AWAI | American Writers and Artists Inc.

Summary: Not Recommended. American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI) is a publisher of direct-response copywriting and graphic design home-study programs. Their stated mission is “to help people develop the critical skills to acquire financial security, independence, and freedom.”  Although I’m a member I do not recommend AWAI or their products.

I’ve purchased AWAI products and taken the Accelerated ProgramTheir training programs are nothing more than expensive eBooks. Plus, it’s not as easy to break into copywriting as they lead you to believe. Honestly, with a little research, the same information can be found for free on the internet.

How to Earn a Darn Good Living as a Writer.

 

Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.


I completed their cornerstone program The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. This is a comprehensive program that teaches you how to write direct-response sales letters. It took me four months to finish the program and another month to write the final assignment which was a complete sales letter.

A direct-response sales letter is a long copy letter you might get in the mail or as an email that promotes a product or service such as a weight loss product or a financial service.

People who write these letters have a direct impact on the profit of the companies they write for and, if they’re good, they are rewarded accordingly. For example, it’s not unusual for the writer of a direct-marketing sales letter to be paid $4,000 to $15,000 per letter and to also receive a percentage of all sales. Big money can be made when a writer has several letters circulating at the same time, but it takes years and more than a little luck to get to that level.

However, make no mistake, writing long sales letters is challenging. Plus, dealing with clients and deadlines is stressful and often frustrating. Writing long copy is not easy money, not by a long shot.

There is enormous earning potential, and a few direct-response copywriters are among the highest paid of all professions. However, it doesn’t happen overnight, and it takes a lot more than completing a few high-dollar AWAI courses.

To succeed as a direct-response copywriter, a writer must master the many nuances of persuasive writing, plus many internet marketing skills as well, since all aspects of direct marketing are moving online. In addition to writing persuasive copy, a copywriter must also be competent with building landing pages, sales funnels, and PPC marketing.

While AWAI implies their products teach all these skills, the internet is moving too fast for an eBook publisher like AWAI to keep up.

“AWAI prides itself on publishing programs that not only equip our members with the tools necessary to succeed in their new careers … but with the critical skills and connections needed to land clients and start working professionally and earning money fast.”-AWAI Website

My impression as a member of AWAI is that all of their products feed you into a sales funnel that ultimately leads to the AWAI Circle of Success Program, which costs $7,600This is where you get the most support and guidance, but it’s very expensive and not for anyone who is less than fully committed to succeeding as a copywriter.

 

 The Cost of AWAI Programs.


Superman isolated on the white backgroundBy now, if you’re having doubts about being a copywriter, but still want to make money as a writer, see How to Earn a Darn Good Living as a Writer.

The AWAI programs are expensive. The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting costs $349, but for the greatest chance of success in the least amount of time, you’ll probably need to enroll in the AWAI Circle of Success Program, which costs $7,600.

 Pros:

  • Solid Training from leaders in the industry.
  • Support is just a phone call away.
  • 30-day money back guarantee.

Cons:

  • Price: $347 to $7,600.
  • AWAI constantly tries to sell you more programs. This can be confusing and expensive.
  • Support is only available during business hours EST.
  • It’s not as easy to make money with their programs as they imply.
  • After learning the material in the program, you still have to establish your business and get assignments.
  • You will need to complete several of their programs before you are ready to take on clients.

 

How to Earn a Darn Good Living as a Writer.

 

An Inexpensive Alternative to AWAI.


Passive IncomeI enjoyed studying the AWAI The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, and I learned a lot, but I do not recommend it or any of the AWAI courses. They’re too expensive. Remember, their courses are just eBooks.

The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting was also poorly organized and difficult to study. Finally, the title is misleading. Nobody makes six-figures from just taking the course. They take more courses and, even then, it takes years and usually an apprenticeship at slave wages before they make six-figures.

The same information is available online for free. I’ve also seen used copies of AWAI courses for sale online for a fraction of their original price. It just takes a little online searching to find them.

If you’re interested in becoming a copywriter, read a few books about it before taking a high-dollar course. Two books I recommend are Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition and The Everything Guide To Writing Copy: From Ads and Press Release to On-Air and Online Promos–All You Need to Create Copy That Sells.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to make money as a writer, take a look at my #1 Recommendation.

The truth is, the internet gives anyone with writing skills a tremendous advantage. If you can write a letter to a friend, you can make a darn good living as a writer, and you don’t have to pay for high-dollar copywriting courses.

How to Earn a Darn Good Living as a Writer.

 

 

All the best,

Gary Bold

 

Comments

  1. Very interesting post. I’ve checked out many programs myself online, trying to get educated on Affiliate Marketing. My search ended the day I came across Wealthy Affiliate. It has EVERYTHING you’ll ever need to get educated, and with free sign up you risk absolutely nothing.

    You’ve described accurately what it entails, anyone interested in trying it out, I highly recommend.

    Best wishes.
    Ty

  2. Hi Gary, I completed a Udemy copywriting course recently with a guy called Len Smith. I thought it was okay, but as you say, you still had to go go out and build a website and look for clients. I wasn’t sure that I was ready to deliver copy to deadline and within spec. It seemed like a tough call frankly. That said, I did learn from it and it was a fraction of what you paid. Mind you I’m pretty sure your course was vastly superior.

