Course Description

Master Persuasive Writing to Promote
Your Stuff or Clients'

Through hands-on practice, learn to turn words into money.

Whether you write to promote your own business, the company you work for or firms that hire you to write copy, dramatically improve your skills quickly by taking my self-study course, Six Weeks to Masterful Copywriting. Practical assignments and insightful discussions guide you through the most critical aspects of persuasive marketing writing.

The format: Home-study course with written text material, homework assignments, 8 hours of audio teaching and discussion, and homework "answers"

Your instructor: Marcia Yudkin, author of Persuading on Paper, Web Site Marketing Makeover and 14 other books

Results: Ability to write copy that generates leads and sales, in both corporate and hard-sell situations

When it meets: As a home-study course, it "meets" at your convenience - complete it in six weeks, six months or as you have time and energy

Materials included: Persuading on Paper (full-length book in PDF format), Secrets of Mouthwatering Marketing Copy (PDF manual), Shorter: Say it in Fewer Words (PDF report); 8 hours of audio lessons; transcripts of the audios; homework assignments and "answers"; and responses to frequently asked questions about copywriting and the copywriting business

Course Contents

Lesson 1 Articulate the what and the "so what"

Lesson 2 Differentiate and dramatize

Lesson 3 Devise strong, clear offers

Lesson 4 Captivate and tantalize

Lesson 5 Bolster credibility

Lesson 6 Tweak the tone, smooth the flow

The Why, How and Who of This Course

Minute for minute, wizardry with words dependably earns more for you, for your company or for your clients than just about any other skill. If you're willing to roll up your sleeves and try your hand at practical assignments, in six weeks - or spaced out at your own pace - you'll have the fundamental principles of copywriting down cold and know many advanced techniques of orchestrating words for profit.

Instruction and Assignments Kicked Me Into High Gear
"Your copywriting course helped me considerably. Shortly after I finished the last class, I secured my first copywriting client. Applying the techniques I learned, the copy I wrote for this client was concise, to the point and well-received. He now wants me to help him with a whole new marketing program for a separate service in his business. Thanks, Marcia!" - Kevin Worthley, West Kingston, RI

Two things are unique about this course. First, each week you grapple with hands-on challenges that require you to apply copywriting concepts to real-life business offerings. You get to see how others handled the challenges in the assignment as well as my version of the new copy.

Build proficiency fast through the combination of theory in the instructional materials you receive and practice through the weekly assignments.

Second, unlike every other copywriting course I know of, you have the opportunity to practice both corporate-style assignments for mainstream businesses (promotional writing that is lively and relatively free of jargon) and direct-response copy suitable for postal or online sales letters. Indeed, we talk about a range of copywriting styles and how to choose a tone that fits a certain target market and company ethos.

Many other copywriting teachers out there strongly argue that nothing counts except whether or not the copy increases response. Though I agree that counts heavily, I put equal stock in truthfulness and a fit with the expectations and values of the audience.

Course Was a Gateway to Success for This Working Copywriter
"After taking your Masterful Copywriting course, I revised three web pages for a real estate website company. They liked my work so much they are now recommending me exclusively as their copywriter. Thank you for providing the training I needed to take my persuasive writing skills to the next level." - Kathy Goughenour, Marketer for the Real Estate Industry,

My course gets those with no prior copywriting experience quickly up to speed on the fundamentals, so that it suits two situations: beginners who want an intensive marketing writing practicum; and those with experience in business writing who could use a focused review and rapid improvement in their ability to get results from words.

If you're not familiar with my work, please poke around this site and read reviews of my books on and elsewhere. I'm known for an intelligent and ethical approach to marketing writing, I've had books in print from major publishers since 1988, and my copywriting experience includes most major industries and professions from urologists to auto parts recyclers to software entrepreneurs, from nonprofits to financial services to lingerie.

Generous, Absorbing, Effective, Provocative and Worthwhile
"With its many before and after examples, and the great dialogue that each lesson stimulates, the course does an awesome job at demystifying marketing copy. The step-by-step approach allows even experienced writers to focus on the key elements that make for a persuasive pitch. I still can't get over all the extras that you've included. It's one of the best professional investments I've made in a while. Thanks, Marcia, for such a powerful course." - Patricia Rivera, Owner, BilCom, Inc.

