The Copywriting Secret You CANNOT Ignore

Happy New Year!

I hope you enjoyed the holidays.

With this first article of the new year, I had a hard time deciding what to write. I considered discussing several crucial secrets of copywriting. But, I kept coming back to what I feel is the absolutely most essential thing you must do to ensure copywriting success.

So today, we’re going to revisit my very first article in The Golden Thread, where I talked about it before …

The single most important thing you must do
to ensure copywriting success

As an AWAI-trained copywriter, you 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 this …

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 a company about a product 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 fishing 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 programs before you find something to write about. Something like the restaurant letter in The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. There are several exercises like this 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 all the secrets 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 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 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 … more successful.

It gets easier 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.

Do you write daily? About what? Have you ever submitted your daily writing exercises? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know below.

And once again … a happy, successful, and peace-filled 2016!

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 4, 2016

15 Responses to “The Copywriting Secret You CANNOT Ignore”

  1. Hi Will, Thanks for the thread. I had a simple answer for the question about writing topics to make writing practice fairly simple. I wrote an article published by Wealthy Web Writer entitled "Journaling-A Practical Way to Practice." I hope you will check it out and see if it might have some use for your readers.
    Thanks and have a great 2016!

    Michael Cambron

  2. Yes, I write everyday. I draw everyday too. All about the triangulated / tripartite dependency on which the happiness of our day-to-day pursuits duly evolve.

    Thesis > antithesis > synthesis OR the "straws" on which the aspirations of "draws" can constructively give us "mental pause." E.g., car-travel to encourage freedom; i.e., till EVERYONE does it; at which time STOP signs come in very handy.

    Like Heisenberg's uncertainty insofar as the very nature of constancy precludes completion.

    Guest (Chris Morris)

  3. A perfect article for my first workday of the new year! I'm transitioning from a 40+ year corporate career to a do-it-as-I-want/see/need-it life. Since childhood I've been told I should be writing. I've even wanted to. I've prayed for the head room to do-it-as-I-want/see/need-it and that prayer's been answered. I've constantly written for the job. Left to my own devices it's been deep, dark mud while holding up a blank page to keep it from getting dirty. (Silly girl.) Thank you for the towline.


  4. Hi Will - Happy New Year to you, too. I have started a project and try to write some of it every day. I am putting together an e-book on things you can grow from your kitchen for teachers or moms to get kids involved planting and growing things - avocados, oranges, peas - anything found in the kitchen with seeds. It's something I know about and yet I still have to research to make sure I don't miss something important. It's fun, good practice, and, who knows, I might be able to make some money from it eventually.

    Guest (Sue C)

  5. Will eminently teaches the most treasured technique to achieve sure-fire success as he spurs the aspirant copywriter to always forge the will to practice the craft of copywriting but never to quench the thirst for perfection. The Master copywriter is always in the making: the sky is never the limit!

    Sahib Aubdoollah

  6. Hi Will, Happy New Year to you.
    This is the first article I read since new year
    2016.I follow the expert advice to write every day.I write a long email to different friends, I write letters to my cousins, now I am busy to write for my website www dot beautytwee dot com Dear Will, I follow your advice, I wrote 2 emails to you and ask AWAI team to forward to you.Did you receive them? I lovecto hear from you.


  7. Sounds interesting and rewarding.

    Guest (Ken)

  8. Thanks for this timely reminder. Just earlier today I finished writing my first ever headline and lead (for a made-up fitness product).

    I'm also ticking off days on a physical calendar every day I write (atleast 1 hour a day).

    I'm gonna fill that whole damned calendar up with ticks while I take the first crucial steps to making this career a success!

    Looking forward to getting on Circle of Success soon as possible!


    Guest (Tom Oakley )

  9. I have read all day, about what a person must do, to become a successful copywriter.
    Almost every article led to another article or another formula with invaluable information.
    I have yet to read an article, solely on confidence and self empowering techniques. Perhaps it will be me, who provides these articles. All in all, the information I have been reading has been supremely informative in any business I have run in my existence, and only wish I knew then, what I know now.

    Dimitri Solakofski

  10. This is a reminder that what you want to do, you have to do it. Thanks for the article.


  11. Tracing my childhood when l escape my present reality. To places l wanted to go. I feel like a rebirth of those times. Truly this is where l belong. The possibilities are endless. So many features, such as The direct response industry on persuasive writing. I'm truly looking forward to using these tools and living the writers life!

    To The Point

  12. Hi, Will, and thanks for the excellent advice! I've just done my first piece of writing "homework" (a review of a local restaurant) and set up a reminder to write every day, which I know I'm going to love. Thrilled to be a part of AWAI! :-)

    Sophie Wells

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