I saw this little ad in a publication recently:

The Most Recommended Path to the Writer’s Life

No matter what path you want to take to the writer’s life, knowing how to write persuasively is at the heart of it. AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting gives you everything you need… from learning the skills to getting great clients… and everything in between.

The Accelerated Program comes with 586 pages of training material, 20 practice exercises (plus free critiques!), tips on how to market yourself, access to our member’s-only job board and so much more!


Do you see what’s wrong here?

Right! It describes a product in terms of its features (586 pages of training material, 20 practice exercises, etc.) instead of benefits. The features/benefits rule is the very first thing you learn as a student of copywriting.

Whoever wrote this copy must have forgotten that. This just goes to show something I’ve noticed about skill development. The mistakes that experts make are rarely sophisticated mistakes. They are usually very basic.

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insuperable (adjective) 

Something that is insuperable (in-SOO-puh-ruh-bul) cannot be surmounted or overcome. As used by J.R.R. Tolkien: “The original ‘Hobbit’ was never intended to have a sequel – Bilbo ‘remained very happy to the end of his days and those were extraordinarily long’: a sentence I find an almost insuperable obstacle to a satisfactory link.”

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Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril by King Abdullah II of Jordan

From the book jacket: “King Abdullah II was schooled in America and at Sandhurst and heading for a life as a successful career soldier, when his father fell ill and he was unexpectedly named King of Jordan. Fiercely loyal to his country but also possessing an outsider’s perspective on the political difficulties of the region, King Abdullah has since spent every effort to better Jordan – improving its economy, education standards, and rights for women – and find security for his people and their neighbors. In this seminal work by a man at the very heart of the complex Middle East situation, King Abdullah puts forward what may be our best chance yet for Israeli-Palestinian Peace.”

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