Bootcamp Live Blog – Your On-the-Ground Resource for Bootcamp Highlights

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Bootcamp Live Blog - Your On-the-Ground Resource for Bootcamp HighlightsDates: October 14th through 17th
Time: In real time!
Topics: If it has to do with copywriting, you’ll find it here.
Presenters: A-Level Copywriters including Bob Bly, Mark Ford, and John Carlton

Autumn is here! Do you know what that means? It means that Bootcamp is nearly here!

AWAI’s Copywriting Bootcamp begins October 15th. If you aren’t going to be attending the event live, you’ve found the next best thing right here. This is the Bootcamp Live Blog! From October 14th to October 17th, I’ll be bringing you real-time updates from Bootcamp. If an expert shares a top tip, I’ll pass it on to you. If an A-level copywriter shares their winning formula for writing headlines, you’ll be the first to know!

From quotes to session highlights to favorite takeaways gleaned by your fellow writers … I’ll share them all. Plus there will be photos, video clips, and more. It’s going to be so much fun!

If you have questions you’d like to ask any of our expert presenters, post them in the comments and I’ll do my level best to bring you answers.

And remember, if you’re a Platinum member, make sure you’re logged in. I’ll be sharing extra goodies, just for you.

Also, everyone who takes the time to make a relevant comment on what I’m posting will be entered into a drawing for a free copy of the Bootcamp Home Study program. That means access to every recorded minute of Bootcamp could be yours absolutely free! See, I told you it was going to be fun.

The AWAI Bootcamp Live Blog kicks off at 5:30pm Eastern Time on October 14th. I hope I’ll see you here!

October 14th, 2015

5:37 pm

Yeeeee! We’re getting starting. In just a few minutes, Bob Bly will take the stage for the Bootcamp keynote speech. And I’ll be sharing the very best moments with you!

If you’re a Platinum member, don’t forget to log in. Some of my posts will available just for members.

5:50 pm

Before Bob takes the stage, I want to give you a few highlights from his career:

  • He’s been a successful direct response copywriter for more than three decades.
  • He’s worked with more than a hundred different clients.
  • He’s authored more than 80 books.
  • He’s had a hand in helping his clients make millions and millions of dollars in sales

In other words, Bob has a wealth of practical copywriting knowledge … and he’s willing to share.

6:05 pm

Bob’s speech is titled The Good, the Bad, and the Inevitable. He’s going to share what you have to look forward to, what you should be aware of, and what’s coming down the pike.

6:21 pm

Bob begins by talking about how the industry has changed in the last 30 years. These days there is more education, more competition, and more opportunity than ever before. Even though there are many more people working as copywriters these days, there are many, many more people earning a very, very good living.

6:31 pm

The Internet is a huge benefit to you as a copywriter. But it’s also making your life harder because there is a sect of writers who offer their services for bottom-of-the-barrel prices. You have to work harder now to differentiate yourself and to establish your value in your industry. You also have to work harder to screen out clients who do not understand the value you offer and who are reluctant to pay your fees.

6:38 pm

Bob lists The Internet as the number one worst thing for copywriters these days. He also lists it as the number one best thing. It makes it possible to work with clients from anywhere. It makes sharing work easier than ever, so you can collaborate better with your clients. And it’s a godsend when it comes to research.

6:48 pm
Bob breaks launching your copywriting business down into ten steps.

  1. Research the competition.
  2. Pick a niche.
  3. Set your services and prices.
  4. Create an information package.
  5. Create a lead magnet.
  6. Launch your website.
  7. Find a list or media that will reach your target audience.
  8. Set up a lead generation campaign.
  9. Gather testimonials. Ask every satisfied client. And gather samples (along with permission to post those samples on your site).
  10. Write and speak to build your credibility and your audience.

He goes into details on how to do each, but for the details, you’ll have to check out the Bootcamp on Demand Home Study Program. The best possible price is available right now. That ends on Friday, so don’t wait!

That’s a wrap for this evening. I’ll be back bright and early in the morning to share more A-list copywriting secrets with you.

