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The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
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Vigo_the_Carpathian Offline
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The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
Everyone on this forum has given so much to me, I thought it was about time I gave something back.

A lot of guys have posted about how copywriting can provide a (very) good, location-independent income. I'm a pro copywriter by trade, and did a quick forum search for copywriting--good number of hits in other threads, but no dedicated copywriting datasheet. So I figured I might as well share some insights with you guys--hopefully this datasheet will inspire a couple guys to follow in my footsteps and pursue what can be a very lucrative career. Hope you enjoy...

What is Copywriting?

Think of copywriting as "persuasion in print." Every time you see an ad, product label, website, etc., the product creator is trying to persuade you to take some kind of action. Ultimately, in one way or another, this copy is usually geared toward making a sale somehow, either directly, or by giving the prospect "enough information" (wink, wink) to help them realize they NEED the product, or by getting your email address or contact information so that you can be put on a list to be sold to later. There is the odd case where some companies just want to "raise brand awareness," but a lot of time those people have very broad "sales funnels" (more on this later), and can afford HUGE international marketing campaigns. While it's kind of a Gay goal, those companies usually have tons of cash, and it's a pretty broad objective, so hey, who am I to refuse?

Why Should I Become a Copywriter?

Because copywriting depends on the power of persuasion, I think a lot of game users and game-aware guys are perfectly suited for it--there's (sadly) not much difference between trying to get a girl to fuck you, and trying to get some fat fuck from Nebraska to shell out $97 on a "comprehensive system" to "get thin quick" in the form of a 80 page ebook.

Also, it pays damned well--while you may take a pay cut until you have some proven results, copywriters who do have proof of their selling ability can charge $3000-5000 a sales letter. The very best can clock in somewhere in the five figures per sales letter, plus royalties per item sold.

Keep in mind, to get to this level, you will have to demonstrate very high conversion rates for high-ticket products in very competitive fields--think the big three wants (health, sex, and money). But if you can get there, you can effectively work 20 hours per month and make mid-six figures before royalties. That's not bad...

Also, it helps if you're a good writer to begin with. Before I got into copywriting, I was a lawyer at a big(ish) firm, and wrote a lot of persuasive (but boring) shit. This shortened my learning curve significantly--if you can write error-free pieces relatively quickly, with good grammar, you'd be a great candidate to strike out on your own as a copywriter.

Why Shouldn't I Become a Copywriter?

If you can't write really well to begin with, you're going to fight an uphill battle. The Warrior Forum Copywriting Section is littered with non-native speakers that make posts like "I want writ good copies--is my sqeze page make benefit for customer?" Of course, they link to some awful squeeze page that has no chance.

Seriously, though, you need to have some basic foundation in:

(1) Writing, and
(2) Persuasion in some form,

and you should be able to learn copywriting.

Who Will Hire Me?

All sorts of companies, from huge multinationals to mom-and-pop businesses, to people with ebooks on Clickbank (notice all of those weird picture ads with sensational headlines that lead to sales letters at the bottoms of web pages? Those sales letters all need to be written by copywriters).

What Kinds of Stuff Will I Be Writing?

Everything from sales letters, to websites, to "white papers," to brochures, to emails, to ads. You'd be surprised at how bad even "big time" businessmen and lawyers are at the nuts-and-bolts of writing, let alone persuading others through the written word.

Now imagine how bad your run-of-the-mill internet marketer is at it.

Usually, most copywriters try to specialize in 1-3 different things, and do those really well, so they can charge more for them. I've found that I'm particularly good at sales letters, and enjoy writing them, so I'm trying to pivot to specialize in those. But I still take on other projects all the time--not only is it paying work, but it breaks up the monotony a little bit.

Keep in mind that if you like to hustle a bit, you can write pretty much whatever you want, and get paid a good amount for it.

How Much Can I Get Paid?

Like I said earlier, experienced copywriters can charge $3000-5000 for a sales letter, no questions asked. Keep in mind, this includes all of the background research, reading/using the product (if it's an info product), making a prep file, thinking about the angles, writing, revising, etc.

