I have another revealing interview for you this week, this one from another of my early mentors, Joe Vitale.
Joe has written hundreds of books and information products over the years. And as we all know, content and copy are money in the bank.
So I spent a couple of hours picking Joe’s brain for the secrets to getting it done fast. Here are the highlights …
Daniel Levis: Before we get into the meat of this interview, Joe, tell us a little bit about your career, and how you got involved in copywriting.
Joe Vitale: Well, I’ve been writing since I was sixteen years old and I am now fifty-two and a half. I began by writing plays, novels, books, articles, journalism type pieces and gradually moved into the wonderful, thrilling, exciting, hypnotic world of copywriting.
And I went into that world because as I created some of my own products I learned that unless you or somebody you hire sells them they will die a quiet death. And so I learned copywriting because I was my first client.
So I’ve been doing copywriting itself for maybe thirty years. And I’ve done it for a wide variety of things. Of course, I did it in the early days before the Internet in the offline direct mail only world. And you really cut your teeth in that world because you pay for your postage. You pay for your printing and if something doesn’t work you really feel it. And so I had to learn what really works, what really doesn’t work.
I had to learn the unspoken rules of copywriting. I had to learn the short cuts to copywriting. I had to learn speed copywriting. And for the most part it was trial and error teaching it all to myself.
And of course over the years I’ve managed to use it on my books. I’ve written more books than I can remember. It’s probably in the couple dozen category. I use copywriting techniques in those books. I use copywriting techniques to promote those books. And of course I’ve done copywriting for a wide variety of clients; a lot of authors, a lot of speakers, a lot of consultants, a lot of software, a lot of small businesses and some giant corporations. So I’ve dabbled in all of it. That’s kind of the quick overview.
Daniel Levis: You use this term hypnotic a lot in your marketing. Hypnotic writing, hypnotic marketing, hypnotic selling… obviously it’s an intriguing spin, but what’s it really all about?
Joe Vitale: I’m talking about writing that holds people’s attention to such a degree that they do not want to leave from reading. The experience is so riveting that nothing else is going to pull them away. And this is very important because in the world of copywriting, for the most part, you are a stranger writing to strangers asking them to give money for something they’re not going to see or receive or feel or experience until some time afterwards.
Writing articles, writing fiction, writing plays, writing books is far, far easier than writing copy. So I was looking for every sort of edge humanly possible to make my writing irresistible.
And of course I have a background in hypnosis. I’ve been doing hypnosis since I was a teenager. I speak at the annual hypnosis conventions. I am a certified Hypnotherapist. So I bring in the world of hypnosis, the world of mind captivation, if you will, combine it with language skills to end up with what I call hypnotic writing which is any writing that holds people’s attention and puts them into what’s called a waking trance.
A waking trance is actually a scientific term. It is referring to a light hypnotic stage where people are focused in their attention but still with their eyes open. Most people think of hypnosis as you’re part way to sleep and your eyes are closed. Well, waking hypnosis is when your eyes are opened but you are focused in your attention. I do that with my hypnotic writing. That’s what I strive for. If I can create something that’s hypnotically written, my chances of getting the sale have just dramatically increased.
Daniel Levis:You’re certainly a very gifted copywriter and author. Your marketing converts like crazy but beyond that I know from working with you that you’re also extremely prolific. Tell us about how you became that way. What advice do you have for our members?
Joe Vitale: Great question. There are several things to keep in mind there. The very first – and it’s going to sound so simplistic but this is so meaningful in so many areas besides copywriting. It’s the famous Nike phrase “Just Do It”. This is so powerful. Whatever you think of Nike or their shoes or their business practices you’ve got to really applaud them for coming up with these three words of wisdom, Just Do It.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, start a new business; write copy, or any number of things the average person stops themselves because of self-doubt, self-criticism, and concern about planning things out in great detail. Whenever you feel yourself falling into this trap, just conjure up those three words “Just Do It”.
I do that on all kinds of levels. I do it in business. I do it when I go to work out. My ability to lose eighty some pounds and compete in five fitness contests largely comes from me making up my mind to Just Do It.
So the same thing goes on in copywriting. When I sit down to write something, I am not going to second guess myself. I am not going to stop the process of creativity. I am going to sit down and just do it. So that’s the first thing that’s going on.
The second thing is I’ve learned that I have to turn off the voice of editorial control or editorial influence and this is a biggie. When I was teaching writing classes decades ago back in Houston – I would ask people how they feel about writing.