  3. If I were not already a member of WA, I would be now. I love to write stuff down. Everything! And you just drew me right in. I would definitely want more information after reading this.

    Take a look at this!!
    http://gettinghealthyaftercancer.com/nutrition-after-chemotherapy

  4. I tried this course from AWAI and got a refund. They sent it to me without a problem. I didn’t like that they kept trying to sell me stuff, and that the training material itself was filled with sales hype. It was hard to wade through what was hype and what was a realistic expectation of the program.

    Also, I’m just not comfortable writing sales copy. I’m much better at blogging than trying to send people subliminal messages to get them to buy products. It reminds me too much of the internet marketing gurus I’ve had to deal with over the years. No thanks.

    • Hi Kinya! Thanks for your comment. Yes, I share your perspective. Much of AWAI’s stuff is hyped and borderline manipulative. And I wonder if maybe that style of copywriting is outdated. Like you said, they really try to sell you more courses too. I learned a lot from the course I took and will probably take some more, but for now, I’m focused on Wealthy Affiliate.

  5. Great post! I have heard of AWAI, but because of the price, I never gave it a shot. It sounds like my choice to go with WA was a good one. Thanks for the info! I love your site name. 🙂

  6. Gary, I have read the same basic content regarding WA many times. Your writing skills of the same content are very, very obvious. I understand that it is the result of yrs. of study and practice. There has to be a good pay day for you when you can make material inviting and interesting. Congratulations to you.
    Harold

  7. Hi Gary, thanks for this post. I have worked freelance as a writer for some time, quite frankly I have never heard of a training program that can help a copywriter generate a six figure income. My apologies if I come across as skeptical, how long does it typically take a copywriter to generate such a high amount?

    Thank you so much, I really enjoy this post.

    • Hi Gin!

      Thanks for stopping by. You ask a good question and I’ll answer it as best I can.

      You have every reason to be skeptical of AWAI’s claim to earn six figures as a copywriter. I know of one person, Joshua Boswell, who took The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting and earned six figures in his first 12 months. He’s the only one I know of who earned that much within a year of taking the training and that was about 6 years ago.

      HOWEVER, you should know that while Joshua Boswell started with The Accelerated Program fro Six-Figure Copywriting, he also joined AWAI’s inner circle which costs $7,600. Also he was mentored by an experienced copywriter AND invested heavily in advertising.

      I studied a video course Joshua Boswell taught where he explained exactly how he launched his copywriting business. You should also know he was under immense pressure to succeed and could not afford to fail. He was unemployed at the time, married with six children AND he borrowed $10,000 from his in-laws to pay for the AWAI courses and launch his business. You might saw he was motivated.

      At one time, AWAI had a member who was tracking her efforts to earn six-figures in a year. At the end of the second year she still had not earned that much. Judging from the comments in the AWAI member’s forum, most members are not earning six-figures.

      The term copywriter covers a vast range of writing. I think if you do an online search for the average income for copywriters it’s about $60,000 a year. Of course, there are plenty of copywriters who earn much less than that.

      Copywriters who earn the most work directly in sales. Their copy has a direct influence on the client’s profit. And the highest paid of these copywriters are in financial sales. They write copy for investment newsletters. Clayton Makepeace, who hires copywriters for an investment newsletter, says their standard contract is $12,500 plus a commission of 10% on all sales. It can take years to get to this level. In addition to copywriting skills, they also expect a copywriter to have internet marketing experience.

      AWAI markets to the masses and tries to convince people they can make a lot of money if they become a copywriter. This approach is unethical, because most people do not have the disposition to become copywriters. That said, if someone who wanted to follow Joshua Boswell’s lead and go all in, it might work.

      I’ve written copy for many years, since long before the internet existed. The internet has given writers of all levels a tremendous opportunity. This is why I recommend people who want to make money as a writer to build their own authority website and write content for it.

      My post http://writingisasuperpower.com/ explains in more detail the rewards of building an authority website.

  8. Hey Gary,

    I’m actually in college now and I can back up your statement that long copy writing is not easy. Any college student will tell you that it is not easy at all to write a lot of compelling words about anything unless they are actually interested in what is its about that they are writing. I find your recommendations hugely useful.

    My wife has asked me a couple of times if I would feel comfortable writing for different companies that hire freelance writers, as she is aware that i do like to write. However, as you state the ‘slave wages stage’ can easily be death to your encouragement.

    I appreciate your honesty, in that you state that you yourself purchased and have read the ebooks and have enjoyed them, yet you state that they are not recommendable due to the price and the lack of truth in the statement that it is going to make you a 6 figure writer.

    I’ll be sure to check back from time to time for updates.

    Thanks,
    Shawn

    • Hi Shawn!

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you found my review helpful. There is money to be made as a writer. Writers are actually very valuable and becoming ever more valuable each day. Unfortunately, most writers sell themselves short.

      Like your wife suggested, I’m much more productive when I can chose what I want to write about. I don’t think I could get out of bed each morning if I knew I had to churn out some copy for junk. Life is too short for that nonsense.

      All the best…

      Gary

  9. Hi Gary,
    I really enjoyed your first hand review of AWAI products, specifically the course on becoming a six figure copy writer. I have not heard of this organization before so I am glad I came across your article before I was duped into spending thousands of dollars on education that really isn’t up to date or worth it. I also read your #1 recommended product for earning a darn good living as a writer and think that is a way better path. Thanks again for the great information.

