Here’s 146 Years of Proof that Demand for These 8 Copy Projects Will Continue to Grow
When you’re skilled at writing direct-response copy, you’re practically guaranteed a lifelong career.
How can I say that so confidently?
There’s 146 years of history that proves direct-response marketing isn’t going away … in fact, it’s continually changed and adapted to stay relevant.
I’ll show you what I mean by introducing you to one of the first retailers to use direct-response marketing: Aaron Ward, Founder of the Montgomery Ward Store. By the late 19th century, his stores were popping up all across the country, but with that growth, came a few problems.
One of those problems was keeping his merchandise “reasonably priced” … the very thing that drew families to his stores. Aaron figured the only way he could do that was buying merchandise from the manufacturer and then reselling it directly to his customers.
So in 1872, he produced the first mail order catalog for his business. It was a huge success. Not only were customers buying from his mail order catalog, but it was also drawing more traffic to the stores.
Of course, other businesses took notice and soon more catalogs from other retailers were being printed and mailed to consumers.
Over time, as the fascination with catalogs wore off, they morphed into different types of mailings, including long-form sales letters.
But regardless what format retailers were using to sell their products and services, the need for direct-response copywriters kept growing.
Right now, clients need copywriters who can take on the projects they use the most often in their direct-response marketing campaigns. There are eight that are the most requested and I’ll tell you what they are, but first let me take a minute to explain what I mean by direct-response.
Actually, it’s better if I let a true direct-response legend tell you about it. That legend is David Ogilvy, considered one of the greatest advertisers and copywriters of all time.
In his 1991 speech, entitled “We Sell or Else,” David describes direct-response as “a type of marketing designed to generate an immediate response from consumers, where each consumer response (and purchase) can be measured and attributed to individual advertisements.”
For you as a copywriter, the more you can help generate a response for your client, the more money you’re likely to make.
Today, every direct-response marketing campaign requires at least eight critical copywriting projects. We call these critical pieces “collateral” copy.
If you’re not familiar with the term, “collateral” is the smaller work — ads, landing page, lift notes, “stick letters” — all the campaign elements online direct-response marketers badly need. These numerous pieces are all used to support just one long-form sales letter.
So today, I’m going to share with you eight of the most pressing copywriting projects marketers need done to keep their businesses thriving. These eight collateral projects could launch your freelance writing career:
In-Demand Collateral Project #1: Space Ads. These are the little ads in online e-letters and newsletters. They can turn a percentage of readers into potential new customers. They’re a great way to test new headline ideas, but are also a great training ground for writing Pay-Per-Click ads, website banner ads … even Facebook ads. These types of ads are short, usually around 50-150 words, which means you have to know how to get the reader’s attention with very few words. ($100-$150 for a 50-word ad)
In-Demand Collateral Project #2: Editorial/Content Articles. A newsletter article is a longer, more research- and proof-intense piece of writing, and “sells” a more sophisticated idea. Newsletters and articles create relationships with readers, and keep them engaged with the long-term goal of converting them to customers. ($150-$800 for an article or blog post)
In-Demand Collateral Project #3: Emails. Emails are the most effective marketing channel for connecting with prospects and moving them to take a specific action. Emails have a variety of intentions, including one-two page short personal “lift” notes, “Welcome” or “stick” letters which reaffirm a customer’s decision to buy, upsell and downsell emails, and “clicker” emails that offer prospective buyers a second chance. They all need to grab the reader’s attention and build trust and goodwill. This is a must-have copywriting skill. (A series of email lift notes for a marketing effort can pay $1,000 or more, depending on how many you’re asked to write.)
In-Demand Collateral Project #4: Lead Generation Landing Pages. The landing page is the place all your ads … all your emails lifts … all your social media posts drive your potential buyer. It’s also the place you send the prospect to sign up for a free report or free e-letter. It’s got to be great. In an instant, your prospect must see the immediate benefit of staying on the landing page and settling in to read the sales copy you’ve written for your client. You can’t be a great copywriter without knowing how to write landing pages. ($450-$1,000 or more per page)
In-Demand Collateral Project #5: Sales Funnel Copy. The sales funnel is a delicate “dance” between engaging your customer or prospect with great, useful information … and moving him to the next action or sale. Part of the funnel includes autoresponders, a series of pre-written emails that automatically continue the dialog with your customer, offering valuable and useful content on subjects you know they’re interested in. They build trust and goodwill, creating a relationship with the prospect so they are more likely to buy more of the goods and services your client offers. This is a must-have copywriting skill. (Funnels with autoresponder series can pay $1,500, $2,000, and much more, depending on complexity and number of pieces. Plus, you can earn even more as the architect of the funnel.)
In-Demand Collateral Project #6: Video Scripts. Video is exploding right now. Two-to-three minute videos are great for demonstrating how a product works … showcasing user testimonials … building your client’s brand … or offering useful tips and information related to your product’s benefits. Short videos are also highly versatile … Use them on client websites, YouTube, Facebook, and landing pages. ($125-$150 per “script minute”)
In-Demand Collateral Project #7: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). One of the most valuable services you can offer a client. There’s a massive demand for copywriters with the ability to write web content and content-marketing copy that gets the client organic (aka free) Page One search results on search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. ($700-$1,200 per page)
In-Demand Collateral Project #8: Social Media Posts. The overreaching goal of social media copy is simple: drive new traffic to current marketing campaigns. But your social media marketing also has to reflect your client’s personality. Social media is ideal for building relationships with prospects and keeping them engaged. Social media can be fun and rewarding. (You might land a $2,000 monthly retainer to take charge of your client’s social media efforts.)
These eight collateral projects are so in-demand right now, you could build your freelance writing business in a very short period of time just by focusing on them as your writing specialty.
But here’s something else to keep in mind …
You don’t have to learn every single one of them at once to get started earning money. You could begin with the ones that best suit your skills or appeal to you the most.
Some copywriters earn a living specializing in writing emails or social media. Others like to focus on SEO and content.
That’s one of the benefits of being a copywriter. You can pick and choose where you want to start from this list of in-demand collateral projects. And you can make a great living while you’re learning.
No matter how you tackle this list, you’re building a solid skill set. (I’d suggest you follow this method for the best chance of success.) Why not learn the skills to help your client get the most out of their marketing efforts and remarketing campaigns … and make a career for yourself at the same time?
Which of the eight in-demand collateral projects intrigue you and why? Share with us in the comments below.
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 »