Is Convincing Copy the Missing Link in Your Marketing?

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If you’re not making the money you want online, chances are it comes down to copywriting.

There are two core skills that you need in online marketing:

  1. SEO, and;
  2. Copywriting.

Practically everything you do online as a marketer falls back to one of these two core skills.

  • SEO skills let you tap into reliable streams of online traffic, by convincing computer algorithms to favour your site over your competitors;
  • And copywriting skills help you convert that traffic into sales, and convince people to do the things that get you ahead.

If all you knew was Copywriting and SEO, that would be enough… You’d never need to buy another marketing course again – you’d have all you’d ever need to be successful online – a way to attract visitors, and a way to turn those visitors into sales.

The problem is, too many marketers focus on just the traffic generation side of their business, and they overlook the conversion (Copywriting) side.

Copywriting is a Mandatory Skill for Internet Marketers

Think about it for a moment – can you name someone who is successfully making money online who doesn’t know how to write effective and convincing sales copy?

That simple fact tells us that if we want to be successful online, we need to know how to “sell” online through our writing.

Practically everything you do online will require some level of copywriting skill:

  • Recruiting Affiliates – Convincing people to invest time, effort and money into promoting your product;
  • Approaching Big JV Partners – You have one chance to get their attention and get your foot in the door, or get turned away;
  • Building a List – Every opt-in and squeeze page is a mini sales letter that you need to copywrite;
  • Autoresponder Messages – How do win the crowded inbox battle to get attention in your prospect’s busy day?;
  • Selling Your Own Products – To make the big profits, you’ll need to convince people to buy;
  • Affiliate Marketing – Selling other people’s products takes sales copywriting skill;
  • Adwords and PPC Advertising – Enticing people to click is critical. Bad click-through rates kill ad campaigns overnight;
  • Video Marketing – It all starts with writing a compelling, convincing script for your video;
  • Even Developing Content and Training – The same techniques that get a message across in sales copywriting help you to effectively communicate your training and information products.

This is why there is such a big difference between marketers who know how to write good copy, and marketers who don’t.

Copywriting is the Skill That Makes Everything Else Work…

Without copywriting, without the skill to convince people to act when you need them to, without the skill to convert traffic into dollars, you come up short in all of these areas – building a list, having an effective autoresponder sequence, selling your own product, recruiting affiliates, approaching big joint venture partners, Adwords and PPC, video marketing, etc…

So many people “know” how to do these things technically, but they don’t have the copywriting skill to make it work “for reals”.

And if you’re missing this one practical skill, these things just “don’t work”…

That means you risk end up on the internet marketing merry-go-round, spending some of the best years of their lives in front of a computer but not making any money…
…Spending thousands on traffic and not seeing a single sale;
…Following the big success stories, and applying the same strategies – but still, somehow, you’re never able to achieve anything near the same results for themselves;
…Having your hope slowly crushed every day, with every “near miss” that you have;
…Moving from project to project leaving a trail of half-finished and failed projects in your wake;
…Seeing all the great success stories and not being able to achieve the same for yourself;
…Having to face up to friends and family and look forward with optimism, or make up “little white lies” about how your websites are doing, because of the shame and embarrassment that things just haven’t taken off yet;
…Knowing that friends and family are rolling their eyes and talking about you behind your back — “Have you heard about his LATEST get rich quick scheme? …It’ll never work…”

You get the idea.

(You might know someone who is experiencing these pains, you might be experiencing them yourself.)

Without copywriting skill, everything’s harder, takes longer, or doesn’t work at all…

…But WITH copywriting skill – everything suddenly clicks together – doors open, and people buy.

“Great” vs “Good Enough”

The thing is, you don’t even need to be great at copywriting. You just need to be “good enough”.

This is what happened to me.

For a long time, I struggled to get anywhere in internet marketing.

John Carlton's "Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel" Copywriting CourseWhen I started to take copywriting seriously, I bought John Carlton’s “Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel” course.

(At the time, it was one of those purchases that hurt. I didn’t have a big bank balance, and wasn’t making much money, so making that payment was like taking a big dose of nauseating medicine – I knew it was what I needed, but the thought of it made me feel physically sick. It motivated me to get every penny of insight out of the course as I could, as fast as I could, and put as much of it into practise as possible… I don’t recommend everyone does this, but it worked for me at the time.)

