On the trail to becoming a high paid in-demand copywriter...

by gjabiz
32 replies
Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

Copywriting as a Biz-Op? I thought they were crazy, hated the idea.

But now, 20 years later, the Biz-Op of Writing Copy from any beach in the world on a yellow legal pad, has spawned untold fortunes for the merchants selling the tools to the miners.

This post was spurred on by a recent event...an OVER whleming response to an offer I thought only a couple of people would be interested in...little did I count on the great job the Copy as Biz-Op crowd has done.

So, let me make a couple of points to you wannabe copywriters.

The direct response industry still uses copy, for direct mail, newspaper, magazine, TV, radio and Internet campaigns. This is a market, it seems, most of you are having trouble breaking into.

It appears you have been trained or taught to look for small companies or individuals who hire you but have not been shown how to approach those people who would actually provide you with the work you seek, on an on-going and continuous basis, as long as your copy produced results.

There is another huge market, along the trail to Independent Freelance Copywriter...for good writers, but copy writers seem to do very well...

in the Corporate Training Area.

They reportedly spend more than Hollywood on Production...and every video needs a script, or rather, someone to write the script. There is not a union or a scale, but you will find that it is a high pay writing job, IF you can do it.

Direct Response.
Corporate Training.
Internet.
Local advertising.

Any one of which could be your E-ticket ride in the Disney Land of copywriting.

And my amazement comes from how so many people have spent so much money on learning how to become copywriters who can't market themselves.

What's up with that? Are you not skilled wordsmiths? Did they not teach you copywriting is salesmanship in print?

Thousands of dollars, some of you have spent, and like the lost cowboy on the trail to El Dorado, haven't got a clue or else have so believed the campfire stories of yellow pads and beaches, you go searching for the lost treasure while skipping over unpolished nuggets at your feet.

I again urge you to read Conwell's Acres of Diamonds.

IF you teach copywriting, why not make sure your students get work? I don't know all of you or what you offer, I believe Vin Montello puts his students to work, but, I don't get these people, for example, AWAI, who have a Job Board (don't they?)...for their students.

IF I ever take on students again, they are going to have work waiting, which they can get paid for.

So, this is probably the wrong crowd, considering there are so many successful copywriters here, but,

BUT, has the Biz-Op of Copywriting devolved into the monster quick sand pit that so much of Biz-Op has become?

Yes, I know, you can't do it for them. But if a student follows your directions and walks down your path to freelancing success, make sure it isn't a cliff at the end where, like Butch and Sundance, they have to leap off of.

There is PLENTY of work out there, learn to market yourself, try using your skills you were taught...write copy to get copy writing work, eh?

gjabiz
#copywriter #high #indemand #paid #trail
  • Profile picture of the author DougHughes
    Good points Gjabiz.

    El Dorado is out there but no one says you may have to go the Via Dolorosa to get there

    It seems to me that one of the problems is that copy is very hyped up in this forum and among many in this community.

    Of course, DR copy can be an effective tool in a businesses arsenal but it is still only one aspect.

    A copywriter, promoting other peoples products is still a service provider. A working-stiff trading time for money.

    If you're looking for a glamorous career try acting.

    I enjoy what I do. Strategizing campaigns and getting results is immensely rewarding. Still, I would consider this far from glamorous.

    Much (if not most) of your time is spent alone. There are mountains of reading and research involved. Very often the best elements of your copy are chopped by legal, Principals/CDs/MMs and other stakeholders who believe their ideas are better (sometimes they are).

    Approvals can take forever. Expect a lot of meetings/phone calls/unfounded opinions.

    Where am I taking this? After reviewing many of the posts of people wondering how/where to find work one thing that stands out is an attitude of arrogance. They have been buying courses and listening to copy "gurus" and have misinterpreted "being the expert."

    They attempt to communicate "being an expert" in their positioning as it relates to finding work, but because many lack real world experience it comes off as arrogance and overconfidence (when it is really masking a lack of confidence).

