5 Steps to a 10-Minute Workday (Yes, you can earn six-figures as a copywriter … without any freelance writing clients)

Ben Settle spends his time writing novels. He owns other businesses. He does things he used to put off until “someday,” because he can take the time now. While earning an income well into six-figures.

How is this possible?

It’s quite simple, really. Ben has solved the age-old freelancer’s problem of worrying about clients.

He doesn’t have to worry about them at all. In fact, he has no freelance writing clients, yet he’s a wildly successful copywriter.

And he only works about ten minutes a day.

Yes, that seems crazy. Even outrageous. I mean, who can actually get away with making six-figures just by putting in 10 minutes of work each day?

Frankly, you can.

You just need to learn the right skills and have the right frame of mind. And that’s what this article is all about.

Now let’s dive into Ben’s “5-Step Formula to Creating Your 10-Minute Workday”, so you can see what this could mean to you.

Step 1: Pick a hungry market that interests you.

This is the single most important part of the entire process.

Most entrepreneurs create solutions, then go out and find the problem. But it’s far easier to find a problem that’s in need of a solution.

Think of a health product, for example. For any medical condition, it’s much easier to think, “Okay, I understand this problem. I have a family member suffering from it. Why don’t I find a product to help them?”

If you do it the hard way, you’ll build a product and say, “Is there somebody suffering from this problem that this product solves?” And then you’ll have to find them.

Don’t make it harder for yourself than it needs to be. Pick a market that’s hungry for something. They have money they're going to spend on solving this problem. The question is, are they going to buy your product or someone else’s?

How do you research different problems and audiences?

This is straightforward and easier than you might expect! Click on the video snippet below for Ben’s tips on choosing a problem to address.

Watch the Video

It seems counterintuitive. You think if somebody is already doing this, that’s the wrong market for you, because there's already somebody there.

But it’s much easier to sell a product to people who are already buying something than to make up a new market.

Plus, people don’t just buy one thing. They don’t buy just one solution. They buy multiple solutions from multiple providers. So there’s room for you in whatever marketplace you choose.

An example of how to create a product that solves a problem

Ben’s 10-Minute Workday program came about because AWAI’s members kept asking questions about getting clients. It’s the biggest roadblock to the writer’s life. But what many members really wanted to know was not how to get clients, but how to eliminate the need for them.

The program was created knowing that there would already be a market for it.

The same thing happened with a product Ben introduced to his own list last year.

No one asked him to create the product or anything even like it. He just knew what his list wanted. He spent a lot of time writing his sales letter …

But hardly anyone read it because they already knew they’d want the product he created with them in mind.

Keep reading to see how Ben recommends creating a product (a solution). But first …

The final word on choosing a problem:

Choose something that resonates with you — even better, something that enrages you. You’ll approach that market not just like you’re trying to make a living, but as though this is your mission in life. Your passion and empathy will come through.

Step 2: Create solutions they want and need.

The easiest way to do this — especially if you're new — is to find credible experts in that market already and interview them. The interviews become your product. (Wow, that’s really easy! This is exactly what Tim Ferris did for his best-selling book, “Tools of Titans.”)

You simply tell your audience “I’ve found all these experts. They’re the best in the world at solving this problem and here’s how they do it.”

This gives you credibility right off the bat, which is rare. You’ll immediately make yourself stand out.

What your customers are really buying …

What the audience is really buying first and foremost is you.

It’s about trust.

They don’t necessarily want the best product. They just want someone they trust to refer them to something so that they know they made a good decision.

So you need to become that reliable resource.

Step 3: Write a simple ad and opt-in page.

There are only two sales letters you’ll actually ever have to write for your 10-Minute Workday.

The vast majority of the money on the Internet that’s being created via direct response marketing — if not all of it — is very simple. It's opt-in pages, sales letters, relentless email follow-up. Not complicated!

But with so few pieces required, your opt-in page is vital.

Keep it simple. Everything on Ben’s is “above the fold” (what would be above the fold on a newspaper — that is, near the top of the page). It's very clear what he’s asking you to do.

And in addition to entering your email address, you have to click a box to opt-in. Ben’s page says, “I agree to get daily promotional emails from Ben Settle.”

An opt-in like that is a good opt-in. The person who submits a double opt-in is a good prospect who’s not just going to waste your time.

