“If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.” – Lillian Hellman Via an old friend, a young writer sent me an email: How, he wanted to know, should… Continue Reading
It’s commonly said that the Greeks talked about two kinds of knowledge… One you gain from study, the other you gain from experience. But there’s a third kind of knowledge, one the Greeks absolutely didn’t have access to… but you do: refrigerator wisdom.… Continue Reading
Everything we do is dictated by the “why” behind it. As in, the only reason why we would change our behavior to get a certain outcome. And the only way to persuade others is to answer the “why” behind what… Continue Reading
It’s come to my attention that you, dear reader, might be sorely lacking in proper copywriting “vocabulary.” Possibly because you don’t read this blog enough. Possibly because I don’t use the terms enough. Or possibly because, well, who wants to sit around talking terminology all the time? Nonetheless, I thought I’d do you a favor and lay down details on the handiest of terms. As follows… Continue Reading
Sid and Harry run a tailor shop in New York City. If you can picture it, Sid is the salesman working the floor, while Harry works over the inventory in the back. A customer comes in. “Excuse me sir,” he… Continue Reading
It’s natural to get angry. And certainly, some pretty hot-tempered, “hair-trigger” individuals have still managed to do some very great things. But I raise this point for a reason… Continue Reading
“Shut up and listen,” I said. I was talking to Michael Masterson, the great copywriter, publisher, and best-selling author. Had I lost my mind? Not at all.
Rather, I was summing up the core idea behind one of the best-selling books of all time, Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” That, in my opinion, is the key idea behind that book. And the fact that it’s so easily defined has a lot to do with its success.
Michael came back with another example… I delivered a third… and the volley went back and forth, until we ran out of ready examples. It wasn’t a game. See, Michael and I — along with another brilliant copywriter, Bill Bonner — had just finished running four straight days of an intensive, private copywriting bootcamp…
Alex Osborn, a founder of a super-successful New York ad Agency and of the Creative Education Foundation, came up with a list of brainstorming “rules” in 1963: No judgment in early stages: Collect as many ideas as possible without imposing… Continue Reading
What’s the best thing you can do when you’re unsure of what comes next? According to billionaire Warren Buffet, you should work on — get ready for it — yourself. Constant renewal, in other words. Just in case you need… Continue Reading
I got a note from a reader who aspires to a copywriting career and wanted to know how best to get started. You can imagine, I get that question a lot. Here was my reply… Continue Reading