24 hours ago, I wrote a long, detailed rebuttal to Stefan Georgi on why I thought his views on AI were wrong.
Stefan’s response was, in summary, that he didn’t agree with my points, but he wasn’t offended.
(Which is good — I was trying to play the ball and not the man.)
So … enough controversy for this week?
Because just hours ago, I got dragged into yet another copywriting controversy …
A brawl that, it seems, includes Rob and Kira from The Copywriter Club …
Former Jumpcut and Dr. Axe copywriter, Rob Allen …
And the man responsible for starting the fight …
Steven Alexander Young of C Tactics.
(Who has led growth & marketing strategy for I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Learn UI Design, and a bunch of other big sites)
Here’s what happened:
A couple weeks ago I sent out an email titled…
“Picture proof you can make a living copywriting on Upwork”
(The post is here if you want to read.)
I argued that while most copywriting gurus love to slam Upwork … I’m still getting high-paying invites on the platform in 2021.
What I didn’t know is that apparently, Rob and Kira at The Copywriter Club have been running ads recently, dissing Upwork while underwater:
And also, copywriter Rob Allen wrote an email (suspiciously soon after my Upwork email) addressing a certain unnamed “Upwork guru”.
All this prompted Steven to diss all three of us earlier today … in a blog post on the “Great Upwork Debate”.
His full blog post is here.
You can read Steven’s diss for yourself.
But … who reads full blog posts these days?
(I mean it’s only 800 words but still)
So instead … let me offer you a dramatised, Daniel-Throssell-ised version of the story:
Picture me standing there in a boxing ring, idly inspecting my gloves, when …
A sopping wet Kira Hug (who looks like she’s just been … underwater?) clocks me over the head with a yellow landline phone, knocking me to the floor.
“That’s for teaching copywriters they have to ‘earn their stripes’ on Upwork!” she screams.
I lie on the floor of the ring, cradling a bleeding nose.
“But Kira … I didn’t even say … AUGH!!!”
I don’t finish, because at that moment, Rob Marsh kicks me in the ribs — hard.
“That’s how we do it in Salt Lake City, sucker!”
And then he insultingly slaps me across the face, with the (wet) notebook in his hand.
“Guys! Please!” I protest. “I love your podcast! All I was saying about Upwork was—”
At that moment, Steven cartwheels onto the scene, and lands in front of me.
He turns to Rob and Kira, and flashes two boxing gloves, each bearing a single, diamond-encrusted figure:
“$999? What is THAT supposed to mean?” says Rob.
“Oh, this?” says Steven, casually admiring his gloves for a sec. “This is how much I’ve charged per hour … on UPWORK!”
As he says the word “Upwork”, he steps forward and delivers a two-handed uppercut into both Rob and Kira.
Rob and Kira go flying out of the boxing ring.
They land — thud! — in the middle of a crowd of spectators.
Steven cups his gloved hands around his mouth, and sneers: “Talk about that one on episode #223!”
(An ambulance marked “Pretty Fly Copy” rocks up blaring Pachelbel’s Canon from its sirens. (At the sound, Rob’s unconscious body involuntarily shudders.) A medic with “J. Blackman” on his vest steps out of the ambulance and inspects the bodies, then announces solemnly: “The greatest casualty of this scene … was the voice. I mean, WTF? These characters didn’t sound like real-life Rob and Kira at all!!!” And then he bundles the unconscious bodies of “Rob” and “Kira” into his Pretty-Fly-Mobile, and Copy-Accelerates away from the scene.)
Meanwhile, back in the ring, Steven isn’t done being the aggressor.
He storms over to Rob Allen, and with one arm, lifts him up by the throat.
“Now to deal with you, my protege,” he growls. “Repeat what you said in your email the other day!”
Rob, dangling by the throat, wheezes:
“I was just calling out … an anonymous guru … who was saying … Upwork was good …”
“And WHO was this guru you were calling out?” booms Steven.
“I can’t … say …”
“It was Daniel, wasn’t it?”
(From the floor of the boxing ring, I shoot Rob a dirty look. Even though he’s choking, he mouths “sorry” back to me.)
Steven tightens his grip. “And? What else did you say? Spit it out!”
Rob clutches at Steven’s grip, but it’s too tight.
“I *cough* said that all Upwork teachers are frauds!”
“And Upwork isn’t a good place to build a business!”
“And anyone who’s serious ends up leaving … just like Daniel did!”
And with a mighty wrench, Steven flings Rob Allen against the ropes.
Rob goes limp. He’s out for the count.
Finally, Steven storms over to me — the last one left.
I stagger to my feet and stare him in the eyes.
Steven winds up an enormous punch. “As for you …”
I close my eyes, waiting for the end—
—and nothing happens.
I open my eyes …
… and Steven gives me a gentle backhand with his boxing gloves.
“Owwww!” I say, rubbing my cheek. “Why’d you have to do that?”
“Because you made it easy for Rob Allen to diss Upwork,” says Steven. “You said you bailed from Upwork when you got work at the Barefoot Investor — even though you’re literally still getting high-paid Upwork invites in 2021!”
“Well … I guess you’re right,” I say.
“But I couldn’t be too harsh on you, because … you actually agree with me that Upwork is good. So … yeah.”
Steven turns to face the crowd.
“Anyone else want to try and insult Upwork’s honour?”
A guy wearing a Flaming Camel t-shirt opens his mouth to protest — but then thinks better of it.
Steven lets out a triumphant humph.
“Well, I guess that leaves me the winner—”
Steven collapses to the floor, unconscious …
… revealing me standing behind him, holding a steel folding chair.
“That’s for publicly dissing my copywriting in your email!” I shout. “I know how to write copy just fine, thank you. You should stick to SEO and marketing strategy.”
Then I put down the chair … and survey the scene.
In the distance, the Pretty-Fly-Copy-Ambulance carries the unconscious hosts of The Copywriter Club podcast …
Rob Allen lies slumped against the ropes …
And Steven Alexander Young lies unconscious at my feet.
“Guess I’d better get out of here,” I say. “All right everyone, show’s over!”
I’m just about to leave the ring, when—
Something — someone — lands in the ring behind me.
The hair stands up on my neck.
I turn around slowly …
… and see a guy standing there.
And he’s wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with four letters:
He cracks his knuckles.
“Heard you had a bit of a problem with my views on AI yesterday,” growls the new guy. “Let’s see how you like a little retribution, Stefan Georgi style …”
To be … continued?