How to Turn Your Ideas into a Million Dollars

Writing copy for others isn't the only way for you to profit from the powerful selling techniques you're learning. Many copywriters are using their skills to sell their own products and start their own direct-mail businesses.

About 10 years ago, for example, a young married couple in South Florida started a mail-order business in the garage of their home. They bought merchandise, produced a catalog, and were on their way. Today, that company, Levenger, is still selling quality products through the mail – with annual earnings in excess of $50 million.

Levenger is not the only mega-success in the industry. Lillian Vernon, L.L. Bean, and countless others started from their kitchen tables. And if they could do it, so can you!

One of the best things about the direct-response business is that you truly can run a profitable company from your kitchen table. All you have to do is choose a product and write a dynamite sales package for it. Once the orders come rolling in, there are professionals who will (for a fee, of course) handle every other phase of your business for you.

Maybe you've dreamed of starting your own business, but don't know what to sell. If that's the case, take a look at the following list of the 20 most popular direct-mail products for inspiration:

  1. Artwork – all kinds
  2. Audiotapes – music, books, entertainment
  3. Auto-care products
  4. Books – self-published, self-help, out-of-print
  5. Cleaning supplies – home and office
  6. Clothing – special sizes, imported, and unusual
  7. Clothing accessories
  8. Collectibles – coins, stamps, miniatures, sports or war memorabilia
  9. Do-it-yourself kits
  10. Food – gourmet items, special recipes, health foods
  11. Gifts – unique items, often imported
  12. Health and beauty aids – including vitamins and perfumes
  13. Hobby tips and supplies
  14. Home furnishings and housewares
  15. Information booklets – how-to or special information for targeted markets
  16. Jewelry – high quality costume, religious theme
  17. Novelty items – unique, trendy, many from abroad
  18. Pet-care products
  19. Stationery – imprinted, family calendars, unique items
  20. Toys and games
The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


Click to Rate:
No ratings yet
Published: June 2, 2003

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)