October 15th, 2015

8:29 am

Good morning, Wealthy Web Writers!

Mark Ford is taking the stage, as Day 2 is underway …

8:35 am

Mark is recounting the early days of AWAI with Don, Paul, and Katie.

8:52 am

As a copywriter, there are three ways to increase your income:

  1. Work more hours
  2. Increase your skills
  3. Upgrade your clients

Mark recommends focusing on the last two!

9:07 am

To increase wealth, Mark is urging us to leverage our copywriting skills to establish a cash-generating business. His first example is our own Reality Blogger Christina Gillick’s Comfy Earrings.

9:42 am

When is comes to starting a cash-generating business, as copywriters, Mark tells us we have an advantage that most people just don’t have.

9:55 am

Mark is wrapping up his presentation. Up next, Richard Armstrong!

Don’t forget to share your thoughts, questions, and insights in the comments. At the end of Bootcamp, I’ll randomly select one lucky commenter to receive a copy of the Bootcamp Home Study program … free!

10:36 am

Richard Armstrong is one of my very favorite speakers ever. He’s talking about how to work with clients. Some of his most important tips:

  • Don’t be desperate. Play hard to get. Ask for higher fees. Ask for longer lead times. Do it politely, though.
  • Remember your clients are people. Ask how they’re doing. Be likable. Be easy to work with.
  • Read contracts and negotiate the details. Don’t feel like you have to sign something that you don’t think is fair or that you are not comfortable with.

10:44 am

Ask a lot of questions of your client before you get started on a project. Listen to what they say. Capture any good ideas. And use those in your copy.

11:01 am

Richard Armstrong is taking us through his process from research to developing concepts to planning and outlining to writing.

Richard uses a three-ring binder for each project where he stores his typed up his notes with references along with his outline (which is often ten pages or more) and his concepts. He internalizes it all and then he puts it away and he begins to write.

When it comes to writing, his best advice is to sit down and to begin.

11:06 am

When you write a promotion and it goes out to an audience, whether it succeeds or fails, the first question to ask is, “Why?”

11:41 am

Mike Palmer is speaking now. His topic is understanding the psychology of being a copywriter. It’s going to be good stuff.

12:04 pm

Learning a new skill or tackling a new project involves something that Mike calls a transition curve. This is the psychological journey you take to master a new skill.

  1. The first point on the curve is uninformed optimism. You’re ready to go. You have a vision of success coming to you easily.

  2. The second point is informed pessimism. Things are not as easy as you thought they would be!

  3. The third point is what Mike calls the Crisis of Meaning. This is your low point where you just aren’t sure you’re cut out to master the skill. This is where you’ll either quit or you’ll choose to press forward. If you want to succeed, you have to find some way to keep going. The thing to remember is that your skill level at this point is better than it was when you started. Even though you’re at your low, you are making progress.

  4. The final point is informed optimism. You’ve had some kind of breakthrough and you believe again that you can succeed.

Just knowing you’re going to go through this can help you stick with what you are doing through the lows, so that you can become the copywriter you want to be.

2:12 pm

We’re back after a lunch break, and Nick Usborne has taken the stage to show us how the Web is the perfect direct-response medium.

2:18 pm

It comes down to testing. When direct-response was limited to print, testing was expensive and it took months to get results.

Now, testing is remarkably inexpensive and you can get results back in a day or less. This gives you as a copywriter two amazing opportunities.

  1. You can quickly prove your value to a client.
  2. You can consistently improve your understanding of what works and that will improve your writing.

2:27 pm

There are so many companies on the Web who are not testing. The opportunity to help them get better results is huge!

2:59 pm

Things online are changing faster now than they were ten years ago. And direct-response copywriting is at the heart of everything. The opportunities are vast. Which means, you are in the right place at the right time.

3:51 pm

We had a quick break to hear from some of the marketers seeking copywriters, and now we’re going to learn from Robert Henderson on how to write a message that cuts through all the distraction in our overly distracted world.

