Words. Actions. Thoughts.

This is my fifth and final blog for the “Great AWAI Blog-Off”.

Thank you to Rebecca Matter, AWAI, and to you too – the readers. I am grateful for this opportunity to learn, grow, add to my copywriting experience and … most of all – practice writing regularly and with a purpose.

By now you may know that I’m the neophyte of this group, I am new to this particular field of writing and to be given the chance to compete with more experienced copywriters was an honor and a pleasure. Obviously I have yet to use some of the strategies and approaches that my fellow-finalists have written about – though I have read extensively in those areas.


On the signature of my instant messenger, I had recently placed the quotation: “Don’t test the depth of the water with both feet”. These words had resonated deeply with me at that time for a couple of reasons: firstly, it is my practice, as I wrote on my previous post, to delve deeply, sometimes too deeply, into the project at hand before I take action and secondly, because of a previous painful experience. I have barely dipped my toe into the copywriting water to date, but I am ready now to jump into the deep end.

Yes, I still feel the analysis paralysis; yes, there’s an element of fear; but I will “do it anyway”, to paraphrase the title of Susan Jeffers’ popular book.

We’re in it together …

On reading back through my previous posts and those of the other four finalists, I realize the journey that I have taken in the past five weeks, and I see from some readers that a few other new copywriters are travelling the same road.

I recognized that I had hit home with those people. We sometimes feel quite solitary in the learning process – even though AWAI provides excellent discussion platforms on the website. Responses to my posts told me that I had struck a few chords and, in the process, motivated action. Even though there were not too many replies, it was satisfying for me; it told me that my words were effective for those readers.

And it’s better to affect a few people positively, than have no effect whatsoever on many.

Action through words

That’s what copywriting is all about, isn’t it? It’s about motivating a response … creating actions, through our words.

I follow other blogs and I see that, though some have many responses, others have few. That is not to say that those posts have no effect. With a direct response letter, for example, you can measure the percentage of responses.

With a blog you may never know the outcome of your writing, just as you may never know who reads it, especially in this world of social networking.

It’s like briefly crossing paths with a stranger, or a teacher in a classroom of students. You never really know who has been moved, and only occasionally do you hear about it, perhaps years later. We read all the time about people who have been profoundly affected by someone, somewhere, in their lives. I’ve saved a few of these stories for inspiration – they are powerful.

Decision through words

I must share, too, that in writing the posts for the past five weeks, I have worked through a process myself and I have actually come to some conclusions for my own next steps. Apart from completing my copywriting course as soon as I can – while making sure to complete all the exercises (of course!):

  • I have finally decided which niche I will pursue. I’m still testing a niche within a niche, but I’m 97% there.
  • I’ve planned my next steps and already ordered my next two AWAI courses, and
  • I have investigated blog platforms and I’m ready to move forward and develop my own blog.

Not only that but, providentially, I received a series of free videos and an e/book about how to get going with a blog. The information came from one of the sites that I didn’t delete when I was ‘quieting’ that internet noise a couple of weeks ago.

It is timely and helpful for me right now, but I know from my reading, and from the other finalists’ blog posts, that it is a prelude to offering higher-priced back end products, or maybe a membership site. I’m aware, though, and I’ll tread warily, ready to make an intelligent decision about the value (both of my time and the cost) when the time comes.

Re-reading my blog posts reminded me that I had planned to write about certain topics – and I didn’t get to them. That’s OK. For one thing, I learned from the other finalists who wrote succinctly about those topics; and for another, I’ll have topics all ready for my own blog.

Thoughts for today

Because I am a new copywriter myself, my blogs have mostly been addressed to readers who are also new to the scene.

So for all of you who are at this stage in your adventure, here are some thoughts I’d like to leave you with …

  • Do it!
  • Don’t let lack of experience stop you from entering the AWAI contests and competitions.

    • I entered the “Blog-Off” simply because Rebecca’s words motivated me to go to my computer and write. (There it is again – the power of words!)

I was quite convinced that my entry was merely a practice exercise and, because I don’t have the experience, especially the web-writing experience, I was flabbergasted when I read the message informing me of my success. (It’s my first copywriting success by the way – and how appropriate!)

In fact, as I mentioned in my second article, I was on vacation and my plans didn’t include a second post quite so soon. Thankfully I had taken my laptop with me!

I can now confess – shhh!! Don’t tell … I almost missed the good news … I didn’t check my e/mail for a whole day – even on my Blackberry. That was the longest I’ve waited in a long time (and probably a good habit to practice) – but it was my concession to “cutting back” for those few days.

Enter. Enter often

  • I encourage you to enter the contests – even if you think you can’t … or shouldn’t.

In offering these competitions, AWAI regularly and generously and provides us with opportunities to practice our craft, to learn, as well as to explore and consider new horizons.

Though I’ve never been particularly competitive – except for the occasional raffle ticket or two for a good cause – this experience has given me the confidence to try more … and I have since entered another two competitions – one in a completely new medium for me.

As David said, in his response about his newly launched website, “it may stink, but it’s out there”. My reply to David is this: “It is out there; you took the plunge! Good for you!”

Think … Believe

Michael Masterson headed an article that I read recently: "Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail." – Charles F. Kettering

That’s great advice, because …

As the renowned Napoleon Hill wrotein “The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons”, way back in 1928:

“You can do it if you THINK you can!”

We hear over and over that most of our successes come from what we believe … and I believe that!

(Remember “The Little Engine that Could”? He believed … )

To all my fellow “newbies” out there:

Good luck in your new profession!

Believe in yourselves!

And thank you for reading.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: June 3, 2009

7 Responses to “Words. Actions. Thoughts.”

  1. Ann...Sounds like you and I were thinking along the same lines this week! Nice job, and best of luck!

    John Torre

    John Torre

  2. Excellent article. I have been working on the Accelerated course now for two years and haven't completed it yet. I haven't tried osme of the challenges to date because of the fear that I am not good enough to do so. I thank you for the encouragement and the advice.
    Good luck to you and your endeavours.

    Margaret from Follett Texas

  3. Ann, my orientation for the Accelerated course begins in an hour. Thanks to your article, I will hear my nagging inner voice telling me not to participate, because I'm not good enough, but I will LISTEN to my voice that tells me not to be afraid and to go for it! Thank you. This is one additional person who heard and listened to you.

    Lisa from Hull MA

  4. I am so excited to take this new adventure. To learn and learn. All around me are people I can learn from.
    I do not know how I discovered AWAI but I take it as a sign that this is where I belong.
    It is scary. But it also makes me feel alive. A year ago I am not sure I would have responded the same way.
    I have had the worst couple of years but I know this is meant to be and I will succeed scary or not.
    One day at a time. I can be a success and I will be a success.


  5. Very interesting. I find your article relating to myself. I am now in my MBA Program for Business Management and my concentration is in Healthcare Management. I have to write a lot of papers and do the research. I try to stick with subjects I know. I did good on the papers in my bachelors program but I signed up to learn from the AWA program to improve my writing. Thank you for your sincerity on the issues that arose and especially your growing confidence.

    Nessa D

  6. I am two weeks into AWAI’s Accelerated Copywriting Course and am so very pleased — and pleasantly surprised - at how very fabulous this experience has been and how pumped I am to dig into everything... While I want to tear through all of the units quickly, I am taking my time to read the many many articles that are posted. What a relief to know that others have doubts! It’s NOT just me! And, bonus! Contests? I didn’t know about the contests....


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