5 Things I Learned From Michael Masterson That Are Helping Me Achieve My Copywriting Goals

Michael Masterson recently pointed out that making the broad New Year's resolution – "I'm going to make an extra 10 grand as a copywriter this year" – is about as far as most people go.

And that's why they never succeed.

He constantly reminds us that if you want to turn your dream of becoming a six-figure copywriter into reality, you not only have to make that one of your primary goals, you also have to do what it takes to make it happen.

Here's some specific advice Michael gave me:

  1. "Set one-year copywriting goals. Then set monthly, weekly, and daily goals to ensure that you keep moving forward toward your goal."

    Michael says the two most important questions you should ask yourself are "How much do I want to grow my copywriting business this year?" and "What do I need to do to make this happen?"

    One of my goals was to be able to quit my environmental job by the end of 2002. I'm thrilled to say I reached that goal!

  2. "Read five new direct mail packages every week."

    This one's pretty self-explanatory. Like any other business, it pays to know what your competitors are doing, what's working, and what's not. Not to mention, it's a great way to get ideas for your own packages.

  3. "Find yourself some extra time. You need to put in somewhere between 500 and 1,000 hours of work to get your skill level as a copywriter up to 'very good.'"

    When I first started the copywriting course, I made sure I put in at least 10 hours a week. Then, after several months, I bumped it up to 20 hours a week.

  4. "Review the copywriting program on a regular basis. Each time you read a section, it should be better and more instructive for you."

    I made a "Copywriting Cheat Sheet" that summarized the important points in each section. (At the end of the basic program, I had about 20 pages of notes.) I reviewed the sheets at least twice a week.

  5. "Get a mentor. Find someone with experience who will give you guidance now and then. A mentor is invaluable. You can't pay too much for a good one. If you get one free, count your lucky stars."

    I enrolled in AWAI's Guaranteed Success Program and was paired with a wonderful mentor, Will Newman. Will gave me great advice on how to write informally – and he helped me land my first assignment with AWAI.

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Published: January 6, 2003

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