It can take a lot of time at the beginning, but over time, especially as you focus on a niche, you can streamline a lot of the prep work, and focus more on writing. As you get better results, your hourly rate skyrockets.

At the start, though, you'll be doing a lot of "hourly rate conversion." This consists of estimating how many hours a project will take, then extrapolating that out times your hourly rate. You may have to lowball a few projects when you're starting out, but I wouldn't recommend starting any lower than $30/hour, and generously allocate your time. Don't be afraid to ask a client how much they've budgeted for a project, either--you'd be surprised at how much some clients will pay for something relatively straightforward.

Once you're making $50/hour and above, you can make a very nice income working just 20 hours a week--at least enough to live on. That leaves more time to game chicks, work on other side hustles, create and promote your own products, etc. And with each project, you're effectively decreasing the "hours" portion of the equation (since you should always bill by the project whenever possible), which "makes" you more time over the long run.

How Do I Learn How to Do It?

There are a few ways you can learn to be a copywriter. The cheapest is probably self-study. Read a bunch of books on the topic, hand-copy sales letters, try making and selling your own products under pen names to prove your sales ability, etc.

Gary Halbert (big-time copywriter--R.I.P.) advocates this method to "learn how to write copy in 30 days or less." Keep in mind that this takes a lot of time out of those 30 days, and a lot of work. But some people have tried it and said it works, so who knows?

I did a good amount of self-study. The six or so books I'd recommend most when getting started are:

The Well-Fed Writer, by Peter Bowerman
The Ultimate Sales Letter, by Dan Kennedy
The Copywriter's Handbook, by Bob Bly
The Boron Letters, by Gary Halbert
The Entrepreneur's Guide to Getting Your Shit Together, by John Carlton
Ogilvy on Advertising, by David Ogilvy

Another way you can go is to get a course. I got a fairly popular course for about $250, and in hindsight, it probably taught me enough to get started at some lower rates. Granted, I always want to be "the best" at whatever I do, so I sprung for a mentorship with an established copywriter to make sure I had my shit together before I went out looking for clients--PM me for names on either.

If you really want to spend some cash and get in gear, I hear that the All-Time Greats, like Carlton, Gary Bencivenga, Clayton Makepeace, and others, still take on mentees for fees in the high four to five figures for a weekend of intense mentoring. Not sure who all is still running their mentorship programs--I know Carlton is, but not sure about the others. I haven't been through one of these, but there are people who swear by them. Maybe I'll check them out when I'm looking to climb into their same stratosphere, but for now, I'm doing well enough to not warrant that kind of cash.

What Do I Need To Know?

"Basic Copywriting Concepts" could be its own datasheet. While you'll find that each kind of piece has its own "formulas," there are a few prime principles that a lot of wanna-be copywriters never really grasp, that they absolutely have to in order to be successful:

1) Benefits Over Features

A lot of companies just want to tout the "features" of their products: 250 hp, 50 locations in 15 cities, bigger, faster, newer, etc.

While this can work if the feature really kicks ass ("free booze" and "hot chicks will be there" come to mind), most of the time, you really have to spell out the benefit of having that feature. The benefit is what the prospect stands to actually gain by buying something, so for example:

250 hp (feature) = chicks turning their heads when you rev the engine (benefit)
50 locations in 15 cities (feature) = more convenient/saves time (benefits)
Faster (feature)= saves time (benefit)

You get the idea. Translate that feature into a benefit, and you help the prospect to realize what they stand to gain by purchasing the product, and just maybe elicit an emotional response in them.

That leads me to point number two:

2) AIDA (or "game in print")

The standard formula for most copywriting is:

Get their ATTENTION
Pique their INTEREST
Build their DESIRE
Get them to take ACTION

Sound familiar? It's EXACTLY the same as gaming a chick (OPEN, ATTRACT, COMFORT, CLOSE).

Mindblown

Hell, if you write sales letters for "how to get more dates" products for women, it IS exactly the same thing. Not that I'd recommend that necessarily, but know that the possibility exists.

