AWAI’s Copywriting Bootcamp – Live Blog, 2019

Coffee break at conference meeting.  Business and entrepreneurship.

Date: May 14 to May 17, 2019
Time: Real Time
Presenters: So many good ones…
Topic: Copywriting, business building, productivity, and more…

AWAI’s Copywriting Bootcamp kicks off on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, and if you aren’t able to join us in Delray Beach, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun.

Here on this page, I’ll be bringing you regular updates from the event.

Each update will be time-stamped so you know what’s happening and when it’s happening.

I’ll share insights, writing techniques, and other valuable lessons from the experts on the stage.

I’ll bring you quotes and top takeaways from members here on the ground.

I’ll share those fun, little moments that just can’t be captured on camera.

Heck, I might even post a video or two!

Once the fun begins, this page will get regular updates. So visit. Refresh often. And comment often.

We’re gonna have a good time… and I’m counting on you to help make that happen!

Tuesday – May 14, 2019

4:22 pm

Good afternoon from Delray Beach, Florida!!

I arrived last night and have already gotten to catch up with several writers, speakers, and folks from AWAI. The excitement here at the Marriott is palpable. It won’t be long now before we get started.

Let me know what you’re looking forward to seeing in the Live Blog – just post a comment below. And if you’re here in Delray, come say, “Hi!” I’ll be hanging out in the back of the ballroom.

6:07 pm

Katie Yeakle is introducing Ann Handley. She is one of my favorite speakers of all time, so buckle up!

6:11 pm

Ann is challenging writers to slow down a little bit. To write slower and market slower… but for strategic reasons. I’m intrigued…

6:18 pm

When you take notes by hand, you process the topic better and are able to recall it better, which means you can integrate it into your writing better.

When you take fast notes on your computer, you have a more complete record, but you miss some of your own thoughts on what you’re reading about or listening to… and that can slow your writing down.

6:56 pm

Ann has used a San Francisco content marketer, cockroaches, Facebook Live, and tires to show us how amazing it can be when you just slow down a little… also dingleberries, but we won’t get into that.

7:08 pm

Ann’s talk was amazing, and I hope you enjoyed my notes. My top takeaways: Slow down. Be real. Tell your story. Tell it often. Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Have FUN! And talk to people like they are, you know… people.

I’ll be posting some videos either later this evening or in the morning.

Tomorrow, I’ll be covering Richard Armstrong, Ilise Benun, Jon Morrow, and Yanik Silver. And I’ll have some other goodies for you too.

Share your copywriting, web writing, and marketing questions in the comments.

Oh, and one more thing… keep up with more updates on Twitter, #AWAIBootcamp.

A shoutout to Tim Adams from Joshua Boswell…

Wednesday – May 15, 2019

8:55 am

To make a good living, you need to start thinking of yourself as a copywriter, rather than a writer… your job is to help your clients make sales.

From the Twitter-verse

9:04 am

When it comes to the choice of being a generalist or specialist, Richard Armstrong suggests being both. Pick a speciality and master it, but take on other projects, too. You might find a second speciality and you’ll keep your own work interesting.

9:08 am

Often in this business, it’s enough to be prompt and professional. You don’t have to be talented.

9:18 am

Do not underestimate the power of resilience.

In between sessions

9:41 am

Ilise Benun is talking about her favorite marketing tools for writers.

“It doesn’t matter what you do… you must do something.”

9:46 am

Everything you write—every single thing—is an example of your copywriting. So don’t worry about samples. The email you send to a client is proof of your writing. Your LinkedIn profile is proof of your writing. You have samples.

9:57 am

If you have any inclination for doing video and using it in your marketing, Ilise highly recommends you embrace that inclination.

10:07 am

The Big Ideas. Relationships are everything. Use curiosity and generosity as your guiding principles. Be patient and persistent and the right clients will find you.

11:23 am

Jon Morrow is speaking. Prepare to be dazzled!!!

11:31 am

There’s a lot of noise on the Internet… it’s common for writers to worry that their own content won’t cut through the noise. If you choose the right niche — and there are particular niches that work for blogging — you can do well.

