Master Persuasive Writing to
Your Stuff or Clients'
Through hands-on practice, learn to turn words into money.
Whether you write to promote your own business, the company you work for or firms that hire you to write copy, dramatically improve your skills quickly by taking my self-study course, Six Weeks to Masterful Copywriting. Practical assignments and insightful discussions guide you through the most critical aspects of persuasive marketing writing.
The format: Home-study course with written text material, homework assignments, 8 hours of audio teaching and discussion, and homework "answers"
Your instructor: Marcia Yudkin, author of Persuading on Paper, Web Site Marketing Makeover and 14 other books
Results: Ability to write copy that generates leads and sales, in both corporate and hard-sell situations
When it meets: As a home-study course, it "meets" at your convenience - complete it in six weeks, six months or as you have time and energy
Materials included: Persuading on Paper (full-length book in PDF format), Secrets of Mouthwatering Marketing Copy (PDF manual), Shorter: Say it in Fewer Words (PDF report); 8 hours of audio lessons; transcripts of the audios; homework assignments and "answers"; and responses to frequently asked questions about copywriting and the copywriting business
Lesson 1 Articulate the what and the "so what"
Lesson 2 Differentiate and dramatize
Lesson 3 Devise strong, clear offers
Lesson 4 Captivate and tantalize
Lesson 5 Bolster credibility
Lesson 6 Tweak the tone, smooth the flow
The Why, How and Who of This Course
Minute for minute, wizardry with words dependably earns more for you, for your company or for your clients than just about any other skill. If you're willing to roll up your sleeves and try your hand at practical assignments, in six weeks - or spaced out at your own pace - you'll have the fundamental principles of copywriting down cold and know many advanced techniques of orchestrating words for profit.
Assignments Kicked Me Into High Gear
Two things are unique about this course. First, each week you grapple with hands-on challenges that require you to apply copywriting concepts to real-life business offerings. You get to see how others handled the challenges in the assignment as well as my version of the new copy.
Build proficiency fast through the combination of theory in the instructional materials you receive and practice through the weekly assignments.
Second, unlike every other copywriting course I know of, you have the opportunity to practice both corporate-style assignments for mainstream businesses (promotional writing that is lively and relatively free of jargon) and direct-response copy suitable for postal or online sales letters. Indeed, we talk about a range of copywriting styles and how to choose a tone that fits a certain target market and company ethos.
Many other copywriting teachers out there strongly argue that nothing counts except whether or not the copy increases response. Though I agree that counts heavily, I put equal stock in truthfulness and a fit with the expectations and values of the audience.
Course Was a
Gateway to Success for This Working
My course gets those with no prior copywriting experience quickly up to speed on the fundamentals, so that it suits two situations: beginners who want an intensive marketing writing practicum; and those with experience in business writing who could use a focused review and rapid improvement in their ability to get results from words.
If you're not familiar with my work, please poke around this site and read reviews of my books on Amazon.com and elsewhere. I'm known for an intelligent and ethical approach to marketing writing, I've had books in print from major publishers since 1988, and my copywriting experience includes most major industries and professions from urologists to auto parts recyclers to software entrepreneurs, from nonprofits to financial services to lingerie.
Effective, Provocative and Worthwhile
What You Learn in the Copywriting Course
Based on a live, interactive course with a small group of students, the course provides plenty of practice in how to analyze poorly written or misdirected sales copy, and what to add, take away or change to improve its effectiveness. You end the course with a much richer ability to turn words into leads and orders, along with a deeper understanding of the nuances of words. Among the points you absorb:
- Whether cute and catchy is more powerful than simply factual, or vice versa
- Two techniques that bring even the most complicated abstract concept down to earth
- Questions that help you tell whether or not you've dug down far enough to reach the advantages that make the greatest difference to buyers
- Ways to make copy that's already full of appealing benefits even more targeted
- The most powerful verb tense on the planet - not the one you'd predict
Reliability and Greater Breadth Than
- How a literal-minded reading helps you catch missing or confusing information so you can plug gaping holes in copy
- Why trying to be all things to all people dooms promotional efforts
- A five-step process for meaningfully differentiating a business or an offering
- Ten ways to make points of difference come alive for the reader
- Examples of using a theme to make the reader smile while reading and become more predisposed to buy
- How to rise above the worse-than-useless "Hello, I exist" approach
- The difference between one-step and two-step marketing, and the world of trouble you enter when you confuse them
- Seven criteria that help you evaluate an offer
- Doubts and wonderings that can make free giveaways flop
- Why photos matter in helping readers understand - or misunderstand - what you mean
- A seven-step process for gathering juicy ingredients for bullets - including getting at crucial things to say that are nowhere in your source material
- Eight before-and-after bullets illustrating the transformation from plain to jazzy
Commentary is Useful for Actual
- How seemingly straightforward bullets can be wildly off base or mind-numbing
- Why covering the basics in your sales copy is not anywhere near enough
- Thirty credibility builders that many web sites, catalog descriptions and sales letters overlook
- Eight credibility killers to avoid
- Criteria to use in assessing the usefulness of testimonials
- Common pitfalls in business bios that make credentialed backgrounds less impressive
- A discussion of credibility building efforts that backfire - and those that succeed
Great Structure to This Course
- Five factors that contribute to tone, and examples of quite distinct tones requested by or suitable to different clients
- Ways to create an impression of approachability or empathy
- Hidden dangers of the hard sell - and when it's most appropriate
- Practice in tuning up or toning down hype in headlines
- A step-by-step demonstration of how to slim down a bloated document and edit it for effectiveness
Each Lesson Focuses on One or Two Crucial Skill Areas
Your Homework Includes...
