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Eliminating action faking -- Learning vs Executing in copywriting and sales

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spirit

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At what point does learning a new skill start to become action faking?

I was totally lost at web design for awhile. Then, through this forum and a couple of great books, I learned that web design is all about copywriting and sales. So, I've been digesting a few books on these subjects. I'm making a cheat sheet from them on my laptop, to help commit these theories to memory.

To be clear, I've only selected a few special, extremely pragmatic books. So, I'm not reading 100s of them, or reading them blindly.

How do you know when you're ready to take action? I know some people recommend just "jumping in" to it . However, in the copywriting book I'm reading (Copywriting Secrets by Jim Edwards) he recommends a lot of practice. It seems illogical to start copywriting for people without knowing the theory.
 

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You can search for websites and read their copy, if you think you can improve it by the knowledge you already accumulated, go for it. Do it for free. It will get you moving.
 

Mattie

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At what point does learning a new skill start to become action faking?

I was totally lost at web design for awhile. Then, through this forum and a couple of great books, I learned that web design is all about copywriting and sales. So, I've been digesting a few books on these subjects. I'm making a cheat sheet from them on my laptop, to help commit these theories to memory.

To be clear, I've only selected a few special, extremely pragmatic books. So, I'm not reading 100s of them, or reading them blindly.

How do you know when you're ready to take action? I know some people recommend just "jumping in" to it . However, in the copywriting book I'm reading (Copywriting Secrets by Jim Edwards) he recommends a lot of practice. It seems illogical to start copywriting for people without knowing the theory.
Are you not always taking action? You must be ready to take action every time you take one action. The important question would be is this action really giving me any positive result or outcome? If it is not fruitful and multiplying, it probably is one action to stop from further action. It is just a time waster.
 

S.Y.

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It is difficult to give a clear answer.

But overall it comes down to this:
1. Is what you are learning linked to a challenge you are facing right now?
2. Are you applying what you read to solve the challenge?

Copy is important in web design.

...But do you need to be the best copywriter to get momentum? I doubt it.

...You have to practice sure. Why not practicing on web design projects? Write copy for websites and try to sell them.
 

spirit

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I suppose I'm not action faking at the moment, because I'm progressing and not spinning in circles with countless books.

...You have to practice sure. Why not practicing on web design projects? Write copy for websites and try to sell them.

That's good advice. But should I be immediately testing my knowledge with someone's business? I would feel a bit reckless.

At what point is knowledge and practice enough?
 

Mattie

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I suppose I'm not action faking at the moment, because I'm progressing and not spinning in circles with countless books.



That's good advice. But should I be immediately testing my knowledge with someone's business? I would feel a bit reckless.

At what point is knowledge and practice enough?
How long have you been practicing? You will never get there if you are fearful of success. Trial and error. I'm not sure I know of any business who hasn't failed in customer service. When you have errors, they point them out to you. You then know what you're doing wrong. Then you can adapt, adjust, and change your course. I don't know why you can't do some copy writing and make a thread in here, and I'm sure people will point out your flaws. I would check for other threads in here already started and see if it's similar to what you're doing. That is practice. Find a platform you can find critics to point out the positive and negative qualities.
I suppose I'm not action faking at the moment, because I'm progressing and not spinning in circles with countless books.



That's good advice. But should I be immediately testing my knowledge with someone's business? I would feel a bit reckless.

At what point is knowledge and practice enough?
 

spirit

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How long have you been practicing? You will never get there if you are fearful of success. Trial and error. I'm not sure I know of any business who hasn't failed in customer service. When you have errors, they point them out to you. You then know what you're doing wrong. Then you can adapt, adjust, and change your course. I don't know why you can't do some copy writing and make a thread in here, and I'm sure people will point out your flaws. I would check for other threads in here already started and see if it's similar to what you're doing. That is practice. Find a platform you can find critics to point out the positive and negative qualities.

I have 0 practice at the moment, I just started reading my first copywriting book!

That's a good idea to look at other threads, and post my copy.

I'm not done the book yet, but I have 2 things to practice:

The first is to break down a product or service and how it will benefit a customer with the 10 reasons why they will buy.

The second is to find a niche, then a sub-niche, and finally a micro-niche and figure out the PQR2 (Problems, questions, roadblocks, and results).

I found this guide too:

 
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Mattie

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I have 0 practice at the moment, I just started reading my first copywriting book!

That's a good idea to look at other threads, and post my copy.

I'm not done the book yet, but I have 2 things to practice:

The first is to break down a product or service and how it will benefit a customer with the 10 reasons why they will buy.

The second is to find a niche, then a sub-niche, and finally a micro-niche and figure out the PQR2 (Problems, questions, roadblocks, and results).

I found this guide too:

Can't wait to see it. I guess you better get started as soon as possible. What are we waiting for? Any Excuses list below. Them excuses will come up you know. Procrastination too! The Process is a wonderful gift.
 

spirit

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Can't wait to see it. I guess you better get started as soon as possible. What are we waiting for? Any Excuses list below. Them excuses will come up you know. Procrastination too! The Process is a wonderful gift.

I do have to learn some of the theory. I'm about halfway through my first book. Then I'll work on practice, and I'll post my practice here (in a copywriting progress topic).
 

Simon Angel

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I have 0 practice at the moment, I just started reading my first copywriting book!

That's a good idea to look at other threads, and post my copy.

I'm not done the book yet, but I have 2 things to practice:

The first is to break down a product or service and how it will benefit a customer with the 10 reasons why they will buy.

The second is to find a niche, then a sub-niche, and finally a micro-niche and figure out the PQR2 (Problems, questions, roadblocks, and results).

I found this guide too:


I got into copywriting late last year with zero experience and I'm currently working with 7 and 8 figure businesses. The biggest advice I can give you is to go for the target audience's emotions.

I mean, business/marketing principles should always be applied, but "selling" shouldn't be the top priority - connecting with the target audience on an emotional level is where it's at.

Seriously. After establishing that emotional connection, all you need is ONE reason for them to buy, not ten.

And buy they will.

I haven't taken any courses or read books written by famous/successful copywriters. That's not to say that you shouldn't or that it's a waste of time, but it definitely did not stop me from starting and applying what I already knew. Turns out it was more than enough!

P.S. I know you're worried about letting clients down with bad results. I can empathize with that as I too felt the same.

So trust me when I say that almost everyone you'll meet along the way that's offering the same skill/service as you are will likely be VERY mediocre or even terrible at it. And guess what - they'll still get paid.

Just go for it and don't overthink it.
 

spirit

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I got into copywriting late last year with zero experience and I'm currently working with 7 and 8 figure businesses. The biggest advice I can give you is to go for the target audience's emotions.

I mean, business/marketing principles should always be applied, but "selling" shouldn't be the top priority - connecting with the target audience on an emotional level is where it's at.

Seriously. After establishing that emotional connection, all you need is ONE reason for them to buy, not ten.

And buy they will.

I haven't taken any courses or read books written by famous/successful copywriters. That's not to say that you shouldn't or that it's a waste of time, but it definitely did not stop me from starting and applying what I already knew. Turns out it was more than enough!

P.S. I know you're worried about letting clients down with bad results. I can empathize with that as I too felt the same.

So trust me when I say that almost everyone you'll meet along the way that's offering the same skill/service as you are will likely be VERY mediocre or even terrible at it. And guess what - they'll still get paid.

Just go for it and don't overthink it.

How did you figure out how to establish an emotional connection? It sounds very powerful!
 

Simon Angel

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How did you figure out how to establish an emotional connection? It sounds very powerful!

I like to remind myself that everyone reading my copy is a real human being with their own flaws, imperfections, worries, and is likely looking for ways or things to help better themselves/their quality of life.

Just like me and you.

So I tend to keep it light. I empathize with the audience, I make them laugh, and then I tell them stories in which I usually include whatever I'm selling as a key part of said stories. And that's pretty much it.
 

spirit

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I haven't taken any courses or read books written by famous/successful copywriters. That's not to say that you shouldn't or that it's a waste of time, but it definitely did not stop me from starting and applying what I already knew. Turns out it was more than enough!

So did you study anything, or practice? Or did you just jump in immediately?

To me, it seems like jumping in without any practice is like sending a soldier to fight in a war without learning how to use a gun. My perspective might be wrong, though!
 

Simon Angel

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So did you study anything, or practice? Or did you just jump in immediately?

To me, it seems like jumping in without any practice is like sending a soldier to fight in a war without learning how to use a gun. My perspective might be wrong, though!

I'm sure you've practiced empathy many times in your life so far!

But interesting take. I did do some ad copy years ago for one my ecommerce store atrempts. I had also edited a few product descriptions. But that's it.

If you were to go to on Facebook Ad Manager right now and used their preview mode to write a few ad copies for made up companies, you'd officially have more practice than I ever had.

Hell, you could even use them as a portfolio. Make it look convincing enough and none of your prospects would ever say anything.
 

spirit

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Interesting enough, the chapter I just started is about emotional connections.
 

ProcessPro

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I think everything you need to know to start writing copy can be condensed onto a single letter sized page.

I challenge you to get a page, and note the following.
1 Customer persona
2 Make a list of common motives
3 The AIDA model
4 Cialdini's principles of persuasion
5 I'm gifting you the list of transitional phrases and power words that I got from a variety of sources: For spirit

Checklist to add to your cheat sheet also:
Did I use a conversational tone (i.e. not hard sales)?
Did I use simple words?
Did I create a slippery slide?
Did I use a strong CTA?

Once you do the above...you're all set...that's all you need. Now, think of the last product/service you really wanted, and write a short paragraph of copy to yourself the cheat sheet. First, build a quick 3-5 sentence customer persona. Second, identify your customer's primary motives. Then start writing using the AIDA model and sprinkle in a few of the persuasion principles. If you need, look at some of the transitional phrases/power words to spruce things up a little/attain flow. When you're done, use the checklist to ensure you used a conversational tone, simple words, you created a slippery slide/slope (whatever it's called), and you ended with a strong CTA. Share it here for some feedback.

If you do the above, I'll advise you on what to do next. Your choice.
 

spirit

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I think everything you need to know to start writing copy can be condensed onto a single letter sized page.

I challenge you to get a page, and note the following.
1 Customer persona
2 Make a list of common motives
3 The AIDA model
4 Cialdini's principles of persuasion
5 I'm gifting you the list of transitional phrases and power words that I got from a variety of sources: For spirit

Checklist to add to your cheat sheet also:
Did I use a conversational tone (i.e. not hard sales)?
Did I use simple words?
Did I create a slippery slide?
Did I use a strong CTA?

Once you do the above...you're all set...that's all you need. Now, think of the last product/service you really wanted, and write a short paragraph of copy to yourself the cheat sheet. First, build a quick 3-5 sentence customer persona. Second, identify your customer's primary motives. Then start writing using the AIDA model and sprinkle in a few of the persuasion principles. If you need, look at some of the transitional phrases/power words to spruce things up a little/attain flow. When you're done, use the checklist to ensure you used a conversational tone, simple words, you created a slippery slide/slope (whatever it's called), and you ended with a strong CTA. Share it here for some feedback.

If you do the above, I'll advise you on what to do next. Your choice.

OK, I'm done!

Here is the cheat sheet:


Copywriting

1. Customer Persona


Buyer persona is a term that comes from the marketing world. We translate it as ideal customer. It’s that portrait we create by imagining who our ideal customer is based on data and experience.

In that portrait we will include his personal and professional situation as well as his dreams and aspirations, but above all his fears.

2. Make a list of common motives

Copywriter Bob Bly has a fantastic list of motivators. He explains that people buy something:

  • To be liked
  • To be appreciated
  • To be right
  • To feel important
  • To make money
  • To save money
  • To save time
  • To make work easier
  • To be secure
  • To be attractive
  • To be sexy
  • To be comfortable
  • To be distinctive
  • To be happy
  • To have fun
  • To gain knowledge
  • To be healthy
  • To gratify curiosity
  • For convenience
  • Out of fear
  • Out of greed
  • Out of guilt

3. The AIDA model

Attention
: The first step in marketing or advertising is to consider how to attract the attention of consumers.

Interest: Once the consumer is aware that the product or service exists, the business must work on increasing the potential customer’s interest level.

Desire: After the consumer is interested in the product or service, then the goal is to make consumers desire it, moving their mindset from “I like it” to “I want it.” Use an emotional connection.

Action (CTA): The ultimate goal is to drive the receiver of the marketing campaign to initiate action and purchase the product or service ie. download a brochure, make a phone call, join your newsletter, engage in a live chat etc.

4. Cialdini’s principles of persuasion

1. Reciprocity

Simply put, people are obliged to give back to others the form of a behavior, gift, or service that they have received first.

If a friend invites you to their party, there’s an obligation for you to invite them to a future party you are hosting. If a colleague does you a favor, then you owe that colleague a favor. And in the context of a social obligation people are more likely to say yes to those who they owe.

2. Scarcity

Simply put, people want more of those things they can have less of.

3. Authority

This is the idea that people follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable experts.

Physiotherapists, for example, are able to persuade more of their patients to comply with recommended exercise programs if they display their medical diplomas on the walls of their consulting rooms. People are more likely to give change for a parking meter to a complete stranger if that requester wears a uniform rather than casual clothes.

4. Consistency

People like to be consistent with the things they have previously said or done.

Consistency is activated by looking for, and asking for, small initial commitments that can be made.

5. Liking

People prefer to say yes to those that they like.

But what causes one person to like another? Persuasion science tells us that there are three important factors. We like people who are similar to us, we like people who pay us compliments, and we like people who cooperate with us towards mutual goals.

6. Social proof

Especially when they are uncertain, people will look to the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own.

----------

For my first bit of copy, I chose the video game Doom Eternal!


Doom Eternal

Customer Persona


The average customer is male, and over the age of 18 due to the ESRB rating (although younger customers will still want to play it). They enjoy some level of graphic violence in the media, and aren’t offended by themes of the occult. They may be new players, or fans of previous DOOM games. They have enough disposable income to afford spending $70 on a video game. Customers desire what the series is known for, and that is fast, aggressive, gory action with a heavy metal soundtrack. It is also for those wanting to play with friends. Younger players may fear missing out on the experience with their close friends.

Primary Motives

The primary motives are:

To be liked
To be happy
To have fun
To gratify curiosity
To feel powerful
To be social

Copy

Earth is now being destroyed by the armies of Hell.

There is only one person fighting Hell’s consumption of Earth and the extermination of all mankind … You!

The award-winning shooter series has been reborn with Doom Eternal!

Play as Slayer and battle demons with unparalleled aggression and speed. Feel the power as you annihilate monsters with over 9 weapons, including the classic Super Shotgun and shredding chainsaw! Leave a trail of carnage to a blaring heavy metal soundtrack. Discover the wasteland of Earth in single-player or play with friends. Don’t miss out!

Bring on the ultra-violence!

Hell isn’t waiting. Buy Doom Eternal from your local store NOW and receive a free Doom Guy collectable!
 

Simon Angel

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OK, I'm done!

Here is the cheat sheet:


Copywriting

1. Customer Persona


Buyer persona is a term that comes from the marketing world. We translate it as ideal customer. It’s that portrait we create by imagining who our ideal customer is based on data and experience.

In that portrait we will include his personal and professional situation as well as his dreams and aspirations, but above all his fears.

2. Make a list of common motives

Copywriter Bob Bly has a fantastic list of motivators. He explains that people buy something:

  • To be liked
  • To be appreciated
  • To be right
  • To feel important
  • To make money
  • To save money
  • To save time
  • To make work easier
  • To be secure
  • To be attractive
  • To be sexy
  • To be comfortable
  • To be distinctive
  • To be happy
  • To have fun
  • To gain knowledge
  • To be healthy
  • To gratify curiosity
  • For convenience
  • Out of fear
  • Out of greed
  • Out of guilt

3. The AIDA model

Attention
: The first step in marketing or advertising is to consider how to attract the attention of consumers.

Interest: Once the consumer is aware that the product or service exists, the business must work on increasing the potential customer’s interest level.

Desire: After the consumer is interested in the product or service, then the goal is to make consumers desire it, moving their mindset from “I like it” to “I want it.” Use an emotional connection.

Action (CTA): The ultimate goal is to drive the receiver of the marketing campaign to initiate action and purchase the product or service ie. download a brochure, make a phone call, join your newsletter, engage in a live chat etc.

4. Cialdini’s principles of persuasion

1. Reciprocity

Simply put, people are obliged to give back to others the form of a behavior, gift, or service that they have received first.

If a friend invites you to their party, there’s an obligation for you to invite them to a future party you are hosting. If a colleague does you a favor, then you owe that colleague a favor. And in the context of a social obligation people are more likely to say yes to those who they owe.

2. Scarcity

Simply put, people want more of those things they can have less of.

3. Authority

This is the idea that people follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable experts.

Physiotherapists, for example, are able to persuade more of their patients to comply with recommended exercise programs if they display their medical diplomas on the walls of their consulting rooms. People are more likely to give change for a parking meter to a complete stranger if that requester wears a uniform rather than casual clothes.

4. Consistency

People like to be consistent with the things they have previously said or done.

Consistency is activated by looking for, and asking for, small initial commitments that can be made.

5. Liking

People prefer to say yes to those that they like.

But what causes one person to like another? Persuasion science tells us that there are three important factors. We like people who are similar to us, we like people who pay us compliments, and we like people who cooperate with us towards mutual goals.

6. Social proof

Especially when they are uncertain, people will look to the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own.

----------

For my first bit of copy, I chose the video game Doom Eternal!


Doom Eternal

Customer Persona


The average customer is male, and over the age of 18 due to the ESRB rating (although younger customers will still want to play it). They enjoy some level of graphic violence in the media, and aren’t offended by themes of the occult. They may be new players, or fans of previous DOOM games. They have enough disposable income to afford spending $70 on a video game. Customers desire what the series is known for, and that is fast, aggressive, gory action with a heavy metal soundtrack. It is also for those wanting to play with friends. Younger players may fear missing out on the experience with their close friends.

Primary Motives

The primary motives are:

To be liked
To be happy
To have fun
To gratify curiosity
To feel powerful
To be social

Copy

Earth is now being destroyed by the armies of Hell.

There is only one person fighting Hell’s consumption of Earth and the extermination of all mankind … You!

The award-winning shooter series has been reborn with Doom Eternal!

Play as Slayer and battle demons with unparalleled aggression and speed. Feel the power as you annihilate monsters with over 9 weapons, including the classic Super Shotgun and shredding chainsaw! Leave a trail of carnage to a blaring heavy metal soundtrack. Discover the wasteland of Earth in single-player or play with friends. Don’t miss out!

Bring on the ultra-violence!

Hell isn’t waiting. Buy Doom Eternal from your local store NOW and receive a free Doom Guy collectable!

Ok, so what from I see here you're absolutely qualified to start offering this as a service to go with your web design. The copy is pretty good!

I know a bunch of copywriters and most of them would be ECSTATIC if they were able to write what you just did for Doom.

Your biggest obstacle is by far your lack of confidence in your abilities - but as I said, I was also like this and you'll feel very differently (in a good way) about yourself a few months from now.
 
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spirit

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Ok, so what from I see here you're absolutely qualified to start offering this as a service to go with your web design. The copy is pretty good!

I know a bunch of copywriters and most of them would be ECSTATIC if they were able to write what you just did for Doom.

Your biggest obstacle is by far your lack of confidence in your abilities - but as I said, I was also like this and you'll feel very differently (in a good way) about yourself a few months from now.

Thanks! I'm really glad you guys liked it!

Yeah, you are right I do lack confidence at the moment. Part of that is for reasons I mentioned awhile ago. But, I figure once I see some success (something I haven't seen in a while) I will feel a lot better. Then I can finally relax my mind!
 

spirit

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@spirit

Excellent work!

Based on your dabblings in web design, is it that you want to focus on website copy?

Let me know.

Thanks! Yes, I'd like to write copy for freelance web design projects. It's pretty powerful for helping businesses achieve greater results.
 

Mr4213

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You'll never be "ready"

It doesn't exist so I'd recommend not waiting for "some point" in which you're ready to materialize.

Growth comes from doing. Thinking about doing things doesn't get things done.

I'd sit down and come up with just one small thing you can do each day that moves the ball forward.

Even if it's just 10 minutes.

