Writing by Numbers…
Think writers need to struggle? Here’s an inside look at a “secret writing niche” that can let you travel the world AND pull down a six-figure income …
Strange things happen when I tell people at a dinner party that I “write” for a living.
At first, they’re excited … thinking they’ve just met a famous author, journalist, or screenwriter.
“What have you written? Anything I might have seen or read?”
I answer, “Maybe, but probably not. I’m not ‘that’ kind of writer … ”
Then things turn awkward. I can see disappointment sweep across their faces.
When I tell them…
“I’m a freelance copywriter. I write ads for the financial publishing industry” … matters only get worse. My clumsy attempt to explain in more detail only adds to the confusion before I quickly (and mercifully) change the subject.
As we part ways, I know what they’re thinking:
“Yikes. Here’s a guy … mid-fifties … and he’s still a struggling writer.”
But if only they knew …
If only they knew that the kind of writing I do lets me earn a very comfortable mid-six-figure income …
If only they knew I could make that money from anywhere in the world (for me, it’s my mountainside home in the Vermont countryside) …
And if only they knew that I keep what many would consider “part-time” hours (I’m usually writing by 7 a.m. — finished, most days, by noon).
It’s a pretty good life, I must say.
But here’s the best part:
Anyone can learn it. And anyone can do it.
That’s because the kind of writing I do isn’t “hard” writing — like I imagine writing a novel or a movie script would be. Or even those articles you see in Vanity Fair, The Economist, or The New York Times …
With copywriting, you learn a pretty simple formula … then you just sit down at your computer and write — as if you’re writing a helpful letter or email to a good friend.
I say “helpful” because the kinds of letters we write offer solutions to everyday problems.
These letters might show people how they can support a worthy cause … lose unwanted pounds … get richer … get healthier … be better at their jobs … be more attractive to the opposite sex … become better investors.
Most of us have distinct “niches” we specialize in. (As you can see, in our world, it’s okay to “dangle” a preposition.)
My specialty happens to be that last one on the list: I write letters that introduce avid investors to new investment ideas, techniques, and strategies.
Now, I can’t show you how to write one of these letters here in this space…
How to Make $240,000 a Year as an “Unknown Writer”
But I can show you how and why copywriting can be so lucrative, once you know the simple formula to writing them.
I want you to know this aspect of the “inner workings” of our business because I want you to get excited about the potential it can hold — if writing simple letters is something that interests you.
(But before I spill the beans, you might be wondering: Why would I share this secret when it could ultimately lead to more “competition” for me? Well, that’s a subject for another article. But for now, let me just say — the demand for copywriters is enormous … and once you’re in our business, you’ll quickly understand that more writers generating more business is good for everyone … )
Okay … here’s how it works.
A client asks you to write a letter that sells a specialty financial newsletter that costs $1,000 a year.
Now, you might be thinking, “$1,000 a year — for a newsletter?!”
Yes! Investors routinely pay anywhere from $100 to $5,000 a year for specialized financial insights. So no worries there. People will pay it.
You agree to write the letter and negotiate an up-front writing fee. How much you get depends on your experience. (I charge $10,000, but some of my colleagues charge a lot more … $25,000 and up.)
Now, that’s just to write the letter …
But, it gets better. I’ll explain:
After three or four weeks of writing, your letter is finished. You email it off to your client and she sends it to a list of 100,000 people eager to see new financial promotions like the one you just wrote. (It’s never spam … these are people who have signed up to see this stuff!)
A few days later, your client tells you that 1% loved the idea you wrote about and subscribed to the newsletter.
Again, I can hear what you’re thinking: “Only 1% — must have been a crappy letter!”
Okay … maybe it wasn’t the best letter ever written, but it’s enough to make you rich. It means 1,000 people subscribed. And at $1,000 each — that’s a cool $1,000,000!
Boy, is your client happy! Your letter just made a million bucks walk through the door in about a week!
And here’s that “better” part I mentioned:
Copywriters typically get paid a royalty on every sale — anywhere from 2% to 4%.
And remember — that’s on top of your writing fee. Like a commission … or a bonus.
So, how much did this one letter end up paying you?
Let’s do the math:
You got your $10,000 writing fee …
Your letter helped sell $1,000,000 worth of subscriptions. At a 3% royalty — that’s an extra $30,000 you’ll be paid!
Altogether: $40,000. Not bad.
But, say you wrote a great letter … and the response was 2%. So, instead of $1,000,000 in subscriptions, your letter sells $2,000,000.
Now your “royalty” is $60,000 — for a total payment of $70,000!
So let’s say you do six of these letters a year — one every two months.
$70,000 x 6 = $420,000!
And here’s the best part.
If a letter takes a month to write — and you only do six of them — it means you have six months of “off” time … time you could be travelling … golfing … putzing around the house — anything at all.
Or, you could decide to write three or four extra letters a year — make even more money … and still have two or three months a year to spend as you please.
Of course, you’ll need to learn the craft … and get a few successes under your belt before this “big” money starts rolling in. But once it does, it can be life-changing. And, it’s something you can do for as long as you like — well into your retirement years.
Another advantage: there are so many things to write about, there’s sure to be a niche that suits your interests … your experiences … and your professional background.
Then there’s the sheer freedom it gives you …
As a freelance copywriter, you don’t need a fancy office, employees, or inventory — just a good laptop computer and a reliable Internet connection. In fact, a lot of copywriters I know either live overseas or travel the world while they write — and they earn a very good income.
So there you have it …
A little peek into a secret world that few on the “outside” even know exists — let alone how lucrative it can be for people who love to write.
If the idea of it interests you — and you’re willing to learn and follow the simple formula for writing a successful letter — we’d love to have you in our circle!
NOTE: If you’d like more information on the lucrative (and liberating) world of copywriting Paul Hollingshead describes, click here.