No, instead, you'll just be applying game principles to your target market, whatever it may be.

ATTENTION = Good headline--get them to click/open whatever
INTEREST = Relate to the prospect, get them to keep reading
DESIRE = Make them vividly imagine what life will be like with/without the product ("SELL THE DREAM!")
ACTION = CLOSE

There's a reason this works on so many levels, from cars to chicks--evolutionary psychology is a big part of good advertising. It's why any marketer worth his salt will just laugh at all of the "gender is a construct" b.s. going on right now--it's simply not true.

3) Know Your Target Market

This doesn't just mean "know your target demo," like "40-65 year old women in the market for a new car." It means research that demo--dig into their subculture. Get to know how they talk, what drives them, what scares them, and push those hot buttons as often as possible.

4) Use Descriptive Language/Elicit an Emotional Response

If you use game, you know how powerful emotionally-driven game can be--getting girls to imagine themselves in "good" places on dates, painting vivid pictures for them, etc. In fact, a lot of guys note that getting a negative emotional response from a chick when you're out can be almost as effective as a positive response.

The truth is that all people--not just chicks--like to feel something--ANYTHING to break through the veil of anesthesia that clouds most peoples' lives. Fortunately for good marketers, this fog grows thicker by the year, so peoples' appetites for something that connects with them continues to grow. If you can provide that connection reliably, you're ahead of even most pro marketers.

To get this emotional response, you need to paint vivid, descriptive pictures with your words. Don't just be like "Imagine it now: you're a millionaire, on perpetual vacation. Isn't that great?" Make them feel the soft sea breeze, the gentle swaying of the hammock beneath them. Let them taste the fruity drink in their hand and hear the waves on the beach.

In other words, if you're going to sell the dream, SELL THE FUCKING DREAM!

You can go over the top and get TOO specific, and disqualify yourself. This tends to occur when you sell a dream that isn't theirs. It's a problem a lot of guys have with their game and probably warrants its own post, but remember, you're talking to your audience, NOT a sea of "you"s.

How Do I Get Clients?

It's going to be tough--believe me, I ground things out for a few months before I got any bites. Sent out sales letters, called folks, posted ads on marketing sites, etc. Needless to say, you have to have a professional website (NOT a "professionally-done website"--just a website dedicated to your professional pursuits), and all of this advice is predicated on that. The 3 or 4 things that really seemed to open things up for me were:

1) Reaching out to old contacts in marketing

Offer to take them out to lunch, and tell them the truth--you're looking to start out as a copywriter, and want to know if they have any advice or leads. Usually this leads to a few more people, which leads to more contacts. "Uh, but I'm paying like $30-50 a lunch!" We're talking about work that can get you paid thousands, and you're bitching about THAT? Maybe you're not ready for the "Lifestyle" section of the forum quite yet...

This includes reaching out to everyone you know (even vaguely) on LinkedIn--you never know when an "acquaintance of an acquaintance" will be trolling LinkedIn for a copywriter.

2) Write a "self-sales letter" for your company

This seems like a no-brainer, right? Unless your skills are good enough to sell yourself, how will you ever sell other peoples' stuff? It can get tricky--like a lot of people, I tend to struggle with talking myself up until I know I can do something well.

But you have to put that shit to the side. Think of an angle. What can you bring to the table that other copywriters can't? What differentiates you? How can you brand yourself in a way that will make other people want to hire you?

Go through this, do all of the prep work for a sales letter (figure out your audience, their hopes, fears, your own features and benefits, etc.) and get to fucking work! You may need to write 3 or 4 different ones and test them all against each other--it's okay, testing is a part of effective copywriting (can get into more detail on that if people want me to).

Once you have this self-sales letter, you can put it up as your "ad" on various platforms online, and try to drive traffic to it, either through a paid ad or any number of other strategies (ask if you need more detail).

3) Get more testimonials

Testimonials are your best form of social proof as a copywriter. All of the greats have a long list of proven testimonials they can point to so they can charge their huge fees.

