-
lisher mailed at least four million pieces.
I won’t get stuck in the snow. I
Doug’s successful because he spends less made a great decision.”
time researching the actual product than he
does researching what it is people want.

68 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

Let’s look at another example: Computers.
Times have changed since the first techno-geeks tried to sell computers solely
by listing processor speed, memory size, bus speed, and other gobbledygook.
And you can trace that change back to the sales strategies of two different
computer systems.
Back in the mid-nineties, IBM compatible computers started touting “Intel©
Inside.” For most of the computer using public, that meant almost nothing
technically. But a certain sexiness surrounded it, so much so that I remember
one friend excitedly announcing to me that his computer had “Intel inside!”
Fast forward to the new century, and Apple© mounted a successful advertis-
ing campaign comparing Apple computers as young, hip and ultra-easy to use
while PCs are stodgy old-school systems that can’t get out of their own way.
So what did Microsoft© do? Fight back with
a gutsy campaign of its own: The “I am a
PC” campaign. For example, a young child
is shown sharing photos with her friends
online and saying, “I am a PC and I’m 4 ½
years old.”
Well, those are the basic rules of selling.
We’ll be revisiting and building on them throughout this program.
When you become a full-fledged copywriter, you’ll be able to use them to sell
a vast array of products and services … from jewelry to cars to weight loss
systems … to just about anything.
All good selling appeals to emotion, but how you create that emotion can vary.
In my opinion, there are basically two ways to stir your prospect’s emotions.
You can do so visibly or invisibly. Let me explain …

The Classical Sales Style

Most of the sales letters you’ve encountered up until this point (and probably
most of the salespeople you’ve met) adopt a classical selling approach. Simply
put, the classical approach is where a seller stimulates a prospect’s desire to
buy a product without saying much about himself.

Learn more about copywriting 69

Insider Tip:
“I like to sit back and imagine the audience, or people I know who fit the
audience. I imagine their life, their struggles, why they might or might
not be inclined to buy. I love to fill my head with conversations I can use
when I write.”
– Stephen Kimball, featured in AWAI’S Copywriting Genius: The Master
Stephen has written controls for everything from business opportunity products and health,
to steaks and ladders, to banks and hearing aids. He turned One Capsule Glucosagen One
into the hottest-selling product for Health Freedom Nutrition.

So if a salesman were using the classical approach, he’d paint a picture of all
the benefits his particular “widget” would bring you. He’d show you how it’s
going to make your life easier. How it’ll let you spend more time with your
children. Leave work on time for once. And even get to kick back and watch a
In doing so, he inflames your desire for the product. Soon, you start to equate
an “easier life” with the widget. In fact, everything he does brings you closer
to that widget. And that’s important to note. Because at no point during the
sale do you move closer to the salesperson. Your complete focus is on the
product he’s selling.
And the same holds true for most sales letters. In the classical mode, the copy-
writer stimulates the prospect’s desire for the product without drawing atten-
tion to himself. I call this “the invisible approach.”
Think about it. When you last signed up for a credit card, was it because you
felt a certain closeness to the vice president of the bank? Of course not. It was
probably because you imagined all the benefits the card would bring you – the
discounts on air travel, complimentary life insurance, and other goodies.
In fact, you have probably bought all kinds of things without even remember-
ing who sold them to you. That’s the classical approach.
But there’s an entirely different approach to selling that’s just as effective. And
often times more so because it’s less common. I call it selling with …

70 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

A Charismatic Flair
Have you ever bought a product you didn’t really need only because the sales-
man was so darn charming or personable?
Come on, admit it … We all have. I’ve paid for gym memberships and new
running shoes I’ve never used, and I’ve got a pantry full of Girl Scout cookies
to last me a lifetime.
I obviously didn’t need the products … So why did I buy them?
Because, in a very real sense, I wasn’t buying the product, I was buying the
“But wait a second,” you may be thinking, “isn’t the purpose of a sales letter
to sell the product?”
The truth is, one of the most effective ways to sell a product is to “sell” the
salesman along with it. This is what I call “the charismatic selling approach.”
If our first salesman shifted from a classical to a charismatic approach, he’d
draw attention to himself in addition to the product’s benefits.
He’d share some of his personal experiences. Tell you about his family. He’d
let you know he had two kids in college. He’d find out your hobbies and say
he did them too. He’d listen to your problems. Offer some helpful advice.
The more he talked to you, the more you’d like him. And after, a while you’d
want to be liked by him. So instead of seeing him as a “salesperson,” you’d
start to view him as a person like yourself, with hopes and dreams and suc-
cesses and failures. And in this way, he would have
forged a powerful connection with you.
Take Richard Simmons. Wouldn’t you agree that he’s
a charismatic salesman? He laughs and cries with
overweight women. He reveals his own struggles with
weight gain. His eyes sparkle. He “oohs” and “ahhs.”
He makes a connection. Women can’t help but like
Richard Simmons. And they want him to like them. Be-
lieve this: Richard sold millions of Deal-A-Meals in the
1980’s and 90’s because he is a charismatic salesman.

Learn more about copywriting 71

And, Richard Simmons has parlayed his
Charisma – A spiritual early successes into a marketing empire!
power or personal That’s because charismatic sellers, unlike
quality that gives an
individual influence or
their classical counterparts, are extremely
authority over large numbers visible during the selling process. You
of people. can’t help but notice them … and that’s
exactly what they want.

Let’s Recap What You’ve Learned About Selling

Before you can sell anything, you must first recognize and understand the
three fundamental rules of selling …

The Three Fundamental Rules of Selling

1 People don’t like the idea of being sold.

2 People buy things for emotional, not

rational, reasons.

3 Once sold, people need to satisfy their

emotional decisions with logic.

Once you learn the rules, you can use them to create your sales approach.
There’s two basic ways to approach your prospect … classically and charis-
Classical sellers focus mainly on the product. Every benefit painted has the goal
of stimulating the prospect’s desire for their particular widget. Charismatic sell-
ers focus on themselves as well as the product. Over time, they become part of
the product that is bought by the prospect.

72 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

In this section, Mark introduces you to the most important person you’ll meet
as a copywriter … your prospect.

Know Thy Prospect

by Mark Morgan Ford

N ow that you understand the fundamentals of selling, let’s examine the spe-
cific person you’ll be selling your goods and services to … your prospect.
In the world of direct response copywriting, there is no more important per-
son. Prove to him that your product will make him richer, smarter, or sexier
and he’ll reward you with his purchase. Continue to be considerate of his feel-
ings, beliefs, and desires and he’ll become a loyal customer.
Disappoint or insult him and your copy will end up in the trash.
When you look at it this way, you soon
discover how powerful your prospect He is, in fact, the person
really is. He is, in fact, the person who who ultimately determines
ultimately determines your paycheck, your paycheck, your level
your level of career success, and wheth- of career success, and
er you’ll be regarded as a “genius” in
our industry or just as “some guy who
whether you’ll be regarded
writes copy.” as a “genius” in our indus-
try or just as “some guy
But here’s the tricky part … you may
not have the slightest idea who he is … who writes copy.”

Learn more about copywriting 73

The Mystery Man
When you’re selling a product door to door, your prospect is standing before
you in the flesh. So you know a few things about him right away. A quick
glance reveals his age and gender. A closer look at his surroundings gives you
a rough estimate of his income level and social status.
Speak to him a bit and you gain insights into his personality …
what he likes, what he doesn’t like, and what he craves.
But knowing your prospect in the
direct marketing business is a whole
Insider Tip:
different process. After all, you won’t
“Learn all you can about people have the advantage of seeing him
and what makes them tick. You face to face, talking with him, or ob-
are not in the business of writing serving the fine lines on his forehead.
words… you are in the business
of motivating human beings to You’ll be meeting him through the
take action.” mail or online.

– Mark Everett Johnson, featured Nonetheless, there is a way to come

in AWAI’s Copywriting Genius: to know your prospect in direct
The Master Collection mail like a door-to-door salesman.
Throughout this section, you’ll learn
Mark’s Mayo Clinic Health Letter
promotion was so powerful, it sold 2
specific techniques and strategies
million subscriptions. And his Preven- that’ll let you gather all kinds of
tion magazine package beat the control clues about him – from his age and
by 60% to 100%, depending on list. social status to his complex array of
feelings, beliefs, and desires. In fact,
because of the nature of direct mail, you’ll end up knowing your prospect bet-
ter than any door-to-door salesman.
Keep reading and I’ll show you how you really can:
• Unmask your prospect’s innermost feelings, desires, and beliefs
• Understand what ideas, facts, and phrases are likely to encourage, frighten,
and excite him
• Make him want to be your customer forever

74 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

Becoming a Direct Marketing Detective
The process of knowing your prospect in direct marketing is private eye work.
Although you don’t know your prospect, you must track him down by digging
up as many facts and clues about him as possible. Some will be easy to find
… some will require a little extra legwork. But they will all enable you to get
a much stronger, more directed reaction from your prospect.
First, we’ll get the basic facts about him … such as his age, gender, and
Then we’ll dig a little deeper …
We’ll find out what interests him, what keeps him up at night,
and what keeps him running back for more.
Next, we’ll try to uncover his core beliefs, feelings and de-
sires – the deep stuff that allows you to get very close to him.
After we’ve gathered all these bits of raw data, we’ll fit them
together like jigsaw puzzle pieces to form a living, breathing
representation of our mystery man.
Are you ready? Let’s go …

