When I first wrote a novel in 1991, I remember walking down the road and seeing a pretty girl and thinking, “She might like me now.”
I know that a lot of what I write seems to involve whether or not women like me.
But that’s what I think about. I want people to like me. And when I was younger, it was more important that women liked me than men.
I also wanted money. I didn’t want to work for a boss. That scary feeling of being called into the boss’s office after you know you did something that was “wrong.”
“Don’t you have any pride in your work?”
“Clean out your desk today.”
“Did you steal all of the paper?”
“Why did the office cleaning lady find 20 moldy sandwiches in your drawer?”
“Why didn’t you test the software before it went to the client?”
Whatever. It’s because I was busy and no, I didn’t have pride in my work.
I was 22 years old and looking at women and trying to publish a novel on the side so I didn’t have to work anymore. And I have no comment about the sandwiches.
It took many years before I made any money as a writer. And what worked then is different now.
The rules change every three or four years and they will change again. Just like they change with everything in life.
By the way, that first novel, and the four that came after it, and the 50 short stories that came after it, never got published.
I used to think I needed to publish something before I could feel good about myself, before I could call myself a “writer,” before I could have a girlfriend, before I could get a real job, before I could move to NYC.
What a pathetic weight on my shoulder to think I needed something controlled by just a handful of people. Those weights stayed on my back for years.
Here’s the truth. If you want to be a professional writer, nothing is stopping you. So go out and be one.
Here’s what you need to know to get started:
A) Read…A Ton
B) Get Rid of Old Perceptions
They have no clue what they are doing. For the most part, they pick sucky writers whose books flash for a week or so and then disappear forever.
C) Self-Publishing Does Not Mean E-Book
D) Bookstores Are Evil
F) Write Every Day
G) Rewrite Every Day
H) You Can’t Make Money Writing Articles
Just a few years ago. In 2005, I made a good living writing about three to four articles a day for different publications while I was running my fund.
- Blog for free, but then lead people to a subscription information product. Like a newsletter about stock picks or dating or whatever you think you’re an expert at and nobody else is.
- Get speaking gigs. This is hard.
- Do consulting or coaching. This is possible.
A lot of people are going to tell you that you need experience as a copywriter to get work as a copywriter. This is how it is with all jobs; it’s the great catch-22 of the working world.
It’s also a myth.
Which is good, because the average copywriter probably makes more money than any other writer.
But first, let me back up.
For those of you who don’t know, copywriting is basically when you write content to sell something.
Think about everything you’ve ever read, or scripted words you’ve listened to, that have tried to sell you something.
Someone wrote that…
- Commercial scripts…
- Marketing pages…
- Sales pages…
- You name it, someone wrote it.
There are a few types of copywriters (agency, corporate, freelance) but you’re reading this because you want the freedom of being a writer, not to go work for some guy who’s going to yell at you for hoarding moldy sandwiches, so for the purposes of this post, I’m going to talk about freelance.
When you’re a freelance copywriter, you get to make up your own schedule, and depending on how well you establish yourself (mostly driven by the results you get for your client), you could make big bucks.
Unfortunately, getting started can be tricky without previous experience or a large network.
Like starting any other business, it takes perseverance.
A lot of copywriters spend multiple years building up the skills and experience to get big clients and make names for themselves. That can take forever if you don’t have a good starting place.
cc) Educate Yourself
There are online courses for everything these days, and copywriting is no exception. But there are also a lot of scams out there.
That’s a good starting point.
But I wanted to know how someone could become a copywriter as quickly as possible…
So I reached out to my good friend, Mark Ford, the man who has mentored more six & seven figure copywriters than probably anyone else on the planet.
He knows everything about becoming a copywriter.
Not only has he trained more copywriters than anyone else. He’s also probably hired as many copywriters as anyone else too.
Because he has started over 100 businesses – many of which ran on strong sales copy — Mark has had to hire constantly copywriters for his businesses.
So he knows exactly what to say and do if you want to build a six or seven figure income as a copywriter.
Mark has become a self-made multi-millionaire in the process.
He’s also founded a company teaching people to choose themselves with copywriting.
As he says, “copywriting is fun. It provides a great lifestyle. And it can make you a ton of money.”
Copywriting is one of the most portable skills you can develop. For example, one of the copywriters Mark trained would do work for a U.S. company from his home in Paris, France.
How do you find out if you have what it takes to be a copywriter?
The most important thing for me: writing without fear.
Writing without judgment. Writing without anger. Making writing fun. Writing right now.
Writing is about freedom and not money.
I want to write something that you’ll find fun and useful. And I want you to read it.