I don’t know about you, but normally I see myself as simply a copywriter.

However, in recent years, I’ve seen myself more and more as… “an attention hacker.”

You may remember AIDA–attention, interest, desire and action. It’s a copywriting formula that’s stood the test of time.

That’s is, until recently…

Yeah, that’s right. AIDA’s working less and less. And there’s a reason.

I first started noticing this anomaly several years ago, when I was being asked to write these long epic, content-rich article landers.

You see, with information consumption behavior on the Internet these days…

… you can’t just rely on getting someone’s attention ONE TIME at the beginning and then assume it’s there for the rest of your copy.

It doesn’t work like that anymore.

AIDA is no longer a linear, sequential process.

Interest does not “follow” attention.

It’s essential you get AND KEEP attention throughout the entire process.

This is admittedly DIFFICULT.

Roughly 10-15% of my actual copywriting efforts is devising ways to keep someone’s attention on what I want them consuming so they don’t get bored.

So that they stay engaged.

Now, let me give you an idea or two I use every day that may help with that…

My first go-to attention hacking tool is FORMATTING.

In most of my work, I format the copy so that I highlight what’s important.

I’ll change the font size, I’ll bold or I’ll underline.

(I rarely italicize because italics can be hard to visually digest.)

We mix these formatting types up so there’s little repetition. We don’t want them falling into a reading rut.

My hope is we’re bolding, underlining or highlighting something in almost every paragraph.

(If there isn’t something worth highlighting in every paragraph, I would question the value of why the paragraph or sentence is there in the first place.)

Now you may ask “How do I know what to highlight?”

And the answer is simple:

You highlight promises, claims and benefits.


When you pack your communication like Eugene Schwartz, you’ll have promises, claims and benefits oozing from every sentence, every bullet.

The beauty of what you’re doing is that done right, your people reading appreciate the formatting.

How do we know?

Because when you use tools like you can actually see them consuming the page.

Not only that, but people who appreciate your communication, buy your stuff.

Conversions go up.

Which is kinda the whole point, right?


P.S. If you don’t want to use, you can use and it’ll do the same thing. It’s free.

Dark Sentences

Some copywriters are masters in the art of using… the bible calls them… dark sentences.

These copywriters are masters at hypnosis and NLP.

They’re more than adept at applying cognitive biases.

They’ve memorized Cialdini’s “Influence.”

Yet they still can’t close the deal.


Because they’ve forgotten on of the most important rules in copywriting…

To write like you talk.

No they’d rather impress you with their linguistic wordplay.

By now, you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this.

Did you catch that little embedded command “Buy now”?

Did you also catch the inception “You’re probably wondering…”?

It’s stupid, I know. I couldn’t help myself.

(Yikes, I did it again. Now I’m getting carried away. I’ll stop, I promise.)

But you do see how weird it is, right?

Personally, I prefer to have a meaningful conversation with someone who’s in the market for what I have to offer.

That’s how I sell on paper.

Sure I know all that stuff. I’m “certified” in all these persuasion technologies ten ways from Sunday.

But I have to admit, when I write copy using “dark sentences,” I don’t know about you, but…

I always feel a little bit “icky.”

Sure, I’m all for optimization. But if I have to use covert language to get my point across?

These days, I’ll pass.

I want people to buy for their reasons, not mine.

I want them to come to the right conclusion without having to rely on “dark sentences.”

If that squeezes me out of a deal or two, so be it.

I have to sleep at night.

Dark Sentences Revisited

I take back what I said about using dark sentences.

There is ONE SENTENCE, a dark sentence if you will, that I do embrace:

“People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies.” – Blair Warren

I don’t know if he had a brain fart or what, but from a copywriting perspective, that one sentence to me is a work of art.

As a copywriting principle, I use it constantly. Especially when putting together ClickBank offers.

It speaks to what’s at the core that drives people to make a decision.

If you’ve gotten an “Aha!” by just reading it, my email served its purpose today.

Till next time,


P.S. If you want to find the report which explains that sentence in detail, go here:

Asleep At The Wheel (The #1 Weak Spot In Your Sales Copy)

Most sales letters I see these days are pretty good.

Could they be better? Absolutely.

Here’s one area where they ALWAYS need help:

The close.

The closes on most sales letters are weak.

I don’t know what it is, maybe the copywriter gets tuckered out or maybe they get sick of the project by that point.

Who knows? What I do know is the close on most sales letters coasts to the finish line, asleep at the wheel

Instead of putting the pedal to the metal and giving it all they’ve got.

Now, maybe they don’t realize there are MULTIPLE closes that are required, in order to get the job done.

Multiple closes, you say?

Yeah. Unfortunately, most copywriters only have one. A weak one, at that.

They’re leaving sooo much money on the table.

So listen up, here’s how to boost your conversions:

First get over the idea that people aren’t reading closes. Or that they’re just skimming. Or whatever it is that makes you not want to put your heart into it.

THEY’RE READING. Take my word for it.

So like I said, most sales letters have just one close.

Personally? I usually have three.

One based upon logic.

One based upon desire.

One based upon fear.

They are the three basic ways people make a decision.

The type of response I want from them is either

“That makes sense, I’ll buy”… “I really want that, I’ll buy”… or “If I don’t buy now, I’ll miss out big time”.

Do I always close in that order?

Yes, I want to leave them fearing they’ll miss out. I want them haunted.

(Plus, I want to ratchet up the closes in terms of emotions. And as you know, fear is the strongest.)

That closing strategy works well. Here’s how to make it even better:

Add closes that appeal to one or more of these core emotions:

Greed. Altruism. Envy, Pride. Shame.

Do I always do this?

No, it depends upon the situation. (Shaming someone into buying works like gangbusters, but you better be careful.)

Here’s the belief you’ve got to cultivate about your skills:

“I’ve got the ability to hold their attention as long as I want.”

So go ahead and write your heart out.

There’s one genius copywriter I know who in one sales letter closed people 19 different ways, 19 different times.

Yeah, 19 times in 19 different ways he said…

“So go ahead and order now”. It was beautiful. I didn’t get bored for a second.

And you know what? I’ll bet most true prospects read each and every different close.

That’s a true testament to what you can do.

Here’s the big takeaway: Because in a sales letter you have unlimited real estate to work with, go ahead and build out your closes out.

Put some REAL MUSCLE into them.

And I think you’ll be surprised. I think you’ll discover:

  1. People ARE reading your closes…
  2. People ARE impacted by the words you write…
  3. And best of all, people ARE making decisions based upon your words–you just never know which type of close pushes them over the finish line… (or maybe it’s all of them combined.)

So go ahead, throw your heart into your close and just remember:

Always be closing (or else you won’t get the Cadillac or the second place steak knives…)

Till next time,


I Eat What I Kill…

You’re an entrepreneur. Most probably an online entrepreneur.

Compelled to create. Compete. And dominate.

Or maybe just right now… survive.

It doesn’t matter.

You’re an entrepreneur. That’s just the way we’re built.