    • Hi Sheila!

      Thanks for stopping by. Although I’m a member of AWAI, I really can’t, in good faith recommend it to anyone. There are better options for earning money if someone likes to write. My post “How to Earn a Darn Good Living as a Writer” explains my thoughts on the best avenue for a writer to earn a comfortable income.

      The internet has given writers a tremendous advantage, but few seem to realize this. Too many writers are selling their skills short or not making any money at all. It doesn’t have to be that way.

      Al the best…

      Gary

  10. Hi Gary, Awai indeed is a very expensive program. The thing is that if you are not a writer by nature, how can you ever learn to write something very good? WA has somehow by-stepped this by urging us not to attempt and write like a professional, but like you are talking to somebody, being helpful and engaging. Cheers, Jerry

    • Hi Jerry!

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it is a very expensive program. Most people who buy it won’t earn enough in copywriting gigs to pay for it.

      Absolutely, writing in a friendly, casual tone is always more persuasive than a professional tone. But, that does not determine if someone could succeed as a copywriter. AWAI markets to the broadest market with a promise than anyone can earn six-figures is they take the AWAI course. In reality, that’s simply not true.

      Unless someone enjoys keeping their butt in a chair and writing for hours, they’re not going to like copywriting.

      My advice to someone starting out, if they do enjoy writing, is that they would be better off creating a blog like Wealthy Affiliate teaches. Building a successful blog and building a successful copywriting business takes about the same amount of time, but the benefits of a blog are far greater.

      With a blog, everything you post builds on everything else you post and keeps working for you 24 hours a day, day after day to earn you money. Plus, you don’t have to deal with clients which can really be a bear at times.

  11. Seems like there are more cons about going through the complete program than positive aspects. Is this something that you did on the side of your regular full time job? Seems like it would be only advantageous to take part in if you got your boss or company you work for on board and they were able to pay for it for you. but then maybe you’d have greater success going consulting from that point on.

    • Hi Sarah!

      Thanks for stopping by. I took the course on my own dime. I’ve been freelance writer since the mid ’80’s. When I took the course it was to focus my writing on larger sales copy projects. It would be great if someone could get their employer to pay for it, like you mentioned, but I imagine if an employer needs a copywriter he will just hire a freelancer.

      All the best…

      Gary

  12. I enjoyed this article also. Truthfully, your site made me think perhaps I should be marketing Wealthy Affiliate!! It really is a great program to learn the tools and technical skills needed to earn money writing online! I have only been a member for a few weeks and have already learned so much.

    • Hi Illyssa!

      Thanks for stopping by.

      I think it would be excellent if you did market Wealthy Affiliate. It’s a solid community based on integrity and proven business principles. When you introduce someone to Wealthy Affiliate you know they will be genuinely helped towards achieving their online and financial goals. I’ve never felt so good about promoting anything in my life.

      All the best…

      Gary

  13. Lemar Stanekzai says:

    Hey Gary,

    I have tried many jobs as a Freelancer on the internet, but the one I love doing is writing. Although most of the programs that I have joined doesn’t require much training to earn money, but I believe that the programs, such as AWAI, should help beginners. After I have saved up enough money, I want to join the AWAI. Thank you for writing an informative topic about AWAI.

  14. rendall1972 says:

    I really enjoyed this article. English wasn’t my favorite class. But when you think in terms of writing to a friend and that I have a gold mine of my own experiencing to share it becomes much more tempting.
    Your article definitely hit the spot and has motivated me to read on and refine my skills in writing. Luckily for your article I realize that I don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to learn this art. Thanks for the article.

    • Hi Rendall!

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you found value in my post. It is a lot more enjoyable to write as though writing to a friend.

      All the best…

      Gary

  15. I’m glad I found this post. I am a writer, a published author and professional editor, but I had never even thought of becoming a copywriter. I can see there is very good money in it, but, as you say, it is expensive to get trained on how to do it, and still no guarantees you will be able to establish yourself and get the lucrative contracts.

    So I was so glad when you ended the (rather daunting, lol) article with a link to another page on how to use your “superpower” of being able to write to make money without having to spend a fortune. Got this bookmarked, thank you so much!

    • Hi Marvin!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate that you took the time to comment. Yes, maybe I did go long with the article, but pleased you found it helpful.

      All the best…

      Gary

  16. I have not yet looked into writers options and after reading your posts here, I certainly won’t be looking at AWAI American Writers and Artists.

    I have writing experience, but certainly don’t have that kind of money laying around. It seems it would be better spent on the books you mentioned.

    Thank you for your information.

    • Hi Debra!

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I agree. If you can write, you really don’t need to invest a lot of money in courses. The books I mentioned are a great resource and a good place to start. Then, you want to work as a copywriter, it’s just a matter of putting yourself out there.

      All the best…

      Gary

  17. I am taking the AWAI course and it is highly organized and overall quite impressive. No I don’t like being sold programs that I am not ready for. Yes, I am reading other books from other masters in copywriting. I credit and I am grateful to AWAI for introducing me to the world of copywriting. I typically shop at Wal-Mart but will go to Whole Foods for specific products. I credit AWAI for organizing the information so that you can learn at your on pace. In business it is indeed the law of large numbers and AWAI is a great organization. Another example is that you can train at the International Culinary Institute or you could be an excellent home cook. If you don’t make a six figure income, you can still come away learning alot about writing.

