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Dream big; start small

October 2nd, 2018 by Bob Bly

In the late 1970s, when I first became a professional writer, the most sought-after assignment in freelancing was writing magazine articles. Today, among AWAI students and other copywriters, the most sought-after assignment is a long-copy promotion such as a magalog or video sales letter (VSL) selling a product via direct response. Anyway, back in the […]

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Category: Success, Writing | 252 Comments »

Copywriting for clients or for your own products — which is right for you?

August 31st, 2018 by Bob Bly

Ben Settle and I had a brief email exchange last week on the fact that there are two types of copywriters today: “Traditional” copywriters write copy on a contract basis for clients. “Alt” copywriters write copy to sell their own information products. So which do I recommend for you — the first? The second? Both? […]

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Category: Writing | 122 Comments »

Is this the end of freelance copywriting?

June 15th, 2018 by Bob Bly

Subscriber BD, who happens to be both a songwriter and a copywriter, writes: “I fear something similar will happen to copywriting as what has happened to independent musicians and songwriters over the years. “So many out there doing it. Just for exposure. For experience. For samples. For confidence boost. For networking. “So many people with […]

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Category: Writing | 137 Comments »

The 2/24 formula for turning a no into a yes

May 18th, 2018 by Bob Bly

So many people allow themselves to be defeated by either rejection or lack of persistence. “Persistence” is the ability to keep moving forward … and pursuing your goal or objective … even in the face of failures and setbacks. “Rejection” is a more specific case of lack of persistence after a disappointment: giving up too […]

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Category: Success | 66 Comments »

Advice for writers with wide-ranging interests

May 15th, 2018 by Bob Bly

Subscriber CG writes: “What advice would you give a writer who has many interests and talents and finds it difficult to choose a topic, theme, or genre to write in? “If they are new to writing full-time for a living, must they choose a focus area to be successful?” This aspect of freelancing — generalist […]

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Category: Writing | 88 Comments »

B2B vs. B2C freelancing: how are they different?

April 24th, 2018 by Bob Bly

Subscriber CO writes: “Could you talk about the differences between starting a business-to-business (B2B) copywriting business, versus starting a copywriting business aimed at direct response business-to-consumer (B2C) copy? “Are there differences between getting clients, running the business etc. Since you write copy for both, I figured you would have a unique view on this.” Well, […]

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Category: Writing | 94 Comments »

Get big ideas from these 6 little books

April 3rd, 2018 by Bob Bly

In the self-help and success niche, there is a curious phenomenon I call the “little books.” These books are usually almost always reprints of talks, speeches, and tracts from the 20th century, published today as thin paperback books. Some are so few pages they are more like pamphlets than books — saddle-stitched with staples through […]

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Category: General | 89 Comments »

Today’s most under-used marketing technique

March 23rd, 2018 by Bob Bly

In my opinion, the best TV commercial running today is this one for Flex Tape: The reason I think it is so strong is that the commercial masterfully employs one of the most powerful — and also one of the most neglected — copywriting persuasion techniques: Demonstration. Direct marketers as well as salespeople have long […]

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Category: Direct Marketing | 126 Comments »