Based upon my experience, the majority of people don’t understand this drive. This ambition.

You do. Implicitly. Instinctively.

Let me guess. You wake up every morning and no matter what the status is of your bank account, you’re on fire about your latest project.

Just talking about it, lights you up like a roman candle.

The beauty about what we do is we can go from zero to not just having prototype, but to a full working site in just a few days.

With platforms like Shopify, ClickBank and WordPress, it’s getting easier and easier.

Facebook and Google plus all the other ad networks and traffic-getting strategies allow us to get our message in front of thousands, even millions of eyeballs.

But the fly in the ointment has always been… the copy.

If the copy doesn’t convert, all is for naught.

You see, unless you’re intimately familiar with the market and are able to write persuasively, the copy has always been the sticking point.

So here’s an idea:

Let me help you.

I’m not sure if I can, I’m not sure if I’m a fit, but I am open to having a conversation about it.

And one thing I am confident of is, you and I? We’re like-minded.

Like-minded in the sense we both have that “entrepreneurial fire in the belly.”

If we get together, I’ll focus on the copy and you can focus on the traffic and operational stuff.

You see, I’m not like other copywriters.

The majority freelance.

In other words, they trade dollars for hours. Or dollars for words.

There’s nothing wrong with that type of service. It’s just that personally I can’t wrap my head around being compensated just for writing words. There’s no inspiration in there for me to grab hold of.

I’m more like a bounty hunter. I prefer to get paid for RESULTS.

In commission sales, they have an interesting saying I think is particularly appropo:

“You eat what you kill.”

So when I write copy that converts? You eat and I eat.

Simple as that.

I like that. It’s fair. It’s fun collaborating. And it’s fulfilling.

And yes, it can be lucrative.

But we’ll never know unless we have a chat, will we?

What you should be really taking away from this email is I have the confidence that I can, that we can, get the job done.

Not because I’m so confident, not because I’ve done it  once or twice, but because I write winning high-converting copy consistently.

“It’s what I do.”

And of course, I can prove it.

None of this is to brag, mind you. It’s getting rarer and rarer but I’ve been humbled, too on occasion.

Just being straight about it.

My “learning experiences” would make any marketer or copywriter laugh their butt off.

Again, nobody bats 1000, but I can more than hold my own. And besides, even if I don’t knock it out of the park right away, we can always optimize our way to success.

That’s the beauty of online marketing, as you know.

But it all starts with one thing:

That fire in the belly.

That’s the key. That’s the secret sauce.

That’s what makes it all work.

I have it. Do you? If so, let’s talk —

Till next time,


Case Study: Dominating The Health Market With… Cookbooks?

Attention health and fitness marketers:

What if you had a simple go-to strategy to generate quality traffic and then monetize that traffic over and over and over again?

Because that’s EXACTLY what I want to share with you today–from one of the most popular health websites on the Internet.

As I write this, according to Alexa, this site is the 38,134 most visited website in the world.
paleohack2Translation? They get untold amounts of  traffic each day.

(Yes, I do see the chart and it does look like they’ve slacked off a bit for the holidays. But you’d have to admit, you and I would KILL for an Alexa rank of #38,000, wouldn’t we?)

That stated, being “king of the hill” traffic-wise
DOESN’T necessarily equal big money.

After all, you have to know WHAT TO DO with all that traffic.

So how does this popular health site generate its revenue? And what are their “under-the-hood strategies” you can apply to your own online health and fitness business?

In this special Conversion Gods report, you’ll discover:

  • The high volume super strategy that helps this health-site-that-cannot-be-named sell hundreds of mini-reports each day…
  • The subtle copywriting techniques that cause customers to snatch up simple PDFs like they are going out of style…
  • PLUS: the covert marketing plan that has enabled Paleo Hacks to amass a gargantuan list of buyers–at a time when many health businesses are struggling to entice new customers

You’ll get it all right here on this page.

How do I know
their secrets?

It’s not because I’ve studied them. Although I DO study what they do.

It’s because I’ve lived it. My team and I are the copywriters behind this popular health site’s mega-launches. (Can you tell we can’t mention them by name?)

We understand the weight loss, diet, alternative health, and supplement markets intimately.

“So why are you sharing your
secrets, Matt?” you may ask

Fair question.

Well, I can tell you it’s not to publicly gloat and beat our chests like other copywriters do. Our work (when you realize we wrote it) speaks for itself.

Nor do we need to prove how smart or sophisticated we are, how many marketing books we’ve read, or how many copywriting courses we’ve taken.

Again, when you’ve got the goods? None of that stuff matters.

What does matter however, is sincerely and without remuneration, helping your fellow marketer, your fellow copywriter.

Giving back, in other words.

And that’s exactly what I’m doing here.

Giving back. Paying it forward.

So enjoy. What you’re about to read are THE REAL SECRETS behind their strategy for monetizing traffic.

Once the lightbulb goes on, it should change your marketing/copywriting life.

The Lean, Mean
Marketing Machine…

Underneath a simple, stylish blog design, high quality content and thousands of eyeballs hitting the site each day is a lean, muscular marketing machine.

The strategy is simple:

Every single day, this ultra-popular health site
emails its readers and
makes them an offer.

Now, most people are too scared to sell something EVERY SINGLE DAY.

They fear they’ll annoy their list… they worry about being too pushy or salesy… they sweat bullets a subscriber may — gasp! — unsubscribe.

As a matter of fact, if you can offer great products that complement their interests? If you can deliver premium offers that people LOVE? The entire marketing process becomes a joy–TO THEM. And your product is seen as a blessing rather than a money grab.

This high-traffic health blog understands this. And they also know a day not selling is a day leaving untold amounts of money on the table.

Plus, there’s ONE THING they do better than most:

They Know Their Market

I know, I know. Your eyes just rolled, didn’t they?

How many times have we, as marketers, been told we must know our market?

However, just knowing your site’s demographics or how many visitors are looking at your sales pages or reading your emails just isn’t enough.

Believe me, it’s not enough to get the monetization job done.

To really get the highest conversions… to transform browsers into buyers… we must understand what makes them tick… what challenges they face… what keeps them wide awake at night.

Let’s take a look at one of our most successful campaigns to see how we zeroed in and nailed the target market.

What does this health site mainly sell? Cookbooks.

Regular old cookbooks.

Incredible, isn’t it? Despite the internet containing thousands of FREE diet recipes, people are all too happy to hand over money for a collection. Why? One word…


Rather than wade through recipe after recipe online, you can get them all together in one shiny, new PDF.

Of course, this is where the sales copy needs to work its magic.

How to make people pay
for FREE stuff…

Ok, now for the good stuff. The intel you’ve been waiting for.

There are 3 major components to the cookbook sales page puzzle:

1) The Story

2) Romance (yes, really!)

3) Killer emails

Let’s get started…

Component #1:
Stories Sell Cookbooks

While it may seem counter-intuitive for a cookbook, you ABSOLUTELY need some kind, any kind of a compelling story to suck people in emotionally. Yes–even when selling a mere cookbook!

