Can Anyone Learn To Be A Great Direct Response Copywriter?
That’s a question I’m often asked.
And my answer is Yes. But only if you are willing to work hard at it.
Let me explain further. Copywriting is not a talent you are born with.
While there are some aspects of natural talent that may make you a better direct response copywriter…
The Fundamentals of Direct Response Copywriting CAN Be Learned By Anyone
But, that’s not saying it’s easy.
I personally hate all of the “gurus” out there who tell people they can become a “top direct response copywriter” in a single weekend of taking their crash course in writing sales copy.
It’s just not that simple.
To learn to be a world-class direct response copywriter I hunted down and read (multiple times) every book on copywriting and direct marketing I could…
… in addition to taking multiple copywriting courses… and then…
… I absolutely OBSESSED over studying the top direct response ads written by whoever was considered the masters of copywriting.
And when I say I obsessed over them, I’m talking about reading them line by line, word for word, over and over again…
… plus … HANDWRITING them.
Yep. I’m serious as a heart attack.
In order to really learn to be a great direct response copywriter on a deep psychological level…
There Is NOTHING To Compare With Copying Winning Sales Copy By Hand
I’ll admit, it is VERY tedious. And your hand will cramp up and ACHE just like your muscles after you hit the gym for the first time in years.
In fact, I promise you’ll HATE it! At first anyway.
But, for me, I’ve been doing it so long now that I personally love it and it is one of my greatest secrets to becoming a top direct response copywriter.
It’s something after almost a decade of studying copywriting that I STILL do every single day with the goal of continually sharpening my chops as a great direct response copywriter.
Now, a serious warning for you. If you are going to attempt this, DO NOT just copy any random advertisement or sales letter.
Only Write Out PROVEN Sales Letters and Online Sales Pages
Why? Because doing this exercise will burn into your brain the tactics used. And the last thing you want to do is learn BAD copywriting!
What I suggest is to get your hands on some classic “Old School” mail order ads from legends like Eugene Schwartz and John Caples or more recent superstar copywriters like the late Gary Halbert or the “Billion Dollar Man” Ted Nicholas.
You can’t go wrong learning from these guys and it’s relatively easy to find copies of their top-producing ads by doing a basic Google search.
Also, make sure you ONLY WRITE IN CURSIVE.
There is a proven neurological connection between writing something in cursive and in retention on a subconscious level.
And this is why writing out complete ads and sales letters, exactly as written with each indent, underline, capitalization, etc. will download in your brain the rhythm and structure of great copywriting.
I promise you, that doing this is the fastest way possible to leapfrog to the top level of copywriting greatness. But, please accept the fact that this takes time.
I spent YEARS writing out 8, 10 even 20-page sales letters and multiple-page ads before taking on my first copywriting clients.
Maybe it won’t take you quite as long as it took me but be prepared to put in the work.
I guarantee it’ll be worth it in the long run whether performing copywriting tasks for yourself or clients.
Another Secret To Becoming A Great Direct Response Copywriter Is To Find Yourself A Copywriting Coach!
It’s so much easier to learn anything if you have someone to help you stay on the right path. More than that, to encourage you when you get frustrated and not allow you to give up.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to find someone to follow you around day-to-day barking orders at you like a Drill Sargent.
There are persons online who will work with you in either a one-on-one or group coaching format online over SKYPE, through email, or over the phone.
In fact, (HINT HINT) I’m starting a copywriting coaching program myself (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. Now, obviously, I don’t expect everyone reading this to contact me but find SOMEONE reliable who can give you a competitive edge in mastering this powerful skill.
Finally, Start Building Your Own Library Of Classic Copywriting Books… RIGHT AWAY!
A truly great direct response copywriter is a lifelong student of copywriting and never stops reading and re-reading the classics.
Here are some of the books in my library that I highly recommend you track down and start reading immediately.
(By the way, you don’t have to just go through Amazon. I’ve found many of these books in used bookstores, second-hand stores, and libraries where they sell off old books to make room for new ones.)
Here’s a partial list of my most prized copywriting classics:
- Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz
- The Robert Collier Letter Book by Robert Collier
- Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples
- The Copywriter’s Handbook by Bob Bly
- How to Write A Good Advertisement by Victor Schwaab
Again, this is a partial list. There are many more but if I had to part with every book BUT five, these are the ones I would keep.
Go out… FIND THEM… READ THEM… STUDY THEM. Repeat at least once per year.
Follow this advice and you too can become a truly great direct response copywriter.