I'm a good copywriter, but ... I have no portfolio.

by varg
34 replies
I am an old school programmer and I now consider myself to be a copywriter and I am wondering what I should charge to be fair to prospects. The simple reason why is because I know I'm decent, but ... I'm not entirely sure how good or not since I don't have a proven track record, what I mean to say is I don't have a portfolio on a single website but I do have numerous other websites out there, which I have developed.

Now; I have been researching it for 3 months now. As a new copywriter, what would a fair rate be? I want to become a freelance direct-response copywriter selling my own products as well as others.
#copywriter #good #portfolio
  • Profile picture of the author David Raybould
    Varg-

    This recent thread my be useful for you:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...-beginner.html

    Aside from that, there's an elephant in
    the room...

    It's going to be VERY tough for you to
    charge people any set figure if you have
    no idea how good you are...

    ... and seriously - are you okay with
    taking people's money when even you
    have no idea what they're getting in
    return?

    Most good copywriters go through what
    John Carlton calls the "shameless whore"
    period, where you take any gig you can
    get, regardless of price.

    The insights you can get in this stage,
    even if you're working for free, are
    priceless.

    Also, don't stop honing your chops. It's
    unrealistic to expect any halfway decent
    fees if you've only studied the game for
    3 months.

    Hope that helps

    -David Raybould
    Signature
    Killer Emails. Cash-spewing VSLs. Turbocharged Landing Pages.

    Whatever you need, my high converting copy puts more money in your pocket. PM for details. 10 years experience and 9 figure revenues.
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  • Profile picture of the author owninizer
    Wow nice reply David! That also pertains to article/content writing, which I am looking into. Thanks for the link, im going to take a look.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Why not create your own portfolio then? Pick a few Clickbank products that have lousy salesletters but good gravity scores and write your own version of the salesletter.

      Send them directly to the Clickbank merchant's order page and every order that is completed will give you an affiliate commission.

      Put those affiliate salesletters into your own portfolio.

      The other option is start by doing some low-cost copywriting for a few projects with the specific stated goal of building a portfolio and gathering client testimonials. After that, gradually bump your fees with every new project you take on. The market will dictate based on your skills and track record what you can command.

      If you're serious about doing copywriting professionally, then you will need to set up your own copywriting website.

      Most importantly, if you're serious about writing professionally, then you will actively work on improving your skills on a regular basis (I do this every day).

      Hope that helps,

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author varg
        I know ... compared to others I have compared my own work to. Maybe I should set some time aside so that I can have some of you guys judge my work. I have near perfect English due to the fact that I have been around computers now for 15 years or so as a software engineer before any of that rapid development stuff like jQuery or Prototype UI were out ... back in the days of Fortran and C, C++ etc. I have just been busy working on other projects. That's what I was thinking about doing, being a 'whore,' for a while and taking on any gig that I could get. Or, like others have suggested turn around some crappy sales letters on ClickBank and make them into "kick-butt," sales-letters. I have done this on pen and paper, I just haven't ventured out into the waters yet to create my own blog ... guess I could use Dragon Naturally Speaking and one of the other gravity scores. From what I've been looking at ... $799.99 seems to be a starting point.

        Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

        It is hard to give you advice based on the info you
        gave us.

        How do you know you are a good copywriter?
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      • Profile picture of the author varg
        'Cuz I'm a published author outside of the Internet.

        And good advice, thanks Mike.

        Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

        It is hard to give you advice based on the info you
        gave us.

        How do you know you are a good copywriter?
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        • Profile picture of the author DaveHughes
          Originally Posted by varg View Post

          'Cuz I'm a published author outside of the Internet.

          And good advice, thanks Mike.
          Unfortunately, that doesn't always translate to copywriting. (And trust me, I know...I'm also published outside the internet, with 25 years professional copywriting experience in broadcast copy.)

          For that matter, "copywriting" doesn't always translate to "copywriting"...writing a television ad script will have some differences from a long-form sales letter.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    The fastest way to 'make your bones' as a copywriter is to create your own product, write the sales page yourself and keep close tabs on your sales. If you can sell your own stuff, and you can prove the sales, you can do it for others.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jag82
    Hi Varg,

    Here's something you might like to try.

