“You ever write a ‘sideways sales letter’?”
I was deep in some sticky code for the iOS app I was coding when the Skype message from my copywriting mentor popped up.
I had no clue what he was talking about—all I knew is, I was about to find out.
At the time I was holding down a day job as a programmer, and waking up 2 hours early every day to pound out short-notice copy assignments for my mentor, Richard.
A wee bit stressful, you might say.
And this was to be no exception.
The “sideways sales letter,” a Jeff Walker invention, is a way of doing a product launch spaced across several videos.
Richard sent me the typed-up outline of the sideways sales letter formula from Jeff’s book.
I scanned the details.
4 video scripts, each 20-30 minutes long.
Yikes, that’s like 15,000 words!
“I need this on Monday,” he added.
My stomach clenched. So much for the weekend.
Usually when I write copy I spend a few hours planning out the “logic flow” before I type a single word.
That way the finished copy glides smoothly from point to point, building a case like a prosecutor building his closing argument.
Not this time.
Just based on the sheer math, I knew my only hope of hitting my deadline was to just start typing…
Then *keep* my fingers moving all weekend…
To pound out all 4 scripts in one fell swoop, no time to edit or second guess myself.
I handed that copy in with just minutes to spare—
Didn’t even have time to reread what I’d written.
My mentor’s typically bubbly response:
“I’ll take a look.”
Sigh. Well, at least was done.
Complete and utter garbage, but garbage that was DONE.
Or so I thought.
A couple of weeks later, I was talking to my mentor on Skype, and he told me:
“By the way, Josh, remember that sideways sales letter? You absolutely nailed that. It was nearly perfect.”
I was dumbfounded.
I’d streamed that thing out as fast as the words came into my head, trusting sheer gut instinct to get it right…
And I’d pulled it off!
Now there’s only one reason I was able to do this.
And “writing talent” wasn’t it.
Yes, I’ve been told I have a flair for writing since grade school.
Copywriting is a different beast, though.
In this world being a “good writer” can actually hurt more than it helps.
The real reason for the successes I’ve had as a copywriter is this:
Before I started writing copy for a living, I invested time learning from the “greats.”
Copywriters like “the Garys” Halbert and Bencivenga, Eugene Schwartz, Maxwell Sackheim, and others.
I read their ads, and copied them over by hand, word for word, page after page.
I learned how good, selling copy *felt*—
Engrained it into my muscle memory.
And the program that made it all possible was:
And CopyHour is still my #1 suggestion whenever I get asked “How can I learn copywriting?”
I won’t kid you—CopyHour is a *lot* of work.
You’re going to get writer’s cramp and wear out a stack of legal pads.
But if you’re serious about learning to make money with words, this is the best way I know of to get good—fast.
CopyHour head honcho Derek is getting ready to kick off a new round come January.
To get in, hit this link and take the short quiz: