“In this photo, I’m not wearing pants…”
Okay, so before we get into the obligatory “About Me” puff piece… let me tell you about that photo to the left of this paragraph: I’m not wearing any pants. Shorts maybe, but no pants.
Yeah, see… well… it goes like this…
I was on call to give a speech at a seminar in Florida, and I had just gotten this email around midnight begging me to send something in. So what could I do? I grabbed a shirt, tie, and jacket from my closet… snapped the shot on a digital camera with a timer… and sent it in. That was back when I was a bachelor writer living in the “Village” in New York. Now I’m married now with two kids and live overseas. Though, my parents still have that same photo framed and hanging in their kitchen.
And so it goes, right.
The second thing we can clear up is my name. You’re going to ask me, at some point, which I prefer… “John” or “Jack.” And then I’m going to politely but decidedly defer from answering. “Either’s fine with me,” I’ll say, “just pick one.” At which point, I’ll judge you forever by which one you choose (just kidding).
Actually, I like both the names.I came into this world as “John” and that’s what my family and oldest friends call me. Somewhere along the line, someone started calling me “Jack” too… and I let it go. So now I answer to both. Just don’t call me “John-Jack” or “Jack-John”… ugh. Can’t stand that.
Wait… is this what these “About Me” sections are supposed to be about?
No, probably not.
Probably, you want to hear about the WEBSITE and the E-LETTER and how all that came about.
Well, that’s a story too…
See, it all started it in 2001, shortly after I hopped a plane and went to a real “roundtable” of working copywriters. We were in Germany, in a wine region called the Ahr Valley. We were there to drink lots of wine, yes… but also to talk about what was working in the world of sales writing.
And we talked plenty.
Lots of secrets were shared, lots of pictures taken, and then lots of promises made about not letting the conversation end. “Why not,” someone said, “share all these insights and discoveries over email?” And so we did.
I wrote the first issue. Then I wrote the second. And a third. A fourth, a fifth, and so on. I didn’t mind taking up the lead on keeping everyone up to date. But I never intended for our little virtual “roundtable” to expand beyond the original 30 or so writers and other colleagues who attended the retreat.
Yet, it grew.
First by a friend or two. And then some more. Until I had a few hundred readers and started getting threatening letters from the administrators of my Compuserve account. Remember, this was before blogs… before Facebook or Twitter… even before most e-zines.
From there, a few other pros started talking about it. Some early bloggers also picked it up. And I was manually filling in sign-up requests for 300 readers… 1,000 readers… and then some. I moved to a more automated system and the list grew to 3,000… 7,000… to where it is now, which is around 10,000 and climbing.
If I ever get the time to focus on growing the list, I’d love to take it to at least 50,000.
And if there’s any price I’ll ever ask you to pay for reading the “CR” (as we call it), it’s simply to forward it to friends and ask them give it a try too. All they need to do is come to this site and enter a valid email address into the sign up box. It’s that simple. They’ll get an email offering them download links for the free reports and their first issue will follow soon thereafter.
But of course, the real reason I keep on doing this — even with 18 years of a very successful and financially rewarding copywriting career under my belt — is because I’m a writer. And writer’s write. So that’s what I’m doing every week. Keeping at it. Research, reading, reporting, sometimes even teaching… but always writing.
You should find plenty here. From what’s working to what might work to what’s not working anymore… from offline to online selling… what to charge, how to get clients, and how to work with designers… the list goes on.
Of course, if you know me you know that’s it’s hard to shut me up. Which means you’ll also find your CR issues jammed now and again with stories about the kids, our life and travels (we spend a good bit of the year overseas, especially in Paris), our two kids (who I’m ridiculously crazy about), and all the rest.
In all, I’m confident it adds up to some pretty valuable stuff. I know it does, in fact, because everything you’ll read about is pretty much what I do, know, and use… and frankly, it’s working out pretty well for me.
That said, your signup costs you nothing.
Zip. Nada. Zilch. Not a penny, farthing, or pfenning.
That’s right, this is all free. Gratis. No strings attached.
Complimentary. On the house. Without charge.
(Wait, let me get out my Thesaurus…)
Nil. Zero. Diddly-squat.
I’ll even give you a link to $78 worth of free gift reports in your “welcome” email.
How’s that sound for a good deal?
Oh, I haven’t mentioned the best part: You won’t have to listen to me all the time.
Because, when it’s not me writing, some of the best in the business are giving their contribution. I’m talking about the pros you know, like Bob Bly, Chris Marlow, and Michel Fortin… Michael Masterson, Clayton Makepeace, and many more.
If you’re not on the list yet, here’s your chance.
All you need to do to get started is fill in your email address below and click the button. I doubt you’ll even break a sweat doing it (unless you’re REALLY out of shape).
And yet, as soon as you do… you’ll get a “welcome email” with links to your $78 worth of FREE reports. Plus, your issues should start arriving soon after that — I publish every Tuesday.
I hope to hear from you!
Just put your email address in the box and away we go.
P.S. By the way, I never spam… will never share your email address with anyone… and as a side benefit, will never fold, spindle, or mutilate… let alone run with pencils, chew gum while walking, tear that tag off the mattress, leave the backdoor open, or put back an empty ice tray without filling it. And no, I was not the one to use the last of the milk.
P.S. Again, please tell your friends who might be interested about the CR. Invite them to sign up. And if you want, pretend it was you who came up with the nifty idea of giving away $78 worth of free gifts. I won’t mind one bit… just so long as they put their names on the list (I love having new readers).
Welcome on board!
Okay, but seriously, about John Forde…
John has worked as an direct-response copywriter for 23 years, with a specialty in the marketing of financial and health information products. His copy has both directly and indirectly, via work with junior writers, helped generate hundred of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of subscriptions.
He’s the proud recipient of the “Ouzilly Award for Sterling Copy” and the “2008 AWAI Copywriter of the Year” award as well as a 2009 “Most Valuable Player” award from Agora Financial Publishing . John has directly mentored dozens of successful writers and has led or helped lead international copywriting training programs, seminars, and bootcamps in the London, Paris, Bonn, Warsaw, Baltimore, and Delray Beach, Florida.
John is also a regular speaker at travel writing conferences, a published author, and shamelessly proud father of the two best little children in — well — the world. No, really. I’m not kidding. D&#m, they’re adorable.