    • Hi Regine!

      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your insight into AWAI and sharing your experience. Which course are you taking?

      I’m always available to help you as you build your copywriting business. You can reach me by commenting anywhere on this site or through the contact form, which you can find by clicking here. I look forward to hearing from you.

      You’ll need a website for your copywriting business and can build one for free by clicking here. This is a very secure hosting platform with advance technology which allows you build a free website with just a few clicks of the mouse.

      Also, I encourage you to read my article How to Earn a Darn Good Living as a Writer.

      I wish you the greatest success.

      All the best…
      Gary

  18. As someone who makes a living as a writer, I find your website interesting. Personally, I feel that the price of this is too much. I write for my own website, but as of now, by income comes from ghostwriting. Yeah, it’s annoying and frustrating, those deadlines and grumpy clients. I await the day all my income will be from my own website.

    • Hi Ben!

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I agree the AWAI courses are far to expensive. In the end you still have to chase after clients. Like you, I much prefer to write for my own websites.

      All the best…

      Gary

  19. I had never heard of this program before reading your article, but I have fallen prey to similar programs that overpromise and underdeliver. It sounds like copywriting can be profitable but demanding. I have not ever tried it myself. I think this article will save a lot of readers from spending huge amounts of money on a product that will not serve them well. Kudos to you for sharing your experiences! Thanks!

    Jess

    • Hi Jess!

      Thanks for stopping by. The AWAI pitch reminds me of the “nothing down” real estate seminars that cost thousands of dollars. A few people might make money with it, but for the rest it’s just an unfulfilled dream. Copywriters can make good money, but most don’t and expensive courses are not the answer. I hope I have saved some people from making a mistake. As a copywriter, I now prefer to write mostly for my own projects.

      All the best…

      Gary

  20. You have presented out the pros and cons very well. Gaining more knowledge can sometimes be expensive but it’s all worth in giving it a try. It may also open a lot of other opportunities as well. Just like us here in WA, yes it costs much but learnings are immeasurable.

    • Hi Jezza!

      It’s good to see you here. Thanks for taking time to comment. I agree, it’s important to learn and to keep learning. If someone has the money, AWAI might be a good fit, but if money is an issue the same information is available in books on Amazon.

      The AWAI courses are really just eBooks. You can get the same information from books on Amazon and in many cases free with a simple online search.

      Actually, the best way to learn copywriting is to do it over and over. Get the books I recommend here in this post and in this article. Then write, write, write! It shouldn’t cost a fortune to learn to be a good copywriter. Learn by doing.

      Wealthy Affiliate, which I highly recommend, teaches copywriting too, although in an indirect way. The other skills Wealthy Affiliate teaches are essential to any copywriter working today too. The truth is, once you know the online marketing skills that Wealthy Affiliate teaches, you can easily work for yourself as a copywriter. And the perks, personal and financial freedom is far beyond anything you’ll realize as a copywriter alone.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      All the best…

      Gary

  21. verna8767 says:

    Hello Gary,

    Lately, I’ve been considering many avenues of income, but I think I will have to pass on AWAI. It’s a little too steep for me. The earning potential for copy writing is great, but a lot of work and experience will have to be done to get to that level of earnings. Anyway, I’m retired and don’t want to have work that hard anymore. I’ll leave the copy writing jobs to the younger generation!

    Thanks for sharing some honest information about the cost and being able to find the same information from researching the internet.

    Great article Gary. Thanks.

    Verna

    • Hi Verna!

      Thanks for stopping by. Copywriting can be a great career, but it is a lot of work. Also, in my experience, AWAI over-promises and under-delivers. Anyway, the real learning is done by writing, writing, writing. Plus, if a copywriter expects to be competitive she will need to know online marketing. And…if she knows online marketing, she can make more money with less hassle working for herself. I think you called it right for passing o AWAI.

      All the best…

      Gary

  22. James W D says:

    Gary, Thanks for your detailed review here. I have been interested in taking my writing skills online to see about earning extra income, however I don’t have a ton of money to invest in that.

    Too many of these things I see online require a chunk of change to get started and then they hit you with upsells or a huge chunk to get into their “Circle of Success” or whatever else it may be called.

    Where would you recommend for a novice writer to get their start online?

    • Hi James!

      It’s good to see you here. You ask a good question.

      The internet has dramatically changed the world of copywriting. There are far more opportunities and the income is greater than ever before. By far the greatest income potential for a writer is to have their own website. I write about this in my article How to Earn a Darn Good Living as a Writer and show where to get the best training and support at the best price. It really costs very little and anyone can get started for free.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      All the best…

      Gary

  23. WMcNeal40 says:

    It appears that you love writing and you that it most seriously. It is a skill that I wish could have developed. I have studied sales-letters and I’ve wondered how they are so skillfully developed.

    The Pros and Cons you’ve lined out are very good if someone was considering AWAI.

    You site is very clean and simple. I like it.