    What this translates to (at least from what I gather looking at many of the posts) is a lack of professionalism and maturity I would expect from a true professional marketing their services.

    Relating this back to winning good clients and earning fair wages. Those clients are professionals. They are spending real money on campaigns and while it may be fun and exciting, is NOT a game. When people lose they are losing real money and their ass is on the line.

    I am no one anyway, but if I were just starting my business as a freelance copywriter I would tone-down the hype and try to think about what it is exactly that clients are looking for and communicate this message to them right-sized in a professional manner.

    Once I had figured out how to do that, I would go about doing it through whatever channel (email/calls/direct mail/networking events/display/PPC,etc...) I needed to find the clients I was looking for and who would benefit from my services.

    But again, I am no one special and this is just my opinion.
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    • Profile picture of the author Zodiax
      But, how can you get work if you give up midway when trying to look for it?
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      • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
        Originally Posted by Zodiax View Post

        But, how can you get work if you give up midway when trying to look for it?
        Better to go past midway, go to at least 95% so you will at least see what you missed out on, and maybe, for the next or next time, there will be a finish line.

        Giving up doesn't work, at least in nothing I know of re: personal goals.

        Again, HUH?

        gjabiz
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    • Profile picture of the author splitTest
      Originally Posted by DougHughes View Post

      It seems to me that one of the problems is that copy is very hyped up in this forum and among many in this community.
      Great post. And nice to see that I'm not alone in this opinion.

      "Need $20,000? Write a few letters!" says AIWA, even as the average U.S. salary for staff copywriters is about $65k per year.
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      • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
        Originally Posted by splitTest View Post

        Great post. And nice to see that I'm not alone in this opinion.

        "Need $20,000? Write a few letters!" says AIWA, even as the average U.S. salary for staff copywriters is about $65k per year.
        I have no "dog in the hunt."

        But, I can tell you... You aren't following the AWAI logic....

        AWAI over... and over... and over states "Staff Copywriting" is not an ideal or even desirable "job." They are very clear about how little "Staff Copywriters" make... They discourage "Staff Copywriting" at every turn.... in their training.

        Instead, they advocate starting your own business....

        As for the training, one needs to spend the blood, sweat and tears to go through it and really learn... It takes several weeks to go through the material and more importantly actually do all the exercises....

        This is NOT a course for the "typical IMer" wanting to watch hundreds of hours of videos or read thousands of pages... and do nothing.

        In the end, I couldn't imagine an aspiring Copywriter going through AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting and not feeling like it was worthwhile....
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by DougHughes View Post


      It seems to me that one of the problems is that copy is very hyped up in this forum and among many in this community.
      It's not a problem... it's a fact of life. Niches go through stages, and the stage the MMO niche is in requires hypey copy to make sales.

      Don't like it?

      Oh well.

      If you want to sell in the niche, you gotta meet the buyers where they're at.

      Alex
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      • Profile picture of the author DougHughes
        Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

        It's not a problem... it's a fact of life. Niches go through stages, and the stage the MMO niche is in requires hypey copy to make sales.

        Don't like it?

        Oh well.

        If you want to sell in the niche, you gotta meet the buyers where they're at.

        Alex
        Apparently you misread what I wrote Alex. As far as I can tell the original post:

        "On the trail to becoming a high paid in-demand copywriter..."

        has to do with getting copy clients and copy as a career.

        Notice I said "copy" not "the copy" which in the context of the discussion referred to the value of copy and place of a copywriter in an organization and as a profession.

        I don't disagree with you that hype can and does work for certain verticals such as MMO, certain bizop, etc...

        But I would still argue a strong concept credibly represented with clarity, specificity, and proof will generally outperform hype; provided...as you state it "meets prospects where they are".
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

    There is PLENTY of work out there, learn to market yourself, try using your skills you were taught...write copy to get copy writing work, eh?
    Yep.

