How My “Dirty” Little Secret Can Help You Succeed As a Copywriter

I have a confession to make.

You might be surprised when I tell you.

But I want to come clean – because knowing my “dirty” little secret can help you earn more and achieve copywriting success much faster than you could otherwise.

So here it goes:

I worked as a staff copywriter at AWAI for a year and a half. During that time, I never wrote a single direct-mail package. In fact …

One-hundred percent of the copy I wrote was for the web!

And now that I’ve been freelancing?

I STILL haven’t written a single direct-mail package. It’s all been web copy.

Why am I telling you this?

If you want to live the “writer’s life” as soon as possible, then there’s no way around it – you’ve got to know how to write for the web.

Now let me make one thing clear. This is not to say you don’t need to learn how to write a sales letter. You do. It gives you critical fundamentals you can’t get any other way.

Knowing how to write traditional long-form sales copy is the building block of everything you’ll ever do in your career as a copywriter. No matter what market you go into or what kind of copy you decide to write.

That said, online copy is still a must for today’s business climate.

Simply put, it’s where companies are spending more and more of their marketing dollars. My own experience confirms this. As I said earlier, I have yet to have a client ask me to write a traditional DM package.

It’s not surprising though. More companies are mailing less than ever before.

A recent article in the Washington Post states:

“In the past year alone, the Postal Service has seen the single largest drop-off in mail volume in its 234-year history … That downward trend is only accelerating.”

You’d think this would be bad news for copywriters. Not so.

Just because most companies significantly cut mailings or stopped mailing entirely doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned their marketing efforts and aren’t hiring copywriters.

In fact, the opposite is true. Think about it: In traditional direct mail, there’s only so much you can be hired for – sales letters/magalogs, inserts and maybe premiums.

It’s a different story on the web. Here are just a few projects – off the top of my head – that a client would want (and need!) to hire you for:

  • Articles
  • Home Pages
  • Sales Pages
  • Landing Pages
  • SEO for Web Pages and Content
  • Email Newsletters
  • Standalone Emails
  • Autoresponder Series
  • Blog/Forum Posts
  • Product Descriptions
  • PPC Ads
  • eBooks

The list is practically endless. And the opportunity for you as a copywriter to make serious money on the web is HUGE.

That’s because you can bill anywhere from $300 – $2,500 for any one of those projects. What’s more, they can be done fairly quickly (many only take me around 2-4 hours).

And here’s the thing –

Even if you do decide to specialize for the B2B market or any of the other more “traditional” copywriting niches, guess what?

All those companies are marketing on the web too!

No matter which way you look at it, learning the principles of effective web copy is a must. It’s the foundation for everything you’ll do career-wise (after learning how to write a sales letter!).

I can’t stress it enough. Do whatever you have to do to upgrade your skills. Learn to write for the web.

As someone who’s been freelancing for just over six months, I can’t tell you how grateful I am for having learned those skills while at AWAI and by going through Nick Usborne’s Copywriting 2.0 program.

I’m actually getting ready to go through my copy a second time. I’d say it’s the quickest, easiest way to hone your web writing skills.

If you haven’t already, make sure to get your copy ASAP.

I don’t know what I’d be doing if I hadn’t learned to write online copy.

I guess I wouldn’t have any clients!

If you want to get up-to-speed on writing for the web quickly, get a copy of Nick’s program. Not only will it teach you what you need to know, you’ll also have it as a reference guide to refer back to whenever you land a new project.

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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Average: 4.7
Published: December 17, 2009

3 Responses to “How My “Dirty” Little Secret Can Help You Succeed as a Copywriter”

  1. Great article with exceptional insight.

    KB Johnson-OhioDecember 18, 2009 at 2:27 pm

  2. Thank you for your valuable contribution here. I really appreciate your article.

    Most people out there are not even aware of the treasure trove of opportunities that are available for copywriters.

    That's why your ideas resonated with me, that indeed you can make your dreams come true.

    It is just a matter or learning a few principles and application.

    It is great news that people like you are sharing their personal stories, so people out there in the world feel they can achieve their dreams too.

    Archan MehtaJune 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm

  3. There is not much I can share at this point as I am starting the course.
    Archan Mehta has shared encouraging words and am hoping I will resonate with her feel in the very near future.

    ShamimJune 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm


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