"How To Write Better Copy, Faster!"

Scott L. Haines
Austin, Texas
Tuesday, 2:37 p.m.
November 4, 2008

Dear Friend,

       In the first part of this report, I'm going to give you 12 "battle-tested" strategies from the frontlines that will help you write better copy, faster.

       Most are quick, easy and painless to implement... a few take a little more effort. But they all...

Just Flat Out Work!

       They are "go to" strategies for many of the most famous copywriters/writers in the world!

       Then, in the second part of this report (titled: "How To Write Copy Like Gary Halbert!"), I'm going to reveal a couple of strategies for writing better copy overall... including... one of Gary's secret copywriting weapons. It's a secret weapon he rarely talked about, but one I witnessed firsthand.

       First though, in case you have no idea who I am, let me briefly introduce myself:

       My name is Scott Haines. Gary often referred to me in his newsletters as "Mongo"... a nickname I picked up when I first started working with him in 1998. How I got it is not important for our purposes here... but... it's in reference to the character "Mongo" from Mel Brooks' movie...

"Blazing Saddles"

       Anyway, through the years I had the pleasure of working side-by-side, learning from, and forming a great friendship with Gary. And in the process, I got a doctorate-level education in direct response marketing and copywriting... which... has given me an outstanding income and lifestyle over the past 10 years (or so) that I could only dream about before.

       In fact, his passing left a huge hole in my life that has been-quite frankly-hard to deal with. However, I've managed through a combination of gratitude (gratitude for the time I got to spend with him) and distraction (both the constructive kind and the destructive kind).

       In any case, I don't want this to be a morose message. Not at all. Gary wouldn't want that. No, what he'd want me to do here-and I'm 100% sure of this-is do my best to impart some of the wisdom I've gathered over the years (some from Gary, some elsewhere) on how to write better copy... both faster... and... overall.

       Let me relate something to you he once told me. During a conversation, I brought up the subject of how my life would be different had I never met him... I said, "You know, I can never repay you for everything you've taught me." And he quickly shot back with, "You don't have to. You just have to teach it to others. It's your obligation."

       Up until that point, I had never considered it my "obligation" or "duty" to pass along what I had learned to others. However, the instant he said that to me, it completely shifted my thinking... a complete paradigm shift, if you will.

       And from that moment on (through e-letters, special reports, personal mentoring and my "how to" copywriting course, Shortcut Copywriting Secrets™), I've been working with that purpose in mind.

       So, if you're ready, I'd like to continue to fulfill on my "obligation" with this report... starting with...

Better Copy, Faster Strategy #1... Set up a proper writing space:

       Almost every great writer I've studied or been exposed to has (or had) a space where they can go that instantly puts them "in the mood" to write. And I'm starting with this piece of advice because I think it's one of those "first things first" things.

       Is it mandatory? No. I often write where I am... coffee shops, bookstores, bars... even in my car sometimes (when a hot idea hits). However, I do have a real writing space. A space that has everything I need... desks, files, my library and so on. And I think, if you're really going to be a productive copywriter, you need a space like this, too.

       You know, we (Gary, Bond and I) used to joke that you know you're in Los Angeles when you hear the words, "Feng Shui". But you know what, after a careful review of the less "airy-fairy" parts of Feng Shui, I think there are some great takeaway ideas there.

       Check it out for yourself, if you want. But however you decide to arrange your writing space, just make sure you do it in a way that inspires you... that lifts your energy... that allows you to be at your best.

       As an aside: I was in Key West a few months ago and, even though I've lived there and been there dozens of times, I'd never visited Ernest Hemingway's house... which is now a museum. Shame on me. So, this trip, I made sure I went. And it was truly a pleasure to see his little second-story writing room just across a catwalk from the main house.

You can't go in there, but it's cool just to check it out through the locked, screen-type door. If you ever visit Key West, go there and take the tour. Tip: Take the tour first, then hang around and browse through the house on your own... and... bring a camera.

Better Copy, Faster Strategy #2... Set up a writing routine:

       When do you do most of your writing? Morning, afternoon, night? I used to be a hardcore nighttime writer. However, over the years, I have found that the best time for me to write is first thing in the morning. After I've had some coffee, of course.