The problem is, if you're just starting out, you don't have any! There are 2 ways to get more testimonials as a newbie--you can do a few projects for peanuts (on elance, etc.), demonstrate results, and get them that way. Or you can contact people you've worked with formerly, put up comments or reviews off of stuff you've written, etc. Make sure you ask these people for specific testimonials of your writing/persuasive ability, work ethic, etc. By this point, you should know what you need to "sell the dream" to folks who need copywriting.

4) Start Content Marketing

Put a blog up on your website and start churning out articles on copywriting and marketing. Put up enough keywords so that when people search for "copywriter [your city]," your name is on the first page (you'd be surprised how many copywriters fail even this very basic marketing step). Build a "lead magnet"--a 10-12 page info product that you give out for free in exchange for their email address.

Slowly but surely, you'll start to see your email list grow. Here's a secret: once your email list is large enough, you can market valuable products to them directly! Note that I said "valuable"--"I did nothing but compile an email list and now spam them for cash!" doesn't cut it. I'm talking stuff that can ACTUALLY help people meet a need or solve a problem. If there's a big secret to marketing generally, that's it. Unfortunately, most people are too lazy to learn it.

Anyway, that's my very long-winded take on how to become a copywriter and make some good cash. Once you have a few clients, you'll be able to re-invest in your business, go to a few trade shows and hand out business cards, ask them for referrals, etc. It's getting those first few clients that really matters.

More Reading

I'd suggest the "Copywriting" section of the Warrior Forum. Be warned: the pros there can be brutal if you post something for a critique, or some half-assed post (kind of like around here tard). Read through ALL of the stickies, and the posts linked under them. There's a wealth of free info for any aspiring copywriter who gives enough of a fuck to look through it all.

That's the other thing that really matters: give a fuck. Too many people half-ass becoming a copywriter and wonder why no one hires them. Don't be "that guy"--if your copy isn't selling, take the time and effort to get better. It's an important lesson for anything in life (and one that this forum celebrates), but especially something like copywriting, where you're measured on actual RESULTS instead of typical corporate "BS-or-quota-your-way-to-the-top" stuff. All that matters is if your copy moves units--it's appealing as one of the last true meritocracies left on the planet, presuming you stay out of agency stuff (again, could be its own thread).

I'll check back on this thread from time-to-time to answer questions and flesh out some parts of it that I just paid lip-service to, and always feel free to PM me with specific Qs. Thanks guys--like I said before, hopefully this can inspire a guy who would be well-served to pursue copywriting, or help a guy in need get back on his feet.

Vigo
11-13-2014 10:51 PM
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Darius Offline
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Post: #2
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
Solid post. I have been meaning to brush up on my copywriting skills. This is the sort of kick in the ass I needed to get at it.
11-13-2014 11:32 PM
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stefpdt Offline
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RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
Quote:Because copywriting depends on the power of persuasion, I think a lot of game users and game-aware guys are perfectly suited for it--there's (sadly) not much difference between trying to get a girl to fuck you, and trying to get some fat fuck from Nebraska to shell out $97 on a "comprehensive system" to "get thin quick" in the form of a 80 page ebook.

Knew you were a fellow copywriter as soon as I read this metaphor.

This is all stellar stuff and I appreciate your post. The Fastlane Forum also has quite a few killer copywriters and guys who are fucking committed to entrepreneurship in general.

There's one pro over there who recommends that guys who are new to the game should drink alcohol (lightly) while practicing their copy intensively each night.

Something about booze unleashes the rockstar copywriting from average writers with enough persistence.

Always remember to edit sober.
(This post was last modified: 11-14-2014 02:17 AM by stefpdt.)
11-14-2014 01:41 AM
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Frank Rook Offline
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RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
Well written piece & a good how-to breakdown. Something i've been considering exploring for my outdoor adventure & recreation industry. Utilizing the power of the written word. (+1) rep point to you for this.
11-14-2014 05:37 AM
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Vigo_the_Carpathian Offline
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Post: #5
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
(11-14-2014 01:41 AM)stefpdt Wrote:  This is all stellar stuff and I appreciate your post. The Fastlane Forum also has quite a few killer copywriters and guys who are fucking committed to entrepreneurship in general.