    WMcNeal40

  24. Hi Gary, Your comparative argument against ‘The Cost of AWAI Programs’ is quiet convincing! The books to read that you recommend: ‘Influence: The Psychology of …”, and ‘The Everything Guide To …” are very, very cheap in comparison and anyone can see the point!
    Now what interested me the more is how you got me so trapped into some little curiosity about becoming a good earning/ living writer, and I didn’t really expect to find that I’m already such a writer, and I only found that out by clicking into your Wealthy Affiliate Review!

    • Hi Stephen!

      Thanks for the compliment. I’m pleased my writing took you back to where you are.

      After 30 years of writing professionally, Wealthy Affiliate is by far the greatest opportunity for anyone who wants to earn a darn good living as a writer. The cost to get started is minimum and the Wealthy Affiliate track record is a proven, plus the earning potential is ever expanding. It does require sustained effort and patience, but the rewards are there.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      All the best…

      Gary

  25. Hello Gary!

    What a great article. The subject is really important to focus upon. I understand challenges when it comes to perfecting these skills, I am studying it myself following Dan Kennedy teachings. These prices are pretty big but if the courses are really good, it may be worth the money.

    Great website, a lot of great content!

    • Hi Igor!

      Thanks for stopping by. I’ve studied some of Dan Kennedy’s courses too. Yes, the prices can be substantial for the training. This is why I recommend beginners read the books I suggest. I hope by the end of the year to offer a free copywriting course through my blog. I’m in the midst of creating a free novel writing course at the moment.

      All the best…

      Gary

  26. bioelectrobot says:

    I’ve never heard of this organization. I do like the idea of home-study programs. The cost of college is getting so expensive. When I saw the $7,600 cost for this program I thought, “that’s really not so bad if it leads to steady work and income”. I do think it would be a hard sell, though. There is so much information online that is free. I was talking to a graphic design expert a few days ago and I asked this person how they learned to use all these Adobe software tools so efficiently. The answer was, “the Internet”, with some reference to YouTube. If used wisely, the Internet really can be a great educator.
    I read part of your article entitled, “How to Earn a Darn Good Living as a Writer”, and I must say that I appreciate your candor. There are so many things screaming for our attention. It’s nice to have an option that cuts out all the fluff and gets right to the point.
    Great article. Keep them coming. I like your writing style.

    • Hi!

      Thanks for stopping by. It’s amazing what we can learn if we commit ourselves to learning it. The internet is like an infinite library. It’s absolutely mind blowing. I’m pleased you took a look at How to Earn a Darn Good Living as a Writer. I’ve written professionally for many years and the internet has literally removed the limits to what a writer can earn, even a writer who is just starting out. However, as I mentioned, it takes training and support, sustained effort and time. The rewards are worth it.

      All the best…

      Gary

  27. Thank you very much for the great review!

    As you said AWAI program seems to be quite an expensive and probably there are some better ways to learn to write. But as it’s said here in Finland (I don’t know is there an idiom in English for this) “The stupid one is not the one who sells but the one who buys.” They founders of the program probably get rich by selling an expensive program after all.

    -Roope

    • Hi Roope!

      That’s a great quote and so true. I have no doubt the owners are making a killing.

      The real learning comes from actually writing. If someone wants to become a copywriter, I strongly encourage them to read the books I recommend and then practice, then find some clients and work for cheap until they build up their confidence.

      The internet has opened an entire new world for copywriters. Thanks to Wealthy Affiliate, I’ve learn to built websites and to get local businesses ranked. Now, local businesses I have written copy for are asking me to take over their entire marketing program. Best of all, the local business love me for bringing them customers.

      This could easily happen to a copywriter who also has internet marketing skills and the money is phenomenal.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      All the best…

      Gary

  28. John Burleson says:

    DO NOT DEAL WITH THESE THIEVES. Their $49 “tell all” offer is a 108 page commercial. They send a half-dozen emails a day trying to sell additional “courses” for prices starting at $149 and the prices go up from there. These con artists are actually demonstrating how one can realize a “copywriting” income: lie like them and suck idiots like me into their bottomless scam. If your little literary heart is set on writing professionally, do it the way I used to. Send out a lot of stuff. Get rejected a lot of times. Beg the local newspaper and radio stations to let you write commercial copy. Do it for free, to start. But sooner or later, something pays off. It might sound like a lot of postage; a lot of time. But think of how many stamps you can get for the hundreds of dollars these bastards will soak you for. My name is John Burleson and my email address is lvarque@gmail.com. I dare AWAI to respond to me. They won’t. They’re thieves.

    • John,

      Thanks so much for your candid assessment of AWAI. While I’ve been more diplomatic in my article, I absolutely agree with your comment completely and hope anyone considering buying AWAI products reads what you have to say. I’m a little harsher on AWAI in my video.

      I also appreciate that you shared how you got started. The scariest part for most writers is putting themselves out there, yet that is what it takes. Yes, there will be rejection, but don’t take it personally.

      I recommend three books for every aspiring copywriter, “Influence” by Dr. Robert Cialdini, “The Everything Guide to Writing Copy” by Steve Slaunwhite, and “Start & Run a Copywriting Business” also by Slaunwhite. These three books are all you need to get started and combined they cost less than $50 on Amazon.

      Thanks again for your candid take on AWAI. You may have saved a lot of people from getting ripped off.