       Here's why:

       These days, I start my pre-writing routine well in advance. In fact, I begin getting ready to write the night before.

       Here's what I do: After I've done all my research, when I know it's time to actually start writing a promo, I have a little routine I follow. It goes like this: Before going to bed, I take all the material I've gathered and gone through in my research phase... things like: sales letters, articles, reports, notes I've taken, and so on. Then, since I've already highlighted or taken notes on all the important points, I skim through all this material... just covering what I've already deemed important. This process usually takes 30 minutes to an hour.

       After that, I sit back and reflect on everything for a few minutes and start asking myself a few key questions like:

       What's the BIG Idea here?

       If I were a prospect for this product, what benefit would I want most?

       What's exciting about this product?

       Next, I simply relax, go to bed and let my subconscious work on the questions and all the material I've covered. (Alternatively, you can actually instruct your subconscious to work on the questions by saying something like, "Dear Subconscious, please give me the perfect answers or solutions to the questions I've asked." Or, "Dear Subconscious, thank you for giving me the perfect answers or solutions to the questions I've asked.")

       And that's it. I don't struggle trying to come up with answers, or solutions, or anything like that. Then, in the morning, I go through my usual writing warm-up and get started. (Note:
In my copywriting mini-course-available here for free-I outline a 7-step formula for "warming up" that I developed when I first started working with Gary. It works. I still use some of the elements of it today... a decade later).

       If all this seems a bit far out to you, just know that almost every writer in the world (of anything) uses this process… knowingly or unknowingly.

       I've heard Sylvester Stallone talk about using it on the hit TV show, "Inside the Actors Studio." Dan Kennedy uses it. Author Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) used it. Mark Twain said he never worked a day in his life. That all his humor and all his great writings were due to the fact that he tapped the inexhaustible reservoir of his subconscious mind.

       So, if you'd like a little (or a lot of) help with your writing, give this a technique a shot... even if you're skeptical.

       Also, you can use this "night before" technique at any point during your writing process by simply reading over what you've written that day... and then... sleeping on it. You can ask yourself questions about it if you like... but... it's not totally necessary. Your subconscious will work on it regardless.

       Also, also, no matter when you do most of your writing, may I suggest that you at least try and do it at the same time every day. The reason being: I don't think it's as powerful as what I just outlined, however, your subconscious mind will adjust to a set schedule... and give you an added boost.

Better Copy, Faster Strategy #3... Write, A LOT:

       The best writers, write... and... write a lot. It's that simple. Does that mean you can never take time off? Absolutely not. You'll burn out. But, just as an example, my friend Matt Furey belts out-on an almost daily basis-one, two or more e-mails to his list. And he does this on top of writing an enormous amount of other materials... including newsletters, books, sales letters, etc. And his e-mails are almost always exceptional. Impressive, to say the least.

       But you don't necessarily have to match his pace to be a good writer. However, just know it's possible... and... the more you write and, the more often you write, in general, the better you will become.

Better Copy, Faster Strategy #4... Write for set time periods:

       This piece of advice comes from the late, great copywriter, Gene Schwartz. It's something that virtually eliminates writer's block. Here's what he suggested: Get a timer and set it for 33:33 (that's 33 minutes and 33 seconds)… then, when the alarm goes off, take a five or ten minute break. Then, reset your timer and start again.

       A couple of things:

       First, you can do anything you want during the timed period. You don't have to write but, you can't get up out of your chair. This is great because it takes the pressure of "having to write" off. And, what'll usually happen is, you'll start reading the copy, maybe fiddling around with it a bit... and... before you know it, you'll be working on your promotion.

       Second, during the breaks, do something. Walk around. Have a small snack. Fold some clothes. Or do some other mundane (but not mentally-taxing) task. The idea here is to let your subconscious work. And keeping your mind slightly distracted and your body busy aids the process. Plus, it helps get your blood flowing again. Often answers to pressing problems, fantastic ideas or flashes of inspiration will jump into your mind during these rest periods. And yes, when that happens, you should immediately go back to writing.

