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Pretty Good Copy (Writing)

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There’s one skill I wish I had learned in my 20s. This skill would have made me an additional millions in the past decade. At least. And probably much more.

This skill, which you can’t learn in any college and university, is Copywriting.

Copywriting isn’t like copyright law. Copy writing is writing ad copy.

Now one problem with learning copywriting is that most people purporting to teach it haven’t actually sold products other than their copywriting courses. They post fake screen shots of income earning for gullible rubes. It’s a shame that 90% of copywriters are giving the other 10% a bad name.

And courses drag you into the weeds on “perfect” copy. But unless your business runs at scale (i.e., it’s massive, and even 1 or 2% optimizations translates into major sales), you don’t need perfect copy.

You need Pretty Good Copy.

What’s pretty good copy? I just made that term up, although someone else has probably used it before. I Googled it and didn’t get any results.

Copy is designed for one goal and one goal only – to get a person to answer a call to action.

A call to action could be:

  • making a sale,
  • promoting an event,
  • getting a person to join your email list,
  • getting out the vote,
  • getting a person to call his congresswoman,
  • returning to your website to read you again.

Copywriting is used by campaigns, fundraisers, and small business owners. You don’t see it as much in big business, as copywriting is a reclusive business. The best people in the business charge a lot, and usually keep a small roster of clients. What you see on TV is “marketing” and glitz, not copy.

Pretty Good Copy hits all six principles of persuasion:

  • Reciprocity,
  • Scarcity,
  • Authority,
  • Consistency,
  • Liking,
  • Consensus.

Why do sales end soon (scarcity) and included testimonials (consensus)? Because those are two proven principles of persuasion.

Authority is demonstrated. If you’re selling fitness products, you show off your body. You also show authority in subtle ways, for example web design. (My site is less persuasive because it’s simple. However my readers here are niche and know me. If I wanted to expand, I’d redesign it.)

You can see Pretty Good Copy in this article I sent today.

It begins:

Amazon Prime Day is a “hallmark holiday,” but that’s never stopped me from shamelessly promoting the best products on the market. Today at the Gorilla Mind store you save 25% off when you enter GP25 at checkout here.

I hit the liking principles by mildly self-deprecating and scarcity by noting the sale ends today. People don’t like to feel like they are being sold, so just put it out there that you are selling them. People like this approach.

I hit authority in an unusual way in the next paragraph. Can you spot it?

Our prices are already far lower than what you’ll find elsewhere. I challenge you to compare the skincare product to what you’ll find at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or a spa. Their products are between $30 and $100. You can buy a 3 pack of Youth for under $30.

Although you may consciously notice the value proposition, I immediately have you comparing Gorilla Mind products to what you find in outlets like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Everyone knows those companies have good products, and you breezed right past that line without realizing you’re putting all three businesses in the same category.

Reciprocity kicks in here:

Gorilla Mind is working on building trust with you by offering top products at below what you’d find anywhere else.

Do you understand why? You’re being told (and it’s true) that you’re getting top products far below market value. You’re basically getting something for free. This triggers the reciprocity principle.

Authority is also demonstrated on this line:

Gorilla Mind hasn’t bought a single ad either. The company’s focus is to grow organically, one customer at a time.

A company that doesn’t have to buy ads must be a good one, right?

Consistency means you want to live up your vision of yourself. This can be high-minded (“I’m the type of person who votes,” and thus a voter drive would have you sign a pledge to vote) or more ordinary, as in this case:

As I’ve said many times, I have no shame in asking for your business. Gorilla Mind makes great products, and you use great products, so why not use Gorilla Mind’s products?

You’re already using products. Why not use these other products? That’s the consistency principle. You’re only being to asked to do something that you already do (or intend to do).

Consensus kicks in with the testimonials.

– “Man, my brain works on overdrive and my face is getting more handsome.”

– “I got this for myself. My girlfriend has since seemingly commandeered it from me. It appears she likes it more than me.”

– “I’ve been taking Gorilla Mind Smooth for one week to see if it’s b.s. or not. All I’ll say is this… I’ve been able to sit still and focus and write one hour a day consistently. I never do that.”

I selected the line about “my girlfriend took my products” as it overcomes a common objection. Can women use the skincare products? Yes of course. Women who aren’t breast feeding or nursing can use the other products, too, although Gorilla Dream is the second best seller for women after the skincare line.

Pretty Good Copy is not Perfect Copy.

There’s a lot to critique about my copy, and a professional copywriter who wanted you to impress you would rip it apart.

There aren’t enough pictures. A video should autoplay. The copy should be longer. (Good copy is often 10,000+ words.) Each testimonial should have a human face next to it. There should be an email opt-in for people who don’t want to buy right now. This email opt-in should retarget users with a coupon or offer. Etc.

Except I wrote the offer in 15 minutes, and spend less than an hour on this article. Which, if you re-read it, you’ll notice is its own form of copywriting. (Meta.)

