A Note To My Younger Self:
The True Backbone Of Copywriting Success Lies Beyond Knowing
The Right Words

Writer drinking coffee while looking at laptop

Dear nine-year-old-want-to-be-a-writer Cindy,

I write this letter to you as a 56-year-old woman who has experienced many things in a storied career and is getting paid tremendous money to write.

When you are nearly 40 years old, you’ll make one of the single best decisions of your life.

During a time of tremendous sorrow and uncertainty, you will go all in to make your childhood dream of getting paid to write come true.

Within thirty days of deciding to become a writer, you’ll invest your sizable tax refund into joining a writing program called AWAI Circle of Success. This decision will not only accelerate the speed at which you transition into your new writing career, it will also change the course of your life.

You will have more than 30,000X that investment over the next 16 years.

But while you’ll initially think of it as a way to teach you the copywriting and marketing skills you need to enter into and advance in direct response copywriting, you will be wrong.

It’s much more than that.

As a result of being a member of this writing tribe, you’ll make powerful relationships.

They will be the backbone of your success.

Because there will be naysayers who tell you to give up or that you are no good. (That naysayer might even be you.)

Early on, you’ll even have your boss at the company you work for laugh at you. She’ll tell you it’s a stupid idea after showing her a promotional piece you wrote to help your company sell more.

Don’t listen to her.

Or any other person who tries to crush you along the way.

Often, they know nothing about direct response copywriting, what works and what doesn’t, when it comes to writing.

When you’re tempted to give up the idea of getting paid to write, doubt your skills, or want someone to celebrate your wins, go to your AWAI writing community.

Go there often.

Make friends with other writers in the community. Stay in touch with them. They will always be there to support you.

By the way, quickly forgive that boss for how she acted and what she said.

You’ll later realize that those hurtful words became extra fuel that drives you to succeed. And succeed, you do.

When you don’t understand a concept or feel slow to internalize it, keep practicing and ask people inside the community who are on the same journey to peer review your work.

Don’t be one-sided.

Offer to help each other out and review their copy as well. It will make you a much better writer, much faster.

In fact, you’ll find a group of people at AWAI’s Bootcamp and do mini peer reviews with them.

This exponentially improves your writing and boosts your confidence within six months.

Ask the mentors inside the AWAI community for help, too.

You’ll discover one of the best places to get A-list copywriters to give you feedback is at the AWAI Bootcamp. This will happen during your first-ever Bootcamp when AWAI co-founder Paul Hollingshead offers you guidance on finding the big idea, then reviews your copy and encourages you.

At the same Bootcamp, co-founder Mark Ford gives you a tip that speeds up the time it takes you to write a headline and lead by 75%.

They have a lot of wisdom and are generous in sharing with the community, so when you have an opportunity to hear or speak with any A-lister personally, either at a live event or online, show up as often as you can because …

You will be rewarded.

At one event, Paul Hollingshead will introduce you to his cousin, John Wood. A gifted storyteller trained by Paul, John will teach you a lot about how to write an excellent story through the feedback he provides you. Not only will your copywriting improve, but your confidence will also skyrocket.

Plus, you’ll gain a writing buddy where you each review every piece of copy you write to strengthen them before turning them into your clients. This rewarding relationship and friendship will span more than 14 years.

Ask for what you need.

Be vulnerable, accept help, and don’t be shy in approaching mentors and leaders in the community.

Within the first two years of your copywriting career, you’ll land a paid assignment that will change the course of your career.

You’re presented with the opportunity to write a case study for the legendary American author, salesman, and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. You’re told that if you do a good job, there will be a lot more work for Ziglar.

The only problem is that you’ve never written a case study before in your life.

While you have access to the resources on how to write a case study from within your writing community, you want to nail this assignment.

Fortunately, you’ll be courageous enough to approach the President of AWAI, Rebecca Matter.

Rebecca celebrates your achievement in landing such a client and teams you up with another AWAI writer who is an expert in writing case studies. Not only does this community member send you samples of published case studies to model, but he also reviews your work personally, providing feedback before you turn the case study in to the client.

This turned into long-term work with Ziglar, writing for him for more than a year and a half up to Zig’s retirement.

Never underestimate the ripple effect of relationships.

They can have an astounding impact and move you forward in ways you never imagined.

At another event, an introduction will lead you to write for Magnetic Marketing (formerly GKIC), a company founded by Dan S. Kennedy. You’ll write for the prestigious company monthly for over a decade—and eventually co-author a book with Dan S. Kennedy.

This will boost your reputation, earn you hundreds of thousands of dollars, and introduce you to additional well-paying clients.

Nurtured relationships rejuvenate you.

You think you get it.

You’ve ventured out into the world alone, keeping in touch with your AWAI community, but not as close as you once did.

But Cindy, this community still has so much to offer.

After some false starts on taking your most important and personal endeavor on, a bit of doubt creeps in. You’ll feel unsure how to proceed. Luckily, you’re smart enough to turn to AWAI once again and ask for guidance. The community will welcome you back like family coming home after a long absence.

Sixteen years after starting your journey with AWAI, you’ll communicate what you’re trying to accomplish with your new venture and ask the leaders of AWAI for advice.

Once again, they will throw you the lifeline you need to achieve your business goals.

In conclusion, dear Cindy, remember: Your journey in copywriting is not just about mastering the art of words. It’s about the people you meet, the relationships you build, and the wisdom you gather along the way.

Self-doubt will always creep in, but you’ll be a writer as long as you consistently show up, identify yourself as a writer, and put your work out into the world.

Embrace every challenge as an opportunity to grow, every setback as a lesson, and every connection as a doorway to new possibilities. Keep your mind open, your spirit willing, and your heart ready for the incredible journey ahead.

The path may not always be straightforward, but with determination, a supportive community, and guidance from those who’ve walked before you, you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams. Welcome to the beautiful, ever-evolving world of copywriting!

The AWAI Method™

The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter

The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »

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Published: March 19, 2024

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