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The Ultimate 5-Step Copywriting Protocol: How I’ve Helped Copywriters Go From Zero To $100k/Year (Minimum)
If you're new to copywriting or haven't made your first $100k yet, then consider reading this thread and following the proven roadmap?
“I want to make money online!” you say.
“Learn copy!” everybody responds.
“But how?!” you wonder.
“I’m a complete noob… should I read books, just start writing, find a mentor, or do something else entirely?”
The honest answer: I don’t know what you should do, but over the last few years I’ve fucked around and helped countless people from Tweeter go from $0 to (at least) $100k/year (with many making way more than that).
What did I do? Nothing special to be honest – just put them through a 5-phase protocol for quickly learning copy, getting good, and using their newfound skill to make money.
Today I’ll share the same protocol with you.
Ready? Here it is (in order):
Step 1. Learn Principles Of Good Copy
Step 2. Analyze & Encode Winning Copy
Step 3. Learn A Proven System
Step 4. Write, Write, Write
Step 5. Ship & Get Feedback
Doesn’t sound like much, does it?
Hardly, but this is the fastest and easiest protocol that I know for quickly taking somebody that’s brand new to copy…
… and making them “good-enough” to make good money (good money = minimum 6 figures).
Let’s now break down each step.
Step 1: Learn Principles Of Good Copy
If you want to learn copy and you’re brand new to the game, you shouldn’t start by jumping into the deep end. Mistake. You’ll make too many rookie fuck ups that will cost you time and money and confidence.
Better approach: Start by getting a very quick and dirty understanding of the principles of good copy.
How do you do this?
By reading 1-3 copywriting books.
Why? I don’t think you can learn how to write copy by reading books, but I do think you can learn principles (just like you cannot learn how to play the guitar by only reading books).
Principles = The timbits of insight into human psychology that once combined with direct response copy results in maximum conversions.
These principles form the foundation of your copy skill set.
And it’s important you know them.
So, what are the best books to read to quickly learn the principles?
Choose from the classics (you’ve probably already heard of these for they are the classics for a reason):
1. Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
2. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman
3. Cashvertising by Drew E. Whitman
4. Great Leads by Michael Masterson
5. The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy
6. The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert
7. Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples
8. Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
Recommended book to get started with: Cashvertising (it’s not the best ‘copy’ book, but it’s the best summarized version of all the other books. It’s good to quickly get going, but to really understand the meat you want to come back and revisit the other books on the above list as well.)
Friendly Note: “What about Breakthrough Advertising?!” you say. “I’ve heard so many people call that the GOAT copywriting book!” And you know what? They’re right. It is the GOAT book, but in order to truly reap gold from it, you should first read the above books. Otherwise it’s likely to go over your head. Save Breakthrough Advertising for after.
Progress Check: Move onto step #2 AFTER you’ve finished your first book from the above list (don’t get stuck reading – BIG MISTAKE!).
As you’re going through the other steps, you want to be reading the other books. When you’re reading each book for the first time, read quickly. When you’re reading for the second time, read slowly. You’ll get more out of it the second time than the first time, but the first time is required to just get your feet wet so you can move onto step #2.
(Really important: Don’t waste time reading – read quickly. You should be done with your first book in a day or two. Speed is key.)
Step 2: Analyze & Encode Winning Copy
After you’ve read your first copy book (and are continuing to read the others), you will quickly build up a toolbox of copy principles…
… but it’ll be just that… “principles”.
Yet these principles will open up your eyes to a whole new world of human nature, psychology, and persuasion.
This is great! Now what we want to do is combine ‘theory/principles’ with the real world.
In other words: We want to see these principles in action by seeing them applied in real copy that is making real money in real time (with a strong emphasis on the current day, but also a slight emphasis on the past for good copy is good copy).
This will teach us many things (and save us from making many dumb mistakes that a lot of newbie copywriters make after they first learn the principles which is mostly just hitting the market and writing the most hypey copy known to man: “I’ll triple your conversions… “I’ll 20x your business…” blah blah blah).
