When the Going Gets Tough,
The Tough Go Gambling.

Dear Business-Builder,

Sorry about not blogging much last week – I kidnapped The Redhead for a desperately needed get-away:  Four glorious days and nights at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Ever been there?  You should go.  It’s as much fun as I ever had in Vegas but for those of us in the East, without the long flight.

How’d we do?  Thanks for asking!  Well, we lost about $9,000 the first three days, then made it all back (counting comps) the fourth night.  Blackjack tends to be like that if you do it right.

The high point of the trip was people.  We met a lot of great ones.  My favorite:  An old guy from New York hobbled over to the table, sat down and motioned to the dealer.  “I need you to deal real slow,” he said in an accent tinged with Yiddish.  “Because I’m going to count cards but I’m not very good at it.”

For an hour, everyone at the table asked the old gentleman if he was through counting before making our moves.

At any rate, my head hurts, my eyes are bleary, my liver is still refusing to speak to me and I’ve got a pile of stuff to do for clients on my desk this morning.

So instead of doing a long article that’ll probably piss a bunch of people off anyway, why don’t we just have a nice conversation this week?

Tell me what I can help you with?  Ask me anything you like about copywriting or marketing.  I’ll check in every morning and afternoon to help any way I can.

Yours for Bigger Winners, More Often,
Clayton Makepeace Signature
Clayton Makepeace
Publisher & Editor

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45 Responses to When the Going Gets Tough,
The Tough Go Gambling.

  1. Todd says:

    Have you ever done any work where the person paying isn’t the one receiving the product/service?

    i.e. – we sell hockey training to athletes but the parents pay.

    What’s the best way to approach this type of situation??

  2. Clayton,

    I’ve been to Vegas a couple times and know the feeling when the liver rebels.

    I’d like to know the best way to re-invgorate an old list.

    I’ve recently licensed a list of 97,820 which hasn’t been mailed to.

    About 40,000 of the prospects are from 2007 and 2008. The rest are from 2001-2006.

    What would you recommend as a starter email to get their attention?



  3. Hey Clayton,

    I miss getting to talk to you every month with the Easy Writers, so this is a nice idea.

    In the light of the current economic mess and the way the public eye is focusing on big companies and the way they spend their money… How would you put a positive spin on incentive trips for companies who use them to motivate or reward top sales producers?

    (I’m not sure even YOU can make this one fly…but I can’t wait to see what you come up with!)

    Bissous to you and the gang from the French Riviera!


  4. Dan says:

    Hi Clayton,

    Can you speak about the most recent Google slap that has caused many websites quality scores to plunge… and caused Google to raise our prices to $5.00 to $10.00 a click.

    Also, any ideas to get past the email inbox clutter and actually get your e-mails read?



  5. Conor says:

    Hi Clayton,

    Good work. My liver is recovering from some great Irish sporting victories at the weekend, and the subsequent celebrations. I feel your pain.

    I would love to learn more about how to silence the fears of your prospects while seducing them with your sales pitch.

    Silence and seduce. Any ideas?



  6. Nathan says:

    Hey Clayton,
    Tell us how you
    feel about Rep.
    Barney Fife.



  7. Ryan Ireland says:

    @Alexander–A note about the “licensed list” …please do your homework and make sure what you’re doing is on the up-and-up. Just search google for “Purchased List”+Deliverability and start reading. The first three natural search results should clear up whether you’re taking risks.

    As for Clayton, I’d love to hear about how to master “soft-selling” –how do you get the conversion rates hard selling can achieve while making sure your list doesn’t get fatigued?

  8. SharonB says:

    Hi Cheryl—
    How about posting the top performers’ stats for all to see, to demonstrate why they’ve earned their trips? (Like the # of sales, total dollar value of sales, etc.) Specifics breed credibility, as I’m sure you already know; and if the amount earned was more than the value of the reward, it would be easily justifiable. Just a suggestion–you may take it or leave it as you like. :-)

    Clayton—some web copy pointers would be great. It has not been my primary focus; but now that my husband and I are both building web sites it is fast becoming a necessity. How do I get good conversion without paying through the nose for PPC? We are not exactly the Rockefellers—not yet, anyway—and $5 to $10 per click isn’t quite doable. I have never done a web site before, so any info would be much appreciated. Thanks!
    P.S. Milk Thistle Tea is great for detoxing the liver—you might want to try it. Just don’t overdo it–good luck! :-)

  9. TIME.

    Clayton, how do you output such an prodigous amount of work!

