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How I Went from Writing $300 Articles to Earning $70,554 in Royalties (and Counting) from One Sales Letter...
(If you want to know more, keep reading...)

Hi, I'm April Dykman.

And I didn't start out as a copywriter. (Do any of us?)

In fact, the first thing I ever had published was a feature story about women in boxing. I wrote it for my college journalism class, and later I submitted it to a local magazine called The Good Life.

It paid $300. (College-aged April thought she was rolling in dough.)

Eventually I started writing web content, then discovered the much more exciting world of copywriting.

And I dove in headfirst. I read books, blogs, and joined Facebook groups. I did whatever I could to learn more about how to become a kickass copywriter.

Several months into it, I thought I kinda knew what I was doing as a copywriter. I wasn't the best, but I knew what I was doing more or less. And hey, at least I knew I could write.

Then, sometime later, I had the opportunity to become one of Parris Lampropoulos' copy cubs. Parris is one of the top copywriters in the world, and his cub program has a reputation for being secretive and grueling.

I jumped at the chance to join.

And that's when I realized I only knew a sliver of it...

I was calling myself a copywriter, but I wasn't playing (or practicing) at the level of an A-lister.

For instance, I had so many moments where Parris would reference a very famous control, and I had never read it. It was embarrassing to admit that to him!

Was I even a serious copywriter if I hadn't read some of the most famous controls in copywriting history?

I realized that if I ever wanted to beat controls and earn royalties like Parris, I had a lot of catching up to do!

And that's what I did, over the next few years of studying and writing as a Parris cub.

Winning a control and earning royalties
So, I read the controls. I learned how to look at them the way copywriters like Parris do. To see what they see, and to use those controls the way they use them.

(Hint: You do NOT just insert your product name into the control copy. That's just plagiarism, and it also isn't very effective.)

And I realized WHY it's so critical to analyze controls. Reasons like:

+ You have to know what a market has already seen and what they responded to if you want to write winning copy.

+ When you study the great copywriters of the past, you'll quickly see that markets can change, but people fundamentally do not change. So reading the work of the best copywriters who ever lived is a powerful education in psychology.

+ When you study controls that are working right now, you'll know what's working in your market. And when you look at controls from other markets, you discover things that you can apply to your own market.

Of course, I didn't just analyze controls. I also got expert feedback on my work on a regular basis. Both from Parris and my fellow cubs.

In other words, I started practicing like an A-list copywriter.

And I also started working with some big clients, like Harv Eker International, Viome, Mirasee, Gazelles Growth Institute, and Advanced Bionutritionals.

During that time, I also won my first control, which is still in the mail and online right now.

That one sales letter has brought in $70,554 in royalties as of March 2020, and the checks are still coming in.

I keep a copy of the control next to my computer, so that every day I'm reminded of why it's worth it to put in the work.

Let me tell you, royalty checks in your mailbox are really addictive...
And I loved the feeling of winning a control.

Once you have a taste of it, you just want more.

And, once you know -- really know -- that you're a skilled copywriter, opportunities are everywhere. Here are a few examples:

Don't want to write long form copy every day from scratch? That's cool. Look for tired controls, and write a new headline and intro that becomes the new control.

Not finding clients who pay royalties? I recently negotiated a deal with a base fee and a fat bonus schedule on the backend.

Need to drum up some business? Look for controls you know you could beat, and send the companies an offer to lift their conversions.

Imagine what THAT would be like: pitching something so valuable to a company you'd love to write for ... versus waiting around for job postings to appear, then hoping you'll land the gig.

"Okay, great. So I just start reading controls?"

Well, yes and no. You can definitely read controls, and you'll probably get some value out of that. 

But you'll need to figure out things like:

+ Where to find these controls. Before the cub program, I didn't have much of a "swipe file," and I wasn't sure how to grow my collection.

+ Which controls to study. You don't want to study a control that's all hype, and no conversions. But how will you be able to tell? 

+ Knowing what to look for as you read controls. I think of it like this: I could read a textbook on quantum physics... and still not really understand what I just read. And before the cub program, I could read a control, and not really see everything that's going on. There has to be some sort of analysis aspect to it, rather than just reading words on a page until you reach the end of the control.

+ How to be consistent about it. Let's be real, it's hard to keep up ANY new habit. And it's especially hard when you're accountable to no one and you're doing it all on your own. Skip a day, then a week, then a month ... and pretty soon you're not doing it at all.

+ How to implement what you learn. How will you know if you're doing it right without any feedback from a senior-level writer? And emphasis on the "senior-level," because you want to know for SURE that the advice you're getting is good advice ... and not free advice from some rando on the Internet.

So what's the solution here?

