Muhammad Ali’s Guide To Copywriting

by Pete Godfrey · 6 comments

Muhammad Ali’s Guide To Copywriting

NOTE: Some smart-aleck (I was gonna say smart arse but I want to keep this blog clean) emailed me with these poetic, well thought-out words:

“I thought this was a copyriting site – all you talk about is businesss. Don’t u know any copyrighting stuff.” (His spelling, not mine.)

Well thanks for the feedback. (Your articulation, your vivid, almost spell-binding prose humbles me.) For starters, excuse me for sharing this kind of business building advice – I don’t know what I was thinking. But frankly, if you look at the tagline above, it DOES say copywriting, marketing and mindset; in my opinion, the 3 biggies when it comes to business success. So you know, I did warn you.

Anyway, as it so happens, I do know a little bit about copywriting. I have dabbled with it over the years. To keep you happy, here’s an under-used, little-known but highly effective copy click.

Muhammad Ali’s Guide To Copywriting

As a kid, I loved watching Muhammad Ali fight. Sure he could hit, but he was also quick. Quick on his feet, quick with his hands, and lightening quick with his mouth.

He was always taunting his opponents, putting them down, challenging them in the media.

Here’s what he said about Joe Frazier: “Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wild Life.”

Man he used to rattle his opponent’s cage.

This was great phycology.

And you can do the same thing in your copy. Kennedy calls it “challenging the reader.”

A great click for challenging the reader is the old “It’s Not For Everyone Click.” It’s a great Take-Away Click as well.

Here’s an example so you get the idea…

Also, I want to make this clear. This opportunity is NOT for everyone. If you’re not willing to make this opportunity work, to put the effort in now so you can reap the rewards down the track, then please don’t reply. I’ll be too busy helping genuine members succeed.

And if you’re looking for a get-rich-quick scheme where you can sit back and get me to do all the work for you … then think again. It’s not going to happen. And once again, I’ll be far too busy helping genuine members reach their goals. But if you are motivated, honest and willing to work in your own business on your own schedule then I urge you to call me now on…

Here’s another way to challenge your prospect…

NOTE: Use this one sparingly. But when confronted with a tough sale, where sugar and spice just won’t cut it, try falling back on this one to get the job done.


Frankly, if you’re not rushing to the phone right now to grab my Business Boosting Profits System, if you’re not insatiably curious about how to DOUBLE your business profits in the next 90 days, maybe you should just give up now and forget about making any real money.

Example taken from Master Class Memo:

P.S. And if, GOD FORBID, you are NOT getting my monthly printed Emotional Ad Writing & Marketing Letter, then get serious here will you. Get on over to … and rectify this terrible situation by signing up for the FREE Trial. You’re just hurting yourself if you don’t!

Other ways you can lead into this block of copy are:

  • Very frankly
  • I’ll probably get into trouble for saying this but…
  • To be blunt

And then lead into your challenge.

If you look at my example above taken from The Master Class Memo, you’ll see it’s not too confrontational. But it does imply what I wanted; that you’ve got rocks in your head if you’re not getting my newsletter. I didn’t say it, but it was implied.

Here’s another example:

To be blunt, if you’re happy working 50 hours a week and making an okay income, then maybe my Business Boosting Profits System isn’t for you.

Why does this kind of challenge work so damn well? Think about it!

When people are confronted with a negative, hey automatically deny it! This instantly gets them emotionally involved!

Example from Emotional Ad Writing & Marketing Letter:

There are 3 critical things affluent consumers crave above all else.

3 critical things, if addressed in your sales copy, will instantly give you better results. And it’s these 3 critical things I will be sharing with you in January’s Memo.

If you’ve got an ounce of entrepreneurial blood pumping through your veins, it would be sheer lunacy to miss out on this one!

Okay, that’s it for the examples.

I trust I’ve kept all of you copywriting aficionados happy; at least for a little while.

Challenging the reader can be an effective weapon in your copywriting arsenal; use it wisely.

And as Ali once said: “It’s hard to be humble, when you’re as great as I am.”

You’ve gotta love it!

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About The Author

Copywriter, Sales Strategist - Pete GodfreyPete Godfrey, The Wizard of Words, from rebel without a clue to one of the most in demand and highest paid Copywriters and Sales Strategists in Australasia… all with the power of his emotionally charged words that sell… Discover the “Secret Weapon” to increasing your Sales and Profits by downloading the valuable report "The Ultimate Copywriting and Marketing Secret" While you're at it, follow Pete on Facebook

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel June 23, 2009 at 11:09 am

Hi Pete!

Great stuff here thanks! Any chance of some examples of the “challenge the reader” copywriting click for a business-to-consumer niche rather than a business-to-business niche? For example, something like dog training or weight loss niches?



Pete Godfrey June 23, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Sure, here are two quickies off the top of my head. First for dogs, next for weight loss.

To be blunt, if you care about your dog and how your dog looks and feels, if you’re serious about having a well behaved, well adjusted canine that’s a pleasure to own, you’ll be rushing to the phone right now to give me a call.

Frankly, if you’re not rushing to the phone right now to call me about my new Weight Loss For Life Program then one, you must be skinny or two, you’re just not serious about losing your weight.


Judd Leverton June 23, 2009 at 7:21 pm

I really love this ‘click’ Pete, thanks for sharing it. I’ve been on the receiving end of this tactic and it sure does light a fire under you’re butt to take action (kinda like “what, are you chicken”? but in a different vein again). Even when you’re aware of the technique and it’s used on you, it’s still a powerful motivator, as it turns the letter from a ‘push’ advertisement to a ‘pull’, as the feeling of being ‘sold’ dissipates and is replaced with a feeling of potentially ‘missing out’.

Cheers again Pete.


John Hacking June 25, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Thanks for the tips Pete. I’m currently running a radio campaign with a call to action to visit a web site set up specially for the radio campaign.

As a result of this blog post, I have edited my sales copy to make it more confronting. I’ll report back as to the results.

Thanks Pete, and all the best.


Nobby July 1, 2010 at 3:43 pm

As usual Pete – I was going to say Kick Arse Copy – but thought I’d keep it clean!

How, now that’s not a bad name for a copy sight -(some-one elses spelling – not myne)!


Sandy July 1, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Hi Pete

Your blog posts are ones I never miss to read. You truly offer genuine and usable info to your readers.

Thanks again !


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