The Top 4 Opportunities for
Copywriters This Year

The biggest problem I faced when I first hung my freelance-copywriting shingle was information overload.

I’m sure you’ve experienced it.

There are so many opportunities for us copywriters to take … it’s hard to pick!

I found myself asking questions like:

  • “Should I just focus on long sales letters and get into health?”
  • “I hear a lot about B2B, should I do that?”
  • “Should I just do SEO and PPC?”
  • “Should I only write web copy?”
  • “I don’t know where to start … What do I do!?”

I was clueless and frustrated. Everything seemed so tempting. But I was determined to figure out what the best path for me would be.

I analyzed each opportunity. I made pros and cons of each.

And I’ve come up with what I think is the best path any copywriter (me included) can take this year.

In fact, I’ve narrowed it down to four hot opportunities you should consider for next year. Two of them, by the way, are an absolute MUST if you want to have some major successes … and make this the year you radically transform your life for the better.

Here they are:

Hot Copywriting Opportunity #1 –
Writing for the Web

This is one skill that all copywriters need to learn. I quickly realized that the majority of my clients don’t send out very many direct-mail promotions. Instead, they’ve focused 80% of their efforts on the web.

And it makes sense. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper to test copy online than it is to physically mail it. For any business, this means a higher return on investment (ROI).

But I’m not the only one seeing this trend first-hand.

According to Anthea Stratigos of Outsell Inc., businesses this year spent a combined $66 BILLION on marketing their websites.

What’s more, research firm ZenithOptimedia reports that global online ad spending will grow to almost $448 billion in 2010.

That’s pretty staggering. And for us copywriters, it spells a HUGE opportunity.

It’s for this reason that I think web writing is going to be hot in 2010.

Best of all, once you know how to transfer your sales writing skills to the Internet, you’ll have a solid foundation to do everything else. Whether it’s PPC, SEO, B2B, autoresponders, newsletters, sales pages, landing pages etc., you’ll have an edge over anyone that doesn’t know the intricacies of writing effective web copy.

Hot Copywriting Opportunity #2 –
Specialize in B2B

B2B is probably the best market for a copywriter – regardless of experience – to specialize in.

That’s because unlike the health, financial or even self-help niche, B2B offers the most opportunity.

Just think: There are millions of businesses around the world that sell products or services to other businesses in a wide range of industries. And it’s a mother of a market. Over $6.5 trillion a year.

Because it’s so huge, competition from other copywriters is virtually non-existent in B2B. What’s more, there’s no need to have the writing skills of a Clayton Makepeace or a Paul Hollingshead in order to earn a great living.

You just need to be a decent writer who understands the fundamentals of good copy.

Had I known about B2B when I first started five years ago, I would’ve gone for it. And quite frankly, it’s a market I’m considering getting into next year.

It’s not unrealistic at all to earn $40,000 – $50,000 your first year, provided you put in the effort.

And if you’re really motivated and ambitious, you can earn much more.

AWAI member Ed Gandia got his start in B2B. Within 27 months, he was earning a steady six-figure income.

B2B copywriter Steve Slaunwhite has earned a healthy six-figure income for over a decade. He never works more than 40 hours week.

B2B is also great if you’re just starting out because the projects are short and sweet. That’s because there’s no pressure to have to “sell” your prospect in one shot. No need to “beat the control.”

Just educate your prospect over time on a service or product they need anyways.

One caveat: Some of the projects you’ll tackle in this market may include improving home pages, sales pages, landing pages and writing for eNewsletters. That’s why to truly excel, you’ll need to have your web copy skills down pat.

Hot Copywriting Opportunity #3 –
Autoresponder Copy

As a copywriter, I’ve found that one of the fastest ways to get your foot in the door with a potential client is to offer to write an autoresponder series.

Practically every client with a website can use an autoresponder series.

Noted internet marketer and Google AdWords expert Perry Marshall, puts it this way:

“A website without an autoresponder is like a head without a body.”

And truth be told, no marketer in his right mind would turn down an offer to have an autoresponder series written.

That’s because there’s no risk in trying your copy out. It’s quick and cheap to test.

Throughout the process, you’ll end up developing a relationship with the client.

Once you do, you’ll have two options:

  • Since you’ve got your web copywriting skills down pat, you can “upsell” the client on larger web projects (i.e. offering to redo their home page, landing pages, sales pages, etc.)
  • You can choose to only focus on writing autoresponder copy.

Either way, you can still earn a great living. In fact, copywriter Jay White ONLY writes autoresponder copy. As a result, he earns a healthy six-figure income, while working a few hours a week.

In fact, one project worth $3,500 may take Jay two mornings to complete. The rest of the day is his to do as he pleases.

Writing good autoresponder copy is really as simple as telling a good story. That’s why it’s one of the few writing skills you can master quickly (in some cases just a few days).

It’s the perfect skill to get the attention of clients you’d love to write for.

Hot Copywriting Opportunity #4 –
Money-Making Websites

Okay. So this isn’t exactly a copywriting opportunity per se. But it’s a chance to put your hard-won sales and web writing skills to work – for you!

I personally feel that every copywriter should be his or her own best client.

By building a website, you’re creating an asset that will pay you for years to come.

It provides you with an extra “cushion” every month (especially helpful during any downtimes). It’s a great way to sharpen your web writing skills. And it doesn’t take too much time out of your schedule.

Top web copywriter Nick Usborne makes around $3,000 – $6,000 per month from his very own websites.

And the good news is it doesn’t take that much effort. Nick writes maybe one or two articles a week and posts them on his site. That’s it. The rest pretty much runs on autopilot.

I’ve already signed up for Nick’s upcoming How to Write Your Own Money Making Websites training series. Nick is going to work with everyone taking his program “live” through the process of creating our website from scratch starting January 18th.

And since the training comes free with his program until Wednesday, it was an opportunity I simply couldn’t pass up!

Now that I’ve been freelancing for about 6 months now, I can tell you the rewards are incredible. The key though, is to focus. Don’t get caught in the trap of information overload.

Focus on the four opportunities I’ve told you about here. They’re all you’ll need to start living life on your terms.

To recap:

Get yourself up to speed on how to write for the web. No ifs, ands, or buts. It’s a must if you’re serious about your career.

If you’re going to specialize, specialize in B2B.

B2B offers the largest opportunity and a relatively easy way to earn a comfy living while not having to write like a top “A” – level direct-response copywriter.

Get your foot in the door with any potential client by writing autoresponders.

Autoresponder copy is a skill you can master in no time flat to get your foot in the door of clients you’d love to work for. (Remember, there’s practically no risk to test your copy).

Finally, be your best client. Build an asset for yourself. Set a goal to create one, two or even three money-making websites this year. You put in the hard effort once, and then it pays you over a lifetime. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Here’s to an amazing year!

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 14, 2009

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