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An honest AWAI Copywriting Course Review by Professional Copywriter Dan Furman
On this page, I’ll be reviewing a popular home-business opportunity / product. In this case, a copywriting product.
Quick note: This is an honest, unbiased review. In interest of full disclosure, I am an affiliate, and will get a small commission if you buy it through the link at the bottom of the page. Believe me, it’s not enough to risk tainting my name in any way. That’s why my review below is as honest as possible. I’ll tell you the good AND the bad, and let you make up your own mind.
The Product: AWAI (American Writers and Artists Inc) Accelerated Program for Six Figure Copywriting, which is a home study course designed to turn you into a highly paid copywriter.
The Claim: You can work for yourself at home and make six figures writing sales letters and the like.
The Truth: Mostly accurate, with an explanation.
AWAI e-mailed me in January, 2009, and asked me to be an affiliate for their program. Now, I have to tell you, immediately, I was intrigued. Because as a copywriter, I had seen their stuff before and wondered “real, or not?”
The arrogant part of me said “nah, no way could they teach someone to do what I do.” But then I recalled the words of an old English teacher of mine, who basically told me to go into the military, mainly because they would provide me with “three hots and a cot” (she really said this, to which I replied “yea, and so does prison”.)
I guess she thought food and shelter were going to be a real problem for me… but I digress.
Basically, my point is I don’t have any special training or advanced degree, and I’m a very successful copywriter. In fact, no copywriter I know has any “classic” writing training, so why couldn’t AWAI teach someone this skill?
So anyway, I asked AWAI to send me the course, and if I liked it, I’d post a review and become an affiliate. Well, they sent me the course, I did like it, and here I am, an affiliate.
Now, before we move on, I have to address the elephant in the room:
But Dan, why on earth would you recommend this course if all it will do is create MORE copywriters – copywriters who will compete with you?
My answer to that is simple: The type of copywriters that will come out of this course don’t worry me. You know what type of competition hurts me? People from India writing for a nickel a page. That’s who hurts me. Professional copywriters charging a professional rate? They don’t hurt me at all – they help me, because the more professional copywriters that are out there, the more legitimate the copywriting business is.
Enough preliminary stuff – I get the course and open the box:
The AWAI Accelerated Program for Six Figure Copywriting essentially consists of two books (one is a 400-plus page binder), and some back end support (insider access to their job messageboard, e-mail tips, etc.) Here are my initial thoughts on these items:
- Ok, at first, I was underwhelmed… two books? That’s it? Where are the shiny DVD’s? Where are the shooting skyrockets and trumpets playing when I opened the box? Plus, with my welcome letter was an immediate sales pitch to buy something else. Which I hate, but I understand that most of these businesses work this way.
- I then cheated and went right to the job board. Again, I was a little underwhelmed. There really aren’t that many jobs posted there (like 5-10 a month.) However, as I’ll explain in a minute, you really shouldn’t be relying on AWAI to find you work anyway.
Can I possibly be any more honest?
I hope you are getting the impression that I’m being honest here (those of you who have read my books and/or worked with me shouldn’t be surprised). I’m telling you how I felt when I opened the package.
But sometimes initial impressions are wrong – I started to actually read the books, and that’s when my perception changed a little (ok, a lot).
This is actually a pretty good copywriting course.
There’s no two ways around it – I’m a professional copywriter, and AWAI’s course is a solid introduction to the art of direct response copywriting.
Now, let me be crystal clear – it is NOT going to turn you into me overnight. I’ve been doing this for years. But for anyone who has an interest in copywriting for a living, this course is probably equivalent to a few high level college courses in copywriting. Plenty to get you going. And well worth what they charge for it.
And trust me, being a copywriter is pretty cool.
If you have read AWAI’s ads (which you will when you click the link at the end of this message), you will be hit with what sounds like a pretty good lifestyle. How when you are a copywriter, there is decent pay, quite a bit of work, and the holy grail of all businesses – the ability to work where you want, when you want.
