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Black_Dragon43

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Inspired by my conversation in another thread in the forum today alongside a practice inside my own agency I am setting forth this copywriting challenge to any daring soul. If Gary Halbert's challenge involved reading a bunch of stuff and copying more stuff by hand, mine is more realistic. You will actually need to get results. Real results, while putting your money where your mouth is.

Here's what you get if you participate:
• This is a very tough challenge. If you successfully win, it's almost guaranteed that you can get ANYONE to hire you as a copywriter. So this will be both a way for you to prove your skills, challenge yourself, inspire others, AND get some serious mojo and publicity out of it.
• You are free to use the fact that you won and point prospects to this thread. This will get more traffic to the forum, and will be a great portfolio item for you. A win for everyone.
• Think about it. What better proof to a client than that you managed to duke it out by selling some darn hard shit with words only by risking your OWN money?
• You get to learn from the very best, or you get to teach others how it's done.

There will be no financial compensation if you're the winner from me or any of the other participants.

Here's what the challenge consists in:

The Challenge Starter selects a product or service that has an affiliate program. Participants will then proceed to do what it takes to join the affiliate program. Each one must then attempt to sell the product profitably using (and risking) their own money, earning the affiliate commission. At the end of the 30 days, every participant must post their results. The one who has made the biggest PROFIT wins, and he must post actual video proof of his numbers, as well as walk everyone else through his funnel and method. It's very important that you share your funnel and explain how you achieved your outstanding result. If that is all checked, you are declared the almighty winner by the Challenge Starter. Of course, the moment you reveal your strategy, it will become inefficient since everyone will start doing it. But that doesn't matter. This is just a challenge. The winner then becomes the next Challenge Starter, to select the next product and repeat the process. Clear?

Okay, here's a bunch of more detailed rules:

Detailed Rules:
• Challenge Starter MUST select a product or service that is HARD TO SELL. This must be a challenge. You can't select a Blue Yeti Microphone, or some other product that is significantly easier to sell. You need to pick hard stuff. Generally, expensive tech or SaaS products are hard, as well as info products. The Challenge Starter CAN pick one of his own products, but this must be justified - it must be a challenge. You can't just pick your own product merely to grow your sales.
• Participants MUST announce their participation in the first 10 days of the challenge by posting in this thread.
• The Challenge Starter is NOT allowed to participate in his own challenge.
• As a source of traffic, you ARE ONLY allowed to use Facebook/Instagram ADS - not posts, not joining groups - just ads.
• You ARE allowed to use any software such as heatmaps, tracking software, chatbots, landing page builders, funnel builders or other conversion increasing devices.
• You ARE allowed to use a video of yourself or anything else that you want as part of your funnel.
• You are NOT allowed to re-target.
• You are NOT allowed to collect or use email marketing.
• You are NOT allowed to use a content marketing approach that requires more than one visit from the user to make a sale.
• You MUST use JUST direct response techniques, the goal is to show that you can convert people in just ONE interaction. If you use more than one interaction, you will be instantly disqualified, and will not be considered the winner even if you have the highest profit.
• You are NOT allowed to use your affiliate link to purchase the product yourself, ask your friends to purchase it, or your family, or existing/past clients or anyone you know. It must be strangers.
• You are entirely responsible for the money you decide to spend in buying traffic or setting up your method or doing any of the other tasks required for participation. By participating in the challenge, you obviously must understand the risks involved, and that if you're not successful you will lose money. Your participation is voluntary, and you are 100% responsible for the actions and decisions you take, or the amount of money you choose to risk by participating. You can risk just $10, or $1000 - it's your choice.
• On day 20, every participant must post their current profit - no image or screenshot, just a statement. You are allowed to lie at this time, posting a lower or higher amount than you have actually made. You do this either to discourage others (by posting very high numbers), or hide your real strength (by posting low numbers).
• Contest ends on day 30, at which point everyone must post their REAL numbers, and the winner will also be asked to post a video showing the real numbers and walking the rest through his funnel/techniques.
• If on day 30 NOBODY has made a profit, then the Challenge Starter remains the same, and he or she must choose a different product for the next round.

