When you check your mail and e-mail today, keep an eye out.
Did you get a renewal letter for any magazines you subscribe to, perhaps offering a discount or a free gift?
How about an offer from a bank to sign up 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.
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Or your favorite big box store is having an online-only sale — and because you’re on their e-mail list, you got advance notice.
All of these words were written by copywriters.
Same goes for the ads in your favorite newspaper. The commercials you hear on radio and TV. And the text on websites that sell products and services.
Unlike news or editorial writing, copywriting is all about getting the reader to take a specific action.
That action might be to click on a link, fill out a form, sign up for a newsletter, buy a set of pasta bowls, donate to a charity, urge your congressman to approve a new law — just about anything.
Copy is everywhere. It’s part of $2.3 trillion industry worldwide. And that means learning how to write effective copy 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 profitability of your business.
Either opportunity puts more coin in your pocket.
But today, I’m going to focus on the first opportunity. I’m going to answer the questions you’re likely to have about freelance copywriting as a career — and show you what you can expect if you decide to pursue it.
How much can a freelance copywriter earn?
That depends a lot on your personal circumstances and how ambitious you are. But here are a few examples to give you an idea:
- Kathleen C. has a full-time job, but she wants to earn additional money for vacations and to bolster her savings account. So she puts in some time as a freelance copywriter in the evening and on weekends… and has been making about $25,000 extra a year. (Although she’s hoping to bring that up to $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 her freelance copywriting. She makes about $75,000 a year.
- Pam F. puts a lot of time and effort into her freelance copywriting — not only on the copywriting itself, but on growing her client list. She makes over $120,000 a year.
- Joshua B. is a real go-getter. He’s found that he has a real talent for copywriting… as well as for networking and business development. He has negotiated some lucrative contracts with a number of big companies, and will be making more than $300,000 this year.
See what I mean? The great thing about being a freelance copywriter is that you can work and earn as much as you like.
You don’t HAVE to aim to make $100,000 a year or more.
Nor do you HAVE to limit yourself to $100,000.
The decision is yours.
What qualifications do you need to be a copywriter?
None! And that is one of the reasons I love my job at American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI) so much. I’ve met successful copywriters from many different backgrounds.
You can be 18 or 80.
You can have a Ph.D. or not even have finished high school.
You can have a job as a filing clerk 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 travel to visit family or friends during the week, and your clients don’t have to know you’re not in your “office.”
Now that the economy has tanked, are copywriters still in demand?
Great question. And the short answer is a resounding YES! Here’s why…
When times are tough, companies will do all kinds of things to reduce costs. They’ll close stores and plants, and let as many employees go as they can.
Even senior-level employees.
But one thing they HAVE to do, no matter what, is keep selling their products or services.
This means they always need copywriters.
That said, they might let some of their in-house copywriters go, if they have any. They might do the math and realize that it costs less to hire a good freelancer than it does to pay the salary and benefits of a full-time employee.
But they absolutely HAVE to keep selling.
Which is why, even during an economic downturn or recession, good copywriters are still in strong demand.
Can you really learn to be a copywriter simply by taking a course?
It depends on which course you take.
The craft of copywriting CAN be learned from a course. That same course can show you how to get started. It can even help you get your first clients.
But only if it’s the right course.
You probably know that AWAI has a course called the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. Of course, I’m partial to it because I know it inside and out — and I have personally met and worked with hundreds of people who started successful freelance copywriting careers by taking it.
But whether you choose to take AWAI’s course or another one, you don’t need to get a degree or pay a lot of money for expensive training to become a successful freelance copywriter.
Fact is, if you can write a simple e-mail or letter to a friend, and you like to share ideas with other people… you have all the qualifications you need to become a copywriter.
It doesn’t matter what job you have right now.
It doesn’t matter if you have no job at all.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, or where you live.
It doesn’t even matter where your clients are located!
With the Internet, you can do work for companies all over the world, if you wish.
You can even conduct your entire business by phone and e-mail.
So if you’ve been thinking about “testing the waters” and taking a step toward learning how to write copy, check out AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.
You have all the qualifications you need to become a successful freelance copywriter. And if that’s something you’d like to try, there’s never been a better time.