4 Simple Strategies to Make You a More Successful Copywriter

Will Newman

I love researching for these Writer's Life essays. When I research, I always learn something new. That’s what happened for today’s essay.

I was researching best practices for self-study to pass on to you when discovered a new strategy for learning. I’ll tell you about this strategy in a moment.

But first, what should you be doing to learn the necessary skills and strategies to achieve copywriting success fastest?

You’re probably familiar with the first three of these four strategies. But they bear repeating. The fourth — the one I just discovered — will make the others much more effective.

These strategies work for all kinds of study. But they’re particularly effective for online studying like you might do with the AWAI copywriting programs or online trainings like the Accelerated Live Companion Series or COS Targeted Learning Programs.

Successful self-study strategy #1: Have a definite area for study

Chose an area that’s comfortable, but not relaxing. Avoid being in front of the TV or around people who’ll disturb you. As much as possible, use this same area every time you sit down to study.

Successful self-study strategy #2: Study at the same times

When you study at the same time each day and each week, studying becomes a regular part of your life. You'll be mentally and emotionally more prepared and your learning becomes more productive.

It’s okay if you must change occasionally, but strive for consistency.

Successful self-study strategy #3: Use the “Teaching a 10-year-old” rule

When you’re learning new concepts, figure out how you would teach them to a 10-year-old child. If you’re able to do that, you’ve mastered the concept.

Successful self-study strategy #4: Take “Cornell Notes” when you study

Taking notes while learning means you’re using a different learning mode than if you just read something or view a webinar.

I’ve taken notes all my life while learning new things. But using what are called “Cornell Notes” is my new discovery.

You take Cornell Notes on paper that’s specially divided that looks like this sample but on a full-sized sheet of paper.

As you’re going through an AWAI program (like The Accelerated Program) or attending an online training (like the LIVE Ultimate Accelerated Copywriting Companion Series), here’s what you do:

Start by writing brief notes about what you’re learning in the main section. Include the most important ideas in that column.

When you’re finished, add the key points of what you’ve learned into the far-left column.

When you’re done there, write a one or two sentence summary of the lesson in bottom section. This is a good place for your “10-year-old lesson.”

Here’s a sample:

Simple, no? I wish I’d known about this when I was studying about copywriting. I hope you’ll try this strategy when you’re studying the copywriting secrets and strategies from AWAI.

Download a PDF template for taking your own Cornell Notes, in either Letter size or A4 size.

I’d love to hear if you’ve used Cornell Notes before or if you’re planning on using them now, so leave me a comment below.

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Published: January 16, 2017

11 Responses to “4 Simple Strategies to Make You a More Successful Copywriter”

  1. Thank you . Never used Cornell notes before. I might try it.


  2. Hello Will. Just wanted to let you know I will try thr Cornell note taking method this week.


  3. Will, This article couldn't have come at a better time! I just got started with my Accelerated Program for Six Figure Copywriting. Excited? You betcha; but I needed some tips to help direct my study in a progressive manner. Your article is clear, simple and to the point. Now, I am off to the races! Thanks.


  4. I discovered Cornell notes in graduate school and have since introduced it to my community college students. Many of them really love it, and I continue to use it for my academic and personal needs. It saves time when writing and reviewing notes for an upcoming test or exam

    Guest (Willi)

  5. HI

    Perhaps someone would give me a definition for: Cornell notes!!.

    [FROM WILL: Hello Larry. The functional “definition” of Cornell Notes is the strategy and layout for taking notes outlined here. I suppose they were developed at Cornell University. I hope this helps.]

    Guest (Larry winfield )

  6. This is an awesome tool! Thanks so much.I just started the Accelerated Program two nights ago and I'm so excited, this will be a great help in my learning process. Appreciate all your work, Will!

    Sherrie Roderick

  7. Thanks for this article. It came just at the right time. I was floundering and seemed to have lost my way. I have never heard of Cornell notes but will certainly give this a try.

    I also like the 'teach a 10 year old' tip. My 11 year old grandson recently asked me to teach him what I'm learning, so I'm going to use that too.

    Thanks for getting me back on track.


  8. Hi Will, Throughout high school and college, I took copious notes! And I still do. I just received my critiqued final sales letter for The Companion Series. I was happy to know I did well. I attribute it to taking notes. Everyone has a particular modality that makes learning easier.
    I copied your template and will give it a try!
    Thank you, Bev Mendenhall

    Guest (Beverly Mendenhall)

  9. I have had four years of university studies and never even heard of Cornell Notes. Will definitely try this. Thank you.


  10. Thank you very much Will, I couldn't imagine a more practical way of taking notes. What a great input! I will use from now on.

    Guest (Jorge)

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