       Personally (in addition to the benefits above), I've found this technique to be very helpful from a motivation standpoint. That is, it's measurable, so it adds to my sense of accomplishment or progress. And when I feel like I'm making progress on something, I'm more likely to want to keep moving on it.

       For example: I just plain feel better (i.e. more motivated) if, after a day's writing, I can say to myself, "I wrote for six sessions today." Versus, "I wrote until I got tired."

       And that brings me to another point or tip. I got this tip from a book on working out titled The Naked Warrior by Pavel Tsatsouline. In the book, he quotes Soviet strength expert, Professor Vladimir Zatsiorsky, who suggests you...

"Do as much quality work as possible
while being as fresh as possible."

       This is excellent advice when training your physical body the way he suggests. But I'd also submit that it's excellent advice when you are "training" or "working" mentally, as well. And timed periods with defined rest intervals... help keep you fresh... and... help you accomplish more. At least it works that way for me.

       Try it for a week-or better yet, 21 days-and see if you don't get more done.

Better Copy, Faster Strategy #5... Write something easy first:

       If you're having trouble getting started, it's probably because you're putting too much pressure on yourself... or... you're starting with something difficult. The antidote (in addition to using a timer)? Simple. Start with something easy.

       A personal example: Right now, I'm tired. I got roughly 3 1/2 hours of sleep last night... so... I didn't feel like working on this report today. However, as a pro, I must. So, instead of starting in a place where I needed to do a little research, or maybe where I was hung up a little when I stopped... I set my timer and started here. A relatively easy part of this report to write. And you know what, I'm starting to pick up a some steam. Most people have heard this quote by Goethe...

"What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it!
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

       And it really holds up. Whether you're starting a new business or career, or just starting a day's work... the secret is to just get started or "begin it!"

       For instance, when you're writing a sales letter, you can start with the bullets. My good friend John Carlton gave me that advice almost a decade ago and it's paid off in spades.

       You can also start with something like the guarantee copy... which... if you write copy long enough, will be almost boilerplate for you. That is, you'll have one or more ways you spell out a guarantee that you'll use over and over... that... you can write without much effort. Then, when you pick up some steam-which, you'll do most of the time-you can switch to a part of your promo that's a little more challenging.

       However, sometimes, no matter what you do, you'll still be flat, tired and uninspired. On those occasions, it might be wise to take the day off. Just don't make too much of a habit of it. More often than not, you can rise to the occasion... if... you just get started!

Better Copy, Faster Strategy #6... Allow yourself to suck:

       Listen: It's okay to be less than perfect. Every word you put on the page does not have to be "solid gold". After all, you're not doing brain surgery! The "patient" won't die if you screw up.

       And remember, just because you write it (or type it) doesn't mean it has to be printed or published that way. You can always edit and rewrite later. And many times, you'll be surprised with your "less than perfect" writing... especially... if you let it sit a day or so before reading it again.

       Dozens, if not hundreds of times, I've written something that I didn't feel good about during and immediately after finishing... however... after setting it aside, then taking a fresh look at it, decided to go with it.

       So relax, and just write. If you still feel hampered by perfectionism, just remember, in the
history of written communication, almost nothing has ever been published that's 100% perfect. And besides, who makes the rules anyway? As a copywriter, as long as what you write, works, YOU get to make the rules.

Better Copy, Faster Strategy #7... Write your first drafts fast & furious with no editing:

       In his-I think-only non-fiction book, On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft, Stephen King had this to say about first drafts:

       "Never look at a reference book while doing a first draft. You want to write a story? Fine. Put away your World Almanac, and your thesaurus. Better yet, throw your thesaurus into the wastebasket. The only things creepier than a thesaurus are those little paperbacks college students too lazy to read the assigned novels buy around exam time. Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule. You think you might have misspelled a word? O.K., so here is your choice: Either look it up in the dictionary, thereby making sure you have it right-and breaking your train of thought and the writer's trance in the bargain-or just spell it phonetically and correct it later. Why not? Did you think it was going to go somewhere? And if you need to know the largest city in Brazil and you find you don't have it in your head, why not write in Miami or Cleveland? You can check it… but later. When you sit down to write, write. Don't do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off."

