It’s only words…or is it?

Written on Thursday, February 11th, 2010 at 9:53 am by Adaire
Filed under Financial Freedom.

Words. We use them every time we talk and see them every time we read. No matter how much we use them, they never really run out nor do they go out of fashion. :) We are so used to them that sometimes, we don’t realize how important they are. Used badly, words cause anger, hurt feelings, cost jobs, lose sales and even incite rebellion. Used right, they touch emotions, boost confidence, win victories, encourage imagination, profess love and increase profit.

Whether used for personal or professional purposes, words create a huge impact on people’s lives. In the business of copywriting, words are the main factor. Secrets of a Copywriting Genius, Ric Thompson’s TALK with John Carlton, focuses on exactly what the title indicates. There are, indeed, secrets to writing not only good but great copy.

During the talk, John Carlton relayed how he got started on copywriting, what drove him to learn on his own, the lessons he’s learned throughout the years, what inspired him to teach others and the success secrets he wants to share with everyone. In turn, let me spread the love and share with you the lessons I learned from their talk. :)

Just Write

All the ads, television shows, movies, newspapers, magazines, books, etc., whether online or offline, start with words. As John Carlton said, “Nothing happens until the copy gets written.” This is true for most, if not all, projects and maybe even more so for advertisements.

Different factors come into play when you’re about to write copy for anything. Sometimes, these considerations are the ones that fuel the creative process. But other times, they may cause the blockage that keeps us from thinking clearly. Some writers prefer to wait for inspiration, but others believe in just diving in and going for it. Since there’s no higher power than the deadline, the latter tactic seems the smarter way to go. :)

Some people may be intimidated by all the technicalities of writing and grammar. But contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a scholar or a Pulitzer Prize winning author in order to write effective copy. All you need is a clear sales message. As long as you know what you want to write about, what you need to convey to your audience and how you’re going to deliver that message, then you’re on your way to creating good copy.
Tap Into Feelings
We all love stories! I know I do. :) When a copy is as interesting as a story, it has the power to capture our attention. Often times, the more a copy touches our emotions, the more effective it is.

Since buying is more of an emotional rather than a rational decision, as John Carlton discussed in his conversation with Ric Thompson, emotion-tapping copy usually gets the job done. With effective copy, you could guide and sway a buyer’s decision, get them excited about a product, allay their objections and even convert their beliefs. Now, that’s interesting. We definitely learn something new every day. :)

Raise The Bar

Another amazing concept that John Carlton introduced is the “bar room conversation.” In a situation when a man sits beside you in a bar and you overhear his conversation with the bartender and then, you find out that you could provide the solution to his dilemma, you don’t just walk right up to him and scare the living daylights out of him. Oh no, that would be an unusually awkward, and possibly hostile, situation! :)

The same goes for ads and effective marketing. Treat people as strangers – which come to think of it, they are :) – and you think of the best approach to take when you talk to them. You need to proceed with caution and smarts at all times. Since most times your advertisement or offer of help is an unwelcome intrusion, you have to be clever enough in order to make them pay attention and not run away screaming. :)


John Carlton believes that there is an inner salesperson in everyone. We all have the ability to sell – whether they are products, thoughts or ideas. We have the innate ability to sway people’s emotions into seeing things from our perspective and choosing to buy what we’re selling. Some just choose to hide, ignore or refuse to hone it.

Mr. Carlton also believes that there are plenty of talented salespeople out there, and if you are capable of selling products and having people buy from you face to face, then you should also be able to translate that talent and close sales even in writing.

The Midas Touch
In this day and age, the online phenomenon continues to whip up a storm. You could turn anything into gold and the good news is yes, even copy. :)

Since everything is faster, you could immediately see results. Most times, you could even interact with your audience in real time. You write up a copy in your website and people react. You tweak a few details, and they’ll react even more. You don’t need to guess as much, and a lot of waiting time has been taken out of the equation. Needless to say, advertising has become a lot cheaper and easier than before. :)

With plenty of online resources and avenues floating around the web, you could definitely earn a lot of money through writing. It’s very easy to do market research and find out what your competition is doing. You could also compare and contrast market prices and determine exactly where you are and what position to take.

When you know your positioning in the market, you should be able to present yourself as worthy of the audiences’ attention. You should be able to convey the benefit you’ll bring to them by holding their attention and giving them a hook they could bite on and follow.
If you’re looking towards going into a career in copywriting, don’t be daunted by all the writers out there who have more experience or knowledge than you. It just follows, since they’ve been in the business longer. :) You just need to have a clear knowledge of what you want to do and how you want to do it. Keep in mind that copywriting can be learned. You only need to tap into your inner storyteller and learn how to translate those ideas into words that would, most definitely, touch people’s lives when you stitch them right. :)

Click here to listen to the audio recording of Ric Thompson’s and John Carlton’s talk. To see some of John Carlton’s products, works and read testimonials about his course, Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel, check out and his blog

Do you have other copywriting secrets you’d like to share with our readers? Just post on the comments section below and let me know.

Happy writing!

11 Responses to “It’s only words…or is it?”

  1. You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material.

  2. Gerda Jan says:

    I haven’t met a writer as great as you are. Two thumbs up for a awesome job!

  3. I feel a lot more people need to read this, very good info! . . . . . .

  4. Pablo Russon says:

    Yep, I have the same feelings, thanks for your review. Just one thing, for some reasons I can’t seem to get your blog to look good on IE8 (I’m using a PC). Some parts of your menu look a bit weird, just my 2 cents.

  5. Ateny says:

    Very informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us.

  6. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it.I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  7. Thank You For This Blog, was added to my bookmarks.

  8. I completely agree with the above comment, the internet is with a doubt growing into the most important medium of communication across the globe and its due to sites like this that ideas are spreading so quickly.

  9. vegas says:

    As a copywriter, do you ever get attacked for doing what you do? People saying youre doing something wrong, too commercial or something like that?

  10. I really like following your blog as the articles are so simple to read and follow. Excellent. Please keep up the good work. Thanks.

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