Here’s a few things we’ll learn from studying good copy:
How good copy gets attention by tapping into pre-existing desires
How good copy converts attention into interest
How good copy keeps interest by using a slippery slope/structure
How good copy leverages winning elements to address objections as they occur in real time
How good copy is believable
How good copy is clean, concise and pleasant to read
So how do we apply step #2 to learn the above?
In two phases.
Phase One: Encoding – After you’ve read your first copy book, it pays to exercise your copy muscle by exposing yourself to good copy.
The most proven way to hone your copy muscle is by handwriting a piece of winning copy every single morning for 20-60 minutes.
I know modern day copywriters meme this (and I understand why lol), but from my personal experience (did this for 12+ months) this works really well and has been recommended by the legends of direct response copywriting for a reason.
It’s because handwriting winning copy primes your brain to learn the *structure* of winning copy.
Overtime, this structure seeps into your own writing and allows you to write copy that flows smoothly and concisely.
So with that stated, what copy should you handwrite? Both classics and modern day winners – with an emphasis on the latter.
Here’s some classics to encode in your own handwriting:
Here’s some modern day winners:
Need more? Shoot me a DM.
Pro-Tip: Make this a daily habit for 6 months. Wake up, grab a pen and pad, and copy the winning copy word for word until your time goes off (20-60 minutes/daily). Do it consistently. And overtime you’ll experience HUGE gains in your copy skill set. (Handwrite as much as you can during each 20-60 minute session. After the session expires, stop there and pick back up the next day. You want to handwrite one piece of winning copy to completion before moving to the next one. In the future, you can focus on specific elements of copy: headlines, leads, sub-heads, closes, but in the beginning, focus on the entire piece of copy)
Phase Two: Analysis – As you’re encoding each piece of winning copy from the above list, you also want to exercise your analysis muscle (once you’re ready for this step of the game).
BIG ISSUE, however, is at this point in the game you will NOT know enough to analyze each copy in an adequate manner.
As a result, we leave this for now and come back to phase two AFTER we’ve completed step #3 below.
Once we’re done with step #3, we come back and take each piece of copy we handwrote and analyze it by using the following analysis framework.
Copy Analysis Framework by Tej Dosa (Click Here To Access):
(Don’t worry! You’re not supposed to understand ANY of the above right now – this is why we save this until we’ve completed step #3)
Progress Check: Move onto step #3 AFTER you’ve encoded at least three pieces of winning copy. At this point in the game, you should continue to read copy books and encode winning copy for 20-60 minutes a day (ideally first thing in the morning, but any time is good). Everything we do with this process is additive – meaning we continue the previous step(s), but add the next step after we’ve met the requirement (e.g. after you’ve read your first copy book, you move onto step #2 (but still keep reading). After you’ve encoded three pieces of winning copy, you move onto step #3 (but still keep encoding), etc.)
Step 3: Learn A Proven System
At this point of your journey, you know copy principles and what winning copy looks and reads like. EPIC, right?! For sure! But we still have a BIG problem…
What’s the problem? We know the principles of good copy and what winning copy reads like, but we still don’t know how to actually write copy (haha!).
In other words:
Our principle muscle is honed… our encoding muscle is honed… but our writing muscle is still weak. And that’s how it should be because before we can start writing copy, we first have to learn.
And learn we have.
So now what? How should we hone our writing muscle? Should we just launch a blank Google Doc, put into action what we learned inside the copy books and start writing?
This is what a lot of people do. And it’s better than doing nothing, but this “winging it” approach creates many problems such as:
Writer’s block, lousy – low converting copy, and years wasted writing copy the slow and frustrating way.
So what’s the smarter approach?
