The Definitive Copywriting & Persuasion Resource List
You know…I really do appreciate you.
Just the fact that you’re taking the time to read this article means a lot to me.
So I am going to say thanks by dropping a content bomb.
In other words, you’re about to get my Masters Course on how to get people to say “Yes.”
It’s my definitive list full of resources on Persuasion, Copywriting, and Influence. I have personally read (devoured) every resource on this list. Many of these books or courses I have gone through several times. Most of the resources below are under $20. And as a bonus, there are links for everything. The list below is worth its weight in gold. It’s also been responsible for helping me generate $8-Figures+ for my clients and me.
But before I get to the list, here are some suggestions…
Suggestion #1: On Method
If you want to become a “Master Persuader” and be able to conjure up sales at a moment’s notice, you need to become a student first. Good news is the resource list below is your curriculum. You basically have 2 options on how to tackle the list…
- Option #1 (The “Piece-by-Piece” Method) — Just pick a resource, go through it, then patiently go to the next resource. Take your time, breath it in, and enjoy. This option takes more time and results come far slower. But it is generally more enjoyable and peaceful for you and everyone around you.
- Option #2 (Affectionately Known as “The Ed Rush Method”) — OBSESS! Buy everything on this list all at once and 2-days later 6 Amazon trucks simultaneously back up into your driveway. Watch, read, and listen to everything. Skip meals. Wake up early. Stay up late. Ignore your family. Grow a beard like Gimli.*
And then 3-months later emerge as a Master Persuader.
Either way is fine. Really. Just pick one and get started.
Suggestion #2: On Implementation over Information
The value of the information below is in the implementation.
Reading a book on copywriting is good.
Reading a book on copywriting and then writing a blog post with what you learned from that book is better by a factor of 10x.
Reading one book and implementing it is better than reading 10 books and doing nothing.
Suggestion #3: On Mindset
EVERYONE is a Persuader.
(Yes, even you).
It’s not a matter of IF you’re going to be a Persuader.
It’s a matter of HOW you’re going to be a Persuader.
For example, I am the father of a 2-year old. If you’ve ever been around a 2-year old, you know it takes an immense amount of Persuasion to get a 2-year old to do anything. Good thing I happen to be great at it.**
(Insider Tip: much like with grown-ups, you can get a 2-year old to do almost anything if you start by laughing.)
There is this insidious little lie floating around that “persuasion” is something that only low-class salespeople do. You hear this a lot on social media from people who are apparently “too refined” for persuasion. But the irony really sets in when you watch them trying to Persuade you that they are too refined for Persuasion.
Ok, so let’s get to the list. It’s honestly the best list I have seen on this subject so you know…you’re welcome.
My Go-To Copywriting & Persuasion Books
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Claude Hopkins (affectionately known to the world’s greatest marketers as “Uncle Claude”) wrote Scientific Advertising back in 1923. You could say it’s where it all began. Most people only want what’s new, but wisdom understands that the finest principles have been with us the whole time.
In Scientific Advertising, Uncle Claude shares some of the insights on a lifetime as an ad man. (Hint: the beer discussion completely changed the way I describe my online products)
Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
Meet the guy whose work on the psychology of influence helped get Barack Obama elected. Seriously. If you consider yourself a marketer, but haven’t read Influence, you’re not a marketer…at least not yet. This book is a primer on words and how to use them. If you’re looking for a place to start on this list, start here.
The Ultimate Sales Letter — Dan Kennedy & The Ultimate Marketing Plan — Dan Kennedy
I owe a lot of my marketing education to Dan Kennedy. I’ve read all of Dan’s books and bought every course. I’ve also done private coaching with Dan as well as participated in a mastermind group. In fact, I spent so much money with Dan, I am pretty sure he has a special wing of his house with my name on it.
Now I didn’t drop that kind of coin just because. Dan knows what he’s doing when it comes to marketing…and most of today’s best marketers found their origin from his Inner Circle.