    I notice while you were living it up at the casino…The financial newsletter you write wasn’t landing in my inbox either.

    It’s all YOU. How in Gods names do you do it?

    I am no stranger to hard work…(It’s 6:21am and I am at my desk…but freind, you take the cake…eat it too…then order another one)

    Let me in on your productivity secrets.

    The more you can tell me about your daily habits the better. (I mean that in a non-stalker type way!:)

    Thank you Clayton,


  10. Joe says:

    Hey Clayton,

    Thanks for asking. Here’s my question…

    I want to start training as a copy writer. I’ve got a bunch of books, including one of yours, but now I want to get serious about it.

    In my book, training means writing copy every day and getting feedback on it.

    So, I am considering writing a newsletter as a training routine.

    This way, I can practice writing articles to ‘sell’ the newsletter and practice writing the newsletter itself which would be a mixture of articles (soft sells) and sales letters (hard sells)

    What do you think? Is that a good plan? Should I add something to it? should I do something entirely different?

  11. Len says:

    Hi Dan,

    First and foremost … I’m sorry to hear you’ve found the sharp side of the Google stick. That’s happening to a lot of people lately, and things are just getting started.

    But have faith — we’re covering this topic in tomorrow’s issue of TTP. So make sure to check it out!

    As for helping your e-mail stand out from the rest of the clutter … here are a few tricks I’ve found to be helpful:

    – Make your subject short, sweet, and to the point
    – End with an elipses to lead them in …
    – Try to avoid using ALL CAPS (or use sparingly) — especially words commonly associated with junk mail

    Speaking of junk mail… make sure you peek in your junk mail folder every couple of days. That will give you a good idea on what NOT to do…

    And while we’re looking at your own e-mail folders …

    One of the most important things you can do — and maybe the most effective, also — is to study your own inbox.

    Take a look at the subject lines of the e-mails you receive. Then do something different. If most of the e-mails you’re seeing have long lines, go for a short one. And vice versa. Just don’t go too long — you want the entire subject line to show.

    Remember: E-mail subject lines serve the same purpose as headlines — to grab your prospect by the eyeballs. So many of the same rules apply.

    Try to engage your prospect in a conversation he is already having with himself. This will help you grab their attention and make it easier to convince them to open your e-mail.

    One more trick: Get yourself on the same mailing lists your prospects are on.

    Not only will this help you keep an eye on what your competition — it will also let you test your e-mail subject lines by sending them right to your own inbox.

    After all, if your e-mail doesn’t stand out to you, odds are it certainly won’t to your prospect.

    Hope this helps!


    Len Bailey

  12. Len says:

    Hey, Joe …

    Writing your own newsletter can be a great way to speed up your success. Consider each one a sales piece, with you as the product. Because what you’re really doing is investing in yourself.

    One tip: Make sure you promise your readers value. Then give it to them in extra helpings. Or, as Clayton says, “Under promise and over deliver.”

    This will help you build a loyal following of readers who recognize the value of what you’re giving away — some of whom may just become your new clients.

    Back to the books …

    Make sure you read more than the latest “how to” books on copywriting. Get the “masters” — Vic Schwab .. Eugene Schwartz .. Bob Stone … John Caples … Claude Hopkins … David Ogilvy … etc.

    You can find a Clayton-approved recommended reading list here: http://www.makepeacetotalpackage.com/tools/recommended-reading/

    Those books will help you master the art and science of direct marketing … which, in turn, can dramatically shorten your learning curve.

    I also strongly recommend The Copywriter’s Handbook by Bob Bly. I wish I’d had that when I started out! (And, looking at my bookshelf, I suddenly remember I lost my copy about a year ago. Note to self: Replace it!)

    And, of course, anything by Clayton. Dive right in to the TTP Archives, and read through everything you can lay your eyeballs on. The articles on this site aren’t just free — they’re priceless. And more than a few of them are downright timeless.

    Of course, if you’re really serious about kicking your career into high gear, consider these four products in our online store:

    – The Ultimate Desktop Copy Coach
    – How to Build a Six-Figure Copywriting Business
    – Clayton Makepeace’s Power Marketing Summit
    – The Makepeace Business System

    I realize these products don’t carry the lowest price points in the store.