And though this might be surprising, you might want to have a smaller list rather than a larger one.

Click on the video snippet below to see how it works, and to hear Rebecca and Ben talk about why a small list is probably the strongest list.

Watch the Video

Step 4: Grow your list.

Your 10-Minute Workday depends on your list. So you want to grow it — not just with more names, but with higher quality names of people who genuinely want to hear from you, and buy from you.

Here’s how to grow your list.

  • Buy traffic.

    Ben suggests scaling up through Facebook ads and Google ads. (Both of these ad resources offer complete tutorials on how to run ads with them.)

  • Make your list more responsive by repurposing your daily emails.

    You may not get tons of leads with these methods, but the ones you get will be great quality. Here’s how it’s done:

    • Take your daily email and add a little more substance to it, turning it into an article. Then submit it to two or three big, reputable article directories. The article will get you traffic.
    • Then, read your article on camera and upload it to YouTube. YouTube will also get you traffic.
    • Next, take the audio and post it on iTunes as a daily podcast. You’ll get some traffic from there.
    • After that, post the article to forums that accept user-generated content. (Make sure to have a link back to your website.) These forums will help generate – you guessed it – more traffic.
    • Finally, post it to your social media pages and groups. Some people get a lot of traffic this way.

Over time, you’ll have a bunch of articles, especially if you’re doing your emails daily. You can take your articles and combine them into a book (or more), leading to, of course, more traffic. (Many people click through to your site through the links you put in your e-book.)

Set up some podcast interviews. Interviewers need interviewees in order to keep cranking out content. Keep a list of podcasters in your niche. Approach them by telling them you have a great idea for their show. Send them a few teaser bullets to reel them in.

When the podcast happens, be a good interviewee. Be pleasant and respectful, and make the interviewer’s job easy.

Here’s what’s great about podcasts

Here’s what’s great about podcasts: The leads you get from this will be really strong. These people are coming to your website after listening to your interview, so they’re definitely interested in what you ave to say.

Plus, podcasters talk to other podcasters. They all need content. Your name will be passed around among them, and you’ll end up doing more podcasts leading to … a constant stream of more traffic.

Even if you just do a few of these things, you’ll develop a good, responsive list that wants to buy from you.

Enjoying these tips on starting a client-less copywriting business?

Click here to learn how you can get started!

Step 5: Write your emails.

When you write, remember that each email is a traffic-building opportunity. To make sure it does its job, the number one rule here is simple:

Never be boring.

The world’s most feared negotiator, Jim Camp, said that you’re always safe when you’re in the other person’s world. So long as you are in your reader’s world talking about something important to them, you won’t bore them.

It helps to entertain — or “infotain” so you’re entertaining and informing at the same time — but you simply need to talk about something they care about. Stay in their world, talk about their problems, and create a vision based around the problem.

Build them a vision of the problem or a lifestyle without it. And then give them a link where they can find out more information.

For example: If someone has a problem with moles in their yard, they’re never going to be bored with emails that talk about dealing with moles.

Or, in the prostate niche, some of the best emails I wrote talked about a kind of surgery that’s very gruesome and difficult … something the prospect wants to avoid at all costs. “Here’s how to avoid it.”

There’s no hype or high-pressure selling tactics. Just an audience ready to click that button, because you primed them well.

They’re buying you, and they’re buying that vision (or their way out of it).

Enjoying these tips on starting a client-less copywriting business?

Click here to learn how you can get started!

As a recap, here are Ben Settle’s 5 steps to a 10-Minute Workday:

  1. Find your starving crowd
  2. Create solutions they want or need
  3. Write a simple ad and opt-in page
  4. Create your list
  5. Write emails

In short, there’s not much to it, and once you reach altitude, things will move along smoothly.

But we have two more important tips to make this work like gangbusters.

1) Be aware of other ways to increase your income through this model.

Click on the video snippet below for Ben’s additional ways to increase your income …

Watch the Video

2) Consider “scalability” when choosing a product, and how you can grow and grow!

The exciting scalability of the subscription

Think about the exciting scalability of this type of model, also known as a subscription model.

Suppose you start building up your list and at six months, you have 100 subscribers paying just $29 a month. By the end of your first year with the list, that’s almost $35,000.

