Very few writers are able to support themselves on fiction or poetry alone. Almost every literary writer I know, including some very successful writers, either has a spouse who pays the bills or a day job. Copywriting can be your day job, allowing you to use your writing skills to earn an income and support your fiction or poetry.
American Writers & Artists (AWAI) offers an online course in what is called direct-response copywriting. That is copywriting aimed at convincing a customer to take an immediate action such as mailing a coupon or clicking an online purchase button. I'd read great things about AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, so when I was offered reviewer access to the course, I was intrigued.
Currently, I'm still working my way through the 500+ pages (!) of online course materials, and I'm extremely impressed with what I've seen.
First of all, this is a substantial course. Before logging into the course, I expected to be able to absorb the main information in a week or so and write my review -- what I found was enough material to spend many months studying and learning.
The course presents the basic principles of copywriting, builds students' skills through a series of exercises, and then walks students through the process of writing a sales letter. The course is well-structured, and the lessons are clear and very easy to follow.
Some of the topics covered include:
Apart from the thirteen lessons (presented in an attractive virtual textbook format), students have access to a wealth of other resources, including an online copywriting community, an interesting newsletter full of career tips for copywriters, and -- particularly valuable -- a library of successful sales letters called the "AWAI Hall of Fame."
One of my favorite aspects of the course is the emphasis on reading and analyzing master copywriting to learn the techniques of the experts. At Creative Writing Now, we are always advising writers to read the kind of thing they want to write, to read poetry if they want to be poets. If you want to learn copywriting, it just makes sense to read it. The AWAI Hall of Fame makes this easy.
My main criticism of the course so far is that I think it can give aspiring copywriters an unrealistic idea of how quickly they will be able to succeed and how much money they are likely to make. I’d recommend taking this aspect of the course materials with a grain of salt. There's a learning curve to any type of writing, and it takes time and work to establish yourself as a copywriter and build a client base.
That said, if you're interested in copywriting, I would certainly recommend this course based on what I've seen. I'll keep you updated as I continue with the course!
Learn more about AWAI's Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.
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