Your Magic Little Pill

Steve Roller here, your guest editor of The Writer's Life this week.

After my last stint five weeks ago, I got a number of emails in addition to a series of blog comments from fellow AWAI members. I even answered a couple of concerns over the phone and enjoyed a long lunch with one AWAI copywriter.

Apparently, I struck a nerve, and I did my best to lend an ear. I heard some normally unspoken fears, listened to some emotional back stories, and discovered hidden doubts that I had never considered.

Throughout these enlightening meetings, I tried to offer advice. I provided some insight into a beginner copywriter's journey (my own – I still consider myself a beginner). And I gave a combination of encouragement/therapy/butt-whoopin' all rolled into one.

I came to the conclusion that every copywriter I talked with has the capacity to be a good copywriter. Maybe even great.

I don't know you, but I'd be willing to bet that you have that capacity, too.

See, I agree with AWAI that copywriting is a learned skill. My two favorite examples of this are Don Mahoney and Paul Hollingshead, and the AWAI Wall of Fame is filled with dozens of others. Very inspiring and encouraging.

If you're willing to put in the time, you can learn the skills you need from a lot of different sources (I'm a bit biased, but I think AWAI is probably the best). AWAI will even teach you how to get clients. There are tons of great articles about this alone in the article archives at awaionline.com.

So, if it's not skill development or getting clients, what are the missing elements to success?

One frustrated copywriter joked, "I've taken all the courses and I know how to write copy. I wish there was a magic little pill I could take now to guarantee success!"

Well, no guarantees here (you know better by now, right?).

But I believe I have that "magic little pill." It will affect your head, but in a good way.

I promise.

It's going to be in the form of solid tips and strategies to help you:

  1. Overcome mental blocks that have nothing whatsoever to do with developing skills or approaching prospects, and
  2. Figure out how to quickly add value to a client when you're brand new (getting the client is actually easier than this until you know what to do).

These two ideas were the basis of a majority of concerns I've been hearing lately.

If you have another personal challenge that I'm not addressing, I'd love to hear about it. You can share with me in the comments below.

You might even get a mention (anonymously, of course) in a future issue of The Writer's Life. We can brainstorm solutions by email or phone if you'd like, or even better – over a cocktail after hours at Bootcamp this fall.

Stay tuned the rest of the week for some unique ideas on succeeding at copywriting (even when you feel like you don't know what you're doing). And check out tomorrow's post to find out more about your "magic little pill."

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 »


Click to Rate:
Average: 5.0
Published: June 6, 2011

7 Responses to “Your Magic Little Pill”

  1. Steve, I'm looking forward to your prescription! I've been trying to "launch" myself. Agreed-there are great AWAI courses. I have quite a few but would get overwhelmed with: "Oh, I need to learn that. Yipes, how in the world can I master this? Set up a website! Joking, right? My niche? Umm, not sure." See, I've been all over the place. I love to write and believe I can be a good copywriter, but it's been a matter of focus and pulling myself together to get my feet wet. And then swim!

    JudyB-RaleighJune 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm

  2. Hello - As a high school English teacher out for the summer, I thought I would eagerly begin my course with AWAI to become a copywriter , after mulling over it for months.Sadly, I'm still not convinced about making a living as a copywriter full or part time. It would be an encouraging sign if someone from the Wall Of Fame could email me and enlighten me. Thanks!

    Guest (Bill)June 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm

  3. AWAI has the best courses on all sorts of niches and copywriting skills-everything you need to become very successful. The problem is for some of us it's very hard to come up with all the money the courses cost. It would be very helpful if AWAI had a payment plan so we who are on a tight budget can continue with our copywriting studies

    David AdameJune 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm

  4. @David - I'm glad you like our programs! I just wanted to let you know that AWAI does have payment plans available and will work with you so that you can be successful. I've passed your message on to one of our member services representatives, and they will be contacting you soon to discuss your needs more. Thank you!

    Angela Bickford - AWAIJune 7, 2011 at 7:56 pm


Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)