Inside AWAI


    Bill Bonner – legendary copywriter, driving force behind The Daily Reckoning, New York Times bestselling author, philanthropist, and founder and president of Agora Inc. – will be a very special guest presenter at Bootcamp 2010.

    This is a first for AWAI … and, as far as I know, one of the few times Bill’s shared his copywriting secrets outside of Agora.

    If you don’t recognize Bill’s name, just one of his claims to fame is as the copywriter who wrote the 25-year control that launched International Living (#5 in your Hall of Fame collection).

    And if you aren’t familiar with Agora, the companies under its umbrella publish more than 300 books and 40 newsletters, reaching 1 million readers around the world. AWAI Co-Founders Paul Hollingshead and Don Mahoney got their start as copywriters at Agora … and Agora’s publishers regularly hire AWAI writers for freelance and staff positions.

    News that Bill will be speaking at Bootcamp is going to spread like wildfire. When Don heard, he told me, “Double the seating” … which, of course, isn’t possible.

    So I STRONGLY urge you to reserve your spot today. Here’s a reservation form to make it easy … complete with an early-bird registration discount. Or call Barb, Pat, Jackie, or Debbie at 866-879-2924. Payment plans are available.

  • “Bill Bonner is one of the three greatest copywriters around today, as well as one of the most generous and sharing human beings I have ever met,” said Bob Bly, who will also be a presenter at this year’s event. “With one minute’s worth of editing, he has doubled the pulling power of copy that took me days to write!” (Bob’s other two “greats”? Michael Masterson and Clayton Makepeace.)

    Reserve your spot today.

  • LIVE FROM THE WEB INTENSIVE: 8 Powerful, Proven Email Templates. Guillermo is at the Web Intensive in Vegas this week. He sent this report yesterday after sitting in on Matt Furey’s power-packed session on writing winning emails:

    “There are only 8 different kinds of emails, according to Matt. And they fall into one of these templates/categories. (I recommend that you save this list!)

    1. Conversation/Dialogue – This is one of the most popular email types that Matt uses. Simply act as though you’re having a conversation directly with your reader. Tell a personal story, and then relate that story to the product you are promoting.
    2. Media Superstar – Tap into something in the news about a celebrity. For example, the situation that Tiger Woods now finds himself in could be used to present a lesson that can be learned. You then tie that to the product.
    3. Current Event – This is just like number 2, except instead of using a person, you use a media event. The Winter Olympics for example, or the crazy snow storms in the Northeast.
    4. Question & Answer – As the name implies, this email type is a series of questions from customers/prospects, along with appropriate answers. Again, you always segue into a push for the product or service you’re promoting.
    5. Endorsement – With this email type, you feature an endorsement from someone who’s used your client’s product or service … ideally a touching story about how it changed their life.
    6. Combination – This is where you combine the Q&A email and the endorsement email in order to subtly promote your client’s product or service. The premise is simple. You start with a series of questions from customers/prospects, and intersperse at least one endorsement. Example: ‘Hey Matt, I bought your product 3 months ago, and so far I’ve lost over 30 lbs and I’m in the best shape of my life. Thanks!’ Answer: ‘Awesome. Great job. Keep up the good work.’ And then move on to the next question.
    7. Interview – You interview someone who has some kind of connection to the product or service your client is offering … and gently segue into a pitch at the end. A couple examples: If you’re selling a financial newsletter, interview the editor. If you’re selling a health supplement, interview a doctor or researcher.
    8. Special Event – This one is usually based on an offer or sale. It can be a Thanksgiving Day sale, for example … or an ‘It’s my birthday, half-off sale.’ Pretty much any fun or creative excuse you can come up with.”
  • And, some good news from Christine Butler, who’s also in Vegas with the group:

    “Lots of promises were made about the Web Copy Intensive over the last several months. It almost sounded too good to be true. But that is definitely not the case about this seminar.

    “I’m learning exactly what I need to get my business off the ground. The experts have answered so many of my questions and given me hands-on experience.

    “I'm also leaving here with a paying client!!! Wow, my first one!”

  • If, like me, you wanted to be at the Web Intensive but couldn’t make it, let me erase any regrets you may be feeling.

    You can still “attend” this year’s Intensive … hear everything the 7 highly respected, world-class Web copywriters have to offer … AND do it ALL in the comfort of your own home.

    You don’t have to miss a word SEO pioneer Heather Lloyd-Martin, autoresponder expert Jay White, “Zen Master of the Internet” Matt Furey, six-figure Web copywriter Pam Foster, PPC copywriting master Andrew Palmer, top Web copywriter Nick Usborne, and the always inspirational and motivational Joshua Boswell are sharing with the group in Vegas.

    Any one of these sessions could take your Web copy business to the next level. (Or launch it once and for all!)

