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SNM011: Learn Copywriting to Make Money

Copywriting is a valuable and marketable skill.  You can always find work if you know how to write copy and you can learn everything without spending a penny.  Find classic ads and copy them by hand into a notebook…

These days you are just trying to get someone to click a button, but during the Golden Age of copy customers had to cut out an ad, fill in a form, write a check and mail the whole thing to an address they'd never hear of; that's really hard!

Once you have the basics of copy language down, you can move on to the next phase.

Finding Copywriting Clients

Post ads where people can find you.  Show that your services available at a low price point while you build your client base.  Post ads on forums and model the best ones.  See what works and just do something a little better.  Repeat the same process for each project.  Learn the structure that works in that market for that audience and then apply your persuasive language skills.  Get up to 10k a month within a year.  Courses are expensive and they really just teach templates; you can find their templates by finding their offers.

Copywriting is Futureproof and Disaster-Proof

Even if the Internet dies tomorrow, you can still make a living writing copy.

Simple steps to becoming a high-paid copywriter within a year.

  • start off learning
  • get paid low
  • get paid higher
  • move into % or translate
  • make your own products

Key Points:

  1. This s a job, so it requires actual work
  2. Copywriting is the most valuable of all skills online
  3. Start off with small jobs and get paid to learn and improve

Resources Mentioned:

Serve No Master on Amazon

Become a Master Copywriter on the Cheap

Send in your questions to podcast [at] servenomaster [dot] com

Great Copywriters and Their Books:

John Caples – Tested Advertising Methods

Eugene Schwartz – The Brilliance Breakthrough (no longer in print, better to find PDF online)

Victor Schwab – How to Write a Good Advertisement

Harry Browne – The Secret of Selling Anything

Victor Schwab – How to Write a Good Advertisement

Copy These Letters by Hand:

The Robert Collier Letter Book

The Halbert Collection

Julian Watkins – The 100 Greatest Advertisements 1852-1958

Michael Masteron – Great Leads

Sponsor:

ThriveThemes

Jonathan Green
 

Living the dream on a tropical island, Jonathan is the author of Serve No Master and the host of the Serve No Master Podcast.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 16 comments
Toby Alec - October 17, 2016

Short and to the point. It’s true that you can learn a lot from the offers of great copywriters, and access to their work is easy to find online. It may take some time to find those who have a career that you want to emulate, but there’s a lot you can learn for free.

This is congruent with my practice. I’ll find dozens of offers in the same area that I’m writing for, and go through their entire buying process. Because I’m running a business and I want to study everything from the front to back end, I’ll actually buy the product. Then I’ll test it out myself.

This is very easy to do. Very informative, and I think this is a perfect place for new copywriters to start.

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Sherry Neufeld - October 17, 2016

Can you realistically make 10 figures in a month? I’ve been trying to get into copywriting for a long time, and still don’t quite understand what makes a good ad. Also, I’ve never read anything on the subject.

I’m just interested in making a lot of money. I know there’s a lot of work and knowledge required, so it’s good to know that I can do a lot of research on my own. I’m starting to see how templates are made, but I don’t know if I’m confident enough to produce my own ads.

Thank you for pointing out some helpful resources. Maybe after purchasing a few books, I’ll start my own career in this field. I came here more for mild interest, but now I feel really inspired.

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Gordon Shepherd - October 17, 2016

I’ve personally found everything here to be true. Direct sales was perfected back in the time where you could make millions of sales via the newspaper. Marketing mavericks like Joe Sugarman would often employ psychological techniques to get their readers engaged.

The pocket spell checker was a useful example. Joe asked his readers to take out a pen and circle all of the spelling mistakes that he’d snuck into his ad. When his customers mailed in the ad, they’d get a discount for every misspelled word that they found.

As Jonathan says, I’d avoid shelling out a ton of money before knowing exactly what you’re paying for. The books he lists are from copywriting masters like Joe Sugarman. I’d say this was well worth the read.

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Terry Porter - October 17, 2016

This seems like a very personal post. I haven’t taken the opportunity to send you a question via email, but I’ve moved onto the additional resources section. I’m especially loving “Become a Master Copywriter on the Cheap” and am digging into your podcast.

I’ve heard that testing is very important. Sometimes I’m uncertain whether a business would be willing to invest in my copywriting, but I’m starting to feel a lot better about my abilities. Thanks for reaching out and providing this information.

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Megan Yancy - October 17, 2016

I’d thought there were a lot of skills to master. A friend of mine is a business owner, and said that before he ever hired someone to work for him, that he’d had tremendous experience in that area.

That’s why I feel comfortable listening to you. You’re not only a successful business person, Jonathan, but you’ve had experience in academic writing, English and literature, as well as copywriting for a living. You tackle many of the same struggles that I’m having, but haven’t been comfortable discussing in front of other writers.

I’m no stranger to work. I just find it valuable how you put copywriting into context, and show how anyone can make a living either online or in physical print ads.

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Vincent Holden - October 17, 2016

The exercise section is excellent. You’ve provided a great blend of high grossing sales letters, in terms of either capturing leads or generating sales.

There are so many thousands of examples, that I haven’t written each one by hand. Looking at the sample successful letters, though, I can tell that the great copywriters use an example, and often tell a story. Their writing is so engaging, that I find myself reaching the bottom of the page before I remember that I’m there to study.

I can’t wait to dive into your book.

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Bill Hardy - October 17, 2016

I’m stuck at the section on finding copywriting clients. Everything else makes a lot of sense, and I’m excited to put all of this to use, but I don’t know where to look to present my services. I’d actually like this to be my full time career.