It’s simply not enough to list recipes and expect people to buy–no matter how delicious sounding the meals.

First, figure out the thoughts, emotions, the conversation they are having in their own heads… and then meet them there.

What I like to do is hone in on a particular pain point for my prospects and build a story around that.

I’m always thinking…

What is our prospect going through right now?
Why would they even consider buying a cookbook?

  • For instance, with a launch called ‘Paleo Snacks’ (that at last count, sold upwards of 25,000 copies) we focused on the common complaint of walking into a store and having little to choose from except overpriced protein bars.

  • Paleo Breakfast Recipes addresses the morning MISERY of eating the same damn breakfast each day…
  • And for the 100,000+ Paleo Eats cookbooks that were sold, I was fortunate enough to create copy around a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.

The big takeaway here?

Pick a pain point based upon your knowledge of your market and exploit and expand on it with a story.

Trust me, when you pick the right pain point, the story pretty much writes itself.

Now I know copywriters are fond of talking about stories. But not the way *I* do stories.

The difference is night and day.

These stories are designed to speak to an individual prospect’s PRIMAL urges and desires. The things they sense deep within themselves.

Cookbooks are PERFECT for this. Because everyone understands the need for food at a primal, psychological level.

You can’t help it. The moment you see an image of a tasty meal you’d like to have, a deep psychological trigger is flipped. Even your mouth starts watering.

For instance, take a gander at this story that opened the Bone Broth Cookbook:

It’s been a long, rewarding day…

Your ancient ancestral tribe of hunter-gatherers have just finished a long overdue, fruitful hunt.

Everyone in the tribe is hungry and excited. As you look on, they’re harvesting every part of the dead animal.

Mouth-watering muscle and organ meats are taken first. Even things that can’t be eaten are scavenged to make clothing, weapons and tools later on.

Everything is precious. Nothing is wasted.

But what about the parts of the animal too tough to chew? What about those that don’t work so well for shelter, weapons or clothing?

What about the bones, hooves, knuckles and so on?

What do they do with those?

Short answer? They burn them.

That’s right.

Early ancestors would insert fired rocks into the empty carcasses of hunted animals. They discovered the heat would break down tough animal bones, creating a strangely-satisfying elixir.

Initially, they’d sip the simmering brew from hollowed-out tortoise shells.

It gave them strength, it gave them stamina, it kept them strong and vital and healthy–even in the most challenging of environments…

Notice we’re not intellectualizing here. We’re not taking them on some long winded, Luke Skywalker hero’s journey either.

No. We’re getting to the point. We’re tapping into primal archetypes and desires they can’t deny. In this case, being hungry and in want of a meal that nutritiously satisfies. Using stories EVERYONE in the market appreciates as the communication device.

Did I plan on this going in? The answer is ABSOLUTELY.

And you should as well.

With every cookbook, there is always a hook… a story that’s so compelling, it DEMANDS your attention.


Component #2:
Romancing the recipes

Merely having great recipe names inside the cookbook is not enough for massive success. (Although it helps A LOT.)

You want the reader salivating at the thought of your cookbook’s recipes.

That’s why we spend the time fine tuning the descriptions of the recipes…

… the delectable taste, the vivid color, the rejuvenating health benefits…  

… teasing the reader as if we have a hot meal waiting for them on the other side of the buy button.

Let me give you an off-the-wall example. It does the job better than I ever could.

It’s a pretty funny (if you’re a copywriter) comedy skit from Conan, called:

The Tea Copywriter Cage Match

With cookbooks, select a few of THE BEST, most delicious looking and sounding recipes and then romance the heck out of them.

Whatever you do, don’t hold back.

That said, you could do everything right on-page, but there’s one thing you need to ensure your success.

Before they even get to the sales page, you need
to put them into the right frame of mind…

I call it warming them up.

And there’s no better way to do that than with:

Component #3:
The Killer Emails

Now, Paleo Hacks is typical of a health info-business in this space by leveraging affiliates to suck in untold amounts of traffic.

Nothing new here. EXCEPT…

Cleverly, they give affiliates the lion’s share of the sale knowing this will make them promote HARD.

That way, this superior health blog gets a ton of new customers with very little effort.

And what really gets affiliates pumped, along with a high-converting sales page, are CREATIVES (such as email swipes) that resonate with their lists, priming the pump for the sale.

With the Paleo Breakfast campaign, we did just that with an email subject line that landed like a nuclear bomb. it said simply:

Subject: “Bacon and eggs, AGAIN?”

Amazing as it may seem, the sale is made right there in that headline.


The problem of being restricted at breakfast time is so great and so common for Paleo lifestylers that this single line immediately resonated.

They thought: “You know how I feel!”

And we really do.

And from that point on, it’s really a case of making sure you don’t screw up the sale.

Here’s the rest of the email:

I can remember when I first committed to Paleo.

My energy was bursting. Fat was flying off. My health was returning with a vengeance.

For breakfast?  Sizzling strips of bacon and eggs–sunny side up.

Who knew bacon and eggs would be the catalyst of my Paleo transformation?

Every day, I’d wake up, and look forward to the sound, the smell, the taste.

Until one day… I didn’t.

I had to admit to myself, I was sick of them. Not just bored or fed up of the taste, but truly SICK of them.

Now I was in a quandary. What to eat. What to do?

Going back to previously unhealthy options was out of the question. It’d been months since I had an English muffin, a donut or bowl of cereal.

And skipping breakfast altogether was simply not an option.

Scouring the Internet for a tasty and satisfying Paleo breakfast ideas proved frustrating and time consuming.

And then suddenly I discovered these recipes from Paleohacks…

Paleohacks Paleo Breakfast Recipes

Hmmmmmm, delicious. Recipe after recipe, everything I tried, tasted sooo good.

Now I finally had what I craved… Variety.

The best part?

These Paleo-friendly breakfast meals can all be made within 10 short minutes! Just as fast as whipping up bacon and eggs.

In the process, my health exploded.

Whoever said it is right. Breakfast *IS* the most important meal in a Paleo day. And double that, especially when you’re following these kick-butt recipes.

=> Paleohacks Paleo Breakfast Recipes

Let’s wrap this up…

I have to tell you, it’s kinda weird being one of the top cookbook copywriters on the face of planet.

First time I wrote for a cookbook, I admit I had my doubts.

Then after 500,000+ cookbooks sold,
I’m thinking it can’t be this simple, can it?

That’s why I decided to write this blog. I mean, who knew so much much money could be made with things that are readily available for free via Google?

But that’s exactly my mindset going in, writing a cookbook promo.

Look at it this way: I’m competing against FREE STUFF.

I simply have to do a better job. Each and every word has to count.

And that’s probably my biggest tip I can give you…

Put some muscle
into your copy

Work on it U.I.S.–Until It Sings.

Combined with the marketing strategies I’ve shared with you, I have no doubt of your ultimate success.

Good luck.

Matt and the Conversion Gods team.

