5 Ways to Break Into the
Without Writing Long Sales Letters
As an up-and-coming copywriter, you might think the only way to earn a living in this industry is to write long-form sales letters …
Great news … that’s not the case!
Here are five other ways to make a living as a copywriter that you can start doing today:
Case Studies: Companies large and small use case studies as a marketing tool. Essentially, a case study is a product (or service) success story. It highlights how a prospect bought what the company is selling and how it helped him achieve the results he was looking for.
Case studies require a little research. Mainly interviewing the people who used the product and getting their story. But the good news is, writing a case study can pay anywhere from $1,000-$2,000. Plus, it can be completed in less than a week’s time.
For example, business-to-business copywriter and AWAI member Pete Savage just wrote seven short case studies for a single client, for which he was paid $1,750 each! That adds up to total billings of $12,250 for a few relatively easy-to-write pieces of marketing collateral.
Once you get good at writing case studies, you’ll be able to knock them off in about a day and a half, like Pete often does.
White Papers: More and more companies are using white papers as a way to market their products and services. Essentially, a white paper is a special report. It explains to potential customers how a new technology works, the best way to do something, or how to solve a specific problem.
Experienced writers can expect to earn anywhere from $4,000-$7,000 for a 10-page white paper. And most copywriters can finish a white paper in two weeks or less.
Steve Slaunwhite, a successful 15-year copywriting veteran, wrote a white paper as his very first project when he started out. Since then, Steve’s written over 100 white papers on all kinds of fascinating topics.
If you like learning new things and educating others, white papers are a great route to go. In fact, you could earn a substantial income writing just two or three white papers a month.
Newsletter Articles: Business-to-business companies frequently use newsletters. This is because sometimes it may take up to a year to make the sale. As a result, companies need to stay in touch on a regular basis with potential buyers. Newsletters are great for this.
Usually, you can get paid $500 – or more – to write a single newsletter article. This is a huge market in the B2B niche. Best of all, if a company likes your writing, they’ll probably ask you to write their newsletter articles on an ongoing basis.
Brochures: Almost every company out there – from your local Mom n’ Pop to the Fortune 500s – uses brochures. These usually feature the company’s product, service, or the company itself. The most common type of brochure is known as a “sell sheet.” It’s basically one page long (unfolded) with copy on both sides. Expect to earn anywhere from $500-$1,000 for a few hours’ work on a brochure.
Website Home Pages: It’s surprising, but most companies with web pages don’t know how to create and write effective content. That’s where you come in. Simply look at a company’s home page on their website and see how it can be improved to create the results the company is looking for.
This kind of project can easily lead to a steady stream of projects (think sales pages, landing pages, email series, e-newsletter, etc.). Depending on how much of the home page you rewrite, you have the potential to earn anywhere from $500-$1,500.
B2B copywriter and AWAI member Ed Gandia loves these kinds of projects. Says Ed:
“One of the great things about writing web copy for B2B companies is the opportunities it opens up for you as a copywriter. For instance, a web copy project leads naturally into some search engine optimization (SEO) work. It also sometimes calls for some basic messaging work (helping the client develop and flesh out their value statements and differentiators), which I’m starting to quote separately. And a good job with these few projects will often lead to other ancillary projects, such as lead generation letters, landing pages, brochures, case studies, and much more. So, what started as a $3,000 web-copy project often turns into a $20,000 (or larger) client over the course of a year or even a few months.”
This is really just the tip of the iceberg. As a copywriter, there are plenty of other types of projects you can take on that don’t involve writing a long-form sales letter. For instance, there are trade articles, data sheets, and print ads.
The majority of this work is in the business-to-business market. That’s because in B2B, most of the writing is informational and educational. Instead of trying to “sell” to the prospect, you’re educating him.
And, as you can see, the pay in this market is just as good as most traditional, direct-mail niches. That’s why if you’d love to earn a full-time living as a copywriter – without having to write long sales letters – B2B is the clear way to go.
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