    Get every single session delivered to your computer, plus the five spec assignments Rebecca and the team are handing out in Vegas.

    Get all the details here.

    Remember, you don’t have to miss out. With the Web Intensive Homestudy program, you get BOTH tracks – beginner and advanced. Plus, if you order now, you’ll SAVE 50% … and get to attend a live four-part training session where you’ll learn how to land clients and build your Web writing business, using the skills you learn from the Homestudy program. These training webinars alone are a $396 value!

    Reserve your copy here.

  • Wanted … AWAI B2B Copywriters for two projects. From Steve Slaunwhite:

    “I just got an email from an agency seeking copywriters for two projects – an advertorial and an annual report for a non-profit. And the creative director specifically requested writers who have completed, or are completing, the Secrets to Writing High-Performance B2B Copy program.”

    This isn’t the first time Steve has referred work to AWAI-trained B2B copywriters. Clients understand the strong skills our copywriters have when they complete this program.

    If you’re a B2B copywriter who has taken Steve’s Secrets of Writing High-Performance B2B Copy program, get the details of the two projects on your Members forum.

    Don’t have Steve’s program yet? Get it here today. Included is access to the active B2B forum. You’ll also be eligible to apply for future projects sent our way … thanks to Steve.

  • On Monday, Nick Usborne is holding a special free teleconference to show you how to transition from having a freelance job to owning a freelance business …

    With a freelance job, your client is the boss.

    With a freelance business, YOU are the boss.

    After just one hour with Nick, you’ll be able to:

    • Choose better clients …

    • Seek out higher paying projects …

    • Increase the scope and profitability of every project you take on …

    • Take active steps to double your income … and more!

    Whether you are already running a freelance business, or looking to take the first step to owing your own business, make sure you sign up for this call.

    Register here to reserve your spot.

  • 24% of U.S. small businesses are now using social media, says a survey done in December 2009 by the Small Business Success Index at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business. That’s doubled from only 12% a year ago. The survey also found that of those on board, 61% are using social media to generate leads and 39% have a blog.

    Two big opportunities for you here. One: 3 out of 4 businesses aren’t yet using social media. Give them advice in this area, along with your copywriting and Web copywriting expertise, and you automatically add value to your services. Two: If a business is using social media in their marketing mix, they often don’t have the time to do it themselves. Offer to write their blog posts or company profile page. It could turn into an ongoing project.

  • Are you using social media to market yourself? While small businesses are increasingly using social media for marketing, there are still some misperceptions about it: Facebook is just for personal use. Twitter is for well-known people with thousands of “followers.” Nobody reads blogs, and they take too much time.

    Jim Turner says to kick these myths to the curb and put the power of social media to work for you.

    Jim used social networking strategies to put $7,500 in his pocket last November (from one client!), with another $4,500 a month since. In fact, in the last year, Jim picked up 13 new clients using this one technique. Instead of contacting clients by mail, email, or phone,his clients are coming to him. Jim gives you all the details here.

  • “Swallow your doubts and get going – there’s no ‘perfect’ time,” says Starr Daubenmire.

    Last week, we told you about Starr’s incredible one-year transformation. In January of 2009, she was laid off from her corporate job. In her late 50s and having health problems, Starr wasn’t feeling good about her job prospects. So she dusted off her Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting and got to work.

    By the end of the year, Starr was writing copy for Don Mahoney and having copy reviewed by none other than Michael Masterson.

    This week, we’re thrilled to congratulate Starr as our newest Wall of Fame Member. Read more about Starr’s story here.

  • Copy Logic! presents three of the most useful copywriting processes ever devised,” says Bob Bly, “one of which not one copywriter in a thousand knows, and is worth 10 times the price of the book.”

    Weighty words from a master copywriter and the author of over 70 books himself.

    How much time and money would you invest to transform your copy from “good” to “great” or “great” to “legendary”? Sean McCool uprooted his wife and two kids and moved 9 hours away from home to learn these secrets.

    You don’t have to go quite that far. For less than 30 bucks and a quiet afternoon of your time, you’ll have access to the same secrets Clayton Makepeace says “will change the way direct-response marketing campaigns are created for generations to come.” Here’s more about it from Sean.

  • Our first run of CopyLogic! sold out, and we wound up with a considerable backlog of orders.

    We’re stocked up again … but can’t be sure how long the supply will last. So don’t make the mistake others did and wait to get your copy. The longer you wait, the longer it will before you can apply CopyLogic! to your sales letters … and to your life. Order your copy today.

  • An update to Sean’s story. When you read his letter about Copy Logic!, you’ll learn that Sean now has a great copywriting job with Stansberry & Associates, a position he landed from the 2008 Bootcamp.

    Sean and I keep in touch. He’s doing great … and I love to hear about his successes.