So quite straightforward. You must use Facebook/Insta advertising to send traffic to a landing page, advertorial, funnel or some similar direct response inducing technique, and convince people to buy in ONE interaction. Do this for a profit. End up with the biggest profit and you're the winner.

For the first time the challenge runs, I will be the Challenge Starter.

FIRST ROUND (to be updated as we progress)
Challenge Starter: Black_dragon43
Product: WP Engine hosting package (just the hosting, NOT the StudioPress themes. So this: Managed WordPress Hosting plans from WP Engine®)
Participants: Andreas Thiel,
Winner:
Start Date: 1st May 2020
End Date: 30th May 2020


Registrations are open. Please post here if you want to participate, explaining your intention. Feel free to also nominate others and encourage them to join.

Do you dare show us how you print cash?
 

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Manchild_Unbound

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Detailed Rules:
• Challenge Starter MUST select a product or service that is HARD TO SELL. This must be a challenge. You can't select a Blue Yeti Microphone, or some other product that is significantly easier to sell. You need to pick hard stuff. Generally, expensive tech or SaaS products are hard, as well as info products. The Challenge Starter CAN pick one of his own products, but this must be justified - it must be a challenge. You can't just pick your own product merely to grow your sales.
• Participants MUST announce their participation in the first 10 days of the challenge by posting in this thread.
• The Challenge Starter is NOT allowed to participate in his own challenge.
• As a source of traffic, you ARE ONLY allowed to use Facebook/Instagram ADS - not posts, not joining groups - just ads.
• You ARE allowed to use any software such as heatmaps, tracking software, chatbots, landing page builders, funnel builders or other conversion increasing devices.
• You ARE allowed to use a video of yourself or anything else that you want as part of your funnel.
• You are NOT allowed to re-target.
• You are NOT allowed to collect or use email marketing.
• You are NOT allowed to use a content marketing approach that requires more than one visit from the user to make a sale.

Exclusion of email marketing and retargeting makes this a hard challenge! Isn’t email and content marketing also a real-world proof of your skills?
 

Black_Dragon43

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Exclusion of email marketing and retargeting makes this a hard challenge! Isn’t email and content marketing also a real-world proof of your skills?
Yes, they absolutely are proof of skill. But the purpose here is to test your direct response skills. If you can get direct response right, then doing the other kind of advertising is easy by comparison.

So we're simulating direct mail. In direct mail you have to get a buyer from that single ad that you send out, and you can't rely on follow-ups and so on.

To everyone, we will be delaying the start of the challenge until we get at least 5 participants.

Please tag any copywriter you know in the forum here.
 

Andreas Thiel

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I suppose I will try to fit this in if somebody else signs up.

Initially I thought StartupExample.com is the domain to do this, but I just registered BuiltFlipped.com, which might be a better fit.
 

Black_Dragon43

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To try to get the first round going, I will personally draw the attention of a few people, who may find this challenge relevant and helpful for them.

@Lex DeVille - are you willing to hop on?

Given all the courses you have been putting out there, I think this is a great way for you to get more attention, and show some of the many skills you have been teaching in action, especially given your copywriting expertise. I think a lot of people could benefit, and you can easily turn this into something that provides tremendous value if, apart from participating, you also document your path along the way.

Just something to think about :)

@Bekit - I think you would also be a good participant for this given your wonderful thread on copywriting and the progress you have made. This would be a good way to test your skills, a challenge you can give yourself, and I think you can really grow out of it, as well as inspire some other people in the process. You can also document the progress, and who knows, maybe even turn it into a course afterward

@Dan_Cardone - I think you too are an ideal candidate for this just given your breadth of experience with direct response marketing and copywriting. Would be really interesting to have you participate, and again I think you can transform it into something that is very valuable for others and gets a lot of attention to what you have to offer.

Feel free to recommend other people who may want to participate if you're not willing to join! :)

We have one participant for the first round, and we need 4-5 ideally!
 

Black_Dragon43

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@eliquid - you have past affiliate marketing experience, and a wonderful PPC guide published in the forum. I think this may also present interest to you. If you document your progress and share it afterward, it could become another GOLD thread, since you'd be showing people an example of how it's done. I'm happy for you to post your process afterward in a separate thread. If I'm right, then join, if I'm wrong and this doesn't present interest, then shoot me your favorite insult!
 

