What is Copy Work?
“Copy Work” is when you hand copy famous ads in order to “learn” how that person wrote it.
For example, the first copywriter I ever learned about was Gary Halbert. He had a very specific style (that while semi-scammy) was extremely engaging to read.
I would hand-write out famous ads of his, like this Coat of Arms sales letter that made him a millionaire at age 32:
By simply handwriting out the exact ad he made, I was able to “get in his head” and learn indirectly from Gary Halbert on my own time.
I started noticing small details like:
- How he indents his paragraphs.
- How he uses extremely simple words.
- How he asks for the sale “without” really asking.
- How he uses punctuation.
- How he starts his letters with an address and phone number.
- How he finishes his sales letters with a P.S.
- How long it takes to simply write out one letter.
- ….and much much more….
Copy Work Exercises You Can Do:
Want to learn to write like a famous copywriter? Using this simple tool, you can “type” along with the greats (so you can become one too)!
Write like the famous Volkswagen campaign:
This was a very successful yet counter-intuitive ad made The Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) Agency. It was part of a series of print ads for Volkswagen that re-ignited sales of the Volkswagen Beetle.
Write like David Ogilvy In This “Schweppes” Ad:
This advertisement was part of the “Schweppes Tonic” ad campaign. It featured the president of the Schweppes company Commander Whitehead, who Ogilvy thought looked perfect for this campaign.
Learn to write like Gary Halbert (Coat of Arms Letter):
This was the letter that made famous copywriter Gary Halbert a millionaire at the age of 32. It was a clever trick for the 1980’s. He sent out these letters to everyone with the same last name in the phone book.
Typing Practice: Click to start “typing” out the Coat of Arms letter.
Handwriting Practice: Click to see full size ad.
I hope you take some time and do some Copy Work with these ads!
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P.S. If you’d like to get even BETTER at copywriting here’s some more resources:
– A free swipe file of marketing materials –
– What is copywriting (a visual guide) –
– Copywriting books and courses –
– How to become a copywriter –
– Copywriting Exercises –
– Join Us? –