Success Story:
Recent AWAI Grad David Wells Lands His First Assignment with Agora Health

Congratulations to David Wells, a recent AWAI graduate who recently completed his first paid copywriting assignment for Agora Health. Here he tells us how he landed the job.

TGTO: Have you done any professional writing in the past?

DW: No. This is my first experience with writing for a living.

TGTO: What other things have you done in your working career?

DW: I spent three years in the U.S. Army followed by four years at Oregon State getting a B.S. degree in business. After graduation, I worked in the shipping department of a local coffee company … then drove a cab for a year. Then I worked as a FedEx courier for two years. At that point, I went back to school – and in nine months finished a course on computer programming and information technology. I was hired immediately by a high-tech company but was laid off just four months later. That's when I became interested in the AWAI copywriting course.

TGTO: How has what you've learned in the AWAI copywriting course helped you?

DW: It has helped me learn that I don't have to have a job working for a company that can do away with me at the drop of a hat. I think I'll have much more freedom and security once I've established myself in the industry. And I'm looking forward to that.

TGTO: What secrets from the copywriting course have helped you the most?

DW: Mostly, understanding the overall architecture of a sales letter. All of the more specific tips are useful, but without knowing how to organize the letter, they wouldn't do much good.

TGTO: What advice would you offer other AWAI students who are just starting out?

DW: Be patient. Practice. Constantly work toward your goals every day.

TGTO: What aspect of being a copywriter appeals to you the most?

DW: It's really a combination of the freedom, the money and the opportunity to constantly learn new things. I like the idea of going to work in my spare bedroom whenever I want. I find that doing research for a letter forces me to dig much deeper than I would out of curiosity alone. That extra research effort leads to a pretty good understanding of the subjects I write about.

TGTO: How do you go about finding new copywriting assignments?

DW: I search through publications like "The Direct Marketing Marketplace" for companies that look like they might hire me. Then I send a one-page sales letter offering to write a promotion for half their going rate.

TGTO: What, if anything, has come as a surprise to you thus far?

DW: The biggest surprise was that phone call offering me my first job. I had hoped my letters would get a response but I didn't really believe they would. I was happy to find I was wrong.

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Published: December 3, 2001

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