Why reading copywriting books leads to success and growth as a freelance copywriter.
If you recently started freelance copywriting, you’re probably soaking up tons of new information. You’re binging Youtube videos, how-tos, and alll the downloadable PDFs.
Sometimes, it’s nice to silence the distractions and shut down your computer. You can finally cozy up in your favorite reading chair with a cup of coffee and a good old-fashioned book. 📚
So, what are the best copywriting books to teach you the foundations of copy and marketing?
I asked myself the same question when I first became a copywriter almost a decade ago. I searched high and wide for the best copywriting books to learn the skills, techniques, and mindsets that would set me apart. Now, I’m going to share that list with you!
These are some of the *exact* copywriting books that helped me skyrocket my copywriting career over ten years ago. They taught me the skills I used to help my clients generate millions of dollars in sales – and grow my own brand and audience.
But this list is here to teach you more than copywriting skills alone.
Creating a well-rounded career you love is based on much more than copy and career skills. Taking intentional, grounded, value-aligned actions toward your goals is so important.
|If you’ve been following my resources, you know that being intentional with your thoughts and mindset is a core value of mine. And many of my copywriting students have said their mindset work has led to more success in both their career and personal lives.
That’s why my book list includes a few non-copywriting categories, like mindset and sales. Together, these categories fuel your success, growth, and daily happiness as a freelance copywriter. 🌱
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Why Reading Copywriting Books Fuels Your Growth and Mindset
Imagine that your skills and mindset are like a pool of water in the center of a river. 🌊
Without a stream of fresh water flowing in, the water could get stagnant – or even dry up.
Reading copywriting books adds a stream of new, inspiring water into your mindset and skill pool regularly. Reading keeps you fresh, replenishes your resources, and helps you move forward with momentum.
Developing your copywriting skills and knowledge sets you apart as a freelance copywriter. There are way too many “experts” out there who reach a certain level and then stop evolving and growing their skills.
But the top copywriters know there’s always an opportunity to improve your craft, learn something new, or develop a skill. Reading helps you reach your next level whether you’re first starting out or want to deepen your knowledge.
Here are three book categories that will help you in your freelance copywriter journey:
- Mindset and consistency. You know when you wake up feeling *off* emotionally? Maybe you hit snooze three times, so when you finally wake up, you’re groggy and unmotivated. Now – you’re faced with a choice.
You could stay in a funk, procrastinate, and feel bummed through the workday. Or, you could shift your energy. Put on music you love, treat yourself to your favorite latte, and read ten pages of a personal development book before you get to work.
Those ten pages may re-invigorate you to move towards your goal. Or show you a new strategy you’re excited to try. Incorporating a book into your daily morning routine helps you start each day with a fresh perspective (much more on this in a minute!).
- Copywriting skills and technique. Copywriting books are beneficial when you’re first starting out as a freelance copywriter. They add to the foundational skills you learn in an online copywriting course or training.
But there are endless sources of information on freelance copywriting. So sometimes, it may feel overwhelming to consume all the different channels. From Youtube videos to Instagram how-tos and PDF freebies.
It can be grounding to turn off the computer and read a physical book instead. You cut out distractions and hone in on fundamental skills. And whip out those highlighters that we writers just love to use. 😉
- Sales and lead generation. As a freelance copywriter, you’re more than the writer and creative. You’re also responsible for generating leads and booking new clients. If this is the first time you’ve needed to use sales skills, you’re not alone.
And many of us have some prickly limiting beliefs around sales. We grow up thinking of salespeople as slimy or “bad.” So, it’s important to reframe your mindset about selling so you can bring in more leads and ultimately help more people.
That’s why it’s helpful to incorporate books about sales, communication, and leadership into your learning materials. And despite how it might sound, these are copywriting books, too. Copywriting is just another form of sales that compels people into a decision.
Reading books helps you cultivate and deepen your skills as a copywriter. Another major benefit of reading is that it activates your reticular activating system (RAS). The RAS is a bundle of nerves in your brain that filters the information you pay attention to.1
When you learn a new technique, your brain looks for opportunities to apply the skill. When you learn a new growth mindset, your brain looks to reaffirm your positive thinking. Reading helps you focus on information and habits that fuel your growth. 🌱
Wondering where you’re going to find the time to read? Simply make the small commitment to read ten pages a day. Ten pages are short and manageable but enough to make a major impact.
At that rate, you’ll read one to two copywriting books per month – and over twelve per year!
So, where should you start? Here’s an overview of the top copywriting (and non-copywriting) books to fuel your skill, growth, and mindset.
Non-copywriting Books on Mindset (And Why They’re Important)
Your mindset and beliefs have a huge impact on your success as a freelance copywriter.
