The Gary Halbert 30 Day Copywriting Challenge

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The Gary Halbert 30 Day Copywriting Challenge

I’ve had another busy day – mostly away from the computer. What this means is that I’ve had limited time to write.

That’s not as bad a thing as you might think. Today, if you read this article, you’re going to learn what it takes to become a world-class copywriter in thirty days.

Not according to me – ostensibly “another guy on the internet”- but instead, this challenge was designed by the late, great Gary Halbert.

What Is The Gary Halbert 30 Day Copywriting Challenge?

I occasionally read Gary Halbert’s newsletters. They’re a great resource filled with advice – both explicit and implicit – from one of the best copywriters ever.

I found this one, titled Hands-On Experience, in which Gary Halbert received a question asking whether you could become a world-class copywriter in thirty days or less.

His answer wasn’t a straight “Yes” or “no” but instead a thirty day challenge which is honestly pretty extreme. I’m not entirely sure it can be done, in honesty.

There’s only one way to find out though…

(Time Out: If you’re enjoying this article, then you should probably sign up to my mailing list, where I give out ideas and business tricks that I don’t share publicly. Click here, fill out your details and get yourself on the list! You won’t leave this page.

Now Back To The Regular Programming Schedule…)

What Does The Gary Halbert 30 Day Copywriting Challenge Involve?

Gary Halbert’s 30 Day Copywriting Challenge is pretty extreme. You need to do the following:

  • Read eight books on direct response marketing and copywriting without taking notes. Also, you need to read every edition of his newsletter.
  • You then need to track down a set of famous sales letters and copy them out by hand.
  • Then you need to draw out the layouts of those famous adverts as well.
  • Then you need to go back over all of the material you’ve used so far and make notes.
  • After that you need to find lots of good headlines and copy those. (Hint: Start here.)
  • Then take a few days off to let this all soak into your subconscious.
  • Then get out all your notes, shuffle through them and start working on a project of your own.
  • Write until you can’t write any more – let the ideas flow out of you.
  • Create a sales letter using those creative outpourings and the following structure:
1. Say something that gets attention.
2. Tell them why they should be interested. (Expand on CSI)
3. Tell them why they should believe what you are saying is true.
4. Prove it is true.
5. Itemize and describe all benefits.
6. Tell them how to order.
7. Tell them to order now.
  • Read it aloud to make sure it is easy to read.


As you can see, that’s pretty extensive as far as teaching yourself copywriting goes.

I’m all for crazy experiments – and if you’re learning, I think it’s best to learn an intensive style, but I’m not sure that workload is possible.

I’m possibly going to try in January though – depending on if I can shift other commitments.

The Books You Need To Read For Gary Halbert’s 30 Day Copywriting Challenge

Alright, so you’ve got the gist of the challenge above. Now we’ve got a few loose ends to tie up. Firstly, here are the books that Gary Halbert recommends you read:

Note that they’re all quite old by today’s standards. There’s no internet-based information. I’d be ok with this – learning the mechanics of copywriting will mean that you can apply the knowledge to new media pretty easily, and compared with the books you get today, these books are heavy on the knowledge they impart. You’ll be fine.

Also, Gary Halbert recommends that you read nothing else during this challenge. He considers the above books the pinnacle of direct marketing wisdom, and suggests reading any other info will dilute the learning you receive. Bear that in mind, but know that reading 8 books twice over in one month is a pretty big undertaking anyway before you decide to add anything else.

The Sales Letters You’ll Need To Copy

Alright, one last thing before I finish this article up. Here are the sales letters you’re supposed to copy by hand:

  • “Do You Make These Mistakes In English?”
  • “What Everybody Should Know About This Stock And Bond Business”
  • “The Nancy L. Halbert Heraldry Letter”
  • “How To Burn Off Body Fat, Hour-By-Hour”
  • “At 60 Miles An Hour The Loudest Noise In This Rolls Royce Is The Ticking Of The Electric Clock”
  • “Why Men Crack”
  • “How To Collect From Social Security At Any Age”
  • “The Admiral Byrd Transpolar Expedition Letter”
  • “The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches”

I haven’t linked them because I’m out of time, but I’m 90% sure you’ll be able to find them online on or some other similar site.

Final Thoughts

Alright. I can’t really think of a concluding statement, but the above is the Gary Halbert 30 Day Copywriting Challenge, designed to turn you into a world class copywriter within a single month.

I have my doubts as to whether it’s plausible that you could complete it in a month. I’d like to find out.

Also, I’d like to know if anyone else has read this and thought, “I want to do this!”

If you have done Gary Halbert’s 30 day copywriting challenge or you’d like to, drop a comment below and let me know what your plans and thoughts are.


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