Joe Cassandra

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Building a profitable funnel to cold traffic takes a lot of testing...which likely can't get done in 30 days.

Most cold traffic actually loses you money on a front-end. It's all about the upsells.

To make profit, you need to create engaging front-end and back-end sales letters. To create all that in 30 days...i.e. rushed...would likely make $0.

Here's an easier challenge:

- Find 1 client who is already using copywriters
- Pitch an idea to them
- Get paid $5,000 min upfront
- Take 2 months to write a piece that is a guaranteed profit.

Much easier than any of this...
 

Bekit

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Inspired by my conversation in another thread in the forum today alongside a practice inside my own agency I am setting forth this copywriting challenge to any daring soul. If Gary Halbert's challenge involved reading a bunch of stuff and copying more stuff by hand, mine is more realistic. You will actually need to get results. Real results, while putting your money where your mouth is.

Here's what you get if you participate:
• This is a very tough challenge. If you successfully win, it's almost guaranteed that you can get ANYONE to hire you as a copywriter. So this will be both a way for you to prove your skills, challenge yourself, inspire others, AND get some serious mojo and publicity out of it.
• You are free to use the fact that you won and point prospects to this thread. This will get more traffic to the forum, and will be a great portfolio item for you. A win for everyone.
• Think about it. What better proof to a client than that you managed to duke it out by selling some darn hard shit with words only by risking your OWN money?
• You get to learn from the very best, or you get to teach others how it's done.

There will be no financial compensation if you're the winner from me or any of the other participants.

Here's what the challenge consists in:

The Challenge Starter selects a product or service that has an affiliate program. Participants will then proceed to do what it takes to join the affiliate program. Each one must then attempt to sell the product profitably using (and risking) their own money, earning the affiliate commission. At the end of the 30 days, every participant must post their results. The one who has made the biggest PROFIT wins, and he must post actual video proof of his numbers, as well as walk everyone else through his funnel and method. It's very important that you share your funnel and explain how you achieved your outstanding result. If that is all checked, you are declared the almighty winner by the Challenge Starter. Of course, the moment you reveal your strategy, it will become inefficient since everyone will start doing it. But that doesn't matter. This is just a challenge. The winner then becomes the next Challenge Starter, to select the next product and repeat the process. Clear?

Okay, here's a bunch of more detailed rules:

Detailed Rules:
• Challenge Starter MUST select a product or service that is HARD TO SELL. This must be a challenge. You can't select a Blue Yeti Microphone, or some other product that is significantly easier to sell. You need to pick hard stuff. Generally, expensive tech or SaaS products are hard, as well as info products. The Challenge Starter CAN pick one of his own products, but this must be justified - it must be a challenge. You can't just pick your own product merely to grow your sales.
• Participants MUST announce their participation in the first 10 days of the challenge by posting in this thread.
• The Challenge Starter is NOT allowed to participate in his own challenge.
• As a source of traffic, you ARE ONLY allowed to use Facebook/Instagram ADS - not posts, not joining groups - just ads.
• You ARE allowed to use any software such as heatmaps, tracking software, chatbots, landing page builders, funnel builders or other conversion increasing devices.
• You ARE allowed to use a video of yourself or anything else that you want as part of your funnel.
• You are NOT allowed to re-target.
• You are NOT allowed to collect or use email marketing.
• You are NOT allowed to use a content marketing approach that requires more than one visit from the user to make a sale.
• You MUST use JUST direct response techniques, the goal is to show that you can convert people in just ONE interaction. If you use more than one interaction, you will be instantly disqualified, and will not be considered the winner even if you have the highest profit.
• You are NOT allowed to use your affiliate link to purchase the product yourself, ask your friends to purchase it, or your family, or existing/past clients or anyone you know. It must be strangers.
• You are entirely responsible for the money you decide to spend in buying traffic or setting up your method or doing any of the other tasks required for participation. By participating in the challenge, you obviously must understand the risks involved, and that if you're not successful you will lose money. Your participation is voluntary, and you are 100% responsible for the actions and decisions you take, or the amount of money you choose to risk by participating. You can risk just $10, or $1000 - it's your choice.
• On day 20, every participant must post their current profit - no image or screenshot, just a statement. You are allowed to lie at this time, posting a lower or higher amount than you have actually made. You do this either to discourage others (by posting very high numbers), or hide your real strength (by posting low numbers).
• Contest ends on day 30, at which point everyone must post their REAL numbers, and the winner will also be asked to post a video showing the real numbers and walking the rest through his funnel/techniques.
• If on day 30 NOBODY has made a profit, then the Challenge Starter remains the same, and he or she must choose a different product for the next round.

