Living the Writer's Life: Ryan Kuchel
Tell us about how you got your start in the online world.
I’ve been in the direct-response world online for about six or seven years. I started out doing affiliate marketing and projects for myself. I learned to write email autoresponders, sales pages, presale pages, advertorials, and things like that. I got my first copywriting client in 2016, though it’s only recently that I’ve put most of my focus into reaching out to other businesses and working with them. I started to realize just how much opportunity there is for me to actually go out and work with other businesses that need some copywriters.
What did you do before you started writing?
I went to university for a year and studied music. I’ve been a drummer since I was a teenager, and I wanted to do that for a living. But I realized traditional education probably wasn’t going to get me where I wanted to go, especially with music. There’s not that much money and freedom in it, unless I was to make it big as a rock star. And that wasn’t really what I wanted. Then I read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss in my final semester. And I realized I wanted to learn how to generate business online so that I can earn money and do whatever I want with my time, whether that’s continue the drumming or anything else.
Do you still drum?
I do, yes. I’ve had a lot of periods where I took a hiatus from it, but I prefer it a lot better now that I’m not doing drumming for money, but just for the fun of it.
How did you first learn about copywriting?
I was about 19 or 20 at the time, completely broke, and I think I was teaching a few drum students. I think I was browsing online, trying to figure out how I could get paid from my computer. Somewhere I read about copywriting, and it seemed like an actual skill that a lot of people want.
What teachers have been most helpful?
I started with John Carlton, and it all kind of just started to evolve from there. Ben Settle was influential. I spent a lot of time learning from Dan Kennedy’s stuff. In what niche do you focus your writing? I’ve had the most experience with men’s dating products, and I’ve done a lot of work in health and weight loss, and senior-health-related stuff.
What do you enjoy about the writer’s life?
I really appreciate having the luxury to work when inspiration strikes rather than trying to force myself into a rigid schedule. I tend to work into the night when everything’s quiet. I find it beneficial to sleep in and make sure I’m fully charged before I get up and go, rather than trying to force myself to get out of bed.
What’s your top advice for new writers?
If you can afford it, get coaching on your writing. Having real-time feedback customized to your situation improves your skills a lot. The other thing is when you’re contacting businesses and trying to get your first clients, people respond well when you act like a normal human rather than trying to pretend to be some mystical, godlike copywriter. I’ve noticed that people respond well when I just talk to them and say, “You can depend on me, and I can’t promise the world because that’s not how this industry works, but I’ll do my best.” People really respond a lot better when you show your integrity rather than trying to be the next world-class copywriter.
If you knew that you wouldn’t have internet or phone service for an afternoon, what would you do?
I would either spend the afternoon on my drum kit just jamming along to some songs, or I would go out in nature. I live in a small city in Australia called Mount Gambier. My parents have a farm not far from here, and I have a little cabin there. It’s really isolated and peaceful. I could go and spend some time out there, read a book, do a bit of meditation, and just completely disconnect from everything.
Ryan's Living The Writer's Life story was originally published in Barefoot Writer. To learn more about how you can start living your dream writer's life too, click here.
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