The Truth About Making Six Figures as a Copywriter

It’s true …

As a copywriter, you can make more money than most doctors and lawyers. And, you don’t have to be on call day and night … or bill 60 hours a week.

But, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. And it doesn’t happen for everyone.

Today I want to address the “six-figure copywriter” myth once and for all …

Myth #3 – The six-figure copywriting path is an easy one.

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the stories of copywriters before you who hit the six-figure mark the first year they “really” started out.

They’re all true.

But there’s often a piece of information that gets overlooked when you read those stories …

Let me show you a couple of examples …

I’m sure you’ve heard about Joshua Boswell, who started out his first year of copywriting more than $100,000 in debt, and cleared six figures just 12 months later …

What is sometimes overlooked in his story is this …

Having just closed a business, he was able to dedicate 100% of his time to building his freelance copywriting business, and was able to get the money he needed to invest in a few things like Bootcamp that fast-tracked his success.

Here’s another example …

Ed Gandia hit $163,181 his first year as a full-time freelance copywriter …

But, it was after spending 27 months moonlighting as a copywriter while he continued to work his full-time sales job.

Brian Whitaker also hit six figures his first year …

But the majority of his clients were contacts he had made while working in the high-tech B2B industry as a marketing manager.

And Mindy McHorse hit $100,598 the year she documented her journey in Wealthy Web Writer’s Reality Blog …

But before that she had spent two years stumbling around “kind of” working as a freelance copywriter. Granted, combined she made over $80K those two years, but that experience gave her a huge springboard when she finally declared her six-figure goal and officially made the leap.

So, yes …

It CAN happen in your first year. You CAN become a six-figure copywriter. But for most, it comes with some related work experience like marketing or sales, a good network of contacts, a little luck – or a combination of all three.

But that’s ok!

It may take you two years … even three years … to hit the six-figure mark.

It will all depend on where you’re starting now, being clear about your goal and how you’ll approach it, and how much time you can invest.

And, with the help of programs like the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair, and Circle of Success, you have access to the best training in the industry.

In addition, here are some tips that can fast-track your efforts …

  • Tell everyone you talk to that you’re a copywriter. You never know who will lead you to your next project.
  • Build a network of successful copywriters, marketers, business owners, and other professionals. (Here’s an article by Christina Gillick on how to build and maintain a power network.)
  • Spend your free time building your business. When I graduated from college, my mom told me I needed to treat finding a job like a full-time job. The same goes for copywriting – if you have “down time” between projects, work on marketing yourself. (If you need some ideas, check out this article I wrote earlier this year on building your business.)
  • Invest wisely. Investing in your business is a very good idea. But, you want to invest in things that will give you a big return on the money – and time – that you invest. Be mindful of what you’re investing in, and be sure it keeps you on your path.

Of course, it’s also worth noting not everyone has the six-figure goal …

You don’t have to make six figures to be a successful copywriter!

Years ago we surveyed our members, and found that less than 20% even had a goal of making six figures.

The majority wanted to earn somewhere between $40K and $70K a year, with the rest looking just to make a little spare cash for travel and rainy days.

They were more interested in the lifestyle side of the writer’s life …

  • Not having to waste hours every day commuting.
  • Spending additional time with family and friends.
  • Being able to care for loved ones without asking someone else for permission.
  • Going on vacations whenever and wherever they wanted.
  • Having the flexibility to make as much money as they care to.

What about you? Are you shooting for a six-figure income as a copywriter? Or, is there something else drawing you to the opportunity? Share with me below.

And tomorrow, I’ll debunk the myth that, in my experience, is the #1 reason most aspiring writers don’t move forward toward their dreams.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: May 22, 2014

24 Responses to “The Truth About Making Six Figures as a Copywriter”

  1. The ambitious part of me always wants to go for the big six figure number, but here is the reality: I've just been laid off and am "retired." What I'm truly looking for is work/life balance where I have time, but also feel stimulated and successful. So I'd like to build the skills and earn enough not to have to worry about what might happen to my 401K if the market crashes. And to travel all over the world, live wherever I please, and enjoy what I'm doing.

