The cold, hard truth about improving your copy
Got some bad news, young padawan:
And, you ain’t gonna like it.
That said, if you apply what I’m about to tell you…
There will be no ceiling to your copywriting skills. You’ll make more money, magnetize more clients, and never hafta worry about a job again.
But it’s gonna suck.
And if I’m being honest?
You probably won’t apply it.
Harsh truths outta the way… wtf am I talking about?
Glad you asked.
I’m still reading King’s The Dark Tower Series. (Politics aside… because King has some god-awful takes… he’s a master at the written word and someone I highly suggest you read more of.)
I’m currently reading The Wind Through The Keyhole. It’s a 4.5 book, which tells world-building stories between the 4th and 5th major novels.
Our main character, Roland, is hypnotizing a young boy who had just witnessed one of the most brutal murders in Mid-World. (And Mid-World was a brutal world before this, full of witches, backstabbers, gunslingers, wizards, and more.)
Roland does this by “dancing” a gunslinger's bullet between each of his fingers. It works like a key to the “patient’s” subconscious.
Before the young boy, Bill, gets fully hypnotized, he watched Roland wide-eyed and asked, “How does thee do it?”
“The same way anyone does anything. Practice.”
Which brings me to my point:
The only way to improve your copywriting skills is practice.
Not buying courses (and then never looking at them).
Not adding another copywriting book to your stack of 30 copywriting books.
Not buying newsletters, going to copywriting seminars, or getting lame HubSpot certifications. (I did this once, many year ago, and holy shyt do big email brands suck at email marketing… they don’t understand the main foundations of good copy or a good email.)
Not hand copying ads or spending 8 hours every day on swiped.co.
Nope, none of those ways make you better.
The only thing that does?
And then some more practice after that.
I’m not saying the things I mentioned above can’t help you. They can. But—and this is a big, fat BUT—only if you do it alongside practicing.
You must practice.
Doesn't matter how bad your copy sucks. And when you just start, it will suck.
And it’s funny… while you suck you’ll think you're an amazing copywriter. But if you keep practicing, you’ll slowly start to realize how bad you sucked when you started.
This reminds me of when I learned to play bass and played in a band. I’ve played well over 200 shows as a musician… maybe closer to 300. Which is much more than most musicians. Especially if you don’t count school-related concerts, which I am not.
And you know what?
I didn’t know how to play a single note as a senior in high school!
I was in orchestra in middle school. But I hadn’t played music in about 4 years before I waddled down to Guitar Center, picked up a cheapo bass, and started playing.
I soon became very good. So good, in fact, that one bozo in college came back after summer break with the biggest, bloodiest, and most hideous blisters you ever did see on his fingertips because I made him so nervous since he had oodles more experience than me, but I was better. So he practiced an ungodly amount the entire summer break.
I could barely read music, yet I was better than most bassists at a prestigious music school.
How did I become so good at bass so quickly?
I practiced like it was my mf job. I’m talking at least 4 hours every day, maybe more. (Which, if you play an instrument, is an INSANE amount of time.)
And to take it a step further…
I also did something almost no new musician does:
I practiced as much as I could with other people. And I started playing live shows in front of real people within 6 months of learning how to play.
This is especially important with playing bass because you’re the “bridge” between the rhythm section and melodic instruments.
And you know what?
This “sneaky” little trick made me better than mfs with a whole life’s worth more of experience.
And so it is with copy.
Practice as much as you can on your own.
But then practice with other people, i.e. get feedback on your copy. (Getting consistent feedback on my copy is one of the most effective ways I honed my skillz.)
Play “live shows” with your copy as soon as possible, i.e. land a client, and write copy that actually sells something.
You do those 3 things, and you’ll never have to buy another copywriting book or course again. Remember, I couldn’t even read music, yet still was better than anyone my age.
I told ya you wouldn't like what I had to say.
But I’d never lie to you, cully.
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