If you want to learn copywriting secrets from the masters, you’ll definitely want to see what the late great Clayton Makepeace had to say.
He left this world too soon.
Fortunately, during his time here, he generously created for his many followers and friends a treasure trove of teachings on the art and science of writing copy that sells.
Here are a few gold nuggets that will help you score, as Clayton would say, “bigger winners, more often”.
Clayton Makepeace Copywriting Secret #1:
Surround yourself with A-Level Players
It was one of the most agonizing — yet tantalizing — dilemmas I’d ever faced.
Take a well-paying, prestigious and super-fun copywriting gig with my friends at Infusionsoft in beautiful Mesa Arizona…
Or spend three days in a hotel room in Denver at an out-of-pocket cost of multiple thousands of dollars to hang out with one of the most highly regarded and well-paid copywriters ever to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.
If you’ve ever faced a decision like that, you know it’s not easy, because there’s so much at stake.
Lucky for me, I now know I made the right choice.
Those few days in Denver and a few thousand dollars out of pocket have easily added tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to my bank account since then…
Not to mention a skill set and network of well-connected friends to last a lifetime.
Of course, I’m talking about legendary copywriter and mentor Clayton Makepeace.
One of the most magical things about Clayton was his ability to attract a cadre of top copywriters and mentors in their own right.
(Evidently, he was a pretty good arm-twister too…)
Many of whom you’ll meet in any of the trainings we’re so fortunate he’s recorded over his lifetime.
A-list writers in his circle, known as “The Makepeace Mafia” include top writers like David Deutsch… Parris Lampropoulos… Richard Armstrong… Lori Haller… Patrick Bove… Jedd Canty… Henry Bingaman…
So it wasn’t just about Clayton and his amazing powers as a copywriter — formidable as they were…
It was the perspective of a whole network of top players in our industry that was so powerful.
Surrounding yourself, either in person if you’re so fortunate, or virtually through their books and courses, with the top copywriters and marketers will surely turbo-charge your writing.
Clayton Makepeace Copywriting Secret #2:
Just write great copy and the money will follow.
As one of the highest paid copywriters ever, Clayton could speak with authority on how to be paid well for your copy.
You would think, as a master copywriter, he might rely on his persuasive abilities to land high paying gigs. Instead, he simply advised, write great copy and the top-paying marketers will find you.
In one of his recorded training programs for AWAI (American Writers And Artists Inc.), Clayton tells the story of a new copywriter wondering how to build a successful copywriting business. He told Clayton he’d heard the best way to promote your copywriting services was to publish a blog… Show up daily on Instagram… Write articles… Post videos… Speak at conferences… Publish books…
And while all that may be true and helpful, Clayton’s response was simply: Don’t waste your time. Just focus all that energy on the writing and get great results for your clients. Just do that, and the best clients will find you.
Clayton Makepeace Copywriting Secret #3:
If you want to make money, go where the money is.
One of my favorite stories about Clayton is the time he was speaking at an AWAI event, and someone asked him why he writes mostly in the financial niche.
He told the story of notorious bank robber Slick Willie Sutton. When a reporter asked the famous thief why he robbed banks for a living, Sutton replied, “I rob banks because that’s where the money is.”
Throughout his career, Clayton wrote for a variety of niches. Early on, he wrote for a local ad agency in L.A., where he was living at the time. Later on, he focused on alternative health and financial. And finally he settled on financial, writing for top publishers Weiss Research, Money Map Press and others.
If you want to make a great living as a freelance copywriter, you need to, as top copywriter Pam Foster says, “…niche yourself as the best copywriting resource for a particular market.”
And if you’re looking for one of the highest paying markets, check out financial publishing. A few publishers to consider might include:
- Agora Financial
- Stansberry Research
- Motley Fool
- Legacy Research
- Eagle Publications
- Money Map Press
These are just several that come to mind offhand — there are dozens more, and I’m sure I’ve left out some very worthy names.
Financial may or may not be for you.
But if you’re after big royalty checks, as Clayton would say… Go where the money is.
Bonus Copywriting Secret
What would an article about the great Clayton Makepeace be without a bonus? 🙂
This last secret I learned not as much by Clayton’s words as by his actions:
Study and learn all you can from the masters.
Eugene Schwartz, John Caples, Claude Hopkins, David Ogilvy, Gary Bencivenga, Victor Schwab, Joe Sugarman, Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy, Al Ries and Jack Trout, Rosser Reeves, Robert Collier, Mark Ford (aka Michael Masterson), Mike Palmer, Evaldo Albuquerque…
That should get you started.
But don’t just read.
Do. Practice. Test.
Learn the rules and then break them.
Great training is more than worth the investment. To think you can move forward without it is wishful thinking.
The masters have proved their understanding of what it takes to write strong copy that sells by their results. You might as well skip your own learning curve and take advantage of what they’ve so generously shared.
Especially what we can learn from the legacy Clayton has left us.
He was, after all, one of the greatest direct response copywriting masters — and teachers — of all time.
It’s hard to imagine a more authentic or generous teacher who shared truly insider information about the world of big money direct response copywriting than my friend and mentor, the late, great Clayton Makepeace.
I hope you find these tips helpful.
To learn more about how you can write “bigger winners more often” as Clayton taught, visit American Writers And Artists Inc.
Write well and prosper.