    Christina O

  2. Rebecca,

    I definitely am shooting for a six-figure income as a full time copywriter. I just left a full time job. I have been a member of AWAI for about nine months, completed the Accelerated Copy Writing course and recently joined COS. I am excited and look forward to now focusing full time on becoming a successful copywriter.

    I am enjoying your articles this week!

    Randy

    Randy

  3. Thanks for this article Rebecca - hearing so many fantastic success stories is both inspiring and demoralising at the same time! One day at a time ...

    Sarah

  4. Definitely want the six figures. It's one major draw for me. I'm not worried about hitting six figures this year, but I need to start making some money ASAP so that I can continue to work full time to make the six figures happen. But I am also drawn to everything you describe as the Writer's Life. Flexibility, travel, ability to carve my own way, care for loved ones, even work from anywhere. So I want the whooooole enchilada! As a brand-spankin' new Circle of Success member, I think I'm well positioned to get it!

    Colette

  5. Hi Rebecca, I own an online store HeroBodyBuilding.com that I am willing to promote these days. I just came up with an idea to build my portfolio by doing content marketing (writing) about bodybuilding products and linking them to my store. This way I will get affiliate commissions from the companies that are making those fitness products, build portfolio for my six figure copywriting future business and provide exposure to my online store HeroBodyBuilding.com. It is a three in one approach to earn. Please do give me your expert advice on this idea.

    Guest (Tauqeer)

  6. Hi Rebecca, I have a part-time job and have been looking for something else to help pay the bills. Copywriting seemed like the perfect job to combine with my present work. As I go through the program, however, I'm becoming more interested in the possibility of ultimately quitting my other job and focusing on copywriting. I don't see myself as driven to make six-figures but, I'm excited to start working and see what opportunities arise..

    Guest (Jen)

  7. It's not that I don't want to make six figures, I've just been skeptical of that claim. I know copywriting is legit but I've look on the AWAI job board and seen one after another ask for all kin I experience and I'm brand new so it just has to happen for me to believe it if that makes sense.

    My goal is simply to replace my full time income with copywriting so I can dictate my own schedule and quit punching a time clock. Once I do that (because if I do that then this program will have proved it works)....then I will go for the six figures.

    Chris S

  8. Hi Rebecca, I definitely want to hit the six figure mark, but I know it will take some time. My main reason though is to work from home... the commute and traffic drive me crazy. I signed up for COS so I am looking forward to making money and quitting my job in the near future. Going on vacations and working from wherever I want is also something I want to enjoy.
    Thanks for the motivation and inspiring articles. I intend to make this work for me.

    Anne

    Guest (A-Jay)

  9. Another nice article. While I would love to someday reach the six figure mark with copywriting, my first goal is to see how quickly I can make 30,000. Then I hope to work my way up the ranks from there.

    God Bless, Donna

    Donna M

  10. Hi Rebecca, I chose to be a copy-writer to profit from the freedom and flexibility of the writer's life...but also to be my own boss. I am working as an English trainer in France, and while I enjoy my work...it is not enough. The hours fluctuate, the revenue stream is inconsistent, and at times dealing with management is difficult. Copy-writing offers me the opportunity to create my life as I see fit. Of course, I have to finish the program first.

    Leslie-in-Alsace

  11. Great stuff as usual Rebecca! Many thanks! A six figure income would be fantastic as a copywriter, its been years since I've worked, I stay home with my kids currently and for me to earn even $50K would be huge right now! I'm in the middle of AWAI's 6 figure accelerated program and I've now made it a priority to commit at least 2 hours daily to studying and practicing. I'm looking forward to creating the writer's life!

    Steve MacCormack

  12. I have a small English language school in Thailand. What I want is a way to pay for it. Mostly out of favor I have written (edited) business letters and marketing letters over the years, so I am pretty sure I have the creative skills to write effective letters. I want to find something I can do while located in Thailand to help out my school. Six figures is not going to be necessary. Just something I can do to help out.