    1. Get yourself familiarized with Google Website Optimizer.
    It's a free multivariate tool that is fast and easy to implement.

    (There are other good MV tools out there. GWO is free
    so you can start off with that first.)

    2. Contact a potential client and offer to do a free optimization
    for his website.

    3. Identify a few elements on his sites that may affect
    his conversions (e.g. headlines, images, bullets).

    Do a few variations for each elements and do a MV test
    for him.

    With the data in hand...and your copy skill...you should
    be able to help him increase conversion pretty fast
    (assuming his site's traffic is consistent).

    That's a quick way to get results and show your expertise.

    Jag
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Remember, Varg...

    Copywriting is not about writing WELL,
    it's about writing that gets RESULTS.

    Often, that means writing things that
    make "good" writers cringe.

    Short, stubby sentences.

    One and two sentence paragraphs.

    Simple, often colloquial language.

    Being a good writer doesn't make you
    a good copywriter - being a good salesman
    makes you a good copywriter.

    I am not saying this to discourage you
    or disparage you - I don't even know you.

    All I'm saying is that if you want to get in
    the game as a direct response copywriter
    your eye needs to be on the right ball.

    Published author? Meaningless.
    Software programmer? Irrelevant.

    Those are fine and impressive credentials...

    ...for a product creator or publisher.

    All a copywriting client cares about is how
    much money you can make for them...

    ...and with what degree of certainty based
    on your track record of previous successes.

    Making sense?

    Eye on the prize... RESULTS for CLIENTS.

    When you have that, you're a copywriter.

    And you can charge whatever you want.

    Best,

    Brian
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt_L
      Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post


      Being a good writer doesn't make you
      a good copywriter - being a good salesman
      makes you a good copywriter.

      Published author? Meaningless.
      Software programmer? Irrelevant.

      All a copywriting clients cares about is how
      much money you can make for them...

      Eye on the prize... RESULTS for CLIENTS.

      When you have that, you're a copywriter.
      Act I:

      [curtains rise. incredibly good-looking gentleman sits on a log in thinker pose.]

      [gentleman stands slowly. stoic look across his chiseled features. reminiscent of what abe lincoln must of looked like during gettysburg address]


      I agree and I don't.

      A "good copywriter" is a "good writer" -- and I'll tell you why in a sec.

      Once you read my supporting statements you'll know that you agree.

      1. You (Brian) are a good writer. It's pretty apparent that you owe some of your success to your writing talent. (Feel free to disprove this by submitting grammatically incorrect and error-ridden crap to your next client.)

      2. Good writers are familiar with the mechanics of language. Familiarity with those mechanics allows a good writer to expose more of her intelligence and thought in generally understandable way.

      3. Good writers weave stories. Good writers are consistent. Good writers tie things together. Good writers build suspense.

      So, I put it to you that, "A good copywriter is a good writer.", is a true statement.

      I agree with you that the inverse, "A good writer is a good copywriter.", is not necessarily true.

      But, it's been said here, and by far more skilled copywriters than myself, that a copywriter that doesn't possess writing skills trying to write successful copy is like a plucked chicken trying fly the coop.

      Sure, on the right day, with the right wind speed and a gaping hole in the top of the fence it may get its little unfeathered naked body to the other side, but it's a long shot.

      Good copywriters need feathers.

      The "knowing" of the fundamentals of writing is necessary for one to successfully expose her thoughts, intelligence and creativity in print. The "knowing' makes it possible to fly.

      (Like GI Joe says, "Knowing is half the battle.")

      [curtains draw. crowd applauds. chants of "master, master" fill the air.]

      Act II:

      [curtains rise. shower in center stage. water running. faint humming can be heard]

      [incredibly good-looking man pokes head out from behind shower curtain. suds in hair. ]

      Well hello there.

      While salesmanship is an undeniably necessary trait for a good copywriter, I submit that --

      A "good salesman" doesn't make a "good copywriter".

      As you read the next statement you'll find yourself in complete agreement ...

      ...

