PI4MM22: Boring copy sucks. Here’s how to fix it…

Don't avoid fear... invite it in for a cocktail.

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19 thoughts on “PI4MM22: Boring copy sucks. Here’s how to fix it…

  1. mark grove

    Kevin and John, this episode of Psych Insights hit home for me as a writer in the music world. I think musicians who are songwriters should be listening to this to get better ideas for songs, and learn from different areas in life. I’m going to put a link to this episode up on my blog and on FB.

    Ballsy writing and songwriting. Stop being boring.

    Thanks guys.

  2. Nick Charlton

    Yet another killer episode.

    By the way, how did you arrive at your ballsy style of copywriting, John?

    Is it your natural voice? Or is it a style you purposely developed?

    1. John Carlton

      Kind of both. But in my early career, I was a very by-the-book, boring writer… cuz that’s how all the other copywriters wrote. Meeting Halbert and Abraham and guys like Jim Rutz changed all that, and I started approaching copywriting like I did fiction… balls to the wall…

  3. Mia Sherwood Landau

    “Slugs that live in the parking garage…” Well, I’m finally graduating from it, and right about now it’s good to hear I’m not the only one sliming around in there. It’s good to have encouragement to reach the upper floors. (Not easy for a slug… ) Thanks, guys!

  4. Karl

    long time fan of JC
    Even though Im smack dab in the bowels of writing script for a VSL…I took the time and a beer and listened

    My take way completely changed my lead in to the VSL… while my copy is not quite the golfer on death bed that out drives PGA pros… I am going to take some risk and poke a bit deeper into the head of my customer and what really motivates them… and after buying my product be able tell their own story of the journey from fear to mastery and from now on friends, neighbors and coworkers will look to them for answers as the expert on this subject. Just like jumping into the boxing ring for the first time!

    I may just borrow “invite fear in for a cocktail” thank-you very much.


    1. Kevin Rogers

      Hey Karl… glad to hear you came away inspired.

      John had that affect on me daily when I first started writing copy. Guess what? it never goes away.

      Thanks for the note.


  5. John

    I was listening to this podcast while riding my bike the other day (Halbert said to do roadwork daily). Anyhow when you got the part about fear I almost fell off the bike. We just had someone post on our YouTube channel about their paralyzing fear of beginning to paint. So I shared John’s comment about being on a “handshake basis with fear”. I also studied NLP about 30 – 35 years ago and was fascinated by the concept of the Feedback Loop. It dawned on me then that there is no such thing as failure – there is only feedback. I mean, isn’t that what people fear the most? What might we be able to accomplish if we didn’t let fear rule our lives? Great work, guys, never miss a show!

  6. K

    Gents — Thanks for this! John — found your work for the first time just a few weeks ago. It’s wonderful to find out how far off the mark I’ve been in my prat-fallen attempts to pen copy in the past… and how to improve it! (Hell, I didn’t even realize that I was penning copy for my projects for the last 10 year — albeit, BADLY — till I stumbled on your site online last month). Your flow of info is like a constant-bellows that taps a need on the inhale… and fulfills it on the exhale. Outstanding! Tell me — I saw a Youtube interview with you recently where you’d mentioned that you use a small number of templates now when penning your sales letters — templates as a basic fulcrum, scaffold, or framework. (I’m imagining how kids used to play on monkey bars in the playground in my day… or what gymnasts do. What YOU do with copy reminds me of that freewheeling play within form and structure). Does your Freelance Course cover details about these templates that you use for your sales letters? (Or better said — what purchasable products of yours covers, compares, and contrasts these various templates in detail?) Thanks most kindly!

    1. John Carlton

      Hi K. Welcome to the crazy world of direct response.

      Just hop over to my blog, http://www.john-carlton.com — all the relevant stuff I offer is there in the right-hand column. To find out about the mastermind I host, and other consulting options, just click on the “consulting” tab up top (just below The Rant title). Lots of stuff to check out. The SWS is probably the main course to grab, if you crave coaching.

      Let me know how it goes.

  7. Angie Colee

    You guys are my traffic crack now, although at the pace I’m going, we’re rapidly running out of drive-time materials.


    You know what really pisses me off though? That it took me 3 years after hustling hard to get to that San Diego Action Seminar…

    ….to figure out that Carlton plays blues guitar.

    Don’t be surprised if I show up at the next event with a guitar and demand a jam session.

  8. Catherine

    John Carlton: Hooked by your sales speech, I went through SWS. I have been fascinated since then.
    There is only one tiny problem: I am the polar opposite of all these glamorous penthouse writers. The most boring person inside the most boring administrative department you can imagine (which could be right under an accountant’s basement). On his very first day, my dear colleague told me: who would do such a boring job by choice? And he is yawning in my face all day long (in case I didn’t get the message). I am not a storyteller, no one was in my family. There was an obvious and most logical conclusion. What on earth am I doing thinking about copywriting? How can he write like that? I can’t do this. But each time I hear you, I am hooked and fascinated. It’s like something you want to escape and it haunts you like a glue-pot. A couple weeks ago, I wrote that I want to be a colourful writer. Today, I have the dangerous temptation to affirm still cringing that I want to be a colourful copywriter and coach, but the thought still freaks me out, so I really appreciated hearing you say (and imply): Enjoy being a (not even born) rookie. Let it be fun. Relax. (And just let the baby be for God’s sake). Btw, your last book is helping me a lot getting over the overwhelming feelings. Everyone who feels overwhelmed and appreciate your work should read this book. It’s pretty damn good (and of course I also went back to the drawing table with SWS and your kick-ass copywriting secrets). Thank you for everything.


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