So quite straightforward. You must use Facebook/Insta advertising to send traffic to a landing page, advertorial, funnel or some similar direct response inducing technique, and convince people to buy in ONE interaction. Do this for a profit. End up with the biggest profit and you're the winner.

For the first time the challenge runs, I will be the Challenge Starter.

FIRST ROUND (to be updated as we progress)
Challenge Starter: Black_dragon43
Product: WP Engine hosting package (just the hosting, NOT the StudioPress themes. So this: Managed WordPress Hosting plans from WP Engine®)
Participants: Andreas Thiel,
Winner:
Start Date: 1st May 2020
End Date: 30th May 2020


Registrations are open. Please post here if you want to participate, explaining your intention. Feel free to also nominate others and encourage them to join.

Do you dare show us how you print cash?
So this actually sounds pretty fun - I love the idea of making this into a competition and building/testing skills in the process. Bragging rights! Print money! What's not to love?

But... I don't know if the conditions are favorable enough to warrant my involvement at this point.

Here are my objections:
1) I am swamped with work and have a waiting list to get onto my calendar, so I can't really justify adding a project like this onto my plate.

2) I'm not convinced that buying traffic to a single landing page and getting people to buy in ONE interaction is a realistic way to make a profit. (Have you done this, @Black_Dragon43 ?)

This is a case where I think that the big players are telling people to do one thing while they actually DO another thing.

Today, for instance, I watched a SamCart webinar where the whole sales pitch was oriented around convincing people that they just needed ONE page (a samcart landing page) to start making hundreds of dollars a day selling their products. I was there to reverse engineer the sales pitch, but watching the comments, there were a lot of people who bought into the pitch and dropped $997 on the product for sale.

Nobody seemed to realize that the dude was not practicing what he preached. He wasn't running a single page that led to sales. He was running a YouTube ad that led to a VERY fine-tuned webinar that led to a sales page - and undoubtedly also to an email sequence and multiple retargeting ads.

I have worked with big players who have spent tens of thousands of dollars over the course of months to get an offer to pull in more money that you're spending on ads. So I'm not sure I would risk my money on adspend for an affiliate offer for 30 days.

3) Some of your rules are good in theory, but would be impossible to actually enforce. For instance, how could you ever prove that someone's friends and family didn't buy the offer and inflate their numbers? How could you prove that the transaction was completed in ONE interaction? How could you really prevent someone from using their email list (or from getting a partner to mail to their list for them) to drive traffic to the site? How could you stop someone who had a relevant content marketing site from using it to drive traffic to the offer? In theory, these rules are good, because it prevents someone with a huge list from automatically winning because they're selling to people who already know, like and trust them. This is simply an offer to cold traffic, where presumably who you are won't matter and your success rests on the copy alone. But in practice, it seems like it would be impossible to enforce and we would be relying on everyone's voluntary compliance. And then, no matter who won, we'd all have a question in our minds of whether they won fairly.


Can we potentially come up with a different challenge that addresses these obstacles?

@Joe Cassandra 's idea is one way we could do it...

I also like the idea of using an affiliate offer, but I'm trying to think of a way that we could craft the rules and systematize the "rule enforcement" part of this for multiple participants.

Your thoughts @Black_Dragon43 ?
 

Black_Dragon43

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1) I am swamped with work and have a waiting list to get onto my calendar, so I can't really justify adding a project like this onto my plate.
That is a personal consideration for every participant how this would fit into your work schedule and if you have the time required. So I am not able to advise on that since you know best the kind of workload you're under, and if you have the time.

2) I'm not convinced that buying traffic to a single landing page and getting people to buy in ONE interaction is a realistic way to make a profit. (Have you done this, @Black_Dragon43 ?)
Yes, I have done it, and it is 100% possible. That's what mail order advertisers have been doing for 100+ years - getting people to buy from a single letter. That's what direct mail copywriting is, and it's the hardest form of copywriting. If you can write for direct-mail, then everything else is easy.

