How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love
Copy Reviews

I used to hate having my copy reviewed. Absolutely dreaded it.

But no more. I really look forward to it. And I’ll explain to you in a few minutes why I’ve learned to love copy reviews.

But first, let me tell you why this is important to you right now.

AWAI is going to close enrollment for the Circle of Success in just 2 days.

Two weeks ago, I told you about the single most important secret for successful headlines. (Or any successful persuasive copy.) This is the very first secret you learn in the Circle of Success Targeted Learning Programs.

Then last week, we visited with COS member Deb Jeffers. We heard directly from her how important networking opportunities in COS have been to her.

So today, I’m going to tell you how COS can make your copy reviews productive … and fun. This isn’t only my assessment. I’ve heard this many times from COS members.

The bleak, not-so-good days of copy reviews

Rewind the clock about 15 years when I first started copywriting. Before I discovered AWAI.

I’d apprenticed myself to one of the top copywriters in the country. He was (and still is) a highly-successful writer … but a so-so teacher. (That’s why I won’t give his name.)

He was a brutal taskmaster when it came to reviewing the copy I wrote for him. He’d come into the coffee shop where we met, throw my copy on the table, and say, “I’ve bled all over this.”

Bled he had. He’d marked the copy all over with red ink. Comments like “this doesn’t make me want to read on” or “this is very weak” peppered the piece.

I hated seeing my work — work I’d spent hours and a huge investment of myself on — ripped apart like that. But, I knew it was absolutely necessary for me to go through this torture if I wanted to improve.

Knowing that didn’t make it any easier to stomach.

So for the next few years, I dreaded any review of my work by anyone.

Enter Michael Masterson and his Peer Review Process

If you’ve ever been in a Michael Masterson-style Peer Review, you already know what I’m going to say.

When Michael was first writing, he had to endure the same type of criticism I did. And, to a large extent, that’s what was still going on at Agora and other top direct-marketing giants. It’s what everyone did; so everyone did it.

Michael realized this old way of doing things didn’t bring out significant changes in copy fast enough. It was like the copywriters being reviewed were almost frozen by the accepted brutality of the process.

So, he changed things. He devised a system where “criticism was taken out of critique.” Where a copywriter working with other copywriters could emulate how the prospect will respond to the copy. Where — and this is the key to the success of this process — specific copy suggestions could be made.

All without any criticism being allowed.

I’m not going to go into the specifics of how a Michael Masterson-style Peer Review is run. That’d take too much space.

But since I was writing copy for AWAI when Michael invented this process, I was one of the first copywriters to experience it. I’ll admit, the first time I went into an AWAI Peer Review, I had a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat.

When I’d finished, I left with much improved copy … a strong feeling of success … and a confirmed sense of my own abilities. (Thank you Michael, Katie, Rebecca, and whoever else was in on that first review.)

The best place to get Michael Masterson-style Peer Reviews

You could learn Michael Masterson’s Peer Review process on your own. Then you could gather some friends together to have them review your copy. You’d have to train them, of course. And people who aren’t copywriters don’t really understand the importance of sticking with the process.

But there’s a better way. That’s why I brought up Circle of Success and the enrollment deadline. The absolute best people to review your copy are other copywriters. Especially those who are — in Deb Jeffers’s words — your “comrades in this walk together.”

If anyone knows the importance of having your copy reviewed without criticism, it’s copywriters like you. Copywriters who’ve dreaded having their copy reviewed … until they experienced a Michael Masterson-style Peer Review.

Where can you find copywriters trained and experienced
in Michael Masterson-style Peer Review?

Where can you find copywriters able and willing to give you good copy suggestions? Copy suggestions that will improve your copy and make you a more successful copywriter?

In the Circle of Success!

Every one of the COS Targeted Learning Programs has Peer Reviews. I’ve seen remarkable improvement in copy come out of them. One copywriter who’d scored a 2.8 (scale of 1-4) in her first Peer Review, scored an impressive 3.6 in the next one … just 2 weeks later!

All because she received spot-on, specific copy suggestions.

Peer Reviews don’t stop at the Targeted Learning Programs in COS. Members who are moving through COS together set up their own, very successful Peer Review groups.

This is one of the ways COS members support each other. It’s what Deb Jeffers meant when she said, “people I can go to who’ll give me a critique or feedback without charging me.”

Peer Reviews — the way everybody should be doing them — are just one of the many perks of Circle of Success membership.

You also get every single program in AWAI’s Library of Resources — at no additional charge.

You’ll also be given early access to any new programs AWAI develops. You become a much-valued beta-tester. (And of course, you’ll also have access to the final, finished program.)

Of course, there are the numerous downloadable books from the AWAI online bookstore. Books like Michael Masterson and John Forde’s Great Leads: The Six Easiest Ways to Start Any Sales Message — a book that’s currently revolutionizing how all the ad industry is looking at advertising.

You’ll also get personal access to my weekly COS Blog. Here’s where I go into some of the finer points of copywriting every week: Strategies, secrets, and success ideas you get no other place in the blogosphere (except from AWAI).

All this … and lifetime admission to AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair … FOR FREE!

But you must act quickly. AWAI limits the number of new Circle of Success members to just a few dozen. And enrollment ends Wednesday, May 30. That’s just 2 days away.

Act right now before this opportunity for your personal success slips away. Click this link. And ramp up your copywriting success starting today!

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: May 28, 2012

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