10 minutes a day on action taking that moves the ball forward.
 

ProcessPro

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Thanks! Yes, I'd like to write copy for freelance web design projects. It's pretty powerful for helping businesses achieve greater results.
Awesome. Now that have proven to yourself that you can write copy, and impressed us as well, my next suggested step is to create a few portfolio pieces of finished landing pages or whatever types of web copy you're aiming for.

There's a way to edit the text on any website you want (temporarily of course).

Here's how:

Bookmark this and add it to your favorites bar:
javascript:document.body.contentEditable = true; void 0;

Next, go to a landing page and click that bookmark you created...now you should be able to edit the text on the page. Now, edit their copy and replace all of it with yours.

Download the extension 'GoFullPage' and screenshot the page when you're done, i.e. the landing page that now has your copy. Do this for about 3-5 pages, edit the visuals to remove any branding or anything leading back to their site, any copyrighted materials etc so that you're left with your work only with just their layout that looks like a finished landing page. Warning, if you accidently reload a page when you're editing the text, you'll lose everything, so start in a text doc and copy-paste across before screenshot-ing.

At this point, you would have had more experience practicing writing copy from your spreadsheet and a small portfolio. You can still read copywriting books if you want, but don't delay getting jobs. You'll learn more doing than reading. So read on evenings for tips and ideas, don't read before you start getting paid work.

So yes, after doing the above, let me know and I can suggest the next step(s)...your choice of course.
 

Kybalion

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Awesome. Now that have proven to yourself that you can write copy, and impressed us as well, my next suggested step is to create a few portfolio pieces of finished landing pages or whatever types of web copy you're aiming for.

There's a way to edit the text on any website you want (temporarily of course).

Here's how:

Bookmark this and add it to your favorites bar:
javascript:document.body.contentEditable = true; void 0;

Next, go to a landing page and click that bookmark you created...now you should be able to edit the text on the page. Now, edit their copy and replace all of it with yours.

Download the extension 'GoFullPage' and screenshot the page when you're done, i.e. the landing page that now has your copy. Do this for about 3-5 pages, edit the visuals to remove any branding or anything leading back to their site, any copyrighted materials etc so that you're left with your work only with just their layout that looks like a finished landing page. Warning, if you accidently reload a page when you're editing the text, you'll lose everything, so start in a text doc and copy-paste across before screenshot-ing.

At this point, you would have had more experience practicing writing copy from your spreadsheet and a small portfolio. You can still read copywriting books if you want, but don't delay getting jobs. You'll learn more doing than reading. So read on evenings for tips and ideas, don't read before you start getting paid work.

So yes, after doing the above, let me know and I can suggest the next step(s)...your choice of course.

This is an extremely valuable piece of advice!

Create a minimum viable portfolio and start looking for clients ASAP. As soon as you get hired you'll know your writing is capable of generating money - if your clients are willing to pay you, you can get their clients to pay them.
 

mguerra

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28
Awesome. Now that have proven to yourself that you can write copy, and impressed us as well, my next suggested step is to create a few portfolio pieces of finished landing pages or whatever types of web copy you're aiming for.

There's a way to edit the text on any website you want (temporarily of course).

Here's how:

Bookmark this and add it to your favorites bar:
javascript:document.body.contentEditable = true; void 0;

Next, go to a landing page and click that bookmark you created...now you should be able to edit the text on the page. Now, edit their copy and replace all of it with yours.

Download the extension 'GoFullPage' and screenshot the page when you're done, i.e. the landing page that now has your copy. Do this for about 3-5 pages, edit the visuals to remove any branding or anything leading back to their site, any copyrighted materials etc so that you're left with your work only with just their layout that looks like a finished landing page. Warning, if you accidently reload a page when you're editing the text, you'll lose everything, so start in a text doc and copy-paste across before screenshot-ing.

At this point, you would have had more experience practicing writing copy from your spreadsheet and a small portfolio. You can still read copywriting books if you want, but don't delay getting jobs. You'll learn more doing than reading. So read on evenings for tips and ideas, don't read before you start getting paid work.

So yes, after doing the above, let me know and I can suggest the next step(s)...your choice of course.

REALLY nice tip, brother.

Thanks for that!
 

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