How to fight

“Everybody circle up,” yelled Pete, the wiry, wild-eyed boxing instructor at Combat Fitness.  “If I point at you, get on the mat. Three-minute rounds.” I stood awkwardly adjusting the tattered, sour-smelling headgear over my ears and scanned the other men in the circle.  A full spectrum of ages and fitness levels, all with one common

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The scary thing

I was in the “shaving needs” aisle of a small grocery store when it hit me and I started FREAKING OUT.  My nerves on end, adrenaline pumping relentlessly, my feet disconnected from the floor.  I felt like a character in a Twilight Zone story where the world moves at half your speed.  People at the

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Starting over

When I quit stand-up comedy and got off the road, I was STUCK. Ten years of driving all over the United States, sleeping in dingy motels, and talking dirty to strangers for laughs was incredible fun.  But, when it was time for me to pull off the road and find a new line of work…

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Crashing the gate

“Can I see your ID, sir?” “Are you fking serious?” That’s how my day started at the “Copy Legends Lock-in” event Tuesday in Orlando.  The “lock-in” was a one-day, invite-only mastermind hosted by Todd Brown, fulfilling a longtime dream of his to gather around a table with what he considers the “absolute royalty of Direct

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Don’t tell

“Wait… is that an actual suggestion, or is this some sort of metaphor?” My brain wasn’t comprehending what my therapist, Nick, was telling me.  “Just for three months to see what happens,” Nick replied. “Absolutely not,” I said tersely. “I am not up for that.” Up until this point, in nearly six months of sessions

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Total humiliation

Get this… It’s Thursday of last week.  I have, essentially ONE thing on my calendar:  “Podcast Recording – Marie Forleo 4:30” You should know… I friggin’ LOVE Marie Forleo! I could take up the next three pages listing all the reasons I admire her and what she’s built through MarieTV, B School, Copy Cure, her

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A good “no”

“I’d love to hire you, but I just can’t afford your price.” “I’d love to work with you, but I just can’t wait for your next opening.” “This all looks great, but you’re a bit out of my league.” Hearing these phrases from good prospects is music to a freelancer’s ears.  I call them, “a

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Your writing bubble

One of the greatest challenges for freelancers is creating “the bubble.” The impenetrable little cocoon of sanctity where you do your thinking, your writing, your creating… the stuff people are actually paying you for.  All the other “functional” stuff we must do for our businesses; the marketing, the billing, the communicating… doesn’t require the same

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Why we quit

This is a picture of my daughter a quiz in her forensic science class… This year, as a junior in high school, she started attending school virtually.  It’s the first time in her life that she was free to do her work in the way that works best for her.  She has all A’s and

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Follow that!

Kim Krause Schwalm walked past me and said,  “I’m sorry you have to follow that.” The audio guy was running a mic cable down the back of my shirt to wire me up. Sam Woods was wrapping up his Q&A with Brian Kurtz, which was running 20 minutes over, after Sam’s hour-long talk. The room

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When John met Gary

“This is shit. Write it again.” It was John’s very first day working under Gary.  He’d accepted Gary’s invitation to give up his current clients and spend a year living in L.A. to become his apprentice.  John had quickly established himself as a hot hand on the copy scene and had no problem landing projects

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Mrs. Kravitz

Three times in my life I’ve packed everything I could fit into the trunk of a used, four-door sedan and relocated thousands of miles from home. Twice towards a place, and once, away from it.  The away was Los Angeles. I’ll never forget pointing the hood of my Oldsmobile East and watching that smog pit

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Losing it

What’s the last thing a redneck says before he dies? “Hey, y’all, watch this!” – One time my wife and I were at a Lucinda Williams concert at Jannus Live here in St. Pete.  It’s an outdoor venue. Holds a couple thousand. Bars line the perimeter. Jam-packed in the middle, where the sound is best. 

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Fitting in

When I was a skinny, punk-ass 16 year-old… My step-dad, Scotty, ran a construction crew building new homes in Tampa. He was a tough-as-nails, but fun-to-be-around guy (picture Walter White and Jeff Spicoli merged as one) who had one rule on the job site: Never get outworked. That summer, rather than sit around broke watching

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Chief Chat Replay: The AI’s effect on copywriting, and how to use it to become a Creative Machine.

Timestamps: 1:00 Meet two great thinkers of the new AI copywriting world 7:00 Why copywriters are so afraid of GPT (and the pro writers’ secret to staying sane) 15:00 How to stay ahead of the curve as GPT4 takes the world by storm 30:00 Step-by-step tips for using ChatGPT in your copywriting process 35:00 Why

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Those who know

The truth about marketing, which very few people will admit, is that you never know what is going to work. True marketing teams comprise a gaggle of experts. Experts in predictive data.  Experts in funnel design.  Experts in messaging.  All making their most educated guesses at which angles, hooks, and prices will click in place

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On writing alone

There’s an irony behind the slogan we’ve used in the Copy Chief community since 2014: “Nobody Writes Alone” The irony is more profound in the recent wake of machine learning tools that have tsunami-waved into writers’ lives.  Fact is, the ability to “write alone” is a sacred ability, and is now more critical to the

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How much?