I have done it for physical products (where it's significantly easier), and also for software (landing page builders, CRO software - which is HARD). I have never done it for this particular software though, but I have seen a copywriter do it for a hosting company before (SiteGround).

Remember that this is a challenge. It's not meant to be easy. It's not meant to be your typical job. And it's not meant to make you serious money. If you want to make serious money, you will obviously set up a longer, more complex funnel and use more tactics than just direct response. But, the purpose of the challenge, just like the purpose of a test, is to give you HARDER things than you would normally encounter, so when you encounter the other stuff, it seems easy by comparison. If you can write this kind of direct response copy you'll be unstoppable in your other work. And you will know it.

So I'm not sure I would risk my money on adspend for an affiliate offer for 30 days.
The good thing about Facebook/Insta is that you don't actually need to spend a lot to get sufficient results to verify your assumptions and check what people are doing. You will NOT get it right from the first time, almost guaranteed. So you need to learn to identify where the problem is coming from and fix it. And do that along the buying journey (ad, article, etc.). I don't want to give away too much, but there are ways to detect where problems exist and how users react to your copy (think heatmaps). You will see where users stop reading, what they do, how they actually interact with your content. And you'll be improving like a madman. You'll be doing what the Gary Halberts used to do except that they had to do it the hard way. They had to IMAGINE how their readers would be reacting as they read their copy - you get to see it.

For instance, how could you ever prove that someone's friends and family didn't buy the offer and inflate their numbers?
Well you can't prove it 100%, but you can get a very good indication when they show their funnel and results. They will need to set up FB pixel to track people who click the CTA, and optimize for conversions to bring more of those people to their page. So, we'll call people who click "leads". If the number of buyers is greater than the number of leads, there obviously is a problem. If they have very few buyers, and not much traffic, again cheating will be suspected. Since they have to show the funnel if they win, the possibilities to cheat are minimized. You'd effectively have to:
• Run ads to your page (spend money)
• Spend money paying people (or yourself) to buy through your link
• Create a "fake" funnel to trick everyone else.

Now, if you're going to do that, you can. But then you're the only one losing. Because you will:
(1) NOT learn how you can actually do it
(2) NOT improve your skills
(3) NOT be more confident about selling with words in the future
(4) WASTE money

The only thing you'd gain is some recognition. Is it worth the hassle and the money? If you want to pay like $200-400 USD to gain some recognition, then go ahead. People are really going to be cheating themselves in the end. This challenge is for people who want to be proud of the work they do, who want to better their skills, who actually want to be GREAT direct response marketers, not just make a lot of $$.

If you just want to make a lot of $$ and you don't care about actually being good, you don't want to be proud of your work, and you don't want to be confident in your skills, then just do what Joe suggests above. There are many incredibly stupid people with money out there, who would pay you even $10,000 for a sales letter that's never going to get any real results for them. In fact, most copywriters out there are fakes. They can't actually sell stuff, their writing doesn't actually get results, and most of them don't even know this, because they don't get to see results from their clients. They just work a lot on their copy, give it to clients, charge a heap of money, and that's it. They think they're great because clients are happy. Most clients cannot distinguish good copy from bad.

That's not what this challenge is about. It's about learning, it's about being good, it's about being confident, it's about doing something hard and being proud of it. It's about growing as a copywriter and developing your skills, so that when you go back to doing client work, you are 10x more confident, you find it significantly easier to write high-converting copy, and you have increased your arsenal of skills.

How could you prove that the transaction was completed in ONE interaction?
This is easy. They have to show their funnel and their ads/numbers if they win. So that will be visible. You see the total unique visits to the page, the traffic they sent with ads, the affiliate link clicks they got, and the sales they made. Those numbers need to add up, and they need to add up across the different software - Facebook Ads Manager, landing page software, and the affiliate's own reporting software for sales and clicks. And they need to show it to others on video.

So, ratio of total visitors to unique visitors would tell you quite a bit about one or multiple interactions.

How could you really prevent someone from using their email list (or from getting a partner to mail to their list for them) to drive traffic to the site?
See above.