Negative thoughts and limiting self-beliefs can hold you back and make the journey harder. A growth mindset helps you reach your goals faster with more joy and ease.
Our brains tend to focus on negative outcomes in an attempt to keep us safe. It’s always looking to prepare you for the worst-case scenario. The problem is, focusing on the worst-case possibilities blocks the positive, best-case outcomes from coming through.
The negativity bias is common, and it’s not your fault. As I said, your brain is simply trying to protect you. But at a certain point, these negative thoughts hold you back. Reframing your thoughts and mindset helps you grow faster – and enjoy the process along the way.
It may surprise you to learn that you have way more control over your thoughts, beliefs, and personality than you know.
Mindset work is the process of becoming more aware of your emotions and self-beliefs. It’s also about reframing how you think about yourself, your circumstances, and your outcomes.
How does mindset apply to your copywriting career?
- Overcoming limiting beliefs helps you take action and reach new levels.
- Focusing on best-case scenarios helps you focus on opportunities to bring them to life.
- Taming anxiety and negative thoughts helps you enjoy each day with calm and clarity.
Many of my copywriting students have said that the mindset practices they learn inside Write Your Way to Freedom benefits their career and their personal lives. That’s why I had to start us off with some of my favorite books on mindset, productivity, and growth.
Although these aren’t technically copywriting books, they absolutely make your copywriting career more successful.
The Slight Edge – By Jeff Olson
The Slight Edge is the #1 book I recommend to new freelance copywriters. I deeply believe this book has the power to change your life.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re starting your copywriting career. Between learning new skills, creating your website, setting up your marketing, and much more. You might feel overwhelmed and wonder, “how will I ever get this all done?”
The Slight Edge shows you how to take simple, consistent, intentional daily actions that compound into massive results over time. Plus, how to feel fulfilled and energized along the way.
Discover how to:
- Develop positive habits that set you up for success.
- Take small daily actions that lead to big results over time.
- Take personal responsibility for your life, choices, and circumstances.
The Slight Edge is excellent for anyone starting their copywriting or entrepreneurial journey. But it’s also a powerful one to revisit as you grow to new levels.
As you reach and set bigger and bigger goals, you might feel overwhelmed all over again. When you feel overwhelmed, revisit The Slight Edge and its concepts. You’ll feel more focused and confident that your small actions compound over time to lead to success.
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself – By Dr. Joe Dispenza
Many of us have limiting beliefs that hold us back, and it’s completely normal. But once you identify those limiting beliefs, how do you change them?
Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself teaches you the science behind how to change your brain, beliefs, and mindsets. Dr. Joe Dispenza explains the concept of epigenetics, the idea that you control your genes through your environment and thoughts.
Discover how to:
- Identify the thought patterns that could be holding you back.
- Rewire your brain and subconscious beliefs through powerful meditations.
- Visualize and create the future you want to see.
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself is an excellent book to introduce you to meditation and brain science. These techniques empower you to create positive changes by intentionally focusing your energy.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear – By Elizabeth Gilbert
Are you waiting to take action until you no longer feel afraid? Feeling fear is normal when you’re taking big actions outside of your comfort zone.
And once you reach a goal, you then want to strive for the next scary goal of your comfort zone. So, the idea that at some point we are going to *stop* being afraid simply isn’t true.
Big Magic inspires you to get comfortable with fear, but not give it too much power. To quote Gilbert loosely, you learn to say, “Hey, fear! I acknowledge that you’re here to protect me. So you’re allowed to come along for the ride, but I’ll be the one driving.”
Discover how to:
- Get comfortable with fear instead of resisting it.
- Stay curious, light, and playful in pursuit of big goals.
- Embrace “Big Magic” – the force of creativity that exists all around us.
Big Magic is one of those books that makes you feel inspired, giddy, and creative. The book argues that living a creative life can bring greater meaning, joy, and fulfillment to our lives. It also says we should all make an effort to cultivate and nurture our own creativity. ✨
The Best Books on Copywriting Techniques, Skills, and Tips
Being intentional with your time, headspace, and mindset sets you up for success in your copywriting career. But of course, you also need to learn proven copywriting skills.
Copywriting techniques make your work more effective. This drives bigger results for your clients – and more income, returning customers, and referrals for you!
So, what are the best books on copywriting to help you grow your skills?
Breakthrough Copywriting: How to Generate Quick Cash With the Written Word – By David Garfinkel
Breakthrough Copywriting is a beneficial foundation for your copywriting skills. Garfinkel explains how to use proven persuasive and emotional techniques to influence decisions.
One of the biggest differentiators of this book is it teaches you eleven emotional techniques to use in your copywriting. Your readers justify their decisions with logic but ultimately make purchase decisions based on emotions.
So, appealing to your audience’s emotions makes your copywriting more connective, compelling, and effective.