How’s your head? Is it wrecked from too much bottom-shelf champaign? Numb from hours of obnoxious people blowing plastic noisemakers into your ear?  (When I was a comic, some clubs would pass those things out to the new year’s crowd on the way IN to the show! Nightmare. How do you combat getting heckled by

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How to write copy for a product using“red, yellow, and green zones” concept

Have I told you my “red, yellow, and green zones” concept for deciding how to write copy for a product? It’s a super-simplified version of Gene Schwartz’s heady concepts around Market Sophistication and Solution Awareness.  Basically, there are 3 levels of pain your product solves… Red is severe.  Like, you just got a scary call

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Signs you might be burning out …don’t ignore these warnings

If you’ve been at this freelance copywriting thing for a year or so, you’re likely facing burnout.  What does burnout look like?  It’s a bit different for everybody because we’re all wired a bit differently.  The SIGNS OF BURNOUT are pretty much the same for everyone though… If you consistently ask yourself, “when’s the last

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The product you are sitting on right now … it’s a shame to not collect

Would you agree that freelancing is the greatest opportunity on earth?  Think about it… You get to get paid to learn on your client’s dime… Paid to learn the skills required to produce and sell quality products… Paid to learn about YOURSELF! And which of your strongest skills will earn you the most.  PAID to

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How to quickly and easily TRASH your copywriting career (especially if you have no experience!)

Look, I get it. Money is how we measure success.  So, the appeal of a promise that you can “skyrocket your freelancing income overnight” is a sexy one. We see this promise every day online and, understandably, people fall for it.  Now, if you’re thinking, “The people who would believe that probably don’t care about

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the client from hell

Have you ever had a freelance gig go straight into the toilet? Happens to all of us eventually. In comedy, we call them “Hell Gigs” And they’re kinda funny. Eventually. I mean, it’s painful, believe me, to stand before a roomful of strangers, your voice amplified twelve times the natural volume, saying things everyone knows

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LIVE in London! 60-minute sales letter workshop – It’s happening April 10th

  I’m headed to London for the first time next month, and I’m so damn excited that I decided to create a one-day-only COPY CONVERSION OPTIMIZATION WORKSHOP where I will work closely with a select group of marketers and teach them my method for… Pumping out a proven to convert sales letter in 60 minutes

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Making <+> connections

Later today (12:00 ET) my friend Tim Diering is teaching his unique system for harvesting Big Ideas in sales copy.  Tim is not a “guru”, except to his clients, which are billion-dollar publishers in the most competitive niches.  So, I can promise that today’s training from Tim will be unlike any you’ve seen before.  It’s

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Revenge of the introvert (intimate chat with John Carlton)

People are finally beginning to understand introverted behavior. Forever it was an “either/or” thing. But, “the great resignation” and the ability for some workers to discover how they operate best — usually AWAY from other people — even has the “big corporate work machine” mentality shifting a bit.   They’re discovering what creatives have known all

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Easy leads

If you’re a copywriter, there are two types of leads you can get all day long with very little effort… The “lowest bidder” leads on freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork where you’re forced to do a high volume of low dollar gigs.  (The only way to “win” this game is by living in the

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Three superstar guests joining me… (guess who)

  I was recently on a Facebook live with special guests… master copywriter David Deutsch, uber-successful entrepreneur, Ryan Lee, and celebrity productivity expert, Adrienne Dorison…           Watch the replay to get an actionable preview of the kind of tactics we’ll be sharing at the upcoming Freelancing Transformation Bootcamp in November.  Over

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Here’s what I’d teach my own kids about freelancing (3 things in 3 minutes)…

I’ve got two teenagers (15 and 17) who are preparing to take on the world, so I think a lot about what I can give them to make the journey ahead a little less treacherous.  Sure, I welcome all the ass-kickings they surely will endure – and survive – because wisdom from experience is the

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How to solve ANY freelancing problem in 10 mins or less

We’ve just opened up a very few spots in my Freelancer’s Journey Accelerator coaching program.  Accelerator is my mid-level coaching program where twice a month I host a call and give you 1-1 advice and action plans for… Resolving tricky client issues Raising your fees Specializing your services Connecting with copy-centric companies looking to hire

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The latest (and most ironic) trend in freelancing…

I just finished a call with one of the most in-demand freelancer’s I coach… He’s got a lot going on.  Full roster of well-known clients where he primarily consults on, rather than writes, their ads. A suite of training products he sells consistently for thousands in passive monthly income. Paid workshops that fill to capacity every time

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The best email copywriter I know?

The numbers are in, there are now over SEVEN MILLION copywriters calling themselves “email copy experts”…  … and that’s just in the dating niche! (Ba-dam, tsss) There are a few million more self-titled “email wizards” now teaching super wizardly email tactics like…  “writing as your dog”“spicing it up with memes” and “using whacky ‘from names’” Holy

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The “no outcome pending” method for making big connections

Do you love April Fool’s Day?  Have you been planning for weeks exactly when to drop the plastic spider from the ceiling above the toilet and phone-record a family member screaming half-pantsed down the hallway?  That’s some Tik Tok gold right there! (forced segue alert…) But, ya know…  One place it’s ALWAYS UNCOOL to try

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Kevin Rogers Copy Chief

Hunger, Smarts, and _____ Clayton Makepeace’s 3 traits every copywriter needs

I recently joined a panel of the world’s best copywriters to honor Clayton Makepeace.  It’s been a year since the industry was rocked by his untimely death soon after being hospitalized.  His wife, Wendy, as always, was at his side as he passed. She then served as our “rock” by inspiring us with how she

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