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April 05, 2024

This Is The World’s Most Valuable Skill (And How To Use It)

This is the world's most valuable skill (and how to use it).

By Skyler Braun, Guest Blogger

Writing is the world’s most valuable skill.

In this blog post, I will teach you what they don’t teach you about writing in school. And how you can become a 10x better writer in just five minutes. 

Why should I learn this?

Have you ever needed to do any of the following?

  1. Land your dream job
  2. Persuade your landlord to finally make those repairs
  3. Sell something online
  4. Close a deal with a big client
  5. Write a Tinder bio and convince someone to go on a date with you

We all have a need to sell ourselves, our ideas, and build relationships. How we do that is in how we think. Remember that, and then write this down:

Writing is clear thinking

Take a look at the chart I made below to explain how this works.

Writing chart

If you find something easy to write about, you likely already have clear thinking.

When you get stuck or feel like you can’t write, you don’t have clear thinking yet. Funny enough, the easiest way to remedy that is to write.

Mastering copy work

One guy who was naturally good at all this was Gary Halbert.

He was a thinking legend and had the world’s hardest job. Using only his words, he would convince housewives in the ‘70s why they needed a new knife set. His words had to be so effective that someone was willing to read his letters and respond by mailing back cash or check for their order.

Check out this short interview with him to learn how he thinks and sold millions with his words.

A Tribute to Gary Halbert : The Power of Words (not for the faint of heart).

He’s a master chef when it comes to writing. And to become a master chef, just copy them!

That cookbook in your kitchen is a copy of something someone else has already perfected. Do you feel bad about using that exact recipe? No. And once you’ve copied it a few times, you likely started adding your own twists. Voíla. Your own recipe was born.

This playbook is the exact same for writing—and it’s called copy work. Using a pen and paper, you copy someone else’s writing word-for-word. It can be a social media post, an ad, an email, a blog, or anything else. It should be writing you like and want to mimic yourself.

Here’s an example of what it looks like (pulled from one of my notebooks)

Notes pulled from notebook

For teaching you this long-lost method, you have to make an agreement with me. Copy work is not a free pass for plagiarism. Storing and writing others’ work to improve your own is flattering, accepted, and cool. But ripping someone else’s hard work to use as your own is not. Here is the formula for that:

Copy work = teaching yourself to improve with other’s writing.

Plagiarism = trying to pass someone else’s words as your own for your benefit

Copy work is simple, effective, and humans have been doing it forever. Even Ben Franklin was a big fan and did it himself!

👉Your turn: For 10 days, do copy work for 20 minutes daily. Don’t skip a day and don’t burn yourself out. 20 minutes is nothing.

I guarantee you’ll be amazed at the results.

But I know you’ll need source material for this, so read on to learn how to find and create this.

Creating your swipe file

Create a folder somewhere on your computer where you can save and find writing copy you like later. These are called swipe files. Almost every good writer has one. The library is a limitless resource for creating your own. Here are 2 I curated for you that I personally love:

  1. Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People
  2. Warren Buffet’s Ground Rules

Why you’ll love them

Dale Carnegie’s book was published during the Great Depression. This time-tested advice has helped millions of people in their business and personal lives. The book is full of amazing copy material—and the author even asks you to copy it!

Warren Buffet used to write an annual shareholder letter explaining what was happening in Berkshire Hathaway’s business. It’s pretty complicated stuff. Imagine trying to explain how a $100 billion insurance company works!

However, Buffett’s writing style has stayed simple with 50 years’ worth of letters, which are written at a 4th-grade level.

More resources

Here are a few more resources to get you started:

  1. The Dilbert blog
  2. The Boron Letters
  3. The Wall Street Journal’s 2 billion dollar ad

That makes for 5 works to start your swipe file to get started with copy work. You’re off to the races!



So to recap everything, this is everything you should have learned in this post.

10 tips to 10x your writing

Print these out, make them your desktop background, and do whatever you must to remember these tips.

  1. The best content is written without ChatGPT
    • There are benefits – like structure. But as a general rule, you will write better without it
  2. Always start your writing with your most important point. Make it punchy
  3. Draft fast and edit slow
    • Take a break after your first draft before coming back to edit
  4. When writing to sell, make it about your buyer. Not about you.
  5. Delete words that add nothing. Be simple
    • All brains understand “the boy hit the ball” quicker than “the ball was hit by the boy.”
  6. Write how you talk
  7. Give your writing rhythm
    • Make it sing. Try a short sentence followed by a longer one followed by bullet points.
  8. Stories work. Use them whenever possible
  9. Be entertaining, while educational
  10. Use copywork to inspire your writing

What to do next

If you loved this blog post, you’ll love the upcoming HEPL local author fair.

Nearly 60 local authors and literary organizations from Fishers, Noblesville, Carmel, Westfield, Cicero, Indianapolis, New Palestine, Avon, Bargersville, and other Central Indiana areas will have exhibit space for the public to meet them. With opportunities to purchase their books and have them signed.

Thanks for reading. See you at the author fair!

About the Author

Skyler Braun is a self-taught copywriter and business owner living in Fishers, Indiana. He uses the written word daily to manage his companies (Fishers Digest and Bloomrank). If you’re a business owner who needs help with your writing or SEO, reach out to Skyler.