How could you stop someone who had a relevant content marketing site from using it to drive traffic to the offer?
See above.
 
Last edited:

eliquid

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@eliquid - you have past affiliate marketing experience, and a wonderful PPC guide published in the forum. I think this may also present interest to you. If you document your progress and share it afterward, it could become another GOLD thread, since you'd be showing people an example of how it's done. I'm happy for you to post your process afterward in a separate thread. If I'm right, then join, if I'm wrong and this doesn't present interest, then shoot me your favorite insult!

Thanks,

I am not able to do for a long list of reasons. Sorry
 

The-J

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Offer is like 95% of it anyway, so why not have everyone sell the same product? Like back in the day when affiliate programs would have challenges for cash prizes and vacations and stuff. That seems more fair.

Not to mention, if the person is a poor media buyer that doesn't know the ins and outs of FB ads manager and makes rookie mistakes, they're going to lose. Wouldn't it be better to have a media buyer take care of that part and judge the winning copywriter based on conversion rate and/or ROAS?

This doesn't seem like a great idea. You can do a lot in 30 days but this is a ticket to surefire failure for most involved.

If you can write this kind of direct response copy you'll be unstoppable in your other work. And you will know it.

How do you know this is true? Just because it's harder to convert people on the first go doesn't mean you get all the skills necessary to convert people further down the line. It's like saying that a PUA is going to be an excellent boyfriend lol
 

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Black_Dragon43

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Offer is like 95% of it anyway, so why not have everyone sell the same product? Like back in the day when affiliate programs would have challenges for cash prizes and vacations and stuff. That seems more fair.
That IS what is happening. Everyone is selling the same product during one round.

Not to mention, if the person is a poor media buyer that doesn't know the ins and outs of FB ads manager and makes rookie mistakes, they're going to lose. Wouldn't it be better to have a media buyer take care of that part and judge the winning copywriter based on conversion rate and/or ROAS?
That is on you how you handle it. The rules do not say that you cannot outsource graphic design, or setting up FB ads and whatnot. Though who you target, your ad copy, how your ad looks, etc. are critical to copywriting itself. You as the copywriter should determine what those should be like, then you can get someone else to execute them for you if you wish.

How do you know this is true?
A few ways:

1. Personal experience
2. Seen the improvement other copywriters I hired made after they tried this, even if they failed
3. Logic - selling requires the same skills, whether they are condensed in time and space, or spread out.

a PUA is going to be an excellent boyfriend
Right, except that the skills it takes to get a girl to agree to go on a date with you are different than the skills it takes to be a good boyfriend. In the case of marketing, the skills it takes to be a direct response guy are the same it takes to be a general marketer, only that to be successful in the former it takes a greater degree of skill: effectively you need to be able to condense down the sales process to one interaction. Say you need to move the prospect from A to F to close the sale. Instead of moving them from A to C in one interaction, and then from C to F in the other, you need to make the entire jump in one go. But the skills you need to go from A to F are the same you need to use when going from A to C and then from C to F. They're no different.

You're going to go through the same process. Except that in one case you have to do it through one interaction, which makes it harder to gain their trust and maintain their attention, while in the other you have more time and space to get it done.
 

The-J

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That IS what is happening. Everyone is selling the same product during one round.

Got it. My confusion was with the Challenge Starter and his/her role. Understood better now.

That is on you how you handle it. The rules do not say that you cannot outsource graphic design, or setting up FB ads and whatnot. Though who you target, your ad copy, how your ad looks, etc. are critical to copywriting itself. You as the copywriter should determine what those should be like, then you can get someone else to execute them for you if you wish.

That's fair. I still think it would be more fair to have an agency or something take care of this part, if you're more interested in this being a "copywriting" challenge rather than a "who can make the most money in 30 days" challenge. Not that one is better than the other, it's just that they're different.

Seen the improvement other copywriters I hired made after they tried this, even if they failed

I'd be interested in seeing the results of this, if you're willing to post it to the public.

Right, except that the skills it takes to get a girl to agree to go on a date with you are different than the skills it takes to be a good boyfriend. In the case of marketing, the skills it takes to be a direct response guy are the same it takes to be a general marketer, only that to be successful in the former it takes a greater degree of skill: effectively you need to be able to condense down the sales process to one interaction. Say you need to move the prospect from A to F to close the sale. Instead of moving them from A to C in one interaction, and then from C to F in the other, you need to make the entire jump in one go. But the skills you need to go from A to F are the same you need to use when going from A to C and then from C to F. They're no different.