P.S. If you have a project or you’d like me to review some copy of yours, feel free to reach out.

Paleohacks, as well as other long term client/partners keep us pretty busy, but we’ll make the time for you:

Case Study: ClickBank’s VOGenesis


10 Sneaky (Yet Totally Ethical)
Copywriting Secrets of a
ClickBank Biz Opp Blockbuster

Alvin Huang’s VOGenesis is one of the biggest earning, highest climbing ‘biz opp’ offers on Clickbank in recent years.

I wrote the copy.

Back in November 2015, it defied expectations, hitting the #1 spot in the e-business category in just a couple months. And it went on to put a smile on the face of more than a few ClickBank affiliates as it climbed as high as #8 across ALL of Clickbank.


It made, and continues to make, a TON of sales. Last time I check, its gravity was 141. (So if you’ve got a business opportunity list, I highly encourage you to promote.)

Look, even our Alvin is bragging about it on Facebook (and for good reason…)


In this Conversion Gods Case Study…

  • We’ll look at WHY VOGenesis made so much money…
  • WHY it (still) converts so well across a variety of different types of traffic…
  • And most importantly, HOW YOU can do the same…

I’m pulling no punches in this article.

Instead, I’m yanking back the curtain and revealing what makes VOGenesis a copywriting success.

And lest you think this is just me being boastful, please think again.

If you’re looking for bragging my friend, THIS is bragging:

I have had as many as 3 ClickBank offers in the Top 10 of all of ClickBank–AT ONE TIME.

I write for the biggest ClickBank product marketers out there. In the most competitive markets like weight loss, health, fitness and relationships.

And I train marketers as well as super affiliates in the craft of writing compelling copywriting in ClickBank’s own University.

Now THAT’S bragging 😉

What I’m trying to say without sounding too much like a douche is… I know whereof I speak.

Instead of gloating, I want to share with you a few of the critical “make or break” elements I learned writing VOGenesis and other Clickbank offers like it, so that you can, too.

You see, I believe the business opportunity market is HUGE.

If you have a good product, there’s no reason you can’t do the same.

Here’s how to “sell the dream”…

Secret #1:
Your Prospects Want the Easy Money
(If They Wanted to Work For It, They’d Get a Job)

Obviously, “easy” is a relative term.

That’s why regardless of the product, it’s so important in your copy to dimensionalize exactly how easy it is to make money.

You just can’t say it’s easy. Instead, say things like…

“Can you click your mouse 3 times?
Because that’s how easy it is to start making
$50, $100, even as much as $250 a day…”

(TIP: it helps IMMENSELY when your product can GENUINELY back up this promise.)

Now, you business opportunity may be hard, it may be difficult for the majority of people to implement.

If that’s the case, you have a few options:

  1. Abandon the idea…
  2. Carve off a piece of the opportunity that IS implementable and have people get started with that…
  3. Reengineer your business opportunity so that it IS easy to implement…

I’ve helped clients do all of the above. Because…

If your business opportunity isn’t easy at some level, it’s not going to convert worth a darn.

Making a business opportunity look and sound, and heaven would hope, actually BE easy like VOGenesis, is one of the true secrets to biz opp success.

Secret #2:
The “Big Unfvckupable Idea”

Your offer needs an overarching, compelling concept, a big idea or storyline.Marketoonist_21_1_2015

(There are soooo many biz opps out there, you need to outshine the shiniest of shiny objects…)

The kind of idea that works best is an idea which is so good, you don’t even need a A-list copywriter to sell it (but obviously it helps even more when you do.)

I call this “the Big Unfvckupable Idea”.

Frankly, if you’ve got a business opportunity, chances are you haven’t thought about this much.

But you should. It’ll make the difference between a VOGenesis-type rocket launch and a dud, never to be heard from again.

Tons of books have talked about this, they call these ideas “hooks.”

A hook can be a gimmick, a story, an unusual angle, a celebrity or a unique method of making money.

However today, I want to ratchet up your game to ensure your success.

In the biz opp arena, you need something BETTER than a hook.

Something so much better, you can’t lose–even with crappy copy.

Candidly, it’s not so much the words I write as a copywriter, it’s the time I spend coming up with that big unfvckupable idea that I’m compensated for.

My job is to find that idea and then once I do, turn it into something compelling.

You should invest your time doing the same.

Secret #3:
Make the Central Character in Your Story
a Composite of Your Market

In VOGenesis, our narrator, Jenny is an ambitious yet frustrated mom.

She’s tried everything to make money for her family. And everything has either been a scam or let her down.

She’s at odds with her husband who wants her to go back to work.

We used Jenny because we felt she represented our target market–work at home.

Where VOGenesis succeeds again is in our research.

As you’ve probably guessed, the majority are women. Women with kids.

That’s a good place to start. But that’s not quite enough.

In VOGenesis, I targeted moms who felt trapped and built the story around them.

They have the skills, they have the talent, but everybody wants them to either come to the office, work for peanuts or miss being there for their kids.

At times, even their husbands can be at odds with their desires.

This situation gnaws at them.

Not being able to provide… not giving their kids the best… not being there when they need them most.

This particular market is crying for help. That’s what we liked about it.

We told them “there’s a better way.”

Now, in focusing on these women, we intentionally gave up focusing on other work at home sub-markets. It was a strategic decision.

My point is this:

Figure out who is your best market, find a customer or someone associated to your business who best represents it. You can find them in your testimonials.

And then develop a fascinating storyline around them.

Secret #4:
Make Their Greed Glands Gush

Greed and envy are two of the seven deadly sins. Combined, they’re one heck of a motivator.

7 sins

This is where VOGenesis does it’s heavy lifting.

We want the prospects seeing how THEY could and should be the one making all that money.

We want to be squeezing their greed glands–hard.

Not just once, but again and again. Multiple times. And then a few more, just for luck.

By the end of it, you want your prospect salivating at the chance of making extra money using your method. Easily.

The best way I know to do that is to use an NLP technique called “future pacing.” (Google it.)

Stick prospects into the money-making picture in a not-too-distant point in time. Enjoying all the benefits of your business opportunity.

The money, of course. But also the feelings of pride, confidence and security. As well as the lifestyle elements of their newfound success.

  • The cars…
  • The houses…
  • The fame and fortune…
  • The girls…

Get them to see themselves in their mind’s eye, feeling the feelings.

A Strong Word of Caution…

Now, as you may have guessed, achieving that presents one or two challenges.

  1. You can’t make outlandish claims of easy money without falling afoul of ClickBank or the law…
  2. If you just blurt out and say “hey, you’ll make a ton of money,” it’s unlikely to convert.

Those types of claims may sound exciting to YOU but they will likely fall on deaf ears. Why?

Because nobody *BELIEVES* you. Yet.

Ok, now here’s where we got kinda lucky with the VOGenesis offer…

The product itself IS somewhat original.

You’d hope that would be the case with any product, however in the business opportunity market original products are as rare as good hair days for The Donald.  

VOGenesis reveals how to make fast, easy money as a voiceover artist.