    I was particularly happy to get this news from him on Monday: “I earned enough in royalties and bonuses during the last 12 months to pay off 5-figures worth of high-interest credit card debt.”

    Way to go, Sean!

  • ATTN freelancers: Tax questions answered. Find out what the IRS really needs to know … how to make the most of those deductions for travel, meals, entertainment, home office, and more …

    To get answers to hundreds of tax questions, along with practical worksheets you can use to make sure you’re paying as little as possible to Uncle Sam, click here.

  • A copywriter’s interpretation of the writer’s classic, The Elements of Style by Strunk & White … or … three simple rules to improve your copywriting, compliments of AWAI member Steve Roller:

    1. 1. Strunk & White’s Rule: Choose a suitable design and hold to it. “Writing, to be effective, must follow closely the thoughts of the writer, but not necessarily in the order in which those thoughts occur. This calls for a scheme of procedure.”

      Steve: In other words, use an outline. Whether you’re the “architect” of a website, putting together a 16-page promotion for a high-ticket financial newsletter, or writing a two-page email sales letter, an outline is a good place to start.

    2. Strunk & White’s Rule: Use the active voice. “The active voice is usually more vigorous and direct than the passive. … The habitual use of the active voice … makes for forcible writing.”

      Steve: It also helps lower your Flesch-Kincaid score. Remember the F-K score?

    3. Strunk & White’s Rule: Omit needless words. “Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences ….”

      Steve: Applicable both on the Web and in print. Enough said.

  • Make yourself (and your client) a local hero. E Marketing and Commerce reported on March 4 that with consumers going online more frequently for information about local businesses, local search engines have emerged as an affordable and effective way for small businesses to advertise.

    Three tips for improving a client’s online local presence:

    1. List the business for free with the local business listing (LBL) sections of the major search engines. These include Google Local Business Center, Yahoo Local, and Local Listing Center on Bing. Be sure to follow the guidelines for each site.

    2. Optimize a local business listing by spending time on the business description, collecting customer testimonials, and including photos or videos where applicable.

    3. Create listings on Internet Yellow Pages and other local search sites. These listings improve a business’s rankings for LBLs on the major search engines … and help them capture a bigger portion of the local search market.

    And, remember, this doesn’t only work for your clients. You can incorporate this into your own self-promotion strategy too!

    Want to offer more search marketing options to your clients? Get access to SEO expert Heather Lloyd-Martin’s presentation at the Web Copy Intensive. You’ll be up and running in no time.

    Order the complete Homestudy package now.

  • What’s the forecast? Target Marketing conducted a survey of its print subscribers in January 2010, with these results:

    Most of those businesses will spend about the same amount of money this year on advertising and promotions as they did last year.

    That money will be allocated differently, though, with increases in email marketing, search engine marketing (PPC ads), SEO strategies, and website advertising.

    The big winner is email marketing. 84.6% of the companies plan to use email this year to acquire new customers.

    Social media is the next big winner, with 66.4% of the companies reporting that they’ll use it for prospecting efforts this year.

  • Don’t forget to “spring forward” this Sunday with the change to Daylight Savings Time. It’s a perfect opportunity for you to establish a productive daily writing routine (if you don’t already have one) … before you get sidetracked by the distractions of summer.

    I know from last month’s writing challenge entries that many of you do your best writing early in the morning. But whether it’s early morning, late at night, or somewhere in between, having a consistent daily schedule will ramp up your productivity. Then, as summer approaches, nothing will keep you from achieving your writing goals – not the kids home from school, the time you spend outdoors with friends … even taking off for a vacation.

    Where you do your best writing might be as important as when …

  • Writing Challenge Reminder: Where do you do your best writing?

    I’ve gotten quite a few entries for this challenge, but I’d love to see more!

    One winner will be selected from all entries received. If it’s you, you’ll receive a $100 American Express gift card and have your essay published on the AWAI website.

    Deadline: March 20, 2010

    More details here.

  • And, finally … one more “empowerment” story from the Web Intensive: “I’ve always dreaded the ‘money part’ of negotiations with clients,” wrote Paula Williams.

    “At the Web Copy Intensive, Nick Usborne and Joshua Boswell took on our toughest questions and darkest fears.

    “Nick explained how to calculate the true value of a project, based on two primary criteria – the client's perception of your expertise; and the actual value you can bring to the particular situation.

    “Joshua gave us some techniques to handle the conversation smoothly.

    “By Wednesday's lunch break, I was able to make a phone call to a prospective client from my hotel room in Las Vegas and have the dreaded ‘money conversation’ without the usual cold sweat:

    “Thanks to Nick and Joshua, I felt empowered rather than panicked. My client’s response to my $13,500 proposal was conditionally positive, and I felt smooth, empowered and brilliant.”

    “I'm definitely glad I came!”

    Get empowered too!

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Katie Yeakle