You're going to go through the same process. Except that in one case you have to do it through one interaction, which makes it harder to gain their trust and maintain their attention, while in the other you have more time and space to get it done.

Fair, although there's much more that goes into initiating interactions multiple times. For example, you have to know much more about your prospect to know exactly what to say at each interaction. The iterative process takes much longer, as you've got different steps to test. There are different ways to present opportunities that you have to know about (email and all its complexities, retargeting and all the platforms you can run and how people interact on those platforms). Then there's nurturing people who have already bought from you, which is more about maintaining existing trust than anything else.

With direct response, the key is making the offer seem more like a no-brainer (you've broken down all their objections, you've taken away perceived risk, you've given them all the proof they need, and you've presented the offer in a way that NOT parting with their money would be the biggest mistake they've made all year). That's having a great amount of skill in one area, PLUS having an offer that's actually good, PLUS having talked to the person that's actually in the right place at the right time.

I would agree with you that it's a much harder sell on the first go, though.

I still think this challenge is not the best use of time or money for most people. But if you've seen improvement in copywriting ability from your employees/contractors from getting them to do that, then maybe it's worth taking a look at for those who are in that space.
 

Thiago Machado

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Building a profitable funnel to cold traffic takes a lot of testing...which likely can't get done in 30 days.

Most cold traffic actually loses you money on a front-end. It's all about the upsells.

To make profit, you need to create engaging front-end and back-end sales letters. To create all that in 30 days...i.e. rushed...would likely make $0.

Here's an easier challenge:

- Find 1 client who is already using copywriters
- Pitch an idea to them
- Get paid $5,000 min upfront
- Take 2 months to write a piece that is a guaranteed profit.

Much easier than any of this...

This.

I would totally be down for this...

There are 2 things I’ve always wanted to learn with copy.

1.Finding, pitching, and landing the gigs that pay $5000 per project.

2. Build these profitable funnels to cold traffic that @Joe Cassandra is talking about.

The Agora style / self liquidating funnels where the front-end offer pays for the ad spend.

99% of people don’t try to be profitable on their first try.

They build a list, use remarketing, and a whole bunch of things.

I’m just not interested in something that I probably wouldn’t do for myself or a client after the challenge, you know?
 
Last edited:

TheWriter

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Hi @Black_Dragon43 ,

I consider myself an average copywriter.

I could take up this challenge.

But, I don't know anything about media buying or setting up landing pages.

I could buy your course. But, not everyone is in a position to buy it.

So, Why can't you just "Walk the Talk" and do the challenge yourself and document it here.

We could follow your footsteps.
 

Black_Dragon43

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Hi @Black_Dragon43 ,

I consider myself an average copywriter.

I could take up this challenge.

But, I don't know anything about media buying or setting up landing pages.

I could buy your course. But, not everyone is in a position to buy it.

So, Why can't you just "Walk the Talk" and do the challenge yourself and document it here.

We could follow your footsteps.
I have done the challenge before, though I haven't exactly documented the process. As mentioned, I do intend to participate in the second round, and I will be documenting my process then.
 

lawsylawson

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Inspired by my conversation in another thread in the forum today alongside a practice inside my own agency I am setting forth this copywriting challenge to any daring soul. If Gary Halbert's challenge involved reading a bunch of stuff and copying more stuff by hand, mine is more realistic. You will actually need to get results. Real results, while putting your money where your mouth is.

Here's what you get if you participate:
• This is a very tough challenge. If you successfully win, it's almost guaranteed that you can get ANYONE to hire you as a copywriter. So this will be both a way for you to prove your skills, challenge yourself, inspire others, AND get some serious mojo and publicity out of it.
• You are free to use the fact that you won and point prospects to this thread. This will get more traffic to the forum, and will be a great portfolio item for you. A win for everyone.
• Think about it. What better proof to a client than that you managed to duke it out by selling some darn hard shit with words only by risking your OWN money?
• You get to learn from the very best, or you get to teach others how it's done.

