How I learned to make my writing pay, and you can do it too. Copywriting is easy money

Sep 17 21:00 2002 Angela Booth Print This Article

Summary: Want to make great money from your writing ... a ... (a writer for ... come there's so much writing in the world, but most ... poor? It's because writers are

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 the world,Guest Posting but most writers
are poor? It's because writers are writing the stuff that makes
other people rich. If you're writing novels for major publishers
for example, you're pouring money into the bank accounts of giant
corporations, but the stream of money, by the time it reaches
you, is a slow drip, not a river.

If you want to make money from your writing, you need to write
the words that sell. In other words, you need to become a
copywriter.

Copywriters write everyday words, the 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 the 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 the
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, the 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 the 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 the
attributes of both fiction (evoke emotion) and non fiction (be
clear) in your writing. Of all the writing I do, I love
copywriting most. It's fun, it's easy, it's creative --- and the
biggest plus of all, it's usually short.

Here's the successful freelance copywriter's mindset.

You:

* know that you're surrounded by copy every day, everywhere you look.

Radio, TV, the 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 the copy around you, and start thinking
about the 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 the library or the bookstore to read the 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 the
past two weeks. Here's a taste of the copy: "Don't buy a home
until you see our exclusive range". Another one's headed: "Do you
want the best price when selling?" Their copy is obviously being
written by someone in-house, so they're not getting the 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 the 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.

That's how I started copywriting. I rewrote advertising, because
I thought I could do better. You can do the same thing to start
your own copywriting business. Become aware of all the copy
around you. Just for fun, and to get some writing samples,
rewrite some of it. If this gives you a real buzz, and you find
it easy, you've just found yourself a new profession. Here's a
newsflash: most copy is basic and uninspired. Display creativity
in the copy you write, and clients will line up to hire you.

Develop a prospective clients database

Your prospective clients fall into two groups: businesses which
write their own marketing communications material in-house, and
the advertising industry --- agencies for advertising, public
relations, graphic design, and marketing.

Start out by targeting the local companies stuffing your
letterbox. The competition will be minimal. Chances are you'll be
the first copywriter to approach them. The writing experience and
confidence you gain from doing this work will encourage you to
move on to bigger businesses.

Here's your business prospecting process in a nutshell:
* find a prospect;
* enter the prospect into your Prospective Clients
database;
* brainstorm how you can offer the prospect a better
ROI;
* phone and/ or send a letter to the prospect outlining what
you can do for him;
* follow up.

You need a way to keep track of your prospects, so create a
prospects database. Your Prospective Clients database doesn't
have to be fancy. I use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. You can
keep your database in a word processor, if that's what's easiest
for you.

Write your first direct mail letter advertising your services

The easiest and cheapest way to get clients for your new business is
to write personalized letters. In the future, when your business
is well established, you may want to invest in a commercial list,
and send your letters to a few thousand advertising or PR
agencies at once. When you're starting out however, sending
personalized letters is cost effective, and you won't find
yourself with more work than you can handle.

Each letter you send out addresses a specific need you perceive
the business has. When I send out a letter to the real estate
agents I mentioned earlier, for example, I'll be using the copy
from their flyers, and making suggestions as to how the copy
could be improved. (I'll be doing this extremely diplomatically,
of course.) I'll be emphasizing "retain-ability", how to get the
people receiving the flyers to keep them.

Each letter I write will take me around half an hour. Why? After
all, I could just do a mail merge, and send out 100 letters in
that time. The reason I don't do that is because when you're
writing a direct mail letter, you need to think like the person
who's receiving your letter. Everyone in the world has a single
mindset: "What's in it for me"? Therefore, you need to show what
you can do for their particular business. You have to provide
something of value, up front.

A week or so after I've sent out the letters, I'll call the
businesses to follow up. Not every business I target will use my
services. However, a number will. They'll either have work for me
immediately, or within a few months.

Get started today. Give copywriting a try. Although you don't get
a byline for your work, you do get the gratitude of your clients,
and real money for your writing.

(c) Copyright Angela Booth 2002

***Resource box: if using, please include*** When your words
sound good, you sound good. Author and copywriter Angela Booth
crafts words for your business --- words to sell, educate or
persuade. Get in touch today for a free quote: ab@digital-e.biz.
Free ezine: Creative Small Biz --- subscribe at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Creative_Small_Biz/

**END**

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

About Article Author

Angela Booth
Angela Booth

Australian author and journalist Angela Booth writes about business, technology, health and creativity for print and online publications. She also writes copy for businesses large and small.

View More Articles