    Guest (robert shoemaker)

  13. Hi,

    I' m very excited to have a road map with this course. In 2011 I quit a 75K+ job in technology sales. Constant travel and personality conflicts made me quit, so I started freelance writing. My first gig was worth $2500 for Information Week( a major trade rag in the computer industry). Talk about being shocked! My second was $2,000 for a financial firm. Smaller projects ranged between $250 to $750. I've to take a job again, but that little taste was enough to prove to me "it's possible."

    RoseWrites

  14. The Six Figures sounds extremely enticing, but ultimately my goal lies in 60-70k. I'd be lying if I didn't say this whole Copywriting endeavor is quite overwhelming. There are so many different fields, niches, types to either learn or master it's hard to determine even where to start - especially if you're like me and kind of ADHD that way, jumping from one thing to the next. I'm hoping to finish the Accelerated Program soon, but deciding where to go after... that's the tricky part!

    Guest (Rebecca K)

  15. Great article! Setting your "enough" goal is really smart. If 50K is enough, then once you hit it, you either keep doing what you're doing to maintain that or you check back in with yourself and see if you're still hungry for more. Someday, you may get to the point where, as Clayton says, "Six figures is chump change"!!

    Julie Hassett

  16. Hi Rebecca,

    Yes, I want to earn a six figure income because this is how much I'm currently earning, therefore I wouldn't go for anything less than that. The only reason I chose copywriting is because I wanted to achieve financial independence and at the same time create value for my clients and their customers. I wanted to take my life's future into my own hands.

    Guest (Stathis Sofogiannis)

  17. Rebecca,as you are aware; I have just joined COS and I am training for something that will put money in my pockets so I want have to rely on everything I have saved over the years.
    Six figures sounds good. I'll take it if I can! If I can make between 80k-90k a year after I retire from my postal job this will be a success.

    Darnell McCray

  18. What I want out of the opportunity is the financial freedom to go along with my time freedom I now have.
    I have all the time that I need now, I just don't have the money to do anything.

    Guest (TheLioness59)

  19. Hi Rececca, I defininately want the 6 figure income. I'm working on the accelerated program and making progress. My initial goal is just to earn some money and then continue to progress toward my goal of being a full time copy writer earning six figures a year. I'm working full time, so I do have time constraints. I very much enjoy your articles. There very informative. Especially for a beginner. Thanks!

    Sure fire

  20. Hi Rebecca, Thanks for your articles, I have been consuming them.
    I am looking for the 100k income. My 85k job may come to and end within the next 1 to 4 yrs. And I want to be ready. I need this to happen fairly quickly.
    Thanks so much.

    Mark

    Mark Eslin

  21. I have been unable to work due to a near-fatal accident last August so I have the time to do this. At 59, my remaining family members screwed me out of a sizable inheritance, so I am definitely going for the 6 figures, just to show them I don't need them, that I am going to have more than the stupid inheritance and I plan to realistically do that in the next year or so. I plan to make the Bootcamp and hopefully pick up my first sizable contract and I'll be on my way! Thanks for everything!

    Willow Rose

  22. I retired and now want to find something to give me the income to be able to live life comfortably without worry. Six figures would be nice, right now I just want to get through the course and find my niche. Time management is a problem I'm working on with goal setting. I'm working on my other passion which photography also. The whole thing is a bit overwhelming, trying to sit to read, study and write is hard. I just feel outside of my comfort zone and unsure if I can be a writer.

    Mike Williamson

  23. Thanks Rebecca. Nothing on earth can be accomplished without at least some effort, anyway, I want to hit the six figures mark as soon as possible. currently I'm atudying deeply the accelerated course.Wish me luck and keep an eye on me. :)

    Guest (carlos rodriguez)

  24. I’ve been averaging $260k for 4-5 years now. I’m a freelance copywriter. But I went to ad school for two years and spent 16 yrs at ad agencies as a copywriter on major brands afterward. So put in my time and developed many contacts. But yes it’s doable.

    Guest (Matt)


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