Single Mom of 5 Supports Her Family by Writing ‘Letters’ From Home

“Can I make a living writing letters?”

For Melanie Warren, that simple question planted the seed for her long and rewarding copywriting career.

When she was in the middle of a divorce, the need to provide for her five children became a driving force to find a way to make her own money.

“I needed to replace a certain amount of income very quickly, so I was determined to succeed,” Melanie says. “I also knew for sure that I wanted to raise my children myself. I did not want a nanny.”

Discovering a New Career Path

As she considered her options, reflecting upon her childhood experiences gave her an epiphany.

“By the time I was 16, I had lived in 32 different places,” Melanie says. “And I realized, I wrote letters to my pen pals! So, I wondered if I could make a living writing letters.”

This curious thought turned into that exact question in a Google search. She soon learned, she could make a living writing letters.

In her search, she came across a sales letter writing program, The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting (now The Accelerated Program for Seven-Figure Copywriting) from American Writers & Artists Institute.

“When I found AWAI’s The Accelerated Program, it stood out as the gold standard,” she says. “It made me feel like I could actually write letters for a living.”

It’s been about a decade since she completed that program, yet she still uses all the core concepts she learned from it as she works on big projects for big clients — including as copy chief for one of America’s top serial entrepreneurs and motivational speakers, Tony Robbins.

Becoming the Obvious Choice

After growing a successful freelance copywriting career, Melanie discovered that she’s happiest working as part of a team. So, when she got a phone call telling her that Tony Robbins was looking for a copy chief, she immediately dove into the opportunity.

Within just two weeks, she landed the position. If that wasn’t enough of a confidence boost, during her onboarding, she was told that she’s “the only one who got a call back.”

In other words, all the skills she collected made her the obvious choice for one of the most coveted jobs in the copywriting industry.

Now, those who don’t know Melanie’s full story might think that she’s just a naturally talented writer. In reality, it took determination to achieve her goals and weather the ups and downs.

Bridging A 20-Year Career Gap

Raising five children, Melanie stayed at home for 20 years. That meant she had quite a gap to close in building her career. However, the challenge motivated her even more to catch up to the level of her more experienced peers.

To do that, she pored over hundreds of pages of winning sales letters from AWAI’s direct mail resource library, Copywriting Genius: The Master Collection.

And despite having only 90 minutes during the day to devote to copywriting (which was in between her youngest going to kindergarten, and her oldest coming home from high school), she was driven to quickly cover that 20-year gap.

That’s also why she joined Circle of Success (COS), AWAI’s highest level of membership, which included full access to every self-paced skill- and business-building program AWAI offers. This allowed Melanie to take one AWAI program after another — even if it sometimes meant staying up until two in the morning.

Strengthening her copywriting skills took real commitment from her side, but fortunately, she didn’t have to follow a rigid schedule or sacrifice time with her family. She enjoyed the flexibility to be with her kids whenever they needed her. And eventually, her hard work and dedication paid off.

Making Her Own Income & Exploring Her Options

Melanie built a successful freelance career and never thought she’d take a full-time job. However, when the pandemic happened, she wanted to have more stability and security. That’s why, when she heard about a full-time copywriting job post from Forbes Councils, she applied and got the job.

“Landing that job was a huge win, because I had never gone in-house before,” she says. “I never thought I’d enjoy working in a full-time position, but it made me realize that I actually prefer working with a team.”

This full-time position gave her the guaranteed income she wanted for three years, until the company went in a different direction.

Melanie easily transitioned back to freelancing because she already knew what to do. Then as she was working on freelance projects, as if out of a movie, her phone rang. And that’s when she heard about the opportunity to work for Tony Robbins. Landing the position felt surreal for her.

“On one hand, it was intimidating,” she says. “But on the other hand, I realized that I successfully raised five children, and they turned out fine. So, I figured I could also successfully lead a team of writers.”

Building Her Legacy

Throughout all the stages of her career, Melanie has been a regular attendee at AWAI’s annual FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair.

She’s been to at least nine AWAI Bootcamps, to which she credits a lot of her career growth. And now that she’s built a successful career, her focus has shifted to giving back to her community.

She has experienced life-changing success through copywriting first-hand — and has also gotten her son into copywriting! So, she knows that it’s possible for others, too.

“With copywriting, I’ve achieved goals I couldn’t have imagined,” she says. “Not only did it help me achieve significant income goals, but it also allowed me to discover new hobbies (like salsa dancing) and raise my children myself.”

Melanie’s Tips for Copywriters

  • Relationships are everything — “Invest in relationships before you need them,” she says. “By building those relationships, you’ll hear about jobs and projects that you otherwise wouldn’t have known about.”
  • Practice writing bullets — “If you only focus on one copywriting skill, it’s bullet writing,” she says. “Because bullets become headlines, leads, and everything you’ll ever need.”
  • Use the power of ONE — “Write as if you’re speaking to just one person, no matter how big your audience is.”

Ready to pursue the writer’s life?

Learn more about the program that helped launch Melanie’s career, The Accelerated Program for Seven-Figure Copywriting.

Melanie Warren
Case Study:
Melanie Warren
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With copywriting, I’ve achieved goals I couldn’t have imagined. Not only did it help me achieve significant income goals, but it also allowed me to discover new hobbies (like salsa dancing) and raise my children myself.

Melanie Warren
Nashua, New Hampshire
Other Careers:
A full-time, stay-at-home mom of five
How She Got Her First Client:
She met a cookbook author through a friend and then started writing sales letters for her books. It turned into a 15-month retainer!

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