Digging Through the Mailing List Data Card

The very first clues you’ll get about your prospect come from mailing list data.
As you’ve discovered, mailing lists are a very important part of the direct
marketing business. In order to sell anything through the mail or online, indi-
viduals and companies need mailing lists of potential buyers’ names or email
addresses. The easiest way to get these names is through a list broker who
“rents” lists for a fee.
So if you were selling baseball caps through a direct mail campaign, you’d
ask a broker for lists of people who had previously purchased caps or similar
sports apparel through the mail. (Because people generally buy the same types
of things they’ve bought before.) The broker would come back to you with
data cards that help describe – and, most importantly, sell – the lists. Among
other information, these cards would provide vital data about your baseball

Learn more about copywriting 75

cap prospects … such as their age, gender, and the type of products they’ve
purchased. It goes without saying that this type of information is very impor-
tant for people and firms that sell products or services through the mail, both
snail mail and electronic.
Data cards are also extremely important for
another person … the direct response copy- Data cards are also
writer. Specifically, they provide him with extremely important
some good starting information about his for another person …
the direct response
Direct marketing products or services have copywriter. Specifically,
targeted mailing lists … and every mailing they provide him with
list that’s rented out has an information-
packed data card. So, before you write copy
some good starting in-
for any goods or service sold through the mail formation about his
or online, be sure to ask your client for its prospect.
data card.
Let’s say you’re going to write a sales letter for a new herbal supplement
called Megaman. You ask for the Megaman data card and you get this infor-
mation about its buyers …

20,400 Buyers @ US $50/ M
SEX: 100% male
AGE: 40 (average)
PROFILE: Megaman buyers are independent, active men who want to gain
control of their health and vitality. They purchase a variety of
herbal supplements, products, and publications on a regular basis.
SOURCE: 100% direct mail
RESTRICTIONS: Sample mailing piece must be submitted for approval
Minimum order: $5,000
No free offers or positioning available.
List rental Agreement must be signed by mailer.
MAINTENANCE: List is updated quarterly.

76 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

So, now what do you do with this information? Before we start digging through
it, I’d like to make one point:
Anytime you get a data card, you’re going to find a good deal of information
you don’t need (e.g., mailing restrictions, list maintenance). Remember, the
chief function of the data card is to rent a product’s mailing list to prospective
buyers of similar products, not to provide the copywriter with helpful informa-
tion. (In fact, most copywriters never even think to ask for a data card before
they start writing their sales letters. Just think how this one step will put you
leaps and bounds ahead of them!)
So if I were looking at this card, I would zero in on three sections only … the
sex, age, and profile. Let’s read them again for good measure.
Our prospect is …
• Male
• 40 years old (on average)
• Independent
• Active
• Health conscious
• Concerned about control and vitality
• Frequent buyer of supplements, health products,
and publications

That’s a lot of good information already, isn’t it?

Try picturing him with these very first clues. What do you see? Although my
image is hazy, I see a man who feels he’s lost control (in what way, I’m not
sure yet) and wants desperately to regain it.
Hmm … Let’s see what else we can uncover about him …

Examining the Buyer Profile

Before you forget about your client, you’re going to need another piece of
information from him … his buyer profile. A buyer profile is simply data that

Learn more about copywriting 77

your client has compiled about his customers – mainly from customer service
surveys and questionnaires.
At the very least, buyer profiles will provide you with basic demographic data
(e.g., gender, age, income). But they will usually give you a few more clues …
such as your prospect’s political affiliation, net worth and maybe even some
of his beliefs and views. If you’re really lucky, you’ll even get data about his
spending habits … what he buys, how often he buys and what he spends.
Okay, so now you ask for the Megaman buyer profile sheet …


Megaman buyers are independent, active men who want to gain control
of their health and vitality. They purchase a variety of health supplements,
products and publications on a regular basis.

100% are men.

85% have at least a Bachelor’s degree.
15% have a Master’s degree.

73% are 35 - 45 years of age.
19% are 45 - 55 years of age.
8% are 55 - 65 years of age.

70% earn more than $60,000 a year.
50% earn more than $70,000 a year.
31% earn more than $80,000 a year.
14% earn more than $100,000 a year.

70% are boaters or fisherman.
30% are hunters.

Common Beliefs
Every man has a right to live a healthy, vibrant life – regardless of his age.
The government is not necessarily looking out for men’s rights.

78 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

Are you starting to get a clearer
picture of your prospect? Let’s Insider Tip:
try summing him up a bit. “Keep in mind that direct marketing is
a reading experience… a very private
He is …
experience. You can propose benefits
• 40 years old (give or take a or talk about problems that people
few years) wouldn’t necessarily talk about in con-
versation with them. You can talk very
• college educated intimately and address their deep needs
• earning $60,000 or more a in a direct mail letter in a way you can’t
year in any other sales medium.”
• a water aficionado – Katie Yeakle, Executive Director, AWAI
• concerned about his rights
• distrustful of the government
and the control it has on his life

Now that’s more specific, isn’t it?

Again, stop for a moment and try to see this man in your mind’s eye. What
does he look like? What does he want? What does he fear?
Now that we have a good idea of our prospect, let’s start zeroing in on him
with these last two pieces of information …

Inspecting the Product or Service

One of the best (yet commonly overlooked) places to find clues about our
prospect is within the product or service we’re selling.
If we were selling a book or a newsletter, we
One of the best (yet could peruse it and note any hints about our
commonly overlooked) prospect embedded in the text. For example, if
places to find clues we came across a phrase that said, “This is an
about our prospect is invitation for no-nonsense everyday people,”
we would know that our prospect is probably
within the product or not college educated and may be in a lower
service we’re selling. socioeconomic group.

Learn more about copywriting 79

But since we’re selling a physical product (Megaman) instead of an infor-
mation product, we’ll have to work with more subtle clues. So we read our
Megaman label and discover that it’s a preservative-free, one-a-day, herbal
supplement. What does this reveal about our prospect?
For one thing, it indicates that he may be interested only in pure, all-natural
products. It may also illustrate that he’s a busy person who would rather get
all the nutrients he needs in one shot than having to take individual tablets.
We continue reading the label and find something else …
“Megaman contains saw palmetto extracts to strengthen the prostate gland.”
Now we know that our prospect may be concerned about his sexual potency.
But before we can use these clues, we need to check them against our next and
last source …

Dissecting Past Promotions

What better way to delve into your prospect’s
mind than to examine past sales letters that
have “sold” him? Think about it … Whatever
And while you’re
emotional phrases and images tugged at him at it, ask your client
before might rouse his interest again. for sales letters that
Of course, the best letter to start examining
weren’t successful.
would be your client’s most recent control. Re- This way, you can
member, the control is your client’s strongest double-check all your
sales letter that you’re seeking to replace with prior assumptions
your copy. Usually, you need to study only the about the prospect.
first two pages and the headlines that follow to
get the basic thrust of the control.
Plus, you can ensure
that your ideas for the
And while you’re at it, ask your client for sales sales letter aren’t ideas
letters that weren’t successful. This way, you
can double-check all your prior assumptions
that another copywrit-
about the prospect. Plus, you can ensure that er has already tried –
your ideas for the sales letter aren’t ideas that without success.
another copywriter has already tried – without

80 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

Let’s look at a portion of the current Megaman control and see what evidence
we can gather …


Dear Health-Conscious Friend:
What would you say if I told you that …
Two very common FDA-approved prescription drugs killed more than
3,000 Americans last year.
Better yet, what would you say if I told you IT WAS A FACT.
A fact that your friendly government doesn’t want to share with you.
The truth is, our government keeps plenty of dirty little secrets that help it
get bigger and richer every year.
And guess who ends up holding the bag?

Again, the prospect’s distrust and disenchantment with the government (and
particularly the FDA) have been enunciated. This letter also appeals largely to
fear … that what our prospect doesn’t know could be endangering his health.
What other emotions are being evoked? How about pride … the government
keeps getting bigger and richer while he’s left “holding the bag.” The prospect
is essentially positioned as the “little guy” fighting some evil bureaucratic
Now, let’s examine a past sales letter that flopped …


Dear Health-Conscious Friend:
Eat an apple a day?
If you do, you’re consuming about four different kinds of chemical pesti-
cides every single day. Putting them right in your mouth.
It’s true. Every year, pounds and pounds of dangerous pesticides are
dumped on our food.
Makes that shiny red apple look a little bit different now, doesn’t it?
But what if there was a way to get back to the natural things in life …

This letter provides us with an extremely important development … Contrary

to what we previously thought, our prospect is not concerned with the “natu-
ralness” of Megaman. He’s not buying it because it’s a pure, preservative-free

Learn more about copywriting 81

supplement, but rather because
Insider Tip: he doesn’t trust the FDA and the
Use Don Hauptman’s “New Product control it has over his health.
Discussion Agenda” checklist to ob- Had we not read this letter, we
tain all the background information might have made an incorrect as-
– data and materials – you need for sumption about him and carried
every project. it through to our copy.
And that completes our detective work! Now, let’s put it all together …

