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Back when I was a youngster, the BBC would play old 1960s T.V. shows – like Captain Scarlet, Thunderbirds and Stingray. One of my favourites was called “The Prisoner.” It’s all about a man who discovers compromising government information. He’s imprisoned on an island utopia to keep the information secret. He’s not mistreated. He has no [...]

If you only read business/marketing books, you’ll be boring company at the pub. And you’ll miss some fantastic opportunities to beat your competition. I reckon a good 25% of my copywriting chops didn’t come from marketing books at all. It came from reading and writing fiction, and discovering how bestselling authors keep you gripped through [...]

“The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing.” – Socrates I’ve had a sudden influx of people ask about daily rituals – and how to master copywriting for themselves. Look: I’m not stupid enough to enjoy reducing my customers and adding to my competitors. And if you catch me in a bad mood, [...]

I’ve had an influx of people ask me about daily rituals – and the secrets to getting good at copy fast. More on this next week, because I do have 3 tricks which made the world of difference for me. And I think you can apply these principles – whatever you’re trying to master. But [...]

Will Covid-19 Kill the Short-Form Slogan?

Every morning I walk my dog Jack along a street called ‘Putman.’ It’s a well-off street, with high-end property, and new condos have been going up like weeds. But the tide looks to be turning. Some work sites are now abandoned. One unfinished building is littered with neglected tools and porta-loos. Another shows a picture of [...]

If you’re a fellow gold-bug, then let me give you my sincere congratulations. Gold hit all-time record highs this week, and it’s looking like a very good long-term bet. Tell you the truth, it has made me insufferable. All this week, I’ve been grinning like a Cheshire cat. I call myself “Gold Daddy,” and even [...]

“Shame on the age and on its principles! The senate is aware of these things; the consul sees them; and yet this man lives. Lives! aye, he comes even into the senate. He takes a part in the public deliberations; he is watching and marking down and checking off for slaughter every individual among us. [...]

When I started as a financial copywriter, I was stuck between 2 drafts. There was my original draft… …Energetic…Hard-hitting…Full of emotional selling points… Stoking the reader’s desire and driving them to buy. Then came that other draft; the one which regulatory vampires had sunk their teeth into and bled dry… Castrated…Sterile…Legal-speak riddled copy that meandered [...]

Ever since the early 1960s, my grandmother has watched a TV show called Coronation Street. In case you don’t know, it’s a British soap opera about down-to-earth folk living in Manchester. For almost six decades now, Grandma has been gripped. What is the writers’ big secret? They have kept her watching with a series of [...]

How to Shame Businesses Into Buying

If you’re ever selling B2B, there’s one emotion you should strike above all others: INSECURITY. Corporate decision-makers are always desperately insecure. They hate to think of their competitors secretly doing something they’re not. While studying The Gary Halbert Letters, I stumbled upon a sales letter which did this to devastating effect. I don’t know how [...]