And it’s 100% true.

It gets even better: My client, Clickbank svengali Alvin Huang actually pays thousands of dollars to voiceover artists every single month.

These people can make $250… $500… $1000 or more for an hour’s work.

So he knows how lucrative voiceover work can be to a voiceover artist.

Which leads me to the next secret…

Secret #5:
Pile On the Proof

You won’t get far with wild claims and painting rosy pictures of far-off dreams of luxury Caribbean lifestyles…

biz opp

You’ve got to PROVE everything you say, in as many ways as possible.

Especially when it comes to income and how much money a user can expect to make with your money-making system.

Now, contrary to what’s being said online, screenshots of income amounts DO work.

They may not have the WOW factor they once used to, but people still get a palpable rush seeing Clickbank and Paypal screenshots bursting with cash plastered all over a sales letter.

Why do you think this is so effective on your prospects?

Because they can’t help but imagine what it would be like for THEIR account to look like that.

They can’t help but dream.

The greed in them is strong. “Look, all this could be YOURS!”

However, I believe there’s an EVEN BETTER form of proof when crafting your business opportunity copy…

What is it?

PROOF you know what
you are talking about…

Demonstrate it in the sales letter or VSL.

A personal story serves us well here:

I was writing copy for a “get rich quick” commercial real estate training program a few years back.

Everything was going well. That is, until I asked for proof customers could make the kind of money the marketers were saying is possible.

I kept pressing them for screenshots of checks or bank account balances, anything that would further the cause.

All I got back was… silence.

More pressing by me. Probably making a nuisance of myself at this point.

One day I got a call from the top dog marketer. Into the phone he yelled…

“We don’t need no fvcking proof!
Write the damn copy!”

I was astonished. He had no proof yet, because this was a new endeavor.

However, he wasn’t telling me to lie, fake or do anything illegal.

He called me to say in no uncertain terms I needed to do exactly what I’m going to tell you to do now…

The most powerful form of proof is creating “verisimilitude”, i.e. believability. Proof you *know* what you’re talking about.


So how do you do that?

First, in my mind I start off by giving my prospects and readers enormous credit for having a highly-tuned BS detector.

Truly, nothing gets by them.

As you may already know, one phrase, one word can cause a mad dash for the back button. (Oh and don’t even think about doctoring those income screenshots. No good can come of that.)

Trust me, trying to pull one over on them, or trying to pull a fast one, and you’ll lose them in the blink of an eye.

I’ve seen it happen on multiple times, when I review recordings of visitor site engagement on and

Not to mention, (and not to get too self-righteous,) but how can you sleep at night?

It’s far better to invest your time sharing an engaging, specific, believable, true story which enrolls them in the idea they can make money using your method.

In the telling of your story, you want to add tiny, almost imperceptible, experience-rich details providing an extra layer of credibility.  99% of sales copy storylines lack fundamental element.

For instance, which has more believability…

“I remember like it was yesterday. I didn’t have a dollar to my name. I didn’t even have enough for dinner.”

… OR…

“I remember like it was yesterday. I had exactly 63 cents to my name. 13 cents of it came from a last minute couch diving. I knew exactly what I would spend it on, too. Two 25-cent tacos (plus tax) and a cup of water at Del Taco over on La Cienega Ave.”

I’m sure you’ll agree the second one is far more believable.

While adding this level of description and detail is difficult on us as marketers and copywriters, the goal is to make it easy on your prospect to believe.

Remember: Your prospect desperately wants to believe you. To trust you.

We all know the reasons why.

So let’s make it easy for them.

Secret #6:
Details Matter–Describing Their Very First Sale

When it comes to a biz opp sales letter, I endeavor to detail the feeling, the experience, the physical reality of making your first cash online.

That first taste… the first sale, the first commission, whatever it is, can be a seismic event for newcomers.

If you can get your prospect imagining, feeling, sensing what it’s like to make that first glorious sale… they’re halfway sold.


  • …the heart-stopping anticipation… followed quickly by the exhilarating “this can’t be real” feeling reading your very first “Notification of Payment Received” email from PayPal…

  • …tentatively logging into your Clickbank Account… and then… feeling your eyes pop out of their sockets, your jaw drop to the floor, gasping in delight as you take in your first weekly snapshot…

  • …the proud, self-secure “nobody can mess with me”  feeling that carrying around $1000 in your wallet can have.

These are experiences few have had but everybody wants.

The experiences are universal.

Embellishing, romancing each experience for everything it’s worth is key to you creating a winning offer.

Secret #7:
Variety is the Spice of life

Have you ever watched an entire movie from one camera angle?

Have you ever watched a movie being told from one vantage point with no scene changes or character sub-plots?

The answer is no. Why? Because it would be boring.

The viewer would be able to anticipate what would happen next.

Do that in a sales letter or VSL and you’ll kill the sale.

Mix it up. Create variety.

In other words, keep it interesting, ok?

Nobody likes to read things in a structured fashion and neither should you write that way.

They skim. They’re all over the place.

For instance,

  • Should the story come before the promise of the business opportunity or after?
  • Should the call to action be at the beginning or the end?
  • Should the bonuses come after the pricing?

The answer is there is no right answer, no matter what the gurus tell you.

In fact, that is exactly why you see guru formulas fatigue.

The prospects are overwhelmed with offer after offer presented in the same fashion.

Remember Tao of Badass and their “This is a goldfish” promotion?


Everybody swiped it. Right behind it came…

  • This is a toilet…
  • This is Albert Einstein’s formula…
  • This is a glass of water…

Then, the market got sick of these.

Trust me, following the copywriting crowd is NOT how you write blockbuster ClickBank offers.

You write them as you would trying to sell someone face to face, belly to belly.

You focus on what the prospect wants, not what you want.

Which is the subject of Sneaky Little Secret #8…

Secret #8:
Keep It Light.
Prospects Are Not Interested in
the Specifics of the
(Except When It Comes to
How Much
Money They Can Make)

Now you may think I’ve just given you license to drone on and on about how great your opportunity is, drowning your prospects in a sea of details.


In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Trust me, I’ve made this mistake. A lot.

Thinking the prospect wants to know all the facts.

The truth of the matter?

They don’t.

Surprisingly, they would rather spend the time believing the promise(s) your opportunity holds, rather than nailing down the specifics.

Listen, I’m British. We’re known for being ultra-skeptical of business opportunities.

So if I had to work off my (decidedly British) gut instinct, I’d be one out of work copywriter.

Fortunately, I am able to put my feelings aside, and focus on what the prospect wants rather than what I want.

And what prospects really want is coming up next in Secret #9…

Secret #9:
Take Your Prospects On an Emotional Rollercoaster Ride

kidSure you’ve got to sell them, but just as importantly is you have to entertain them.

You’ve got to take your prospect on an exciting ride.

How do you do that?

The first thing is you need to grab their attention. And you have roughly 3 measly seconds to make your case for holding that attention…

And then, you have to keep on holding their attention every 3 to 5 seconds after that….