       Good advice from a guy who certainly knows how to get a lot of writing done.

Better Copy, Faster Strategy #8... Don't be afraid to throw away writing if it's no good:

       This is a somewhat counterintuitive strategy for writing better, copy faster. But it works, because it keeps you moving.

       I often watched Gary write one or more pages (longhand on a legal pad), rip 'em out, wad 'em up and chuck 'em in the waste basket... and then... immediately start over.

       I do the same thing quite often. You see, it's a natural human tendency to "warm up" to things. And almost always, your first words are "warm up" words. If that's the case-and after awhile, you KNOW when what you've written is not up to par... or... just plain stinks-trash it, and start over.

       Sometimes, I even trash a whole day's writing when I KNOW it's not right! I don't cry or fret over it, I just start over and keep moving.

       By the way, that reminds me of something. At a seminar once, I was listening to Jeff Paul explain something he calls his...

"5-Minute Wallow Rule!"

       It goes something like this:

       When something happens to you that, at the time, seems like an unfortunate event-if you have to-give yourself five minutes to just wallow in your pain.

       You can feel sorry for yourself... scream... cry... complain bitterly or whatever you need to do. However, when the five minutes is up, you gotta quit wining and go immediately back to being proactive in your life.

       It's a good strategy for anyone... and... a GREAT strategy if you're a freelancer.

       For example: If your latest promo doesn't work as well as you hoped. Or, if yesterday's writing was a wash. Or, if your client doesn't mail your letter for some insane reason. Or, whatever.

       If you need it, take five minutes to wallow... then... get on with things.

Better Copy, Faster Strategy #9... Use technology when it's actually useful:

       I'm not a technology junkie. Far from it. In fact, I often still write longhand on legal pads when I'm not in a time-crunch... making me, by today's standards, a hardcore Luddite (look it up).

       However, I can be persuaded to use technology that is actually useful.

       For example:

       Here's a web site I found recently that provides a service that ensures-in as much as anything dependent on technology can ensure-you'll never lose an important thought again. It's located at jott.com. (In beta it was totally free, however, I just checked, and now you might have to pay for some of the features.)

       The way it works is... you sign up and give them your phone number. Then, you program their toll-free 866 number into your phone. (I have it on my cell phone's speed dial.) After that, any time you have a thought, you call their number and it asks you, "Who do you want to Jott?" You say, "me" or "myself". Then it beeps and you can leave a message. The message length is 15 to 60 seconds, depending upon what type of account you have. However, you can leave as many messages as you want... one after another.

       Now here's where it gets cool. After you leave your message, they transcribe it (with fairly decent accuracy) and send it to you by e-mail... or... you can log-in to the web site and print off all your "Jotts".

       Of course, there are other features, but for me, the "thought capture" feature is the main thing I'm interested in. It cuts down on written notes... and... keeps things, especially if they're online-related, in front of me. I sometimes dictate copy and cut & paste it into whatever I'm working on.

       I turned online marketing mavin, Rich Schefren, onto this service while at SXSW in Austin and he seems to dig it.

       In Napoleon Hill's, The Law Of Success In Sixteen Lessons (which was written in the early 1900's), he wrote about a very successful businessman who would carry around postcards... and... when something popped into his mind-an idea, to do item, et cetera-he'd write it on a postcard and mail it to himself.

       The purpose of doing so was to free his mind to work on more important or current matters... without... the fear of forgetting something.

       Same concept, jott.com just makes it easier.

       Another service I've been using for the last year or so is located at: freeconferencecall.com. The name pretty much says it all. You can set-up conference calls or brainstorming sessions at no cost.

       The free service works great and I've used it quite a bit.

       But what I like more is their paid service that let's you do the same thing with a toll-free 800#... and also... records the call. After that, they send you an mp3 recording by e-mail within a couple of hours. And, if you want, they'll send it out for transcription. They offer 72-hour turnaround... or... for an extra fee, they offer expedited 24-hour turnaround.

       This is a fantastic service that can be used from practically anywhere. I use it for interviewing clients. It saves me the hassle of trying to record the conversation myself... or... trying to take extensive notes while talking. And, I can listen to the recording as many times as I like... often finding hidden gems that I missed during our live conversation.