3:58 pm

Robert has just promised to condense an 8 hour presentation into one hour. I can guarantee you’ll need the Bootcamp Home Study program to take full advantage of what he has to say.

4:05 pm

People are so tired of being SOLD things. So what do they really want? They want help.

4:15 pm

A proven strategy is to offer your prospect practical, useful, credible help through a lead magnet. The lead magnet is the first step in establishing a relationship. From there, grow the relationship with more useful material. Only when you’ve established trust with your prospects is it effective to offer something for purchase.

4:38 pm

One of the roles of a copywriter/marketer is to test offers. What are the potential solutions to your prospect’s problem? Come up with lots of ideas for this. Test them and see what resonates.

October 16th, 2015

8:41 am

Last year, Carline Anglade-Cole was one of my very favorite speakers. She’s going to have some great stuff for us this morning.

8:34 am

Like Richard Armstrong, yesterday, she’s going to take us through her process for writing a package. This kind of “hands-on” practical information is gold. And seeing that even top-level copywriters take very different approaches helps you to find your own process and to know that its okay to do things your own way.

8:46 am

Just a quick reminder … make sure you’re logged in. Some of my updates are only available to Platinum members. (Not a Platinum member? You can get instant access right here.)

8:53 am

One of the most important things you’ll receive from your client is the Creative Brief or Starter Kit. Make sure you review it closely. Often, you’ll find your Big Idea in there.

9:07 am

Sometimes the best Big Idea is obvious. When that happens, don’t make things hard in yourself. Pick that low-hanging fruit!

9:16 am

If there isn’t an obvious Big Idea, look for hidden benefits. Unexpected benefits to a product can be very powerful as Big Ideas.

10:15 am

Steve Slaunwhite is a top-level B2B copywriter and he’s underscoring the scope of the opportunity in the B2B market for writers like you. The opportunities are immense.

10:27 am
Some of the copy needs of B2B companies:

  • Websites or website pages. Many B2B companies have huge websites. All that copy has to be written by someone.
  • Email newsletters. These are a steady project. You usually have an assignment (or multiple assignments) every week. It gets to be very lucrative.
  • Case studies. Tell the success stories of your client’s customers with your client’s products. These are a lot of fun to write.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg …

10:33 am

Many B2B projects use shorter copy. You might be writing a page or two. But the copy has to be strategic, so it’s a fun challenge. Plus, these projects pay really well.

10:41 am

In the B2B world, landing just four or five clients can equal enough work to put you in the six-figure territory for the year.

11:06 am

John Carlton is taking the stage. He’s a copywriting superstar!

11:11 am

John Carlton is sharing his personal story before he came to copywriting. At 32, he had just lost his job, his girlfriend and his place to live all in the same month. He was living out of his car, waiting for something to change. And then he realized that if anything was going to change, he had to make it change.

11:14 am

Today, John has been an A-lister for 30 years. He’s helped countless clients and even more writers and entrepreneurs.

11:19 am

As a copywriter, you are one of the heroes of capitalism.

11:26 am

You have a choice. You can write copy that’s not ethical and that breaks all the rules and regulations and that could actually send you to jail …


You can learn to write breathtaking copy while being true to yourself. That’s what John teaches to the writers he works with.

11:30 am

The first thing to writing copy that will grab your reader and make them scramble to place an order is to do detective work. You have to research deeper and further than the other writers, deeper and further, even, than your clients. Don’t just read studies and articles. Interview people. Interview the product creators. Interview salespeople. Interview the customer service people. Learn as much as you can about the backstory of your product and about your audience — what questions they ask, what complaints the have … everything.

11:59 am

Never underestimate the power of a good story. When you’re digging into your research, always have your ears open for a good story. When you find one, see if you can build your package around it. Often you can!

12:06 pm

Use power words in your copy. In your headlines especially. Power words are words that have an emotional element — they trigger a strong reaction in your reader.