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Gordon, let me ask you a serious question.

    If you were advising an up and comer, what path would you recommend he/she take? Especially in light of various Social Media traffic platform's aversion to direct response tactics and language.

    For instance, this blog post can be applied to several social media traffic platforms I am aware of:

    The Problem with Facebook Ads | Factor X Marketing


    In other words, it would seem these days the quickest path up the "get paid" mountain is to go with the flow and do content marketing or write for social media marketing. (I don't particular enjoy it, unless there's a hefty dose of selling.)

    What say you? Or am I asking the wrong question.

    - Rick Duris
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    • Profile picture of the author IDoTheLegWork
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      For instance, this blog post can be applied to several social media traffic platforms I am aware of:

      The Problem with Facebook Ads | Factor X Marketing
      Do you think this signals a broader shift in copy writing?
      Should we now study the classics not just for a solid
      foundation in the fundamental principles, but also for
      tone and structure?

      I ask this because IMO the classics are much more
      grounded, much less fantastic, and much lower key
      than the copy I see today. Have we reached a point
      where hitting the consumer in the face harder is no
      longer the most effective way to break the shields of
      sophistication? a point where "old school" will not
      be stale or passe but rather be a way to fly under the
      defensive radar?
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      For instance, this blog post can be applied to several social media traffic platforms I am aware of:

      The Problem with Facebook Ads | Factor X Marketing
      I read the article and I think that his prediction is right. FB will go through the
      same evolution as Adwords. But I don't agree that the reason is that these
      platforms don't like hype. It's more that direct marketing style advertising
      has always been looked down upon as "second class" in the advertising
      world EVEN though direct marketers are some of the most effective,
      if not the most effective (ROI), in advertising.

      "Decent" companies always want the copy "toned down" because you
      may offend them--not the customer--the company. Many people don't consider
      DM style advertising as fit to attend the opera.

      (I know I'm going to get corrected on my definition of direct marketing
      but I'm looking at it versus "image" or "brand marketing.")

      Of course some advertisers can go overboard in their promises but
      to evaluate whole industry by a few bad apples is never fair.

      The biggest example of HYPE is the promises made by lovers:

      -I'll swim the deepest oceans
      -I can't live without you
      -You're the most beautiful women I've ever ...

      But who is measuring. Well, some measurers say 50% end up in
      divorce courts. But nobody is banning love songs--especially FB.

      -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      Gordon, let me ask you a serious question.

      If you were advising an up and comer, what path would you recommend he/she take? Especially in light of various Social Media traffic platform's aversion to direct response tactics and language.

      For instance, this blog post can be applied to several social media traffic platforms I am aware of:

      The Problem with Facebook Ads | Factor X Marketing


      In other words, it would seem these days the quickest path up the "get paid" mountain is to go with the flow and do content marketing or write for social media marketing. (I don't particular enjoy it, unless there's a hefty dose of selling.)

      What say you? Or am I asking the wrong question.

      - Rick Duris
      to their own self created problems.

      I don't know, but what I would advise my copy cubs is to be very clear on what your personal objective is. There are those who want the fastest, easiest and lowest hanging fruit and they believe there will always be work because (a direct quote from one guy)..."people are stupid will believe anything."

      So there is that. Just recently in downtown Cuyahoga Falls a couple of Bernie Madoff and Jordon Belfort types set up shop. Selling supplements.

      Seems to be the one area for quick and easy money, but because it is so lucrative to have the "cure for cancer THEY don't want you to know about" could also make one Kevin Trudeau's cell mate. YIKES!!

      My opinion is...the article is right on the money, but Direct Response has almost always been known as the snake oil salesman, and come to think of it, so have salesmen in general earned a reputation which turns off many.

