There are many ways to write for money, but copywriting is one of the most lucrative. Copywriters write the words that sell.
In addition to regular advertising copy, they are also called on to write brochures, catalogs, newsletters, press releases, and even radio commercials.
Why Do Companies Use Copywriters?
Companies spend a fortune on advertising – placing advertisements in newspapers and magazines, printing catalogs and brochures, and sending out bulk mailings to their customers. Of course when they are spending so much to send out a message, it is important to get the words right.
Take direct mail as an example. It costs tens of thousands of dollars (or hundreds of thousands depending on the number of pieces sent) to send just one direct mail campaign. If you don’t believe that pick up the photo and call a mailing list broker and a printer and ask them to explain their pricing. Companies rent lists of hundreds of thousands of names from brokers, and these typically cost $100 per thousand names.
It’s a huge investment so it makes sense for these companies to ensure that the marketing copy is crafted by a professional. As a copywriter, that’s your job. As a good copywriter you know that you can make a big improvement to their response rates by writing some excellent copy.
How Much Do Copywriters Make?
An experienced, hard-working copywriter in North America can earn more than $100,000 annually. Admittedly not all copywriters reach that six-figure mark. Still, in a recent survey of copywriters some 39% of respondents earned between $50,000 and $100,000. This compares very well with other areas of writing.
Of course the amount you earn as a copywriter will vary depending upon your location, the location of your clients, your fees, and how hard you work.
How To Getting Started in Copywriting
1. Look around you. Look at brochures, catalogues, sales letters and advertisements. Which do you think are effective? What works? And what turns you off? Which ones would be fun to write?
Peter Bowerman’s “The Well-Fed Writer” is an excellent resource to help you get started. At $12.95 it’s one of the best guides to building a copywriting business. Considering that copywriting courses can cost as much as $1,000, The Well-Fed Writer e-book is incredibly good value.
2. Write some samples. They might be samples for some imaginary businesses or you could complete a free sample for a local business that you know. And start working on a brochure for your own copywriting business.
3. Identify potential clients. Write down a list of local businesses. How about sports clubs? There may even be charity groups that are willing to pay a small fee for your copywriting services if it will help them to raise some extra funds.
4. Send a letter to the organizations you have identified, informing them about your copywriting services. Follow up with a telephone call to discuss whether there is anything you can help them with.
5. If you are still struggling to get your first real assignment, consider developing something “on spec”. This is where you agree with a client that you will go ahead and write it, and the client only pays you if they like it and decide to use it.
That should get you started. Once you start working as a copywriter, and if your services are good, you may be surprised just how quickly your business grows. That’s because “word of mouth” is one of the main ways that clients find good copywriters.