There's one pro over there who recommends that guys who are new to the game should drink alcohol (lightly) while practicing their copy intensively each night.

Something about booze unleashes the rockstar copywriting from average writers with enough persistence.

Always remember to edit sober.

Thanks stefpdt--wonder if we've ever crossed paths online under our real names...though I haven't checked out the Fastlane Forum yet--sounds like another great resource.

Regarding DWW, that guy knows what he's talking about. When I get stuck, a little booze can be just the thing to get the creative juices flowing--probably because, like with game, it loosens up the inhibitions a bit, and subconsciously makes your writing seem more genuine, which builds trust and social proof, etc.

I'd take it a step further, though--if I'm "on the fence" about something I've written, I'll get a little liquored up (not blackout, but a very healthy buzz), make sure I "Save As" a new copy, and go through and edit my copy. I've found that "buzzed Vigo" has an excellent B.S. detector, and can ferret out potential objections from customers pretty well. This helps me address them and disarm them in the copy a bit better. So by all means, edit while drunk, just make sure that you make a backup copy ahead of time while sober.

@Darius: Great to hear that I can help. Well-worth making this post already as far as I'm concerned.

@Frank Rook: Thanks man--appreciate it. PM me if you wanna bounce any ideas off me--always happy to help aspiring rookies "make it."

Vigo
11-14-2014 12:40 PM
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micky Offline
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Post: #6
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
Cool thread,

Vigo what was the deal you made with your mentor? Have you paid for mentorship?
I found copyhour.com and copyhour cartel have pretty good content.

Main problem for me is getting clients, I live in a country with only 4.5 million people
where competition is doing marketing for peanuts. They suck, but clients are often looking
at the service as commodity.. they will go with ones who charge lower fees.
11-14-2014 02:31 PM
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Menace Offline
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RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
Interesting timing with this post...since I was thinking about this stuff. Have similar background to you. With respect to the books you listed vs. the course, do you recommend doing both?
11-14-2014 02:54 PM
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Vigo_the_Carpathian Offline
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RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
(11-14-2014 02:54 PM)Menace Wrote:  Interesting timing with this post...since I was thinking about this stuff. Have similar background to you. With respect to the books you listed vs. the course, do you recommend doing both?

Absolutely--I'm a firm believer in training as much as you can. The books give more background than anything else. There are sounds principles in there, but you won't fully understand them until you try to put them in practice.

The course gives you the "nuts and bolts" (a little beyond the "basics" that I gave in the first post). It's helpful because you actually do assignments, and get feedback from a pro on what you're doing well, poorly, etc. They don't know everything, but their input is definitely helpful.

That's amplified quite a bit with a mentorship--though you pay a lot more for it, you get what they pay for--they guide you through a lot more specific "how-tos," more comprehensive assignments with more in-depth feedback, and they save more of their better stuff for the mentorships as opposed to their ebooks.

That said, you have to find the right mentorship. There are a lot of charlatans out there. Obviously, if you're going to spring for a mentorship with Carlton, it'll cost you, but you'll get good stuff. I took a bit of a leap of faith with my mentorship, based on as many reviews as I could find, but it was worth every penny in hindsight, for the systems, approach, and thorough feedback it gave me.

@Micky: Hope that answers most of your questions--it cost about a grand, so it's no small outlay. Like I said, though, worth every penny.

In your situation, it sounds like you'd be best-served to write your own products and market those. So I guess that warrants a quick online marketing primer (here goes nothing):

Find a niche, research it, find what kinds of problems those people have, the kinds of things that keep them up at night, research solutions to those problems, write a 20,000 or so word ebook (80 pages), publish it as a PDF, charge enough for it to make buying traffic/splitting the cost with affiliates worthwhile, write a kick-ass sales letter for the product with awesome bullets and (ideally) testimonials, test multiple versions, and see which does best.