      But, to answer your question, I think there are guys out there who get social media and the more subtle aspects, once again, I refer to Blair Warren
      who seems to get the human "addictions" and are using more Cialdin esque technique, with the emphasis on social proof.

      Facebook serves me ads aimed at a 17 year old pregnant girl, because that is what I search for and similar things just to see what they are doing.

      As it stands now, the hypesters are on thin ice, although not yet endangered.

      There will always be a market for them, but, one which I will try to dissuade any student I would take on from entering that dirty scummy lake of the Internet.

      But when it comes to fast and easy money, I don't know, but I think there might be a whole syndicate out there somewhere doing this. Which is why I watch Boardwalk Empire, the story of the greatest con men ever...the Prohibitionists and the Bootleggers...."just filling the demand" said Al Capone.

      gjabiz

      PS. I have a fun facebook game. If an ad follows me around, then I hit the link, fill up the shopping cart and abandon. I wonder if tens of thousands of people did this, what sort of platform would facebook have for their advertisers? Just wondering. Sort of like Arlo Guthrie in Alice's Restaurant.
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      • Profile picture of the author Zodiax
        Well, if you put in the work of becoming good at copywriting, and persist in finding clients, I don't think commanding thousands of dollars for writing is so far from the truth.

        I mean, it may take five years to get to that point of skill, but it is realistic.

        I just think the majority of these people go in thinking that they are going to make big money right off the bat with no work.

        I mean, anything can be a biz-opp now.

        I think there is a life coach biz opp that claims you can make 30 grand a month coaching on vacation.

        Maybe you can learn to tune pianos and make $20,000 tuning a few pianos.

        Anything can be a biz opp nowadays.
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        • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
          Originally Posted by Zodiax View Post

          Well, if you put in the work of becoming good at copywriting, and persist in finding clients, I don't think commanding thousands of dollars for writing is so far from the truth.

          I mean, it may take five years to get to that point of skill, but it is realistic.

          I just think the majority of these people go in thinking that they are going to make big money right off the bat with no work.

          I mean, anything can be a biz-opp now.

          I think there is a life coach biz opp that claims you can make 30 grand a month coaching on vacation.

          Maybe you can learn to tune pianos and make $20,000 tuning a few pianos.

          Anything can be a biz opp nowadays.
          I'll accept the fact you have limited knowledge on the subject so with that in mind, I'll give you a brief education.

          Doing anything for money does not make it a Biz-Op. A business opportunity is where there is a promoted way, a system, a business or whatever which will make you money. You will find these in publications like Business Opportunity Magazine, Entrepreneur, Success Magazine, etc.

          They are a highly regulated industry. The FTC has spent a lot of time on this industry. Including franchises.

          Biz-Op is a category, you can buy lists of people who are this list. A guy who makes money keeping bees in his back 40 is not. Unless he starts selling a system on How to Do It for Profit and starts waving thousand dollar bills under people's noses, he isn't doing a Biz-Op.

          Copywriting, has in MY opinion, fallen into the Biz-Op category, I think a list of AWAI students would probably receive other offers, in particular WRITING opportunities which is a field that has had its share of Biz-Op problems over the years.

          gjabiz
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          • Profile picture of the author splitTest
            Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

            Copywriting, has in MY opinion, fallen into the Biz-Op category.
            yep. Many, many people "selling the shovels" these days, all too often by shoveling b.s.
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        • Profile picture of the author splitTest
          Originally Posted by Zodiax View Post

          Well, if you put in the work of becoming good at copywriting, and persist in finding clients, I don't think commanding thousands of dollars for writing is so far from the truth.

          I mean, it may take five years to get to that point of skill, but it is realistic
          Not saying you're wrong, but unless you've gotten there yourself (or personally know someone who has), you're just parroting stuff you read on the internet.