What happened next was one of those “sliding doors” moments.

Within months, I’d turned a product that had “bombed” and was going to be taken off the market into a $89,000 success story.

The system worked!

So I kept playing John Carlton’s CD’s in my car, and stealing ideas from the example sales letters he put included in a swipe file in his course… And because I’d already proven what I’d learned by turning an unsuccessful product into a successful one, suddenly I had more and more opportunities to practice and build my copywriting skills.

…I wrote a sales letter that made $297,000 over a couple of months;

…Then one that made $570,000 in 37 minutes (I was so excited! This was my first mega-launch!);

…Then one that did $960,000 in just 3 weeks. (This sales letter was re-used again and again, making many more millions over the next few years – even after I’d stopped working for that company.)

Since then, I’ve used the same techniques to boost traffic to 6-figure Google Adwords campaigns, approached and worked with marketers who are household names in the internet marketing industry (even writing sales copy for them to use), and helped Market Samurai go from just an idea to over 200,000 users in just 26 months.

And in practically everything I did – approaching affiliates, Adwords, autoresponders, approaching JV partners, building a list, etc – I used the same copywriting techniques I learned from John Carlton:

  • How to turn heads, cut through the noise and actually get your message read (like John did with his “One Legged Golfer” headline);
  • Telling people the “reason why” – and how it’s the easiest and most honest way to write good sales copy;
  • And, most importantly, the how to “close the sale” without being a sleazy used car salesman.

I don’t share this story to impress you – I share it because there are plenty of people out there who are struggling, like I did before I got serious and actually started learning about copywriting – and I wanted to share how everything just “clicked” after I took copywriting seriously.

The thing is – I’m still not a great copywriter. I’m just “good enough” to hack together something that works.

And it’s not hard to do the same if you get the right teachers, and learn from their experience.

John Carlton and the Market Samurai guys (Ben Stickland, John Carlton, Dr Anthony Fernando and Brent Hodgson)

What John Carlton is Doing Right Now, and Why It Matters…

The guy I learned copywriting from is John Carlton. He’s a grizzled master sensei of 27 years copywriting experience.

Right now, John and his team of pro sales copy writers are doing a free mini-course on how to write sales copy in the lead-up to his Simple Writing System launch.

I realise this is late notice…

…He began the free course a few days ago (while I was in Sydney), but I’ve just had the chance to check it out – and I recommend you do the same while it’s still up.

Again, it’s free, and it covers the 3 most important skills you need as a copywriter:

  1. How to get into the head of potential customers;
  2. How to get to the point and get your message across, and;
  3. How to close the deal without being pushy, awkward or obnoxious.

(If all you had were these 3 lessons, you’d start writing better copy straight away.)

He’s also giving away his presentation from Frank Kern’s Mass Control 2 in San Diego – a presentation I flew 36 hours return from Melbourne Australia to see.

Plus – John and his team are currently providing feedback to people who complete the sales copy exercises inside the free training content.

The problem is – it’s all being taken offline in 2 days – on the 17th of September (USA Eastern Time).

If copywriting is the “missing link” you need for your online marketing, and you’re interested in John Carlton’s free training, here’s where you need to go to get it now:

(Use this link if you want to support us and the development of Market Samurai – if you do decide to get John Carlton’s training program after going through the free stuff, we will earn a commission.)

(OR – This is the naked, non-affiliate link. If you use this link, we’ll never see a penny – whether you choose to buy, or you choose to stick to the free stuff.)

Check out John’s stuff, and take up his offer of feedback on your sales copy while you still can. Remember: John’s free training gets taken down on September 17th, 2010 US EST (2 days away).

We don’t make many recommendations - but so much of the success we’ve achieved in Noble Samurai and our other ventures can be traced back to John’s techniques and advice.

We hope you take advantage of John’s training, use his techniques as well and as often as you can, and see the type of results that we’ve seen on our businesses.



True to John Carlton’s word, the free Simple Writing System Express course was taken down on September 17th, 2010, and is no longer available.