    But if you have the money to invest in yourself, they’re without a doubt the most bang for your buck.

    Each could easily shave years off your learning curve. Not to mention pay for themselves within a very short time.

    Think I’m kidding? Just check out some of the testimonials here: http://www.makepeacetotalpackage.com/about/product-testimonials/

    Good luck!


  13. Jonathan Rozek says:

    Hi Clayton,

    You know how you always suggest that guarantees be written in the positive, so as not to install a negative expectation in the reader’s head? (Say “You will leave my event with the knowledge you need to succeed in condo development or else I wouldn’t feel right keeping your money…” vs. “If you think you didn’t get value from my event…”)
    Well, I had a client pull a new one on me. He said “Oh, I was advised that such a positive statement will get me in trouble with the FTC as being an expectation of profit and therefore representative of the typical results I can expect from the product, so we can’t say it in positive terms.”
    Clayton, it seems to me that the FTC wouldn’t have a problem because we’re using the “OR ELSE” statement, as in “you will succeed or else we’ll refund your money.”
    What does the Wise Man On Top Of The Hill In Waynesville At The Gun Range say?
    Thanks in advance.
    Jonathan Rozek

  14. Dan White says:

    Welcome back Clayton!

    So glad to hear you didn’t outsource your losses to an e-casino in Bombay.

    I understand Levis has even outsourced his massages to Calcutta. He puts his shoulders to the screen as the therapist rubs the webcam lens.

    It’s not quite as good as his Canadian gal, but dang is it cheap!

  15. Jim Ehle says:

    Hey Clayton.

    Haven’t been to Biloxi since 1969. Has it changed much? Only thing I can remember was the terrible smell of the Back Bay on a warm day…oh Well!

    Any thought on establishing and setting in place a affiliate program for clients? I have one that is hounding me, and I am not up to speed on the software, third party providers, merchant accounts, etc. I can write the opt in page, and teaser copy, but setting up a program for him is escaping me for now.


    Jim Ehle

  16. Hello Clayton give me some tips on getting some members to my contractor member site. Thanks

    Glad you made so dough back. Makes for a better ride home!

  17. Tian Yan says:

    Hey Clay,

    First of all, just want to thank you, Wendy, Deanna, and Len for nuggets of advice offered. Since winning your Power Marketing Summit package, I’ve been working hard in writing at least 4 hours every day consistently. Most of the time I overshoot that session after going through edits after edits of the draft. I find that I learn much more when other experienced copywriters critique my stuff with fresh eyes.

    So my question has to do with the copy cub/copy chief relationship. What does a copy chief look for in an ideal copy cub? Also, you mentioned you have a 3 srike-out policy when copy-chiefing, what are they?

    - Tian Yan

  18. Beau Smith says:


    Welcome back. If you covered your losses, you’ve done better than most!

    BTW, John Anderson (post #8) mentioned a financial newsletter you write. How can I get that?

    Joe (post #9) In addition to what Len wrote in post #11, I would like to add one. I recently read “The Architecture of Persuasion” by Michael Masterson. It was a short read, but a good big picture look at the structure of a sales letter. If you’re not familliar with Michael Masterson, he has a great newsletter called “Early To Rise” and he sometimes writes guest articles here.


  19. Hello Clayton

    Good to hear you and Wendy had a good time. Sometimes we need that break away from it all.

    No questions from me – not because I am a know-it-all – nothing can be further from the truth LOL

    I am committing to doing the excellent purchase I made last year in The Ultimate Desktop Copy Coach.

    All my business systems and opportunities are set to go..it’s exciting and daunting at same time.

    So this is to say “Thanks” and let you know.

    I get my first mini-break by myself away from husband and kids in two weeks – for three days. First time in ten years.

    All the best

    Susan Connors

  20. Robert Robinson says:

    Hello, Mr. Clayton:

    I have been reading a lot of your advice. It seems that you and other top pro(s) have elevated your skills and charge huge amounts of cash. My question is how would you go about using the skills you teach to us (rookies) to set up systems, methods and small projects to create smaller chunks of cash. Let’s say $1000 or $1500 at a time without spending to much time that would make it unjustified.

    Maybe it would be throw away projects you would do if you never elevated to your level.

