FOR COPYWRITERS [See sample copy done by one of the industry’s best, Bob Bly.]
1. Write Better Faster, Bob Bly.
2. Copywriting Writing Prompts.
3. B2B Copy: Industrial Writing That Sells, Bob Bly. When you actually earn an assignment to write a business-2-business copy, where do you go to get ideas? It is pure genius at work? Are you some kind of developing brainiac? Well, you might be. But on the outside chance that you’re not, where do you go to get ideas? How to Prepare for a Copywriting Assignment.
4. More from Bob Bly.
5. Bob Bly’s paid materials.
6. 7 Ways to treat a product or service in copywriting. You know them all already: Gratitude, Fear, Greed, Guilt, Anger, Trust, & Exclusivity. Find more here.
7. This post by Danny Margulies was decent. Posted here on Monday, May 21, 2018.
8. Here, Bob Bly offers 29 Ways of Communicating with Clients. “The 29 Secrets of Achieving Outrageous Levels of Customer Satisfaction,” Bob Bly. Contact vendor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. How Does Freelance Writing Work?
10. Bob Bly, “8 Money-Making Strategies to Succeed as a Freelance Copywriter.” Check out AWAI’s free pricing guide.
You can also find a specialty where you can focus your energy and build a solid reputation as a go-to writer. Gordon Graham is known as “That White Paper Guy.” Nick Usborne is internationally recognized as a Web specialist. Heather Lloyd-Martin [here, here, and here] is a pioneer in Search Engine Optimization. Do consistent work and you will become known for it.
But for some of us, we can’t imagine doing anything else except writing. The problem is that some traditional freelance writing — articles and books — usually doesn’t pay very well. By freelancing for business clients, you can have the best of both worlds. You can spend your day writing, and you can get paid handsomely for doing it.
1. Earn your first $1,000 in copywriting.
Whereas Bob Bly works through the details of client needs and how to position yourself with them and follow-through and so forth, this gal, Carol Tice, [see her works here] points you to whom to write for. Here niche is shipping. Here are some of her recommends.
LONG FORM BLOG POSTS. You can write a long-form blog post on your own blog or as a guest post to show what you’ve got.
MAGAZINES. New magazines also continue to be born, though fewer than in the past — there were nearly 100 launches last year, and closures slowed — and new pubs are often more open to new writers than established rags. Crack that Writer’s Market online, dial their search tool up to five dollar signs (signifying highest paying markets), and see who you could pitch! As a result, pay tends to be good — $.30-$.50 a word at the low end, up to $1 a word or so. Trade pubs have survived the magazine fallout fairly well, as each has niche audience advertisers who sell into that industry are dying to reach. Go to tradepub.com and browse for topics you know or are interested in, scan some issues, and write a strong introduction letter that plays up your knowledge of the sector.
Reports of the demise of print have been widely exaggerated. Yes, there’s a lot of change going on, but some magazines are still going great guns and paying over $1 a word. I did a 1,200-word feature assignment this summer that paid $2,800 plus every dime of my travel expenses, for instance.
VIDEO SALES LETTERS. You’ve probably noticed that video is booming, from internal company announcements to welcome videos on blogs to video sales letters. It’s a great opportunity for you former TV and radio journalists, playwrights, screenwriters, and anyone else who writes for aural media to cash in.
REVAMP BIG WEBSITES. Some of the best projects out there are revamps of big websites with 35-100 informational Web pages or more. I once worked on one of these projects for well over two years, billing $2,000 a month and up, every month.
LONG SALES PAGE. $2,000 for a long sales page.
WRITE ON COMPLEX TOPICS. Remember my caveat about complex information — things like writing up hotel descriptions continue to pay poorly, but if you need to explain something like insurance consulting services or environmental engineering projects, pay should be at professional rates (at least $100 a page for under 300 words of copy, $300 and more for longer pages).
EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS. I know writers getting $250 per email and more for autoresponder sequences or marketing campaigns.
