Jim Clair
@FindJimClair
June 28th, 2020

I retired from copywriting twoish years ago. No more client work. No more client hunting. No more launches. No stage speaking. Nada.

I lift, read, flaneur, write, travel, consult my Good Word subscribers.

My masterclass:


Critical Essentials to copywriting or marketing. Even if you don't write copy or market - must-reads.

David Ogilvy - Confessions of an Advertising Man
Claude Hopkins - My Life in Advertising & Scientific Advertising (Get the real version from McGraw Hill. Find it on Abebooks)


Level 2

David Ogilvy - On Advertising
Oren Klaff - Pitch Anything & Flip The Script
Bryan Garner - Better Business Writing*
Hand copy via pen & paper Ogilvy & Hopkins ads.

*Copy courses ignore the writing in copywriting part & fetishize tactics. BBW makes you a potent writer.


Level 3

Ben Franklin exercise Ogilvy and Hopkins ads.
Rudolf Flesch - On Business Communications
Norman Lewis - Word Power Made Easy
Sheridan Baker - The Practical Stylist 8th ed.
The Economist Magazine
Join Oren Klaff's Pitch Anything

A note on level 3...


Google Ben Franklin writing exercise. Most overlook how Ogilvy and Hopkins were stylists. They created fresh advertising because they commanded rhetorical writing devices. They knew how to write counterpoints. Baker gives an excellent lesson. And The Economist exemplifies it.


Level 4 The ONLY Books I recommend on persuasion. Along w/ Hopkins & Ogilvy u should be wearing out the spines on these things.

David Mauer - Whiz Mob
David Mauer - The Big Con
Yellow Kid Weil as told W.T. Bannon - The Con Game
Ian Rowland - The Cold Hard Facts of Cold Reading


Level 4 cont.

John R Schafer - Psychological Narrative
John R Schafer & Joe Navarro - Advanced Interviewing Techniques
Derren Brown - Tricks of The Mind (just watch anything you can Derren Brown)


Level 5

Bryan Garner - The Winning Brief*
Sir Ernest Gowers - Plain Words
S.I. Hayakawa - Language in Thought and Action
Norman Lewis - 30 Days to a more Powerful Vocabulary
John R. Trimble - Writing With Style
Re-read Ogilvy and Hopkins


A note on level 5. The Winning Brief is for lawyers. The lesson the Deep Issue - if you want to potently show where your competition fails, or describe the problem and leave them no option... the deep issue is LETHAL.


Level Bullshit: OK to know only after you go through the above. But better to know why you don't use this. Granted you can push bullshit with below, but if you're not a bullshitter this shit will possibly short term your business.

Gary Halbert
Eugene Schwartz
Frank Kern


Level BS continued

Robert Collier
Robert Cialdini
Tom Hopkins
Zig Ziglar
Getting to Yes
Cashvertising
Anything NLP
Anything Yes Ladders
Copywriting Certification Courses


A note on level BS.

Again OK to know. Yes, you can make money with the above. But it homogenizes and complicates your copywriting into glib copyese. It turns you into a tactic ballwasher. You need to chase clients with it. And most people using it chase clients.


If you want to stand out - don't use what most others fetishize without questioning. Hopkins and Ogilvy's products still stand. We remember the ad AND the product. Someone like Halbert we remember the ego and the ad - not the product. What's better to follow with your products?