    Thanks in advance, Rob

  21. Clayton Makepeace says:


    I wish I had better news for you … but here goes …

    You don’t say whether the list you acquired contains customers, or prospects or a mix of both. Or whether the names are single opt-ins or doubles. Or whether there are physical addresses attached to each record. Or the niche in which the list was built … or how it was built … or how much you paid for it.

    Regardless, though, I hope you got a whale of a good deal on that list — because even in the best of circumstances re-activating an old, unused email list that was built years ago by a different company will be time-consuming at best; impossible at worst.

    First, if it’s an email list, you may have Can-Spam problems. Check the law to see if it’s a crime for you to even use the list. Check it out at the Federal Trade Commission site: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/ecommerce/bus61.shtm. If you’re not sure, check with an FTC attorney.

    Second, as a rule, at least 10% of a list goes bad every year as people move, change their email addy or, frankly, croak. So unless the list has been cleaned every year, more than a third (38k) of your 97k names (half or more of the 60k 2001-2006 names and about 15% of the 57k 2007-2008 names) could be toast.

    So step #1 would be to clean the list. If the list includes physical addresses on each record, you can do that by sending a First Class mailing to the file with “Address Correction Requested” printed on the envelope.

    If you can’t afford this, maybe you can find a mailer in your niche who’d agree to mail the list First Class in return for two or three additional free uses.

    Failing that, you could use a list cleaning service. Since I haven’t used one in a while, I’d suggest you contact Janie Thompson at Carnegie Marketing for advice.

    Once you’ve determined that it’s legal for you to use the list and it has been cleaned, it’s a matter of:

    1) Re-establishing contact … but be careful. If these names don’t know you, many will probably report you as a spammer, which could result in ISPs blocking your emails. You may want to include a line in your email telling your names why they’re on your list; why they’re getting this communication.

    2) Engaging the file. Introducing yourself and eliciting responses from your names — possibly asking them to accept a free gift (a report or online event), subscribe to a free ezine or engage you on a blog or forum that’s related to the subject area or niche they showed an interest in when they got on the list in the first place.

    Again; check the Can Spam laws. You’ll have to make sure that you include language that gives you permission to continue contacting them after they respond.

    3) Building trust. Deliver value — valuable, actionable information, for instance — consistently, over time.

    4) Building buzz. Include the list along with others (including lists owned by affiliates and JV partners)to do a product launch. If you’re not familiar with this process, check out Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula.

    So: 1) Get legal advice, 2) Deliver great value, 3) Be patient.

    By the time you’ve done all of this, you may wish you’d simply rented a newer, fresher list for $25/M.

    Hope this helps …

  22. Clayton Makepeace says:


    TO CHERYL ANTIER (POST #2): I’d start by avoiding all banks, brokers and insurers and of course, the automakers. Companies that aren’t getting “saved” by Washington aren’t under scrutiny.

    Next, if you still meet resistance, you may want to cross larger publicly traded companies off your prospect list and any types of companies that are particularly sensitive to public sentiment.

    That’ll still leave you millions of prospects and your close rate will soar.

    TO DAN (POST #3): Today’s post should help. :)

    TO CONOR (POST #4): Gimme more details. Who are your prospects? What niche? What’s the product?

    TO NATHAN (POST #5): Frank has treated us like a baby treats a diaper.

    TO SHARONB (POST #7): You need to go to school on Joint Venture (JV) marketing. The principle couldn’t be simpler: Get a product. Offer high-traffic sites and folks with large lists in your niche and similar ones up to 100% of your net revenues in return for promoting your product to their people. Give your partners everything they need; emails, banners, sales page, the works. They make the money; you get a big list. Win-win.

    Next step would be to master Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula and use it to ramp up the response on your JV promos.

    And also, check out my pal Andy Jenkins’ Stompernet to fine tune your Search Engine rankings. Optimize every page on your site so the spiders can find you and serve you up for free.

    And don’t forget to use article syndication, online PR and of course Social Media. They’re free and can send a stream of new names to you.

    (BTW — If you’re in the alternative health field: We’re getting PPC names for $2 to $3 each. It can be done!)

    TO JOHN ANDERSON (POST #8): My “secrets” for maximum productivity …

    1. Spend 40 years doing this; you’ll get greasy fast.

    2. Start earlier — I hit my desk at 12:15 AM today.

    3. Do right-brain creative stuff early in the day when you’re fresh, left-brain more linear chores later in the day.

    4. Get clients to provide plenty of help. I require my clients to do my research for me, for instance. Oh — and I don’t write that financial newsletter; just the emails, sales pages and other marketing materials for it.

