Freelance Writing Advice

10 Bullet Point Writing Rules That Helped Catapult John Carlton to Legendary Status — And How You Can Use Them To Up Your Marketing Game

To anyone versed in advertising, content marketing, or copywriting, John Carlton is rightfully declared a “living legend”. His achievements in the marketing world are phenomenal. The endless revenue he has helped produce for companies throughout his lifetime has easily cemented his place in history as one of the best, and highest paid, copywriters to ever walk the earth.

He wasn’t always a hotshot copywriter, but the strategies he implements now to invoke positive responses from massive audiences are clearly genius. These methods have been developed over an enormous career, during which he has constantly tested new creative ideas for copywriting. Quite notably, his careful methods for bulletization (condensing his message into bullet points instead of paragraphical form).

For the average content writer/copywriter, bullet points are great for breaking up long blocks of text and quickly conveying important information. For Carlton, every bullet point represents an opportunity to make a sale — so rest assured he never pulls punches when writing them.

By studying Carlton’s writing, I’ve compiled a list of the top concepts your bullet points should utilize to achieve maximum engagement from your preferred audience.

  1. Effective bullets are written simply and made easy to comprehend
  2. How a reader can benefit from an offer is outlined clearly through each bullet point.
  3. Readers must immediately be made aware that they are the intended audience of the message they are reading.
  4. A successful bullet point realistically describes the level of effectiveness/functionality to expect from your product or service.
  5. Always include specific information on what the offer really achieves — “20 guaranteed ways to __”. That blank exists in the reader’s mind and must be addressed concisely, or they will stop reading.
  6. Results are emphasized using creative and compelling language. For example, here is a gem written by Carlton himself, “The specific secrets of “over the top” fabulous sexual technique!” How hard is it not to finish reading that sentence?
  7. To get results, your bullet points better offer a solution to a clear problem or issue.
    • People buy products to stop their pain, change their lives and solve their problems. Make sure they know exactly how you can help with that.
  8.  Mention matters of relevant importance to your target audience (family, income, safety), it is wise to explain briefly how your offer will affect them as well.
  9. Include a unique selling proposition (USP) that declares the difference between this product and the next. By making it clear that you aren’t generic, your brand is more likely to stand out.
  10. When possible, it helps to use a valid comparison to other products to express the apparent value of your offer. Take note that attacking other brands and products is frowned upon and a shameful way to actually lose customers.

This list is by no means comprehensive, as even from just a dozen hours of studying Carlton’s writing there is an extraordinary amount to be learned. While a hands-on lesson from the legend himself would be exponentially more beneficial, my hope is that any entrepreneur who has a hand in marketing (and frankly, they all should) will be able to apply these copywriting tips to secure more work through strategically crafted copy.


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