The smarter approach is to understand the following (for it will save you years of wasted time and effort and take you from $0 to $100k much quicker than any other way):
When it comes to writing winning copy, you need to know and follow a winning system. (“The right system can turn a role player into a superstar” aka the right system can turn an average copywriter into a very rich copywriter). A system you can learn, use to write, and master with time. A proven system that takes you from an empty Google Doc to a Google Doc full of winning copy - with consistency and predictability (no more operating in the blind).
This is what distinguishes the money makers from the amateurs for the former has a winning system for researching, brainstorming, writing, editing, testing, and so on and so forth whereas the latter opens up a bunch of copy books at random and just tries to wing it.
Winging it is stupid. And ineffective.
Because with time your ability to write winning copy should not only be improving, but also increasing with speed and proficiency.
You can only make this happen when you use the same winning system to write copy. By doing so, you get better at applying the system which makes you better at writing winning copy overtime.
Learning (and eventually mastering) a proven system is thus the next step.
So, what is the best system for newbies to quickly get good at writing winning copy consistently?
I don’t know what is best for you, but the system I recommend…the system that I’ve put newbies through that has taken them from $0 to $100k (minimum)...the system that I personally use to consistently write 6-7 figure promotions is called the ‘COPY CONCEPTION SYSTEM’.
I learned it directly from a 8-figure direct response ClickBank Platinum Marketer after apprenticing under him for 4.5 years and it’s what I credit for transforming my copy from barely making any money to being able to pull in $50k days – profit, not revenue (newbie copywriter Tej would’ve thought this was IMPOSSIBLE, but such is the power of knowing and honing your copy muscle using a proven system).
(Important Note: Before you think I’m ONLY shilling this system because it’s my personal system, you should know: That’s not the case. At all. Because you can get this system without paying me a single penny if you choose – but more on that later…)
I only recommend this system because it has turned more newbie copywriters into 6-7 figure copywriters/online business owners than pretty much any other offer on Money Twitter.
And you can find this out yourself by simply searching ‘6 Figure Promotions’ or ‘6FP’ + @ComedicBizman on Twitter (all unsolicited by the way – meaning I didn’t ask for people to tweet anything about 6FP).
Here’s a small sample of what you’ll find (just picked these out quickstyles at random):
The reason the Copy Conception System inside 6 Figure Promotions (6FP) works so well is because it isn’t a rehash of $10 copywriting books like most courses, but a systematic approach for writing winning copy that breaks down all the steps (from A-Z), gives you a REAL step-by-step example of me building a piece of copy from scratch (using the system), and shows you how to do exactly the same (in real time).
So if you want to learn more about this, you can go here:
Side Note: Remember how I told you that you can get it without paying me a single penny – if you wish?
Here’s the details on that:
I didn’t create 6FP to make money like most course sellers do (I make my $$$ by applying the system myself). Nothing wrong with that, just not my style. I created it because the Copy Conception System single handedly transformed my copy skills and life like nothing else, so I wanted to extend that same opportunity to you.
In doing so I also wanted to remove my personal bias so you could know without a doubt that my intentions were pure.
That’s why I give you the option of getting 6FP by either paying me directly (thank you) or donating the cost to ANY charity of YOUR choice!
(To date, we’ve been able to donate low six figures to charities all over the world, so that’s awesome!)
If you want to use 6FP to learn the copy conception system, then here’s how I recommend you go through it:
Step 1: Go through steps 1-3 at once (all learning, no applying)
Step 2: Come back and follow the steps to build a promo of your own
Step 3: Repeat step #2 until you’re a rich man or woman
If you don’t want to use 6FP – no biggie!
But you STILL need to learn a proven system, so go out and find somebody else/another course you can learn a system (not rehashed principles) from.
After you’ve learned a winning system, then it’s time to come back and analyze the copy you’ve been encoding.
In other words, it’s time for phase two of step #2 aka the Copy Analysis Framework Worksheet (remember?). At this stage of the game, you’ll know all you need to know to adequately analyze winning copy.
So now is when you want to do that.
