AWAI Copywriting Bootcamp – Live Blog

Date: October 23rd – 26th
Time: Ongoing
Topic: All things freelance copywriting
Presenters: Multiple experts from a variety of fields

This is Wealthy Web Writer’s Bootcamp Live Blog – Your Source for On-the-Ground Insights from AWAI’s Live Bootcamp Event

Bootcamp starts October 23rd. Even if you’re not attending, you can still get a feel for this exciting event. This Live Blog brings you the Inside Scoop on some of the most powerful writing tips coming straight some of the most renowned experts in the industry.

Every year, some of the most influential, knowledgeable, experienced A-list copywriters in the industry gather in Delray Beach Florida for AWAI’s annual Bootcamp Event.

For three days, these A-list copywriters share their success secrets. They reveal writing techniques, motivational strategies, personal marketing tips, and insightful business advice.

For many copywriters, this event is the stepping stone to the next level in their freelance careers.

And you can feel like you’re there…

The AWAI Bootcamp Live Blog, brought to you by Wealthy Web Writer, will put you in the room with your fellow copywriters.

Regular, time-stamped updates let you experience first-hand…

  • Some of the most powerful writing secrets shared by presenters.
  • Epiphany moments that can change the way you work.
  • Big ideas that everyone is talking about.
  • Laugh-out-loud moments that are bound to happen when you get a group of independent-minded freelancers together.
  • Video clips of takeaway points from attendees.
  • And much more.

Put yourself in the room at the year’s AWAI Bootcamp. Get real-time updates from the event. Post your questions in the comments, and Heather Robson, our one-the-ground live-blogger will get you answers straight from the experts. Watch video clips from fellow writers. And so much more.

The Live Blog begins the evening of Wednesday, October 23rd. But you can start posting your questions now. Don’t miss out on this once-a-year experience… visit this page often and join in the fun!

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

6:08 pm

I’ve arrived. I’m excited to see so many familiar faces and looking forward to meeting quite a few new people this year. Right now, Bill Bonner is speaking about the rules of writing good copy. Stay tuned and I’ll share some of my favorite ideas from Bill’s talk.

Just a quick note for Wealthy Web Writer Platinum members. Some of the updates each day will be exclusive for you, so make sure you’re logged in! If you’re not a Wealthy Web Writer member yet, you can join us right now. Just click here.

6:18 pm

Bill Bonner makes the point that when you’re writing copy, the product you’re writing about shouldn’t be the hero… your client shouldn’t be the hero… your reader should be the hero.

6:42 pm

To create dramatic conflict in your copy, there has to be the possibility that your hero will lose. You need a sympathetic hero (your reader) and a believable antagonist. The uncertainty of the outcome is what gets your reader emotionally invested.

6:46 pm

Bill Bonner has wrapped up his speech, and it’s time to break for dinner. I’ll be back bright and early tomorrow to share my favorite Bootcamp takeaways. Don’t forget to post your comments and questions. I love to hear from you!

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

8:21 am

Bootcamp is kicking off bright and early. Joshua Boswell speaking about what you need to know to get hired as a copywriter. Marketers have a checklist in their head that they look for when looking for a freelance copywriter. To give a great impression put together an introduction letter, testimonials, a list of clients, and a bio that will help your potential clients trust you.

Next up is Bob Bly.

8:38 am

Bob is starting his session with the one thing that will determine if your promo is successful or not. That one thing is your Big Idea. You can use a number of techniques to develop a big idea. One way is to come up with a metaphor that ties together something familiar to the reader with something new. Any big idea must be emotionally compelling.

9:03 am

When writing for a high tech client, start with a “sentence library.” This is a series of sentences stating the facts about the product as you understand them. Submit this to the client. This is a straightforward way to make sure all of your information is accurate before you write your copy.

A high tech client will not be tolerant of multiple inaccuracies in your first draft. Use this strategy to make sure you understand the product before you write your copy and you’ll overcome this pitfall.

9:16 am

Bob Bly is sharing success secrets for writing in a variety of mediums. One of the big differences between email marketing and other marketing is that readers appreciate transparency in email. In most marketing the rule is to focus everything on the reader. In email, you’ll do better if you also talk about yourself.

9:49 am

Donna Baier Stein is our next speaker. I’m very excited to hear what she has to say.

10:06 am

Donna is focusing on making writing easy by getting into the flow of your work. She uses a definition drawn from a Hungarian philosopher: Flow is the state of complete immersion in an activity. Concerns outside of what you’re doing fall away … have you ever been writing and forgotten to get up and eat? You were in the flow. People are happiest when they’re in the flow. And the most creative. And the most productive.

10:29 am

When you allow yourself to relax and write without worry or fear, you won’t necessarily write great work front to back, but when you review what you’ve written, you’ll find great nuggets that you can build a strong work around.

10:42 am

One of things I really appreciate about Donna is that she recognizes that what works for one writer does not necessarily work for another. Experiment with your environment, your tools, your strategies, and your rituals to see what works best for you.