    5. Settle for mediocrity … until the final draft. After all — since it’s impossible to write a flawless promo on the first draft … why try?

    Too many copywriters try for perfection on every draft — get intimidated … then procrastinate waiting to come up with ideas … and wind up taking ten times longer to get for a final.

    I start with a quick brain dump; then whittle away at it until it resembles copy … then get input from the client and others … then polish it until it shines. Much faster that way.

    TO JOE (POST #9): I like your idea, but consider this: Snag a promo that hits your mailbox or inbox and then write a better promotion for it. Challenge yourself to do one of these per week. When you have one you think is better than what the client’s using, send it to him. (I hear Mike Palmer over at Sovereign Society is hiring — and we are, too!)

    TO JONATHON ROZAK (POST #12): Your client may be right; but I doubt it. Even if he’s an S.E.C. – registered investment advisor, there’s a way to write guarantees that are warm, personal, convincing.

    Remember: If you can’t guarantee results, you can always guarantee the quality of the information you’re offering — say something like, “I can’t guarantee I’ll make you a bazillion dollars, but I CAN guarantee you this: If it doesn’t make you at least 20 times what you paid for it, it will cost you nothing.”.

    If he’s a real panty-waist, you could even include a non-fatal disclaimer in the guarantee: “Does EVERYBODY become a millionaire immediately after taking my course? Of course not! Some do; but most make less. And the fact is, it won’t make you a single penny unless you actually put it to work for you. But I can promise you this …”

    But my advice on such things is this: Bypass your client, go straight to his ambulance chaser and work out a solution that works for both of you. Then present it to your client with the lawyer’s blessing. You’re a marketer; not a lawyer. Do NOT try to play one on TV.

    Oh – and if your client’s attorney won’t let you write something that’ll sell, find a client with a better attorney.

  23. Clayton Makepeace says:


    TO JIM EHLE (POST #14): I work hard and pay plenty to make absolutely sure I never have to learn that stuff, either.

    S’OK, though … I’ll have one of my web geniuses give you a comprehensive answer. But first: Call your client (or his IT guy) and find out what CRM software he’s using and whether or not it supports affiliate programs? Let us know and either Pete, Forrest or Graham will get you some answers.

    TO GLEN KOHLENBERG (POST #15): Send me the link to your site; I’ll be happy to give you some ideas.

    TO TIAN YAN (POST #16): What does a copy chief look for in a copy cub?

    1. Show up; work hard, work long.

    2. If you don’t know, ASK.

    3. Take criticism with gratitude.

    4. Save me time.

    5. Bring something innovative to the table on every assignment.

    6. Improve (save me MORE time) with each assignment.

    7. Demonstrate that you have a nose for the jugular — that you pull out all the stops to make the sale.

    8. Be smart AND have plenty of common horse sense.

    TO ROBERT ROBINSON (POST #19): Small projects? How about creating and marketing products for small, highly motivated niches within niches?

    I know guys who made millions selling stuff only politically conservative Catholics would buy. I once created a report that contained the lyrics to the dirtiest rock and roll songs, then wrote a full page (outraged!) ad for an extreme conservative tabloid. $30k in sales in a week. Sweet.

    Figure out what people are searching for online. Pick niches that are not already overpopulated by competent marketers. Create products and promos for those niches. Use JV partners to drive traffic to your squeeze and sales pages. And ALWAYS have back-up products ready to sell to your new names.

    Hope this helps …

  24. Clayton Makepeace says:

    TO RYAN IRELAND (POST #6): Soft selling?

    For me, the secret to working a list without wearing it out is to be constantly creating multi-week campaigns, each with multiple story lines that require a variety of emotional tones and levels of intensity.

    Remember: Any message you deliver without the appropriate emotion attached will lack credibility. The message should always dictate the emotional tone of the email or sales page. That means by definition that some of your emails will be calm; professorial. Others, concerned and nurturing. Still others, excited and adamant.

    Take the campaign I just completed for a financial firm, for instance …

    We spent two weeks inviting prospects to attend a free online video event we were about to host to help the prospects make money in a bear market. Nothing to buy; just claim your free registration. Two weeks of empathy, concern, added value and bonding — with urgency to register increasing as we approached the registration deadline.