Well, there are a couple of solutions...

The two solutions for serious copywriters...
1. You could work full-time for a big publishing house.
They'll put you through their copywriting bootcamp and teach you everything you need to know. But only IF you land the job and IF you'd be willing to move your life to wherever they're headquartered.

That wasn't an option for me.

I couldn't -- nor did I want to -- uproot my life.

2. You could join a copy cub program.
But there are problems with this option, too. Such as:

+ It isn't available very often, and opportunities aren't widely publicized.

+ You may not be selected.

+ Many A-list copywriters don't even take cubs, meaning fewer opportunities to join a cub group.

+ It often costs thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to get mentored by a top copywriter.

So what if NEITHER is an option for you?
Then you're left trying to study controls all on your own. And we already talked about the problems with that approach.

Like how hard it is to go it alone.

It's like deciding that you're going to workout every day and get in great shape ... and do it all on your own...

Versus hiring a trainer to create your workouts for you, give you feedback, and hold you accountable.

I'm sure you know which option is going to get you better results!

So then what else is there for the copywriters out there who want to take the A-lister advice and study controls... that they can level up their copy skills, and maybe even beat controls and become royalty-earning copywriters?

Not much. And that's the problem I want to solve.

Before I get into the details, a quick disclaimer about what this is NOT...
I want to be upfront about something:

I cannot ever reveal the proprietary things that Parris teaches his cubs. Cubs sign a nondisclosure agreement when we start working with Parris. (I joked about how much we cubs fear this NDA when I was on stage at Copy Chief Live -- see video, minute 00:45.)

Plus, NDA or not, I'd never do anything to violate his trust. So I want to be clear about that.

But what I CAN do is give you the same power of focus to level up your copywriting skills. The dedicated time for a deep analysis of winning controls. The feedback on your copy that will make you a higher-converting copywriter.

I also can bring you into a group of people who are dedicated to becoming great copywriters. 

So to do all that, I came up with this...

Control Freaks, a 12-week intensive designed specifically for copywriters who want to up their game ... and even want to beat controls and earn royalties.
Everything in this program is built for driven copywriters. 

Here's what that means:
  • This is only for professional copywriters.
  • I'll never give you 187 course modules to watch. This is about pulling two of the biggest levers: studying winning controls and getting feedback on your work.
  • We'll go deep into one control every 2 weeks, which I'll select and deliver to you. And if you fall behind because of client work or a crazy launch -- that's okay! Show up for the monthly group coaching call anyway, and you're still going to benefit ... just by listening in. If you miss the call, I'll send you the recording. As a copywriter myself, I get what it's like when your work life gets hectic.
  • You'll have the opportunity to get feedback on your copy during my weekly office hours (copy is reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis).
NEW UPDATE: Given the Covid-19 situation, I've made a big change to the program. During this first intensive, all of the controls you study will be from industries that are booming right now. If you've lost work recently, you'll definitely want to dive into one or more of these industries.

So ... if you're ready to grow as a copywriter, Control Freaks is now open for applications.

I'm only taking a handful of people for the first few months, though. I want to make sure I can give each member a ton of my time and focus.

To quickly recap, here's what you get in the program:

+ 12 weeks of studying control-winning copy, in industries that are booming right now. (Value: This is really invaluable, but I'd charge at least $300/hour to review this with a writer individually. So for 12 sessions it'd be $3,600.)

+ Approximately 5 controls, researched and delivered to you.
(Value: Some A-listers sell their controls for $39 each -- or more -- so the value here is about $195.)

+ Personal feedback on your copy during my office hours. (Value: When I copy chief for clients, I charge anywhere from $800 for a small project to $2,000 for a sales page. So for 12 weeks of office hours, the value is ~$9,600.)

But Control Freaks won't cost $13,395. Or even $10,000.

Instead, the program is just $1800.

Also, given the current situation, I'm offering a payment plan: $600/month.

I don't want to penalize anyone who needs to make payments versus paying in full, so the full-pay option and the payment plan option cost the same.

Note: This is the lowest price I'll ever offer on this 12-week program. If I launch it again, it'll be at a higher price. And I won't be covering the same industries and controls I'm going to cover in this first run.

Plus, if you join now, you're also going to get special pricing on future coaching offers I have in store -- which won't be available to anyone else.

What's next for YOU?
Now, I've presented a few options practicing at the "A-List" level.

So if you really want to reach the next level of your career...

...or even beat controls and earn royalties...

...which option will you choose?

