Living the Writer's Life: Michael Carr
You started studying copywriting at a young age. Tell me about it.
I kind of stumbled upon copywriting by accident.
After graduating from high school in 2016 I started several online businesses. This required me to “write copy” without knowing much about it. Since I couldn’t get any of my pages to convert, I researched what to do, which is how I officially discovered “copywriting.”
Applying the principles I learned in 2017, I made a few thousand dollars self-publishing on Kindle. In the fall of 2018 I got a job at Domino’s so that I could get paid to drive around and listen to audiobooks like Scientific Advertising. I’d also “split test” things like my opening lines and appearance to treat delivering pizzas like a sales job. [Editor’s Note: Split testing is a method of comparing two different approaches for converting customers to buyers to see which one does a better job.]
My first major client was Alex Berman (Experiment 27). I wrote emails for him every day and learned a ton about the craft. I think my final tally was something like 60,000 words’ worth of emails written in just a few months. Most importantly, however, Alex taught me how to cold email.
That’s how I landed my second major client in January 2019. Then just a few months later, I cold emailed Joe Schrieffer. By March 2019 I was living in Baltimore working for Agora Financial. That was a fantastic learning experience, and I met tons of great people.
Throughout 2020 my workload increased and I was able to get better results for my clients and charge more. That culminated in August when Eric Siu offered me a full-time remote role to work for him, which I accepted, and that’s what I’m doing now.
What niche or type of client do you enjoy working with?
I write for financial, BizOpp [business opportunity], and SaaS [Software as a Service]. For financial, and really any niche, what I most enjoy is knowing that the product actually works.
You’ve had quite an amazing year in terms of income and success. Can you tell me about it?
Though I’m nowhere near the level of a lot of writers I know, it has been a great year for me career-wise. Some notable things that have happened this year: doubled my income, (finally) graduated from college, delivered results I’m proud of for clients, leveled up my network, and moved to Poland.
If I had to boil it down, I think I just got into the habit of saying yes a lot, so I quickly piled on projects and work. It gets hectic at times, but I’m hopeful that sacrifices today will continue to pay dividends in the future.
How have you taken advantage of the freedom allowed by a writer’s life?
I primarily like the writer’s lifestyle because it affords me the freedom to practice hobbies like photography easily.
What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome in building your new copywriting career?
My biggest challenge was juggling going to college full-time while also working full-time as a copywriter. Now that that’s over, it’s much easier to focus on just copywriting, which has helped me deliver better results.
Any big goals you’re willing to share?
In 2021, I’d like to publish a piece of copy that generates $10 million-plus for a client. Other than that, I also plan on self-publishing more and writing some fiction.
Do you have any advice for new writers?
For new writers, I think it’s really important to work on building out your network. Things really started to snowball for me as soon as I connected with more people in the industry.
So while you practice the craft, don’t hesitate to put yourself out there. I recommend starting small, delivering the best work you can, and then leveraging that result to keep climbing the ladder up.
What’s your favorite food to eat while you’re writing?
For some reason I’m much more focused while fasting. Once I start eating, I get sluggish. So if I get in the zone, I might have my first meal in the afternoon.
Michael'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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