Jon’s advice is to focus on a large niche that is centered around a topic that people commonly talk about with friends and family.

11:40 am

Use as a test bed for your blog. You’ll publish. You’ll get feedback. You’ll see if your idea has legs. And then, once you’ve zeroed in on what you want to do, you can set up your own site.

You’ll save time and frustration.

11:53 am

Figuring out the topics to write about for a blog is not a creative exercise. It needs to be based in research.

12:04 pm

Building an email list is the key to having a successful blog. If you intend to earn money, start building your list from day one!

2:07 pm

We’re back from lunch and Yanik Silver is on the stage!

2:15 pm

More and more, your audience is interested in the message and the meaning behind your product. They want to buy from companies that are doing something beyond selling products and making money.

This attitude is transforming online marketing.

2:34 pm

Offer your clients a higher level of service by helping them see ways they can elevate their business. What causes align with their mission and how can you help them — and their customers — support that cause?

4:32 pm

I had to miss Nick’s presentation 🙁

But here are some Twitter takes from the past few sessions…

4:37 pm

“In a business setting we often ignore likable behaviors or dismiss them as unprofessional.” -Michael Katz

4:42 pm

Michael Katz is talking about how likability has more impact on buying decisions than competence. An email newsletter is a great way to prove your likability over time.

4:54 pm

One way to show your likability is to do things that don’t scale. Like send hand-written thank you notes. They cost a little money, they take a little effort, and they show up in the snail mail box, which is not a crowded channel.

Thursday – May 16, 2019

8:54 am

Good morning! Today is a short day because job fair is this afternoon… and because I have a presentation today.

But even though it’s short, it’s going to be good because right now we have Bob Bly on the stage.

9:01 am

Sometimes a client can give you so much research material that it overwhelms you. To go through it all might take you more than a work week.

Bob notes that most of your knowledge gain happens in the earliest part of your research. He suggests you do as much as you need to do to feel confident about the project. And then from there, do some more… put in another 50 to 100% of the original time. You’ll uncover enough good stuff to make the time worth it and to set yourself apart from other writers in terms of results.

But also know when to stop. Don’t strive for perfection. Strive for excellence.

9:08 am

As a writer, your skills set you up to develop multiple streams of income. When you do that, you put yourself on the path to better financial security.

9:17 am

When you are starting out, get in the habit of putting half your time into billable work, a quarter of your time into administration and education, and a quarter of your time into self-promotion.

Also, when it comes to your writing time, carve out at least 20 percent of your time working on your own writing projects… things that you find enjoyable like short stories or poetry.

9:30 am

To have a long-lasting copywriting career, Bob recommends you:

  1. Get good
  2. Do your best work on every job
  3. Be easy to work with
  4. Put your client first
  5. Know your niche
  6. Publish often
Heather Robson

Heather Robson

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


  • I’m so excited about attending my first Bootcamp, that I wish I could show up a couple of days early and just soak up some sunshine (I’ve had snow here this past week in South Dakota). I am looking forward to meeting all of the established copywriters and absorbing their tidbits of knowledge!! ~Zee

  • There is an anxiety for us to get to the business of copywriting. Many of my writing and my copywriting heroes are going to be there. I do appreciate your being there for us, but I know how trying it will be to keep us in the loop when there will be so much for you to do. I am looking for a lot of copy, but I want you to have fun, too. I guess that I would be jealous of all of the connections there. The list of people to want to see has gotten long since I have been a member. Passing videos of Bob Bly, Josh Boswell, Nick Usborne, Ed Gandia, You, llise Benum, Steve Slaunwhite, and . . . would be great. Looking forward to the evening and the days ahead.

      • Thank You Heather and Joshua for that video for me. It was as if I was there. You can not know how special it made me feel. I want to apologize for not replying to you before now. I was interrupted and taken to a project that took me away from my computer to long. I returned to WiFi problems. I will take every word of your advice Josh. One would feel that being there would be so great, but I am getting so much from your summaries, Heather. Thanks again for adding a little more excitement to your blog for me. I hope you are still having fun. Moving forward, we will succeed.

  • Great advice from Bob. Adhering to this process will ensure better accountability and focus as well as achieving the results we want.

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