Summary: Want to make great money from your writing skills? Become a copywriter (a writer for business).
How come there's so much writing in world, but most writers are poor? It's because writers are writing stuff that makes other people rich. If you're writing novels for major publishers for example, you're pouring money into bank accounts of giant corporations, but stream of money, by time it reaches you, is a slow drip, not a river.
If you want to make money from your writing, you need to write words that sell. In other words, you need to become a copywriter.
Copywriters write everyday words, words you see and hear around you every day --- advertising, press releases, catalogs, newsletters, and radio spots. I've been a writer, and a successful one if you count publication credits, for 20+ years, but it wasn't until I made copywriting foundation of my business that I started to feel relaxed about paying my bills.
If you're an experienced writer, you can add copywriting to writing you do, and start making money without much effort. The skills of both fiction and non-fiction are necessary when writing copy. If you're a new writer, just starting out, skills you learn when writing copy are easily transferable to other kinds of writing.
The brilliant news about copywriting is that copywriters can make excellent money, with most experienced, enterprising, and productive copywriters scooping in a comfortable six figures annually.
You don't have to be a great writer to be an excellent copywriter, but you do need to recognize and be able to use attributes of both fiction (evoke emotion) and non fiction (be clear) in your writing. Of all writing I do, I love copywriting most. It's fun, it's easy, it's creative --- and biggest plus of all, it's usually short.
Here's successful freelance copywriter's mindset.
* know that you're surrounded by copy every day, everywhere you look.
Radio, TV, Internet, newspapers, food product labels, signs: they all contain words, and a copywriter wrote them. To most people, copy is so ubiquitous it's invisible. To you, copy signals a market. You're observant and aware, and every time a message catches your eye, even if it's only a street sign, you're thinking: "Hmmm... a potential market";
* are interested ingetting your client's message across;
* are prepared to market, and then market your services some more.
Kick-start your freelance copywriting services business
You can kick-start your freelance copywriting services today, in three steps:
1. Become aware of all copy around you, and start thinking about kinds of copy you could write and have fun with;
2. Develop a prospective clients database;
3. Write your first direct mail letter advertising your services.
Copy is everywhere
Copywriters write for businesses. They write to sell. Your first step is some market research, and when it comes to market research, copywriting is a doddle. Unlike novelists who have to slog to library or bookstore to read latest bestsellers, and magazine writers who keep themselves poor by buying dozens of magazines, you get your market research for free, delivered to your door. If you have a little "No Junk Mail" notice on your letterbox, scrape it off.
On my desk right now, I have six flyers from six local real estate agents. The flyers were stuffed into my letterbox over past two weeks. Here's a taste of copy: "Don't buy a home until you see our exclusive range". Another one's headed: "Do you want best price when selling?" Their copy is obviously being written by someone in-house, so they're not getting ROI (Return on Investment) they should be getting.
My calls to local printers established that they're paying around $1500 for 15 000 flyers. Not a lot of money. On other hand, what results are they getting? If they invest in an hour of my services, charged at my base rate, I'm positive I can substantially increase their response rate from their flyers. I haven't entered these six real estate agents into my Prospective Clients database yet, but I will.