There will be no financial compensation if you're the winner from me or any of the other participants.

Here's what the challenge consists in:

The Challenge Starter selects a product or service that has an affiliate program. Participants will then proceed to do what it takes to join the affiliate program. Each one must then attempt to sell the product profitably using (and risking) their own money, earning the affiliate commission. At the end of the 30 days, every participant must post their results. The one who has made the biggest PROFIT wins, and he must post actual video proof of his numbers, as well as walk everyone else through his funnel and method. It's very important that you share your funnel and explain how you achieved your outstanding result. If that is all checked, you are declared the almighty winner by the Challenge Starter. Of course, the moment you reveal your strategy, it will become inefficient since everyone will start doing it. But that doesn't matter. This is just a challenge. The winner then becomes the next Challenge Starter, to select the next product and repeat the process. Clear?

Okay, here's a bunch of more detailed rules:

Detailed Rules:
• Challenge Starter MUST select a product or service that is HARD TO SELL. This must be a challenge. You can't select a Blue Yeti Microphone, or some other product that is significantly easier to sell. You need to pick hard stuff. Generally, expensive tech or SaaS products are hard, as well as info products. The Challenge Starter CAN pick one of his own products, but this must be justified - it must be a challenge. You can't just pick your own product merely to grow your sales.
• Participants MUST announce their participation in the first 10 days of the challenge by posting in this thread.
• The Challenge Starter is NOT allowed to participate in his own challenge.
• As a source of traffic, you ARE ONLY allowed to use Facebook/Instagram ADS - not posts, not joining groups - just ads.
• You ARE allowed to use any software such as heatmaps, tracking software, chatbots, landing page builders, funnel builders or other conversion increasing devices.
• You ARE allowed to use a video of yourself or anything else that you want as part of your funnel.
• You are NOT allowed to re-target.
• You are NOT allowed to collect or use email marketing.
• You are NOT allowed to use a content marketing approach that requires more than one visit from the user to make a sale.
• You MUST use JUST direct response techniques, the goal is to show that you can convert people in just ONE interaction. If you use more than one interaction, you will be instantly disqualified, and will not be considered the winner even if you have the highest profit.
• You are NOT allowed to use your affiliate link to purchase the product yourself, ask your friends to purchase it, or your family, or existing/past clients or anyone you know. It must be strangers.
• You are entirely responsible for the money you decide to spend in buying traffic or setting up your method or doing any of the other tasks required for participation. By participating in the challenge, you obviously must understand the risks involved, and that if you're not successful you will lose money. Your participation is voluntary, and you are 100% responsible for the actions and decisions you take, or the amount of money you choose to risk by participating. You can risk just $10, or $1000 - it's your choice.
• On day 20, every participant must post their current profit - no image or screenshot, just a statement. You are allowed to lie at this time, posting a lower or higher amount than you have actually made. You do this either to discourage others (by posting very high numbers), or hide your real strength (by posting low numbers).
• Contest ends on day 30, at which point everyone must post their REAL numbers, and the winner will also be asked to post a video showing the real numbers and walking the rest through his funnel/techniques.
• If on day 30 NOBODY has made a profit, then the Challenge Starter remains the same, and he or she must choose a different product for the next round.

So quite straightforward. You must use Facebook/Insta advertising to send traffic to a landing page, advertorial, funnel or some similar direct response inducing technique, and convince people to buy in ONE interaction. Do this for a profit. End up with the biggest profit and you're the winner.

For the first time the challenge runs, I will be the Challenge Starter.

FIRST ROUND (to be updated as we progress)
Challenge Starter: Black_dragon43
Product: WP Engine hosting package (just the hosting, NOT the StudioPress themes. So this: Managed WordPress Hosting plans from WP Engine®)
Participants: Andreas Thiel,
Winner:
Start Date: 1st May 2020
End Date: 30th May 2020


Registrations are open. Please post here if you want to participate, explaining your intention. Feel free to also nominate others and encourage them to join.

Do you dare show us how you print cash?
Hi Blackdragon,

I am really keen to speak regarding the copywriting opportunity shared...

Could you send me over a private message so we can discuss further? I have read all but one of the books mentioned and have a lot of energy to bring.

Speak soon,

Harry
 

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