      ...

      Just kidding. I got nothing. Just trying out my Harlan Kilstein NLP.

      But seriously, I'm not even a real copywriter. I just like hanging around you guys because you're smart (and pretty good writers to boot.)

      I don't agree with the statement that software development skills don't matter to a copywriter. Maybe not the coding itself, however, the logic a coder learns to recognize and implement can be a great asset to her writing.

      More than that, software development is all about the results. In fact, most jobs are.

      As long as the gentleman learned that his value was in costing his client/boss less than the revenue he generated, his software development experience will serve him well.

      Perhaps we are not settled on what a "good writer" is. And, perhaps we need to disambiguate the term itself before we reach consensus on how important being one is to the domain of copywriting.

      [curtains close. incredibly good-looking chiseled gentleman returns to shower humming. chants of "master master" fill the air.]
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  • Profile picture of the author maximus242
    Really good copywriting is about good psychology not good writing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Sanchez
    I'm with Brian on this one:

    RESULTS!

    Also: copywriting is not just knowing the English language - It's something else entirely different.

    It's one thing to have good gram-er and another to capture attention...

    And another this to know how to entertain and another entirely to persuade and convince.

    Here's a fun one...

    Write up a sales letter about why someone should hire you!

    If that sales letter is good enough on it's own merits that should get you clients at the get go.

    Simple!

    So go write up a sales letter.
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  • I agree with what the others have said - sorry, but having perfect English and being a published writer are about as far from qualifications as a professional copywriter as you can get. Do you have any sales experience? Door to door, retail, B2B, etc? Have you written collateral before? Do you know what collateral is?? Does the term MarCom mean anything to you?

    To be perfectly honest, if you want to make a living from your writing - based on your credentials - I'd become a technical writer. Perfect, professional English and a technical mindset (especially in IT) are prerequisites there.

    If anything, being a former programmer will hinder you even more as a copywriter. Not only do you have a technical mind, which can lead to a lot of jargon (just read your above post - I know what C++ and Fortran are, but how many people here do you think understood half of that post?), but you'll be looking for formulaic solutions.

    There are none in copywriting. Copywriting is organized chaos with a goal - which will drive most analytical types nuts, unless you're analytical chaos like me and a few others here *cough* Subtle *cough*(a very rare exception, I've found.)

    Technical writing is perfectly suited to your abilities, pays well, allows you to have the freelance lifestyle, and your career will actually BENEFIT from having perfect English and newspaper/magazine clips (which I'm assuming is what you meant by being published.)

    Marketable writing is completely different from writing for marketing purposes.

    Good luck!

    - Cherilyn
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    Take your product from idea to profit in less than 90 days! Work with me to develop and implement a step-by-step plan for success!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Steel
    Hey buddy ... here's the question:

    How much would you pay to have someone write copy for your product WITHOUT a portfolio and WITHOUT any proven results?

    js
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    • Profile picture of the author Jag82
      Originally Posted by Jon Steel View Post

      Hey buddy ... here's the question:

      How much would you pay to have someone write copy for your product WITHOUT a portfolio and WITHOUT any proven results?

      js

      This is a good question. And also a tricky one
      especially for someone without portfolio.

      The clients want results. So as copywriters, we
      must definitely take the result-oriented approach.

      But sometimes results take time...especially if you are
      working with a client with no website and no copy at all.

      So I always suggest to start off by pre-qualifying
      a client first.

      1. Does he already have a credible product?
      2. Does he have a website?
      3. Is he frequently driving traffic (preferably paid traffic)?

      If so, he must have some data on how the
      offer is converting.

      That will give a copywriter with no portfolio
      a good base to start with something.
      (you don't have to write a salesletter from
      scratch. You just need to improve.)

      You can offer to do an optimization test for
      free - for a start.

      Offer to help him get better conversion
      on his current site. And since he is already
      driving consistent traffic, a solid split or MV
      test will be able to quickly reveal versions
      that will work better.

      In that way, you can show tangible results
      in a much faster time. And you can also gain
      trust along the way.

      Not to mention, being able to build your portfolio
      on a winning note.

