John Carlton's
Simple Writing System Express Course
Lesson #1 - The Bar Conversation

​The Simple Writing System Coaching Program is open.


​You're welcome to check out the free lessons below... but if you know it's time for a highly-successful professional marketer, copywriter, and coach to guide you through our step-by-step system for cranking out copy the sells, sells, sells...


... go here for all the details and to sign up today.  (Seats are very limited.)


Hey, glad to see you here.

Welcome to the first lesson of your Copy Mini-Course.

Let's get started...

Today, we’re going to craft a foundational "copy tool"...

Something that will become the DNA of everything you write:

Ads, emails, blogs, sales letters, VSLs, webinars, white papers, phone scripts… whatever you use to sell your product or service.

Not surprisingly, it starts with alcohol.

And with that, let's hear it for John Carlton...

(Click on the image to watch the short video lesson below, and we'll talk again in a minute).

What'd you think?

Now it's your turn.


1. You've watched the video.


2. Now, imagine what your “perfect prospect” would say at this bar...


3. And, write that conversation out below.


4. Finally, wait for my feedback (I'll reply to as many posts as I can during this free course).


That's it!

Now, if you're a little stuck and drawing a blank, here are some questions to help you through this...

• How did the last guy screw over your prospect?

• How is the prospect's spouse annoyed with them over this problem?

• What is the prospect vocally frustrated about regarding this problem?

• On the flip side, what is the prospect hiding from their spouse... or too embarrassed to talk about?

• What specifically about this problem keeps your prospect up at night?

The key here is to get into their world and headspace.

So go ahead, give it a go and write out what your prospect is dealing with below...


John, Caleb, Colin, & Stan


P.S. - When you're finished with this exercise, head on over to Lesson #2.  In that lesson, you'll learn how to use a never-fail, fill-in-the-blank phrase to seize the attention of your ideal prospect.


P.P.S. - I strongly suggest you watch this video and complete this exercise before moving on.  Just like in the full Simple Writing System Coaching Program, these mini-lessons are in a specific order so they build on each other.


(Click here for Lesson #​2).


Enter your SWS Exercise in the Comments Section below...


Caleb O'Dowd

Pure Gold
"I've written pieces that have pulled in millions of dollars. Yet, when I sit down to write copy, I pull out my swipe file of John Carlton's stuff, and study it like my life depended on it. He is one of the few true experts in advertising. Pure gold."

Craig WoolvenCraig Woolven

"Your Simple Writing System has instantly turbo-charged my sales letters. $11,000 of new business in 48 hours using just a few of your wickedly effective sales strategies.

John, your Simple Writing System is my step-by-step blueprint for writing killer, kick-ass sales letters. At last, a simple step-by-step system that pulls together all the elements of writing sizzling, money-in-the-bank sales letters.

The videos explain exactly what to do and the workbook is chock-a-block-full of real world examples and my personal tutor made sure I nailed every exercise.

I now know what to say and exactly how to write it. Powerful, laser targeted sales copy at my fingertips using your step-by step process. Absolutely awesome -- thanks John."

Andrew HryniewiczAndrew HryniewiczChelsea, UK - AndrewWayfinder.com

Before SWS I struggled, rambled and "explained" my unique, and (very) hard-to-describe spirit coaching and healing work.

Now... I know what and how to say (and structure) my message to make readers say 'That sounds amazing...'.

I'm finding that the words and pages I need are just flowing out!

Everyone promises "to crack the code". John (and the great SWS teachers) deliver!

Massive thanks.

Bernadette DoyleBernadette DoyleClientMagnets.com

"THANKS! I got a quick ROI on this and my bullet writing is transformed forever. Very happy student here. Apart from the excellent content, you structured it so I actually worked through and applied the content. It's so easy to let books and programs gather dust - you made this really usable and I've benefited as a result."

Eric KurowskiEric KurowskiCobra Kai Creative

"The course is great, but coaching is life changing."

I’ve spent $8,000 trying to be a better copywriter. A big chunk of change for me. I could have saved BIG $$$ and time taking this course first.

John’s methodical Simple Writing System process made the "why" behind writing much clearer. It was a brilliant journey into my prospect's head and into my market.

The writing and coaching expertise of my SWS Coach, Colin, is off the charts. (Rob a dang liquor store if you must find the cash, but get coaching!!). He was accessible, smart and funny.

Whenever I thought I had something down, sure as sh!t about what I wrote, he would guide me to make it even better.

I finally feel confident, locked and loaded, and ready to make the jump to writing persuasively for the rest of my life.

Kamron KaringtonKamron KaringtonRepeatReturns.com

$25 Per Minute!

