Surviving the Copywriting Grill – Part 2

This time I’m sharing some copywriting questions and answers,  extracted from my linked group “Copywriters International”, where I answered some questions.

Talk a bit more about alternative health issues

One problem comes from attempting to fit alternative medical studies into a double bind framework. If I put on my statistical and scientific caps, I agree with the methodology. If I put on my alternative medicine hat, I know that alternative medicine approaches are often individualistic, involve the expertise of individuals with years of experience, and doesn’t often translate into a “one size fits all.” This causes complications attempting to fit an alternative approach into conventional scientific test models.

My vision of an ideal world is where conventional and alternative health approaches join hands, and extend their hand joining to spiritual based health approaches.

I have talked about similar topics, in the past. Usually someone in the west comes to an alternative medical practitioner (or spiritual healer), after conventional medicine can’t find a “root cause”, or come up with a “solution”. And sometimes they are surprised, if the alternative medical practitioner/spiritual healer has a solution.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of “misinformation” in these areas. Someone who is a chiropractor might take a weekend course in acupuncture, which makes them an “expert”. Contrast this with the Chinese expert – who has worked in China for 25 years, and has 7 generates of family expertise, handed down through the generations.

Can you make a good, residual income via Internet Marketing?

I haven’t played with it yet. But I think you know already – you can learn all you need to accomplish this goal for free, by taking the “Thirty Day Challenge” (no links – as promised – do a Google look up). It’s the most comprehensive program of its kind, and I have been through it twice. They put a ton of money and time into the program – yet to fully benefit, you must do the work – no pain, no gain. I’m waiting for the 2009 launch sometime in June, before I go through it one more time. Then it’s time to put the principles into action (even though I have worked with Internet Marketing Teams).

Let’s expand on the success Chris experienced with information products, with another example. The Chicago suburbs have two well know names – Perry Marshal (original Google ad words champion) and Ben Hart (direct mail marketer turned Internet marketer). I had been a part of Ben Hart’s marketing program for several months, at $38 a crack. But let’s take a look at this, from Ben’s perspective. I think that a 3000 membership with 90% retention rate is a very good estimate.

Let’s do some math here (use the PC calculator):

$38 per month * 3000 = $114,000

$114,000 (a month) * 12 months = $1,368,000.

It’s a win-win situation. The participant gets tons of material for $38 a month on marketing, copywriting, Google ad words, Ben’s tricks over the years, etc. Ben gets over 1 million for providing the service (I.E. – information marketing products).

P.S. – Don’t think that folks like Ed Dale, of the 30-day challenge, don’t get around. Recently copywriter John Carlton wrote about his trip to Australia, with Frank Kern and Ed Dale. That’s not the limit whom Ed Dale pals around (or affiliates) with.

I can’t get any clients.  Should I work for free?

If you’re going to do something for free, do it for a non-profit or charity. One great organization that looks for services you offer is  I did an annual report (sole copywriter) for local non-profit, and made friends with agency types, and non-profit executives. The report was well received (I.E. – agency types, non-profit executives, board members, and donors). I plan to continue to work pro-bono via Taproot sanctioned projects. Taproot also has a Linkedin group you can join, after you complete your first project.

Please also check out the books by Steve Slaunwhite, Peter Bowerman, Kelly James-Enger, and Lucy Parker, mentioned earlier (see , for reviews and commentary). Each shares their own stories and tips for getting started.

Harriet Parker of the Waubonsee College, Small Business Development Center (Small Business Development Center Network –, helped a solo business starting up (as a graphic designer). About a year later, she mentioned in her monthly newsletter, where this person approached her again. The graphic designer had too much business, and didn’t know how to make the next growth steps.

So here is my question. Did you talk to a small business development advisor about getting started? Don’t forget to also talk to them, when you have too much business.

Can one utilize subject matter expertise as a copywriting selling point?

Thanks for sharing. I found it interesting that agencies usually have a medical professional on staff. It reminds me of the agency copywriter becoming a certified welder. From reading through this thread, there seems to be three approaches:

1. One can come to a profession (I.E. – Holistic health copywriting) from the outside and learn as you go along (I.E. – XXXX’s journey).

2. You can have some background in the subject, and talk the lingo and subject matter, with prospects (I.E. – YYYY’s journey).

3. You can have some credentials to lie on the table. An example would be a friend of mine, if she decided to be a copywriter. She worked for several years as a nurse, and then worked for several years as a pharmaceutical salesperson.

P.S. I’m thinking about the new Star Trek. What if they went back to TCM, Tibetan, Ayurveda, and Unani practitioners, and taught them “double blind” test methods. Think how their herbal discoveries would now be used?




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