Most of them said they had writing blocks or they struggled with their writing or they couldn’t get any writing done or they fought with themselves with what they were writing or they just couldn’t manage to be very prolific because they couldn’t get the first thing done.
When I explored it, I would find out that they were doing this editing and writing type of process at the same time in their head. And that came from the way most of us are taught how to write.
We’re taught to watch our spelling. We’re taught to watch our punctuation. We’re taught to watch our sentence grammar, our sentence structure. We’re taught to watch for prepositions. We’re taught to watch for all of these things that end up making us paranoid when we go to write because in the back of our mind we’re thinking okay is this correct. Did I spell that word correct? Is this making sense? Is there a logical progression here? And it just gets more and more confusing. We end up fighting with ourselves. Of course it’s not a joy. It’s not easy. And we don’t get anything done at all.
And back in those days in Houston in those writing classes, I would have people pair off. All the B’s sit there and start writing something. And as the B’s would sit there and start writing something, anything, the A’s were instructed to lean over their shoulder and criticize it.
They would criticize it in the most polite way. They would just lovingly and supportively say: are you sure you want to say that? Do you know where you’re going with this piece of writing? You’re not really a writer anyway, are you? Shouldn’t you be doing your laundry or washing your car or digging ditches out there somewhere in the world? Why don’t you just give this up?
And so they quickly found out that with that critic standing over them they could not write a word; at least not joyfully. And what I had to learn and what I advised those people to do is to separate the process. When you sit down to write, you simply write. You write with the commitment to get the first draft done if at all humanly possible.
If you’re writing a book you may not write the entire book in one sitting but you can write the first chapter in one sitting. And the agreement you’re making is that you will bring in the editorial part of yourself later, not during the creativity process, not during the first draft process, later.
So just doing it is a big one. Separating the editorial and the creative process is a big one. And of course there are more shortcuts that help you get all of this done that we can talk about if there’s more time. But those are a couple of the biggies that come to mind.
Daniel Levis: In direct response, there are no rewards for creativity, only results. So we tend to look at what’s worked in the past and adapt those things to the present. But nonetheless, there’s always a creative element that goes into it. Particularly if you’re playing in the big leagues and you’re competing with other very talented writers.
What’s your approach to jump-starting your muse so to speak, and unleashing winning ideas quickly when you’re faced with pumping out a promotion or a speech or even a book fast?
Joe Vitale: Keep a swipe file. And so when it comes time for you to write your next sales letter and you’re not quite sure where to start you might jump through the swipe file. It’s one of the things I do. I’ll start flipping through my own. I have it in a piece of software I created that maybe we can talk about later.
It’s my own hypnotic writing swipe file. And I’ll go through it. I’ll be looking for proven sentences, phrases, kick start statements, anything that’ll just get the juices going. And again I think we’re called copywriters because we tend to copy. And I don’t mean that in a straight illegal way. I mean it in an inspirational way. It’s plagiarism if you just go and lift somebody else’s writing word for word but it’s inspiration if you read their writing and tailor it to yourself and what you have before you.
So that’s one of the first things I do. I’ll go through the swipe file and I really enjoy that. Reading great copy excites me. There’s something thrilling about picking up a piece of copy that somebody really worked on and crafted and reading it and feeling that urge to buy because of it. I admire that. I welcome that in my life. I model it. I’m inspired by it. And so I go through that as one of my first things.
Now another thing that I do and I don’t know that very many copywriters do this, but it sure works for me. I will assign the task of writing my next piece of copy to my own brain. And what I mean by that is I will give myself a goal or an intention. I will tell my mind that okay Joe you have to write this piece of copy for this new software program or this new book or this business or this website, whatever I’ve been hired to do. And I will turn it over to my unconscious, my subconscious, whatever you want to call that creative aspect of your own mind.
As most of us have heard our brains are pretty powerful but yet we only use a tiny fraction of them. And we’ve heard numbers anywhere from three percent of our brain to fifteen percent of our brain; well that’s of course the conscious part.
The unconscious part, which is incredibly powerful and so wide encompassing we can’t even imagine what it’s capable of, is sitting there waiting to take orders. And so I use the tiny portion of my brain, that ten percent that’s active, and I’ll say okay, speaking to the ninety percent of my brain, I want to come up with a fantastic sales letter that out pulls anything that’s ever been done before. This is the product I want to do it for and this is when I want to have it done by. So work on it and when you’re ready to have me start writing it down, send me a note. Send me a nudge. Send me an intuition. Send me something as a signal and that’s my cue to begin writing.