100 subscribers x $29 per month x 12 months = $34,800

That’s for less than a subscriber per day, paying less than a dollar a day — very modest numbers!

But if you add just one subscriber a day for the next 12 months, that’s $161,820 per year — almost five times what you started with.

465 subscribers x $29 per month x 12 months = $161,820

Two new subscribers a day ends up being nearly $290,000 a year …

830 subscribers x $29 per month x 12 months = $288,840

Three new subscribers means more than $415,000 a year …

1195 subscribers x $29 per month x 12 months = $415,860

And just five new subscribers per day is a whopping $670,000!

1925 subscribers x $29 per month x 12 months = $669,900

And that’s just at the front end. Because you’ll sell buyers of your product another product (or more) at the backend …

Which can be more profitable than the front-end! Your audience knows, likes, and trusts you, so now you can sell them other stuff.

You can create your own additional product(s), or use other people’s in the same industry who have good ones you believe in.

This is how to continue to increase your income.

This scalability here isn’t about spending extra time …

This isn’t about doubling your income by working 80 hours instead of 40 hours.

And it’s not about negotiating higher rates with clients — after all, you don’t need clients with this business model!

The scalability here comes simply from growing your list. And you can do it as much as you want. There's no limit there.

The more people, and the more quality people you have, the better you're going to do both on your frontend and backend sales, and the more your income will continue to grow.

Enjoying these tips on starting a client-less copywriting business?

Click here to learn how you can get started!

Q&A: Answers to 3 questions about setting up your 10-Minute Workday.

Q: With free information available online, why would someone pay for a daily email or newsletter service?

A: People don’t value what’s free. They don’t implement what's free. People who are likely to buy stuff don’t look for free.

There are two types of price shoppers out there: people who buy because the price is cheap and then people who will buy the most expensive things just to save time and not to think about it.

You want to go after the second group. They have money to spend. They don’t have time to go out there digging up everything on YouTube and everywhere else. They just want it delivered to them because they have busy lives.

Avoid the cheapskates. You want to find people who have a specific problem. They're going to spend money to fix this problem. The question is, who are they going to buy it from? You'll put yourself in a position where they’ll want to buy it from you.

Q: What if you have a list already but the response rate is low? Is there something you can do to reinvigorate the list?

A: Starting with a list gives you a good advantage. This process will be much faster for you.

But maybe you’ve been making the mistake of not mailing your list regularly.

Start mailing daily. Tell them ahead of time “Look, I've been doing you a disservice. I have so much I wanted to tell you, that I haven’t been telling you. I'm going to start mailing daily.

You’ll still get the same quality you’ve come to expect from me — but if my mailing you daily is a problem, simply scroll down to the bottom of this email and opt out.”

You’ll probably lose a lot of subscribers. But the people left over are people who are obviously very interested in what you have to say. That’s your new list. Now, you build upon that. It's really that simple. There’s nothing complicated about it.

Q: Is there a trick to the opt-in page? Any optimal number of words or other advice for the landing page?

A: Keep everything above the fold on the page. Let the reader see everything at a glance so that it’s very easy for them to understand what they have to do.

Don’t include other outbound links, like links to your social media. It works for some people, but really, it’s better to give them only one possible action to take when they’re on that page.

If you make people check a second box as well — creating a double opt-in — creating this will give you a more solid list that’s of higher value to you, because you’ll know they’re interested. It helps you get rid of some people at the opt-in stage instead of wasting their time.

If you can, add some testimonials in, to give powerful proof to your audience.

And always be testing — we’re always testing because what works best today, may not work best tomorrow.

Q: How does the 10-Minute Workday apply to sales funnels?

A: For the answer to this question and several others about your 10-Minute Workday, watch the entire Q&A video below.

Watch the Video

Enjoying these tips on starting a client-less copywriting business?

Click here to learn how you can get started!


*The 10-Minute Workday program is brought to you by AWAI (American Writers & Artists, Inc.).

Rebecca Matter, President of AWAI, is an experienced direct-response marketer in the publishing industry, with the mission of helping writers earn a great living.

Ben Settle is an A-List copywriter whose newsletter is read by some of the world’s most respected copywriters and marketers. He makes several hundred thousand dollars a year working just for himself … for as little as 10 minutes a day.


Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)