12:17 pm

That’s a wrap for today. From here we’re off to lunch and then Job Fair. But I’ll be back tomorrow with more great insights from Clayton Makepeace and Joshua Boswell. Don’t forget to grab your copy of the Bootcamp on Demand Home Study Package. If you order today, you’ll save 50% off the list price.

Talk to you again tomorrow!

October 17th, 2015

8:57 am

Clayton Makepeace is with us this morning talking about how to put together a multi-step campaign to turn leads into customers. He emphasizes that you cannot bore your prospects into buying. You need to work to come up with disruptive ideas, and you need to be fearless about it.

9:05 am

As a copywriting, especially if you’re working in the financial market, pay attention to cycles. You can often use cycles to build proof for your Big Idea.

9:11 am

Bring drama into your sales copy. Get your reader emotionally involved in the story that you’re telling. Think about how you would relate a story from your own life to a friend, the phrasing you would use to keep them interested in what you’re saying. That’s the way you want to write your copy.

9:23 am

In online promotions, look for ways to have a call to action and order button earlier in the promotion as well as at the end of the promotion. One way to do this is to include small ads within the promotion.

9:34 am

When writing a promotion use a longer money-back guarantee. If you have a 30-day guarantee, your cancels will be high. If you have a year-long guarantee, you’ll get more orders and fewer cancels. If your client balks, fight for what you think will get them the best results.

9:47 am

Clayton is wrapping up with a list of 21 questions you should ask yourself when you land a project. I’m not going to be able to type fast enough to share them all here, but here are five that can be very helpful.

  1. How can I make my launch dramatic or entertaining?
  2. How can I make this opportunity unique?
  3. How can I give my sales page perceived value?
  4. How can I create a disruptive pricing strategy?
  5. How can I save prospects who leave the sales page

Clayton provides examples for each of these and for the other 16 questions as well. They are all in the Bootcamp on Demand Home Study program.

9:50 am

There’s just one more session and then the Live Blog will come to a close. Get your comments in before noon, Eastern Time, to be entered into the drawing for a free copy of Bootcamp on Demand.

Joshua Boswell’s Presentation

I had some Internet issues during Joshua’s presentation. But I took good notes for you. Not in real time, but still useful. 🙂

Joshua begins by sharing some of the setbacks that he experienced, including one that left him $200,000 in debt. Through each of his setbacks, he held fast to his vision of what he wanted his life to be like.

When he discovered AWAI, it laid out a path that he could follow to reach that vision.

One of the things he recommends is to imagine what you would do if copywriting takes off for you. Write down three to five things that you would do and then write down why you want them.

And then write down what you are willing to sacrifice to achieve that. How much are you willing to spend? How much time are you willing to give?

What you’re doing is creating a solid picture of what you want and determining ahead of time what you’re willing to give. You’re clearing the obstacles in your path by making the decision ahead of time, if you need to spend time or money, that you’re willing to do that and to what extent.

Things that can help you get to where you’re going faster.

  • A clear vision.
  • A commitment to developing your ability.
  • Learning to effectively show your potential clients who you are and what you can do for them.
  • A commitment to taking regular action to move forward.
  • A support system of people who care about your success and who will hold you accountable and also help you answer your questions as they come up.

And with that, the Live Blog comes to a close. Thank you so much for joining me for the Bootcamp. I hope you’ve had as much as I’ve had!

Heather Robson

Heather Robson

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


  • Great! I can’t wait to tune into Bootcamp Live since I won’t be able to attend in person this year.
    I’m sure that it will be even more exciting than in years past as it gets better and better!

    Leslie Ehrin

  • Bob Bly is the reason that I wanted to be a copywriter. I was disappointed that I could not go to the Bootcamp, but I will be open to any information that I can receive from your blog reports. I am still studying the Accelerated Program, bu I have had to slow down to include the exercises. Thank you for at least giving us the highlights of the esperience.

    • Wish you were here, Tim. If I can, I’ll pass along your comments to Bob. Glad you are enjoying the Live Blog!