This is because John and his team of pro copywriters were giving specific, personalised and free feedback on people’s copy – so it could only stick around for a limited time. After all, John and his team real people, just like you and me – and just like you or me, if John and his team gave away all of their time and expertise for free, they couldn’t afford to feed their families! :) So the free training and coaching could only be a limited-time gig.


If you would still like to learn John’s systems for writing effective sales copy, and to receive coaching as well as specific, personalised feedback on your sales copy from John Carlton’s team of pro copywriters – this is available by purchasing John Carlton’s Simple Writing System Course via one of the links above.

But again, (just like with the free course,) because you’re dealing with real expert copywriters who only have so many hours in the day, this type of coaching and training can only be offered on a limited basis. (There are only so many copywriting coaches in John’s team, and so many hours in the day – so the course can only handle so many people at any one time.)

If copywriting is the missing link in your marketing, and you want to start improving in that area now, make sure you get in before John Carlton’s course is full. John’s a man of his word (as you’ve seen already) – so when he says “limited time only” or “limited places available”, he means it.

Brent Hodgson a co-founder of Noble Samurai, and an internet marketing specialist.

Brent has written 68 post(s) for Noble Samurai

30 Responses to “Is Convincing Copy the Missing Link in Your Marketing?”

  1. Great article, great post. You either intentionally or accidentally touched on a topic that has been bugging me for a long time and I can not help but wonder why anybody has never thought about it. In fact it is that fact that made me skeptic about everything that the so called “gurus” say.

    1. Everyone of them promise to get you traffic but no ever mentioned how to convert those traffic.

    2. Everyone “made millions in just a few days” and they want to sell you a $900 system. If they made so much money why then do they charge so much from a guy who is just starting to make a living on the internet?

    3. I have bought such things at lesser prices only to discover that what I was sold I already know.

    4. I can continue for days. It all comes down to one thing. No one knows it all but how do you recognize the one that are genuine?
    Admin@HealthBlogumentary.comʼs last blog post… Acai Berry Antioxidant Advantages

  2. I just finished the first three free videos. They are simple and brilliant. I am changing the way I write copy from now on. Thanks for the recommendation.
    mike@aloeʼs last blog post… Aloe Vera History Part 2

  3. I have been learning internet marketin for a little under a year with the signs of succes gradually coming my way. I thas been a huge learning curve for me and I do understand what you mean about copywriting being an essential skill. I struggle with my ads and emails, they often seem a bit spammy so I’m ready for some more education.

    Troy B.

  4. I will buy anything you guys recommend. You probably have given me the most value for my one time purchase of Market Samurai that I made eons ago. I follow you where you point!
    Freddie Baumannʼs last blog post… Water Jet Power Washer Review

  5. Great stuff Brent!

    Modelling your blog posts is a good place for anyone to start, both here & on your own blog (anyone not yet following Brent’s blog should do so this instant).

  6. I believe that copywriting is not only a mandatory skill for internet marketers, but it is the “Soul” of Successful internet marketers. You can “live” without it.

  7. I could not say it better myself Freddie “You probably have given me the most value for my one time purchase of Market Samurai that I made eons ago” Thanks for your brilliant product and the ongoing updates that just make it better and better. I use market samurai daily.
    Shelley Cox – Resume Writerʼs last blog post… Become A Driving Instructor- Its That Uncomplicated

  8. Brent,

    Another valuable read.. Thanks

    I have followed J.Carlton and his Simple Writing System for a couple years now and everything he offers is top notch. His newsletters and swipes have kept me busy at all hours of the night. I truely enjoyed learning via his simple teachings. There is a definite reason why people rave about him, he’s the Real Deal

    In my opinion, another copywriter of this caliber would be Clayton Makepeace. He’s also a great teacher and very easy to learn from.

    I think one of the best things about taking these types of courses is having access to the teams that work with these teachers.

    Clayton’s team had a guy by the name of Tony Flores who really resonated with me and after some obvious hesitations(as you explained earlier), I went ahead and bought a course called The Ultimate Desktop Copy Coach, which was offered through the Total Package.

    That was the best thing I could have done! Since taking that one course, I haven’t looked back.

    I want to say thanks for reminding me how essential the simplest things like copy can be. Your posts are always worth the read.