  • Sending your resume to publishing houses? (And if you happen to land the job, packing up your life and moving to wherever they’re headquartered?)
  • Waiting and hoping that a copy cub group will open up (and that you’ll know about it, get accepted, and can afford it if they charge the big bucks)?
  • Applying for Control Freaks, where you’ll study winning controls, get the benefits of deep analysis and group input, and have the opportunity for feedback on your work?
Or I suppose there's the final option: Do nothing.

That's the default path for most copywriters. They're earning a decent amount of money right now, picking up projects here and there. Sure, they might have to work with clients who drive them nuts or who haggle them over the price of an email. But hey, it's paying work, right?

So they churn out copy. And as a result, they keep practicing (and cementing) all of their invisible bad habits. The bad habits that cost them conversions. The bad habits that will even rob them of the opportunity to beat controls.

Plus, they probably undercharge, simply because they don't have the self-confidence to charge more. They're not really sure how good they are, or how much they know.

I know that reality. Because until I learned how to study controls the right way, until I had a group of amazing copywriters to collaborate with and learn from, and until I had regular feedback on my work ... that was the path I was on, too.

And it's the path I want to help other copywriters avoid.

I'm taking applications now until April 30. And the program kicks off in May.

So ... it's up to you.

What kind of copywriting career do you want to build?

Click the button below if you're ready to get to that next level.

The FAQs
What does a membership include?
To quickly recap, here's what you get in the program:

+ 12 weeks of studying control-winning copy, in industries that are booming right now. (Value: This is really invaluable, but I'd charge at least $300/hour to review this with a writer individually. So for 12 sessions it'd be $3,600.)

+ Approximately 5 controls, researched and delivered to you. (Value: Some A-listers sell their controls for $39 each -- or more -- so the value here is about $195.)

+ Personal feedback on your copy during my office hours. (Value: When I copy chief for clients, I charge anywhere from $800 for a small project to $2,000 for a sales page. So for 12 weeks of office hours, the value is ~$9,600.)

Total value: $13,395. Your cost: $1800.

How will we review controls together?
Every three weeks, we'll have a group coaching call. I'll lead the conversation, and I'll also preselect members who want to share some of their insights with the group. I'll select these based on which insights will be most instructive for everyone.

At the end of the call, we'll wrap up by reviewing the most actionable insights that you can use when you write your next promotion.
How do office hours and copy reviews work?
Each week, you have the opportunity to send me a piece of your copy for review. I'll review copy during my office hours, on a first-come, first-served basis. If your copy doesn't get reviewed, you can resubmit it the following week. My goal is to make sure that members have regular access to reviews, because that is one of the fastest ways to become a kickass copywriter. :-)
What kind of time commitment will this require?
The annoying answer is that the more you put into this, the more you'll get out of it. But practically speaking, if you can devote 15 minutes per weekday, that should be plenty of time.
What are your credentials as a copywriter?

I've written for big clients like like Harv Eker International, Viome, Mirasee, Gazelles Growth Institute, and Advanced Bionutritionals.

I've studied as a Parris Lampropoulos copy cub, and I have a control in the mail right now. I know how amazing it is to get royalty checks, and more importantly, I know what it takes to write that level of copy.

I'm not Parris or John Carlton or Gary Bencivenga -- and that's an advantage here. Because I still remember exactly what it's like to be where YOU are right now. And I remember the steps I took to get to this next level of my career.

Plus, none of those guys are available, and I am. ;-)

When does the program start?
We'll start in May, when I send you your first control. Our first group all will be one month after that.
Can you guarantee that I'll beat controls and earn royalties?

Getting those opportunities starts with finding the right clients and landing them. And I can't promise to hand you clients who will hire you. :-)

What I CAN help you do is to get better as a copywriter, so that when those opportunities present themselves, you're up to the task.

Is Control Freaks right for me?
Have you ever heard that Steve Martin quote, "Be so good they can't ignore you?" That's my mantra. If it speaks to you, too, then Control Freaks is right for you.
What if I'm not interested in beating controls?

You don't have to be interested in beating controls. You just have to be interested in developing your copywriting skills.

Think of it this way: Headlines, stories, benefits, guarantees, scarcity, urgency ... these components are critical no matter what kind of copy you're writing. But by studying controls, you'll see how to do each of those things in new and powerful ways.

How will you decide who to invite into the program?

I'm looking for a good fit. Meaning, I feel I can help you, and you also seem right for the group.

Here's some info on how this application process will work:

I will personally review your application. I'll review applications in the order received and then order them from most to least qualified.

If selected, you will receive a reply within 3 business days. The "First 10" Founding Members will be decided based on when they submitted their application. After that, spots will be extremely limited in order to keep this first group small.

If you are not selected, the information you share with me will provide helpful insight into ways that I might be able to help you more directly in the future. And if the program reopens after the first 3-month run, there will be an opportunity to reapply then.

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