10:46 am

It’s impossible for me to capture every golden insight that the expert speakers convey. But that doesn’t mean that you have to miss anything. Bootcamp on Demand is available. You’ll get access to everything that attendees have access to (except the after-hours fun). Order before midnight tomorrow and you can secure your access to Bootcamp on Demand for just $249.

11:19 am

We had a little break and now Mike Palmer has taken the stage. His “End of America” promotion is famous. He’ll be talking more about developing your big ideas.

11:27 am

“Creative thought is the search for an idea that already exists rather than waiting for one to pop into your head.” -Mike Palmer

In other words, ideas are something you find, not something you invent.

11:52 am

Ideas are powerful things. You can use them to create a successful promotion. But more than that, you can use them create connections. If you find a business that you would like to work with, try offering them your best ideas for what they can do to succeed. Don’t ask for anything in return. Don’t expect this strategy to work with everybody. And be patient. Nurture the relationship. Using this approach with your dream prospects can pay-off … big time.

12:04 pm

A great source of ideas is to read Mike Palmer’s copy and the copy of other great writers. Sign up for Daily Wealth, his free e-letter. You’ll get to see first hand the promotions his company is writing and sending.

2:16 pm

We’re back from the lunch break. Our next speaker is Drayton Bird. His sense of humor is wonderful. He begins with “Confucius said, ‘Find something you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life.'” He follows up with, “Absolute bollux, that.”

2:22 pm

Drayton makes the point that being creative really just involves taking two or more ideas and combining them in unexpected ways.

2:49 pm

“Never forget that everybody in the world thinks they’re an expert on advertising. That’s the problem with this business… clients.” -Drayton Bird

2:58 pm

Drayton worked with George Lois, a brilliant art director. One of his favorite quotes from Lois is, “If a man does not work passionately – even furiously – at being the best in the world at what he does, he fails his talent, his destiny, and his God.”

3:16 pm

Some of the things Drayton wants his listeners to take away:

  • Be excited to learn new things and try new things.
  • Make friends and keep them.
  • Practice your craft every day.

3:37 pm

Anytime I need any ideas on networking, I always turn to Ilise Benun first. But I’ve never seen her speak before, so I am really excited about the next session.

3:45 pm

There are so many marketing tools out there. If you want to successfully market yourself, you have to choose. You cannot use every tool and expect to excel. You’ll be spread too thin.

4:05 pm

The purpose of your elevator pitch – and you should have an elevator pitch – is to start a conversation. It’s not meant to convey everything there is to know about what you do and how you work.

4:18 pm

Do something every day on your marketing. Ilise’s recommendation is to every week do some research, prospecting, content marketing, follow up, and website updates.

5:17 pm

Steve Slaunwhite is talking about the immense possibilities for B2B copywriters. He reminds you not to worry about writing about technical products. You don’t have to write the spec. You get to write about the features and benefits. And, if you still don’t like the idea of writing about technical things, you don’t have to. There are many, many other opportunities.

5:32 pm

The B2B sales cycle tends to be long. Often the company needs multiple marketing materials for a single product. That gives you the opportunity to land big, multi-tiered projects. It also puts you in the position to receive a lot of repeat business if do good work.

5:49 pm

You would be surprised at how involved B2B companies are in social media. They tweet. They have Facebook pages. They post videos, infographics, downloadable brochures… some writers make a very good living just doing social media for B2B companies.

And on that note, we’ll wrap up the Live Blog for today. But join me again tomorrow for a lot more tips, insights, and advice from copywriting experts like Mark ford, Ryan Deiss, and Clayton Makepeace.

And don’t forget, you can full access to all the sessions with Bootcamp on Demand. Order now before the price goes up.

Friday, October 25th, 2013

8:34 am

Mark Ford is our first speaker today. He’s already made a powerful point – that big ideas are important, but it’s the small and medium-sized ideas that will sustain your career.

9:30 am

Our WiFi signal dropped right after my last post, so I’m posting from my phone. Bear with me.

“Effective persuasion is the presentation of emotionally compelling ideas with clarity and specificity.”

9:32 am

As a writer, great output comes from great input. To become an idea machine, you need to read, study, think, discuss

Without doing these things, you’ll write structurally sound copy that just doesn’t resonate. Mark calls it Frankenstein copy – it has all the elements, but it doesn’t have a heart, it lacks that spark that makes it work.

Charlotte and Michael between sessions.

Jim Wright, Michele Peterson, and Marianne Foscarini

10:07 am

All right. The Internet is back. And Ryan Deiss is on the stage. I haven’t heard him speak before, so I’m excited to hear what he has to say.

10:23 am

Right now, Ryan is talking about marketing tripwires. These are a small purchases – or even a free gift, with a shipping and handling charge associated – that get a customer to make a monetary transaction. When a person buys something from you, it changes their status with you, and they’re more likely to buy from you again.

This is a strategy you can use with your clients. It’s also a strategy you can use to build your own clientele.

10:43 am

Never forget in any of your writing or marketing decisions that you are attempting to sell to a real, live person.