Here’s the Copy Analysis Worksheet again (refer back to phase two under step #2 for more information).
This concludes step #3 of the copywriting protocol.
Progress Check: Move onto step #4 AFTER you’ve learned the ‘COPY-CONCEPTION SYSTEM’ (or another system of your choice), have watched me use it to build a 6-fig promo from scratch with step-by-step instructions, AND analyzed three pieces of winning copy using the Copy Analysis Framework worksheet.
Step 4: Write, Write, Write
Okay let’s do a quick recap of where we’re at.
At this point of our copy career, we have:
Learned the principles of good copy by reading 1-3 copy books
Encoded at least 3 pieces of winning copy and have started to program our brain with the structure of good copy
Learned the copy conception system for writing winning copy
Seen Tej apply the CC system & create a 6-figure promo from scratch
Used the copy conception system to analyze 3 pieces of winning copy
And this is FANTASTIC!
The amount of progress we’ve made with steps 1-3 is insane and worth years and years of the slow and frustrating way.
So now that we have done all the above, the next step is to use what we’ve learned inside 6FP (or whatever system you learned) and apply the Copy Conception System to consistently WRITE COPY!
After all: This is the entire point.
You don’t learn how to play the guitar just by consuming, but through playing! Same goes for copy. Only reason we learn the principles, structure, system is so we can use all that to write, write, write.
This is ultimately what makes us good because now that we know a proven system, the more we write, the better we get and the better we get, the more money we make.
Useful Copy Heuristic = You can gauge your skill level by how much money you’re making. A good copywriter should be making at least $200k/year (minimum). If you’re not making that, then spend more time following these steps and writing, writing, writing aka improving your skill!
OKAY, the question now becomes – what should you write about?
I’ll explain in just a moment, but first it’s time to make a commitment.
The 180-Day Commitment: Before you start writing, you want to make a simple commitment to yourself. What’s the commitment? You’re going to write at least 50 words of copy every single day for 180 days.
Why at least 50 words? – It’s nice, simple, and easy. Something you can do even on your worst day. Our objective is to build a streak and change our mental psychology from novice to an actual copywriter, plus hone and build our skill using the system.
Why 180 days? – Life should change for the better every 180 days aka 6 months. Learning copywriting and applying it daily for 180 days is more than enough to completely change the course of your financial life, forever.
So make your 180-Day Commitment now. Here’s how:
Step One: Fill out & print the following (keep it by your desk)
“I, [insert your full name] commit to writing at least 50 words of new copy every single day for 180 consecutive days because [insert your personal reason - make it compelling and real]. I also commit to not judging my copy or chasing another shiny object and breaking this streak until the 180 days are up.”
Step Two: Set up simple tracking
Download a habit tracker app on your phone, use a physical calendar, use a moleskine notebook – whatever.
But each day you want to complete at least 50 words of new copy a day (bare minimum – you’ll end up writing far more than this) and keep track of your streak.
Alright now that you’ve made your commitment, it’s time to write. So what should you write about? Here again people just do random shit, but I like to be quite strategic. Meaning – we want to start with simple assignments and then slowly, but surely move into the real world.
To do this, we use the following phases – this is the natural progression for getting good at copy and making lots of money (6-7 figures, 8-9 figures)
Phase One: Craigslist/Facebook Marketplace Copy – You start here. It is the easiest phase and it is designed to have you making money with your copy in the shortest amount of time. Plus, it’s a lot of fun. And very easy to do.
Here’s how it works:
Go through your house and find things you no longer use.
Take a picture.
Use your copy skills to craft an irresistible offer.
Use your copy skills to write a compelling headline + body copy.
Publish on Craigslist & FB Marketplace.
Sit back and see how many responses come in – if you do this right – people will comment on how good your ad was.