    The event was warm, fuzzy, low-key and friendly and delivered 50 minutes of valuable, actionable content, capped by ten minutes of low-key product introduction and description. When the event ended, attendees were auto-forwarded to the sales page.

    We then spent a week or so using emails to invite non-attendees to view the free video of the event before it was taken offline. (More concern, empathy, bonding, good will; nothing to buy, just watch the video for your own good.) And also driving attendees to the sales page with topical leads that presented the product as the solution to the nightmares unfolding in each day’s financial headlines.

    Then, we repeated the entire process: Invitations > A second event > Revised sales page > Emails counting down to the final deadline for subscribing to the service driving prospects to the sales page.

    The entire process took about six weeks and most of that time was spent begging prospects to accept valuable content for free.

    And when the campaign ended last week, we had generated more than $14.3 million in revenues.

    More importantly, we’ve been using this model for 2 1/2 years, now and registration and attendance to our value-added events is higher than ever: Anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 unique views per event

    We opened a blog in this campaign and got thousands of “thank-yous” and almost ZERO complaints about our marketing.

    And in financial terms, this last campaign was our most successful ever — probably ten times more successful than the first ones we did using this model.

    Food for thought …

  25. Dean Kennedy says:

    “And when the campaign ended last week, we had generated more than $14.3 million in revenues.”

    Holy snappin’ duck droppings … that’s not just food for thought, it’s a 15-course degustation menu from seven 3-star Michelin hat master chefs!

    No wonder I’m on that mailing list as well as this one. I really do think you wear your underwear on the outside, and have a long blue cape blowing in the breeze behind you.

    Thanks too for the tip about mediocrity until the final draft, that’s really useful. Along with the rest of the comments of course! So much to devour … thank you!

    Hope you’re recovering well from the Biloxi trip … I play very little, but I do like Blackjack (except when people standing behind me start betting on my hand!).

  26. I have just written a book about how, five years ago I stumbled on a cure for obesity and gained permanent control of my weight. Somehow, in the process, I cured all my own symptoms of type2 diabetes.

    I have used this knowledge, on myself, for five years. During that time I have waited for someone more qualified to make the same discovery. To my amazement, no one ever has. So I figured five years is long enough. By now I have a moral obligation to publish what I have learned and I have five years to back it up.

    So I wrote it all down and now have a manuscript ready for publication.

    The content is obviously controversial and my style and tone of presentation can only add to that. I’m confident the book has the potential to be a big seller. I’m not so confident that I can give it the launch it deserves.

    I have chosen the internet to publish for two reasons. The book would have to be padded for a real world publication and I don’t like padding. Even more important, I’m in Australia and I don’t believe the book can get the coverage it deserves in this country.

    So I seek advice on how best to launch the book and I can think of no better place to find it than here!

  27. Clayton,

    Thanks for your response. This is a company’s in-house list (I use list lightly since they do a 1 time sales process with them then no further follow-up) they just don’t know how to and haven’t marketed to them over time.

    They filled out a form on the company’s website which included their physical address and phone number.

    It’s in the health and fitness market.

    I was expecting between 30%-40% of the list to be deliverable emails so that is in line with the numbers you provided.

    @Ryan Ireland, thanks for looking out. Can Spam must be complied with and this ISN’T a purchased list. I’m working directly with the company to mail to their in-house leads they haven’t been connecting with or mailing to.

  28. Ruth says:

    I’ve been racking the old braino for ways of making money on the Internet.
    Usborne has an excellent small website way of doing this.
    I’ve no experience in setting up a website, or what content to treat it with.
    Do you know of a source for me, one as inexpensive as possible? Also, I’d need a monthly host, I’ve heard
    others say.
    Love to take the course, but ….the way things are, you know!
    Thanks for any help.

    p.s. Loved your answer to what you think of Barney Frank!

  29. Dervie says:

    Hey Clayton
    Congrats on your accomplishments in Biloxi. From the posts i’ve read, you do seem the type to never give up without a fight. I think you did good. You wrote “what can I help you with.” Well, here’s the deal…How about helping me learn to write like you so I can make a boatload of money as well.

    Truth is, I currently feel like giving up. becoming a copywriter just seem like a constant up-hill trek and I am sure I’ve lost interest. It’s like pounding a wall ten feet thick with your bare knuckles. It’s great to hear of the possibilities, but man, it seems an impossible task. I think my enthusiasm bubble pretty much popped. think there’s still a prayer for me?