10:59 am

Ryan’s presentation has been amazing. He has shared so many ideas that you can use to help your clients succeed and that you can use to build your own business. I highly recommend that you watch the whole presentation, which you can do when you order Bootcamp on Demand. The special $249 offer ends tonight. That’s a steal!

11:01 am

I should also mention that while Ryan has been presenting, Darcy Juarez has been talking about developing a marketing mindset in the other room. I can’t be in two places at once, but you can enjoy both sessions with Bootcamp on Demand.

11:33 am

Clayton Makepeace is speaking now. He’s talking first about money and what it really means. When someone pays you, they’re paying you for your talent and your time, for a little piece of your life. Earning more money can free you to live your life the way you want, and so you shouldn’t be ashamed of wanting to earn more money.

11:45 am

You can become a millionaire copywriter. Clayton has done it and so have many others. Some of Clayton’s notes on becoming a millionaire:

  • Develop a millionaire mindset. Don’t accept the limitations from others. Nurture your gift. Fantasize about success. Have unreasonably high expectations of the good things coming your way.
  • Develop a specialty. Pick a niche and study what the success stories in your niche are doing.
  • Perfect what you do. Practice. Learn. Experiment. Know what works.

And three more ideas for Platinum members. Make sure you’re logged in so you can see them.

12:16 pm

Clayton recommends attending networking events. Even better, become a presenter. It’s some of the best networking that you’ll ever do.

And on that note, we’re breaking for lunch. Up next on the agenda is the Job Fair, so this wraps up the Live Blog for today. BUT, I will post another video segment this afternoon, AND I’ll be back bright and early in the morning bringing you the highlights from Nick Usborne’s session.

Clayton Makepeace Talks to Attendees Between Sessions

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

8:28 am

Joshua Boswell is opening the day today. He’s speaking about how to win in copywriting and in life. The first step is defining your purpose. What do you want to accomplish and what do you need to accomplish it? Joshua asks everybody in the room to think about and write down what it would be worth to you to have what you need to reach your goals.

8:32 am

Joshua makes the point that you are usually smarter than the results you have in your life. Think about losing weight. Everybody knows how to lose weight, but most people find it very difficult to consistently do the things they need to do.

8:37 am

Joshua is exploring why so many people sabotage their own desires. He calls on recent research about your conscious mind versus your subconscious mind: “Your subconscious mind runs 95% of your activities and it may be running programs in conflict with what you want to be.”

8:43 am

The good news is that your conscious mind is designed to program your subconscious mind, so you can change how you run on automatic pilot so that everything is carrying you forward toward your goals. You change you subconscious blueprints through emotional repetition.

9:48 am

Nick Usborne is talking now about marketing yourself through your website. He says he really only has two things to say – that’s it’s important that your website looks good and that you have to have the right message.

10:06 am

Rather than describing your skills or your experience, develop a core message that you can talk about with clients and prospects. Your message should be that sparks for you … one that gets you excited. This is a much better way of differentiating yourself and of winning the attention and interest of prospective clients.

11:03 am

The final session is starting. Clayton Makepeace says after a long, very intensive week, this session won’t require too much thought 🙂

11:11 am

Clayton is sharing a quick anatomy of lead. He includes something to build credibility before the headline, a bold, arresting headline, an extended sub-head that builds on the headline, and then a bribe that tells the reader why they should continue reading.

11:23 am

“If you make your reader work to read your promotion, you’re going to lose them.” -Clayton Makepeace

11:35 am

Clayton is sharing headline idea after headline idea. These are strategies that work over and over again. One of my favorites is to put the headline in the voice of the reader. Try to get inside your reader’s head and then put into words what you think she is thinking.

And on that note, I have to wrap up the Live Blog. I will be adding one more video segment later today. Thank you so much for joining me. I hope you had fun!

Heather Robson

Heather Robson

Managing editor of Wealthy Web Writer, Heather has over ten years of content marketing and development experience.


    • No worries, Michael. I arrived a little after you posted. Let me know if you have any questions for the speakers.

  • Hi Heather,
    I also liked his comments about copywriting technicians who forget the story elements of prospect and purpose. The things I’ve remembered most in life have always been tagged to a narrative.

  • I would like to know about how much to charge. I have no way of knowing if I charge to little little. I know if I am charging too much because of the counters I get back from the client. What are the standards for beginning Web copywriters. Right now I charge based upon my programming fees which is from $70 to 150 and hour. but sometimes I feel like that is too much.

    Also what are some of the invoice programs they recommend. I am using quickbooks online right now. Are there any other?


    • Hi Alfredo,

      Most of the time, we’re gathered in the main ballroom. Tomorrow there will be simultaneous sessions, so we’ll split between the main ballroom and a smaller conference room. Between sessions, we bleed over into the hotel lobby. And at night, we tend to congregate in the lobby restaurant and bar.

  • Had to miss boot camp this year and was moping about it. Your wonderful blog with videos and pictures as well as excellent written notes lifted those spirits and helped me look forward to the boot camp at home program. Hopefully next year I’ll be there mixing and mingling as well. 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind words, Anne. It would have been so much fun to see you. I’ll look forward to that happening at the next one!

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