  • Did he get into ideas for info packets related to copywriting? Because truly…I have no idea what I would have to offer as a fairly new copywriter. But I know I need to go the sales funnel route and am looking forward to doing that–just not sure how to relate an info product to my business that I could write about with any authority. Any suggestions?

  • Thank you so much for a brief glimpse into the excitement of the Bootcamp. Can’t wait to wrap my mind around the Home Study Course and the 24 sessions from the previous Bootcamps.

    Duncan McClintock

  • Thank you for the work on this article. I found it very interesting. I want that Home Study course I hope to get entered into the raffle. With this info and some focus I cant see how you can’t succeed. Thanks again for this info Heather

    • Thank you for following along. More updates to come today and tomorrow and Saturday, too. And yes… you’re entered in the raffle 🙂

  • This blog roll following the daily happenings of Bootcamp is a great idea. Thanks for setting this up. It’s nice for us stay-at-homes to get a taste of what must be a pretty exciting event. I love everything AWAI does for us aspiring writers.

  • Wow – Mike Palmer’s transition curve really resonated with me. I think I’m past the Crisis of Meaning and am heading toward informed optimism (I hope). However, since Failure is Not an Option, I’m sure I’ll get there in the end!

    The real test will come when I quit faffing about mastering my new skills and actually put myself out there. I’ve got the insider knowledge and, thanks in large part to AWAI and my English degree, the writing ability, but like a lot of newbies (and maybe even those with experience), I have to overcome…or just power through…the fear of rejection and of being exposed as a fraud.

    Thanks for this live blog — it’s nice to be kept in the loop!

    • Hi Gina,

      His talk was really good and it’s always good to hear that what we’re going through is completely normal. When it comes to putting yourself out there, I found early in my web-writing journey that it worked to approach clients that I felt were on my level. I’d work with them, see some good results, hone my skills and then be ready to move up the ladder to bigger (better-paying) clients. We have a report on Wealthy Web Writer that talks more about how to do this. You can find it here:

    • Gina, I agree, Mike Palmer’s comments as summarized by Heather struck a nerve with me too. I’ve already ordered the Bootcamp on Demand course and I’m especially looking forward to viewing this presentation.

      And, Heather, thanks for the live blog. Wish I could have been there in person.

  • Thank you, Heather for the in depth blog reports on the bootcamp. I feel like I’m there. You’re doing a great job.

  • Heather, thanks for all the fantastic updates on what’s going on and what’s being said at this year’s AWAI Boot Camp! Wishing I could be there instead!!

  • Heather, First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you for these posts! I’ve been a member of WWW for a few short months, along with just starting the Accelerated Program, Travel Writers and B2B Program. Also, working a full-time commission only sales job, I am moving ahead, slowly but surely, having committed myself to several hours daily, minimum, studying and writing. I’ve been dreaming of going to Bootcamp since I started – just not possible this first year, but I will be meeting you and all of my other heroes next year! As a single mother of 2 grown boys and grandmother of 2, writing is something I’ve always loved but never believed I could do and make a living. AWAI has totally transformed my way of thinking and looking at life in general. Your blog has me so excited about completing my programs, starting my business and being able to attend bootcamp next year – the first two being done simultaneously! Yes, get me in that drawing so I don’t have to wait and pay full price! (Single, grandmother, commission job….) I’m also subscribed to Writers’ Life, B2B Success and Barefoot Writer and have read several articles by you. Thanks so very much for the knowledge and motivation your writing brings me! Yes, I am a bit long winded at times but felt the need to sincerely express my gratitude for this remarkable group of people I accidentally stumbled upon!

    • Hi Jeanne,

      Thank you for your comment. Writing offers so many possibilities for building a career, and I’m glad you found us. Thank you so much for your kind words. They made my day!

  • Everyday gets more and more exciting! Its great to have so many speakers with so much to give. I think what Richard said is so true, to be a good writer it simply starts with having something to say. In most cases when you have something to say you can become very passionate especially is there is a little research behind it. That’s were it starts for most people in my opinion. NICE!!

