A business owner named Jeff asked a question on a forum I frequent:
On the form earlier this week, I submitted a sample of a landing page I wrote.
There was someone who took a look at it and suggested that I consider hiring a professional copywriter. Thing is, I'd love to become a great copywriter and think I have potential in that area. Are there any other resources out there that teach one how to become a great copywriter?
My introduction to copywriting was stumbling on Gary Halbert.
He wrote a great 30-day “roadmap” to learning copywriting that's still available here:
The two main steps are:
– Read lots of **winning** ads and copy them out by hand. Pretty much all the great copywriters have done this. There's a fantastic program I sometimes promote here called Copy Hour that delivers your daily hand-copying exercise by email. HIGHLY recommended. (Copy Hour is closed right now, but I expect they'll be launching a new class in the next 1-2 months. Stay tuned.)
– Read the classic copywriting books, several times each. Especially Breakthrough Advertising. If you really “get” this book, it's pretty much the only marketing education you'll ever need.
These steps give you a solid foundation in the theory, and you start to develop an instinctive feel for how good copy is structured.
Then you need to write as much as possible, and get **honest** feedback from a skilled copywriter. The tighter this feedback loop, the faster you improve. (Apprenticing yourself out at slave wages is WELL worth it. Master copywriter John Carlton did this three different times **after** he was an accomplished writer.)
There are some excellent copywriting programs out there that can help you continue to level up. My favorite teachers are John Carlton and Clayton Makepeace.
One final piece of advice that I got from Perry Marshall:
Sample materials from several different teachers, then pick ONE that you really resonate with and spend 6-12 months studying everything they put out. Really master it and learn how they think and approach problems.
There's lots of seemingly contradictory advice out there that works (and actually isn't contradictory once you understand the nuance).
By picking one teacher like this, you eliminate a lot of cognitive dissonance and you can focus on mastering the basics.
Then later when you learn alternate approaches, you'll be adding to an existing toolset rather than struggling to sort through a jumble of mixed messages.