So it’s really the power of intention, something I’ve written about in my book, The Attractor Factor. I use that in the world of copywriting. I give myself an intention to accomplish a particular result with my copy.
And then I guess there’s a third thing that I would do to jump start my creative muse and that goes back to what I talked about earlier – just doing it.
There is real power in trusting the creative process. Just jump in and just do it: start writing because out of writing the first few sentences – the first few paragraphs may be garbage but out of that process of discovery will come the gold. So those are three things that I do on a pretty regular basis to write copy fast.
Daniel Levis: What about non-traditional sources of swipe? Ways of taking ideas from novels and short stories and journalism and even jokes, what do you have to say about that?
Joe Vitale: Oh boy, what a brilliant question. That is something I don’t think I’ve ever been asked before but it leads into something that I will reveal probably for the first time right here. I will very often read oh, not so much jokes, though I have to admit just before this phone call I was reading a book called 3,241 quips, quotes and smart ass remarks. And not because I wanted to come up with a smart ass remark to give to you on this interview but because there’s a certain structure to a joke – there’s usually just two or three lines – which is powerful to keep in mind when you’re writing copy – just in two or three lines is a setup statement of some sort and then it leads to a punch line that’s usually surprising and it’s that sense of surprise that makes the joke funny.
You didn’t see it coming or you thought something else was coming and instead here comes this new different direction, which makes you smile.
Well, it’s that kind of formula that I like to use in my copywriting. There’s a setup phase there and it leads to something that’s surprising. This is very hypnotic. My setup phrase may be very curiosity provoking because I love to rely on curiosity in my copywriting.
Curiosity is one of the most powerful hypnotic techniques you can use. When you get somebody interested but you don’t fulfill their interest immediately they hang on wanting to know more and they keep reading which leads you to what could be called the punch line slash the close.
So I will sometimes read jokes. I will sometimes just pick up a book that I’m reading and I have books all around me. I’m sitting in my office with 5,000 books all around me and a couple dozen that are waiting to be read and a couple dozen that have already been started. I’ll lean over and pick any book. It doesn’t matter what the book is just something that I’m fairly interested in and I’ll start reading it.
Now what’s going on is first of all I’m occupying my conscious mind for a little bit. Now keep in mind I’ve already stated the intention to my brain that I want to write this piece of copy. So I’m occupying my conscious mind by reading a book, any book.
While I’m reading it sometimes I will get this ah-ha. My brain will awaken. Something will sneak into my consciousness, into my awareness. I’ll slam the book down. I’ll go over and start writing my copy or I’ll pick up where I left off if I pause for a little bit.
And then another thing I do when I’m reading is I love to read books that are written in what I’ll call a hypnotic fashion. They hold my attention. They captivate me. As I’m reading it, I’ll ask myself questions like, why is this holding my attention. Why is this captivating me? The author has access to the same twenty-six letters of the alphabet that I do. How did he or she rearrange them to grab and hold me?
Really, the birth of hypnotic writing came from two sources for me; one, from studying Robert Collier who wrote of course the famous Robert Collier Letter book and wrote some classic direct mail letters. And the other was studying the fiction writers like Shirley Jackson who was hypnotic. She wrote a famous short story called The Lottery that today lives on as a classic in American History.
I studied Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain and as I looked at all of these writers, who are all considered to be powerful, classic figures in literature, I would ask what makes this writing tick because once I can understand their formula I could then translate it, borrow it, and use it in traditional copywriting.
So I’m using all of these kinds of techniques to speed up my writing, to make my writing more powerful and of course to make it more results oriented. That’s hypnotic writing. Get their attention, hold their attention and that leads to results.
Daniel Levis: Right. I think that’s a really advanced concept that could be dangerous in neophyte hands but certainly a valuable tool for anybody who’s already got the basics down.
Joe Vitale: How can it be dangerous in a beginner’s hands? I’m curious about your comment.
Daniel Levis: Well, I think when we’re writing copy we’ve got one goal and that goal is to sell.
Joe Vitale: Uh-huh.
Daniel Levis: And when we’re writing a novel we’ve got another goal and that is to entertain.
Joe Vitale: Oh, I see. Then do you mean if they forget the goal?
Daniel Levis: Yeah.
Joe Vitale: That’s a good point because I use different formulas when I’m writing my copy but the bottom line is I have to get the result that I’ve been asked to achieve with my words. And I have to always keep that in mind. I don’t want to write a piece of sales letter copy that somebody says wow this is a great piece of literature but doesn’t sell anything.
