Knightly Copywriting… inspired by dragons

Let’s start with a very simple analogy.


Yes, that’s right. Bad copy eats and destroys sales… which is exactly why you need a copywriting knight in shining armour to save your sales. You need a knight to fight off all the copy dragons from your sales sheep. (Sheep sales?)

And so, if you’ve seen the film How to Train Your Dragon, we’re going to take a “leif” out of our viking friend Hiccup’s book and teach you how to train your bad, bad copy dragon.

1. Capture it in a net
In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul tells us to take captive every thought and make it obedient. That’s the first thing you have to do with your copy dragon so that it doesn’t take advantage of you.
Metaphors aside: Be in control of your writing. With self-discipline and a positive attitude, you can craft any copy into a winner. Don’t settle for anything less than the best… if you do, the copy has won. Whip it into shape!

2. Set it free
Wait. I just went through all that work of capturing my copy dragon, and now I have to set it free? What gives? …Well, yes. In order to establish a kind of respect with your copy dragon, you need to let it know that even though you won’t allow it to control you, you still respect it.
Metaphors aside: Give the craft of copywriting its respect. Treat it like a two-hundred year old grandmother, with much ancient wisdom, because that’s what it is. Know that you’re the young whipper snapper in this case and that you don’t know it all. Because of that, learn from the masters, like Michael Masterson, Bob Bly, Eugene Schwartz, and so on. However, don’t be afraid to throw a new twist into the mix. Just because he’s an old dragon, doesn’t mean he can’t learn new tricks.

3. Learn to smile
In the film, Hiccup teaches the dragon Toothless to draw in the sand, dance, and smile. The point here is that if your copywriting isn’t making you smile, if it isn’t a joyful part of your life, then you need to make it a happy part of your life or ditch it. Sure, there’ll be times where your dragon is rough and tough and would rather roll over you than take you flying, and those are times you have to work through as an independent businessperson of any sort.
Metaphors aside: Do what you love. I love copywriting. It makes me smile. If you know copywriting is for you, but it doesn’t make you smile… learn!

4. Put out your hand
There’s always been a kind of romance in the air about knights and dragons and whatnot. The same goes for writing. By putting your whole heart and personality (here represented by your hand), you thus  craft your voice into the copy letter. One of the most important parts about writing successful copy is that it sounds conversational. It sounds like your best friend sitting next to you in a Starbucks, talking about life.
Metaphors aside: Put your personal fingerprint on every word you write, and your copy will be far more conversational and therefore, successful.

5. Ride it into the sunset
Finally, finally, finally… after hard work, sweat, dedication, leaps of faith, and all that other hard stuff… your copy dragon will let you ride him into the sunset. That’s success. That’s the “glicken” as Michael Masterson would say. That’s when the paycheck comes in the mail (or shows up in your PayPal account) and you feel that soaring feeling.
Metaphors aside: Put in the hard work. Take a leap of faith. Follow the gurus; study hard; and write, write, write… reap the rewards. Soar, baby, soar!


Don’t let your dragon copy eat your sales sheep.

Train it. Then ride it into the sunset!


The dangers of getting out in the world

As a self-proprietor, it is getting easier to shut yourself up in the hole of your office, never to see the light of day. There’s no need to go out and meet people when you can use Skype and Facebook. There’s no need to go out for groceries when the online grocer now delivers.

This is especially desirable if you happen to be a vampire, but for most regular Joes and Josefinas, this is quite unhealthy.

But… But all that matters is that the writing is getting done. And it is getting done without interruption. That’s all that matters… Right?


But there is some encouragement behind this didactic melodrama.

Get out into the world.

Yes, it’s dangerous and scary and a real, live, social place. (The sarcasm is directed as much to myself as it is to the audience.) And here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to step outside and take a breath. That’s called fresh air. Nice, eh?

Look out though. There are some real dangers for us cave-dwelling office folk out there in all that fresh air. Here are just a few to look out for:

1. You’re going to meet people.
Real people with real names. Be careful what you say, because unfortunately there’s no CTRL – Z in the scary outside world.
2. You’re going to learn.
Even though it may not be a Podcast that insists it will teach you 25,348 New Ways to Write, you are going to learn. You’re going to gather all sorts of sensory input about people. And hey, maybe that funky hippie with the lip ring will make a great character in your next short (or have a cameo in your blog).
3. You might “lose” a business card (or seven).
Those snazzy freebies from Vistaprint aren’t any good unless you get rid of them. Yes, they look just as snazzy sitting on your desk. They’ll be even better for you when you have to order more because you’ve found 250 places to put them in.
4. You might just get a new client.
It’s true! While surfing the newspaper one day for events to write about for, I stumbled upon a free class called “Blogging Deeper” with Brian Schwartz. I attended. I came home with Mr. Schwartz himself as a client, and I am very much looking forward to working with him.

