A Lifelong Writer Goes Online … and Freelance

For several years, Barbara Johnson, 79, used skills like desktop publishing and copywriting she picked up in AWAI programs to excel at her 9 to 5 jobs. She improved newsletters and wrote promotions for events … even newspaper articles.

But this seven-year AWAI member recently decided to go out on her own. And she's already made a lot of progress in her new writing business by yet again embracing continuing education.

“For my main client, I do a weekly newsletter for the 100+ agents in his insurance organization. It includes statistics on sales, a positive article of motivation which I ghostwrite for the client, and other items such as a book review and excellent quotes. Once a month, I have an interview with an agent who is doing well. I'm going to revamp his web pages as well,” says Barbara.

“I have a prospective client now who needs a website done for his videography business. This is another place I'm using what I'm learning from Nick Usborne's program, Copywriting 2.0. I also write one inspirational article a week for two churches.”

That's quite a variety of projects. That's the funny thing about web writing – every industry needs web writers these days. You're sure to find the niche – or projects – that appeal to you.

After a lifetime creating print newsletters and a love of writing that stretches back to age 7, Barbara is now embracing the online world, and she likes what she sees.

“I know web writing is where the future is for me,” says Barbara. “I enjoy browsing web sites and thinking about the ones that are great, and what makes them great.”

And she's had a great mentor along the way: Nick Usborne.

“I have learned to plan first. I am generally a seat-of-the-pants person. Write first, think later,” says Barbara. “Here is the paragraph from his program that stood out for me. On page 117: 'Before you start working on the home page itself, it is essential that you have absolutely clarity in your mind about what needs to be said and to whom.' Nick's program has shown me that what is possible. He lays everything out so clearly.”

The Digital Copywriter's Handbook

The Digital Copywriter's Handbook

Learn how to become an in-demand online copywriter for companies big and small. Online copywriting expert Nick Usborne shows you how to write web copy that converts. Learn More »

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Published: March 18, 2013

3 Responses to “A Lifelong Writer Goes Online … and Freelance”

  1. Barbara, this profile came at a great time for me. After a career that has spanned more than 20 years in publishing (including a stint doing both editing, feature writing, and some copy writing) followed by another 15 years in IT (focusing on ecommerce), I'm working on a return to freelancing, with the goal of working well into my 70s. Thanks for the inspiration.


  2. This is wonderful. It proves that it's never too late to pursue one's dreams and desires.

    Sasha S

  3. I am a successful Health Care Practitioner with a practice that has kept me busy for 40 years. I have been an AWAI member for several years and have learned from each course I've taken. I am just realizing my niche is what I do and love, and am excited about moving forward with writing outlets that don't require me to physically do the medical research.

    bj ontario canada

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