Better Copy, Faster Strategy #10... Get in shape:

       To write better copy, faster, you must have the energy to write better copy, faster. And you're just not going to have that energy unless you exercise and eat fairly well.

       I'm not preaching here, I've been in and out of shape more times in my life than I care to count. But I do know, the quality and quantity of my writing suffers when I'm not in shape. Also, since my background includes stints as a National Champion Powerlifter, Competitive Martial Artist and Professional Bike Racer, I'm hesitant to tell you what I do for exercise and nutrition... because... it's most likely not right for you.

       However, let me just say this: If you're doing absolutely nothing right now, if you'll just start walking-at a fairly brisk pace-30 minutes a day, three to six days a week, you'll improve your health and energy greatly.

       If that's too much, or you don't feel motivated enough to do that, start small... even as little as 5 minutes a day in the beginning. Then, gradually work your way up to 30 minutes a day.

Better Copy, Faster Strategy #11... Specialize:

       If you want to write better copy, faster (and make a lot more money), it's good idea to specialize as a copywriter.

       Now, there are many ways you can do this. You can specialize by industry: Health, financial, etc. By occupation: Dentists, chiropractors, etc. By medium: Direct mail, space, online, etc. Or some combination of the above. Or, in a variety of other ways.

       Just as an example: You could be the guy who does nothing but write newspaper tear-sheet ads for chiropractors. Or, you could be the lead-generation, direct mail guru for dentists. Or, you could be-like one guy I know of-someone who does nothing but write copy for newsletter subscriptions/renewals.

       If I were starting over today, I would specialize somehow. It's far easier (translation: less stressful) and, when done right, far more lucrative. Why? A lot of reasons:



The work/writing will get much easier over time as you learn exactly what works or what a specific market wants.


You’ll be able to recycle concepts and copy.  In other words, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel every time… a big time-saver/money-maker.  

  c. You’ll be able to keep up with trends and shifts within your specialty.
  d. You can focus on positioning yourself with laser-like intensity.  That is, you can be a big fish in a small pond that everyone knows and wants to go to. 

You can keep tabs on the competition much easier.


Better Copy, Faster Strategy #12... Reward yourself:

       This is something I learned from Gary. Every time he finished a promotion, he would reward himself somehow. Didn't have to be something big... in fact... most of the time, it would be something as small as buying himself a little gadget from Sharper Image or something similar.

       Over the years, I've worked out a reward system for myself. I even break it down.

       Like when I lived in Los Angeles, I would set a goal to get "X" amount of work done by Thursday afternoon around 2 p.m. Then, if I hit my goal, I would reward myself by hitting "Happy Hour" at Barney's Beanery (a great place to hangout, have a few drinks and chit-chat with an eclectic group of Hollywood rabble.)

       That was a small reward, but it worked for me. And I'm not suggesting you "pollute your body" every time you hit a goal. But I am suggesting you figure out something that keeps you moving and gives you joy for hitting your marks.

Now onto Part 2 of this report...

"How To Write Copy Like Gary Halbert!"

       How do you like the headline above? But can it possibly be true? Can what I'm about to reveal really enable you to write copy like Gary Halbert?

       Actually, I can't say for sure. However, I do know it can certainly help you write copy more like Gary Halbert.

       How do I know that?

       Because it's one of the things he did to help make his writing truly great. You could say, it was his "ace-in-the-hole" or "secret weapon" when it came to writing some of the best advertising copy the world has ever seen. And it's this...

Reading Good Novels

       You know, when you ask most experts what books you should read to learn how to write copy, the typical reply is something like: Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins. Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples. The Robert Collier Letter Book. Ogilivy on Advertising. Et cetera. And they're right. In fact, in my course (Shortcut Copywriting Secrets™) I list all the classic books everyone who wants to be an effective copywriter should read (and re-read).

       However, once a person has a deep and thorough understanding of these books... and... has taken advantage of a few of the better, current courses available, where should he (or she) go from there?

       Once again, to good novels. Let me explain-with a quick, real-life story-how reading novels helps you become a better copywriter.