      All the best,
      Gary

  29. Roger Humbke says:

    Hi Gary,
    I like others have been getting a constant stream of sales material from AWAI. I never signed up and will now block their emails. It all sounded too good to be true.

    For me it is the library and the books you suggested. Thanks.

    Best regards,
    Roger

  30. I just finished the ‘Accelerated Program’ that AWAI states is the base program for beginning copywriters. I am disappointed. They only offered one assignment and the feedback was not great. They say that you will have the samples you need to post on your website but give you little to no guidance on how to write the samples and do not critique them for you.
    I wish I had come across this site prior to purchasing the program.
    I’m glad you are warning others.

    • Hi, Lori!

      Thanks for stopping by and congratulations on finishing the’Accelerated Program.’ That’s a lot of information to get through. I’m convinced most people never finish it. Although you are disappointed with the program, and for good reason, you have learned the fundamentals of persuasive writing. That’s powerful stuff, and it’s a valuable skill set.

      This September, I will have been writing professionally for 30 years, but I’m phasing out the writing I do for others. The internet has given writers tremendous power and opportunity. Now, instead of writing for others, I’m writing for websites I own and control. It takes about the same time to establish an online business as it does to establish a copywriting business. The difference is an online business has far fewer hassles and a much greater income potential.

      I recommend you seriously consider writing for your own online business. You don’t need copywriting clients. Use your copywriting skills for yourself. It’s far more profitable.

      In addition to the books I recommend in this article, I suggest that you consider joining our online community of writers, webmasters, and marketers. The Starter Membership is free so you can join without risk. Click here for the free starter membership.

      Lori, I’m here for you and happy to help you as you strengthen your writing superpower.

      All the best,
      Gary

  31. Interesting article. I am interested in improving my writing ability. I think I would rather ‘do’, read books and take courses on Udemy and Wealthy Affiliate. The course you mention looks rather expensive and not very intuitive, so thank you for highlighting it. I also checked out your top recommendation as well. Well written and honest article.

    • Hi, Josh!

      Thanks for stopping by.

      AWAI really is old school copywriting. They still teach long sales letters that are dependent on snail mail. The long sales letters worked before the internet came along when people had more time and longer attention spans.

      Attentions spans have diminished to 8 seconds in the past few years. The effectiveness of long sales letters is now approximately zero.

      Learning copywriting alone is not going to help anyone make money. It takes a combination of copywriting skills and online marketing skills. The best place to learn is at Wealthy Affiliate and trial and error.

      All the best,

      Gary

  32. I am so glad I found this review! I’ve heard of AWAI but I wanted more information from a person who actually took a course from them. They are really expensive and I also don’t like the upsells. I read your #1 recommendation and I am very interested in WA. I would like to explore what this community has to offer. I hope it is not as expensive as AWAI!

    • Hi, Lena!

      Thanks for stopping by.

      AWAI is expensive and a bit dated. Mostly, the AWAI products are overpriced eBooks and very expensive weekend workshops. It’s not unusual for AWAI to offer a two day writing workshop that costs $3,000. I’ve known people who were struggling to make ends meet max out their credit card so they could go to an expensive AWAI workshop and still not be able to succeed as a copywriter.

      Wealthy Affiliate is very affordable. Everyone begins at Wealthy Affiliate with the Free Starter Membership. This is a truly free, no strings attached membership. You won’t even need a credit to join for free. Simply open a free Wealthy Affiliate account and start the training.

      If you like what you see in Wealthy Affiliate, you can become a paid member for $19 the first month.

      Wealthy Affiliate is all the training and support you will need to make money with your own website, it’s a dynamic, living, breathing community. You can learn more about Wealthy Affiliate here.

      All the best,

      Gary

  33. Im not one for copy writing, so the website was informative from someone who want to persue this field of work, I don;t know much about copy writing, seems common sense like in my opinion,
    The site was well and thorough in it content, with pros and cons, what it has to offer, and more,
    Great job with the niche and getting the opportunity out there for other to get informed

  34. I’m so sick of these kinds of schemes. People who are desperate to earn money from their writing will be conned out of spending too much money on courses. If they had that much spare money, they wouldn’t need the course in the first place, so it doesn’t even make sense.

    You are right that writing is hard, but if that’s what people decide they want to do, they should do it. They just don’t need to splash out loads of money on courses.

    • Hi, Marcus!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. You are so right. The saddest thing about these schemes is how they hurt people who are already down.

      If someone wants to be a freelance writer, the best place to start is to read the books I mention in this article. All three of these books, combined with shipping, will cost about $50 from Amazon.

      The second thing I would recommend is to build their own website and write for it. A free website and training is available here.

      Finally, I recommend they read my article How to Earn a Darn Good Living as a Writer.

      All the best,

      Gary

  35. Hi there! This is a very good article and I’m really glad that I found it. I have seen so many systems and online training sites that offer so much as deliver very little lately. I can’t believe that these people have the nerve to sell their products at such a high price when they only deliver what can be found for free online! I feel sorry for the people that fall for these systems and end up spending thousands. As you rightly say, the chances of making a six figure income with programs like this might be possible but it’s never as easy as the sales pages would have you believe!

    • Hi, Andrew!

      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comment.