Then sell the item and rinse and repeat. You can make your first couple thousand dollars just doing this. It’s a nice way to ease into the copy world because it builds your confidence, helps you gain real world experience, and it’s also super easy. It’s easy because when people are looking to buy things on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, they’re already ready to buy so copy isn’t really needed. Instead, the offer is what counts. So it’s easier to move product with no copy, but still it’s a great way to first get your feet wet and start making money with your copy.
After you run out of things to sell in your home and have made at least a couple hundred bucks with your copy selling things on Craigslist and Marketplace (or whatever) – then move onto phase two.
Phase Two: Control Copy
In the next writing phase, you want to jump on the internet and find people who are currently using copy to slang their products.
Relevant places to look:
Kajabi course sellers
Facebook Ad Library (Gold Mine!)
Once you’ve found somebody, you click around and study what they’re currently doing and task yourself with the following hypothetical writing assignment:
“I’m going to assume that this person hired me to rewrite their copy in order to boost conversions. I’m going to rewrite their copy using the Copy Conception System!”
Then you write.
Dig up info on the target and market, craft your elements, and write following the system (headline, lead, body, close). You do this to practice and hone your chops. Treat it seriously and like it’s a real writing assignment (because it very well can be).
Repeat this daily for a couple weeks.
After you do this for a couple weeks, you’ll start to think to yourself:
“Holy shit, this is actually lowkey fire.”
Once you have this thought, you should continue with phase two and also move onto phase three, four, or five (whatever is relevant, but personally speaking for best results I recommend following these next three phases in order – it’s what I personally did and will have you making money hand over fist in no time without much risk).
Phase Three: Outreach & Client Copy (if relevant)
Take the piece of hypothetical copy you wrote that you think is better than the person’s current piece of copy and find their contact info.
Social or email.
Then use your copy skills to craft an irresistible, HIGHLY PERSONALIZED cold email or message that showcases the piece of copy you wrote + get them to schedule a call with you to discuss more about their copy needs.
Repeat this step – writing outreach copy – testing new angles – crafting personalized messages – until somebody bites and you start getting paid clients.
(I recommend starting off by trading your piece of copy for a percentage of sales – “test this at no risk… if it converts better, give me x% of the revenue generated. If it doesn’t, you don’t pay anything.”).
Once you get paid clients, keep writing outreach copy to get new clients (using the above approach), but now you’ll also be writing real client copy for the real world. This is great because now you’re officially a paid direct response copywriter. Well done!
At this stage of the journey, you can continue to repeat this step and just write copy for clients – zero in on a niche, carve out your name/positioning (using your results to attract more clients – moving to retainers, fixed fees, percentage of sales - whatever) until you make $100k/year if that’s what you want, or until you get the itch to pursue more lucrative projects (based on your goals).
Friendly Note #1: Most people don’t like working with clients and I get why, but it’s a great way to get a real world MBA in online business. I personally started out like this and learned SO MUCH about different niches, verticals, biz models, what works, what doesn’t (WHILE MAKING MULTIPLE SIX FIGURES). And then used all that gold to kick start phase four and five.
Friendly Note #2: Not everybody will or should complete phases three-five. Some people prefer working with clients and can just stick to that. Other people like affiliate or drop-shipping and can stick to that. Other people like building their own brands and can stick to that. Whatever you prefer based on your goals, but personally speaking I preferred to do all three (in order) and eventually settle on building my own offers/brands (this IMO is where all the BIG money is made - 8-9 figures).
Phase Four: Affiliate & eCom Copy (if relevant)
After you’ve written copy for clients and have started generating real results, you may get the itch to venture out into your own.
This is good.
I recommend starting with affiliate or ecom dropshipping.
1. Find winning products that are already selling
2. Evaluate their current copy & find holes (niche improvements / copy improvements / offer improvements)
3. Use copy conception system to write tighter copy for a specific market
Launch, tweak, win. Phase Four of writing thus involves us venturing out and writing real product copy for affiliate/ecom products.