What You Learn in the Copywriting Course

Based on a live, interactive course with a small group of students, the course provides plenty of practice in how to analyze poorly written or misdirected sales copy, and what to add, take away or change to improve its effectiveness. You end the course with a much richer ability to turn words into leads and orders, along with a deeper understanding of the nuances of words. Among the points you absorb:

  • Whether cute and catchy is more powerful than simply factual, or vice versa
  • Two techniques that bring even the most complicated abstract concept down to earth
  • Questions that help you tell whether or not you've dug down far enough to reach the advantages that make the greatest difference to buyers
  • Ways to make copy that's already full of appealing benefits even more targeted
  • The most powerful verb tense on the planet - not the one you'd predict

Integrity, Reliability and Greater Breadth Than Other Courses
"Marcia Yudkin is an ethical copywriter - a rare quality these days. When you take this course, you’ll be learning proven skills and powerful ways to write and persuade, not how to pack your copy with hype. Best of all, in my view, you learn a broad range of copywriting skills, from writing a hard-hitting sales letter to crafting an informative company brochure. This breadth of copywriting skill will serve you well when it comes to finding work and building your portfolio. Highly recommended." - Nick Usborne, Publisher, Excess Voice

  • How a literal-minded reading helps you catch missing or confusing information so you can plug gaping holes in copy
  • Why trying to be all things to all people dooms promotional efforts
  • A five-step process for meaningfully differentiating a business or an offering
  • Ten ways to make points of difference come alive for the reader
  • Examples of using a theme to make the reader smile while reading and become more predisposed to buy
  • How to rise above the worse-than-useless "Hello, I exist" approach
  • The difference between one-step and two-step marketing, and the world of trouble you enter when you confuse them
  • Seven criteria that help you evaluate an offer
  • Doubts and wonderings that can make free giveaways flop
  • Why photos matter in helping readers understand - or misunderstand - what you mean
  • A seven-step process for gathering juicy ingredients for bullets - including getting at crucial things to say that are nowhere in your source material
  • Eight before-and-after bullets illustrating the transformation from plain to jazzy

The Course's Commentary is Useful for Actual Businesses
"The feedback on one of my websites from Marcia and her copywriting class was right on target. The comments really helped me communicate my offering and my passion to my target market much better. Thanks so much!" - President, Sheri McConnell Companies, San Antonio, TX

  • How seemingly straightforward bullets can be wildly off base or mind-numbing
  • Why covering the basics in your sales copy is not anywhere near enough
  • Thirty credibility builders that many web sites, catalog descriptions and sales letters overlook
  • Eight credibility killers to avoid
  • Criteria to use in assessing the usefulness of testimonials
  • Common pitfalls in business bios that make credentialed backgrounds less impressive
  • A discussion of credibility building efforts that backfire - and those that succeed

Excellent Approach, Great Structure to This Course
"Two lessons into the course, I have already learned a great deal. I appreciate the fact that Marcia's approach is straightforward and substantive. The ability to compare and contrast one's work to the rewrites is very helpful. Enjoyable and a great learning experience!" - Liz Willis, Minneapolis, MN

  • Five factors that contribute to tone, and examples of quite distinct tones requested by or suitable to different clients
  • Ways to create an impression of approachability or empathy
  • Hidden dangers of the hard sell - and when it's most appropriate
  • Practice in tuning up or toning down hype in headlines
  • A step-by-step demonstration of how to slim down a bloated document and edit it for effectiveness

Each Lesson Focuses on One or Two Crucial Skill Areas

Your Homework Includes...

Course assignments require you to grapple with the distinctive requirements of these marketing formats:

  • flyer
  • brochure
  • postcard
  • postal letter
  • online letter
  • home page

Week 1: Articulate the what and the "so what"
Simple clarity - what are you selling? - can sometimes require prodigious efforts to achieve. Beyond clarity, powerful copywriting makes explicit what a product or service does for the reader and how the reader is better off with than without it.