It’s all about getting out there. Not everyone is going to find you on LinkedIn or Viadeo or Twitter. Sometimes new connections are just going to be made by a live introduction and a real handshake (carry your Purell, misophobes). But if it means getting a new client, isn’t forgoing a few hours in your office-cave worth it?

Yes. It’s even good for you. Did you know that the average person spends 80% of their life inside? How awful! Get out there, stat! Even if it’s just to check out 50% off Saturdays at ARC. Go.

Go, go, go!

Knight Copywriting: An Official Colorado Business

Yesterday the copywriter went to Wells Fargo to register a trade name and open up a small business account. Wahoo!

Check it out if you’d like, the Colorado Secretary of State has us listed and everything!

Swipe file extravaganza

Lately, the copywriter has been gathering a massive amount of material to sort through and eventually add to the company swipe file.

For those of you new to the copywriting loop, a “swipe file” is one of the copywriter’s most prized possessions, second only to his laptop and client list. The swipe file is a collection of successful copy from which to borrow ideas, see what’s worked in the past, what might just work again, and so on.

Much of this swipe file extravaganza has come from one of the infamous masters, Eugene Schwartz. Schwartz is known for his amiable personality and highly successful copy, and most notably, for his book Breakthrough Advertising–which, at one point, was selling for $900 on eBay.

No big deal. (Pun intended.)

And why was this 236 page masterpiece so desired that it was being sold for nearly a grand? First, the book was out of print for several years before Bottomline Press returned Breakthrough Advertising to the market in 2004–thank the Lord.  The other reason was probably because this is one of the most fantastic books the copywriter has ever read on the craft. Granted, it’s not an easy read, because as David Garfinkel asserts in his review, “Mastery is not easy. On the other hand, information that will lead you to Mastery in marketing – especially, mastery in copywriting – is rare to the point of being almost non-existent. But this book contains exactly that information.”

While you’re waiting for your copy of Breakthrough Advertising to come in the mail (if you look hard enough, you can get a new copy for under $30) check out the main site for the “Eugene Schwartz Copywriting Mastery” course. For a $7 download fee (plus $0.20 for taxes), you get quite the extensive collection of resources, including what the copywriter considers the most valuable part of the package:  a copy of 500 of the most successful ads ever. Frankly, the copywriter would have paid the $7 for just this part of the package. This includes the infamous Wall Street Journal “Tale of Two Men,” the American Express “Frankly, the AmEx card is not for everyone” ad, and many others that you’ll see quoted and studied by the best of the best. Plus, you get all sorts of amazing bonuses, like reports from John Kennedy and an interview with P.T. Barnum–yes the circus man!

Another great source is from Richard Armstrong at  While his ads are not replicated in their full form, he offers the beginnings of some of his most successful advertisements and some great tips, lessons, and “don’t learn this the hard way” advice for copywriters of all calibers.

And finally, one of the copywriter’s most favorite resources, check out Brian and the crew at The site is always ripe and fresh with updates, tips, reports, and additions to their already extensive blog archive. Copyblogger was the first place we heard about copywriting and we can proudly give them the credit for getting KC started.

There. That should give you something to do for the next couple of days! Just reading the 500 ads file will take a good week… if you’re just scanning.

Stepping off the cliff

Comfort. Comfortable, comfort zones, and going back to what is easy.

We long for what is safe, warm, and familiar. But the time comes when we must let go of the ledge and fall–often kicking and screaming–into the black abyss of the unknown.  Sometimes it means trekking up to the Rocky Mountains to go to Bible college for nine snowy months. Sometimes it means donating a beloved piece of clothing. Sometimes, as it does now, it means letting go of a paycheck.

Please help me welcome the birth of KNIGHT COPYWRITING, the picture of letting go of the ledge of safety.

At Knight Copywriting, we offer the voice that turns your prospects into clients. We are the voice that says, “Buy. Buy right now. Don’t wait another second.” We are the reason your direct marketing attempts turn into huge profits.

Knight Copywriting is an independent copywriting, editing, consulting, and direct marketing service specializing in health care and Christian marketing.