Daniel Levis: Right.
Joe Vitale: So I always have to keep that in mind. And that’s right everybody does. Beginners, advanced, we always have to remind ourselves what’s the bottom line result that we want. We want the sales.
Daniel Levis: Sure. Speaking of that, when you’re writing a sales letter is there a process or a series of steps you’ve found that helps you to reduce the time it takes to go from idea to finished product?
Joe Vitale: Yeah. There’s a couple ways to look at this. One is a formula that I use and I talked about it in a book that’s now out of print. I talked about it in one of the very first books on Internet marketing and Internet copywriting, which was a book I wrote way back in the mid-nineties called Cyber Writing.
It’s a formula called TARGET. Now everybody in copywriting probably knows about the famous AIDA formula, A-I-D-A attention interest desire action. They should all of course know that. And I love that formula. It’s been around a hundred and some years or more. It is a great workable process to keep in mind. It’s your little cheat sheet. It’s your little oh just check off go by the numbers approach to writing copy.
Well, I’ve expanded on it in something I call TARGET. And every one of those letters stands for something. And I’ll run through them right now.
The T is to be targeted and that comes from most people not keeping in mind their target audience when they’re trying to write a headline or they’re trying to get attention in some way and they may be totally off the mark in how they’re getting attention. We want to get targeted attention. We usually don’t want everybody to read our particular piece of copy. And it always sounds nice to think oh the whole world may read this piece of copy. But that’s hardly the case.
What we want is our target audience to read the piece of copy because those are the people we are appealing to. And if we are on target – we have a match between the audience and the offer, and our results will go way up. So we want to TARGET what we’re doing.
The A is to arrest attention. The R is to arouse the emotions. G is to guarantee what you’re offering. The E is for evidence. And the T is to tell them what to do which is similar to the call for action. And so I keep in mind the target formula whenever I’m writing a piece of copy. I’ve been doing this for three decades. I’ve got thirty years experience. I’ve written all kinds of books. I tell people how to write copy. I’ve got a software program that helps people write copy. I’ve been doing this night and day. I can do it in my sleep most likely. Yet, I have to have my little formula as my reminder – as my cheat sheet.
The way I rationalize this is when you go to take a plane ride the pilots always have a checklist and I know it because I am a private pilot. I learned how to fly in 1972. And we were taught to use that checklist. And you never ever start your plane without going through the checklist. You did it for safety reasons, of course.
Well, TARGET is my checklist that I use when writing copy. I’ve been told that Claude Hopkins had a checklist. To my knowledge, nobody’s ever found that particular checklist that he had. I think it would be worth gold if we ever turned it up. But all the pros that I’m aware of have some sort of checklist.
The most minimal at least is the famous AIDA, A-I-D-A formula. I’ve upgraded it for my own personal use and TARGET is my personal checklist. So that helps me by reminding me to cover all of these bases. I definitely want to get attention and generate interest and create desire and get that call to action going on but I also want to make sure all of it’s appropriate.
I want to make sure all of it’s targeted. I want to make it all work. And I don’t want to skip a single step. So that’s why I use my particular formula.
Daniel Levis: Cool. What tips do you have for editing at warp speed and still ending up with copy that’s sharp as a bullfighter’s killing sword?
Joe Vitale: (Laughter) That’s a great image. Well, I’ve got several of them because editing is where the real magic takes place. And again, just to remind everybody, I want the writing process and editorial process to be two separate experiences. When you sit down to write you just do it. You do whatever it takes to get your first draft done. When it’s done you take a break, which could be a few minutes. It could be an hour, or it could be a day or longer.
But we’re talking about speed copywriting here. So you might not have the ability to take much of a break. So you come back to it and now you put on the editorial hat. One of the very first things I do, and I had to learn this the hard way, is to cut off the first paragraph and sometimes even the first page of what I’ve just written.
Now, I often work very hard on the first paragraph and on the first page knowing that it’s a very important make-it-or-break-it point. I know that if the headline grabbed people I’ve got to keep them interested. I’ve got to keep them reading so I work very hard on it.
But I also know that we very often start writing something before we start saying something. That’s important. I’m pausing for dramatic emphasis because I do this myself. We will start writing before we start actually saying anything of value.
So I’ll go back and look at the first paragraph and the first page and say to myself can this piece of copy live without it? More often than not it can. I scrap it. I kill it because those are weak points. I want muscular copywriting. I want hypnotic writing. And if I take too long to get into what I want to say it’s got to go. So again I’m being ruthless here.