          Don't forget -- self-aggrandizement and painting pretty pictures is a big part of the freelance copywriting game, for obvious reasons. That fact -- along with sooo many people "selling the dream" these days -- makes it hard to get a realistic picture of the industry.
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          • Profile picture of the author Zodiax
            Originally Posted by splitTest View Post

            Not saying you're wrong, but unless you've gotten there yourself (or personally know someone who has), you're just parroting stuff you read on the internet.

            Don't forget -- self-aggrandizement and painting pretty pictures is a big part of the freelance copywriting game, for obvious reasons. That fact -- along with sooo many people "selling the dream" these days -- makes it hard to get a realistic picture of the industry.
            I guess it's a matter of me following the golden rule that I have heard countless times throughout my entire life -- the moment you give up you fail.
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            • Profile picture of the author splitTest
              Originally Posted by Zodiax View Post

              I guess it's a matter of me following the golden rule that I have heard countless times throughout my entire life -- the moment you give up you fail.
              Good! Never give up.
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      • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
        Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

        I have a fun facebook game. If an ad follows me around, then I hit the link, fill up the shopping cart and abandon. I wonder if tens of thousands of people did this, what sort of platform would facebook have for their advertisers? Just wondering. Sort of like Arlo Guthrie in Alice's Restaurant.
        Gordon, you have way too much time on your hands.

        Product research for Pregnant 17-year olds? TMI

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        • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
          Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

          Gordon, you have way too much time on your hands.

          Product research for Pregnant 17-year olds? TMI
          ...back in 1969 was:

          Garbage IN-Garbage Out.

          I was warned then, there would be a day (it has arrived) when we would be nothing more than data. Facebook shows how accurate the matrix concept is...

          Decisions made by computers based on data, are now one of the dominant concerns of advertisers/marketers.

          Vance Packard got run out of town by Rosser Reeves and David Oglivy, who both wrote scathing rebuttals to "Hidden Persuaders" and although it was a "Pop" written book, for poor Vance needed the money, it still contains more accurate predictions than either of the marketing superstars of their day.

          WE ARE DATA. One either takes control of it and manipulates it before it has a chance to manipulate you, or not. Doesn't matter but thanks to the Reeves and Oglivys of the world and their corporate clients...we have a huge mess on our hands.

          We should have paid a little bit more attention to Packard, albeit, as pop culture as he was.

          Too much time on my hands? Never, not enough time in my day to DO what I want to do as it is, and being a 17 year old pregnant girl, a menopausal woman, a retired old man...well, I consider it research and an eye on what the Matrix is doing so I don't get flushed out the tubes. A few minutes a day is a good use of my time...

          with the possible exception of the WF, that is more "hobby time" since I don't golf any more.

          gjabiz
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          • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
            Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

            Too much time on my hands? Never, not enough time in my day to DO what I want to do as it is, and being a 17 year old pregnant girl, a menopausal woman, a retired old black man...well, I consider it research and an eye on what the Matrix is doing so I don't get flushed out the tubes. A few minutes a day is a good use of my time...

            with the possible exception of the WF, that is more "hobby time" since I don't golf any more.

            gjabiz
            This may give you some insight then, if that's the kind of research you want to do:




            Guaranteed, FB's algorithm has probably changed since then, but that's the general direction.

            PS: If you want to know how to do clean research in persona silos where you don't get overlap between personas that inevitably leads to the garbage in/out phenomena, let me know.

            It takes effort and a little money, but when Google and the social media websites process your demographic and psycho-graphic data and do behavioral targeting, you really do look like a 17-year old pregnant girl or whoever it is you want to impersonate that day. (Not a 65-year old guy with multiple personality disorder.

            And you're right, it's fascinating what you get served up for ads.

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            • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
              Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

              This may give you some insight then, if that's the kind of research you want to do:




              Guaranteed, FB's algorithm has probably changed since then, but that's the general direction.

              PS: If you want to know how to do clean research in persona silos where you don't get overlap between personas that inevitably leads to the garbage in/out phenomena, let me know.

