Category Archives: Copywriting

Sales Letter Copywriting Cheat Sheet

I have always believed that writing advertisements is the second most profitable form of writing. The first, of course, is ransom notes.  -Philip Dusenberry

I can still remember the first and most powerful lesson in the science of copywriting I ever learnt. 

I was in Year 10 or 11 of high school (that’s sophomore or junior for our North American friends), and my buddy Martin S. was writing some posters we were going to stick up around campus to get volunteers for a project.

As we were trying to brainstorm what to put on the posters he said, “Well, we want as many people to read this as possible, so why not write ‘FREE BEER?’ It will at least get attention that way.”

Now that powerful lesson wasn’t how to ‘bait and switch’ your audience… it was simply the importance of a captivating headline that gets noticed.

Another  important lesson that I continue to reap benefits from which  I learnt in high school was the power of a cheat sheet.

If you’ve been around our little community here for any time, you’d know my mum was a math teacher. And thus, it’s no surprise what subjects I ended up doing a lot in high school (clearly, it wasn’t literature).

Now as handy as it was having a permanent tutor at home to get me ready for tests, the best thing about these advanced math classes was the ability to take a double-sided cheat sheet into exams. For some reason I still can’t quite understand, we were allowed to create two pages with formulas, equations and examples to take in with us and reference during these tests.

It made such a difference to have something to rely back to, ensure you were not missing any steps in a formula, and use as a kind of checklist.

And it’s why I use cheat sheets and checklists in almost every area of my life… and felt a little less weird when I read Atul Gawande’s great book, The Checklist Manifesto.

So combining these two lessons together, I want to share with you a Copywriting Checklist I created a few years back.

It’s the reference sheet I lean on regularly when trying to craft a piece of sales copy.

Does it replace a great copywriting course?

Does Atul’s checklists replace 6 years of medical school? Of course not.

What it does do though is act as a fantastic map to follow when you’re working on your next piece of marketing.

The downloadable two page cheat sheet reads like a sales letter, but is in fact a guide and reference tool to ensure you never miss any of the 11 critical copy tactics or elements.

I hope it helps you, like it does me.

Opinions vs Test Results

Opinions are important, they’re needed to spur discussion and inspire people to stretch.…but it’s test results that are needed to change a consensus. The world would still be flat if someone first didn’t have an opinion that the status quo needed questioning.… but the people didn’t believe until that assumption was tested and proven to be false. Facts, Figures and Pie Charts are what we need more of. As much as social media is doing a great job of continuing to flatten the world and make it smaller… it’s given so many people a platform to disguise their opinions as

First Drafts, Up Drafts + Down Drafts.

First Drafts – these are the things that scares a writer; the things that create resistance. Down Drafts1 – are what matters. They solely exist to get everything out of your head and down on the page. Up Drafts – it’s only here where you think; think about what you put down, think out how it flows, think about that typo. Forget about first drafts. Focus on the down drafts. Finish with the Up Drafts. For More Instructions on Writing and Life: Read ‘Bird by Bird’

The Why, What, How Structure Of Information Marketing

If you’ve been around the info-marketing game for awhile now, you’d have a good grasp of the sales funnel model… and how you need to structure your products range in a way then ensure your offerings fit along the sales funnel so people opt-into your funnel with a FREE report, e-book or seminar and then move through the funnel by purchasing ever increasing priced products and services. BUT, if your upsell conversions are not where you want them to be, how do you structure your sales pipe to ensure your customers NEED your next offering and continue along the slippery

Look Over Brent Hodgson’s Shoulder…

Howdee… Just wanted to let you all know that Brent is running a little ‘challenge’. If his recent blog post titled ‘Want To Watch while a Copywriter Writes Salesletters – for real?’, gets 20 responses by Thursday 13th, he is going to do a series of short screen-cam videos the week after showing each copywriting step he goes through as he goes through it, what he’s thinking at each step, and how you can duplicate his process to create your own sales letters – and make the videos available on his blog. So why should you learn from Brent? Well

Pete Williams is an entrepreneur, author, and marketer from Melbourne, Australia.

Before being honored “Australia’s Richard Branson” in media publications all over the continent, Pete was just 21 years old when he sold Australia’s version of Yankee Stadium, The Melbourne Cricket Ground For Under $500! Don’t believe it? You will! Check out the story in the FAQ section (it really is our most asked question).

Since then, he’s done some cool stuff like write the international smash hit ‘How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality’ (+ the upcoming ‘It’s Not About the Product‘) and he’s created a bunch of companies including Infiniti Telecommunications, On Hold Advertising, Simply Headsets and Preneur Group.

Lots of other people think he’s pretty good too! He’s been announced as the Global Runner-Up in the JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2009, the Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a member of SmartCompany’s Top 30 Under 30.

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