20 Minutes a Day to Greater Copywriting Confidence

Dec 7, 2017

Let me ask you this… What is confidence? It’s not just the absence of doubt. It is the known presence of ability. When you know that you got it, there comes a calm, sure confidence that shows up in everything you do. This is especially true when it comes to copywriting. When you know your structure is good… when you’re sure your voice is right on… when your results validate that your a persuasive machine… then writing becomes a joy. You’ll have tons of confidence working with clients and finding new clients. Think how Clayton Makepeace, Bob Bly and Mark Ford feel when they sit down to write. Do they wonder if they’re “on track”? Do they fret about their voice, structure, and arguments? Not hardly.

They’re seasoned pros with tons of confidence.

How did they get there?

I can’t tell their exact journey, but I know the basic gist of it. (Actually, inside The Winner’s Edge, you’ll find extensive, detailed interviews I did with Mark and Bob. Its part of the What’s Working Now section… very insightful.) To help you see what happened, think about the process Benjamin Franklin went through to become one of the greatest copywriters to ever live… As a teenager, he was a printing apprentice for his brother. He would take the best articles and essays and rewrite them – word for word – over and over again. Sometimes as many as 20 or 30 times. Then, confident that he had the tone, flow, and arguments down, he’d venture to rewrite the article to make it more effective, clear, and easy to read. With this revision in hand, he’d let his dad, brother and others read both articles. He’d ask them to give him feedback on which was better and why. He did this for years. It didn’t take long… maybe 20 minutes a day. But the effect on his writing and thinking was stunning.  

Invest In Being a Copycat 🙂

If you want to gain a deep and powerful confidence in your writing, then I suggest you do the same thing. Great copy is readily available to you. If you’re an AWAI member, then you should have access to their famous “Hall of Fame” compilation. This book contains dozens of some of the best-pulling sales copy of our time. If you’re on LinkedIn, you can easily see who the thought leaders are and how often their articles are read. Set aside just 20 minutes each day to copy some of these letters and articles. Retype it word for word… do it 5-20 times. Don’t worry about getting on to the next letter. Stay focused until you’re sure you have the voice, flow, and emotion of the piece down pat. When you have that down, try your hand at reworking the thing. See how you could improve it. Make it really sing! Add your unique voice and make it come alive! Then, send both articles off to people you trust… but don’t tell them which is which. Let them guess for themselves who the authors are. Ask for their honest feedback and insights. Then, tweak it again.  

Big Doors Swing on Small Hinges

You know how it goes… big doors swing on small hinges. This is a small 20-minute per day hinge… and your entire copywriting skill could swing on it. If you discipline yourself to take this course of action, within a month or two, you’re writing confidence will soar sky high. You’ll immediately see the difference in your voice and skill. And so will others. Your samples, your articles, your website, your information packet… everything you write will be better.  

$300 per Hour for My Writing…

As a Newbie

I did something very similar to this for the first few years. One of my clients had me write 8-30 articles, press releases, and website pages each month. It was always in someone else’s voice because I was ghost writing. I would take something they’d written before and copy it 10 times. Then, I’d rework their piece… then I’d write my assignment. The results were awesome. I got so that I could hammer out a 1,000 word article in 20-30 minutes. The quality was good enough that the client hardly ever had changes or critiques. I was confident because I had a known ability to write good and fast for this client. In turn, this confidence turned into great profit margins. At the time, they were paying a retainer of $3,000 a month. So, let’s do the math…
  • 30 min per article
  • 20 articles a month
  • 600 minutes… or 10 hours of writing
  • $300 per hour for those articles.
Not bad bones, right? Yes, it was great pay. And, the best part was that it freed me up to do other projects that paid equally well. Plus, I was fast enough, that I had time left over for family time, private time, and other things that were really important to me…. things that bring real long-term value and fulfillment. That’s the power of confidence.  

Who’s Your Peer Group?

As you go through this process, one of the grand keys is to have someone qualified review your writing. Benjamin Franklin had his father and his older brother – both of which were excellent writers. Later, he had his Junto group – a group of men who were all extremely accomplished and highly educated. You need a group of peers that can help you and give you honest, useful, intelligent feedback. Having a handful of people pat you on the back and tell you “that’s great!” is not very useful. I’ve created CM Connect to help you find a group of copywriters that are serious about creating success. Some of the industries top up-and-coming players can be found on CM Connect… plus a number of seasoned experts. See how you can join them and gain greater confidence in your writing and marketing. CM Connect is included in The Winner’s Edge membership. See details here.  

Share Your Best Practices…

We all learn in different ways. The approach I’ve shared worked for me, Benjamin Franklin, and others… does it work for you? What has helped you gain greater confidence as a writer? Share your experiences with the group…
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