"John, I made over $25 per minute using JUST your "power words" list. Increased click-throughs by 107%, and stuffed $10,500 in my pocket while sipping my morning coffee, using your tactics to rewrite some lame headlines for a client."

Antony RuffinAntony RuffinMatthews, NC

Write More Effective Copy, In Less Time

"Everything was great. Being able to do it on my own time was a plus. The videos were high quality and the workbook has information that I have used to get good results…The Simple Writing System gave me a blue print where I can focus my efforts on each step of the puzzle. Now I can write more effective copy in less time. It gives me the ability to write my own sales letters without using someone else's work as a template for the whole thing"

Sam ClitheroeSam ClitheroeDirect Response Copywriting

Before The Simple Writing System, I would mentally panic before ANY and EVERY copy project. Why? Because I didn't know HOW to start or what to actually do. It overwhelmed me... because there were a million different things I could do. I wasted TONS of time and mental energy just trying to "figure it out".

I was always nervous talking to clients because, while I had a general idea of what to do, I didn't TRULY know.

When I heard John say the SWS was his PERSONAL approach to writing copy and the ONLY system you'll ever need for the rest of your life, I was 100% sold.

I committed to using the SWS approach... to selectively IGNORE any other blog post, copywriting course, or "guru" and focus SOLELY on what SWS taught – I'm proud to say this was definitely the best decision I made.

After just 3 weeks of SWS, I started approaching EVERY copy project the same exact way... and it completely eliminated that pre-project resistance that kept me procrastinating.

My clients noticed the quality of my copy JUMP to new levels. I even had a call with one of the BIGGEST names I had ever talked to about potentially working together. The confidence the SWS approach gave me on that call allowed me to land the client. He went on to say out of what seemed like +100 writers he's worked with, I was the best.

After just 6 months of starting my freelance career, I'm now traveling parts of the world while serving a small handful of satisfied clients... and I give all the credit to John Carlton and the SWS.

Chris MilkieMilwaukee, WI

In the middle of the SWS I reinvented an ad for a weight loss biz and the phones went from lukewarm to SIZZLIN’.

Thank you John!!

John OrbanJohn OrbanAlexanderArt.com

I’ve got to say, this SWS stuff is lightning in a bottle! I never even knew this world existed a year ago. I feel like I’m walking with giants! THANK YOU!

Amanda FoxcroftAmanda FoxcroftAmandaFoxcroft.com

Simple Writing System, and John Carlton's ferocious coaching, has been the best copywriting education investment I've ever made.

Before, I knew of the parts of the sales letter, but didn't know how to make each element sing with persuasion. Now, I know how to dig deeper into the minds of my prospects, how to use empathy, and how to assemble and write a great sales letter.

I'm grateful for the Simple Writing System and John's coaching because I wouldn't have known how to fully execute all these principles on my own. I now have a reliable system I can use again and again to consistently turn out amazing copy. Thank you!

James CurleyJames CurleyOHP Golf

"Forget College -- Study John's Advice"

"What I learned in an afternoon from John allowed me to earn more money than did my entire college education. I can't tell you how dramatically this has changed my life! My ads now cook and pull like crazy."

[Full Disclosure: James is a partner at a former client of mine, and he's gotten so good that I've both hired him to write for my business, and asked him to be a teacher in the Simple Writing System Coaching Program.]."

Tanja PislarTanja Pislar@tanjapislar, UK

The SWS is the FIRST and ONLY online course that I ever finished. Ever. And I bought a few of them that are out there. The SWS is that good.

You get your own, personal, PROFESSIONAL copywriting instructor.

One that does this for a living, for BIG MONEY.

You spend 8 weeks with him and he helps you develop your sales letter specific to YOUR situation.

I entered the course as a rookie... and left it with a clear idea what a winning sales letter looks like.

Now, I have the recipe to write my own. A checklist that will sit on my desk for a long time.

I already went through all the material a couple of more times since the course finished.

I loved this course so much that I am now pursuing this as something I want to do for money - a career change. From a web developer, I am training to become a professional direct response copywriter.

Seriously, if anyone reading this is on the fence - just click that button and buy it. You will definitely finish this course - it won't stay unwrapped under your bed :)

Chris HaddadChris Haddad"Mr. Moneyfingers"

"Hi. As I write this I'm richer than I ever thought I'd be, happier than I have any right to be . . . and have somehow become one of those "famous" copywriters who gets talked about on message boards, who's building a information business of my own that should hit 7-figures next year, and who's every letter and sales video gets mercilessly ripped off.

And it’s all John Carlton's fault."

[Disclosure: Chris's business did hit 7-figures. He's been a trusted associate for many years as well as a Simple Writing System instructor.]