Phase Five: Own Offer Copy (if relevant)
After making money with phases three and four, you may start to realize that “This is fucking awesome! And making low to mid to high six figures and even low seven figures is great, but I want MORE!”
This thought naturally lends to phase five.
Here you’ll leverage the copy conception system and your built up writing skills to produce your own offers and brands.
Follow the system step-by-step and write, write, write.
At this stage of the journey, you should be writing daily and making real money as you slowly start to work your way up the phases (don’t rush this – take it slow and steady. Some people spend years in each phase, stacking major cash as they slowly build up to creating their own offers. Others jump in quicker and figure shout out as they go).
While you’re doing this, you also want to incorporate step #5 of our process to really put things into overdrive.
Step 5: Ship Often & Get Feedback
What’s step #5?
Shipping and getting feedback (as much as possible!).
Meaning – with every piece of copy you write, you want to ship it (put it out there) and also get REAL feedback on it so you can improve your skill set.
The two types of feedback you should strive to get?
Market feedback – This is really the most important. If you write a piece of outreach copy and you’re getting good opens and people are booking sales calls, that’s good feedback. If you’re writing a piece of copy and your Clickthrough Rate (CTR) is 3-5% and people are opting into your landing page (30-50+%), that’s good feedback. If you’re sending people to your sales page and they’re buying, that’s good feedback. If you’re producing content and growing your profiles, that’s good feedback.
This is the most important type of feedback because it doesn’t matter what I think or what anybody else thinks – if the market is buying, then that’s the best feedback and the only one that counts.
So keep a close eye on what the market is telling you. Use this feedback to refine, adapt, tweak, and get better.
Mentor feedback – Find somebody who knows direct response copy and has generated REAL results that you want to replicate or join an advanced copy mastermind. Pay them to rip your copy to shreds, so you can improve and grow.
Doing this will improve your copy skill set far quicker than anything else you can do (AFTER you’ve completed the above steps in order!)
If you want info on copy mentorships and/or masterminds, then you can shoot me a DM and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction (I don’t include that here because most people have no business worrying about that now. Complete the other steps BEFORE you get a copy mentor as it’ll save you so much time and money, plus allow you to GET THE MOST OUT OF THE MENTORSHIP!)
So there you have it!
That’s the FULL 5-STEP PROTOCOL I’ve put countless newbie copywriters/entrepreneurs from Twitter through that has taken them from $0 to making at least $100k/year (with most making well beyond that).
If you’re down to join the winning crew, you can either:
(1) Follow the above steps yourself (you have all the info you need to get started and you can crush it – I got FULL FAITH in you)
(2) Shoot me a DM on Twitter and potentially apply for our exclusive (100% private) consultancy where you can work with others + myself to apply the above steps over the next 12 months, get feedback + training every step of the way (honing your chops much quicker than you would otherwise), use copy skills to build biz (service, ecom, or digital), and gain access to REAL live case studies (from my businesses/others).
Whatever you decide is perfectly fine, but if you like money – then please, please, please learn copy.
(Even if you have ZERO DESIRE of being a copywriter because it’s the one skill that trains you in coming up with winning offers and selling at scale to make maximum money in minimum time).
Alright, that’s enough from me! My copy fingers are all burnt out and it’s time to go for a nice, long walk.
Signing off now.
P.s. If you enjoyed this thread or have any questions/comments, shoot me a reply on Twitter and let me know. Happy to help out.
P.S.S. Also consider subscribing to these emails so you don’t miss out? Inside this free daily newsletter, I’ve revealed everything from How I Manifest $33,000+ Days (profit) to mindsets, habits, schedules I used to go from L1 to L2 to L3 of business and the exact $0 to full-time income plan anybody can follow to make a pretty penny online, plus a lot more.
P.S.S.S One last thing: If you know anybody who wants to get into copy/make money online, why not do them a solid favor and share this with them?
Alright! Now walk time.
Cheers, my friend and have fun on your copy journey! :-)