Making the facebook/outbrain ads is an art of its own--here's a hint: Provocative Pictures (especially hot chicks) + Provocative Headline + Curiosity Piquing Text = Clicks. From there, you just have to make sure the traffic is targeted.

There's more to it than that--getting reviews/testimonials from blogs in the niche, guest posting to drive traffic, content marketing, etc., but at its core, that's basically all there is to internet marketing. There's more software to buy, like OptimizePress, and you have to get hosting, and learn some Wordpress/light coding, too. This stuff takes time.

But a lot of it is getting over the fear of buying traffic--it's a big one, but once you're confident enough in your skills to convert traffic, it's not THAT big of a deal.

Oh yeah, like I said, collect email addresses of people that buy, then create more products in that niche, and sell those to the people on your list.

That's the gist of it, but it's easier said than done. I've had a LOT more duds than hits, but once you get a hit, you can extrapolate it out, and keep pumping out (again, valuable, high-quality) products in that niche that are related to the original product. You can bundle, upsell, and do all sorts of other great stuff. If you get a REAL hit, you can eventually put it pretty much on autopilot and watch the cash roll in. Of course, I'm not there yet, but it's kind of an adventure--trying to find that next "big" product and sell it right, you know?

Hope that answers your guys' questions--happy to answer any others.

Vigo

EDIT: for annoying typo in 2nd-to-last paragraph
(This post was last modified: 11-14-2014 09:30 PM by Vigo_the_Carpathian.)
11-14-2014 09:14 PM
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Neo Offline
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RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
Another great book is Triggers by Joe Sugarman.
11-15-2014 06:39 PM
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Post: #10
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
I'm also a copywriter by trade. I'm currently learning web design, Wordpress, programming, and video editing in order to expand my service into full service marketing.

I'd just add a few things about copywriting here for those who want to break into it. OP covered the good side so I'll cover the bad side:

1. It's a very competitive market. You need to genuinely be good at what you do to get consistent work in this field. It's not like some fields where you can make it even without skills because clients have no idea what to be looking for. As a general rule, in this field, if you don't bring your A game, you don't get work. Period.

2. As a result of this, you need to spend a lot of time studying and researching about copywriting. So if this isn't a huge passion for you it might be tough.

3. Most copywriters work freelance and with that comes the usual freelance issues (taxes, unstable income, etc).

4. Income in this field is very "top heavy"; i.e., the best copywriters generally make most of the money. Yeah, I know, that's true of most fields, but it's especially true of copywriting. A lot of people think of copywriting as a high paying field but that's only after you have a lot of experience, most newbies start at 30k in smaller markets and 50-60k in big cities.
11-15-2014 08:59 PM
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RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
great post, one of the best I've seen on this forum so far.
11-16-2014 04:32 AM
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Post: #12
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
(11-15-2014 08:59 PM)Andy_B Wrote:  I'm also a copywriter by trade. I'm currently learning web design, Wordpress, programming, and video editing in order to expand my service into full service marketing.

I'd just add a few things about copywriting here for those who want to break into it. OP covered the good side so I'll cover the bad side:

1. It's a very competitive market. You need to genuinely be good at what you do to get consistent work in this field. It's not like some fields where you can make it even without skills because clients have no idea what to be looking for. As a general rule, in this field, if you don't bring your A game, you don't get work. Period.

2. As a result of this, you need to spend a lot of time studying and researching about copywriting. So if this isn't a huge passion for you it might be tough.

3. Most copywriters work freelance and with that comes the usual freelance issues (taxes, unstable income, etc).

4. Income in this field is very "top heavy"; i.e., the best copywriters generally make most of the money. Yeah, I know, that's true of most fields, but it's especially true of copywriting. A lot of people think of copywriting as a high paying field but that's only after you have a lot of experience, most newbies start at 30k in smaller markets and 50-60k in big cities.

All very good points by Andy_B; I cannot stress the "quality of work" and "passion" angles enough. You always have to not only bring your "A" game, but be looking to push that "A" game further. A lot of times, for "fun" now (and certainly whenever I'm on the shitter), I read copywriting, marketing, and psychology books. I actually enjoy this. tard .Probably makes me a fucking weirdo, but whatever--like anything in life, you'll go further if you have passion for whatever you're doing.

