Robert Bly is a copywriter and internet marketing strategist. He is a direct response copywriter recognized for writing copy that sets new sales records and improves companies marketing ROI.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
Growing up in a poor city with people of varying ethnicity and race.
I became much more sensitive, aware, and unafraid than white kids growing up affluent.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
Money is important in that it enables you to afford what you want for your family; e.g. college tuition, a decent home, freedom from debt, etc.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
To avoid certain topics, clients, and products snobs think are unethical but that I have no problem with. Don’t let the ignorant advice of snobs or self-righteous people stop you from working on something they object to.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
When my wife was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer, and the MD said she had only a few months to live. (Turned out to be lymphoma which was controllable.)
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Having a job I love (freelance writer).
What is your morning routine?
Up at 7 am without an alarm clock, throw on my clothes, go downstairs, sit at my PC, and start working immediately—no gym, no breakfast, no walking first – going straight to the keyboard.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
80% of my work is lucrative copywriting working for clients; 20% for things that are more indulgent but less lucrative such as books or articles. This gives me the right balance of good cash flow with variety.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
I wrote an entire book on this topic for Writer’s Digest Books titled Write More, Sell More. The main ones are (a) I work 12 hours a day and (b) I outsource everything but writing for clients and publishers.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
ESSENTIALISM by Greg McKeown: it reflects my own thinking that the key to achievement is to have laser focus on the one thing that matters most to you and jettison the rest.
THE DEATH OF EXPERTISE by Tom Nichols: explains why today we trust our own opinions more than expert opinions, and why this is wrong thinking.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“Work is more fun than fun.—Noel Coward
“We don’t know one-millionth of one percent about anything.”—Thomas Edison