So I look at the first paragraph or first page. By the same token, the next thing I do is jump to the end because the last paragraph and sometimes the whole last page are unnecessary. I’ve already asked for the order but I keep talking. It’s like the salesman who’s standing in front of the couple who says okay I’m ready to buy but the salesman keeps talking. He’s not listening. He’s not ready to write down the order. He’s not acknowledging that these people are ready.
Daniel Levis: He wants to buy it back.
Joe Vitale: (Laughter) He wants to buy it back, yes. And we don’t want that to happen.
This is something I learned twenty-five, thirty years ago. There was a software program, it was very clumsy but it would go through and automatically delete every sixth word in a piece of writing. Now if you delete every sixth word in a piece of writing you will most likely come out with awkward writing. But the lesson is: very often that sixth word is totally unnecessary. So I’ll go through my copywriting, and I’m doing this pretty fast, none of this is taking time, it takes longer to explain it than to actually do it.
I’ll go through my piece of writing and I will look for all the words that can be deleted. I’ll look at these sentences and I won’t necessarily count every six words but I’m looking to say okay can that live without that word? Can it live without that sentence? Can it live without this paragraph or this phrase? And if it can or I think it can, I kill it.
The other thing I keep in mind as I’m reading is a quote I think it’s from the novelist Elmore Leonard. And he said he tries to leave out the parts people skip. And I’ve always loved that. And I remember thinking to myself: whenever I’m reading a piece of copy, will my reader skip this part?
If I think they’ll skip it I either have to rewrite it to make it tighter, make it more emotional, make it more hypnotic or I’ve got to just flat out kill it.
Daniel Levis: You talked about creating a light, hypnotic state of mind. You talked about the reader’s state of mind but let’s talk about your state of mind when you’re actually writing. And you said somewhere, I can’t remember where it was but – that you can write easier, faster and with greater clarity and creativity when you’re in that same state of mind. Help us to understand that a little better.
Joe Vitale: Yeah. Well, this goes back to the conversation we had earlier about the conscious mind. We use about ten percent and it’s not in control of everything. And the unconscious mind is like an iceberg. Ninety percent is under the water. It has more wisdom and more creativity and more capability than we as a conscious mind have. So what I’m trying to do is to access that greater, wiser, more creative, more powerful part of my brain.
By going into a light hypnotic trance, I’m getting out of that controlling editorial part of Joe, of Joe’s brain, of any copywriter’s brain, who’s trying to influence the outcome. And I’m trying to open the door to this other part of me, which may surprise me with a new way of expressing something, a new way of creating something, a new way of writing hypnotically.
So I do my best to put myself into a light, hypnotic trance. Now that does not mean I’m comatose. It does not mean that I’m unconscious. I’m not in a coma. I’m not oblivious to the world. I know exactly what’s going on. I might do it by listening to soft music. Very often classical music is used for this. I might do it with a self induced state of hypnosis where I’m just simply walking myself through a state of deep relaxation by beginning – by saying my feet are relaxed. My ankles are relaxed. My shins are relaxed going up my body just talking myself into a state of relaxation.
I might do it by slowing down my breathing – by breathing in to the count of four, holding my breath for the count of four, releasing it to the count of four, holding that empty spot for the count of four and doing a round or two of that because I end up quieting myself and relaxing.
And the more I can get into this quiet, unconscious kind of space the more I can allow the writing to come through that’s fresh, that’s new, that is original and that’s fast. I’m not in the way of it coming through. I am allowing it to come through. At that point, you’re almost a stenographer and you’re taking dictation when the copy comes through from this other aspect of your mind. And you’re doing it from this light, hypnotic trance.
And again this isn’t much different than that state of highway hypnosis that all of us have experienced at one point or another when you’re driving down a long stretch of highway and you kind of suddenly wake-up and realize oh, did I miss my exit?
What happened to the last twenty minutes? Well, you were in a light, hypnotic trance. You obviously were in control of the car or some part of you was and you obviously got to where you were going but there was no danger involved. It’s the same thing with a light, hypnotic, creative trance.
Daniel Levis: You mentioned you spent some time training folks. What are some of the most common mistakes you see new, inexperienced copywriters making that either slow them down or frustrate them creatively besides what you’ve already mentioned?
