Saturday, May 7, 2011

Live the Writer's Life as a Copywriter

"Find a job you like and you add five days to every week."
H. Jackson Browne
Did you get a renewal letter today for any magazines you subscribe to, perhaps offering a discount or free gift?
How about an offer from a bank for a new credit card? (You're prequalified and eligible for super-low interest rates.)
Maybe your local car dealer is having a sale this weekend and invited you to come by.
All of these pieces were written by copywriters. And copywriting is a career you really ought to consider. Because it is the fastest and easiest way to experience the many benefits of what I callthe writer's life.
That includes having more control over your financial future... Spending more time with your family... Having more time to travel... Having a flexible schedule... Working at home... Living where you want... Working when you want...
I'll explain how copywriting can help you do all of that in a moment.
But first, let me explain what it is a copywriter does...
Unlike news or editorial writing, copywriting is all about getting the reader to take action.
That action might be to click a link in an e-mail, fill out a form, sign up for a magazine, buy a set of pasta bowls, donate to a local charity, get your city planner to approve a proposal - just about anything.
Copywriting is part of $2.3 trillion industry worldwide. And it gives you two financially valuable opportunities:
  • You can work as a freelance copywriter in your spare time or as a full-time career.
  • You can use the skill to increase the money you're making from your own business.
Either opportunity puts more coin in your pocket at the end of the day. But today, I'm going to concentrate on the first opportunity, and show you what you can expect if you decide to pursue freelance copywriting as a full- or spare-time career.
First up, how much can a freelance copywriter earn?
It depends a lot on how ambitious you are and how much time you're willing (or able) to put in. But here are some examples to give you an idea:
Kathleen C has a 9-to-5 "day job" - but she wants to earn extra money for family vacations and to build a nest egg for retirement. So she does copywriting in the evening and on weekends... and makes $25,000 a year. (Although she's hoping to make $50K this year!)
Eileen C is a stay-at-home single mom. She has two young children to care for, but still manages to find four hours a day for copywriting. She makes $75,000 a year.
For Pam F, copywriting is full-time job. She puts in time not only on the copywriting itself but also on growing her freelance business. She makes over $120,000 a year.
Joshua B is a real go-getter. He not only found that he has a real talent for copywriting, but also that he's a terrific networker and business developer. He has negotiated lucrative contracts with a number of big companies, and will be making more than $300,000 this year.
You get the idea? The great thing about being a freelance copywriter is that you can adjust how much you work and earn to suit your personal circumstances.
You don't HAVE to aim to make $100,000 a year or more.
Neither do you HAVE to limit yourself to $100,000.
The decision is yours.
What kind of qualifications do you need to be a copywriter?
None! And this is why I love my job of working with copywriters. I've met successful copywriters from many different backgrounds. There is no "mold" when it comes to this career.
You can be 18 or 80.
You can have a Ph.D. or not even a high school diploma.
You can be working as a plumber right now... or as a lawyer... or have no job at all.
You can live in a big city or in a cabin up in the mountains - and you don't even have to live in the U.S.
All you need is a computer and an Internet connection. And if you have a laptop, you can work while visiting family or friends - and your clients will have no idea that you're not in your "office."

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