ONLINE LEARNING. This niche is huge — $107 billion globally, plus another $50 billion in self-paced e-learning courses, according to an elearningIndustry.com report. And talk about a global opportunity in every language — the three fastest-growing country markets for online education are India, China, and Malaysia. Much of this work is done by agencies or freelanced directly to writers and designers.
Write blog posts. Here is a great theme to work on “20 Things You Need to Know Before You Move to Tulsa [or Los Angeles or Vegas],” a quick guide to some of the highlights of living in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
I thought that this was good. By specializing, you can “command higher fees for her work.”
Be confident. All of these writers had the guts to ask for good rates — and not second-guess it. Moscoso says the barrier between earning crappy content mill rates and earning good pay “is not as big as you think. Push through the fear and believe that you can get this type of work.”
Specialize. Clary has been writing about gems for years, and this helped her command higher fees for her work, she says. Her gem-focused writer site and a separate Twitter account just for gems and jewelry ensure that potential clients see her as a highly skilled and specialized writer.
Highlight your location. Ledbetter’s writer site brands her as a Tulsa-based freelance writer, and that’s why she got a plum gig writing about the city for a national company.
Use inbound marketing. Moscoso uses LinkedIn to connect with potential clients — and she finds clients that are “desperate to find writers” who want to write about the product or service they’re trying to sell. She suggests spending about 40 percent of your time on marketing. Make sure your LinkedIn profile, writer website, and portfolio are a good representation of the work you want to do.
Inbound marketing is all those things you do to attract customers, convert them into buyers, and then promoters of your service/product.
Inbound marketing provides information, an improved customer experience and builds trust by offering potential customers information they value via company sponsored newsletters, blogs and entries on social media platforms.
Marketing strategist David Meerman Scott says that inbound marketing allows marketers to “earn their way” into a customer’s awareness rather than invading their awareness through paid advertisements.
Compared with outbound marketing, inbound reverses the relationship between company and customer. In fact, while outbound marketing is going to push the product through various channels, inbound marketing creates awareness, attracts and helps new customers with channels like blogs, social media, etc.
Provide value. Each of these writers bring specialized knowledge to the table, but Mansfield ensures that she’s an active participant in her blogging gig. She has Google alerts set up so that she knows what’s happening in the field she covers, even though she came into the gig far from expert. This allows her to make her clients’ life easier by suggesting topics.
Alpha Beta Commerce pays $50 for articles about e-commerce, payment processing, marketing, and logistics.
Finance Blog Zone pays $50 for original personal finance posts. If you reach certain traffic criteria, you can earn up to an additional $50. The catch is that the posts need to be long — 2,500 words or more — and include photos.
Gaming Mouse pays for posts about the technology industry, with a preference for the latest news. [waiting for confirmation that they meet the $50 threshold]
PreTravels is owned by the same person who runs Finance Blog Zone, and it also pays $50 for original personal finance posts plus up to an additional $50. Posts should be destination guides or travel tips and should be 2,500 words or more. You’ll also need to include 6 or more photos.
Narratively pays $150 for personal essays and $200 to $250 for reported pieces. Higher rates negotiable depending on the piece. Narratively has been around about five years. We recently learned about the site thanks to blog reader and Narratively features editor Lilly O’Donnell.
Ben Settle endorses Kim Krause Schwalm. I’ve checked out a few of her YouTube interviews, but I don’t see it. Those interviews have too few views to make a decent assessment of her skills. Her LinkedIn page says she’s got 20 years experience and 13 years of that in marketing
A-list copywriter and copy mentor, with more than 20 years experience as a freelance copywriter/consultant and 13+ years experience in marketing and leadership positions, including launching the Healthy Directions supplement business and growing it to $23 million in sales within 3 years. Sign up for Kim’s free weekly e-letter, Copy Insiders, and find out more about how to learn from or work with Kim at http://www.KimSchwalm.com.
But I really think that Bob Bly’s record prevails, in terms of the person you want to learn from. His products won’t cost you $1,000, plus you’ll learn a lot more. A lot more.