“Seeing” Your Prospect As If He Were Standing

Right Beside You
First, we need to take out all the clues we’ve collected and put them on the
table. Then, we have to piece them together until we can actually “see” our
Okay, let’s sum him up in a few lines … He’s a fairly
affluent, 40-year-old educated man who lives a healthy
and active life. He’s generally distrustful of the control
the government may exert on his life and may be con-
cerned about his own sexual potency. He has previously
responded to fear- and pride-based promotions.
That’s some pretty detailed information, isn’t it? And
certainly more than you’d get meeting your prospect on
his front porch. (I told you direct marketing was more
powerful than face-to-face sales!)
Now, I want you to start visualizing your prospect.
One of the best ways to do this is to think of someone you know who fits this
mold. Is it you? If it is, you’re in luck. Because you’ll be writing to yourself.
You’ll instantly know what kind of promises to make, what words to use, and
so on.
But more than likely, your prospect is not going to be you. He may be your
uncle, your next-door neighbor or your best friend. Maybe he’s the guy you talk

82 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

to every Friday at the gym. But you must pick one specific person and stick
with him.
Now think about how you would (and have) talked to this person. What would
you say if you were sitting down on a barstool next to him? What would you
say if you were trying to change his mind or persuade him to do something he
might not otherwise do? What words would you select, what tone would you
use, and how much evidence would you need to convince him?
Once you can answer these questions, you’re ready to start building your sales

Insider Tip:
6 surefire ways to know your prospect (and product) better
– By Bob Bly and John Forde, Master Copywriters
1. Ask your client for customer support letters.
2. Ask to see customer surveys.
3. Ask for samples of the product so you and other people can try it.
4. Get testimonials. If the product is new and there aren’t any, DO NOT make
them up or get friends to give them. if, for example, you’re selling a new,
arthritis remedy endorsed by Dr. Munchkin, you can use real testimonials
about Dr. Munchkin and about the product’s components instead of about the
product itself.
5. Ask for old promotions, the ones that worked as well as the ones that bombed.
Your client may be reluctant to give them to you, but try. It doesn’t make sense
for you to take an approach that already failed. And while you won’t copy
them directly, winning promos can jumpstart your creative process.
6. Talk to the “champion” of the product: the editor, founder, developer, or
whomever. This person can probably tell you more in 15 minutes than you
can get from five hours of Internet research.

Learn more about copywriting 83

The right information – good information – can make your package a winner.
That’s why research is the copywriter’s “secret weapon.” Ignore it, and you
will be doomed to mediocrity. Here’s Don, our resident expert on the subject,
to tell you how to do it and how to use it …

How to Plant Nuggets of Gold

In Your Copy
by Don Mahoney

U sing clear and powerful writing, cleverly structured arguments, persua-

sive language … mastering these techniques gives you the ability to write
strong, winning copy. This is what separates the professional from the hack
and makes a good copywriter great. We’re going to teach you all these things
and much more.
But first, let me tell you how to incorporate a magic touch into your work. How
to mesmerize your reader and guarantee that he keeps turning the pages. And
how do you do that? By embedding your copy with fascinating bits of informa-
tion that stimulate the prospect’s imagination and entice him to read more.
Finding these gold nuggets may seem like hard
work – especially if you don’t know too much
about what you’re selling. But the truth is, re-
searching is fun…easy… and it
pays off every time. I’ll show
you exactly what I
mean in a minute. But
first, let me tell you
why it’s so important …

84 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

Have Fun, Impress People – And Get Paid
Handsomely While You Do It
For one thing (on a personal level), the knowledge you gain while researching
has great entertainment value. You’re constantly finding out things that can
make you “the life of the party.” At any given moment, you can sound off and
amaze people with what you know about all kinds of fascinating subjects. And
since you’re going to be focusing on facts that trigger people’s deepest desires
and fears (that’s what we do in direct marketing copy), they’re going to hang
on your every word.
One day, you might be writing about why the stock market will keep going up.
Another day you might be writing about why it’s going to crash. You might be
researching why gold is the best investment in the world – or why the price of
gold is going to drop like a stone …
You might be researching the latest breakthroughs in alternative health –
discovering radical, highly controversial therapies for cancer. Information
the American Medical Association might not want the general public to
know about …
You might be researching exotic foreign vacation spots … little known para-
dises where you can lie around on the beach, sleep in a thatched hut, and eat
like a king for $10 a day …
You might be writing about the best real estate bargains in the world … places
where you can buy a remote mountain cabin for $10,000 (that’ll probably be
worth half a million bucks when you’re ready to retire)…

Insider Tip:
“A lot of research is reading through things I find on the Internet, plus read-
ing the news. Every day, I spend my first half-hour just reading the news.”
– Donna Doyle, featured in AWAI’s Copywriting Genius: The Master Collection
Donna is mainly an alternative health copywriter. Her Flexanol promotion doubled the response
rate by tapping into an emotional benefit backed by scientific benefits for credibility.

Learn more about copywriting 85

Or you might be reading up on the way the government seizes property from
citizens from major crimes (even when they are merely suspected or falsely
accused of a crime) … stories that outrage the average person …
Do you see what I mean?

How Do You Think You Could Use These

Interesting Tidbits?
Now, let me give you some examples of facts I’ve found (and used) while do-
ing my own research. When you study the classic pieces we’ve included in the
AWAI Hall of Fame: Great Selling Ideas from 50 Super-Successful Direct Mail
Letters and Direct Response Ads, you’ll see how effectively you could use
items like these in a sales letter…
Two-time Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling, who was still actively re-
searching, writing, and speaking at colleges at the age of 93, took and
recommended mega-doses of Vitamin C to maintain health and beat
China’s first Disneyland theme park is slated to open in Shanghai in
Who says you can’t find money in unexpected places? A US investor
noticed that a mining company in Cameroon was sitting on an estimated
$10 billion worth of valuable cobalt that could be extracted from scrap
metal. His company has exclusive rights to develop this cobalt mine, with
cobalt selling for $30 per pound or more. As of 2007, the company is
capitalized at roughly $100 million.
The Russian economy is moving so fast that an entrepreneur named
Vladimir Gruzdev, who started a grocery company in 1993, had grown
his company and his personal wealth to an estimated $820 million, ac-
cording to Forbes magazine. This supermarket chain and real estate ty-
coon became Russia’s first space tourist in 2009.
There are 326 million trillion gallons of water on our planet, but 98% of
it is undrinkable, salty, seawater. About 2% of the Earth’s water is fresh,
but 1.6% of it is locked up in polar ice cap glaciers. That leaves less than

86 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

1% for approximately five billion human beings to survive on. Not only
us – every living creature – from mosquitoes to elephants is eyeballing
that 1%, too. Plus microbes and human and animal waste contaminate
the water in many rivers, lakes, and streams. The result? Over one billion
people do not get enough clean drinking water – and more people die of
dehydration every year than from cancer and AIDS.
Did you know you can buy
a luxury Costa Rican home You plant these little nuggets
with a lake and volcano view in your copy and they act like
for just $300,000? It sits on
invisible hooks that grab onto
a private setting with broad
vistas of Lake Arenal and the your reader – hidden magnets
famed Arenal Volcano, which that keep him turning the page.
erupted in 2006.
Wouldn’t you like to find something like this lying in a drawer? A collec-
tion of Hawaiian stamps has been appraised for $8 million and includes
a letter bearing two of Hawaii’s rarest stamps valued at more than $1.5
million. And there’s the sheet of 1918 24-cent airmail stamps (known as
the “Inverted Jenny”), originally purchased by William T. Robey for $24.
Today, each stamp is valued at over $200,000. If a single sheet of those
stamps were intact, it would be worth even more than the total of the
individual stamps, which is $20 million.
Maybe you’ve got one of these rolling around in a forgotten cigar box
somewhere … a 1913 “V” nickel, which recently fetched a record price
of nearly $3 million … or an 1873-CC Liberty Seated dime, which last
sold in July 2004 for $891,250 at public auction.
Did you know that you can become a felon merely by making a banking
mistake? You might not know this, but a CTR, (Currency Transaction
Report) must be filed with the IRS for any cash transaction involving
$10,000 or more, or by anyone purchasing more than $3,000 in money
orders or making transfer among bank accounts in a series totaling
$10,000 or more. Failure to file a CTR in these instances is a criminal
felony. The money doesn’t have to be involved in any criminal activity
– it is a crime to simply not report the transaction. The penalty? Up to a
five-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.

Learn more about copywriting 87

Credit card lenders sent out 2.6 billion solicitations for accounts in the
first quarter of 2008 – or 53 offers per household in just 3 months!
Less than 20 years ago, you could have bought one share of each stock
in the Dow Jones Industrial Average for about the price of one ounce of
gold. Today, the bull market in stocks has taken stock prices so high that
it would take roughly 20 ounces of gold to buy the same shares.
A simple dietary supplement called glucosamine sulfate helps arthritis
sufferers by smoothing joint surfaces – and actually helping to rebuild
damaged cartilage.
Yes, it’s a lot of fun to know stuff like this. But there are serious benefits to
what you’ll find out by doing a little research. You plant these little nuggets
in your copy and they act like invisible hooks that grab onto your reader –
hidden magnets that keep him turning the page.