  30. Hi Clayton

    I would like your comments on the business model I mailed to you for one of your clients.

    It incorporates many of the marketing strategies that I learned from The Total Package.

    Did you get a chance to use my gift on your trip?

    I cannot thank you enough for the The Total Package.

    How can I get national media exposure for my business model
    without spending money, since I don’t have much,at this time?


  31. Dervie (#28),

    The story is told of a meeting of Adolph Hitler, Benito Mousillini, and Winston Churchill in Switzerland. They were going to settle World War II with a simple bet.

    There was a fountain with exotic carp fish in the pool. Each participant was armed with a pistol. The contest would continue in rounds until the first kill. The first one to kill a fish would be declared the winner. Mousillini went first, shot into the water, but missed. Hitler tried, and he too missed. Churchill took a teaspoon from his pocket, sat on the edge of the pool, and started dipping water out of the container and onto the street.

    His opponents were incredulous. The asked Churchill what he thought he was doing.

    His response was simple: It may take a while, but we **WILL** win the war.

    Zig Ziglar’s advice is also applicable:

    “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you get enough experience that you can learn to do it well.”

    I was a senior (technical) writer for 30 years before I encountered AWAI and Clayton. I thought I was pretty good. After all, I was in the top 5% of the large company that employed me…

    I’ve been learning like I was drinking from a fire hose for the last three years.

    It took Clayton over 30 years to get where he is. I started college in 1961 and hung it up in 1975, still without a masters degree in engineering, but I was employed as an engineer by 1972 (I pursued a number of other paths along with going to school, hence the time span). I had a wife and family and spent 4 long years studying graduate courses in engineering while working full time.

    Bob Bly is a chemical engineer and has been in his field also for over 30 years.

    What you’re learning from Clayton isn’t known or understood by college professors. You’re in a league beyond the PhD’s populating our countries universities. It’s rare air you breathe.

    So get to work. Invest the time it takes to learn. And don’t give up until you’re done. The elevator to success is broken and won’t be fixed. You have to take the stairs — one step at a time.

    Do what AWAI teaches: Get some good controls, then choose one and write it out by hand over and over and over again until you get the flow packed into your brain. Study each sentence and each word. Discover *WHY* it was used the way it appears. Learn to think the way the writer thinks. Most of success is learning to think correctly, more than simple mechanics of putting sentences together.

    But writing isn’t for everybody. You have to have the persistence of a pit bull and the courage of a rattlesnake to make it in life anyway. What else are you going to do that can be as rewarding?

    Think about that before quitting.


  32. Clayton Makepeace says:


    TO KIRSTEN (POST #25): Send me a copy of your book and I’ll give you some ideas.

    TO RUTH (POST #27): Nick’s a great guy, but I haven’t seen his course. I’ll have Wendy or Pete walk you through the stuff we use to run our site.

    TO DERVIE (POST #28): My advice is to 1) Read Clark Echols’ Post #30 above, 2) Read every free article in our archives, 3) Go to the Library and check out everything The Masters (Hopkins, Caples, Ogilvy, etc.) have written. Your total investment: ZERO dollars.

    Then practice (see what I told Joe in post #21 above.)

    Cheers, y’all!

    – Clayton

  33. Thank you Clayton. As soon as I work out where and how to send it I’ll do that. I’ll greatly appreciate your comments.

  34. Thanks Clayton I own contractorblab.com from post 15.


  35. Dervie says:

    Thanks Clayton, Clarke. I love the spirit of your encouragement. I can tell you truly want to help me. Appreciate it.

    Pit bull and RattleSnake…Elevator broken…I get the picture. Thanks for the heads up.

    I guess I’m gonna pull out my teaspoon now.



  36. Robert Robinson says:

    Mr. Clayton,

    Thank you for your advice.

    Robert Robinson

  37. Shin Fun says:

    Hi Clayton,

    Thanks very much for your generosity on your time and knowledge!!!

    I’m a copywriter in Australia and eagerly want to get my copywriting skill up. Could you please give some advice on how to come up with killer big selling ideas for an assignment… how can I practice and train myself to think of those big ideas?

    I know you have a lot great products on this website and you may have revealed this in your products. But at this stage, I can’t afford it yet (will certain keep in mind to get it in the future).