Tom WilkersonPhoenix, AZ

Topped Our Best Month Ever... In Just One Week With New Tactics

"In the last 3 months conversions on my website have gone through the roof. Last week we had 17 sales ($300 info product) with less than 300 unique visitors to the site, which is by far the best
month we ever had in just 1 week.
My data base guy is foaming at the mouth to find out why my analytics data is sending such a huge spike in conversions and my bounce rate plummeting to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I implemented changes to my site as I was progressing within the Simple Writing System Training Program and realized after week 3 that I had all my money back. I truly can't wait to see what happens to my bank account and my list at the end of the year!"

Craig WoolvenCraig WoolvenSydney, Australia

"Your Simple Writing System has instantly turbo-charged my sales letters. $11,000 of new business in 48 hours using just a few of your wickedly effective sales strategies.

John, your Simple Writing System is my step-by-step blueprint for writing killer, kick-ass sales letters. At last, a simple step-by-step system that pulls together all the elements of writing sizzling, money-in-the-bank sales letters.

The videos explain exactly what to do... the workbook is chock-a-block-full of real world examples and my personal tutor made sure I nailed every exercise. Your red-hot team of million dollar writing tutors delivered the personal attention needed to catapult my writing skills to a whole new level.

I now know what to say and exactly how to write it. Powerful, laser targeted sales copy at my fingertips using your step-by step process. Absolutely awesome -- thanks John."

Jiyaad NaeemEdison, NJ

"Within the 8 weeks of taking The Simple Writing System Coaching Program, I landed my first official writing gig – a $4,500 contract (and I was essentially an unemployed dude for 6 months)!

Before working with Leah, John & Stan, I thought I was a good writer, but wasn’t sure if I was putting all the pieces together.

After watching the videos and going through this process with Leah, I realized that I had a long way to go – and thanked God I had someone like Leah guiding me.

I had a lot of blind spots that I never would have realized without her talking me through them. Every single time she made a suggestion, I would say "Dang, that’s a lot better". (I can't think of a single exercise where something she recommended didn’t sound better or make me go to a new level of persuasion.)

I probably would have never learned the master level copywriting techniques she taught me if I was doing this alone – or it probably would have taken me years to learn them otherwise.

Thanks guys!

UPDATE: I just signed a contract for another business deal that will result in a $40,000 if everything works according to plan!!"

Before the SWS, I THOUGHT my copywriting was pretty dang good...

In reality, my copy was lackluster, WAAAY overwritten, and often sloppy.

The SWS quickly changed all of that.

After 8 intense weeks of John Carlton tearing my copy to shreds, I discovered how to write tight, persuasive copy -- which reads like a fast ride down a roller-coaster -- and finally obliterated the "copy wrecking" head-trash that had been holding me back.

Mentoring under John Carlton has been a total game-changer for me. Behind his grizzled exterior, and tough-lovin' advice, John really gives a damn about ensuring the writers in his SWS make genuine breakthroughs.

If you're serious about kicking up your copy-chops to the next level... faster than you could imagine was even possible... I think you'd be CRAZY not to jump at the chance to work with John in his Simple Writing System.

Daniel AxelrodDaniel AxelrodRealSalesCopy.com

Within 10 days of graduating from the Simple Writing System Coaching Program:

-- I went to a James Malinchak seminar where merely mentioning I completed SWS led to attendees scheduling a sales call to discuss copy services. One person even said "I was so proud of myself for doing the videos on my own and you actually did the coaching program! You must be amazing now." So yes, there is credibility in The Simple Writing System name.

-- A company where I've been working as a part-time copywriter has been so impressed with me taking them through the SWS steps that they've asked me to come on board as Director of Brand Marketing with a robust salary package.

-- The CEO of that company has told the sales directors to consult me on all new sales scripts. Rather than being irritated by the new guy taking over, they LOVE it. The top sales director told me she wants to carry a recorder when I explain sales concepts because there's so much gold. I gave her a line of sales copy today for new sales trainees, and she exclaimed "Oh my God, THAT'S HOT!!" so loud the entire office heard and probably assumed something inappropriate.

And ALL of this is even before applying the concepts to writing copy! Robert's critiques have not only helped my copy but totally revolutionized my understanding of how selling works.

Before going through the SWS Coaching Program, I'd read a bunch of books on copywriting, had some training, and felt like I knew more than 'the basics'.

Like many eager copywriters, I'd get excited about reading a new sales, psychology, or advertising book...

...but when finished, I'd just jump to the next book. The information didn't stick because there was no clear path to apply it.

For these reasons, I was skeptical about what else I could learn from another course.

Within the first couple weeks of class I knew The SWS Coaching Program was sparking a visceral change within me.