You Make Your Prospect Feel Indebted To You –

Without Realizing It
This is a real slick technique. You see, when you tell somebody something he
doesn’t know – give him some useful information – you’re actually giving
him something for free.
When you get your prospect to think, “Gee, I didn’t know that,”
you’re actually sinking in the hook. On a subconscious level,
he feels he’s been given
something for free – and he
Quick Tip: feels gratitude. That makes
4 Tips for Mining Golden Copy him more likely to respond
Nuggets with a Good Interview to your offer, or at least to
By Heather Robson keep reading.
1. Be prepared Also you’re building cred-
2. Be flexible ibility. And that’s a critical
element of copywriting.
3. Be a good listener When the prospect sees
4. Be appreciative that you’re informed about
the subject, he gains con-

88 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

fidence in what you’re telling him. He begins to trust you. Credibility is an
especially important part of a direct mail promotion. In fact, it’s crucial for
any type of sales at all.
And here’s another benefit:

Your Client Will Be Delighted When You Find

Those Golden Nuggets
Quite often during research, you’ll find a fascinating nugget that your client
may not even have considered for use in a sales promotion. By uncovering
insightful benefits that relate to your product and audience, you’ll become a
valued member of your client’s team.
Clients are impressed by copywriters who do thorough research and find
those gems.
In an interview found in the Who’s Mailing What online article archives, Master
Copywriter Gene Schwartz was asked what he considered to be the most impor-
tant characteristics of a copywriter. Schwartz said “Indefatigability, clarity, crazi-
ness, and humanity…when I talk about indefatigability, I mean that copywriting
is research; it has something I call ‘claim density.’ It’s packed with
facts, with information, with ideas. You can’t get that without do-
ing research.”

Insider Tip:
A few ways to build credibility into your copy
By Don Hauptman, Master Copywriter
• Use specifics
• Incorporate real names and numbers: people, companies, dollar
amounts, dates, percentages, statistics
• Cite proof, evidence, documentation, such as research studies
• Relate a real success story or case study
• Use authentic, narrative testimonials with vivid details
• Include a strong guarantee

Learn more about copywriting 89

And when asked if he had any spe-
cial techniques he uses to get ideas I mean that copywriting is re-
he replied, “Yes, research. When I search; it has something I call
write copy for a book, I generally ‘claim density.’ It’s packed
know more about the book than the with facts, with information,
with ideas. You can’t get that
As an AWAI member you already without doing research.
understand the importance of good
research and with the abundance of information readily available on the Inter-
net today there’s no excuse for not doing your homework. Nearly everything
you want to know is already known and available online. The problem is find-
ing it and making sure it’s accurate.
Here are 20 websites every copywriter should have for their research library.
Simply click on the logo to visit each website.
For general research (on just about anything), use …
Google is the largest search engine out there. In fact, Google
reaches 66% of all Internet users. If you know what you’re
looking for, simply go to it, type in your keywords (words
related to your research topic such as “rare stamps”), and fil-
ter through the responses Google provides. Google also has a
directory with listings to all the major news and government
sites such as The New York Times, CNN, and the Supreme
Court. Simply click on the “News and Resources” link at the
bottom of their homepage for a complete listing.

If you don’t know exactly which keywords or phrases to search in

order to get the information you need, go to and ask for
what you’re looking for in the form of a question (e.g., “Why is the
sky blue?”). You can also find out what other people are searching
for on by clicking on the “Ask Q&A” button pertaining to
a particular topic.

90 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

Wikipedia is a “free-content encyclopedia project”
loaded with articles and links to information on just
about any topic you can imagine. It’s one of the larg-
est reference Web sites available, with more than
10,000,000 articles in more than 260 languages. The
articles are written collaboratively by volunteers who
are knowledgeable about specific subjects. Anyone can
edit it and in fact, site visitors often verify the content’s
integrity and correct any inaccurate facts.

Fellow copywriter Don Pagan turned us on to this

site. It features information on (you guessed it!)
how stuff works – everything from boomerangs to
aspirin to 401k plans.

For a variety of facts and figures, try these …

This site is great for researching Federal/State laws and

statistics. It has a link to the U.S. Census reports, the
Constitution, and even contact information for govern-
ment agencies and directories.

You can search this site (the CIA World Fact

Book) for specific countries to find out every-
thing from current environmental issues to how
the government is set up to communication and
transportation information.

This is the website for the famous Nielsen Ratings reports.

To access many of the reports, you have to buy them online
– but you can view Nielsen’s News Reports free under the
“news” button on the left navigation bar. That’s where you’ll

Learn more about copywriting 91

find answers to questions like “How many people watched the World Cup this
year?” or “What are this year’s advertising rates as compared with last year?”

To find financial information, financial writers/master copywriters Porter

Stansberry and Addison Wiggin recommend these sites …

This is one of the best places to pick up infor-

mation about basic investing concepts and learn
about individual companies from other investors.

This is the best financial website on the Internet.

All the basic information you need on stocks
plus screening tools to help you find the dia-
monds in the rough. And, if you’re careful, the
message boards here can lead to very interesting
tips. (Just don’t believe all that you read.)

This is the Securities and Exchange Commission

(SEC) website. You can look up ALL corporate
disclosure information for any stock listed in the
United States.

You should also check out the following financial sites …

92 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

And if you’re researching health products, master copywriter Arthur Johnson

This site is not for the faint of heart,

but invaluable if you’re seeking back-
up for health-related material.

Also check out…

This Harvard Medical School site not only includes

health news and solutions but also tools for researching
health problems by symptoms as well as by name.

This site offers “trustworthy and timely health and

medical news and information.”

This site contains a huge listing for the

latest news, resources, and updates from
leading alternative health experts.

A great “real health news” site for

alternative health research, based
on the opinions of Dr. Douglass (a
vocal opponent of “business-as-
usual” medicine).

Learn more about copywriting 93

Once you find a site you like, “bookmark” it to create a shortcut back to it for
future reference. Kinda like inserting a piece of paper into a printed book to
mark a specific page. If you use the Internet Explorer browser for viewing the
Internet, you’ll be able to bookmark sites by clicking on “Favorites” on the
menu bar at the top of the screen. Other browsers may be slightly different,
so you might need to use the “Help” function to find out how your browser
IMPORTANT: Web site content isn’t the only place to research
topics. Information can also be found via chat lines, online fo-
rums, and discussion
Quick Tip: groups … although they
should be taken with a
3 Internet Resources for Getting grain of salt. These are
Inside Your Prospect’s Head good places to get ideas
By Heather Robson and leads but always
1. User forums double-check what you
read there against a cred-
2. Review sites (product reviews, travel
ible source. Same goes for
reviews, book reviews)
anything you find through
3. Relevant blogs a search engine. There’s a
huge amount of informa-
tion out there that is updated and added daily – with no source to regulate it.
Your best bet is to use caution.
You should also understand that a big part of becoming a good researcher is
just experience. You’ve simply got to get in there and do it. The more you
do it, the better you’ll be. And if you’re really serious about succeeding as a
copywriter, you’ve got to research every single assignment you get as if your
life literally depends on it – as if you’re going to face a firing squad if you
don’t come up with some piece of information that nobody else knows.
I can tell you right now, if you’re not willing to do the research, you still
might be successful – but you’d better be an incredible writer. Much better
than me. ‘Cause that’s what it’s going to take.
There’s no reason not to do your homework. It’s easy and quick. We’ll show
you how.
Now let me give you one critical tip …

94 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

How to Get the Competitive Edge on Everyone Else:
Start With the Basics – Then, Go the Extra Yard
First of all, when you get a copywriting assignment, the client usually starts
you out with a package of material – background information, past promotions,
samples of what the competition is doing, etc. If the client doesn’t offer, ask
for it. He’s bound to have stacks and stacks of useful stuff.
This is your starting point. Once you’ve gone through everything the client
gave you, you’re ready to go out and find that extra something – because you
know what you already have.
As I said before, you’ve got to get out there and do it. Dig in. Poke around
everywhere online that you can think of and see what you find.
If you’re writing financial material, you might
start with the latest online postings from the To get the real edge,
Wall Street Journal and Barron’s. you’ve got to dig deep.
If you’re writing about travel, browse through Find stuff not every-
some travel websites. You may also want to body knows. Then
talk to travel agents. you’ve got to figure
If you’re writing about health, visit health sites out a way to work that
online. Plus, pick up a copy of Prevention. into your promotion.
Then head for the health food store and hit the Tease with it. Inform.
magazine/book rack there. Ask the salespeople Give your prospect
questions (about vitamins, cancer prevention,
diet, and weight control … whatever), and ask
something he didn’t
them what their customers are buying. know before.
If you’re writing about income opportunities, visit financial websites and pick
up magazines on franchising and home businesses.
But don’t stop there. Let each source lead you to the next source.

Next Step: Targeted Research

And don’t forget about obvious, but often overlooked, resources – like inter-
viewing experts. You just might get cutting-edge information that hasn’t yet

Learn more about copywriting 95

been published anywhere. Contact the authors of the articles you’ve read…
the experts interviewed in the articles… the specialists on the subject in your
community… anyone who might lead you to a “nugget.”
To get the real edge, you’ve got to dig deep. Find stuff not everybody knows.
Then you’ve got to figure out a way to work that into your promotion. Tease
with it. Inform. Give your prospect something he didn’t know before.
And guess what? He may not realize it, but he’ll be grateful to you for it. And
you’ll have moved him a little bit further through your piece.