Discover how to:
- Employ eleven emotional techniques that make your copy more powerful.
- Identify your target market and information about them.
- Use storytelling to deepen the emotional connection with your audience.
Breakthrough Copywriting offers many different methods and examples of appealing to your reader’s emotions. If you’re ever feeling stuck writing copy, open up this book for ideas on how to get started.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – By Robert Cialdini
Your copywriting’s goal is to persuade your reader to make a decision. So, it’s helpful to understand the psychology behind human decision-making and persuasive techniques.
Robert Cialdini, also known as the “Godfather of influence,” spent decades researching what makes persuasion successful. And all his findings can be found within Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion.
Discover how to:
- Understand the six main reasons that people make a decision.
- Influence buyer decisions using persuasive techniques.
- Use the six principles of persuasion in an ethical way.
When you learn these techniques, you get skilled at compelling people to make a decision. It’s your ethical responsibility to make sure you’re promoting offers that provide real, honest value.
Robert Cialdini wanted to make sure his principles of persuasion are used positively and ethically. So, he outlines the ethical conduct to employ with the principles.
The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells – By Robert Bly
The Copywriter’s Handbook is another comprehensive resource on foundational copywriting skills – and how to create specific deliverables.
This book has it all, from copywriting and persuasive techniques to how to create very specific types of copy. It’s basically a crash course in copywriting 101.
Discover how to:
- Understand your target market, offer positioning, and more.
- Use storytelling and other copy techniques to write compelling headlines and more.
- Write specific deliverables – like websites, emails, ads, and much more.
You may not read this *entire* book in one sitting, especially if you’re first starting out. You could read the first five chapters to level up your copywriting skills. Then, you can return to the book’s second half when you’re ready to learn each new type of deliverable.
For example, let’s say you book a new project to write a client’s email newsletters. You can come back to the handbook and flip to that section.
Sales-Focused Copywriting Books to Boost Your Leads
As a freelance copywriter, you’re more than a writer. You’re also your own salesperson who generates new leads and books new clients.
That’s why it’s essential to cultivate sales, communication, and leadership skills.
A lot of us have a bad taste in our mouths about the idea of sales. But sales skills are how you get your powerful, effective copywriting services into the hands of people who need it.
Like the holistic health practitioner who wants to transform lives, but doesn’t know the first thing about marketing. They need your copywriting and strategy skills to grow their practice, generate leads – and help more people.
Plus, mastering your sales skills is another way to make your copywriting more effective. You can apply these same principles to how you influence people in your writing.
How to Win Friends and Influence People – By Dale Carnegie
This classic book by Dale Carnegie explores the principles of human interaction and how to effectively communicate and build relationships with others.
Understanding how to build genuine relationships directly benefits your copywriting career. It’s how you connect with other service providers who send leads your way. And develop positive client relationships that lead to long-lasting work and partnerships.
Discover how to:
- Demonstrate a genuine interest in others to build trust and reciprocity.
- Communicate effectively using specific techniques.
- Make others feel important in a genuine way.
Use these sales techniques in your discovery calls – and any other time you’re communicating with new or potential clients. Sales skills benefit your career, but they also benefit your whole life.
Imagine if you knew exactly how to persuade your toddler to eat nourishing foods. Ultimately, sales skills help you guide people into making a decision that’s right for them.
I definitely used some sales skills when I convinced my husband, Ben, that we should get our first dog, Loki. Now, he loves Loki even more than I do, if that’s possible. 😅
SPIN Selling – By Neil Rackham
Not sure where to start developing your sales skills? SPIN selling offers a simple, repeatable framework of sales techniques and strategies.
The book introduces the SPIN selling model, which stands for Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-Payoff. According to the book, the most effective salespeople are those who identify and address the customer’s needs by asking probing questions.
Discover how to:
- Ask direct and intentional questions.
- Provide value by understanding customer needs.
- Gather solid evidence instead of relying on anecdotal data.
This book is perfect for anyone who wants to explore sales principles and get a systematic approach to effective selling.
Up-Level Your Copywriting Skills and Mindset
Are you ready to reach the next level in your copywriting career? There’s a way to achieve massive success that also aligns with your values *and* lifestyle goals.
Write Your Way to Freedom is unlike other copywriting courses because it combines copywriting skills and career-building strategies with the power of mindset.
Aside from extensive training in copywriting books and skills – you also get mindset tools, like:
- Setting value-aligned goals
- Developing your morning routine
- Overcoming limiting beliefs
…and so much more.
We help you define what meaningful success looks like for you. And then reach those goals in a sustainable way that aligns with your values.
Ready to cultivate your expert copywriting skills AND prime your mindset for success? You’re in the right place. Apply for a strategy session to learn more about the Write Your Way to Freedom course and our incredible community. 🙌