      I favor this approach because it's faster and takes
      less effort and risk (as compared to offering to
      do a full salesletter on pro bono).

      And the client gets what he wants - results.


      One more tip

      Offer to help your client conduct a survey.

      The survey can be to ask the prospects what
      are the problems they are facing...and what are
      the results they really want.

      You will be surprised to find that many clients
      do not really know what their prospects truly want.

      It's true. You will find some of these folks around.

      So your job is to come in and help them.

      You can easily do a survey with SurveyMonkey.com
      within minutes. And you can leave SurveyMonkey to
      collect and analyse all the data for you - FREE!

      Tell the clients that "feedback is the breakfast of champions".

      If you listen to the audience...and give them what they want
      ...they will give you what you want (sales).

      Often...the results gotten back are counter-intuitive.
      And the clients will even thank you for giving them
      insights they have never previously thought of.

      Give it a shot. It's worth it.

      These are surefire ways to build up your
      credibility as well as trust between you
      and your potential clients.

      - Jag
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  • I just noticed your location, too - and being in Denver is a perfect place to get technical writing work. Close enough to work with companies in Silicon Valley without much of a time difference, with plenty of tech firms locally. I'd definitely get my start there, if I were you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    I submit the subject line is an impossibility.
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    • Profile picture of the author maximus242
      To the guy who said a good copywriter is a good writer, once again, no. A good salesman can have poor english, what matters is his ability to exchange a product for money. That is what defines a good copywriter.

      Can this person cause significantly large amounts of people to trade cash for products?

      Also, how much people will pay for a guy with no portfolio really comes down to how good of a salesman is he? Far more difficult sales have been made with far less. Imagine putting together billion dollar deals between corporations out of nothing. Now, theres a sales job.

      In comparison to shlepping a few thousand bucks for some copy it seems easy. Now whether or not he's a good copywriter, well thats an entirely different issue. However I have heard of guys charging $30,000 for their first letter.

      The REAL issue here, the mistake most people make, is your trying to sell to a market with little money. Probably 80% to 90% of the IM group is trying to start a business on nothing. So, you've got a guy with little money and your trying to get him to give the majority of it to you.

      Its already a losing battle. I mean comon people. Lets have the lightbulb turn on in the head and realize if you want big moola you have to go for bigger game. Most of the people I see on this forum are going Rabbit Hunting, where as the smart soab's go hunting for giant oversized mooses.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt_L
    If anything, being a former programmer will hinder you even more as a copywriter.

    This statement betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of programmers, engineers and software developers.

    I won't drag you through the details but, do you have any idea how many English majors make awesome software developers? Do you know how many musicians are great software developers? Do you know how many blanks and blanks and blanks ...

    Stereotyping is silly. We all like to feel we are better than someone else. And I realize that most of us accomplish that feeling utilizing some form of prejudice, but come on! Pick on a dumber group next time.

    *Frankly, I'm puzzled. Really, I'm shocked.

    Sure studying English and music or art or software engineering won't make you a great copywriter, but I think creativity does make you a good copywriter.

    From what I've seen, good copywriters don't just follow the same lame formula with a call to action and tack on a few PS's at the end that every other copywriter uses.

    Good copywriters might do that, but they're also very creative people and it's what they add in between the lines of the formula that makes all the difference.

    And, for Hopkin's sake. One of the books that I usually see at the top of most of the "Top 10 Must Have Copywriting Books Of All Time" is Scientific Advertising. That's a logician's and statistician's book if I've ever seen one.

    Right now I'm enjoying a read of an older book, Successful Direct Marketing Methods by Bob Stone. There's a lot of stuff that I find extremely interesting in that book. (Did I mention I'm a software developer?) I just don't know how I'm able to grasp it all.

    *Borrowed from the Copywriter's Book of Colloquially Idiomatic Cliches and Slangisms 2010 edition.

    A good salesman can have poor english, what matters is his ability to exchange a product for money

    Okay. Then at which point would his poor English affect his ability to sell?

