The Gary Halbert 30 Day Challenge: How I Completed It

Write Better Copy

Table of Contents

*None of these links are affiliate links in this post during The Gary Halbert 30 Day Challenge I took and completed.  Whatever links I post here is from the goodwill from the deepest depths of my heart*

Hello fam, I am going to show you how I learned how to write better copy than most advertisers in a lot of agencies within 30 days.

The link to the Gary Halbert 30 Day Challenge is here.

I believe this is the fastest and most effective way to start to learn how to write copy if you have no clue where to actually begin with the gazillion resources out there.

After reading many books I finally read The Boron Letters, liked his style, and then stumbled upon this specific letter to learn how to write copy.

So What is this Challenge?

It’s a lot of steps and reading and writing but it can be done.

So Let Me Give You A Brief Interview Of What You Need To Do:

Step 1. Read The Following Books Without Taking Notes

  • “Scientific Advertising” by Claude Hopkins
  • “The Robert Collier Letter Book” by Robert Collier
  • “Tested Advertising Methods” by John Caples
  • “How To Write A Good Advertisement” by Vic Schwab
  • “The Gary Halbert Letter” (all back issues) by Gary Halbert
  • “The Boron Letters” by Gary Halbert
  • “The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches” by Joe Karbo
  • “Break-Through Advertising” by Eugene M. Schwartz
  • “7-Steps To Freedom” by Ben Suarez

Step 2. Handwrite all of these ads

  • “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”

Step 3. Go Through The Mechanical Process (This One I Skipped)

  1. Create a hand-drawn layout of each ad you just copied
  2. Take that to a typist and then a typesetter to have it typeset.
  3. Proof the ad and make any necessary corrections
  4. Have a velox (stat) made out of it

Note: The closest thing I did for this step is to recreate it onto a word file since a velox (stat) is really outdated in 2019.  

Step 4. Reread All The Books And Take Notes

Which takes forever (especially his Gary’s letters.)

Step 5. Take Those Book Notes and Headlines and Translate it all onto separate 3×5 Index Cards

Mmhmm you heard that right. Take all those notes you have taken and rewrite it into seperate 3×5 index cards.

Step 6. Have A Couple Of Days Off

Let your own mind relax under the beach.

Step 7. Study your product you are trying to sell

The product I had in mind was a product description on an eCommerce store I was selling.

Step 8. Take some more days off

Cause the copywriting genius said so.

Step 9. Create the first draft

By writing all your thoughts onto paper.

Step 10. Edit your writing

And he claims that if you do everything on this list properly you will be able to write 99% of advertisers out there currently today (and he was known as the best copywriter alive) so I decided to take his word for it.

And that’s about it for this post.  The rest of this is just my daily log of what I personally did if you want to attempt this challenge yourself.

My Daily Log Of The Gary Halbert 30 Day Challenge

Here’s my handwritten ads I did for this challenge

I decided to keep a daily log starting on February 17 even though I started the challenge on February 8th.

February 8th-16th

  • “Scientific Advertising” by Claude Hopkins
  • “Tested Advertising Methods” by John Caples
  • “How To Write A Good Advertisement” by Vic Schwab
  • “The Boron Letters” by Gary Halbert
  • “The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches” by Joe Karbo
  • “Break-Through Advertising” by Eugene M. Schwartz
  • “7-Steps To Freedom” by Ben Suarez

And handwritten:

  • “Do You Make These Mistakes In English?”

February 16, 2019

  • Read “7-Steps To Freedom” by Ben Suarez
  • Wrote “What Everybody Should Know About This Stock And Bond Business”

February 17, 2019

Reading Gary Halberts letters.  I’m unable to figure out which ones are back issues so Im just reading them all since almost all of them have gold nuggets in them.  I have also started to handwrite the Lazy Man Riches Ad

February 18, 2019

  • “The Admiral Byrd Transpolar Expedition Letter”
  • Finished Taking Notes on The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches
  • Read a little of Gary’s Letters

February 19, 2019

  • How to collect social security
  • Wrote notes for scientific advertising
  • Read Gary’s Letters
  • Take notes Breakthrough advertising

February 20, 2019

  • Why Men Crack
  • Read Gary Letters
  • Took Notes on How to Make Great Advertisement

February 21, 2019

  • I Finally finished Gary Halbert’s Letters
  • The Amazing Blackjack Secret Of A Las Vegas Mystery Man written
  • Typeset the famous dollar bill

February 22, 2019

  • How To Get What The U.S. Government Owes You
  • Finished Robert Collier Book
  • Finish taking notes on The Boron Letters
  • Finished taking notes on How to write a Good Advertisement

February 23, 2019

  • Colon Cleanse Salesletter by Gary Halbert
  • Wrote Notes for some Gary’s letters

I decided to do some extra things since this challenge was primarily for me to learn how to copy rather than follow this verbatim.

February 24, 2019

  • Wrote “Generous, Creative Businessman Wants To Find A Hot, Sexy Woman With A Good Sense Of Humor” (I really recommend you read this just cause it is hilarious)
  • Notes on Tested Advertising

February 25, 2019

  • Wrote Joe Karbo’s “Cadillac” Letter
  • Wrote by hand Guru Gary’s “Rolls Royce” Letter
  • Started to write Is The Internet Alive Or Dead For Marketers In 1997?  (Half)
  • Notes on Tested advertising
  • Wrote Here’s an extra $50 Grace
  • Wrote “The Man In the Hathaway Shirt”

February 26, 2019

  • Taking Notes 7 Steps to Freedom
  • Finished doing Breakthrough Advertising Notes
  • Finished taking notes on Robert Collier
  • Took Notes on Gary Halbert Letters

February 27, 2019

  • Finished Notes on Gary Halbert Letters (7 pomodoros)
  • Wrote “How To Make Anybody Like You” Breakthrough Ad
  • Wrote “I’ll Make You a Mental Wizard in One Evening”
  • Started Index cards on Headlines

February 28, 2019

I took a breather today but did some index card notes on headlines and some books

March 1, 2019

  • Wrote out 50 bullets
  • Took notes on  7 freedom
  • Notes on Tested Advertisements
  • Taking notes on How to make a good advertisement
  • Notes Breakthrough Advertisement

March 2, 2019

  • Wrote some notes

March 3, 2019

  • Wrote some more index cards
  • Wrote some bullet index headlines

March 4, 2019

  • Finally finished writing the notes
  • Wrote out a facts and benefit sheet for my product
  • Started to write 500 bullets on index cards

March 5, 2019

Rest Day

March 6, 2019

  • Finished writing 500 bullets
  • Writing Openings (One of Garys Halberts letters)

March 7, 2019

Rest Day

March 8, 2019

Wrote Product Description First Draft for an eCommerce Store

March 9, 2019

Finalized It

What Did I Learn From The Gary Halbert 30 Day Challenge?

That Gary Halbert is one helluva good writer. I wish I was able to meet him before he passed away because he seemed like a great guy to be friends with.

I also learned many of the fundamentals of copy such as:

  • How To Write A Headline
  • WhereTo Find Headline Ideas
  • How To Write Copy
  • The Psychology of Selling
  • Different Ideas And Old School Ways To Make Money
  • How To Write Better Copy
  • etc…

The most important thing I learned was the rhythm of selling winning ads that I can replicate for myself.

I can keep on going with this list but I’ll stop here for now.


And that’s it for my journey.  I do have the mind node files from my notes so if you would like them just let me know in the comments below. (Not sure how much it will help you though.)

I’d recommend you give it a try to learn copywriting.  The next difficult step is now finding clients (which I’ll write about in a future blog post.)