Unconventional Careers in Uncertain
Economic Times

The Top 5 Boomer-Friendly Online Freelance Copywriting Niches Perfect for Full- or Part-Time Income

Today’s economy means that increasingly Baby Boomers are unable to quit work at the traditional retirement age. Layoffs have drained savings. And many retirement accounts were drastically diminished during the stock market crash of 2008.

Then there are those unable to find work at all who have just given up on rejoining the workforce. Government stats show those aged 55 and older make up the largest contingent of these “hopelessly unemployed.”

For Boomers who can’t escape the trap of unemployment and underemployment with a traditional 9 to 5 job there is a viable solution: A full-time or part-time income with a freelance career in copywriting. It’s quite possible to make six-figures annually, even though freelancers are free to set their own schedule.

Copywriting is a catch-all term for any sort of advertising or marketing writing. And these days, with 34% of the world population online, according to World Internet Stats, most copywriting is done on the Web – that’s where the customers are.

In this large industry, there are five particular niches that are poised for big growth in 2013. And in-the-know freelance writers ready to take advantage of these opportunities could generate a significant additional income stream.

1. Business-to-Business Content Marketing

Most B2B copywriting involves helping clients generate leads through white papers, case studies, and other formats. But more and more companies are turning to B2B content marketing to keep new leads engaged. Copywriters in this niche write articles, blogs, newsletters, and other online content.

“A recent survey of 1,092 leading marketers shows that nine out of 10 B2B marketers rely on content marketing strategies to keep potential customers engaged,” said American Writers & Artists Institute contributor Mindy Tyson-McHorse. “These marketers spend 26% of their marketing budgets on content development and promotion. A full 62% of them outsource content marketing.”

That spells opportunity for freelance writers.

2. Self-Publishing

The Internet has created a vast marketplace for information. And it’s never been easier to make money selling that information. It’s called self-publishing. And while self-publishers can sell their own books, novels, or other piece of writing, it’s actually not necessary to be a writer at all to get in on the action.

Publishers simply pick a niche, one that matches one of their passions in life with something that has a steady customer base. Golf, with followers worldwide eager for tips and advice, is a perfect example. The next step is to create ebooks, pamphlets, instructional guides, video or audio programs, or other materials and sell to that audience. Sales of ebooks alone in the U.S. were up 34% in the first half of 2012, and outrank printed book sales on Amazon. This industry is growing fast.

Because these are digital products, production costs are near zero. And that gives self-publishers one heck of a profit margin. Gary and Merri Scott, American Writers & Artists Institute contributors and long-time self-publishers, are multimillionaires many times over thanks to their involvement in this niche.

3. Video Script Writing

Seventy-two hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. And many of those videos these days are created by marketers eager to reach the vast audience of online video.

But there aren’t nearly enough video script writers to meet demand. So companies are hiring freelancers in this niche all the time. And they’re willing to pay well for qualified writers.

Project fees start at $100 per minute of video. Writing for video simply involves writing a script, just like for a feature motion picture, just on a much smaller scale. But in this case, the objective is to generate a lead, sell a product or service, or drive traffic to a website. And that’s where the persuasive writing comes into play. It’s copywriting skills that are most important for these video ads.

4. Cause Marketing

Sometimes marketing and a good cause collide. A great example are the “pink” products, everything from garden tools to t-shirts, supporting breast cancer research. And with more and more companies seeking to be good corporate citizens in the eyes of consumers, these types of cause marketing campaigns, which combine advertising and worthy charities, are on the upswing.

Cause marketing is expected to grow to $1.7 billion in the coming year as companies strive to meet consumer demand. According to AdAge, 83% of Americans want their brands to support causes and 41% have bought a brand because it did. So companies are turning to freelancers to help tap into this sentiment.

Copywriter and American Writers & Artists Institute contributor Megan Tyson specializes in cause marketing. Among the recent causes she’s written about: saving blue crabs in Chesapeake Bay and protecting marine habitats in the Florida Keys.

5. Video Sales Letters

Sales letters have been the workhorse of direct-response marketing since the earliest days of direct mail. These multi-page ads transferred easily to the online world as emails and sales pages on websites. And they’ve found new life yet again in the form of video sales letters.

In this format, a narrator reads the sales letter as the words appear on-screen, kind of like a PowerPoint presentation. Simple but very effective. Clayton Makepeace, a veteran copywriter and frequent speaker at American Writers & Artists Inst. events, recently reported that a video sales letter was responsible for a quadrupling of response for one of his clients in a recent campaign.

No wonder marketers are turning to video sales letters to sell their products online. A freelancer who understands the fundamentals of copywriting can easily turn their talents to this niche.

For those nearing retirement age but finding that the money to retire isn’t available, there is hope. With these semi-retirement careers, it’s never been easier for Baby Boomers to reinvent themselves with a fun, low-stress way to make money.

These lucrative freelance opportunities in copywriting are always available, especially in these five in-demand niches in particular.

Go here to get more details and to learn about seven other freelance opportunities on the rise: https://www.awai.com/careers/.

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: January 11, 2013

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