Meanwhile, Back at the Computer

On earlier pages, I touched on the subject of entering “keywords” in search
engines such as Google. Let me explain a little further how this works …
Recently, I needed information on offshore (overseas) mutual funds. So, I did
a search in Google using the words “mutual funds.” The computer then looks
for any web site, online article or other document that has either one of those
two words in it.
Problem is, I get 23,800,000 results – waaay too many (and increasing every
day)! So I narrowed the search. I tell the computer to give me only listings
that include both keywords. This time I get 24,200 results – still too many
to read. So I narrow the search even farther. I add the words “offshore” and
“investments” to “mutual funds,” and ask the computer to match all four key-
words. Bingo! 9 results. (Any serious researcher will scan them all.)
Here’s another example:
I want information on Latin American stocks. So I key in “Latin
American stocks.” The
computer tells me there
Quick Tip: are 35,300 items avail-
Keep a list of keywords that gave able. To narrow the
you the best information. You may search, I change it to
be able to use them throughout your copy for “Latin American stock
relevance and credibility – especially if your returns.” It returns 80
sales letter ends up on the web. items this time, much
better. Then I enter “Latin

96 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 2

American stocks” and ask the computer to match all three keywords. Viola!
Four results – and I’ve got my information.
Once you get the hang of it, a keyword search can save hours … especially if
you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary (which is what you
should be doing).
CAUTION! The best information for your promotion is not necessarily on the
first page of your search results. Scan several pages to discover your hidden

It Gets Easier and Easier

You know, in many ways, copywriting gets easier and easier. You polish your
skills and you work faster. You build a file of successful packages you’ve got-
ten in the mail or email that you can “lift” from and you build a formidable
store of material from your own research.
Then, your assignments go smoother. They take less and less time to do – and
you make more and more money.
It’s absolutely true. You’re gonna love it.
I know.

Learn more about copywriting 97

Part 3
The Secret To Good Writing
The “Trick” That Will Strengthen
Your Copy A Hundredfold

O kay, let’s get back to writing. Are you ready to go a little deeper? Good,
because you’re about to learn one of the most important rules to follow to
ensure you consistently come up with good, effective, compelling writing —
writing that keeps the reader’s eyes riveted to the page (or computer screen) from
start to finish.
It comes from Mark Morgan Ford and it’s called “The Power of One.”
You see, to be a good writer, you need to be able to present good ideas clearly.
And, the best way to do that is limit yourself to a single idea.
By restricting each sales letter or article or chapter to a single idea, you are forced
to make sure it is a good one.
The underling rule of The Power of One is that every piece of copy you write must
be built on:
• One good idea
• One core emotion
• One captivating story
• One single, desirable benefit
• One inevitable response
To help you understand the The Power of One, please read the following article
written by Mark:

98 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 3

The Power Of One — One Big Idea
One of the biggest lessons I have ever learned about writing came very late — in
fact, more than twenty years after I wrote my first piece of copy.
It happened about a year after I began writing Early To Rise (ETR), the e-newsletter.
I was looking over issues I’d written that year and noting which ones readers rated
the highest. Without exception, those achieving the highest scores presented a
single idea.
It struck me that readers didn’t want to hear everything I had to say about a topic
every time I wrote. They were looking for a single, useful suggestion or idea that
could make them more successful.
That was one of those “a-ha!” experiences for me.
As a reader, I had always most enjoyed stories and essays that tackled one subject
effectively and deeply. As a writer, I sensed my readers felt this way, too. But, it
wasn’t until I looked at the ETR results that I recognized the power of a narrow
focus in writing.
I checked to see if this same phenomenon applied to advertising copy. I pulled
out my box of “best promotions of all time.” While not all of them were on a single
topic, most of the very best hit just one idea strongly.
It seemed I was on to something. I presented this idea as one “powerful secret
to publishing success” when Agora had our first company-wide meeting for
publishers in France.
Bill Bonner reminded me he’d learned about The Power of One from the great
advertising guru David Ogilvy. Ogilvy’s concept was that every great promotion
has, at its core, a single, powerful idea that he called “the Big Idea.”
At about that same time, John Forde was rereading the classic 1941 book, “How to
Write a Good Advertisement” by Victor Schwab — the man Advertising Age called
the “greatest mail-order copywriter of all time.”
In that book, Schwab listed his choice for the “Top 100 Headlines.” John found that
of those 100 Top Headlines, 90 were driven by single, Big Ideas.
Note how instantly clear and engaging these “Big Ideas” are …
• “The Secret of Making People Like You”
• “Is the Life of a Child Worth $1 to You?”
• “To Men Who Want to Quit Work Someday”

Learn more about copywriting 99

• “Are You Ever Tongue-Tied at a Party?”
• “How a New Discovery Made a Plain Girl Beautiful”
• “Who Else Wants a Screen Star Figure?”
• “You Can Laugh at Money Worries — If You Follow This Simple Plan”
• “When Doctors Feel Rotten This is What They Do”
• “How I Improved My Memory in One Evening”
• “Discover the Fortune That Lies Hidden In Your Salary”
• “How I Made a Fortune with a ‘Fool Idea’”
• “Have You a ‘Worry’ Stock?”
At ETR, we made this concept a “rule” for writing. The mandate was clear. Write
about one thing at a time. One good idea, clearly and convincingly presented,
was better than a dozen so-so ideas strung together.
When we obeyed that rule, our essays were stronger. When we ignored it, they
were not as powerful as they could have been.
Like a river, your copy must flow in one clearly-defined channel. Every diversion
and unnecessary thought added will dilute its power.
Like a train, your copy must get on one single, straight set of “rails” and stay on it.
When it does, it will generate momentum and speed. You can lead your reader
straight to your destination.
It’s a natural impulse to throw in everything you can, thinking it will help your
copy. It seems logical that more ideas will strengthen your argument. They won’t.
You must think counter-intuitively and stick to your one main idea.
The Power of One also means every paragraph you write will contain one single
idea. If you need three sentences to express that one idea, use three sentences.
If it can be done in one sentence, fine. There is a reason for paragraphs: If done
properly, they help the reader read more efficiently.
Be absolutely disciplined about The Power of One. In every piece you write. Every
Find Your Big Idea — one great, dominant idea your reader can grasp
immediately. Then commit to it. Stick with it. Make sure that every single
sentence directly relates to and supports it.
Here’s an example of “The Power of One” as applied to an advertorial taken from
Bob Bly:

100 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 3

Subject Line: The Easiest Product to Sell Online
Dear Friend,
There’s no product easier to create or sell online …
… than a simple, straightforward instructional or how-
to e-book.
Why are e-books the perfect information product to sell on
the Internet?
Ÿ 100% profit margin.
Ÿ No printing costs.
Ÿ No inventory to store.
Ÿ Quick and easy to update.
Ÿ No shipping costs or delays.
Ÿ Higher perceived value than regular books.
Ÿ Quick, simple, and inexpensive to produce.
My very first e-book has generated $20,727 in sales (so
My total investment in producing it: just $175.
Now, I want to show you how to make huge profits creating
and selling simple e-books — in my new e-book “Writing
E-Books for Fun & Profit.”
Normally my e-books sell for anywhere from $29 to $79, and
later this year, “Writing E-Books for Fun & Profit” will
sell for $59.
However, to make it affordable for you to get started in
e-book publishing, I’m letting you have “Writing E-Books
for Fun & Profit” for only $19 today — a savings of $40
off the cover price!
For more information … or to order on a risk-free 90-day
trial basis … just click here now.
Bob Bly
P.S. But, I urge you to hurry. This special $40 discount
is for a limited time only. And once it expires, it may
never be repeated again.

Learn more about copywriting 101

Let me explain how The Power of One operates here.
In the lift letter, Bob asks a question and then tells a single sentence story. The
question is an inverted promise. The story validates the promise.
The sales letter follows. This, too, is a beautifully-simple piece of copy. It leads with
a statement that expresses one clear idea: “The easiest way to make money on
the Internet it to market e-books.”
That statement is supported by a number of bulleted “facts.” Then, Bob validates
the statement by mentioning his own experience.
The reader is already sold. Bob makes the sale irresistible with a strong, one-time-
only offer.
Short, sweet, and simple.
The Power of One is not only one big, central idea. It’s a fully-engaging piece of
copy with five necessary elements. Using Bob’s example:
• One good idea: “There’s no product easier to create or sell online than a
simple, straightforward instructional or how-to e-book.”
• One core emotion: “It is simple! I bet I can do it!”
• One captivating story: Told brilliantly in 11 words: “My very first e-book
has generated $20,727 in sales (so far).”
• One single, desirable benefit: “Now, I want to show you how to make
huge profits creating and selling simple e-books.”
• One inevitable response: The only way to get this book for $19 is “click
here now.”
To create blockbuster promotions time after time, you must understand the
difference between good copy and great copy. The Power of One is the driving
force behind great copy.
Veteran advertising consultant James Loftus, who’s worked with Anheuser-Busch,
Holiday Inn, McDonald’s, and many other clients, agrees:
“Also keep in mind that the more points you try to cover, the less effective each
point, and therefore your ad, will be. An effective ad will actually have only one
central focus, even if you discuss it from two or three perspectives. If your points
are too diverse, they compete with each other, and end up pulling the reader’s
attention in separate directions.”

102 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 3

When challenged with an advertising assignment, most writers conjure lists of
features and benefits, then mention as many as possible. Their thinking goes,
“I wonder which of these benefits will really push the buttons I want? I’ll throw
them all in. That way, if one doesn’t work, another one will.”
This is B-level copywriting. It’s not the way to create breakthrough advertising.
The Power of One is commonplace now at Agora … it’s taught by AWAI … and
you’ll see that most top copywriters follow it.
You can use The Power of One to create your own blockbuster copy. Ask yourself:
“What is the Big Idea here?” “Is this idea strong enough to capture the hearts of
my customers?” Or “Are my ideas all over the place?”
The challenge is to find that one good idea the reader can grasp immediately.
And stick to it. So, the idea has to be strong, easy to understand … and easy to
Put The Power of One to work for you in all your communications. You’ll be
amazed at how much stronger — and successful — your copy will be.

