The “Backdoor Way” to Becoming
a Six-Figure Copywriter

I wasn’t able to attend the Job Fair at this year’s AWAI Bootcamp. Boy, was that a mistake. You see, the day I got back to my office, I realized how being there could have solved one of my biggest problems.

My name is Sandy Franks. I’m the Executive Publisher of the Taipan Publishing Group, a division of Agora Inc. My division sells financial newsletters and trading services to individual investors.

Taipan used to be one of the biggest divisions at Agora, with one of our newsletters boasting 75,000 readers. But that was several years ago. Like many businesses, we reached a brick wall, and growth came to a halt.

Then our sales flattened, as well as our circulation file sizes. For the past year, I’ve been rebuilding the business from the ground up.

By “ground up,” I mean I’ve been focusing most of the group’s energy and resources on our products.

The hardest part of the rebuilding process has been finding talented financial editors for our publications. I’ve done what most businesses do when they’re looking for talent: placed ads in newspapers, on Monster.com, and sent emails to my network of contacts asking if they knew anyone who could write about financial topics.

Those conventional ways just haven’t been working.

I need some way to reach a large group of talented, eager and ambitious writers. It’s when I returned from the AWAI Bootcamp that I realized my mistake. I had just spent three days with the biggest group of ambitious writers I could ever hope to find. Attending the Job Fair would have been the ideal way to connect with them immediately.

That’s when I asked AWAI Executive Director Katie Yeakle for permission to post this article on their website.

By now you’re probably wondering, “What does being a financial newsletter editor have to do with being a six-figure copywriter?”

Well let me explain …

Did you know that some of Agora’s most talented copywriters actually began their careers as financial publication editors?

Take Porter Stansberry. You may be familiar with him and the tremendous success he’s had building a $60-million division for Agora – Stansberry Research and Associates.

But what you probably don’t know is that he didn’t start out as a copywriter. Porter was an editor for a small group of niche publications owned by Agora.

That division was eventually folded, and Porter was asked to move to Baltimore and take over the editorial reins of another financial newsletter.

That job really taught him the ins and outs of the publishing business. In fact, he had accumulated so much knowledge, he decided to launch his own newsletter.

And guess whom he picked to write the sales copy? The answer might surprise you. You see, he decided to write the promotion himself.

Of course, he was mentored by the likes of Michael Masterson and John Forde. So the package had a very good shot at working. And, sure enough, it did.

That was the start of his hugely successful publishing empire. He wrote several other successful sales letters throughout the years.

But here’s something else you may not know …

Porter’s never given up his job of being a financial editor. Sure, he has people to help him run his business. And he’s hired a staff of copywriters headed by Mike Palmer.

But to this day, Porter still writes a monthly newsletter … and a daily e-letter.

Now Porter is just one example of a newsletter editor turned copywriter …

There’s also Alex Green of The Oxford Club. Alex is the editor of the club’s monthly newsletter. But did you know he also writes sales letters? In fact, some of the sales letters he’s written have brought in millions of dollars.

It’s like Porter and Alex discovered the secret “backdoor way” to becoming a successful copywriter.

Most people who want to work as copywriters completely overlook this idea of starting their careers as financial editors. And that’s a shame. Because by working as an editor first, you learn the business from the ground-up.

You also learn more about your target audience than anyone else. After all, you’re writing to them regularly.

And because you’re writing on a regular basis, you’re fine-tuning your writing skills. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing newsletter content or sales copy. It’s almost a “no-lose” situation.

Here’s the best part … financial editors are handsomely paid, too.

Most everyone who enters the world of copywriting does so because they want to earn a six-figure income. Well, guess what? Financial editors can earn six-figure incomes, too. They get paid a base amount (either a monthly or annual fee), plus earn a percentage of the profits for sales of their information products.

I have editors working in my group making six-figure incomes.

If you truly want to become a top copywriter, then why not consider starting first as a financial editor? Who knows … you may find that you’re just as happy being an editor as you would be as a copywriter. And earn just as much.

Now there’s only one requirement to using this “backdoor way” of becoming a six-figure copywriter. You need to have a background in the financial markets – such as, experience as a stock broker, financial planner, options strategist, or have some sort of degree in economics or finance.

You see, you can’t just “talk the talk.” People won’t take financial investment advice from someone who hasn’t also “walked the walk.” So you do need to have good credentials.

To learn more about becoming a financial editor, send me a letter telling me about yourself and your experience. If you’re thinking you should make your letter similar to a sales letter, well … that wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Who knows … you may become our next super-star financial editor and earn six figures in the process. It never hurts to try.

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: December 11, 2008

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