The Single Most Important Thing You Must do
to Ensure Your Copywriting Success

As an AWAI-trained copywriter, you’ll learn literally hundreds of secrets to becoming successful. But, these keys to success mean nothing if you don’t do one thing.

This simple “secret” is nothing new. If you’ve been in the Accelerated Program Live Companion Series, you’ve heard Katie and Rebecca tell it at the end of every session.

If you’ve read my COS blog or been in any of the COS Targeted Learning Programs, you’ve heard it dozens of times.

This one, simple secret is: If you want to be a successful copywriter, you have to write. And write some more. And even more.

Write something every day. Seven days a week. Try writing at least 250 words. Make it something that’ll have the biggest impact possible on your career.

And, how do you do that? What do you write?

Choosing from a world of possibilities

When you’re first starting out …

Copywriting is about persuasion. Make your daily writing persuasive writing. If you’re just starting out, find something you’re passionate about and persuade someone else to see your point of view.

Write your local newspaper about an important issue. Convince readers why your cause should be supported.

Write a personal letter to a friend praising the benefits of a product you like. Or, write members of your family about your new copywriting career.

Write a testimonial letter for products you’ve tried and have been wowed by. Or, write to a company about one that disappointed you.

Did you visit a vacation spot you loved? Write a letter and tell someone about it. It doesn’t have to be a fancy escape to Switzerland. Write about the three days you spent finishing for trout on the Sacramento River.

Saw a movie you loved — or hated? Write an in-depth review.

Once you’ve written your letter, don’t send it. Let it sit for a few days or a week. Then, go back and for one of your daily writing sessions, you don’t write. Rewrite. Look at one of your writing samples with a critical eye.

Does it say exactly what you wanted to say? Are the words the best ones you can use? Have you eliminated words you didn’t need and simplified your language as much as possible?

Are you afraid you’ll run out of things to write about? Not a chance! Carry a pad of paper and pen with you everywhere. (You’re a writer now. Never be without your tools.) When something interesting, or compelling, or disturbing strikes you, write a few brief words about it in your notebook.

As you’re picking up steam in your training …

It won’t take you long in going through the AWAI materials before you find something to write about. Something like the restaurant letter in the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. There are exercises like this one throughout most of the AWAI programs.

These “exercises” are great for your daily writing drill. They provide you focus and something to concentrate on.

But, it’s not good enough to just look at the exercise and think about it. It’s not good enough to just plan what you’ll say when you write it. It’s not good enough to just say, “I’ll get back to it later after I’ve finished a few more chapters.”

Do it right then!

Follow the guidelines laid down in the program. Bring everything you’ve learned about copywriting up to that point to your writing. Take your time. Do the best job possible.

And, like with the other writing: When you’re done, you are not done. Let your writing rest a few days. Go back. Reread. Rewrite. Edit.

Turn everything you write into a spec assignment

If you’re in Circle Of Success, you have a unique opportunity. COS spec assignments let you practice everything you’re learning in the AWAI and COS targeted programs. The bonus here, of course, is you have the chance to impress real clients with what you’re learning.

But even if you aren’t in COS, all the writing I’m pushing you to do is more than just practice. Turn these practice letters into potential specs.

Polish them until they’re close to perfect. Eliminate all misspellings and typos. Then, send your testimonial to the company whose product impressed you. Send your restaurant letter or your vacation story to the local newspaper. Upload your movie review to someplace like the Internet Movie Database.

Of course, nobody’s going to pound down your door asking you to write for them on your first submissions. After a while, though — and sooner rather than later — your writing gets stronger, more persuasive.

It gets easier for you to write. You gain more confidence. You’re loving to write and writing more. And soon, you’re submitting real spec assignments to companies you want to write for and get paid.

But, it won’t happen if you don’t take that one important step … and write every day.

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: January 2, 2012

3 Responses to “The Single Most Important Thing You Must Do To Ensure Your Copywriting Success”

  1. Mr. Newman:
    This is such good advice. I am excited by the fact that I can turn the assignments that I have written, of course making them practically perfect, into actual usable pieces of writing. I will begin to polish my restaurant and movie letter to perfection and submit them to my favorite restaurant that I wrote about, and to a movie review site on the Web. Thank you so very much for this timely advice.
    Karen B. Cardwell

    K Barbara

  2. Advice well taken. I'll take a second look at some of the copy I write daily as a television news reporter. Reworking and posting for blog purposes can keep me sharper to this end. Thanks for the advice. I can see it'll help me break away sooner with practice.

    James L

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