First published in 1931, The Robert Collier Letter Book maybe has the worst title I’ve ever read for a seminal work on Copywriting. That said, the book is awesome even though the title sounds like something you’d find on Aisle #11 of the Hallmark store (or worse, the Hallmark channel).
All joking aside, this is the deep dive you want for writing great sales letters.
Unlimited Selling Power by Dr. Donald Moine
Ok, now between us, if I could only own one book on this list, it would be this one. Dr Moine’s work has affected my spoken-word-persuasion more than any one else. Back in 2010, I took 8 of his best lines, recorded them onto an MP3 player, and spent 3 weeks listening while I slept. It worked.
Words That Sell by Richard Bayan
This book is more like a Thesaurus-For-Marketing than a book. It’s a massive list of words you can use as benefits, grabbers, attention getters, and closers. The best copywriters in the world have Words That Sell open on their desks as they write.
My Go-To Copywriting & Persuasion Courses
Have you ever wanted to Out-Negotiate a Used Car Salesman?
I did that (twice).
Good news is there a module in this course on how you can do it too.
Have you ever wanted to win an argument, but can’t?
That’s in there too.
Also included are my proprietary persuasion methods including:
- Jedi Master Persuasion
- Looping the Offer
- The Ultimate 4-Letter Word (it’s not what you think)
- Owning the Ground
- How to Interrupt the Program, and more.
When you use the link below and the Coupon Code: SECRET you get a nice discount (Expires Friday).
Here is the Course.
I have recently fallen in love with The Great Courses. Their content is well produced and the monthly membership is a steal. I don’t normally go for college courses on Negotiation or Persuasion because they’re usually mostly academic (and they normally don’t work in the actual world), but this Negotiation course by NYU’s Seth Freeman is outstanding. (Hint: the course is $240, but you can get it for free with a $20 monthly membership — totally worth it IMO).
My Go-To Copywriting & Persuasion Online Resources
In my option, Gary Halbert was the greatest copywriter in the last 200 years. I mean, he’s the guy who took out a one-page ad in the LA Times to get a date (and ended up getting 20!). He also invented the dollar bill letter, which I still use to this day.
My recommendation is to start at his Water Ad.
Michel is a friend, but I was reading his blog on copywriting LONG before he was a friend. Michel made his mark as one of the main guys in the product launch movement back in the late 00s. I’ve personally quarterbacked 5+ 7-Figure promotions based on his model, so I am a direct recipient of his work. Michel also has a lot to say on how to write your website so you show up in the Google machine.
My Go-To Copywriting & Persuasion Shows
All 3 of the shows below are mine. Hey what can I say, I like my stuff. I think you’ll like it too.
On this show, you’ll learn some of my best copy tips. They’re way out of the ordinary and the best thing is when you do these you will end up sounding a lot more like you and a lot less like a used car salesman. Congruency and authenticity are key to my sales approach and they should be for you too.
This show is focused more on writing books than writing website copy, but the principles transverse easily. For example, of the world’s greatest copywriters once looked me in the eye and said, “Ed, all you need to do is create “open loops” in your copy that ***
I’ve hired Michel Fortin to work with me on my copy. I have paid him a lot to help me get paid a lot. He’s the real deal and has the longevity as a copywriter to prove it. This was a fun and fast interview. (You’ll see at the end how one question started this entire Flight Brief as well).
Whew. How about them apples?
Now go get at it. You never know, one of the resources above could end up being worth millions for you.
P.S. You read it all this way! Wow, are you amazing or what.
* Disclaimer: this comment about beards was intentionally gender specific to me (aka. a dude). No offense intended to anyone who does not consider themselves “a dude”. If you are not “a dude” and / or do not want to or are otherwise incapable of growing a beard, then insert your own analogy here (like “stop using deodorant” or whatever).
** I am biased. But that doesn’t mean I am not right.
*** see what I did there? The rest of the “open loop” sentence was “…that keep the reader moving from page to page.”