(TIP: One of dumbest things you can do is stick one of those fancy schmancy logos at the beginning of your video or at the top of your sales letter. Get to the meat of your message–fast.)

Think about it…

Your prospect probably has 17 Google Chrome tabs open, the kids are screaming in the background and there’s a dozen other things they would rather be doing.

Why should they keep watching your video?

Give them a good reason. Make it so they can’t look away.

And how do you do that?

Again, tell a story.

The storyline should be far more than about how you were successful each incremental step of the way.

There should be LOTS OF DRAMA.

Unexpected setbacks, temporary failure, serendipitous moments, twists and turns as you turned your big fat failure into overwhelming success.

Success that you now want to share with your prospect.

The story should be light and fast paced. Don’t dwell on any one point too long.

For example, did you know the movie Lethal Weapon was carefully constructed to have action scenes at precise intervals?lethal

Every 8 seconds there’s a scene change. Or an explosion. Or a change in point of view. Or an explosion…

It’s part of the reason we’re so hooked on blockbuster movies as we watch. You can see similar structure in Marvel movies today.  

Keep that in mind as you put together your story.

Every couple lines you want to give your reader/viewer a JOLT that shocks them out of their neon-screen slumber. Frequently tie it all back to how your story benefits them directly.

You see, think they “think” they know how the story will go.

Maybe they do, but you inserting lots of big and little “oops!” and “aha!” events make the story so much more believable, consumable and credible.

And entertaining.

Also, make it unexpected.

In other words, can you lead your viewer/reader along so that they absolutely have to see how it all turns out in the end?

Not only does this keep their attention, but little by little, it racks up big credibility and belief points.

Gradually they begin to feel they know you, what you’ve been through, your challenges and accomplishments.

At some point in the conversation, “CLICK!”… they trust you.

They trust you enough to believe you’ll deliver on your promises.

Don’t let them down.

Secret #10:
Close… Hard

The majority of business opportunity offer I see have weak, wimpy, pathetic closes.

A weak close implicitly tells me the product owner doesn’t believe in their product. It tells me they’re scared of being able to fulfill on the promise.

In VOGenesis… and for that matter Coffee Shop Millionaire and Clickbank University and any of the dozens of biz opps I’ve crafted over the years…

I close and I close hard.

Make no mistake, if I have my way, if you watch the VSL, you’re going to buy VOGenesis.


Because it WILL change your life.
I guarantee it. I’m certain of it.

I spend as much time and as many passionate, emotional words as I can, getting you to at least consider it.

I’ll use desire as an emotion, of course. But I’ll also appeal to the prospect’s sense of logic and reason.

But I’ll save my biggest gun for last.


Fear of the future. Fear of failure. Fear of missing out. Fear of being looked down upon.

Fear of losing all they hold dear in their lives.

Fear is the most powerful motivator of them all.alvinfb

I always lock that sale down using a combination of desire, logic and fear.

Trust me, I realize what I’m saying sounds manipulative.

And no doubt, it is.

But it’s not deceptive. My words, my desires for someone are out in the open for everyone to see.

And truth be known, I’m proud of them.

Wanting the best for someone, wanting to help them change their lives is a true calling for me.

Business opportunities like VOGenesis can change someone’s life.

I know because I’ve seen the results first hand.

I believe in them so much, I’m willing to put passion into my writing, making sure they get the outcome they’re looking for.

What outcome is that?

A better life.

I’ve said all that to say now you know why the close is so strong in VOGenesis.

It’s because I believe. Alvin, the product owner, believes.

So much so, the prospect can’t help but believe.

Belief is contagious.


So that’s how I sell the dream…

These days, these 10 simple principles have responsible for generating $50 to $100 million on ClickBank alone.

That not gloating, that’s emphasizing how essential each of these principles are.

Candidly, I used to stress about each and every principle, but today they come naturally.

  • I know how to laser-in on a market.
  • I know an unfvckupable idea when I see one.
  • I know when a business opportunity looks easy enough.

And so on…

You will, too.

I encourage you, if you want a ClickBank blockbuster of your own, look at your business opportunity through each “lens”, each secret.

Mentally rank each on a scale from 1 to 10.

If any one of these ranks really low, either swap out the idea or abandon the promotion. If you don’t, you’ll just be wasting money.

Good luck, I hope this has been helpful and I look forward to seeing you someday on ClickBank’s Top 10 list!

One surefire way to get consistent 4%+ conversions out of the gate

“Matt, you are a copywriting genius and you are really generous with your advice. So thank you in advance.

Question: I have a standard formatted sales letter. So my goal is to improve % of conversion. Right now it’s a measly 1%.

Matt, how can I best determine where visitors are abandoning the page?” Jeff

My Answer:

Good question, Jeff.  And thanks for the gratuitous compliments.  You know how to get the best out of me, that’s for sure.  Keep ’em coming. 😉

And cheer up!  There’s hope.

I’ve got a surefire, cheap way for you to boost those conversions.  Turning serious prospects into buyers.

Now, most copywriters will tell you to
split test your way to success.
I have a different approach IN THE BEGINNING…

Normally, my pages convert decently right out of the gate.  That’s just experience at work.

However, on a new offer, I want to get it so that I convert just an EXTRA 1 or 2 per hundred (1-2%) in the beginning. Just so the Client can easily justify running cold traffic.

That means with the process I’m about to share with you, I’m converting at about 4%.

Now, most marketers would sacrifice a body part for those kinds of conversion numbers.

First of all, I want to understand how a prospect is consuming my sales letter. What are they doing once they get there?

To do that, I use a service like or sample

These are services that allow me to record the moment-to-moment mouse activity of a visitor and play it back later. Compared to the value, these services are cheap. Even free to sign-up.

I know lots of marketers use But at best, all we can get out of CrazyEgg is a colorful consolidated “scrollmap” for my way of doing things.

(Please understand, I’m not slamming CrazyEgg in the least. CrazyEgg is ABSOLUTELY GREAT for what it does. In fact, the owner, Neil Patel’s a Client. You should be using it as well. I just have different intentions at this preliminary stage of “dialing things in.”)

Ok, now let me share with you how I work with tools like this…

Playback Preferred:

First, I don’t look at heatmaps. Yeah, they’re pretty in a DMT ayahuasca sort of way… yeah, they evoke an “Oh my, that’s interesting!” response from me, but I think they’re deceiving in terms of divining insights into a visitor’s reptilian brain, when it comes to consumption of a standard sales letter.

What I do, (caution: it can be time consuming,) is playback very fast (4X or 400%) individual sessions of a visitor. Especially the longest ones.

I’m a bit of a voyeur. I like to watch. 😉

I want the mouse behavior of the longer, converting playback sessions “etched” into my brain.

The implication is the longer ones are people who spend more time are more serious prospects, right?

At least, that’s my assumption. And it seems to hold (except when prospects switch tabs and leave the page active for hours.)

How Far Are They Scrolling?:

The second thing I spend my time looking is how far down they’re consuming the page.