In this week's assignment, you take fuzzily described offerings and bring them into sharp focus. You also practice putting into words the hidden (sometimes very hidden) advantages and implications of what's for sale.

Don't imagine you already know everything there is to know about turning what copywriters call "features" into "benefits"! Practice in this always helps - it's the equivalent of singing scales for an opera soloist.

Week 2: Differentiate and dramatize
In my reviews of brochures, web sites and sales letters, one of the most common omissions is information that answers the questions, "How is this different from what else is on the market?" and "Why should I do business with you rather than your competitors?" Sometimes you need to dig for differentiating points, and sometimes you need to invent a way to make the same thing sound different.

This week's assignment asks you to identify and rectify this flaw in several kinds of marketing materials and to come up with ways of making standard, boring offerings come across as distinctive, fresh and enticing.

Week 3: Devise strong, clear offers
So what's the deal? Effective copywriting includes well-explained, exact descriptions of what's for sale and appealing sales propositions. Learn how and why to try turning a suggestion like "buy an X, get a Y free" upside down, backwards and sideways for the richest response.

This week, the assignment involves adjusting, slimming down or fattening up crucial sections outlining "the deal" for products and services in a variety of industries.

Week 4: Captivate and tantalize
Now we get to the heart and soul of copywriting with ways to make the reader smell, want and decide to have the morsels you have for sale. You may already know how to add salt and pepper, but you can enhance your tools of temptation with cardamon, ginger and peppermint.

While the imaginative use of words is never an end in itself in copywriting, this week's assignment challenges you to flex your creativity and inject fun and intensity into your reader's experience.

Week 5: Bolster credibility
All of the skills so far lead to a sale only when the copy paints a believable picture, adds evidence and proof when needed and addresses - actually, heads off - probable doubts. Discover when this requires a couple of added words here and there and when a substantial chunk of additional text must be tossed into the pot.

The assignment this week gives you an opportunity to turn a shifty-eyed sales letter into an upstanding one and vague, unconvincing copy into trustworthy testimony.

In the Course...

Businesses considered in the course discussion and assignments include:

  • corporate gifts
  • B&B inn
  • group coaching
  • communication agency
  • cleaning service
  • truck dealer
  • language courses
  • HR consultant
  • virtual assistant
  • alternative healing
  • martial artists
  • charter fishing
  • biz opportunity
  • educational book
  • music CD
  • retail design
  • law firm
  • software consultant
  • talent agency

Half of the featured businesses sell to businesses (B-to-B), while the other half sell to consumers (B-to-C).

Gave Me an Outstanding Learning Experience
"Listening to the course, I felt like I was in an actual class with Marcia. I really liked the writing assignments and the fact that each one showed a different type of copywriting. By the time I got to the last few lessons I definitely felt like I knew more of what I was doing. Thank you, Marcia, for giving me a good start with copywriting. I am a very satisfied, confident student." - Susan Dement, New Braunfels, TX

Week 6: Tweak the tone, smooth the flow
Finally, master the process of fine-tuning by getting rid of extra words, unnecessary repetitions, inconsistencies and poorly phrased or boring passages, while adjusting paragraphing, subheads and other formatting elements for greatest readability. Adjust tone and word choice, too, for a certain audience.

Your final assignment invites you to polish copy to a warm, lemony shine. Find out which wordsmithing skills from other kinds of writing apply to getting marketing material ready for a crowd.

Additional Input: Answers to your questions
Besides the class sessions listed above, you receive a hefty, well-organized compilation of my answers to questions about copywriting and the copywriting business.

