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Frankly, I don’t know how writers operate without systems, step-by-step checklists, simple tests to run on their copy and other writing tools.

I use them … every day.

Here’s how it works:

In fact, a couple of weeks ago, a new client called asking for a sales letter on long-term care insurance for small business owners. This isn’t something I write every day.

So I turned to’s persuasive writing section. There, I found three cheat sheets, which were based on four academic studies:

  • A step-by-step outline detailing the four elements to include in this specific kind of messaging approach, which is called an “avoidance appeal” (I knew that this kind of insurance is sold based on what people want to avoid — not what they want to accomplish.)
  • A matrix, with examples, showing where communicators usually lose readers in avoidance appeals
  • A list of techniques to use to strengthen avoidance appeals and make them more relevant to readers

With those documents in hand, I was able to prepare for the interview, organize the letter and write and polish the copy — all in a couple of hours.

The client loved the letter and made only three tiny changes. But had he not, I was ready to discuss the academic research underlying my approach and explain, sentence by sentence, if necessary, why I’d structured and worded the letter as I had.

But what about you? Let’s say you need to polish your headlines.

At, you’ll find dozens of headline-writing tipsheets: to-do’s, don’t do’s and award-winning headlines to model. You’ll learn how to decide which kind of headline is right for your piece, how long your headline should be, common pitfalls to avoid and checklists for polishing your headlines.

Believe me, that’s a lot easier than “winging it.”

What are you waiting for? Join Rev Up Readership now.

Learn more about the Rev Up Readership toolbox.

“ has more tools, tips, tricks, tactics and techniques for improving copy than you could get at a dozen national seminars or $1,500 workshops.”
— Rich Barger,
chief curmudgeon,

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