More from Mark on Power Writing! in this excerpt

from AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure
Copywriting for Your Exclusive 30-Day Launch

Learn more about copywriting 103

Power Writing!
by Mark Morgan Ford

O kay. By now you’re probably thinking, “There’s got to be a catch. This

copywriting business can’t possibly be as much of a snap as these guys
say it is.”
The fact of the matter is, the ability to write direct response copy is not a God-
given gift.
It’s not a genetic trait.
And it’s not something mysterious and magical that can be grasped only by a
fortunate few.
The ability to create high-impact copy is a skill
You’ve got to speak that can be learned. And it’s one YOU will
to him in an informal, master when you complete American Writers
“conversational” way, & Artists Inc.’s Accelerated Program for Six-
Figure Copywriting.
as if you were talking
to a good friend. In So, without further ado, let me introduce you
other words, you must to two powerful secrets that’ll put you on the
path to earning the six-figure salary we’ve been
write like you talk. talking about…

104 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 3

The Secret of Writing Like You Talk
Earlier, you learned the importance of knowing your prospect. Once you can
“see” him, you immediately know how to talk to him…what tone to employ,
what phrases to use, and what promises to make.
But to really command his attention, you have to go a step further. You’ve got
to speak to him in an informal, “conversational” way, as if you were talking to
a good friend. In other words, you must write like you talk.
Of course, “writing like you talk” is eas-
ier said than done. Most people (includ-
ing myself) have had difficulty putting Keep the writing right at
actual spoken English down on paper. your prospect’s level. Never
And it’s no wonder.
higher. Never lower. Most
importantly, try to get as
No one’s ever taught us how. (In fact, close to spoken English as
we’ve been discouraged from writing
conversationally all throughout school
you possibly can.
and probably even in our careers.)
And there’s very little of it on the market today.
In fact, you can find it only in two places… 1) In copywriting or 2) In fiction
(almost always as dialogue). That’s it.
And even then, copywriting is still the closest you can get to the way people
really talk. You never have to use fancy, highfalutin language. Or worry about
being grammatically correct. Or make sure you’ve included some
complicated literary device.

Insider Tip:
“You have to convince the reader that you are one of them … you have to
become your prospect and speak like you really understand him.”
– Jeff Laurie, featured in AWAI’s Copywriting Genius: The Master Collection
Jeff’s Easton Press promotion for 100 Greatest Books Ever Written turned books into works of
art. It has remained the control for several years … mailing well over 1 million pieces.

Learn more about copywriting 105

Good, effective copywriting is, in fact, the furthest thing from formal or
“proper” English…
So never make your copy sound stuffy or academic. Keep the writing right at
your prospect’s level. Never higher. Never lower. Most importantly, try to get
as close to spoken English as you possibly can.
Since you lack physical intimacy and the ability to use body language, it’s
impossible to write exactly as you talk. But you can come very close to it. You
can do certain things in your writing that are the equivalent of raising your
voice, pacing yourself, raising an eyebrow, inflecting on a word, and so on.
If you wanted to emphasize a particular point to your prospect, for example,
you could put it in italics, underline it, or CAPITALIZE it. You could also
pause for a moment…
Or skip a line.
Here’s an example:

According to ZenithOptiMedia, “Global online ad spending will overtake

total radio ad spending … and surpass magazines in ad dollars this year.”
What does this mean to you?
Your opportunity to make six figures as a copywriter … to write your
own paychecks … and to live life on your terms … are greater than
they’ve ever been before …
Because whether it’s for a landing page, e-newsletter, email campaign,
blog, sales page, or home page, somebody has to write the content these
companies are paying BIG money for.

As you progress through this program, you’ll know just when and how to use
these techniques for maximum impact. But for right now, know that there are
many ways to establish a “physical” connection with your prospect.
Of course, it isn’t enough to write like you talk. If you want to “sell” your
prospect, you’ve got to get fired up about your product or service. Then
you’ve got to put that passion down on paper…

106 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 3

The Secret of Writing with Passion
Let’s face facts… The best things in life are those created with passion. Pas-
sion built the Statue of Liberty, painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and
put a man on the moon.
Without passion, everything loses its momentum and vibrancy…
And the same holds true for copywriting. When you write with passion, your
copy will have a certain exuberance to it. Your words will carry more mean-
ing. Your ideas will be more clear and compelling. And your voice will be
stronger, richer, and more convincing.
Better yet, your energy will carry over to your prospect. Not only will he get
pumped up about your product, he’ll want to send YOU his hard-earned money.
Fail to write with passion, and you’ll put your reader to sleep. Worse yet,
you’ll lose the sale.
There’s just no two ways about it…passion rules.
But here’s the catch…You can’t “make up” passion. You have to actually feel
it towards whatever it is you’re selling. The best way to do that is to study
your product and list all its good qualities. How it helps people
stay healthy. Or how it saves them time and money. Or why it re-
ally is the best product on the market for X, Y, and Z.
Get excited about it! Start
Insider Tip: telling your spouse, your
“Make your copy emotional. It’s got to be friends, and your co-work-
one human being talking to another human ers how it will make them
being.” richer, smarter, sexier, or
more powerful.
– Donna Baier Stein, featured in AWAI’s
Copywriting Genius: The Master Collection You’ll know when you’re
Donna’s copywriting focus includes environmental
passionate about a prod-
groups and other types of associations. Her promotion uct, because you’ll au-
for the National Parks and Conservation Association tomatically want to tell
has been mailed to over 1 million names … remaining everyone about it. You’ll
the control for 15 years.
want to use it yourself

Learn more about copywriting 107

if it’s appropriate for you. And you’ll start naturally “selling” it to people you
meet in casual conversation.
You must really develop your own internal passion for your product. Even if
it’s only a temporary passion that dissipates after you’ve finished writing the
sales letter. Because if you can write passionately, you’ll be a much stronger
When you can write informally and passionately, you’ll be well on your way
to developing…

Your Own Voice

Throughout the course of your copywriting career, you must move towards
your own voice – the natural way you talk to someone when you’re trying to
persuade them.
Some writers tend to have exaggerated voices. They make audacious prom-
ises, frequently raise their voices and have a certain charismatic
flair. Others are more reasonable. They convince with facts and
figures, charts and graphs, and tend to be more low key.
And both of these voices work.
Quick Tip:
Try the Product Because (no matter what it is)
your natural voice will ulti-
“The first thing I do is get mately be your strongest. It’s
as knowledgeable and comfortable your true personality on paper.
with the product as possible. If it’s You’ve got to trust it and stay
a book or magazine, I read it twice. with it.
If it’s a consumer product, I’ll use it
myself.” Eventually, this voice will get
– Jonathan Peace, featured in AWAI’s better and better. And when it
Copywriting Genius: The Master does, you’ll be in a powerful
Collection position.
Jon is used to his packages mailing in the mil- You’ll be able to create winning
lions because he’s developed a special meth- copy two to four times faster
odology for getting familiar with the target than before. Projects that took
audience. His Prevention for Pets promotion
defeated the competing package by over 25%. you a month to complete will

108 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 3

take you only seven or eight days. And that means you can double, triple, or
even quadruple your income.
But be patient. Your voice will come. Just like it came to me, Don, Paul, and
many others. In the meantime, know that you’ll still be able to create very
strong, moneymaking copy.

Insider Tip:
3 Ways to Give Your Letter the Proper “Voice”
By Paul Hollingshead
The voice of a letter touches a whole different set of buttons in your read-
er. Something deep down inside. Something that makes him feel at ease,
comfortable, and, most importantly, makes him want to trust you.
Here are three very simple tricks I use to naturally eliminate “adspeak”
from my letters.
1. Imagine the person you’re writing to. Picture him or her as a friend.
2. Believe that the product you’re selling will improve your friend’s life.
3. Figure out what it would take to convince you to buy the product.

Ingredients for a Successful Sales Letter

Imagine writing a letter to a friend to persuade him to visit your favorite res-
Follow these tips, and you will have the framework for a successful SALES

Learn more about copywriting 109

Your USP
Before you even begin writing, determine your USP (Unique Selling Proposi-
tion). The USP is that unique feature that sets your product or service apart
from the rest – and provides your prospect with a benefit they can’t get from
the competition.
Disney’s Garden Grill restaurant features
food grown in Disney’s experimental gardens
at the Epcot Land pavilion… which the res-
taurant overlooks.

Emeril’s restaurants have popular TV chef Emeril

Lagasse as their USP.

Antoine’s Restaurant in New Orleans created Oys-

ters Rockefeller back in 1899 – and the original
recipe remains a secret known only to Antoine’s

110 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 3

Your Headline
Create an arresting headline. Two of the strongest ways to approach headlines
are to promise a benefit or arouse curiosity. The easiest way to ensure your
headline is effective is to include at least three of the “Four U’s©”:


Does the headline offer information the

prospect can use? Example: IRS Secrets
That Could Cut Your Tax Bill in Half
Is the information itself unique, or
is it presented in a unique way?
Example: Lose 5 Pounds a Week
Eating Chocolate Cake!