       When Gary invited me to come down to Miami Beach in 1998, I already had a solid grounding in the basics. I had read and re-read all the classics. Read as much of Gary's stuff as I could get my hands on... including his book: How To Make Maximum Money In Minimum Time! In fact, I even went so far as to copy out that entire book in my own handwriting.

       So, I was beyond the absolute beginner level. However, I wasn't exactly a pro, either. Now, you'd think, since I still had plenty to learn, Gary would push his materials on me and tell me to study them intently. But he didn't. No, one of the most important things he did was buy me a novel.

       Here's what happened:

       Shortly after I arrived in Florida, we took a trip down to the Florida Keys. Marathon to be exact. And while in Marathon, we stopped at a bookstore. I picked up a health book to help me with a current project and Gary picked up a few paperbacks. After we got back in the car, Gary handed me one of the paperbacks and said...

"You'll always remember where you were when
Gary Halbert bought you your first Travis McGee novel."

       And, as a matter of fact-quite obviously-I still do. In fact, on a recent vacation to the Keys (April '08), I passed by that bookstore and the memory of him giving me that book was as vivid as the day he did it.

       Anyway, at that time, Gary didn't say, "Read this, it'll make you a better copywriter." No, he just told me that once I start reading Travis McGee, I'll become addicted. And I did. Not a rabid addiction, but I've slowly worked my way through the entire series (21 books in all) over the last 10 years.

       And now that I've finished all the books in the Travis McGee series, I consider that gift one of the most important things I ever received from Gary. Why? It's simple...

Reading Those Books Made Me
A Better Storyteller!

       And good storytelling ("in print" or "in person") is paramount to persuasion and selling.

       Want proof?

       You don't have to look any farther than Gary himself. His newsletters-widely regarded as the best marketing newsletters ever published-are almost impossible not to read. He was a master storyteller. And he honed his storytelling skills, at least in my estimation, by reading fiction.

       He was an inveterate fiction reader. And what most people don't realize is, he hardly ever read a book on marketing, advertising or selling. At least in his latter years. Sure, he'd thumb through something someone sent him. Or, he might buy a few things here and there that really caught his eye. But for the most part, during our scores of trips to bookstores all over the country, he bought, and then read, novels. Mostly of the mystery genre.

       In fact, one of our last trips to a bookstore-a Barnes & Noble on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami-was a quest for a semi-obscure Ian Fleming (James Bond series author) piece of writing titled...

"Quantum of Solace"

       Gary insisted we find it, and insisted I read it... because... in his opinion, it was one of the best pieces of writing he had ever read. And it was/is. (If you're interested, you can find "Quantum of Solace" tucked inside Fleming's novel, For Your Eyes Only.)

       So, if you want to become a better copywriter-and you've covered the basics-start reading books written by good storytellers. Try the Travis McGee series written by John D. MacDonald. You know, Gary used lines in his copy that had a remarkable resemblance to lines in the McGee books. He used them in person. He used them as part of his philosophy.

       So there's much you can learn from fiction.

       And while I'm on the subject, in addition to reading good novels, you should also...

Become An Observer Of Life And
People... And... A Collector Of Stories.

       Gary was a master observer of life and people... and I... pretty much by osmosis, learned this from him. You see, many people go about their day half-asleep, paying little attention to the things that happen around them and to them. Big mistake. Your life can (and should be) source material for your copy. Let me give you a concrete example. It's an excerpt from a letter I wrote recently for a famous online marketer:


       I'll tell you how to get it in a minute. But first, a quick story...

       Recently, a friend of mine drove down here to _______ _______ to hang out, work a little... and... in general, just shuck and jive. In fact, this was a vacation/sabbatical for him in which, he drove, according to his rental car receipt...

4,706 Miles

       In any case, when he returned home, he called and told me something interesting. He said (and I'm paraphrasing a little bit here)...

       "You know _____, I'm amazed at what a dumba#@ I can be at times. The whole drive, down to your office and back I could never get comfortable. And the reason why is, my new rental car had air vents that wouldn't adjust properly. When opened, I could only get them to blow air directly in my face... leading to a quite quick "too cold" condition. That, or I could close them completely... leading to a quite quick "too hot" condition.

