Multi-Millionaire Writer: Robert (Bob) W. Bly

Robert W. Bly is a professional writer, speaker, and marketing consultant with over 3 decades of experience in business-to-business, high-tech, and direct response marketing. He became a self-made multi-millionaire while still in his 30s. McGraw-Hill1 calls Bob Bly "America's top copywriter," and he was named 2007 Copywriter of the Year by American Writers and Artists, Inc. Bob writes a column for Target Marketing magazine. The Direct Response Letter, Bob Bly's free e-newsletter, has over 60,000 subscribers.

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Caleb: How would you describe yourself in one word? 


Bob: A Writer


Caleb: How old were you when you were paid to do your first writing job?


Bob: At age 21, I was hired by Westinghouse as a staff technical writer.


Caleb: What is your favorite quote?


Bob: Thomas Edison: “We don’t know one-millionth of one percent about anything.”


Caleb: What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?


Bob: I can’t wait to get to my PC and start writing!


Caleb: Can you tell me about a time when you almost gave up, how you felt about that, and what you did instead of giving up?


Bob: Never happened. Sorry.


Caleb: What was your first book you ever wrote?


Bob: Technical Writing: Structure, Standards, and Style way back in 1982.


Caleb: Does writing energize or exhaust you?


Bob: Energize.


Caleb: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Bob: Both


Caleb: How many books have you written?


Bob: Including those published and those scheduled to be published this year or next: 100.


Caleb: If you could give a young writer any advice, what would it be?


Bob: Get education and acquire specialized knowledge not in writing, but in the subject you want to write about.


Caleb: If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?


Bob: I did it. I wrote a lot. And read all the time.


Caleb: How long on average does it take you to write a book?


Bob: Six to nine months, but I am doing many other writing projects at the same time.


Caleb: Why do you write?


Bob: Because it is the only thing that I absolutely love to do.


Caleb: When you were a kid, did you think writing would be your future full-time job?


Bob: No, I planned on becoming a scientist and majored in chemistry in college.


Caleb: What one thing should I remember as I enter my dream...writing?


Bob: Writing is a difficult profession. There are easier ways to make money. So only become a writer if you love to write.