That speaks to number 4, too--like I said, your rates are generally determined by your results. Sure, you'll have corporate clients who just want you to write a website or brochure copy who will pass your stuff through 3-4 different levels of edits, and who don't really care about the outcome. No skin off my ass--they're happy, I get paid, win-win.

But where you really start to be able to charge higher fees is when you can prove that your copy converts in direct response fields. When a client goes from making $100/month on an ebook to thousands a month--that type of stuff. Not only is that client likely to hire you again if he has more products, but that gives you more social proof in selling yourself to others.

Shitty results mean shitty rates and less (or no) business. It's not necessarily an area for the squeamish, and like Andy_B said, it can take a while to establish yourself. You aren't going to be living in a castle like David Ogilvy overnight. If you aren't good enough, you'll likely either piddle along for a while, eating beans out of the can with a fork with the occasional side of ramen, or wash out somewhere along the way.

But if you have the passion and drive to keep improving yourself, to learn from your mistakes and get better results for your clients, then it can definitely be a lucrative and rewarding field to be in.

Good stuff, Andy--thanks man.

@Neo: Indeed, Sugarman's stuff is fantastic. I always have him in the back of my head while writing--"The goal of each sentence should be to get the prospect to read the next sentence." Eliminates a lot of the fluff and bullshit, and makes sure that the stuff stays interesting all the way through.

@Low Status Beta: Thanks, man

Vigo
11-16-2014 10:13 AM
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jake1720 Offline
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Post: #13
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
It's true for all fields in America - the wealth ALWAYS flows to the top. America is very top heavy in that respect.

If you're good at it you can always write your own offers and do direct response yourself. Especially online. If you suck than you probably deserve to get paid what you're getting paid.
11-16-2014 01:19 PM
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micky Offline
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Post: #14
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
@jake do you think it is better in other countries?
you have to educate clients even more about why they would invest in certain aspects of marketing,
and god forbid you then try to charge based on value you provide(and guarantee with money back)
when some idiot kid around the block offers them the whole site copy for $200.

I agree it is best to apply it to your own business.. it's the only way to scale, and only viable long term strategy
for 99.9% of copywriters.
11-16-2014 02:03 PM
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jake1720 Offline
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Post: #15
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
Might be, don't know.

This is the best advice I have found:

http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2014/09/the...l-finance/
11-16-2014 03:31 PM
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thirty-six Offline
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Post: #16
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
(11-13-2014 10:51 PM)Vigo_the_Carpathian Wrote:  Everyone on this forum has given so much to me, I thought it was about time I gave something back.

Well done.

(11-13-2014 10:51 PM)Vigo_the_Carpathian Wrote:  The six or so books I'd recommend most when getting started are:

The Well-Fed Writer, by Peter Bowerman
The Ultimate Sales Letter, by Dan Kennedy
The Copywriter's Handbook, by Bob Bly
The Boron Letters, by Gary Halbert
The Entrepreneur's Guide to Getting Your Shit Together, by John Carlton
Ogilvy on Advertising, by David Ogilvy

Of those books, which would you recommend someone read first?
11-18-2014 03:48 PM
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Post: #17
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
Thanks OP. Funny, so many people have been telling me to try out copywriting. I always wanted to try out sales, but I don't want to work at the mall learning how to sell things until I'm going enough to work for an actual company that will pay me actual money to do things. I've been doing "writing" projects on Odesk for a couple of weeks and I just landed my first big assignment (it was so timely, too).

This data sheet was what I needed to really get a kick in the ass.
11-18-2014 03:53 PM
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Post: #18
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
(11-18-2014 03:48 PM)thirty-six Wrote:  
(11-13-2014 10:51 PM)Vigo_the_Carpathian Wrote:  Everyone on this forum has given so much to me, I thought it was about time I gave something back.

Well done.