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    Shin Fun

  38. Christy says:

    Hi Clayton

    Great to see you expanding and hiring and I would love to learn from you and your team.

    I’m currently studying copywriting with AWAI and is one of their circle of success (COS) members. No, I am submitting my resume here, don’t worry. Just a proposal …

    With your increased workloads and the addition of new staff, I like to save some of your time by offering my virtual assistant service to your team.

    As an experienced administrator the last 15 years in Singapore and Canada, I see needs/tasks way before folks realize the amounts of work involved. You may already have taken care of this in your expansion plan esp. knowing how efficient Wendy is. This is my sincere offer in case it is needed.

    And, if you’re thinking I am going to stay as administrator for life, no, that is not my plan. This life-skill will stay with me and will be useful in my copywriting career too.


  39. Ruth says:

    Thank you, Clayton. I’m looking forward to being walked through the website setup. Yeah, I’m scared, but once I get going I’ll be able to see mistakes and correct them.
    You’re helping a lot of people…thank you!

  40. Hi Clayton,

    In your humble opinion, what’s the greatest need facing the “middle income” population today? It’s obvious that low to zero income thirsts for support, inspiration and money. For the wealthy, who knows what flavour of the month appeals to them. But for the middle class, what’s up with them today?



  41. Hi Clayton,

    I found a way to send you my manuscript. I sent it by return Email to Martha who will pass it on to you. I’m so grateful for your offer to read it. If not for you, and all the great contributors to this blog, I would not have had the confidence to even write it.

    From the day I found your blog, I have used it as my personal training lab. That’s where I’ve honed my skills and found the confidence to write about my discovery. The book could have been written five years ago when I first stumbled on the truth to the growing obesity epedemic. I’m glad I waited, because the book would not have been as good as it is. I also doubt I would have found the courage to go public at that time.

    The trouble is, the subject is the kind of ‘Inconvenient Truth’ which will rile many self proclaimed professionals as well as food manufacturers. I needed some courage, as well as writing skills to go public.

    You inspired me to write it and I’ve found the guts to go through with publication, on the internet where no one can stop me. I want to thank you for that. So will the many people who will at last have a simple and permanent answer to obesity, and the knowledge to avoid type2 diabetes. In my case, I even cured my existing symptoms.

    With five years of data, I believe I’m ready to handle the Inevitable flack.

  42. Holy crap Clayton 14 Mill in 6 weeks — Congrats again! Now I see why you felt the need to go toe to toe with your liver and the blackjack table :)

    That’s totally awesome.

    Thanks to your advice I’ve partnered up with one major client now and I’m looking to produce great results like this for him as well (on a smaller scale, his is a specific niche much smaller than investors).

    As always Clayton you’re my hero :)


  43. Hi Clayton,

    As always, great advice, I’m working on compiling a new “house list” now. Thanks also for all the great advice you gave to everyone else – you got my brain racing on some other ideas for other project too!

    Take care – you’re the best.



  44. Did The President of the United States give you permission to take a vacation?

    As I understand it, a jerk who rose through Chicago politics, never ran a business, and couldn’t make a profit if his life depended upon it has told the CEO of General Motors et al to “step down.” My G_d! Clayton, Don’t take a loan from the federal government. If you borrow a dime from them, they own you.

    This will give you something to warm up your fingers over the keyboard about.

    Best regards,

    GM CEO Wagoner to step down at White House request
    By TOM KRISHER and KEN THOMAS, Associated Press Writers Tom Krisher And Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writers – 1 hr 47 mins ago

    DETROIT – General Motors Corp. Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner will step down immediately at the request of the White House, administration officials said Sunday. The news comes as President Obama prepares to unveil additional restructuring efforts designed to save the domestic auto industry.

    The officials asked not to be identified because details of the restructuring plan have not yet been made public. On Monday, Obama is to announce measures to restructure GM and Chrysler LLC in exchange for additional government loans. The companies have been living on $17.4 billion in government aid and have requested $21.6 billion more.

  45. Clayton,

    I do have a question about marketing. It’s marketing Me that I’m concerned about.

    Your courses about writing are appreciated, but the worry here is that I’ll be all knowing about writing and still won’t know where to begin finding clients or what to charge them. I know you’ve written some on the subject. Can someone there put up some references this week to help us get started?


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