Through the daily coaching, feedback, and course materials in SWS I could practice John's system right away, learn what needed to be improved, and continue applying the material until I proved to myself and to my coach that I understood the material.

John somehow infused a deep understanding of salesmanship psychology in me, unlike anything I've ever experienced.

Now, I'm significantly more confident with my copywriting and consulting. (Oddly enough, it's given me more confidence in my personal life too.)

I see why John and his team charge premium prices - the value in coaching someone to fundamentally change their attitude, confidence, and writing abilities is truly priceless, considering the doors it opens in life and business.

Just the other day I sent a proposal off for over $20,000 without batting an eye or second guessing my value. The bottom line is confidence sells and the SWS is the best investment I've made to build the kind of confidence that's real and based on my skills.

P.S. I got the $20,000 job!!

Jimmy ParentJimmy ParentBaltimore, MD

I spent 8 weeks under John Carlton's torturous coaching in the SWS Coaching Program... and all I got from it was a quadrupled income. (And better sex, a perfect golf swing, the ability to use military combat strategies to steal rubber guns from unsuspecting assailants...) PLUS: Agora flying me to Baltimore in 2 weeks to talk about a writing job.

Adam CloetAdam Cloetbodysystems.ca

"Over 6 figures/year into my pocket."

"For me... Copywriting was my lacking skill...

I never knew how to write effective copy, and John you've done a GREAT job... the SWS blows away any "system" I've seen in a long time. It's pretty much idiot proof.

To top it off, my motivation after this course has never been so high... Since starting it I've sold 2 new franchisees (which adds over 6 figures/year into my pocket. I'm starting to blast off writing follow up sequences....I've also finalized my entire franchise manual for all of my stores, and my web guy is starting to build a new website for my retail stores and will use your copywriting to make it smash the competition as well as build an avenue through the site to franchise even more...

I can't thank you enough... this is a program geared for REAL business minded people... it's the real deal... not some fancy, full of fluff, way of repackaging old basic marketing. Thanks John!"

Dritan BashaDritan BashaeLearningGateway.com

I was terrified to even think that I had to write my own sales copy.

SWS Coaching program was the missing link between all my efforts and the results I was hoping to get from my website.

Before taking this coaching I was terrified to even think that I had to write my own sales copy, my own emails, video script or a blog post where I had to present something and hope to convince the reader to buy what I had to sell.

Add to this the fact that I am not a native English speaker and I will let you do the math...

The result of taking this coaching: I crafted my own sales letter (under the careful guidance of the coaches).

I am much more clear about the sales process of my products.

I now have a blueprint of how to craft my emails (a big component of my marketing funnel).

But above everything else, all my fears for not being able to write a well-crafted sales letter disappeared and my confidence skyrocketed.

Thanks for putting together this great coaching!

Harlan KilsteinHarlan KilsteinTheDogingtonPost.com

Million-Dollar Advice

"John's first critique of my copy was a shock -- I thought I was pretty darned good, but he told me to rip it up and start over from scratch, using his specific advice.

I'm glad I had the sense to listen -- my first year, with John's advice stinging in my ears, I earned over $350,000. And this year, I'm bringing in a cool million."

Disclosure: Harlan's arguably John Carlton's most tenacious and successful student. He's one of the Simple Writing System's top coaches.

Marc Boninthecarbutler.ca

"Before SWS I was hesitant about writing a sales letter because I had no one with marketing knowledge that could give me feedback. Now I have a system. Thanks SWS crew!"

Andreea GradAndreea GradPortland, Oregon

30% more business in the last few months!

"What I learned in the Simple Writing System will help me build multiple streams of profits for years to come. I now feel I can truly make more money, create products that sell and attract more clients for my growing business. In fact, I can write my own ads which have brought in 30% more business locally in the last few months. I am so grateful for it. Thank you from my heart."

The testimonials and case studies on this page are, to the best of our ability to determine, all true and accurate. They were provided willingly, without any compensation offered in return. These testimonials and case studies do not represent typical or average results. Most customers do not contact us or offer to share their results, nor are they required or expected to. Therefore, we have no way to determine what typical or average results have been. Many people do not implement anything we teach them. We can't make anyone follow our advice, and we obviously can't promise that our advice, as interpreted and implemented by everyone, is going to achieve for everyone the kinds of results it's helped the folks on this page achieve. The income statements and examples on this website are not intended to represent or guarantee that everyone will achieve the same results. Each individual's success will be determined by his or her desire, dedication, marketing background, product, effort and motivation to work and follow recommendations. There is no guarantee you will duplicate the results stated here. You recognize any business endeavor has inherent risk for loss of capital.

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