Farther is better, obviously. If I’m not holding them, I blame the subheads first. Then the design. (For instance, I’ll add charts or graphs.)  Then I’ll rework the body copy.

If they pause and spend a lot of time on a certain part, I make note of that in a spreadsheet. It’s probably important.

Where Do They Abandon?:

The third thing I pay attention is how/where they end.

If they exit let’s say at the price, the implication is the price may be a turn-off.

I create a detailed excel spreadsheet about this kind of stuff to be acted upon later.

How to Dial It In:

When you analyze a lot of visitor sessions over time (“a lot” being more than 25 long ones), you start to develop a true appreciation for a serious prospect’s consumption of your sales letter.

If you’re like me, it’ll piss you off at first.

Because you’ll see lots and lots of serious people, but only a few are buying. This will inspire you, for sure. Because you’re sooo close. You just gotta convert one or two per hundred visitors more.

The good news is you start to see what serious people care about (i.e. spend time on) AND what they don’t care about.

Work on converting those serious people.

There are a couple of different strategies I use:

  1. Amplify and smooth out what people are paying attention to. The easiest way is to make it clearer, or create more of an emotional impact.
  2. If they’re not paying attention to something they should be, change the design.
  3. Always, always, always look for improvement in your headline and subheads.
  4. Knee jerk go-to strategy: have multiple calls-to-action.

The shorter playbacks imply visitors immediately see it’s not a fit and bounce. I don’t worry about those at all.

The goal is to get more people to spend more time interacting with the page. Initially focus on those on the one yard line and getting them into the end zone.

Done this way, you’ll glean all sorts of insights. Rather than playing “pin the tail on the donkey” with A/B split tests where you’re just “trying stuff.” If you’re buying traffic, that can get expensive. This way is cheap, comparatively.

So give my way a shot and let me know, ok? Good luck and if you need help, just reach out at

P.S. Bonus: The cool thing is after doing dozens of sales letters, YOU BEGIN TO DEVELOP A SIXTH SENSE about how people consume sales letters. If you’re a copywriter you’ll look like a psychic to Clients.

P.P.S. If you have a decently converting sales letter and want to optimize it further, you’ll probably be amazed and excited to learn I offer this process as a service.  I call it Conversion Therapy.  It’s cheaper than a rewrite. If you need help, just reach out at and ask for Conversion Therapy.

Make Your Client Look Like A Superhero

… or how to beat a control like an MMA fighter
whipping an opponent into submission.

Sometimes I write copy for big direct response companies. You know who I’m talking about…

Agora, Boardroom, Healthy Directions, et al. The big dogs of direct response.

Now, I would LOVE to tell you I’m on a first name basis with Bill Bonner. But the truth is, I’m not.

Never met the man. Probably never will.

BUT I do work with people who not only know the man, but report to him directly.

Now, I’m a copywriter.  You may *THINK* my job is to write copy.  However, when working with big companies, I pivot.

My job is to not only write copy but…

I have to make my Client look
not just good, but GREAT.

Nothing less will do.

Not only do I have to complete the project on time, not only do I have to make them money…

I have to beat the existing control by a significant margin.

Copy that beats controls gets noticed within the company. News spreads like wildfire.

It is truly the brass ring. Employees responsible for a hitting it out of the park get promoted, rewarded, etc.  So let’s be clear:

To make your Client look like a hero to his or her boss, above all else YOU MUST BEAT THAT CONTROL like an MMA fighter in a title UFC fight.


So how do I do it?

Well, I’m not going to get into the entire strategy today, but I will share with you today where you can start.

To beat a control, you MUST pick the the right project.

You see, when the big companies come to me, they let ME pick the product or service. They send me a list of URLs for all their products or services and say…

“Go ahead Matt, pick your pleasure. 🙂 ”

Now I’m sure I’m not alone. I’ve talked with multiple copywriters and they tell me pretty much the same thing. (Although some copywriters are brought on for a specific project.)

Anyway, picking the right project is the first secret to beating a control. Being able to pick your opponent is an unfair advantage you must not squander.

Unfortunately, many copywriters do.

Some of the most learned copywriters out there will point to how the copywriting god, Gary Bencivenga picked his projects.

Gary reportedly “only picked controls he KNEW he could beat.”

That’s very admirable. And someday, I too hope to be that psychic, that all knowing.

Alas, I have no such ability yet. (But I’m working on it. 😉 )

Other copywriters will pick projects they can fall in love with, that they’re passionate about. Still other copywriters will pick projects that have the biggest market, or market share, or the most possibility of generating a lot of money.

None of these methods are wrong. But they’re not how I pick a project and a control to beat.


Because again, my job is to beat the control by a significant margin so I make my Client look like Ironman in an Avengers movie.

So how do *I* pick a control to
knock off its lofty perch?

I pick the weakest opponent. I pick the control with the lowest conversion rate.

I pick the dog. The runt of the litter. I pick the one other copywriters treat like an ebola victim, even though it’s the winner.

That’s my sweet spot.

I ask the Client to send me over not only the URLs of the products so I can see the existing controls VSLs, sales letters and websites, I ask for the corresponding lastest conversion rates of each.

(If they say they don’t have them or can’t get them, just know you’re flying blind.)

Next, I pick a product where the conversion rate sucks.

I don’t care what the product is. I don’t care how much money it currently makes. I’d be curious, but I don’t care who wrote the current control.

None of that matters to me.

I email my Client my choice, we ink the deal, a bit of money exchanges hands…

And it’s game on!

I am going to have my way with that control. I am going to “make it my bitch.”

Follow my lead, and I’ll show you how you can do this, too.

There are so many products just begging for a whuppin’, it boggles the the mind.

Seriously. And there are more coming onto the market every single day. Competition is fierce.

And I like it that way. It makes me a better copywriter. It separates the strong from the weak.

Now in order to follow the strategy I’m advocating, there are three simple prerequisites:

First, you must be extremely adept at doing what I call “fresh eye” research.

Many times, you won’t know the market and what makes it tick. That means you have to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Although other copywriters may disagree, having a fresh eye towards the market is an advantage. A plus. Other copywriters prefer to work in their comfort zone.

To do it my way, you better know how to assimilate a market, and do it quickly. As you may know, time is of the essence, and deadlines are usually short and firm. (I may be get to this is a future column.)


  1. You must be willing to take on a product or market you may not be familiar with.

I agree, not being familiar with a product or market, may initially be intimidating.

All I can say to that is to…


This is WAR we’re talking about here. A battle. Survival of the fittest. If you think beating a control into submission is easy, you have another thing coming, my friend. Even if you’re familiar with the market, product or company.

If you underestimate your opponent for a moment, you’re going to tap out. You’re going take your piddly upfront fee, quickly develop amnesia about the project and scrounge around for your next gig. When you could have had a waiting list of projects begging for your attention from the Client, not to mention the royalties (which we’ll get to that in a moment.)

That’s right. If you don’t beat the control, chances of you being rehired are slim.

