From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Bridging the Gap Between Practice Writing and Working on an Assignment

Member Kevin L. wrote in with some tips he’s come up that will help you bridge the gap between practice writing and working on an assignment where someone is paying you to produce winning sales copy on a deadline.

Hello Scott,

I started in direct mail about 8 years ago. Since then, I have spent literally thousands of dollars educating myself on every aspect of the business. Bar none – writing sales letters has been the most difficult for me. About halfway through your Accelerated Program for Six-figure Copywriting, I had that "Yes, I can do this1" feeling. Now I know I can do it … and I have the team at AWAI to thank.

Just a couple of lines to tell you about some extra techniques I’ve been using along with the program …

I read each chapter into a digital recorder, upload it into my computer, burn it onto a CD, and listen to it over and over again. I also contact list brokers and request data cards. They make great supplementary material ("Know thy prospect"). Also, eBay has been a great tool for me. I contact people selling a lot of products and offer to write for them (free). Just for practice.

Thanks again.
Kevin L.

Thanks Kevin. Those are great tips to help people new to copywriting gain valuable writing / industry experience before they’re quite ready to market their skills.

Hi Scott,

I have enjoyed the past few editions of The Golden Thread. I notice that you are using a lot of member "success" stories. I thought I could supply you with one more (not that you are lacking material).

I got the program in May and went to the "Weekend" in June. Today, I have 2 contracts for $2,000 a month (one is with Agora) to do one letter each, plus nice royalties on top of that. These two assignments each month take up about 20 hours, leaving me time to do projects for a number of national clients. (Just starting one for Easter Seals – just finished one for Catholic Near East Welfare Association.) Last month, I was able to bring in over $8,000, and it does not appear to be slowing down. That is not to brag, but more to say "Thank You."

Joshua B.

Hey Joshua,

I remember meeting you at the Selling Yourself Weekend. Congratulations on your burgeoning freelance career. Keep us posted on your future successes.

Hi Scott,

I just wanted to thank you for your great job listings on the Direct Response Jobs website. I just landed one of the newsletter-writing positions! With that in mind, what do copywriters generally charge to write a 500-1,000 word article that includes research and interviews?

Thanks for your help!
Melanie R.

Hello Melanie,

I’m glad that you are finding www.directresponsejobs.com useful. We’ve had tremendous feedback on the site since it was launched in the beginning of 2005. The number and quality of job postings will be even better in 2006. We’re going to put a lot of time and effort into improving the site.

To answer your question, editorial writing doesn’t typically pay much … but it’s a great way to get samples … get to know a client … and get some real-world writing experience. The price range could be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars on up. It really depends on what your client’s budget is and how much you want the experience.

Thanks to one and all. Keep those emails coming!

Scott

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: December 12, 2005

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