Does the headline make the reader feel

it’s important to read the letter right now?
Example: We’ve Reserved a Brand-new Lexus
for You at Half-price… But Only if You Respond Is the information in the headline presented
in the Next 7 Days in very specific terms? Example: Join the
18,653 People Who’ve Already Won FREE
Disney World Vacations

Learn more about copywriting 111

Your Lead
A strong lead does two things. First, it builds desire for the product/service
you’re offering. And, second, it makes a big…

One of the most effective ways to build desire is to paint a picture. And a
picture showing the prospect enjoying the benefits of your product/service is
often the most effective type of picture.
Once you’ve built the desire, promise that the prospect can have what he/she
now desires. A well-executed promise propels the reader right into the proof
section of your letter.

The 4 P’s©
One basic formula for creating a successful sales letter is called “the 4 P’s©.”
The 4 P’s© are Picture, Promise, Proof and Push. We’ve looked brief-
ly at the Picture and Promise above. Now let’s discuss the other two P’s.
Because the average prospect is skeptical, proof is an important part of any
letter. People won’t believe our claims just because we say so. Unless we’re
established experts, our claims are just opinions.
There are many kinds of proof. Where restaurants are concerned, there are
four that are most effective:
 wards – The AAA 5-Diamond rating is terrific proof that a
restaurant is exceptional. “Best of” wins… honors from maga-
zines… top-rankings from diner’s organizations… These are all
strong proof items.

112 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 3

Reviews – Local and national newspapers and magazines often
print reviews of restaurants. A rave review makes excellent proof.
Testimonials – Praise from satisfied customers is good proof.
Be careful to avoid using testimonials from people who could
be seen as connected to either the writer or the restaurant.
Endorsements – People love celebrities… and to do the things
that celebrities do. People line up for blocks to buy cupcakes
from Magnolia Bakery, just because the ladies on Sex and the
City bought cupcakes there.
The fourth P – “Push” – is your call to action. A good call to action is clear
and specific.
For example, “So let’s go to my favorite restaurant some time,” is too
vague. As you’ve probably noticed, a well intentioned “some time” usually
translates to “never.” You can’t get a clear commitment to a vague push.
Instead, be specific. “Let’s go to Outback this Friday at 7:00 pm… I’ll pick
you up,” is strong. That’s because it forces a commitment.
But how do we get them to agree? Adding urgency is one excellent method. A
limited-time incentive creates a real sense of urgency. For example, “Outback
is offering two-for-one entrée specials this month only. So, let’s go to Outback
this Friday, before their special offer expires. I’ll pick you up at 7:00 pm.”
Do you see how easily the limited-time offer provided a logical – and compel-
ling – reason to make a date for Friday?
Okay, now it’s your turn. Take your favorite restaurant and figure out your USP.
Write an arresting headline and a compelling lead. Make a big promise. Then
prove your claims in the body, winding up with a clear and specific push. And
don’t forget to create a sense of urgency to get agreement from your prospect.
That’s all there is to it!

Learn more about copywriting 113

Part 4
A Variety Of Opportunities
Await You
The Internet Has Exploded The Demand
For Copy And That Means Thousands
Of Potential Employers For You

O ne of the reasons for the HUGE DEMAND for copywriters is because of all the
ways you can use your “persuasive writing” skills … especially when it comes
to the Internet. Here’s just a partial list of some of the web-based projects you can
take on as a copywriter:
ØØ Website Copywriting — There’s a huge demand for copywriters who
know how to make websites sell, instead of just look pretty.
ØØ Email Marketing — Use these email sales techniques to market products
to your existing customers (or your client’s).
ØØ Autoresponders — Short emails that pay extraordinarily well.
ØØ Pay-Per-Click Ad Writing — The fast-emerging writer’s market that can
pay up to $50 per word.
ØØ Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist — Companies pay very
well for a copywriter who can get their website to the top of the search-
engine rankings.
ØØ Landing Page Writer — The web page your client’s customer first sees is
crucial to the browsing (and buying) process. That’s why this expertise is in
very high demand.
ØØ Site Audit Specialist — Get paid to write a report on a company website’s
strengths and weaknesses (and then get paid more to fix them!).
ØØ Advertorials — News-style articles that also sell.
ØØ Banner Ads — Short, fun, and challenging ads that get customers to click
to your customer’s website.

114 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 4

ØØ Press Releases — Done right, they can be free advertising for your client
— and persuasive writing talents are mandatory.
ØØ Researchers — While you’re learning the copywriting ropes, why not
make good money helping writers with their research?
ØØ Webinars — Online presentations used in Business-to-Business to educate
customers and sell to prospects.
ØØ Social Media Specialist — One of the fastest-growing sectors of the
copywriting world, learn how to market through Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn, and more.
ØØ Blogging — Companies, experts, personalities, and celebrities don’t have
the time to write their own blogs, so they hire copywriters to learn their
voice and write blog posts for them. And, in most cases, they want a writer
who can persuade, too.
You can also choose to specialize in a writing field that interests you most …
ØØ Writing for the health market — Thanks to the tens of millions of Baby
Boomers, this market has THRIVED in recent years: health newsletter
subscriptions, supplements, natural cure products, and more.
ØØ Catalog writing — It’s a billion-dollar industry (how many show up in
your mailbox?) … and guess who writes all those product descriptions?
ØØ Writing for the financial market — Sales promotions that market
financial newsletters and financial advisory services for the financial
publishing industry.
ØØ Travel writing — Earn extra income and travel free writing articles about
your global travel adventures (make money from your travel photos as
ØØ Resume writing — Using your persuasive skills to help people find jobs in
this difficult economy.
ØØ Writing for nonprofits — Make good money helping your favorite cause
raise money. Many people particularly enjoy this aspect of life — making a
living while helping organizations you believe in passionately.
ØØ Grant writing — Billions of dollars await worthy causes … your persuasive
skills can help them get it.
And then, there’s what I consider to be the biggest market of them all —
Business-to-Business, or B2B.

Learn more about copywriting 115

This area is SO BIG it deserves special attention …

Just What Is B2B Marketing Anyway?

Simply put, “Business-to-Business” refers to companies that sell things to other
For example, you buy a toaster from your local Walmart store. That’s a “Business-
to-Consumer” (B2C) sale …
But, there were perhaps a dozen Business-to-Business transactions that went on
before that toaster could ever make it to the store shelf.
There was the metal fabrication company that supplied the machine to the
toaster-maker that enabled it to stamp out and shape the material used to make
the product …
The printing machine company that sold the pad print product that enabled the
company to print its name on the finished toaster …
The paper company that made the box the toaster came in …
The artist who designed the art for the packaging …
And, chances are, there was a consulting firm who convinced the toaster
company that they could help them get their toasters into Walmart stores
nationwide in the first place.
All these are Business-to-Business companies. And, there are more than 8 million
of them in dozens of industries just in North America alone — all of which need
to reach prospective customers by advertising their products and services using
copywriters like you.
But, B2B advertising is a little different than traditional advertising …
This prospect doesn’t need to be sold “emotionally” like when you’re selling to
consumers …
You don’t have to appeal to the “core” emotions like fear and greed …
And, you don’t need the kind of “Big Ideas” that drive a lot of copywriting success
… or clever headlines to capture their attention.
Why? Because businesses know they need what you’re selling. It’s just a matter of
educating him or her on your product or service … showing why yours is better
than the competition from a cost and performance standpoint.

116 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 4

Often, you don’t even have to do that much …
One of the most common tasks for a Business-to-Business copywriter is to
generate a “lead.” In other words, get the prospective company to agree to simply
learn more about your product!
Don’t get me wrong though …
It’s not that there’s no selling going on here. There is. It’s just much more subtle.
In fact, in just a moment’s time, I’ll show you some of the ways businesses
market to other businesses — and share with you one of the most powerful
secrets for getting results in any form of B2B marketing. (You’ll have this secret
within minutes — and once you have it, you’ll be well on your way … more
knowledgeable than half the B2B copywriters working today!)
But, before I get to all that, here’s a fascinating fact … one that no copywriter
thinking about the B2B market should ignore.

Breaking News: The Pie Is Getting Bigger!

With all the doom and gloom out there, businesses are cutting back on spending
like never before.
Bad news for copywriters, yes?
Absolutely not …
Because, while it’s true businesses are cutting back on “cost-based” spending
(things that aren’t tied to generating revenues, like new artwork for the office or
sales meetings in Vegas) — they’re spending more on things that make and save
According to the Direct Marketing Association, Business-to-Business companies
spend over $55 billion per year on B2B marketing — everything from
advertisements, brochures, direct mail, white papers, case studies, sell sheets, and
so on.
According to the market research firm AMR Research (a part of Gartner, Inc.), B2B
companies will spend more than $3 billion alone on online marketing this year …
and that number is expected to grow by 12% a year through at least 2013.
In addition, according to a story published in B-to-B, The Magazine for Marketing
Strategists, AMR predicts B2B social media spending will grow at an annual
average rate of 21% through 2013 … and that B2B spending on lead-generation
sites is anticipated to grow at 17% in the same time frame.