You must know your enemy. Every word of that control’s copy. You must know the octagon ring (i.e. the market) like the back of your hand. That’s the reason for Prerequisite #1.

  1. You must be willing to take on a product you may not even particularly like

Again, SUCK IT UP.

I’ve done some crazy stuff, especially in men’s health, but also markets totally foreign to me like women’s beauty products. I’m a market agnostic. Morality aside, I don’t care who I write for, I don’t care what I write for, as long as it’s legal and ethical.

I want you to think about it this way:

Think about when you beating a controls kind of like a Richter Scale…

The Richter Scale measures the magnitude of an earthquake. The scale is logarithmic. Just a small difference of ONE represents an approximate THIRTY FOLD INCREASE in magnitude!

In other words, the bigger the increase in conversion? The more exponential the impact on your client’s success.

That’s how it really is in beating a control when your Client is involved.

You see, when you beat a control by 5 or 10%, that’s noteworthy, no doubt. But when you beat an existing, especially longstanding control, by 25%, 50%, 100% or more?

You can bet you can feel the rumble from your home office when word starts to spread.

My most recent “big company” win beat the existing control by a comfortable 30% against the house lists.

That, by the way, was right out of the gate. Unoptimized for design or traffic.

If you’re curious, it was for a high-end beauty creme.

(Yeah, that’s right. A guy writes a control for a women’s product. See? I walk my talk. This is a experience talking here.)

Here’s what I like best about beating controls…

The royalties.

Most freelance copywriters today I think live “paycheck to paycheck”, meaning they relish the large upfront fee and do not negotiate a royalty. In doing so, I believe they’re leaving money on the table.

Not me. No, sir.

I live for the royalties. (And of course, the bragging rights for beating the control.)

These are the things that additionally inspire me to give it my all and do my best work.

Here’s what’s great about beating a control. You don’t just get a percentage of the increase in revenue to the company.

You get a piece of the action on
EVERYTHING your copy sells…

The old control is retired. Your copy is king of the hill.

And the hopefully long train of royalty checks to your bank account begins.

(Of course, you also now have a target on your back. But that my friend, is a story for another day.)

So go ahead and let me know your thoughts below. How do you pick your projects? Am I wrong? Do I need to stand corrected? Let me know below.

One Secret To Beating The Pants Off A Control


[Note: If you really study this blog today, you’ll be pleasantly delighted to discover a true secret to creating a winning, control-beating piece of copy.

Unfortunately though, I’m NOT going to lay it out on a silver platter for you.


You know what will happen, right? It’ll quickly be swiped, turned into some 3-step formula, blog or top ten listicle. Ad nauseum.

However, if you’re a marketer or copywriter and you’re serious about beating the pants off the competition, a true breakthrough awaits you today.

Let’s get started…]

It’s Friday night, and I’m coming off a pretty good week…

  • With a major Client in a ruthlessly competitive weight loss market, the piece I’ve written for them is breaking records in every way imaginable. Between their in-house list and JV lists, their average upfront conversion is over 10%, the upsells are averaging 20%.

While the Client is frantically trying to handle the influx of new business, in the heat of the moment, I had to remind him “These are good problems to have…”

Cold traffic is in the wings…

  • A major supplement company just reported the piece I’ve written for their beauty product is beating their current control by a comfortable 30%.

And we haven’t even started optimizing.

  • And in the dating market, a launch I’m involved in reported conversions of 3.5% on average and as high as 6%. With as much as $2.00 EPCs. (As you may be aware, 2% conversions and $1 EPCs are considered very good.)

I tell you this not to brag. (We British find bragging uncouth.) I share this with you because in my heart, I want you to know the joy of writing winning copy.

So now the obvious question you may have is…

“How do you do it, Matt?
What’s your secret?”

Like I said in the beginning, I’m sure a formula would be appreciated right now. But that’s not on the cards. That would actually be counter productive to you.

Let me start off by saying this:

Much of my day is spent studying my Client’s competition.

Why? Well to be really straight about it, NOT because I want to be more like them.

I must admit, they are in an enviable position.  I respect what they’ve achieved.  And I want my Client to experience the same success they’re having.

Like it or not, my competition has climbed to the top, and become King of a VERY crowded hill.

My job, my ultimate goal as a copywriter, is to knock the competition off their well-earned perch. To me, they’re a worthy competitor, a worthy opponent.

Now in order to beat them, most copywriters try to accomplish that several different ways.

One rather common way is to swipe what the competition is doing.

This strategy, as you might be aware, is rampant on the Internet. By and large, it DOES work to create copy that converts.

Have I done it?

Sheepishly speaking, yes I have. But it’s been a long time.

In your apprentice and journeyman years as a copywriter, you (falsely) think “all I have to do is produce a piece like that.”

So you copy. Steal. Swipe. Whatever you want to call it.

But as I’ve discovered, while it may make the client happy and it may give you nice conversion numbers, breakthrough copy ISN’T written that way.

Based upon my experience, that strategy will not come anywhere near beating the existing control.

Yet, I’m fanatical about studying my competition.

Why you ask?

Am I looking for their copywriting formula? For the underlying structure of their persuasion strategy? For the regurgitated benefits and bullets every other piece in the market has swiped from them?

As a copywriter, I can’t help but appreciate things like this, but no. That’s not what I’m looking for either.

At this point, I’ll let Neo from the Matrix take over and explain…

Trinity: “Neo… nobody has ever done this before.”

Neo: I know. That’s why it’s goes to work.”


To beat a control, you must do something different.

In my case, I’m trying to do something RADICALLY DIFFERENT from the competition.

Risky? Not really.

“That’s why it’s going to work.”

That may sound brash. Or overconfident. It’s not.

It’s a strategy that works consistently.

You have to understand the mindset of people on the Internet. Your market. They are constantly on the look out for things that are new, different yet still relevant to them.

That’s extremely good news if your job is creating breakthroughs.

So where do you start? HOW do you come up with that coveted breakthrough exactly?

Again, as paradoxical as it may sound, you START by immersing yourself in the competition.

I’ll have more to say about this in the future, but for now, here’s a quick list of I do:

  1. Get yourself something like Religiously start building an online swipe file of their promotions. If they do VSLs and videos, get them transcribed on (As impromptu as they may seem, there’s magic going on behind the scenes of VSLs.)
  1. Next, pull out your credit card and buy your competitor’s products. Study them. Go through their funnel and document it. Experience what it’s like to be one of their customers. This also gives you the added benefit of getting on their mailing list.
  1. Then, reach out to your competitor’s market. Facebook, forums, Meetups, live industry events are invaluable for immersing yourself.
  1. And don’t forget to analyze the sources of traffic. This is often overlooked. Many times a control wins because it’s targeted and optimized to a specific traffic source. Odds are, the same control directed at a different source of traffic will flop. It’s critical you understand the traffic source and its implications.

That list should turn into a neverending source of inspiration for you.

From there? Imagination, creativity and innovation (and yes, a little hard work) are your best friends.

Not to worry, I’ll have more to say about this in the future, but this should get you started…


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