    Cheers from Wyo

  9. Hi, Brent

    Thanks for your great post. In fact I saw someone recommended this to me by news letter two days ago. But frankly speaking it didn’t catch my eyes and show something I readly should to master or have, meaning make me interested. But today I got your e-mail and read this great staff. I found maybe I made a mistake to miss something important. Maybe it is because I have great expression of marketing samurai. I will check this great stuff again. If it is worth to invest, I will buy from your link definitely. Thanks again for your sharing.

    Keep your great work going!


  10. I can relate to the paying for something you couldn’t afford and being worried about it. I like to puked when I bought my first server and it was 4K and 500 bucks a month or maint/BW/etc. Had 4700 in the bank and it was iffy if I’d make it for two months. Turned out to be the scariest yet best decision I made back in 1997.

    Yep, servers were really high priced and BW was up to 5 bucks a gig.
    How To Guyʼs last blog post… Make Your Own Halloween Tombstone

  11. I have used Market Samurai for a bout two years now and I find it to be the best value software I have ever purchased.

    Your post is also good value as it presents the case for a skill that the majority of us could master given some time and will power.

    Knowing how to write good copy will save you thousands and make you more!

  12. Great story to tell. I believe that copywriting is not only a mandatory skill for internet marketers, but it is the “Soul” of Successful internet marketers. You can “live” without it.

  13. It is entertaining to see your copywriting skills applied in this post. I would give you an 8/10. However, you are the authority and you offer a lot of value. One thing that stands out in your post is transparency (nice work with the affiliate and non-affiliate link.)

    I couldn’t agree with you more about online success being a sum of SEO and Copywriting skills. Each day, I learn and apply those two skills more than anything else (and it takes a lot to step-side the Social Networking hype)

  14. Interesting point of view.

    Copywriting is an art for sure, and to master it you have to put heart and soul, just like with SEO. We learn by mistakes, by following examples, buying this product here and there, some are good some of them suck, but at the end of the day, everything helps, even the bad experiences.

    And yes, sometimes we have so much to say, i mean good content, but when you put it in writing you feel like those words are not exactly how you feel or think. Definitely Copywriting is a task that i have to complete in this IM Career…

  15. Great product, Brent! Thanks for sharing.
    On a side note, your products is hands down one of the best product ever! Would definitely recommend Market Samurai & Domain Samurai to my friends.
    Jes@Lose Weightʼs last blog post… Thank You For Your Confirmation

  16. “One that made $570,000 in 37 minutes…”

    Yah right!

    There is no credit card/PayPal system in the world that wouldn’t instantly shutdown this account with this amount of money coming in so rapidly

    Brent Hodgson replied:

    [edit: here are the details...]
    This particular launch crashed our web-server (it was running an ASP site with an Access database, so it wasn’t designed for a big launch).

    So we immediately switched to “Plan B” – took the site down, and added a message that let people know the site wasn’t able to cope with payments, and that they should either call us to arrange payment or email us to reserve their spot.

    We switched from online payments (via eWay, an Australian merchant CC gateway) to taking telephone orders, and email reservations which we followed up via phone over the next 48 hours. I believe these payments were processed via a single Commonwealth Bank EFTPOS terminal using the MOTO (mail order/telephone order) function. This split would have split the orders across multiple gateways.

    Also, the programme was sold under two payment plans – a discounted single-payment option, and a higher payment plan option – however the only window for purchasing was during the launch itself. The total value of sales made during this launch was around $570,000 (I don’t know the figure to the exact dollar though – I wish I did, but I don’t). However, the payment plan meant not all $570,000 was processed within the first 48 hours.

    We kept calling people until the coaching programme was full. The last person to get into the coaching programme before it was sold out was someone who emailed us 37 minutes after we had launched.

    In total, there were around 250 people who purchased the coaching programme, each paying somewhere between $1,800 to $10,000 depending on what level of coaching they wanted.

    I don’t want to give away whose business these figures belong to, but people who know me or do a bit of Googling will be able to work this out.

    But anyway… this is what happened.

    The $960,000 launch was a relaunch of a similar product. The product still exists, although it’s not run by the same people anymore.

