How appsumo drives insane sales and why id pay to be on their mailing list

By Nate McCallister

Last Updated June 26, 2016

When I fly, I read. There is something about being 5,000+ feet above ground that makes me want to learn. A psychologist could analyze this for days I'm sure.

One book made it into my carry-on several times. It was a book written by Ryan Levesque called “Ask” that I got as part of a “free + shipping” deal.

It took 3 flights:  Atlanta->Denver,  Denver->Utah, then Denver->Atlanta, but I finished it.

For those of you playing at home wondering, I slept through Utah ->Denver nursing a concussion/hangover hybrid I received while drinking and snowboarding. If you noticed that, I am impressed!

When I was done, it had more handwritten notes in the margins than printed text in the book itself (I take a copious amount of notes, even though I rarely make it back to read them.) This is a slight exaggeration…slight!double-cheeseburger-524990_1280 (1)

Even though I didn't go back and read my notes (huge inefficiency on my part, but I do believe that writing notes helps me retain information better) something I read came back to me in a strange way. I was at McDonald's (don't judge) and I remember Levesque writing about how he ate cheeseburgers constantly when he lived in China. When he was eating these (during his dinners, alone after work) he studied the writings of arguably the greatest copywriter of all time, the late Gary Halbert.

Levesque is an Ivy league guy who was conditioned to use big SAT words. Halbert on the other hand wrote to sell and he used short, punchy sentences that got the job done and nothing more. Fortunately for us, Halbert made a massive collection of his newsletters available online for free. 


Seriously do yourself a favor and bookmark this site..

Do it now. I will wait…


Levesque took full advantage of this free archive. He adopted a very creative method for transforming his scholastic writing style into something more similar to Halbert's.

I knew there was a correlation between learning using longhand (vs. typing) and was so intrigued by his compelling style that I started copying his newsletters word for word in longhand in composition notebooks— no small feat. Because my wife was in Hong Kong pursuing her PhD, I’d come home to an empty apartment at night and on the weekends. I basically spent every waking moment studying copywriting and writing out these over-the-top compelling letters by hand.

-Ryan Levesque

Does Longhand Transcription Work?Copywriting by hand

Ryan Levesque is an amazing copywriter. Was this in part a result of this creative approach to learning? I am certain it is.Now, let's not forget that Ryan is also very intelligent and he studied marketing with the same intensity that got him through the ivy league.

So will this method work for others? Studies suggest yes.

According to the New York Times, “New evidence suggests that the links between handwriting and broader educational development run deep…Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information.”

If this works for children learning their first language, can it not help a copywriter learning a new style of language? I say yes.

Whether this method works out for you or not, you can learn a lot about copywriting by reading Levesque's book “Ask…” I highly recommend grabbing a copy. Get one via the link below.

Questions? Leave them in the comments for me!

About the author

Nate is the founder and main contributor of He is a lifestyle entrepreneur who spends his time building businesses and raising his four kids Sawyer, Brooks, Van and Lua with his beautiful wife Emily. His main interests include copywriting, economics and piano.

You might also like

June 15, 2021

November 7, 2019

June 11, 2021

June 18, 2020

July 15, 2020

May 23, 2021