Wall of Fame

J. Daryl Thompson

AWAI Member Since: 2003
Age: 56

What's your current occupation?

Freelance Copywriter and Marketing Strategist

What's your former occupation?

Computer Programmer Analyst

What was the first project you landed?

I worked with noted financial author Stephen W. Bigalow to help him launch his trading site www.candlestickforum.com.

What are your current projects?

I do most of the day-to-day copywriting for Options University, based in Boca Raton, Florida. I'm also working on "The World's Best Compost" site to improve sales conversions. Finally, I have a 25% stake in a Chiropractic / Weight Loss business, where I'll handle the copywriting, marketing, web design, SEO, PPC, etc.

What has been your proudest copywriting moment?

Winning 3rd Place in Dan Kennedy's National Salesletter Contest. My entry was a salesletter I wrote for the president of Options University while he was attending a $10,000 seminar in Los Angeles. The letter was written in just a few hours, and also won the seminar contest because it was used to create the most money in the least amount of time during the seminar itself.

What's your favorite niche to write for?

I have 21 years of experience in the Financial area, which is my first love, but I like to think I can write for any business sector.

What's your income goal for this year?

At least $100,000.

What's your writing routine?

I'm basically "on call" to write at any time of the day. So I don't really have a regular routine, per se. I'm usually writing most of the day, including weekends.

The good news?

I love to write!

Please give us an example of how your life has changed since becoming a copywriter.

Becoming a copywriter has given me the freedom to work at home, or at any place in the world, as long as I have a laptop and a high-speed Internet connection.

I've written from our villa on the tiny island of Contadora, Panama for example.

Also, not having to battle the brutal Houston traffic each day is a huge plus!

What success tip would you like to share with your fellow writers?

I actually have two main tips …

  1. Never stop learning. There is indeed an art and a science to writing world-class copy. Although I consider myself a strong writer, I'm nowhere near the Clayton Makepeaces, Gary Halberts, John Carltons, and Gary Bencivengas of the world. But my aspiration is to at least approach those lofty levels before I leave this Earth.

    To help me in that effort, I jumped all over the chance to join AWAI's Circle of Success Program! That one was a "no-brainer", for me at least.

  2. Never give up. Your first attempts at copywriting will always be your worst. I now look back on some of my first scribblings and laugh to myself how "hypey" my copy sounded. But with continued study and practice each day, you WILL get better and better. Just stick with it.

When did you realize you were living the copywriter's life?

Probably when I got that first check from Options University for my copywriting. It became "real" to me at that point, that I'm actually getting PAID just to type some words into my computer!

It was a great feeling.

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