Gotta be honest with you here – that’s all pretty true. To a point, anyway. Let me explain:
- A good copywriter makes decent money – I’m not going to get into what I make, but let’s just say their six figure claim is obtainable. Now, I’m really good at copywriting, I run a good business, I have a nice website, and I advertise. You can work a lot less than I do, and maybe just make that extra 20k a year that your family needs. It’s truly up to you. But again, to be clear, if you are good, and are capable of running a solid business, you can make six figures if you want to.
- There is definite demand – The web has created a serious need for good copywriters. Except for super-product sites that everyone already knows (like Amazon), a “normal” website selling a product or a service (which is most websites out there) isn’t going to sell jack-squat without good copywriting. Trust me, not many people out there can get you to read this far down the page. Those of us that can will always find work.
- You are your own boss – Work in the morning, in the evening… whenever. I give myself lots of wiggle room when I negotiate deadlines – that allows me to take an afternoon off if I feel like it, etc etc. I’m also a night owl (the internet’s original Night Owl!) and like working late at night. And I don’t roll out of bed until 9:00am. Sweet.
Ok, now let’s get to the bad stuff
(well, there is no bad stuff, but let’s get to the point where I tell you that you are going to have to work and all that jazz.)
AWAI’s course is what they say it is – they will teach you (the basics of) the art of copywriting, which can easily lead to a six figure “work from anywhere” income. That’s not BS.
But before you run out and buy it, I do have to tell you a few things (these are things that are already in the back of your mind, so they should not surprise you.)
What they are teaching you is a SKILL. What you DO with that skill is up to you. Yes, AWAI will say that they have a job board, etc etc, but the truth is, if you want to really succeed, you are going too have to take this skill and run with it. Like any other business, you will have to advertise and get clients. And a lot of the “business stuff” you will have to learn on your own. But there are clients out there if you put the effort into getting them.
Secondly, look at the word “teaching” in the previous paragraph – let it sink in. Yes, my friend, you are going to have to learn this. It’s not going to happen overnight. If you buy their package, open it up, glance at it a bit, then halfheartedly read it over the next month in between four hours of television a night, well, save your money. Because you aren’t cut out for this.
The book will show you a salesletter, and then ask you to read it over ten times. If you say “yea, yea, whatever” to that, well, I’m not so sure this is for you. Like I said – this is the equivalent of perhaps a few high level college courses. This is not some “program” that you buy and put a half-hearted effort into.
In addition, I am going to recommend that you already have some writing skill. By “some”, I mean “write a nice Christmas letter” level of skill. If you can do that, you probably have the basics down (full disclosure: I’m a guy who barely passed English in school.)
Now, we’re also all a little different in talent level – maybe, even with the course, you just aren’t going to be good enough to make 100k. That could happen. No promises here. Maybe you’re only going to be able to make 35k. But… big deal. Does 35k from home sound ok?
A skill for life
You know, the more I think about it, the more I think writing good sales copy is not just ideal for a home based business, but can help you in almost any facet of your life. Trust me when I tell you, being able to write good, compelling letters has opened a lot of doors for me. Remember, I’m the guy that has been fired like 15+ times…. but that also means I got HIRED 15+ times. And that happened largely because I could write killer cover letters.
So even if you don’t go on to fame and fortune with your own writing business, what AWAI teaches you will serve you well for the rest of your life. Again, provided you had a little “nice Christmas letter” writing skill to start with.
Wrapping this up
My professional opinion is what AWAI will teach you is worth the $500-something bucks their course costs. Provided you want to learn, they can teach you a skill, one that (with some work on your end) could fairly easily lead to a six figure income. And even if it doesn’t, knowing how to write compelling sales copy will NEVER hurt you.
Ok my friend, here’s the link for AWAI. It’s going to lead to a salesletter that talks about how copywriting can give you the life you want. Read it – if you like what you read (and know the truth from my words here), go ahead and get it.