Now this was something totally weird for me and I had to actually double-check that it was true. I’ve started recently learning more about copywriting and while reading online about one of the copywriter stars out there, John Carlton, I somehow arrived to his Ezinearticles.com expert account. Much to my surprise his account is only Basic Plus. Now…
Now we all know what a Basic Plus account means. It means that the person didn’t write good enough articles to get the Platinum account. It is an implied ‘hall of shame’. If you’ve ever been stuck at a Basic Plus at Eza for a while, I’m pretty sure you remember the great relief to learn that you’ve been finally upgraded to Platinum. For many of us writers and bloggers, this is really a major point in our IM careers, especially when our business relies on free backlinks, some of them coming from article directories.
Also Platinum is crucial for freelancers at Elance (a rapidly growing breed of money makers these days), especially when writing for SEO purposes (something that is very sought after at places like Elance and oDesk). When, as a freelancer, you bid on a job at Elance.com and you give as credentials your Ezine expert author, you definitely don’t want to mention it if it’s only Basic Plus. This means that you’re simply not good enough to qualify as an article writer. So how can anyone trust you that you write them a good article for money?
I’ve started looking into copywriting recently, as it’s a skill that I think many IMers should have. I was interested in learning it about 2 years ago, before starting out with site flipping and then Xfactor sites and what not, but eventually the pull of the fast cash that these easy alternatives offered, deterred me from learning it. So now that my income is more or less on auto-pilot, I’ve decided to go back to learning more about it.
Btw, if you’re not sure what I’m talking about copywriting, it’s definitely not copyright-issues (as somebody once asked me through email) and it’s not simply writing. If you are in the Internet Marketing arena, you have seen plenty of copy.
It’s those sales letter that every Clickbank product has up with big bold read headlines and yellow highlights throughout the text.
It’s those opt-in forms that want your email in exchange for something…anything.
It’s those email sent by any internet marketing guru who has you (poor sod) on their list. It’s all that sales writing, direct marketing writing - that works even when we think we are already immune to it (we’re not).
Going back to John Carlton, he is one of the top copywriters today, and I’ve been reading some of his stuff and watching some video clips from his seminars at Youtube and other similar places. So I’ve decided to hunt down more info about him and by him, and somehow I got to his Ezinearticle account. Basic Plus. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I actually refreshed the screen (silly me) to see that indeed it is correct. And it is.
And the more I’ve started thinking about it, the more I’ve realized how different the world of copywriting is from that of our trusted world of (easy) article writing, content writing and blogging. I mean even Carlton says at some point that he is making at times some terrible grammar mistakes and that’s perfectly OK. When a prospect reads a sales letter, due to the nature of the writing, they won’t look for grammar, spelling and similar errors. A sales letter is no prose. Sure you need good English (preferably native English), but by no means a masters or a PhD level.
Actually, while I avoid the WF due to the too much negativity in there, one place I still frequent is the Copywriting section. And I’ve read quite a few posts by people who claim that the better your English is and the higher quality your writing is, the more troubles you’ll have learning copywriting, which is basically sales in writing.
So in the end, who cares what his Ezinearticles status is, when he’s clearly raking in more money each year than I’ll ever get to see in my entire life when I’m blogging and setting up websites for Adsense and affiliate marketing. Each of his ads pull in more zeroes than I can count on several of my fingers. So I guess we can forgive him for not meeting the approval standards of Ezinearticles for a Platinum account. And I guess I can be forgiven for seeing him as one of my online marketing idols and for saying that I want to be like him, when I grow up…