Learn more about copywriting 117

But, that’s not the most interesting part of AMR’s findings.
According to AMR CEO Denzil Rankin, B2B publishers are not doing enough to
take advantage of this projected growth in spending …
“There is not enough innovation in lead-generation products. Multi-media
services are weak, and measurement capabilities are frequently lacking,” he said.
And then, there’s this …
Over the past couple of years, many B2B firms have cut their in-house marketing
departments to the bone, in order to weather the recent recession. Now, they’re
scrambling to source talent for critical marketing projects. And, rather than
reverting to the typical “hire and fire” cycle, many are turning to freelance B2B
Add it all up and what does it mean?
It means a huge opportunity for B2B writers like you who can deliver innovative
and effective lead-generation campaigns … master the relatively new field of
social media marketing … and offer comprehensive, multi-media solutions to any
business that has something to offer another business, no matter what the size.
And, in addition to all of the projects I showed you earlier, the B2B market also has
a few specialty projects of its own …
ØØ Case Studies — Mini “essays” demonstrating how a business product has
worked or solved a problem for another business.
ØØ Sell Sheets — Feature and benefit sheets, “leave-behinds” for salespeople
to distribute on sales calls.
ØØ Lead Generators — The heart and soul of Business-to-Business marketing;
ads, emails, sales letters, and more.
ØØ Marketing Scripts — For telemarketers to use on sales calls.
ØØ Video Scripts — The newest and biggest opportunity in both the B2B and
B2C markets, the use of video in marketing is growing phenomenally —
mini product overviews and “commercials” prospects can watch on their
phone or computer.
ØØ Company Newsletters — How companies keep and nurture relationships
with existing customers.
ØØ White Paper Reports — Big in the B2B world, they’re how-to manuals on
getting the most out of your company’s products.

118 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 4

And the best part is, many of these projects can be completed in less than a day!
With so many projects, you can see why the B2B market is such a hot opportunity
for copywriters right now.

Start Collecting Your (Free)

Million-Dollar Secrets Today
Your Guide To Ethically “Borrowing”
From The World’s Best Copywriters
Once you understand some basic “power of persuasion” techniques and
strategies, you can forge a career for yourself in whatever area or niche that
interests you.
If you’re eager to get started, here is something you can do immediately.
It’s called “seeding.”
Seeding is when you “plant your name” with clients, and in exchange, they send
you some of their best direct-response secrets — free of charge. You are basically
acting like one of their prospects, and by doing so, you get to see what marketing
materials and strategies they use to sell you on their product or service.
You see, your goal as a direct-response copywriter is not to reinvent the wheel
every time. Your goal is to make the wheel run more smoothly.
Many top copywriters get their best ideas from somebody else. They don’t steal
ideas outright, of course — that would be wrong. They adapt, massage, and
combine ideas from other copywriters in a way that not only strengthens their
own copy, but makes it easier and faster to write.
The quickest way to start your seed file is to go to a company’s website and sign
up for their e-newsletter. And, to get on a company’s “snail mail” mailing list, you
have two options: phone them up and ask them to add you to their list; or buy
something from them, and they’ll automatically add you to their mailing list.
Remember, you can always unsubscribe to a company’s email or mailing list if, for
whatever reason, you no longer want to receive marketing materials from them.
What companies should you target? If you’re interested in becoming a financial
copywriter, obviously it makes sense to sign up for sites that offer financial
newsletters and information. Likewise, if you want you want to write for the

Learn more about copywriting 119

health, self-help, Business-to-Business (B2B), Christian, fund-raising, and/or
Internet marketing niche.
If you haven’t picked a niche yet, not to worry. The following are some companies
who will immediately provide you with some stellar examples of good
33 AWAI — If you’re not yet signed up for The Writer’s Life, do so now. You’ll
receive a lot of great emails and links to sales letters written by some of the
top copywriters working today.
33 Early To Rise — If you’re looking to increase your wealth and improve your
health, you won’t find a more comprehensive newsletter anywhere else on
the web than Early to Rise.
33 Agora Inc. — A powerhouse financial newsletter company. You can sign
up for their various newsletters at this link.
33 Nightingale-Conant — Nightingale-Conant is the world’s leader in
personal development.
33 — Dr. Sears is a leading alternative medicine website.
These names are really only a starting point. There are literally hundreds of
thousands of companies you could seed your name with.
Studying your seed file (also known as your “swipe file”) is a great way to learn
how the pros write. And, even when you’re an experienced copywriter, you’ll find
that these sales promotions will be one of your most productive resources — a
source of inspiration right there in your file cabinet or computer, whenever you
need them.
You’re now ready to take the next important step toward learning how to write
hard-hitting copy that really sells.

The Fast And Easy Path

To Copywriting Success
Make An Investment In Yourself And Get Access
To All The Secrets Of Copywriting Masters
What you’ve just learned are the basic principles behind every successful
advertisement ever written. You’ve learned about the secret of the PROMISE,

120 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 4

the secret of the PICTURE, the secret of PROOF, and how to close your letter
with an enticing offer and guarantee.
You’ve learned about Mark Morgan Ford’s Three Fundamental Rules of Selling,
and “The Power of One” — an important rule that separates great writers from
average ones.
You now know more than 99% of the people on the planet about how to
persuade people using the written word. Plus, you’ve learned about the lifestyle
that’s possible through copywriting. The freedom, flexibility, and the six-figure-
income potential it offers.
More importantly, you now possess a “financially-valuable skill.” A skill that has the
potential to bring you in hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next few years.
Right now, you could sit down and write up a sales letter for a client and get paid
for it …
… but if you want to succeed faster and make more money, you’ll want to get
access to the deeper secrets for becoming a successful six-figure copywriter.
You’ll find everything you need to know to launch a successful six-figure
copywriting career in AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.
Here is just a small sample of what you’ll learn that will put you on the fast track
to profits in this lucrative business:
• The 4 U’s® — Use the four U’s as a checklist for every headline you write
and you’ll never write a dull, ineffective headline.
• The Golden Thread — Knowing how to weave “the golden thread”
throughout sales copy separates the great copywriters from the average
• The Four-Legged Stool — Use the four-legged stool to quadruple the
strength and stability of your copy.
• AWAI’s 3-Step Copy Cleaning System — This simple three-step system
will ensure your copy always has the “just right” conversational tone.
• Four things you need to do before you start writing — Do these four
tasks before you start writing and you’ll never write a bad sales letter.
• The difference between a Direct Lead and an Indirect Lead — Which
one you choose to use is determined by who will be reading your letter
and what you’re promoting.

Learn more about copywriting 121

• Five ways to create a powerful P.S. — Next to the headline, the most
read part of a sales letter is the P.S. … so it’s important it be as strong as
possible. Follow these five steps and every P.S. you write will increase your
letter’s conversion rate.
• Six ways to create intimacy with your reader — Creating a connection
and bond of trust with your reader are the keys to a good sales letter. Here
are six ways to ensure that your letter always hits the right emotional notes
with your reader.
• And much, much, much more …

A Rich Man’s Best Advice

Warren Buffett, one of the smartest and most successful men of our time —
and recent Medal of Freedom winner — was asked not too long ago what he
considered to be the best investment anyone could make in these challenging
His answer was quick and simple …
“The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”
That could very well be the best advice Mr. Buffett has ever offered.
There has never been a better time to put your future squarely in your own hands
— and master a financially-valuable skill that will forever be in-demand … now
and right through your retirement years.
And, not just because of this rare opportunity to learn a fun and life-transforming
skill — one that can free up your lifestyle enough that you’re able to live like
“carefree millionaires” do … and turn every day from here on out into an exciting
Imagine having time to travel like you’ve always wanted … to finally take up that
hobby you’ve always wanted to do … master that sport … or get into the best
physical shape of your life.
As a copywriter, you can have the time and the money to do it.
But, here’s why now is the ideal time to see if the writer’s life is the life for you:

Get Started for Just $197 — a 60% Savings!

Through this special offer for Your 30-Day Launch Protocol — you can actually
access the entire program, and give it a try risk-free. You’ll get complete access

122 Secrets for Launching Your Million-Dollar Writing Career — Part 4

to everything you need to live the writer’s life — yours for a full year. Take that
time to look through the program … start the learning process … learn about the
direct-response business … what the life of a work-from-anywhere, in-demand,
highly paid, barefoot copywriter is all about.
If it’s not for you, let us know, and we’ll simply (and immediately) deactivate your
access code and refund your money — no questions asked.
So, if you’re ready to put the “workaday life” behind
you — and choose a lifestyle that’s richer, freer, and
infinitely more rewarding … get AWAI’s Accelerated
Program for Six-Figure Copywriting today. And,
remember, as part of Your 30-Day Launch Protocol,
you’ll be saving a full 60%!
To get started on your career as a copywriter
immediately, click here.
Or for even more details about if copywriting is right
for you, click here.
You can also call AWAI’s Member Services Team toll-free at 866-879-2924, or at
Remember, there’s no risk.
And, if you love it — and decide the writer’s life is for you — your very first letter
could be the next one to rock the direct-response world … and lead to, among
other things, a $10,000 writing contract from AWAI with your name on it.

About The Author

KATIE YEAKLE has spent over 25 years in the world of direct marketing and
publishing in the roles of copy editor, editorial coordinator, product manager,
fulfillment supervisor, marketing manager, and publisher. Recognizing the
industry-wide need for talented copywriters who can deliver copy that sells,
she helped establish American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI) with co-founders
Paul Hollingshead and Don Mahoney in 1997. Today, as Executive Director,
Katie oversees AWAI’s 100+ programs designed to help people turn their
passions into careers.

American Writers & Artists Inc.

245 NE 4th Avenue, Suite 102
Delray Beach, FL 33483
Phone: 561-278-5557 • Fax: 561-278-5929

Learn more about copywriting 123