       "Whatever. I just cursed the car company and went on. Well, turns out, when I got back home (all the way back), while reaching to close a vent-for what seemed like the thousandth time-I hit a bump... and wouldn't you know it, the damn thing turned.

       "Matter of fact, I discovered the vents rotated 360 degrees, giving precise angles for blowing the air wherever. Anyway, what makes me such a dumba#@ is... I never tried to spin 'em... I just tried to push them in and out like the old vents. Never even crossed my mind to try something else. I tell ya, I wonder about myself and my future sometimes."

       Funny story. At least it was the way he told it. However, it's much more than that. You see, after I got off the phone with him, for whatever reason, I was thinking about our conversation... and...

Something Hit Me!

       My friend suffered through thousands of long miles on the road... because of one little piece of missing information.

       Just someone showing or telling him to rotate the vents would've made a tremendous difference in the quality of his trip. In fact, later, when I talked with him again, I asked him how much he would've paid if someone would've offered to "fix" the vents. And he said,

"Five-hundred bucks, no problem."


Now, that's a true story. It's actually a story within a story... but whatever. The part about me driving almost 5,000 miles, uncomfortable, 'cause I couldn't figure out how to adjust the vents is absolutely true. And I absolutely felt like a dumbass.

       But that's not the point.

       The point is: That was just a random thing that occurred to me during my trip. However, I modified and used it to write a story that will help sell more of his product... much more than a plain-Jane, "Here's my promise, here's my product, here's how it fulfills on my promise, I'll shoulder the risk, give me your money" pitch.

       By the way, want a top-level secret? There's some subtle psychology in that excerpt there. Can you guess what it is? I'll wait....................................................................................................

       Got it? No?

       Then it's this: You see the last subhead where I talk about how I'd have paid 500 smackers if someone would've showed me how to rotate the vents? Not only is that absolutely true. I would have, and would have gladly. But also, I'm using that as an early price justification. You see, his product is under one-hundred bucks. And what it does for you-in terms of helping you uncover missing information-is much, much more valuable than someone giving you missing information on how to operate your air-conditioner vents.

       It's a little out of context here, but if you were to read the whole pitch, you would see how powerful that piece of subtle psychology is. It's a way to justify price without direct comparison... to say it... without... saying it.

       However, I'm not here to go into things like that. I just thought you might enjoy seeing something on a little more advanced level of thinking. (As a side note: Gary was also a master of subtle psychology... and... it's something I learned by working side-by-side with him and having hundreds of conversations with him about such things.)

       Anyway, to recap, don't just stumble through your life. Observe and collect stories... then... use those stories in your copy. And I recommend true stories, as well. It's more ethical and they have more verisimilitude... which simply means, they not only are true... but also... they actually seem true.

       So enough.

       I'm going to wrap up this report here. I hope you have enjoyed it... and... I hope you use the strategies here to improve your own copy efforts.

       One last thing: If you don't already own my complete copywriting course, Shortcut Copywriting Secrets™, now would be a good time to pick it up.


       For one, it contains literally hundreds of tips, strategies, secrets and shortcuts for quickly supercharging your copywriting abilities.

       And secondly, with the help of Bond and Kevin, I'm going to throw in a killer bonus when you order my course from this page. I mentioned it above. It's Gary's long out-of-print, bestselling book:

How To Make Maximum Money
In Minimum Time!
16 Of The Fastest Cash-Producing
Secrets Known To Man!

       This book changed the course of my life! And it's yours free. But you gotta hurry. I have less than 50 original copies to be given out on a first-come, first served basis.

       So, if you want one of the remaining copies along with my course, get on over to...


       ... and order now!



Scott L. Haines                               


P.S. By the way, my copywriting course was the first information product ever to receive the "Gary Halbert Seal of Approval." A title I'm most definitely proud of and honored by.

P.P.S. Used copies of Gary's Max Money book have gone for as much as $70. Again, if you hurry, you can lay your hands on an original (unused) copy for free-along with my world-famous course-by clicking on and ordering from the link below...


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