              It takes effort and a little money, but when Google and the social media websites process your demographic and psycho-graphic data and do behavioral targeting, you really do look like a 17-year old pregnant girl or whoever it is you want to impersonate that day. (Not a 65-year old guy with multiple personality disorder.

              And you're right, it's fascinating what you get served up for ads.
              YES, I'm interested would love to know more.

              What I am about to tell you is true, although most won't believe it.

              There is a group. let's call them Nutjobs. They are conspiracy guys, they believe that Google, Facebook, in fact the whole www is a giant funnel, and at the bottom of the funnel are top secret gov't sites where data is stored. There is submarine like redundancy with this data.

              They believe the US Gov't staged the Lunar Landing and the man on the moon was a cover story for a far more nefarious project.

              At about the same time as excitement was building for the lunar launch, every branch of the service had a change, from Military ID numbers to Social Security numbers, which meant, to the Nutjobs, that the US would begin a massive tracking and spying campaign on every citizen because SS numbers were going to be assigned at birth (back then you had to register for one). It is clearly stated on the card that it is NOT to be used for identification, but, that is the main purpose today.

              OK, what does this have to do with copywriting?

              A personal emotional appeal made to a target of believers is one of the most powerful weapons of influence YOU (as a copywriter) could make.

              Any examples? Sure, tons. One has been posted here already.

              Frank Bates, or Alan Baler. The guy behind the Food 4 Patriots incredible growth and recent scrutiny by the alaphabets, FTC. FDA. ABC-LBJ IRT LSD sort of thing.

              Using SUPERIOR COPY, the modern "Hidden Persuader" kind, that Rosser Reeves and David Ogilvy snubbed, he built a 20 million dollar a year business in a few years, by

              RESONATING with his TARGET MARKET, including (but not limited to) the Nutjobs.

              Find a niche you are taught.

              Scare it, shame it, frighten it...but most important resonate with it.
              Emotionally.
              Play on the harp of their soul, not on the brain piano of their mind.

              And this is where Social Media, and Google et al, come into play. Fortunes are being made by copywriters who understand how a LIKE is an endorsement, and that sheer numbers have always been the bread and butter of the copywriter, and when coupled with a vibrating chord...

              you will never be out of work .

              gjabiz

              PS. Look in the mirror, what is the data you are looking at?

              Rambling done, point in general, new copywriters should have a broad understanding of emotions, persuasion and plucking heart strings.
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  • Profile picture of the author IDoTheLegWork
    Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

    IF you teach copywriting, why not make sure your students get work? I don't know all of you or what you offer, I believe Vin Montello puts his students to work, but, I don't get these people, for example, AWAI, who have a Job Board (don't they?)...for their students.
    I am not clear what you mean by this. Are you saying
    AWAI leaves their students out to dry? Is it AWAI, the
    people on this board, or Vin Montello that are "these
    guys" you don't get?
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    • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
      Originally Posted by IDoTheLegWork View Post

      I am not clear what you mean by this. Are you saying
      AWAI leaves their students out to dry? Is it AWAI, the
      people on this board, or Vin Montello that are "these
      guys" you don't get?
      OK, good call. What I mean is there are hundreds of people who have taken the AWAI course (but they represent the industry), and perhaps the number is into the thousands. They have the titans and old school masters and from what I read, some pretty big promises about helping you find work, with some sort of job board.

      So, why don't their students and grads, use their job board to get work? I don't know. I get Vin Montello, and he comes from a field of collaboration. Writers for TV are not the lonely guys the novelist and Movie writer may be, that is, locked away in a cave staring at a blank piece of paper.

      They bounce ideas off each other, assist and help. My understanding, but without first hand knowledge is, he does the same thing with his copy students. But again, I don't really know.

      Then there are the guys on this forum who charge for teaching copy and offer a curriculum an apparent step by step system to take you the newb to a place where you can get 3,000 to 5,000 for your copy work...but do they? I can only go by the number of people who contacted me recently, some with very impressive resumes of what they have learned, and they are the THEY I don't get.

