Copywriting is the Ultimate Way for You to Live The Writer’s Life
“Can someone like me really live the writer’s life?”
“I know others are doing it. But how long is it going to take me?”
“And how does AWAI help us succeed?”
Katie Yeakle here. As AWAI’s Executive Director, these are questions I’ve heard a lot over the last 23 years.
Since we’re at the beginning of a New Year, I thought this would be a great time to answer a question I hear often:
Why, of all the opportunities for writers to make money, should I consider copywriting?
The answer is simple: Copywriting is the single most liberating way to make a living — or supplement your regular income — or transition from your present job to a new career or early, financially secure semi-retirement. There are so many benefits to becoming a copywriter. Just look …
- Copywriting Benefit #1: Your time is your own. No time clock, no set hours.
- Copywriting Benefit #2: Your office can be anywhere you like — the porch of a beach house or mountain cabin, in your RV, even the corner table at your favorite coffee shop.
- Copywriting Benefit #3: Your income can be good from the start, and keep getting better. Imagine being paid $500, $750, $1,000 and more for writing simple, short, “friendly” letters about products, services, or subjects that interest you. That is as real as the ground beneath you. Imagine earning more part-time in a month or two than your present job pays all year. That, too, is very real. We see it all the time. There are other financial benefits and “perks” too. For example, you could get everything from tax breaks to client-funded vacations.
- Copywriting Benefit #4: You’ll be engaged in a fun, fascinating, creative activity all about ideas … telling interesting stories … helping businesses communicate and put their ideas across. If you find your present way of “putting food on the table” dull or uninteresting, that can change right now. I’ve never heard a freelance writer complain about being bored!
- Copywriting Benefit #5: You can create real financial security — the only real security, your personal ability to produce “work” that there is always an endless, expanding demand for. Never worry about looming layoffs again. Escape dependence on one employer, diversify your income with a number of clients, own skills in demand by many (both here and abroad). If you have a computer connected to the internet, there are no boundaries and you can write for clients anywhere in the world. The demand for what American Writers & Artists members do is global and local, strong in “good” or “bad” times; a reliable profession.
- Copywriting Benefit #6: You’ll be part of an elite, unusual society. Most successful writers are made not born, yet we are a special breed, mysterious to and admired by “civilians,” and embraced by each other. The bond that writers have with each other is like nothing that occurs in any other field. You’ll find others like you, building lives for themselves through copywriting. (One of the many benefits of membership with AWAI is this unique community. We connect you with other AWAI members and support the ongoing community online and at conferences.)
- Copywriting Benefit #7: If you choose, you can use the skills you develop to help your favorite causes, charities, even individuals in need, and do good for the world. Nonprofit organizations of every size and nature hire and pay freelance writers and copywriters. You can also donate your professional services as “in-kind contributions” for tax deductions. Every group from the local animal rescue shelter to the American Cancer Society needs help raising funds and communicating with donors, and communicating their message to the world at large.
- Copywriting Benefit #8: You will have proven pathways to follow when you begin, with AWAI as your “mentor.” If living the writer’s life appeals to you, know that as you seek this exciting life as your own, we will be by your side every step of the way! And AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting is where it all begins.
And last but not least, you’ll be in good company.
Here’s a partial list of people you’ll recognize who worked as copywriters before achieving fame outside the direct marketing world. One name that’s missing … Benjamin Franklin. He started the first mail order catalog in 1770.
- James Patterson, author
- Sir Alec Guinness, actor
- John Hughes, writer and filmmaker
- Bob Newhart, comedian and actor
- Helen Gurley Brown, former publisher and editor (Cosmopolitan)
- Lawrence Kasdan, screenwriter
- Gary Comer, founder of Lands' End
- Bryce Courtenay, Australian author
- Steven Pressfield, author
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, author
- Terry Gilliam, director and animator
- Elmore Leonard, author
- Dashiell Hammett, author
- Mary Higgins Clark, author
- Ogden Nash, poet
- Indra Sinha, translator and novelist
- Kurt Vonnegut, author
- Salman Rushdie, author
That’s great for them, but I know what you are thinking … Can someone like me REALLY do this?
It’s important to know that successful AWAI members have had many different starting points. Unemployed for eight months and terrified. Stuck in depressing, dead-end jobs. In jobs they like, but can’t earn enough money from to meet their needs. 20 years old, 75 years old. Already confident of writing talent — others, doubtful they can write anything worthy of payment. Silver-tongued salesmen, small town schoolteachers, shy homemakers suddenly having to re-enter the work world after traumatic divorces …
You name a beginning — any beginning — and I can introduce you to an AWAI member with a similar starting place, now earning an excellent income, feeling secure, doing work that is interesting to them, leading a fulfilling life … and thanking copywriting for it all!
By choosing copywriting as your writing career, you’ll instantly be part of and embraced by this entire community, too. You see, copywriters like to share information and help each other succeed. That’s one of the nicest things of all about choosing to be a copywriter … you’ll have plenty of help along the way.
You’ll be assisted not just by our Board of Advisors but by successful members who generously share their experience, who appreciate having had a helping hand extended to them and now extend theirs in turn. You’ll be mentored, coached, encouraged, and supported as you first explore, then find your way to the writer’s life just right for you.
Now, how can I get started?
One of the great things about copywriting is you are in complete control. Depending on the time you can allocate, the resources to invest in a new career, and the urgency about when you want to start, there are a number of options for how you can begin immersing yourself in this lucrative industry:
- Keep reading The Writer’s Life. Every day, we outline ways for you to become a paid writer.
- Go on our website and check out our archives. We have a library of free articles on every topic related to becoming a copywriter, copywriting training, building a business, and more.
- Become a Barefoot Writer. Read our monthly publication to discover more ways to make a living as a writer, productivity hacks, business-building tactics, success stories where people like you who’ve made the transition to paid writing share how they did it, and much more.
- Get our flagship, foundational program: The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. Immerse yourself further into the world of copywriting … learn the bigger and more powerful skills … and get professional-grade training in the art of persuasive writing. You can work your way through the home-study program at your own pace.
- Join our Accelerated Companion Series, where Rebecca and I walk you through the entire Accelerated Program step-by-step. Over 10 sessions, we’ll make all the concepts come to life, and explain them so you have a clear understanding. You can see real-life, up-to-date examples from guest experts working in the industry today. This is the shortest, fastest way to become a paid copywriter!
The most important thing is to get started — opening yourself up to the possibilities and opportunities.
I’d love to hear what the writer’s life means to you, as well as hear what questions you have about the copywriting industry. Let me know in the comments.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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