Success Stories:
Bob Bly Introduces Us to Graphic Artists Who Are Earning over $100,000 Working from Home

I recently wrote a package for AWAI's newest program, "Graphic Design Success." When I was doing my research for the package, I was amazed by how much money these graphic designers were making. Many of them didn't have that much training, but they had gone freelance and were earning substantial incomes working from home.

Here are some of the people I got to know:

Nancy M., is only 33-years-old and makes $100,000 a year working out of her home doing desktop design for direct marketers. After college, she started in the customer service department of a direct marketing firm and quickly realized what a gold mine she sat on. After a while, she transferred to the graphics department. There, she taught herself the basics of effective design. Nancy learned 99% of what she knows "on the job." Soon, she was designing all of the company's most important direct marketing letters. She quit her job to work as a freelance designer and was successful from the beginning. As time passed, she achieved even greater success. Now, she can turn away jobs. Nancy loves working with people she likes from the comfort of her own home. She takes a vacation whenever she wants. Sometimes she can't believe how easy she has it at 33. She wouldn't do anything else.

Another young freelancer, Sean M., started out using Macintosh design software to create designs for screen-printed T-shirts. Creative? Yes. But not an easy way to get rich. Then he discovered he could make a lot more money doing desktop design for direct marketers. Today, Sean handles 5 to 15 jobs at any one time. That keeps him busy 50 hours a week. And, with an hourly rate of $60 an hour, he's earning an income even a lawyer, doctor, or airline pilot might envy. (In his spare time, he plays in a steel-drum band.)

Despite their high earnings, Sean and Nancy are relative beginners. More experienced freelance designers can earn even more.

One of the top pros I know, Rob Davis, charges between $10,000 and $15,000 to design a direct mail package – and has six major clients that give him all the work he needs or wants. He wouldn't share his exact income with me. But, if he does only two direct mail packages a month at $15,000 each, that's a gross annual income of $360,000 a year! "I think I have the best job in the world," says Rob, who started in life as a writer and had no formal training or background in desktop design. "I live where I want (rural Idaho), do what I want, have freedom and time to spend with my family … and am well paid for it."

Another designer, Tom Martin* is one of the direct marketing industry's most successful creators of winning DM packages. His mailings routinely crush controls that had gone unbeaten for years.

Tom is also one of the highest-paid freelancers in direct marketing, getting up to $22,000 for a package. He commands such a hefty fee for DM package creation not just because he's so good at writing direct mail copy, but also because he provides his clients with both the copy AND the layout.

By providing both copy and design, Tom has greater control over how his words are presented. He can give just the right graphic emphasis to each headline, subhead, section, and phrase. As a result, his packages far outperform the industry average. And his copy and design services are in constant demand. (He is often booked up to a year or more in advance!)

Learning graphic design is not as difficult as you might think. Today's advanced, easy-to-use computer software has made graphic design much simpler to do than it was even a few years ago. I've just enrolled in the "Graphic Design Success" program myself. When I studied the program and realized how well it worked and how easy it was to master, I instantly recognized how it would help me.

Follow the link below, and I'll tell you why you should consider adding graphic design to complement to your copywriting service too.

[By the way, Tom Martin is not his real name. He asked us to use a pseudonym so he wouldn't be flooded with calls from fellow copywriters asking him to design their mailings. "Take the "Graphic Design Success" program, and you'll make more money doing your own design," is his advice to AWAI members.]

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: May 28, 2002

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