      What was/is lacking in their education? As a former Job Coach/Job Developer I taught people how to do their jobs so they wouldn't have to depend on anyone else, me included, to find gainful and sometimes even satisfying work.

      So, sorry about the confusion, I do not understand the "Schooling" so many copywriters are receiving today. It sort of reminds me of those "pastors" with their divinity degrees from a mill factory. Much like a certified resume specialist, which always makes me laugh out loud.

      Work. Pay. Moolah. Fungaloas. And satisfaction getting lots of it...is a good goal for the Professors of Copy to be teaching.

      gjabiz

      PS. Which is why my recent guarantee of a decent income was so overwhelming to me, I thought they (most who responded) were doing better based on what they post on this forum, See?
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  • My ears were buzzing so I thought I'd jump in to clarify.

    My students are often given the rare opportunity to interface with ongoing group projects. They first may be asked to find specific research. Then they get to act as flies on the wall, watching and learning the process. Finally, when they're ready they are asked to interact.

    "What would you do here?"
    "We are trying to convey X. Give me your ideas on how to accomplish that."
    "Based on what you know, why do I have a problem with this specific line?"

    Things like that.

    Once a student "graduates" to the point where I think they're ready to get hands on, I will send clients their way with the knowledge that I will do a lot of hand holding. It is their project. I'm just continuing on as the teacher, while also "chiefing" their work. IMO this is some of the best training anyone can get. Roll up your damn sleeves and impress me.

    Then... after all that... I give the best of the best the opportunity to work on the team, collaborating with me on projects.

    The above is all fluid. Some students come to me already established as copywriters. They obviously move to the more advanced stuff very quickly. Some are already booked up months in advance when they get to me, and don't have time for these sessions. That's cool too.

    Either way, while they're with me, we still collaborate in some way, even if it's just them running all their copy by me before turning it in to clients. It's this collaboration, I think, that makes all the difference.

    There you have it. I wanted to make sure no one went away with the impression that my mentoring/coaching is a job placement arrangement. It's a little different than that.
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    • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
      Thanks.

      Yes, there are levels of students, some come armed with knowledge or writing skills, others, probably the kind I'm referring to when I say a Biz-Op who see it as a way to make money because after all, HOW hard can it be? (Due to some well written promotions).

      But from what you described, I think you do more than most of the people here teaching copy, and right on, it is not the teacher's part to find them work either, but any teacher should teach the student how to do it. Then, it is up to them.

      I was surprised when I rec'd so many requests for an opportunity to write for people who would want me to write for them, and I just don't want to anymore. Some of these people elaborated on their copy education, from this guy, that one and from AWAI and the such, and I was wondering about the training rec'd.

      Hey, lots of people with MBA's from Ivy League working way below their levels.

      The big point I want to make is there is WORK out there, but, unless you are established and known, it is a job hunt, a job search but a copywriter should be skilled in writing proposals to get the jobs.

      Reading some of the proposals I read recently, led me to believe there are a lot of so-called copywriters who have a superficial knowledge of the craft, but, that may be all it takes today. I don't know.

      Still, thanks Vin for sharing your method, I think it is a great one.

      gjabiz
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyPlan
    What amazes me is how new 'writers' will put up those $5.00 services and imagine they are building a real career. Those one off clients will never be repeat customers, even if they come back as they belong to the site not you. For this reason, I'd suggest building a list of your potential and current copy-writing clients as those people will help you build solid income versus one off sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
    Rich, are you wearing a white tie, or are you a priest? Father Copywriter. Could work.
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    • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
      Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

      Rich, are you wearing a white tie, or are you a priest? Father Copywriter. Could work.
      I'm wearing a white tie.... for my wedding....

      Although, Father Copywriter would work well in certain Markets....