Joe Vitale: Well, I think getting the process out of order confuses beginning copywriters. Now, I think professional copywriters can do it in any order that they want because they’ve got to re-craft it, reformat it, and they may even create a new way of getting copy to get results by experimenting. But the beginners need to follow the rules until they know the rules so well they can start to bend them then reshape them and maybe even make new rules. But they need to start at the beginning.
One of the things I just saw this morning somebody had sent me a website to review. He’s a beginning copywriter. He hadn’t done it very much. There are elements of greatness within the copy he sent me. He knew how to craft a few sentences. He knew that he needed a guarantee and it was pretty strong but everything was out of order.
I opened up the website copy, which is what he was drafting, and the call to order was at the top of the page. Well, that was way too soon. I mean there was no building up of interest. No building up of desire. There was no momentum going on. It was just like walking into a car lot and the guy says well do you want to buy this car? It was even more blunt in the way this copy was done. So this was done out of order.
And then the other thing that I see all the time are weak headlines and this is really tragic because as you know if people aren’t captivated by the headline it doesn’t matter what you wrote underneath it because they’re not going to look.
The headline is the make it or break it. I mean we’ve probably heard studies from David Ogilvy and John Caples and David Garfinkel and other copywriters that are out there including myself who say that a change in a headline can get you five hundred times more response or at least five hundred times more readership of your letter.
So people don’t work hard enough on the headline. My little secret is that I work harder on the headline than I do on anything else in the sales letter. And I usually work on the headline first because the headline is kind of like an anchoring and focusing statement for me as the copywriter. If I’m clear about what it is that I’m offering and I can create a hypnotic, curiosity-provoking headline that will draw people in it helps me write the sales letter better.
So I think too many beginning copywriters write the headline either last or they don’t spend as much time on it or they’re just not as concerned about it. They don’t realize just how incredibly nuclear powerful it is. So that’s another one.
I see too many copywriters who have heard about the story telling technique, which is one of my favorites. But they tell a boring story. They haven’t looked around or dug deep enough to find a story that really comes to life – that really brings the product to life.
I want to find a story that is a zinger; the kind of thing that you will repeat after they’ve read the sales letter. And too many beginning copywriters don’t work very hard on the story. They’ll begin by saying once upon a time such and such happened and they might add once upon a time down as a beginning of a story because it’s kind of hypnotic for all of us to hear that particular phrase.
But if a story doesn’t sound interesting, if it’s not captivating, if it doesn’t tie into the product or the headline or ultimately what you’re asking people to buy it’s all for naught. It’s not going to work.
Daniel Levis: I just read a sales letter like that two days ago. And it was copying the famous two young men letter.
Joe Vitale: I was actually thinking of that one. People copy that one but they do it so poorly.
Daniel Levis: All-right, last question. Are there any exercises or practices that you recommend for aspiring copywriters that can help them to soak up copywriting skills fast?
Joe Vitale: Well, the most obvious one that hopefully your audience has already heard before but it’s still a tried and true favorite and I do it myself even today is when you come across copy that you like that you are moved by, especially if you read a piece of copy and you lifted up your wallet and you bought from it, take that copy and write it out in your own handwriting.
Surely, the beginning copywriters have heard this, but if it is brand new you have to do this. This is one of the most powerful – one of the fastest ways to absorb the rhythm of great copy because what you’re doing is training your brain to recognize it.
So I will take a piece of copy – I’ve done it with, for example, Robert Collier, who I just worship. I think he was the world’s first hypnotic copywriter. I’ll get out the Robert Collier Letter book. I’ll look at one of the letters in there that I really liked and I will get out a pad and paper and I think it’s important to do it with pad and paper not at your computer.
You want to hand write word for word the sales letter you admire because as you hand write it you are training your brain to be aware of the little nuances that went into that piece of copy. You slow down the process of understanding that piece of copy.
It’s one thing to read the copy and admire it. But it happens too quickly for you to be consciously aware of what’s happening. You start to understand the sentence structure and the flow. You start to understand where the breaks were and maybe why there were breaks. You start to understand maybe why he used particular words.
Daniel Levis: I don’t think people can hear that too many times.
Joe Vitale: It’s so powerful. They’ve got to do it. If you are serious about learning copywriting, that is the number one thing to do. Get out the letters of the greats, copy them word for word, and do a lot of them because you don’t want to do just one. You want to do a lot of them. You will just warp speed advance over all other copywriters. You talk about speed copywriting. This is the way to speed learn copywriting.
Daniel Levis: All-right, so thanks for stopping by Joe and sharing so generously. I hope we can do this again.
Joe Vitale: Thank you, Daniel. The pleasure was all mine.