From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
“Conscious Ignorance”

Hi Pat,

I attended this year's Bootcamp, and have decided to make a serious go at copywriting.

I spoke with Monica D., and she mentioned that a great way to make some quick money and gain experience would be to assist in the writing of newsletters. Could you tell me how I might dig up some of this kind of work until I land something more substantial?

David B.

Hey David,

That's a great idea!

You can go one of several routes. If you’d like to write for subscription-based newsletters, you should check out The Newsletter Association ( Most major newsletter publishers belong to this organization.

If you’re interested in writing corporate-type newsletters, you'll have to do some networking and prospecting to find these assignments, just as you'd do for other assignments. Start by contacting companies in your area of expertise.

There are also thousands of smaller newsletters that are published every month … church groups, charities, neighborhood communities, schools, hobby groups … the list really is endless. Again, you’ll have to do some research to find ones that you’re interested in, but they’re out there.

The good news is that most of the companies/groups mentioned above work with freelance writers. You’ll be solving a big problem for them … good, current editorial. Don’t be shy about letting them know you’re available.

Hi Pat,

I recently received the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.

I've been spending 1 hour a day going over new material, another hour a day reviewing previous material, and another hour each day going over The Golden Thread – both current and past issues.

At first, I thought I was getting it. But lately, there has been so much information I feel like I am unable to get a handle on it.

I am overwhelmed! Is this normal?

I know that I will need to go over the material several times. But is there a formula … or do I need to simply "wing it" and hope that I retain the knowledge?.

Pete D.

Hello Pete,

You bring up a great point.

First, take a deep breath. Yes, it is normal to feel overwhelmed at this stage. You've probably just realized how much you have to learn … and you are at the beginning of the learning curve.

But, believe it or not, that realization is a very important step. Professional educators call it "conscious ignorance" … and it means you're getting it.

To answer your question, yes, there is a formula for studying what you're learning. The copywriting program is designed to take you very carefully through the material, step by step. You should do exactly what it tells you to do … including the written exercises.

You should also be reading as many direct-mail promotions as you can get your hands on. Read one complete promo every day, and then save the best ones in your swipe file.

That's it for this week. Thanks to one and all – and keep those emails coming!


The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: January 9, 2007

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