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Stuff To Help You

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#1 copywriter


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Posted 08 August 2003 - 10:45 AM

I'm always being asked which books and programs I recommend for those who want to learn how to write copy. Here's a list of my favs.

The Big Red Fez by Seth Godin – Wonderful suggestions on making any Web site better. The book covers design issues, payment issues, copy issues, and so on. Excellent, common sense advice, and a quick read, too.

Why We Buy by Paco Underhill – This spectacular book is primarily geared to offline retail stores; however, I’ve found some tremendous ideas to use in site navigation and online copywriting, too. Some of his “in the field” observations are extremely enlightening.

How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – An all-time favorite of mine! The principles in this book can be used to improve your personal relationships, business relationships, customer service, copywriting, marketing, and practically every other aspect of your life. Dale Carnegie is so in tune with what people want, and he tells you how to use that information to your advantage in this book.

Webster's New World Pocket Thesaurus – I never go a day without using it. Best $4.00 I ever spent!

Jump Start Your Brain by Doug Hall – This book is hilarious! Not only does it help you overcome brain blocks, but it also lifts your spirits at the same time. Doug is wonderful at showing you how to break free from a one-track mind and think openly so your ideas flow better.

NetWords by Nick Usborne - Looks at the specifics of writing for the 'Net. Great read.

All of the above can be found at local bookstores and Amazon.com.

The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Engins by Jill Whalen- Even if I didn't know and love her, I'd appreciate all the no-fluff information she includes in this report.

The Step-by-Step Copywriting Course by Yours Truly! - Covers copywriting, SEO copywriting, online, offline, short, long, buying process, behavioral styles, pink, purple, and blue with green polka dots. :aloha:

One of the BEST ways to improve yourself at copywriting is to learn and understand human behavior. The "emotional" aspect of buying is extremely strong. That's why "How To Win Friends" and "Why We Buy" are two books I always recommend first.

What are your favorite copywriting resources?


#2 Vertster


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Posted 08 August 2003 - 11:09 AM

I would add a couple books to the list here... Both are concerned with direct response copywriting more than anything else.

"The Copywriter's Handbook" by Bob Bly Written by one of the all time greatest copywriters (IMO.) This book is great because it covers HOW to write, as well as how to vary it depending on the vehicle- mail, brochure, print ad, press release, etc.

"The Ultimate Sales Letter" by Dan Kennedy At the heart of direct response copywriting is the sales letter. Read it and buy. Thats the premise! Of all the types of direct marketing, the sales letter is and always be the best.

#3 copywriter


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Posted 08 August 2003 - 11:13 AM

Both good resources. While the sales letter may be at the heart of direct marketing, I have to say (and Dan Kennedy agrees) that it does not work in all situations. And for SEO purposes, it can be very dangerous long.

Bob Bly is a great guy in addition to being a super copywriter!

#4 sheriw


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Posted 08 August 2003 - 12:55 PM

I love net words, too. Here are some personal favorites:

" Business To Business Internet Marketing" : Silverstein covers some good, basic topics in this book, and is helpful for anyone new to Internet Marketing.

Also, " Ogilvy on Advertising" is a good read with some good examples of excellent copywriting. While this book was directed towards print media, the information in it is timeless and classic: know your audience, and write to them.

Finally, "My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising" by Claude Hopkins.

I know, I sound like a geezer with these oldies, but this guy invented the concept of checking out whether things are working or not, and using metrics for advertising campaigns. Good, sound solid advice that works today just as well as it did back when it was originally written. If more people read this book, there would be a lot fewer gunshot marketing campaigns (you know, the "scatter the shot everywhere and hope something gets hit in the process") and a lot more targeted marketing done.

:propeller: Just my two cents,


#5 copywriter


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Posted 08 August 2003 - 01:27 PM

Great picks, Sheriw. Thanks for sharing.

#6 Jill


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Posted 08 August 2003 - 02:42 PM

Hope you guys don't mind, I'm going to edit those links to use my affiliate links from Amazon. Maybe we can curb some of the costs of this Virtual Private Server we're on!



#7 copywriter


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Posted 08 August 2003 - 02:45 PM

No prob.

#8 Toadally


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Posted 09 August 2003 - 08:46 PM

As an aside Jill, what do you think about Amazon affiliate links as they take you off site. Maybe not so important for your site but for a strict retailer, I'm not so sure. We use them too, but at 5% not much income.

#9 Jill


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Posted 09 August 2003 - 11:23 PM

If your site is just informational, Amazon links are great. I use them on my Parentsroom site and make a little extra every few months. Covers hosting and whatnot.


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