My Favorite Copywriting Resources for Every Skill Level

My favorite copywriting resources for every skill level or phase of your career

Whether I’m on LinkedIn, on a podcast, or in the weeds of my inbox, one of the questions I get asked most often is:

What are your favorite copywriting resources?

The question usually comes from budding copywriters who are wondering where they should start, or seasoned marketers who are looking to expand their knowledge and repertoires.

Regardless of which category you fall into, I thought it might be helpful to create a quick list of my top copywriting resources for anyone who may be interested.

Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list of every book I’ve ever read on copywriting, psychology, persuasion, research, etc, but these were the most important resources for me across the main phases of my career (so far):

  1. Getting started
  2. Going deeper
  3. Leveling up
  4. Maintaining your skills

There are no affiliate links here, just helpful resources for anyone who wants them. If there are books, courses, etc not on this list that are on yours, comment below and tell me about it.

Let’s dive in (and yes, this is an actual snapshot of my bookshelf — at least part of it 😉 ).

A photo of conversion copywriter Annie Maguire's bookshelf

If you’re just getting started… 

The Copywriter’s Handbook, Robert Bly

I was about a year into my first job at a big advertising agency in New York when I realized I wanted to become a copywriter.

When I asked HR if I could move departments, they said no, but I wasn’t about to take that for an answer.

That night, I went on Amazon and bought The Copywriter’s Handbook, which was the first copywriting book I ever read. I figured if the company wasn’t going to help me become a copywriter, I’d just teach myself.

At the time (and at the very cusp of my career) reading this book on my lunch break, on the subway, and in my tiny New York apartment felt revolutionary, like forbidden fruit.

The book reaffirmed my natural copywriting instincts while teaching me new tactics and techniques I hadn’t known before.

While the book may be basic to some, I believe that true mastery is built upon a firm grasp of the basics, so don’t try and skip the important steps that may leave you with knowledge gaps later on.

If you want to start from the ground up, start with The Copywriter’s Handbook.

Hey Whipple, Squeeze This!, Luke Sullivan

During my initial pursuit of that coveted copywriting position, I reached out to people in the creative department who could help me worm my way in.

One of those people was a Creative Director who gave me a variety of book recommendations, including Hey Whipple, Squeeze This!

While it’s not a book on copywriting specifically, it was the first time I had been exposed to vintage ads and the incredibly powerful techniques used to create them.

The book also taught me how to think more creatively while pushing the boundaries so I could take my creative ideas (and copy) to the next level.

These days, I rely more on customer research vs creative concepts to drive my copy, but there’s no reason why you can’t blend the two to make your copy stronger and more effective.

If nothing else, learning about vintage ads (and the mechanisms that make them work) will enhance your skills and inspire your work.

If you haven’t read it, give Whipple a whirl.

If you want to go deeper… 

Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy

This book is similar to Hey Whipple, Squeeze This! in that it focuses on vintage ads, however, this book is much more focused on copywriting.

Like reading classic literature, reading classic ads (and learning about the mechanisms that make them effective) will strengthen your copywriting knowledge and give you tools you can use for today’s clients and customers.

Outside of that, I think you’ll also enjoy Ogilvy’s signature writing style – it’s very clear, straightforward, and to the point. No wasted thoughts or words.

And even though it was written nearly 40 years ago, you’ll feel as if Ogilvy is right there in the room with you having a one-on-one conversation, which is a style all copywriters should aspire to emulate.

Any of Ogilvy’s books are great, but this is my favorite. Enjoy!

Breakthrough Advertising, Eugene Schwartz

If there is only ONE book you pick up from this list, make it Breakthrough Advertising.

While it may seem “pricey” for a book, it’s well worth the investment as it’s filled with priceless (yes, priceless) information about psychology, persuasion, and humankind that you won’t find elsewhere.

Written by master copywriter, Eugene Schwartz, this book gets into the nitty gritty of copywriting in a way that you probably haven’t thought about before.

Not only that, but it features tons of practical and repeatable techniques you can use to really expand your toolkit and copywriting skills.

I recommend reading this right after Ogilvy on Advertising as it will help you connect the dots and solidify the concepts featured in both books.

If you want to level up your skills… 

Copywriting courses through Copyhackers

If you’re ready to take your copywriting skills to the next level, I highly recommend any of the copywriting courses offered through Copyhackers.

Joanna Wiebe (the founder of Copyhackers and the “original conversion copywriter”) is a masterful copywriter and makes incredible, thorough, and highly valuable courses that will deepen your knowledge while also offering modern-day examples you won’t find in the classic copywriting books.

My favorite courses from Copyhackers are:

  • 10x Landing pages
  • 10x Funnels
  • A/B Testing for Copywriters
  • Analytics for Copywriters

Copyhackers also offer courses on things like launches, sales pages, ads, emails, and more, so no matter what you’re focused on, there’s a course that can help you.

The courses are not cheap, but in my opinion, they are 100% worth it and truly took my skills (and continue to take my skills) from basic to pro.

If you want to maintain your skills… 

If you want to keep sharpening your skills and evolving your knowledge, I recommend continually reading books, taking courses, subscribing to copy or research-related newsletters, listening to podcasts, and more.

Personally, my favorite forms of maintenance are:

(1) Practicing through client work

(2) Taking courses

(3) Reading books

Hands down, my favorite place to take courses is Copyhackers, as the quality and content is top notch and they’re always adding new stuff to the library.

In addition to the above, I also follow/subscribe to the Copyhackers blog, Neville Medhora from Copywriting Course, Marketing Examples from Harry Dry, the Wynter blog from Peep Laja, as well as business, research, and UX-related blogs and podcasts that are interesting to me.

Even if you’re not a pro, subscribing to various blogs, podcasts, etc is a great way to learn a little bit every week or month without making a huge financial or time commitment.

What are your favorite copywriting resources?

I’ve shared mine, now it’s your turn! Comment below or email me directly to tell me about your favorite resources across copywriting, research, marketing, and more.

I hope you found this helpful; best of luck on your copywriting journey and beyond! 

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