From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Catalog Copywriting

This week, I heard from close to a dozen members who got their first paying assignments – and even a few who have been using their copywriting skills in unexpected ways.

I also found an interesting fact that will interest those of you who are worried about there being enough work to go around.

But first, here are three letters that I want to share with you:

From Karen B.…

"I wanted to write tell you how outstanding I think the AWAI copywriting and graphic design programs are!

"I attended the graphic design Bootcamp last fall, and really had no idea where my new training would take me. I am a business entrepreneur and was looking for a way to expand my training so I could diversify my business interests. After less than six months since Bootcamp, I am starting a new job that incorporates all my previous work experience and my new copywriting and graphic design skills! Although my previous work background certainly helped me obtain this job, I don’t think I would have gotten the job offer without the training I received through the AWAI programs! I will be working as a Senior Account Executive with a local publishing company. Not only will I take over existing accounts and secure new business, I will also help those clients write and design their ads! In addition, there is opportunity for me to improve my graphic design skills during the magazine layout sessions!

"I’m sure there are many members out there who are wondering if they will ever find the perfect new job. I am living proof that with a little bit of patience, all the hard work really does pay off!

"Thanks so much for your help!"

– Karen B.

From Jeanine B.…

"Just to let you know – I have already lined up a copywriting job. I had just turned in my restaurant review and came across an ad for a copywriting job – $400 + 5% commission on the sales over the life of the letter. But I only had one sample – the restaurant letter, which is still being reviewed. So I took the risk and wrote a letter as if they had already hired me. I didn’t have as much information as I would have liked (like a customer profile and control letter), but I thought my writing would speak for itself.

"And it sure did! Turned out they had already hired someone for the listing advertised, but they liked my writing so much they considered me for another assignment.

"For those of you thinking that it’s up to the AWAI to find you work, I’ll tell you my experience as a marketing consultant (independent) for the last 10 years. Success is up to YOU. When you take ownership of this, you can climb Mount Everest blindfolded! But when you expect the environment to create success for you – IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. You have to treat this like a business – work it every day, make it happen, and then you can reap the benefits of your hard work.

"For your first assignments, don’t expect to get a percentage of sales. If you do, it’s a bonus. Just get some experience however you see fit. And TAKE SOME RISK. You have nothing to lose!"

– Jeanine B.

And from Diane E.…

"Just wanted you to know how the copywriting skills I’ve learned from the Basic program, and now the Master’s, is helping me in another area. I am collaborating on a book called MotherStyles: Parenting From Your Strengths. Just yesterday, we sealed a deal with a major publisher, Da Capo Lifelong Books. Ten publishers were interested in our book, and even the ones that ended up turning it down remarked on what a great proposal we had written. One editor said, ‘It’s the best proposal that has ever crossed my desk.’ I credit that in large part to the copywriting skills I’ve learned. In fact, I have sold every book I’ve ever done a proposal for (eight in all), and am looking to see if there’s any kind of market for writing book proposals. Might become a subspecialty of my copywriting."

– Diane E.

Congratulations Karen, Jeanine, and Diane. Your hard work is paying off!

And, finally, here’s something for all of you who are taking the program, looking for your first assignment, or trying to nail-down your particular niche …

According to a recent article in DM News, the number of online catalogs put out every year is sharply on the rise. In fact, the number grew from 6,147 online catalogs to 7,400 online catalogs this past year alone. And every year, more and more companies are making the change to marketing via online catalogs only.

Think companies like Levenger, L.L. Bean, and Omaha Steaks. There are hundreds of them. This is a big open market for copywriters …

AWAI has a catalog-copywriting program in the works – headed up by done other than catalog writing legend Herschell Gordon Lewis. We’re going to teach you exactly what to say to get people to buy those juicy steaks and comfortable cotton shirts online. We’ll tell you more about it – and introduce you to Herschell (he has some great stories!) – as the release date for the program nears.

Thanks to one and all. Keep those emails coming!


The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: April 11, 2005

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