    Exactly how poor can his English be?
    Does he know how to ask a question?
    Does he know how to string words together to make a sentence that means something to his prospect?
    Does he put his adjectives before or after the noun?
    Does he know what adjectives are?
    Does he know the English alphabet?
    Does he know how to pronounce the name of the product he's selling?
    How good is he without body language? Or eye contact?
    Does a good salesman who speaks poor English lose his sales-goodness during phone calls? (Maybe your statement only applies to only face-to-face sales, eh?)
    Does he know sales techniques?
    Does his poor English prevent him from reading? (sales books, product manuals, etc ...)
    Can he listen to a Brian Tracy CD an understand what is being said? (Brian uses some pretty big words and even bigger concepts sometimes.)
    Can he give a presentation to a room full of <insert some decision maker title here>?

    How bad can his speaking get until his credibility suffers?
    Can we pull his tongue out?
    Does he need to speak English at all?
    Can he just hum or click his way to a sale?

    And, er, let's not be too logical about this but, the word copywriter is 60% writer. It's trite, I know -- (but maybe your poor English speaking salesman doesn't know, because trite is kind of a hard word.)

    You will never, ever, convince me, never, ever, ever, no matter how poor your English is, that a bad writer is a good copywriter.

    Because most of you writing about how good copywriters can be poor writers disprove your own statements with your own writing. (See, the way it works is -- your writing is good, so you damage your own case. There's some more software guy logic for ya.)

    Perhaps you need to write more bad-lier. Maybe that convince me it will. (And Yoda will finally let me out of the swamp.)

    So, to my fellow software developing copywriter wannabe compadre --don't listen to the naysayers. Technical writers can make a killing -- especially medical writers. But, if your heart is set on advertising and copywriting -- go for it!

    (BTW, I do predict that in 5 years C++ coders will be where COBOL coders were 10 years ago -- charging $85+/hour. Because no one is learning C++ anymore and there are a lot of legacy systems running critical systems that will need maintenance.)
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  • Matt - very valid points! Perhaps I should have said more that while being a programmer with perfect English won't qualify you as a copywriter, the two aren't mutually exclusive either.

    And you're completely right about Scientific Advertising being a perfect example of how statistics play into direct marketing!

    However (and this is speaking from *some* experience - I do know PHP, HTML, CSS & how to develop for MySQL, so while I will not call myself a programmer because that would be completely insulting to you guys (my father was a programmer, I know I'm just a script kiddie ) I do have some experience working on similarly oriented tasks) - the part of my brain that thoroughly enjoys proofreading, writing academic papers, and coding a dynamic page in PHP - it is often different from the parts of my brain that are activated while I'm writing copy.

    When it comes to testing copy, formatting the page for web publishing, etc - which is a creative task as well, the formatting - I am completely in my left-brain world, as I am when working with code, proofreading, or writing an academic paper. I'm in my glory, because I'm largely a left-brain dominant person.

    And when I'm working on fiction (because every good writer should keep their fiction pencil sharpened, too!), I'm completely in my right-brain world, getting down and dirty with the creatives.

    When I'm writing copy, however, I notice it is a whole brain task (that isn't to say that other people aren't using their whole brains, LOL) - you have to use your left brain, the analytical, calculating side to research, format, and consciously remember details about the product, and some of the "rules" and "formulas" that exist in copywriting (like a headline *usually* being a necessity, for example.)

    But you have to connect those ideas to the right brain creative side (the part of my brain that would be covered in flowers and polka dots, if one could decorate their brain...) to write good copy, because you have to come up with ideas on how to present the product, how to transform a feature into a benefit, how to appeal best to the target market, etc.

    So I will revise my original answer - I won't say it can't be done. The more I think about it, the more I see that I'm an example of DOING IT. University level English (101 & 102 with honors), coding background, logical and analytical mind, rockin it with the copywriting. In fact, the bent sense of humor that most of our kind have does come in handy as a copywriter.

    But it isn't easy. And believe it or not, I enjoy doing articles, blog posts, content, and technical writing MORE than writing copy sometimes - because it utilizes the side of my brain I'm most comfortable with.

    I still get great results for my clients, and enjoy being a copywriter. But some days I just want to sit down in front of a puzzle and spend the afternoon solving it, instead - you know what I mean?