(11-13-2014 10:51 PM)Vigo_the_Carpathian Wrote:  The six or so books I'd recommend most when getting started are:

The Well-Fed Writer, by Peter Bowerman
The Ultimate Sales Letter, by Dan Kennedy
The Copywriter's Handbook, by Bob Bly
The Boron Letters, by Gary Halbert
The Entrepreneur's Guide to Getting Your Shit Together, by John Carlton
Ogilvy on Advertising, by David Ogilvy

Of those books, which would you recommend someone read first?

Perhaps I can help you. I've been reading The Copywriter's Handbook by B. Bly and it seems like a great resource for beginners such as ourselves.
11-18-2014 04:24 PM
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Vigo_the_Carpathian Offline
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Post: #19
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
(11-18-2014 03:48 PM)thirty-six Wrote:  
(11-13-2014 10:51 PM)Vigo_the_Carpathian Wrote:  Everyone on this forum has given so much to me, I thought it was about time I gave something back.

Well done.

(11-13-2014 10:51 PM)Vigo_the_Carpathian Wrote:  The six or so books I'd recommend most when getting started are:

The Well-Fed Writer, by Peter Bowerman
The Ultimate Sales Letter, by Dan Kennedy
The Copywriter's Handbook, by Bob Bly
The Boron Letters, by Gary Halbert
The Entrepreneur's Guide to Getting Your Shit Together, by John Carlton
Ogilvy on Advertising, by David Ogilvy

Of those books, which would you recommend someone read first?

Thanks man--appreciate it. Out of those books, I read The Well-Fed Writer and The Copywriter's Handbook pretty much concurrently. WFW is more of a book about how to approach freelance copywriting as a business--it's an absolute essential. Copywriter's Handbook is more of a "nuts and bolts" overview to the world of copywriting, with ways to approach a variety of projects.

Both are probably "the most key" out of the books--the others (aside from Kennedy's) contain a lot of useful knowledge, but you need a solid foundation in copywriting to appreciate a lot of the nuances in them.

@Fortis: No problem, man--happy to help. What kinds of writing projects have you been working on so far? Blogs/Articles? Or more copywriting-focused stuff?

Vigo
(This post was last modified: 11-18-2014 11:58 PM by Vigo_the_Carpathian.)
11-18-2014 11:57 PM
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Post: #20
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
I've been working on copywriting a lot. Anyone have any advice for getting your first ig?
11-19-2014 10:09 AM
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heavy Offline
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Post: #21
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
Great thread/post. While the book isn't about copywriting, many of the ideas in fiction writing can be used in sales writing:

On Writing by Stephen King

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
11-19-2014 10:13 AM
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micky Offline
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Post: #22
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
(11-19-2014 10:09 AM)jake1720 Wrote:  I've been working on copywriting a lot. Anyone have any advice for getting your first ig?

try with unsolicited reviews, show them exactly where they are leaving
money on the table..
or just ask them are they interested in generating more leads etc.

send as personalized messages as possible, without being creepy.
research their industry etc.
11-19-2014 10:59 AM
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Post: #23
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
Definitely. Thanks
11-20-2014 12:58 PM
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thirty-six Offline
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Post: #24
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
Do you think that someone who isn't into pop culture and consumerism can write good copy?
11-23-2014 03:07 PM
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Post: #25
RE: The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet
(11-23-2014 03:07 PM)thirty-six Wrote:  Do you think that someone who isn't into pop culture and consumerism can write good copy?

If you mean sales copy, hell yeah you can!

Check out Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins. To paraphrase the main point in the book, the point of writing copy isn't to entertain but to make readers realize that the product is something they need and should buy.

It's like game...humor/being current is great but being funny doesn't help if you have a weak frame or intent because you can't escalate to get the bang/make the person buy.

(08-18-2016 12:05 PM)dicknixon72 Wrote:  ...and nothing quite surprises me anymore. If I looked out my showroom window and saw a fully-nude woman force-fucking an alligator with a strap-on while snorting xanex on the roof of her rental car with her three children locked inside with the windows rolled up, I wouldn't be entirely amazed.
11-23-2014 05:08 PM
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