  • This is all wonderful stuff, Heather! But Mike Palmer’s transition curve really speaks to me. I recognize myself in each step (we all do, I’m sure). Dang! Why did I quite so many times at the third transition?! Well, now I know what awaits me if I just stick to the program — whatever it may be — and finish it. If you get a chance, please shake Mike’s hand for me and tell him those points struck home for one Minnesota gal!

  • About that 4-stage transition curve…that is totally happening! I think I’m emerging from the third stage. 😉

    • That’s resonated with a lot of people. It’s good to know that it’s all part of the normal process 🙂

  • LOVE all these nuggets of inspiration, Heather! Thank you for continuing the tradition of the live blog. Sounds like John Carlton’s presentation was amazing! And Richard Armstrong’s tip about using 3-ring binders … so simple, yet so powerful!

    Sure miss being there with you all. Raise a glass and tell the gang “Cheers!” for me. 😉

  • Thanks for doing this again Heather, it’s just great. Even though I’m not there this year, it’s nice to hear the nuggets of info all the speakers are giving out.

  • Hello!
    These past several days your blog served as a great
    “Teaser” giving “best of” snid bits of the Speakers
    Full sessions!
    Fortunately I signed up early for Bootcamp On Demand
    And while I’ve been going thru it daily for the valuable
    Content that’s already on there Im looking forward
    To the Home Study or the posting of the entire
    For those out there have fun! I plan on being out
    There with y’all for next years 2016 Boot Camp!
    Larry E

      • I’m sure of it! I’ve been watching the presentations from 2007-2014
        Boot camps and
        They are definetly the “best of”

  • Heather, thanks so much for the live updates!
    I think I’ve read through the blog 4 or 5 times already, next time it’ll be with my pen and paper to take notes…
    If I can pull so many helpful little bits of info out of this, I can only imagine how truly awesome being there is, to hear it all and learn from the full sessions.
    Every speaker you’ve mentioned has said something I can take away and use. Of special mention, for me, is Mike Palmer… I am in the third step, I believe coming out of it soon. I haven’t given up anyway, so I’ll keep on keeping on!
    I recently joined the Wealthy Web Writer and the PWA.. just got my cheat sheet poster Wednesday, what an exciting moment! I was like a kid getting mail. (who mails things these days, other than bills etc.)

    Thanks to you and AWAI for the inspiration !


    • Wow! I’m so happy that you’ve enjoyed the Live Blog. Thank you for your kinds words. Looking forward to seeing more of you on Wealthy Web Writer!

  • Thanks so much, Heather! The blog has given us a taste for what goes on in Bootcamp, and how much better it would be to be there in the flesh. Hopefully, attending is in my future.

    I’ve enjoyed, and taken away, something from all the speakers. In particular, since I’m a newbie, I’m paying greater attention to points made by Joshua Boswell, among others, about how to get this copywriting rocketship off the ground.

    Huge thanks for being our eyes and ears!


    • Hi Natalie,

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed this experience. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to compare notes in person.


  • Great job of reporting Heather. One thing needs clarification. You reported that Mark said, “Mark tells us we have an advantage that most people just don’t have.” I can think of several advantages but wonder what specifically Mark had in mind?

  • Hi Heather. I’m using your Live Blog archive to help remind myself of — and review — the treasure chest of information heard live at Bootcamp. It was a whirlwind experience for this first-time attendee, and it may take a few days yet for everything to sink in. Many diamonds, rubies, bars of gold and even some platinum! For anyone “on the fence” about attending Bootcamp next year, this archive is invaluable to your decision-making process!

    • Thank you, Nancy. I’m so glad this is a good resource even for attendees. It was great to meet you in person!

  • I want to thank all of you for your comments. I had so much fun hearing your thoughts about what was happening at Bootcamp. I’ve done the official random drawing for Bootcamp-on-Demand and the winner is Sandy Braccey (sbraccey)! Sandy, I’ll be contacting you by email and letting our Member Services department know that you get free access to this program as soon as it goes to press! Congratulations 🙂

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