Haris Halkic: Hi Mike, thanks a lot for agreeing to share your best tips on copywriting and your background. Let’s start with how you got started in copywriting. Please, tell us more about your story.
Mike Searles: Thanks for the question Haris. I fell into copywriting by default. After a long and successful career in sales and marketing my entire world unraveled at age 51 due to alcoholism. So, in March 2009 I embarked on what would turn out to be a life-saving, and life-changing recovery program. It meant opting out of the work-force entirely.
Well, ‘opting out’ isn’t the right term. I was without choice. Think of it as a forced sabbatical from life. It turned out to be the best thing because I’ve remained 100% sober since. It was during those earlier years of required mental, physical, and spiritual renewal that I began looking at internet marketing and copywriting in particular.
Haris Halkic: Hi Mark, thanks a lot for agreeing to share your best tips on copywriting and your background. Let’s start with how you got started in copywriting? Please, tell us more about your story.
Mark D. Underdahl: Back in early 2004, I think, I was looking for a way to earn a better living, and be able to do it from home or anywhere. Somehow I came across writing, as in creative writing, short stories, etc. As I was building on my interest in this type of writing, I stumbled across copywriting.
I couldn’t afford the expensive courses that were all the rage then, so I gobbled up newsletters from a wide variety of copywriters, most of whom were still alive then. Halbert, Carlton and a host of others, all of whom introduced me to the old school guys like Eugene Schwartz, Claude Hopkins, etc., were and in many ways still are heavy hitters.
In mid to late 2005, I decided I want to do this full time. But over the years, I’ve had to keep supporting my family through regular jobs, so most of that time, I was a part time copywriter.
1. “On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”
– David Ogilvy
2. “It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money…”
– David Ogilvy
3. “I’ve learned that any fool can write a bad ad, but that it takes a real genius to keep his hands off a good one.”
– Leo Burnett
4. “The good news is that YOU – as an email copywriter – will NOT have to do boatloads of research for your client in order to write stunning, money-drenching emails. You simply have to be able to relax and write a good story.”
– Matt Furey