    Feel free to hit me up for a chat some time if you like, I'd love to help.

    - Cherilyn
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean Banks Bliss
    I've heard... from big money IM folks and big name copywriters... that the rules of grammar MUST be thrown out the window when writing sales copy.

    Go Google "highest converting sales letters". Then study a few and see how many of them adhere to the rules of English grammar.

    The truth is that writing with proper punctuation, and "proper" sentence structure can KILL your copywriting.

    Each word is a thought and each thought is itself an image with a thousand words of mental context defining it. (don't believe me? look up a word in the dictionary. How many definitions does it have? Now add to that all the personal memories, stereotypes, and "personal" meanings that each word can have for you or people like you).

    Sales is about communicating the value of the product in the most effective manner. Grammar exists under the theory that standard rules of English help society to communicate better as a whole. It is there for assistance, it's certainly not mandatory even recommended when trying to convey a message in the most effective manner possible.

    It comes down to this: Each word is an image. A sentence is therefor a series of images, emotions, feelings, value flags. The arrangement of words on the page is not just "information by definition" it's flashes in the readers mind of one emotionally laden image after another. (Similar to the brainwashing scene in A Clockwork Orange). To truly communicate your message of value, you must throw out the grammar nazi and present thoughts, feelings, and images, as a stepping path for the reader.

    ...even down to each word in a sentence being placed in terms of the order of thoughts communicated, instead of the order prescribed by "proper grammar".

    The best sales writing works because it is "conversational" and matches the way people think and speak. The only person I've ever met who thought spoke with proper grammar was my English teacher.

    Conclusion: The rules are guidelines like riverbanks guiding a river. Your writing is a river and it will go wherever it goddamn well pleases! The rules may be set in stone, but over time even the stony banks of the Nile crumble under the flow of writers who know better where they want their writing to go. The English language has always been one of evolution, from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales when every word was spelled however the author thought it sounded; to Shakespeare making up hundreds of words which we still use today.

    Who knows, maybe your rule-breaking writing will be so effective, and common in the future, that it becomes part of the new standard.

    P.S.: The word "copywriting" gets underlined by my computer spell checker. It's "trite" but the fact that our word is not universally recognized as a "word" should tell you something about how important "the rules" are to copywriters.

    P.P.S.: The infamous letter that ran in the Wallstreet Journal for 40-50 years... the 12th sentence begins with "And"... and if I remember correctly that's something a "good writer" would never do. It may be one of the most successful sales letters ever!... but, I'm sure there were some pi$$ed off English teachers that vowed never to buy from it simply out of principal.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by Sean Banks Bliss View Post

      I've heard... from big money IM folks and big name copywriters... that the rules of grammar MUST be thrown out the window when writing sales copy.
      What about pulling up a thread over 4 years old and making a completely off topic post to it... did they tell you anything about that?

      Alex
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      • Profile picture of the author Sean Banks Bliss
        Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

        What about pulling up a thread over 4 years old and making a completely off topic post to it... did they tell you anything about that?

        Alex
        Ha ha, Okay, as you please.

        It is an old thread. But it is not limited to the participants of this discussion. If I found it, there are probably thousands of others who see it as well.

        As I learn reading these threads, so do they. Plus the value of a thread is not limited to the OP. It is a discussion, it continues, and it is followed...

        ...for years.

        Hopefully something I said will be of benefit to at least one person who reads it!

        Hopefully it will ease their journey and add value to their life! Even if just a little peace in a little moment of minor struggle.

        Hopefully some of the people who have faced your cynicism and criticism over the years here on this forum will resist and persist and continue on instead of letting you shut them down.

        You are certainly a valued member of the community with many thanks. I wonder how much greater your balance of benefit could be when the kinder you accepts people like me.

        Thank you for being a Mentor.

