10 Billion Reasons Craig
Can Help You Get Paid

Earlier today, you heard AWAI member Lynne Schlumpf’s success story. She sold her house in just one week by using her copywriting skills to write a persuasive letter she posted on Craig’s List.

Craig’s List (www.CraigsList.org) is a free online classified ad service. There you’ll find “stuff” for sale ranging from books to motorcycles … to houses and professional services.

It’s possibly one of the most popular websites on the internet, getting more than 10 billion page views a month!

For copywriters, it’s an overlooked goldmine.

Here’s why:

  1. You can sharpen your copywriting skills – and make some money – by writing persuasive sales letters to sell the “stuff” around your house.
  2. You can find copywriting assignments by searching the job postings across the entire United States, and over 50 countries around the globe.
  3. You can advertise your copywriting services by posting a compelling self-promotional sales letter.

Sharpening Your Skills

A great way to gain confidence in your writing is to practice. Craig’s List lets you practice your writing by selling those “garage sale” items lying around your home.

Here’s how to do that:

  • Select your city. When you get to the home page, choose your state followed by your city. (If you don’t find your city, select the closest one to you.)
  • Post your item for sale. Once you’re on the city’s home page, click “Post to Classifieds” located top left. Select the type of posting (in this case, “For Sale”). Choose the appropriate category for your item. At this point, you’ll see a form where you can fill in the title (headline), description, price, etc. You also have the option of adding images.
  • Confirm your post. When you’ve finished filling in the form, click “Continue.” Your ad will be displayed, and you can edit it again, or continue. When you continue, you’ll be sent an email containing a link you have to click in order to make your post “live” and visible to the rest of the world.

After you’ve sold a few items using your powers of persuasion, you could even offer to write sales letters for people wanting to sell their large ticket items, like cars and homes, for a flat fee. It’s a great way to get paid while you practice!

Finding Paid Assignments

Another way to use Craig’s List is to search the hundreds of listings for companies eager to hire a copywriter.

Searching for potential clients on Craig’s List is a breeze. Here’s what you do:

  • Select your city. If you live in a large metropolitan area, start your search there. If not, select a large nearby city.
  • Search the jobs. Once you’re on the home page for your city, go to the “Search” box on the left-hand side. Set the drop-down menu to “Jobs.” Type in “Copywriter” or “Copywriting” in the search box, then hit “Enter.” This will bring up any companies offering an opportunity related to copywriting.
  • Repeat. Sometimes you won’t find any listings for the city in which you’re searching. That’s okay. Simply repeat the two steps above with different cities across the U.S. Eventually, you’ll find companies looking to hire freelancers.

As you search these job listings, you’ll have a very good idea of what companies look for in a copywriter. This will help you greatly if you decide to use Craig’s List in yet another way …

Selling Your Services

If getting more work is your goal, you should use every avenue available to you. On Craig’s List, that means selling yourself in addition to searching for companies looking to hire.

Doing this is simple and really no different than posting an item for sale. And if you’ve already sold a few things using the Craig’s List website, you’ll be able to do this in no time flat.

Once you’ve written a self-promotional sales letter, follow the first three steps described earlier (to sell an item), except when choosing a category for your post, select “Services Offered.” From there, pick “Writing/Editing/Translation.”

Once you’ve done that, you can proceed exactly as before.

Whenever you’re advertising on Craig’s List, make sure to use the principles you’re learning in AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. Basics like having an attention-grabbing headline … focusing on the prospect … and calling out the benefits and deeper benefits. Doing this sets you apart from 99% of the competing ads and exponentially increases your chances of making a sale.

The great thing about Craig’s List is you can test different approaches and see which works best – absolutely free!

And if you get started today, you’ll have plenty of experience and plenty of samples to show prospective clients at this year’s Bootcamp Job Fair – giving you the edge you need to get your career up and running in no time flat.

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 »

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Published: August 4, 2008

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