How to never write bland copy again.

Enthusiasm is as important in sales as any technique or even skill. This holds true for face-to-face sales and written sales copy.

John Caples put it better than I ever could:

“Everybody knows that you can tame a wild horse and make the animal useful. But it is impossible to put life into a dead horse. The same is true of advertising copy. An advertisement that has been pounded out in the white heat of enthusiasm can be tamed and made effective. But it is impossible to put life into dead copy.”

– Tested Advertising Methods, page 101


As the old novelist’s adage (wrongly attributed to Ernest Hemingway) goes:

Write drunk. Edit sober.

Magic can flow when you let loose.

By letting go of inhibitions, forgetting about critics – even putting aside your training – when you first sit down to write, you can capture the emotional “soul” of your enthusiasm for the product you’re selling.

How you get enthusiastic about a wholly uninspiring product is another question entirely. The short answer would be: Forget what the product is… focus instead on what it does for people, how it makes their lives better, and get excited about that.

To use that enthusiasm for a wild first draft, sit down to a “focus block” in which, you tell yourself, everything you write will be thrown out.

In that low-stakes, no-consequence frame of mind, just start writing and “warm up your brain” until it eventually reaches the “white heat of enthusiasm”.


Stay wild,

– James

PS: Tested Advertising Methods is one of nine must-read books for copywriters that the great Gary Halbert insisted on. They’re essential for becoming a Self-Made Copywriter.