A Working Copywriter's Clients Profit From These Lessons
"Although I already knew the difference between features and benefits, the course showed me how to tease out the all-important 'so what.' I applied this with a veteran sales pro and eventually got him to start speaking the language of his customers. Getting it 'right' from the customers' perspective is crucial to differentiate you from the 'me-too' businesses you compete with. I love the course! Thanks." - Sue Anderson, Owner, eVoice Marketing & Communications

Learn by Doing, Listening and Reading

In this course, you have a rich educational experience that includes:

  • Six 80-minute interactive audio lessons covering the topics above, for you to listen to at your convenience - and review as you like
  • Six homework assignments, highly recommended for you to complete for a full learning experience while listening to the lessons
  • Extensive handouts containing several versions of each homework assignment, including my version, so you can compare what you wrote with what others produced
  • Answers to collected questions about the craft and business of copywriting
  • The full text of the book Persuading on Paper and a PDF copy of Secrets of Mouthwatering Marketing Copy and Shorter: Say It in Fewer Words

Practical Matters

What are the

payment terms and refund policy?

This self-study course comes with an unconditional money-back guarantee. Listen to Lesson 1, and if the program doesn't live up to your expectations or fit your needs, simply let me know, and you'll receive a 100% refund.

What kind of time commitment is recommended for the assignments?
Plan on spending up to four or five hours on each assignment to get the most out of the course. Although the course title includes the phrase "Six Weeks," you can do the assignments at your own speed, completing them in six months or even six years if that works better for you.

Is the course suitable for copywriters working outside of North America?
Certainly. I have had protégés in England and copywriting clients in Europe, Australia and Asia, who attest that the principles of verbal persuasion work much the same everywhere. And as part of the course, you learn how to adjust your tone for particular audiences, which includes particular cultures as well as various industries, professions, lifestyles and values.

Can you say more about the assignments?
Assignments require you to diagnose flaws and omissions in existing copy, apply a key concept we're learning to a specific product, service, company or text, rewrite something or write something using source material provided to you. Assignments involve a broad range of real businesses, from a cleaning service to a law firm, from free martial arts classes to educational material for parents of middle school children.

If you're ready to master the skill of copywriting, sign up for Six Weeks to Masterful Copywriting today.

Photo credit: Joel Kramer

Marcia Yudkin

Course curriculum

  • 1

    About the course

    • About This Course

  • 2

    Lesson 1: The "what" and the "so what"

    • Lesson 1 homework assignment

    • Persuading on Paper

    • Babyography

    • Enchanted Life Teams

    • Forest Echo Farm

    • Task Accomplished

    • Lesson 1 audio

    • Lesson 1 listening handout

    • Lesson 1 transcript (Optional)

  • 3

    Lesson 2: Differentiate and dramatize

    • Lesson 2 homework assignment

    • Queen of Clean

    • Spanish-4-You

    • Hartwigs Used Trucks

    • Business Esource

    • Lesson 2 audio

    • Lesson 2 listening handout

    • Lesson 2 transcript (Optional)

  • 4

    Lesson 3: Devise strong, clear offers

    • Lesson 3 homework assignment

    • Secrets of Mouthwatering Marketing Copy

    • MammothPostcard_before_version

    • MammothPostcardCopy

    • HR Lifeline

    • Ask Avalon

    • Visions Virtual Assistance

    • Lucky Dutchman

    • Free Self Defense Classes

    • Free Self Defense Classes FAQ

    • Lesson 3 audio

    • Lesson 3 listening handout

    • Lesson 3 transcript (Optional)

  • 5

    Lesson 4: Captivate and tantalize

    • Lesson 4 homework assignment

    • Bens Guide

    • Business Speech Improvement

    • Create Your Association

    • Lesson 4 audio

    • Lesson 4 listening handout

    • Lesson 4 transcript (Optional)

  • 6

    Lesson 5: Bolster credibility

    • Lesson 5 homework assignment

    • Wow Windows

    • Business Speech Improvement Testimonials

    • Barry Davis Bio

    • Cedar Song

    • Lesson 5 audio

    • Lesson 5 listening handout

    • Lesson 5 transcript (Optional)

  • 7

    Lesson 6: Tweak the tone, smooth the flow

    • Lesson 6 homework assignment

    • USA Talent Agency services page

    • Civilized Divorce

    • Shelley-Ann West

    • Tone

    • Shorter

    • Lesson 6 audio

    • Lesson 6 listening handout

    • Lesson 6 transcript (Optional)

  • 8

    Bonus: Q&A About Copywriting

    • Q&A About Copywriting and Business