When you launch a signature product, that’s when you need better than Pretty Good Copy.

How many “experts” can write persuasive sales copy as an afterthought?

And unlike most “experts,” I’ve done the impossible and sold a lot of books.

(Books are the worst business to be in.)

Who do I recommend for copywriting advice?

I don’t sell copywriting services or courses.

This article was entirely educational, as it’s something young people need to learn.

It’s a skill I wish I had learned, and it’s a skill you’ll learn in my next book.

Yes, there is another book coming out soon.

P.S. You have a couple of more hours to say 25% with coupon code GP25.

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Culture

Is “Kung Flu” the latest Media Hoax?

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Several White House reporters confronted Trump regarding his decision to call the coronavirus (or COVID-19) the China Virus.  One reporter asked him about a White House administration official who is alleged to have called the coronavirus Kung Flu.

When the reporter was asked the name of the official, the reporter said she didn’t know.

The original claim regarding Kung Flu comes from CBS reporter Weijia Jiang. On March 17th, she Tweeted:

This morning a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the “Kung-Flu” to my face. Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.

Ms. Jiang has not identified the official.

One reason could be because this official does not even exist.

Under American defamation law, you can lie all you like.

You can’t lie about a person by name.

If no White House official called the coronavirus Kung Flu, or if there is some important context missing, then Jiang could be sued.

You can watch the Kung Flu exchange in this video here:

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Culture

The Stafford Act Text Message Announcing an Emergency Quarantine is a Hoax

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By now you or someone you know has received a hoax text announcing martial law. With some minor variations, the texts all read the same:

  • In 48 to 72 hours the president will evoke what is called the Stafford act. Just got off the phone with some of my military friends in DC who just got out of a two hour briefing. The president will order a two week mandatory quarantine for the nation. Stock up on whatever you guys need to make sure you have a two week supply of everything. Please forward.

 

The National Security Council issued a rare public statement warning the public that the Stafford act text was a hoax.

How can you tell the Stafford Act Text is a Hoax?

Even if you refuse to accept the NSC’s word on the matter, the text message has some telltale signs of a hoax.

First, the text promises secret insider knowledge. “Just got off the phone with some of my military friends in DC who just got out of a two hour briefing.” This is a vague enough proclamation that it sounds plausible.

Second, no specifics of these friends are given. Who are these friends? Why did they call this specific person?

Third, the hoaxers ask you to spread the message. Why would anyone acting in good faith want to incite a panic?

If an emergency quarantine were able to be declared, the plan would be Top Secret. No one’s friends would just get out of a briefing and start alerting people. THEY WOULD GO TO PRISON FOR LEAKING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.

If such an emergency plan were in the works and higher command wanted the story to get out, they’d leak it to a credible outlet. Not share chain-letter style text messages.

There’s also tradecraft involved in sharing classified information.

None of the telltale signs (and no I won’t share how to leak classified secrets here) were present in that alert.

UPDATE: Other outlets are now reporting that the Stafford Act text is a foreign disinformation campaign:

The Trump administration is alleging that a foreign disinformation campaign is underway aimed at spreading fear in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic, three U.S. officials said Monday. On Sunday, federal officials began confronting what they said was a deliberate effort by a foreign entity to sow fears of a nationwide quarantine amid the virus outbreak.

Agencies took coordinated action Sunday evening to deny that any such plans were put in place, as they tried to calm a nation already on edge by disruptions to daily life caused by the virus.

 

——-

Read More about Mike Cernovich here.

Who is Mike Cernovich?

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Culture

How Trump Drafted Google into the War Against Coronavirus

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Elvis Presley served in the Army after he was drafted, and in American history it was common for celebrities to serve their country during times of national crisis. Noblesse oblige, or the duty the noble and rich owed to society, arouse perhaps out of morality or maybe simple self-preservation. If you’re getting while the getting is good, giving something back goes a long way to avoid class resentment.

Those thoughts were perhaps on Trump’s mind (or more likely his instinct) when he announced that Google was taking massive action to help America fight the coronavirus.

Google at first pushed back at the suggestion that it, a nearly trillion dollar mega-corporation, actually doing something to help the users it profits from.

Why should Google help save lives? Why should Google do anything other than operate as an amoral, blood-sucking corporation that violates user privacy and exploits children?

The media bros were quick to rush to save Google. Poor Google! They were being bullied by the ORANGE MAN BAD.

Google’s media errand boys like Jake Tapper and others were quick to publish stories attacking Trump for suggesting that Google actually do something.

Some like your humble correspondent Mike Cernovich saw right away was Trump was doing.

Trump was drafting Google into the war against coronavirus.

Google, whatever its motivations, answered the draft.

Public pressure must intensify.

The corporations make billions of dollars a day by spying on users.

The least they can do is use that data to find out where coronavirus hot spots are, share that information with the CDC, and get information shared with the sick.

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