AWAI Review: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

January 20, 2012 by

After writing for a number of years, the publishing scene changed.  The internet and e-publishing reshaped the way books and literature come before the public.  No longer are publishing houses gate keepers… On the other hand, the quality of material is more varied while the quantity is unquestionably more massive.

I decided to check out the writing possibilities in copywriting. You can find many books on the subject.  Bob Bly has some good ones out.  I decided to go with AWAI—American Writers and Artists Institute—and enroll in their Michael Masterson’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. I had seen a copy of his program several years ago and been impressed with its thoroughness.

AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting
Six Figure Copywriting

 Here’s the good:

  •  The course is directed to the novice and takes baby-steps to get you to a professional level.
  •   Part1 throws a whole lot of material at you, but the next sections take each aspect of the copywriting skills and break them down into manageable chunks.  If you follow the program step-by-step, at the end, you have a polished sales piece.
  •  They cover, IN DETAIL, the skills needed to write selling copy.
  •  They are very encouraging.  You have a cheering section within each chapter.
  • You join the AWAI members area with a forum for support and with daily emails giving you more information on the writing life, the tips, skills, methods, and goals of copywriters.
  •  You get up to 4 editorial reviews on copywriting you produce and turn in.  This is extremely valuable and something you just can’t get from a book!
  • Y0u are exposed to the wide field of copywriting
  •  AWAI posts a jobs section where you can search for jobs in your area.
  •  You learn how writing sales copy differs from other kinds of writing.

The Bad:

  • You are immediately sold to!  Every email is encouragement to sign up for another course.  Every email says… well, maybe you don’t know enough, if you REALLY want to make big bucks, sign up for this… and this… and this.
  •   Jobs will not just fall into your lap. (Well, okay, so I was excited enough to talk about my copywriting… and leads did come easily.)  But no one walked up to me and said, “Please write for me and I’ll pay you 6 figures.”

 The Ugly:

Here’s what I wish I had known:

Michael Masterson’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting is excellent and outstanding at teaching you how to write sales copy—most especially direct mail.  If you want to write letters to people explaining the desirability of a product and driving clients to want to buy what you offer—this is the course you need… and you CAN make big bucks doing it.

I am more attracted to persuasive writing—soft selling, encouraging.  The copy writing field is WIDE OPEN!  There are massive areas for making money!  You can do search engine optimization (SEO), writing white papers, e-books, reports, newsletters, online copy that’s simply informational, blogging, speeches—the list is mind boggling.

You can choose your niche according to format: Online or print.  You can pick whether you want to write to the consumer or business to business.  And most important, you can choose your niche according to  field, career or hobby.

For example you might decide to write in a specific field: finance, health, food, automotive.  And to specific consumers: dentists, attorneys, realtors.  And to people who enjoy a hobby: hiking, golf, travel, antique cars, quilting.  And the highest paid copywriters may narrow their fields down further: financial planning for dentists, travel for realtors, or attorneys who specialize in dental legalities.

This kind of niche marketing makes Masterson’s program a stepping stone.  Yes, you need AWAI’s Six Figure Copywriting course as an introduction.  (This is an affiliate link.) You need to understand the structure of a “sales letter,” what motivates people to want to buy, headlines that capture attention, why guarantees are important-- even if it appears as copy on a web page.

But most likely, as you progress, you’re going to want to choose a niche that appeals to you and focus on that.  Then you will need additional courses or books.

In the next few emails, we’ll cover some of the other courses they offer and why you might… or might not… want to take them.

In the mean time... take a look at Six Figure Copywriting and decide if it's for you.

2 Comments

  1. Abrielle

    Sandy,

    Thank you for leaving this article live and available, since 2012. It's March 2015, and I'm grateful to read your review of AWAI's offerings. They're brand new to me, so I'm researching their credibility. I paid an initial $50, and as you say here, the emails are now flying in, soliciting me to pay for writing courses, at substantially higher prices. I'm sure they're valid courses, but their approach is less than graceful.

    I am patiently exploring options for realizing more income, while working part-time from home. I prefer editing to writing, so AWAI is a stretch for me to consider joining.

    The Facebook link is a personal reference, not professional. I have no website, at this time.

    Thanks again!
    Lora Abrielle Medina

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