      AWAI is old school and predates the internet by several years and it shows. They used to sell their products through the mail. The methods they teach are based on making outrageous promises, hype and long sales letters. Back in the day, that worked, but now the average attention span is only 8 seconds. Long sales letters are dead.

      Short, 90 second videos are the trend. Also, many of the industries that AWAI claims a writer can make big money with are dying, the financial industry for example. That’s been done to death.

      If a writer wants to earn top dollar, they must become a student of the internet and learn all the facets of online marketing. There is a lot of money to be made writing for your own website. Also, a lot of personal freedom to be gained. Plus, a copywriter must be prepared to help their clients with their online presence and local SEO. AWAI has nothing to offer in that regard and as you mentioned, AWAI is insanely expensive.

      If you’re interested in making money as a writer, I recommend my article How to Earn a Darn Good Living as a Writer.

      All the best,

      Gary

  36. I’ve been hearing about AWAI and Wealthy Affiliate for some time now. To be honest, I’ve been leery of both as I’m not one to just throw money around (yes, I realize WA is free) and wanted to be sure it’s worth my investment. The comment section of this post has had me digging deeper into Wealthy Affiliate and it does seem like something I could make use of! I’m glad I stumbled across this post (and blog!).

    Here’s an odd question. Does one need to immediately “go to work” when they join WA? What I mean is, are there time limits to the steps in learning, or can one work at their own pace? I’m in the middle of a LOT of transition in my life, selling a house and in the moving process. I need to be able to work at my own pace for a while. Would it be wiser to hold off on joining, or can I be doing a little here and there toward my goal(s) as I work through other life challenges?

    • Hi, Randy!

      Thanks for stopping by. You ask some good questions. First, I’d caution you against getting involved with AWAI. It is a very expensive way to learn copywriting and you will not make six figures the first year as they promise. Plus, in the time it would take you to establish yourself in that industry, you could have a profitable online business that earns more, offers more personal freedom and has fewer hassles. If you are determined to be a copywriter, I recommend you start with the books I list in the AWAI article.

      About Wealthy Affiliate. The Starter Membership is free and you can work through the training at your own pace for as long as it takes you. During the first 7 days of the free starter membership, you are given some of the privileges of the paid membership and are offered an incentive to upgrade to the paid membership level which is $19 for the first month and $49 a month after the first month (Or about $29 a month if you pay annually).

      All training is work at your own pace. As I’m sure you know, life is complicated and we have to constantly juggle priorities.

      If you join with the Free Starter Membership and do not upgrade during the first 7 days, you will lose some of the privileges and the offer to upgrade for $19 for the first month, but you will still have access to the fist levels of training and your free websites. When you join at the Free Starter Membership level all of this will be explained in detail.

      Incidentally, with a paid membership you will have access to a bunch of training about writing for the web, plus advanced training on helping local businesses. I mention the local business training because my copywriting business is morphing in that direction. The skills I’ve learned with Wealthy Affiliate give me the ability to substantially boost the profits of local businesses. That’s an amazing skill with an unlimited demand.

      The training inside Wealthy Affiliate is in-depth and ever expanding. Yet, it is always broken down into easy to follow steps, plus there are several experts available to answer questions. And, the community is supportive and helpful.

      I suggest you join Wealthy Affiliate with free starter membership and start that training as your schedule allows. The classes are short and your progress is automatically tracked so you can easily pick up where you stopped. Most lessons can be completed in an hour or less.

      If you like what you see in the Free Starter Membership, upgrade to Premium in the first week. That way, you’ll have all the benefits of Wealthy Affiliate for a month for only $19. There is nothing else to buy. The strategy Wealthy Affiliate teaches is the most affordable and the most reliable way to build a legitimate business online.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Gary

  37. I did buy the Accelerated Program for Six Figure Copywriting at a reduced price. I found it helpful improving my book writing and blogging. When I went onto the members only section where you submit your assignments for review by the AWAI staff, I was amazed at the amount of people on there. After reading quite a few profiles and comments, I could tell most of the people didn’t have the aptitude for wanting to put out the work, time, and effort it takes to be successful copywriter.

    I based this observation from my experiences of having a photography business for 20 years. I took four community college photo classes and a small business class. I lived, breathed, and ate my business 24/7. Simple as that. But, because AWAI knows by making it look easy to get rich writing a simple letter… they attract thousands of people who want to get rich quick.

    However, it doesn’t work that way.

    • Hi, Laura!

      Congrats on building a successful photography business and on publishing your book “Clicking for Cash.”

      My experience with AWAI was similar to yours, although I paid full price for “The Accelerated Program for Six Figure Copywriting.” Like you, I learned from it, but the title and sales page for it are misleading. No one is going to make six figures from just that one eBook.

      It saddened me to visit the members area in American Writers and Artists Inc. So many of the members are struggling, but still want to believe they can earn six figures from just taking the course. I often get messages from people who have taken the training at AWAI. Some agree with me, but some are critical of my assessment of AWAI. The ones who are critical typically cannot write a proper sentence.

      Another criticism I have of AWAI is that everything you need to succeed as a copywriter is chopped into other products, courses and workshops. The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting teaches how to write a long sales letter and that is all. There’s a chapter on getting clients but it doesn’t give much away. If you want to know how to get clients, that’s another course or workshop. Then if you want the contracts, that’s another product etc, etc, etc.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Gary

  38. Hi Gary,

    First, thank you for your review and replying to comments so quickly.