    When we did the $960,000 launch, we spread it over 3 weeks using “VIP lists” and “Pre-Registration Lists” so that we didn’t have issues with the site crashing (like we did the time before).

    We probably could have sold the $960,000 launch out in a few hours (it was a higher price point, and with more places available) – but the 3-week option was safer.

    Anyway – I hope this helps you out.


  17. Great reminder, Good read and you already proved your point of good copywriting within it. ;)


  18. Solid advice ad I couldn’t agree more. Copywriting is just one of those skills you must master. As John Carlton says “salesmen live better lives”… and who wouldn’t want to live a better life :)


  19. 19
    On September 16th, 2010 at 6:51 pm
    MIke Bailey said:

    So you’re saying its the copywriting that sells, not the product, I totally beleive that though of course the product has to deliver else youd get too many customer service issues from that many sales.
    One of the problems is now people call themselves ‘copywriters’ when in fact all they do is write copy, and the difference is huge, just look at some so called small time ‘copywriters’ work to see how crumby it is yet people think its the real deal .
    Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, labelling themselves copywriters and totally underdelivering with uninspiring dull prose that would never make people take action.
    How can these ‘fakes’ be outed?

  20. Wow, i can’t believe you guy’s can keep coming up with such fantastic stuff. I learned more from the gang at m.s. than any other site. Now im off to write.

    Fishing Tackleʼs last blog post… Florida Fish And Wildlife Take A Big Hit

  21. Offering a sales message in a form, that ‘helps’ your customer decide that he wants what you have to offer, is an art. Getting the message to that customer, using SEO knowledge (one method), is a skill. A great combination, and, Noble Samurai really helps putting these two together. However, there is ‘one more essential item’ that will guarantee anyones success. That is… well…hmmmm… I forget what that item is. I better work on the other two. Thanks for the tip Brent.

  22. I’ve got to say that I am happy that I opened the e-mail promoting John’s mini-course. I’m pretty sure I’ve got SEO down pat, but copy writing is another thing altogether. I see the tips that John offered being very, very helpful to me.

    Mike@rolling duffle bagsʼs last blog post… Four Gym Tips for You and Your Duffle Bag

  23. This is a fantastic article again from you Brent, thanks for once again providing clear, articulate and interesting information that we can all learn from.

    I continually need to apply the KISS (keep it simple stupid) lesson and not get distracted with all the flashing lights and latest strategies and just remember that great copy alone can sell but without it you will struggle, whatever else you try.

    Childrens Wooden Toysʼs last blog post… Deluxe Wooden Rocking Horses – £10500

  24. Hi Brent,

    Thanks for the tip I followed your link and discovered John Carlton’s blog. Yes I do agree it’s a necessary skill for any serious IM. I’ve heard so much about his ‘Simple Writing System’ and now I have discovered it Thanks to you Brent.
    Douglasʼs last blog post… Resveratrol Select- Antioxidants and Weight Loss

  25. 25

    There is something which always surprise me about Guru and other people to follow because they supposed to made successful business and they made millions of $$.

    Why they always have an awful design to present their idea? And this copywriter is not an exception. I don’t doubt about his skill but his website is ugly also.

    If people are already billionnaire thanks to their skill, why they don’t buy a 300$ design for give a better feeling to customer?

    Another point, if people really success, why they don’t propose their knowledge for free?
    I think if myself I become billionnaire thanks to internet, 2 choices will happen:
    1. I won’t care amymore about Internet, I will just enjoy the life
    2. I will share my experience with other people, not for money but just for fun.

    Just some thoughts…

  26. Brent,

    This is a nor brainer…without the right copy there will be no motivation…and without motivation there is no sale.

    Thanks again for all your guidance and assistance.


  27. This is great! I’am not a writer this has to be a blessing, can’t wait to get started ! Continue the great work .

  28. Very good advice. I’m definitely one who has gone through the pains of realizing getting traffic is only one piece of the puzzle. That’s why I’ve been reading up on my copy writing, and of course why this post caught my attention. Thanks for sharing, Brent.

    BTW, I just love Market Samurai!
    Wesʼs last blog post… 14 FREE SEO Tools

  29. Hello, I am a part-time online job worker. And I always bump to this copywriting. Now I’ll work to save some money to purchase one some of these days.