      Bless you, my son....... :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

    I read the article and I think that his prediction is right. FB will go through the
    same evolution as Adwords. But I don't agree that the reason is that these
    platforms don't like hype. It's more that direct marketing style advertising
    has always been looked down upon as "second class" in the advertising
    world EVEN though direct marketers are some of the most effective,
    if not the most effective (ROI), in advertising.

    "Decent" companies always want the copy "toned down" because you
    may offend them--not the customer--the company. Many people don't consider
    DM style advertising as fit to attend the opera.
    I agree with this.

    Over the past few years, I've targeted direct marketing companies almost exclusively and encouraged students to do the same. They get it, and they're willing to pay for it. Their goal isn't to appeal to the masses and sell a shitload of advertising, so they aren't as hype-adverse as Google or Facebook.

    Adwords, for example, has gotten downright ridiculous about their restrictions about what you can and can't say. They all but force you to market yourself as another "me too" commodity if you even want to advertise with them. I have a great PPC guy who wants to trade services with me right now, but the hoops Google is asking me to jump through have me wondering if it's worth it to even mess with them.

    As Facebook becomes more popular, they'll go the same way.

    Meanwhile, the underground direct response biz is humming along just as it always has...and since few copywriters have the balls to do what it takes to reach those guys (aka, send direct mailers, get on the phone to follow up and do in person meetings), the competition is almost non-existent.

    This topic has come up a few times on this forum, and yet most of the copywriters who contact me asking for help are unwlling to do anything but email marketing, Elance, WF, Craig's list and a few other low-budget fishing holes. And they wonder why they're not making the big money they hear about.

    Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

    The direct response industry still uses copy, for direct mail, newspaper, magazine, TV, radio and Internet campaigns. This is a market, it seems, most of you are having trouble breaking into.

    It appears you have been trained or taught to look for small companies or individuals who hire you but have not been shown how to approach those people who would actually provide you with the work you seek, on an on-going and continuous basis, as long as your copy produced results.

    There is another huge market, along the trail to Independent Freelance Copywriter...for good writers, but copy writers seem to do very well...

    in the Corporate Training Area.

    They reportedly spend more than Hollywood on Production...and every video needs a script, or rather, someone to write the script. There is not a union or a scale, but you will find that it is a high pay writing job, IF you can do it.

    Direct Response.
    Corporate Training.
    Internet.
    Local advertising.

    Any one of which could be your E-ticket ride in the Disney Land of copywriting.

    And my amazement comes from how so many people have spent so much money on learning how to become copywriters who can't market themselves.
    I believe "won't" applies more often than "can't." There's a pervasive set of beliefs spreading around like a entrepreneurial swine flu, all based on one of the following assumptions:
    1. That "Traditional" Advertising is Dying
    2. That Phone Prospecting Lowers Your Perceived Value
    3. That Email Marketing is Better than Direct Mail Because it's "FREE"
    4. That Copywriting is Something You Do At Home in Your Pajamas

    I'm convinced that these limiting beliefs are a bigger obstacle than a lack of skill. Skills can be developed, but first, you have to go where they CAN be developed, and where they'll be recognized and rewarded.

    Frankly, I'm okay with this. It makes less competition for the rest of us. But it's still mind-boggling, when someone asks "where all the high-paying clients" are, yet they don't want to face the facts about what it takes to reach them and to become good enough to work with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author EricRand
    Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

    There is PLENTY of work out there, learn to market yourself, try using your skills you were taught...write copy to get copy writing work, eh?

    gjabiz
    A bit of the, "Physician, heal thyself..." routine.

    If you can turn a profit with your copy, the proof is the solution.

    Eric Rand
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    • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
      Originally Posted by EricRand View Post

      A bit of the, "Physician, heal thyself..." routine.

      If you can turn a profit with your copy, the proof is the solution.

      Eric Rand

      YOU da man Eric. Keep it coming.

      gjabiz
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