    I visited the Wealthy Affiliate Program you keep advertising here, and I must say, there are couple things I find misleading about the information you are providing on your website.

    First, it seems the main purpose of your site is to promote the WA course. I was confused about that until I reached the WA site myself and realized that they have an affiliate program themselves that you are a part of. I am not criticizing you for wanting to make money. I am critical of the subtle messages on this post that lead people to believe WA is anything other than what it is.

    Second, WA is not a free community. It offers free material (10 courses that take about 10-15 mins to get through) that lead you to a final course that pushes you to become a premium member. The stuff I learned in the first 10 courses can be learned just as easily through Google (Pick a niche, build a website, improve SEO, write quality content). There are so many places on this WA site that push the premium membership, that it is basically doing the exact same thing that you are criticizing AWAI for. These first 10 courses are part of module 1, the next 4 modules which must go into the actual meat of making money ARE NOT FREE. I really don’t like this strategy of baiting people, getting them all riled up, and then asking for their money.

    Third, I highly recommend everyone here also Google the reviews of the WA program before committing to spending money. Look, we are all in the same boat here. If you are reading a review like this, you are genuinely interested in improving the quality of your life. If you are OK paying $500+ per year to a program like WA (let’s face it, to get the full benefits, you should go premium), then by all means, go for it. I just want people to be transparent, it’s one thing to casually mention the money required and another to bash other programs/highlight the free portion to get people to join where they will get bombarded with pretty clever advertising techniques.

    Again, not 100% against WA here. I am against your tactic of bringing other programs down to promote a program that is doing the exact same thing.

    • Hi, Roman!

      I’m a member of AWAI. Originally, I built this website to promote AWAI. However, I had some very nasty experiences with AWAI that revealed to me what they were all about and I was not about to promote something that preyed on others. AWAI does prey on their customers. There is a world of difference between Wealthy Affiliate and AWAI.

      AWAI markets their products the way “no money down” real estate courses are marketed. They sell a dream that very, very few people will ever realize. Even the few people who do earn six-figures with their programs will admit that they had to spend $10,000 to join the inner circle before they made that kind of money and, if they are honest, they will tell you it took years to get there.

      It is grossly misleading and unethical for AWAI to promise people they will earn six-figures after taking their course. I get emails from people all the time who can’t write a complete sentence but have spent hundreds of dollars they can ill afford on AWAI products believing they will earn six-figures. It doesn’t happen.

      Here’s what happens when you spend hundreds of dollars on an AWAI course. If you finish it, you will realize you need more information, that’s another course. You need contracts, that’s another product. You need to know how to set up your business, that’s a weekend workshop. Or, you can join the inner circle for $10,000. AWAI doesn’t care if you succeed or not. They just want you to keep buying their stuff.

      The last straw for me was when AWAI was heavily promoting a weekend financial writers workshop in Atlanta for $3,600 and promising people could enter the lucrative world of writing for the investments newsletters after the course. Investment newsletters have been in decline for the past 15 years and they know it. A fellow AWAI member went into hock to take the weekend workshop only to realize it was crap.

      Since the internet has arrived, copywriting is changing by the minute. AWAI is a dinosaur that is still teaching long sales letters that worked in the age of snail mail. Now people have an attention span of 8 seconds! How the heck is someone going to read a long sales letter with an attention space of 8 seconds?

      On the internet where people can check facts in a skinny minute, trust is the most valuable asset and relationship trumps all other marketing methods. Persuasive writing is still powerful, but not manipulative copywriting and not hype or over promising like AWAI promotes.

      In comparison to AWAI, Wealthy Affiliate offers a free training course in the basics of online entrepreneurship. It’s totally free no credit card needed. No hype and no guru worship. During this free training program, someone can get to know us and we can get to know them. They can learn what it will take to earn money online. If they like what they see, they can upgrade for $19 the first month. Another way to look at it, for the price of a pizza, you get five weeks of internet marketing training, plus support, plus one-on-one mentoring, plus websites, plus software tools. If after the free trial and first month they decide they don’t want to do the work to succeed online, they can quit and they are only out $19. I’ve lost more money under a sofa cushion.

      The difference between AWAI and Wealthy Affiliate is Wealthy Affiliate wants you to succeed. We will bust our tails to get anyone who wants it into a profitable business. I am personally committed to helping every person who joins Wealthy Affiliate because of me. On most days, I’m helping people 12 hours a day and I love it. It’s the most satisfying work I have ever done.

      Here’s the kicker. Because of the internet, we are living in the golden age of the writer. If you have the ability to put your butt in a chair for hours on end and write, you can make a mint with your own online business. The people I see struggling to succeed online are the ones who don’t want to do the work or the people who can’t write. The internet thrives on content. It thrives on writing. A writer has the ability to turn their words into gold, literally! But they won’t do it with AWAI. AWAI is last century.

      Anyone who can write in a casual tone, as if speaking to their best friend over coffee, can make a very good income once they know how to build a website and how to attract visitors to that website. That is what they will learn in Wealthy Affiliate.

      Thanks for stopping by and igniting my passion for Wealthy Affiliate,

      I’m here for you,
      Gary

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