Course assignments require you to grapple with the distinctive requirements of these marketing formats:
Week 1: Articulate the what and the "so what"
In this week's assignment, you take fuzzily described offerings and bring them into sharp focus. You also practice putting into words the hidden (sometimes very hidden) advantages and implications of what's for sale.
Don't imagine you already know everything there is to know about turning what copywriters call "features" into "benefits"! Practice in this always helps - it's the equivalent of singing scales for an opera soloist.
Week 2: Differentiate and dramatize
In my reviews of brochures, web sites and sales letters, one of the most common omissions is information that answers the questions, "How is this different from what else is on the market?" and "Why should I do business with you rather than your competitors?" Sometimes you need to dig for differentiating points, and sometimes you need to invent a way to make the same thing sound different.
This week's assignment asks you to identify and rectify this flaw in several kinds of marketing materials and to come up with ways of making standard, boring offerings come across as distinctive, fresh and enticing.
Week 3: Devise strong, clear offers
This week, the assignment involves adjusting, slimming down or fattening up crucial sections outlining "the deal" for products and services in a variety of industries.
Week 4: Captivate and tantalize
While the imaginative use of words is never an end in itself in copywriting, this week's assignment challenges you to flex your creativity and inject fun and intensity into your reader's experience.
Week 5: Bolster credibility
The assignment this week gives you an opportunity to turn a shifty-eyed sales letter into an upstanding one and vague, unconvincing copy into trustworthy testimony.
In the Course...
Businesses considered in the course discussion and assignments include:
Half of the featured businesses sell to businesses (B-to-B), while the other half sell to consumers (B-to-C).
Gave Me an
Outstanding Learning Experience
Week 6: Tweak the tone, smooth the flow
Finally, master the process of fine-tuning by getting rid of extra words, unnecessary repetitions, inconsistencies and poorly phrased or boring passages, while adjusting paragraphing, subheads and other formatting elements for greatest readability. Adjust tone and word choice, too, for a certain audience.
Your final assignment invites you to polish copy to a warm, lemony shine. Find out which wordsmithing skills from other kinds of writing apply to getting marketing material ready for a crowd.
Answers to your questions
Besides the class sessions listed above, you receive a hefty, well-organized compilation of my answers to questions about copywriting and the copywriting business.
Copywriter's Clients Profit From These
Learn by Doing, Listening and Reading
In this course, you have a rich educational experience that includes:
- Six 80-minute interactive audio lessons covering the topics above, for you to listen to at your convenience - and review as you like
- Six homework assignments, highly recommended for you to complete for a full learning experience while listening to the lessons
- Extensive handouts containing several versions of each homework assignment, including my version, so you can compare what you wrote with what others produced
- Answers to collected questions about the craft and business of copywriting
- The full text of the book Persuading on Paper and a PDF copy of Secrets of Mouthwatering Marketing Copy and Shorter: Say It in Fewer Words
Practical MattersWhat are the
payment terms and refund policy?
This self-study course comes with an unconditional money-back guarantee. Listen to Lesson 1, and if the program doesn't live up to your expectations or fit your needs, simply let me know, and you'll receive a 100% refund.
kind of time commitment is recommended for the
Plan on spending up to four or five hours on each assignment to get the most out of the course. Although the course title includes the phrase "Six Weeks," you can do the assignments at your own speed, completing them in six months or even six years if that works better for you.
Is the course
suitable for copywriters working outside of
Certainly. I have had protégés in England and copywriting clients in Europe, Australia and Asia, who attest that the principles of verbal persuasion work much the same everywhere. And as part of the course, you learn how to adjust your tone for particular audiences, which includes particular cultures as well as various industries, professions, lifestyles and values.
you say more about the assignments?
Assignments require you to diagnose flaws and omissions in existing copy, apply a key concept we're learning to a specific product, service, company or text, rewrite something or write something using source material provided to you. Assignments involve a broad range of real businesses, from a cleaning service to a law firm, from free martial arts classes to educational material for parents of middle school children.