Copywriting Work-at-Home Moms: From Legos to Letting Go

One of the greatest blessings of the writer's life is the flexibility to be there for family. Whether it's hearing about the day’s activities over a peanut butter sandwich after school, or time spent as the Room Mom, freedom to build a schedule around your family's needs is priceless..

Plus, working at home has unlimited income potential …

Your neighbors will never believe how much money you can make from a corner of your home with just a computer and an Internet connection. I've had years that surpassed my wildest dreams, enabling me to treat my family to first-class vacations to Hawaii, or on Disney Cruises (seven and counting), and more …

I've been a blessed to work from home as a freelancer all of my son's life. He's been in my office from the swing to the saucer to the playpen … From the era with Thomas the Tank railroad tracks wound around my table legs to the Lego construction projects with 3,296 pieces all over the floor. (Wow, do not step on those!)

And I’m not alone …

Thanks to her decision to pursue copywriting and an exciting retainer deal, mom and Circle of Success member Sherri Caldwell was able to take her family to Hawaii to see her oldest son in the military.

When I asked Sherri about motherhood and copywriting, she had this to say …

“The #1 benefit to copywriting for moms is the time, freedom, and flexibility to work around your family's schedule — to be there for your kids when they need you.”

Sherri homeschooled her son, and explained that copywriting helped her teach him more effective writing and communication skills for high school and college English classes, with the 4 P's — Promise, Picture, Proof, Push! While he has significant communication challenges due to Asperger's Syndrome, he earned A's in his first two college English classes, so it's really helped!

Sherri’s advice to a mom wanting to pursue a copywriting career: “Schedule! But be flexible. You have to be, as a mom. Find the 15-minute or half-hour blocks of time in your day (a full hour can be hard to find, I know). Be very focused and know what you're going to do in that time (i.e., Read a lesson, free write, brainstorm headlines, or analyze/hand copy a sales letter, etc.). Keep your work with you on the run — it's amazing what you can accomplish in the carpool line!”

Cindy Cyr has achieved six-figure success as an email copywriter and consultant — all while managing her son’s music career. Her story of where the writer’s life has taken her is remarkable.

“One of the things I love about the writer’s life is that it allows me to pursue my dreams while helping me support and encourage my children’s dreams at the same time.

“For example, when my oldest son, Austin, was a senior in college, I was able to take him to multiple business conferences and helped him create a sales letter campaign which landed him working on a project with Rich Schefren.

“My youngest son, Dalton, is a teenager pursuing a career as a singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. His escalating success has meant living bi-coastal. I loved being able to be on set when he was filming shows like Pretty Little Liars and his music film trilogy, ‘Breathe’ or being in the studio while he’s recording or playing his music for top producers.

“It’s not just the time and money to support his dream, it’s that I can help him create campaigns (as well as teach him how) to market himself. It’s enriched his world and given him opportunities, but also made for amazing experiences for me too. For instance, we spent the evening with a music producer hearing his stories about working with Frank Sinatra, the Beatles, the Doors, and many others.

“The best part, though, is that these experiences with both boys have brought us closer in ways that would never occur without the writer’s life.

“A tip for moms who want to write … carve out time that is focused just for your dream of living the writer’s life. Let your family know you are not to be disturbed during that block of time which should be fully focused on writing and putting systems in place to attract a steady stream of clients. Commit to it as if your life depended on it. It will allow you to be there in a much bigger way for your kids because you’ll have the freedom and income to support them in ways you can only imagine. Plus, you’ll be much happier, which means they’ll be happier too.”

Michele Peterson, a successful and dynamic direct-response copywriter, marketing consultant, and coach, has spent many afternoons at the ballpark, cheering her son’s team on to victory.

She shared her perspective about copywriting and motherhood:

“I originally looked at my freelance copywriting endeavors as a way to have the best of both worlds — being a stay-at-home (work from home) mom while still making a very good living. Now that I’ve been at it full-time for seven years and my son is in high school, I realize that it’s been about so much more …

“I’ve shown my son, his friends, and even my friends what an entrepreneurial lifestyle and being your own boss can look like. I hope he sees that, like me, he can find success doing something that he loves. He doesn’t have to ‘settle’ for anything in life.

“As mothers, we wish for the best for our children, and I feel that my copywriting career has provided that for my son — I’ve been able to afford luxuries like travel and technology, I’ve attended every single one of his school and sports functions, and I’ve fostered a mindset of abundant opportunity for his future.

“My advice to fellow moms who are considering taking the leap to self-employment as freelance copywriters — and even to those doing it already — is to have a firm grasp of your ‘why’ and to look at the big picture of how what you do ripples out and affects your children both now and in the future. Our kids are always watching us, learning from us, so I encourage you to give them a positive example of committing to success and personal fulfillment. Being a freelance copywriter isn’t always easy — nothing worthwhile ever is — but it’s worth it. At least it has been for me.”

If this Mother's Day finds you wishing you could be working from home and pursuing your writing dreams, here's a few additional suggestions to get started:

  • Accept you may need to start small with your business. It can grow as you have more time to dedicate to it. There's nothing wrong with that! Every journey to the writer's life is different.
  • Fit your studying into whatever pockets of time you can find: when the kids are napping; before, during, or after school; after bedtime … While you're waiting at soccer practice, or during music lessons. Even if it's short, grab what you can. It will add up.
  • Explain to your family why your copywriting dreams and goals are important to you. Don't forget what's in it for them when you're happy and successful.
  • Be savvy about your situation. Schedule client calls when you know it will be quiet. As they age, teach your children how to know when it's okay to interrupt you …
  • Set a goal to start with — what are you aiming for financially? Are you hoping to build a vacation fund, start saving for braces or college, or do you need rent or mortgage money? Knowing the answer will guide how much you need to work, and perhaps even your best niche choices.

After 20+ years working from home, I’m here to tell you: You CAN combine being a mom with writing. It takes boundaries and scheduling — and yes, sometimes sacrifice — but it can be done. (And it's worth it!)

It's cliché, but an absolute truth: Kids are only young once.

Build a career that gives you space to treasure that. And as they morph (too fast!) from toddler to teen, you'll have a career that can adapt or transform to their growth stages.

It can even keep you company when they head to college, and give you finances to pay for it and the freedom to visit them. (Is a visit every day too much? I'm really not ready to let go … )

So to the moms who write, to the moms who raised writers, to the moms who will be writing someday soon, to the pet moms, even to the Mr. Moms … Wishing you a writer's life of your dreams.

[One final note: There are so many wonderful moms who’ve built successful copywriting careers. Check out some of their stories here.

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: May 12, 2018

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