        Respectfully, I disagree with your point of view for how a thread should be used.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Oh Alex, you're so cute when you're grumpy...
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  • without doubt- you need to get good...and get some results under your belt.

    the amount you can charge though is wide open.

    from tiny amounts to big pay days.

    it largely depends who you are working with.

    higher quality clients with real businesses mean higher fees.

    of course -you have to deliver the goods!
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  • Profile picture of the author cmthompson22
    You will need to first work on a portfolio. The good paying clients will request to see it before they pay for your services. Also making a nice cover letter or having a resume of other places you have worked, such as working for a newspaper or magazine that will show more experience, can help as well.

    Since you do not have a portfolio, it is time to make one. A portfolio does not have to be full of work that you have been paid for. You can go through and make some of your own work and then show others what you are able to work on. Make up a product and do some copywriting on it. Write out a few articles to show others that you are serious and want to help them out. Starting out without any portfolio is going to be pretty much impossible, at least for the high paying gigs.

    One thing that you can do is work for some of the lower paying jobs. I know that this does not sound appealing, but if you are just starting out on this kind of job and you just plan to do it on the side for now, this is a great way to start. I am a freelance writer and have been doing this as my full time job for almost three years now. I did not have much of a portfolio at first, but I worked for some cheaper projects to get my name out there and to show that I was serious about the craft. Some of those clients have worked with me for long term and pay a lot more now. I can now charge much higher rates and have clients all over, including freelancing sites and big international companies. This is because I started out slow and built up my professional reputation.

    Even though starting out with little pay does not sound like fun, it is going to teach you the steps to making your customers happy. You do not have to do this for very long. Just a few projects with some great reviews, will often be enough to get it on the right track. Do some research on the best prices based on what kind of writing you will do and combine it with how much you think your time is worth. Stick this out and keep looking for some better clients and you will get the jobs that help turn this into a full time job.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Thread is FIVE YEARS OLD! Person who started the thread hasn't been back to the forum in the past five years!

      If I found it, there are probably thousands of others who see it as well.
      They sure do now - because you bumped it with your post. Read old threads and learn from them all you want - but PLEASE don't post in them.
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      • Profile picture of the author satrap
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Thread is FIVE YEARS OLD! Person who started the thread hasn't been back to the forum in the past five years!



        They sure do now - because you bumped it with your post. Read old threads and learn from them all you want - but PLEASE don't post in them.
        Why not?

        You just did it!

        If there is valuable evergreen information in it that can help somebody, why not bring it back to life.
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  • Profile picture of the author Testos
    I love the idea of going to clickbank and contacting the sellers to offer to edit their sales copy.

    But when I go to clickbank and see something that I could work on, there's no way to contact the seller. How do I do that?
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    • Profile picture of the author TJoseph
      Originally Posted by Testos View Post

      I love the idea of going to clickbank and contacting the sellers to offer to edit their sales copy.

      But when I go to clickbank and see something that I could work on, there's no way to contact the seller. How do I do that?
      Go to their website/sales page, search for their 'Contact Us' section, grab their email address and send them your loving.

      Or

      Expand your horizons just a little bit. Clickbank isn't the only place with people who're looking to have their copy improved

      -TJoseph
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      • Profile picture of the author Testos
        Originally Posted by TJoseph View Post


        Expand your horizons just a little bit. Clickbank isn't the only place with people who're looking to have their copy improved

        -TJoseph
        Yeah, I'll go elsewhere. I contacted 30 folks off clickbank and got no responses, even for pro bono offers. Then I realized that the pages are old, the copyright date at the bottom were 2009, 2012, etc and have not been updated. Most clickbank pages are apparently abandoned and very few are up to date.
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        • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
          Originally Posted by Testos View Post

          Yeah, I'll go elsewhere. I contacted 30 folks off clickbank and got no responses, even for pro bono offers. Then I realized that the pages are old, the copyright date at the bottom were 2009, 2012, etc and have not been updated. Most clickbank pages are apparently abandoned and very few are up to date.
          Good lesson for up-and-comers:

          1) no one owes you a response just because you put yourself out there, even if you offer something for free

          2) if there's no response and you get through your first couple hundred attempts, the problem is your pitch
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  • I don't mean to be rude but...

    ... What's your basis for calling yourself a good copywriter?

    It's certainly not evident from the writing in your post...
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