Your podcast episode kind of helps with this. I’m going to explore the rest of your site, to see if I can make a full time go of this, or if it’s just a pipe dream. I know this sounds negative, but your writing has given me hope, that I can do something other than what I’ve been up to for a career.

Having no income ceiling besides the one I make for myself is the best part. Maybe I’ve been too afraid to put myself out there. When you say to post ads where people can find me, I’m thinking that’s perhaps the secret. I’ve been considering places that, for the most part, aren’t interested in a newcomer or even hiring a copywriter in general. Thank you for your input, and I’ll begin to follow your advice. You seem to know what you’re talking about.

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James Locke - October 17, 2016

I’d assumed there was a much steeper learning curve for a beginner. Either that, or that copywriters were making illegitimate claims in order to make money.

This article points out that copywriting is much more than just a legitimate career. We all know that economic pressure is mounting worldwide, and if something were to happen, that we’d need a profitable career where we could start fresh and develop some security.

It’s very clear ‘what to do’. Also, the additional resources are simple enough for the beginner and deep enough for a more advanced copywriter, or someone looking to take their passion for writing to another level. This will come in handy later on, as a branch out and make a name for myself.

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Howard Arnolds - October 17, 2016

This post covers a lot of material. Luckily, the resources and research sections list everything you need to know. I know that I was extremely skeptical until being exposed to the concept of taking advantage of international health care.

Jonathan points out the main thing, which is that most people prefer a cure over a preventative. We often find ourselves in situations that took a long time to produce. Now, we have to go all the way back to get back to where we want to be. That’s why it’s so important to follow his advice, and plan for emergency medical situations before heading off to another country.

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Andrew Charleston - October 17, 2016

I’m totally against the use of drugs and surgery, unless in a life or death situation. With that being said, Jonathan does his due diligence, and speaks from the heart about his own experience with prescribed medications.

As afraid as I’d be to take a drug to relieve a medical situation, I would never just immediately stop taking a drug. That could be disastrous. I think this article points out everything you need to know, and includes information on how to take care of our health, so that we don’t have to make the difficult decisions to wean ourselves off of drugs.

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Katie Levaseur - October 17, 2016

A very honest and critical piece. Also very eye opening. I was very surprised to find out that I held many of the same misconceptions as others did on the subject.

The whole idea of saving money seems a bit sketchy to me. I probably won’t ever consider moving or visiting another country, especially since I haven’t had a serious health condition in quite some time. But it’s good to know how to deal with simple things, like a cut or a common cold, as well as what to expect when you’re in strange territory. I’ll have to research much more in depth the next time I visit another country.

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Mary Foote - October 17, 2016

I travel a lot, and I like to bring my pets with me from time to time. Honestly, just getting my dogs on the plane safely and comfortably is enough to worry about. Jonathan’s recommendations are exactly what I do to ensure a safe trip.

I have myself and my pets checked regularly. It’s not that I’m paranoid about my health condition, or am looking for problems, but I like to know where I’m standing in terms of health. The same goes for my two little girls.

Now, I don’t know if I can trust anyone to take care of us in an emergency. The example of knowing which hospital you’d prefer to go to is a perfect case of being prepared. Even if an emergency responder or doctor were doing their job perfectly, there might be a better option for me. It’s up to me to decide on which hospital or doctor to go to, in case of an emergency.

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Phillip LaGrange - October 17, 2016

I can’t believe that a Japanese doctor didn’t know which STD’s to look for! On the other hand, when testing a water supply, you have to know exactly what to target, because there are so many possible contaminants to test for. But who should know better which STD’s exist – a doctor or a patient!?

I’m definitely doing my homework going into another country. While I believe most hospitals and doctors won’t be nearly that bad, I’m not going to take my changes. Great read! Very informative.

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Bruce Carrigan - October 17, 2016

I can’t believe that a Japanese doctor didn’t know which STD’s to look for! On the other hand, when testing a water supply, you have to know exactly what to target, because there are so many possible contaminants to test for. But who should know better which STD’s exist – a doctor or a patient!?

I’m definitely doing my homework going into another country. While I believe most hospitals and doctors won’t be nearly that bad, I’m not going to take my changes. Great read! Very informative.

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Graham Noorey - October 17, 2016

I may be at a disadvantage. I have a heart condition, and am slightly overweight. I haven’t been to the gym for many years now, although I never thought it was a problem, until recently.

My doctor informed me that I have a serious heart condition. I’d known that I had a problem with blood pressure for a long time, but I thought it had more to do with my mood than anything. One of the things that I’ve done recently, is started eating different food.

My appetite is too large for a serious diet. But I’ve switched to eating a full course of green vegetables with virtually every meal, and I’ve curbed my smoking habit quite considerably. The point I’m trying to make, is that I may be considering a vacation trip to Thailand, or some place that has similar, effective health care for on a budget.

This will be a big motivator for me. Hopefully I can lose some more weight, and maybe even work with my doctor to get myself off of the pills that I’m taking.

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Suzan Wood - October 17, 2016

Definitely talk to your financial advisor and insurance company. Don’t expect that every place you go to will be able to save you money, or that access to exceptional health care is available. A lot of this stuff is common knowledge for people who make regular, yearly trips to another country to get away.

As Jonathan points out, there are definite things to be aware of. At the same time, I know personally that some financial benefits are certainly available. I don’t know either, just how medical systems are rated abroad but some of the ‘top’ places have abysmal health care. From a financial standpoint, it’s definitely worth planning for.

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