This post is where I kick off the planning process for my copywriting challenge inspired by Scott Young’s Ultralearning Projects.
Step 1: What project do I want to learn deeply, intensely and quickly?
This is a no brainer for me.
I want to learn copywriting and I want to start producing high quality copy quickly. In particular, I want to write for the web.
Step 2: Choosing the format.
Scott gives three scenarios which can show up for a challenge like this. Full-time, fixed-schedule, and fixed-hour.
In my situation, the fixed-schedule makes the most sense.
I’m still working my job from 8-5 every weekday and I have a family that deserves their share of time as well.
That being said, my wife is very supportive of this project and helps provide the space for me to do what needs done. (Plus she kinda likes the idea of being married to a writer. Hah.)
So in my trial run, I’m going to dedicate two hours in the morning before work. Two hours in the evening before bed. If successful, this will create 20 hours of dedication during the week.
Additionally, I want to try and push that to 30 hours over the weekends by extending the current habits a bit.
Ambitious. Absolutely. And for the record, it’s not like the 30 hours just show up. You have to make time for things like this.
Sustainable? It doesn’t matter right now. Decision made. I’ll adjust after the trial run.
Step 3: Prepare to Start Learning
This is the part of the planning process that’s likely to take the most time.
I need to do some research on how learning works best in copywriting.
For example, you see hand-copying controls discussed almost anytime you search “learn copywriting”.
I’m going to give myself a week to focus on this. You’ll see this come up in my posts over the next week.
An under-discussed topic when it comes to learning copywriting is the whole idea of learning to learn.
My wife laughs at me when I talk about learning to learn. But I believe adopting good strategies are going to be the difference between learning something deeply and having it fade away shortly after you ‘learn’ it.
Areas to Consider Over the Next Week
- Top-down versus bottom-up approach.
- This would also include both industries and projects that need to be learned.
- Projects (email, landing page, etc.) stack better than industries for a project like this, so I’ll narrow industry during this planning process (even beyond just web copywriting).
- How to balance theory and practice.
- Theory is nice, but practice gets paid.
- To that end, I need to pick real products to write copy for.
- It’s something that can go into my portfolio and be sent in as I go.
- If my project has me writing for a business (like a homepage, etc.), then I am my own business in that situation and I’ll need to document the transitions.
- This may also take some additional non-copywriting effort that gets built in.
- How to turn this project into an exercise of creating processes and systems for output.
- I believe this area to be the difference between good and great.
- How I can ‘grade’ myself for the work.
- The blog is pretty new, so I honestly don’t anticipate much feedback here.
- In direct response, your grade is based on the revenue you can generate. So I need to find a way to factor this in.
- Key learning techniques and how to apply them.
- Feynman Technique
- Spaced Repetition
- Scott wrote another article on Study Routines as well.
- Productivity hacks to build into the schedule.
That was pretty freeform brainstorming, so I need to wrap this up. Over the next week, I’m going to dive deep into these topics along with working to create an actual curriculum that I’ll follow.
I want to get going on this soon and copywriting is a lifelong learning endeavor, but this project will be an intense introduction.
If you’d like me to send out working files, trackers and whatever other checklists I come up with as I’m doing this… you’ll need to be on the email list.
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