I Quit My Day Job and Will Pursue Copywriting Full Time!

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Okay, admittedly, this is an excuse post. Where have I been for the last month and a half? Did I give up on copywriting?

No! Actually, I have been in the process of moving and settling in to my new home. This has put a strain on my copywriting studies to be sure. It has also forced me to quit my day job due to the added commute.

Interestingly, I have had less time to study copywriting since I left my day job. I used to leave for work early each day and steal away 10 minutes of study time while sitting in the parking lot prior to work. Since moving, I have been fully engaged in putting my house in order and have found little time for studies. Recently, having my house mostly in order, I found myself at a crossroads.

Do I find another job, or do I dedicate myself to the full time study of copywriting?

After much prayer and contemplation, and with the encouragement of my husband, I have decided to pursue copywriting full time.

I have just a few loose ends to tie up first. Namely, a two week trip to California to visit my parents (now that doesn’t sound too bad). I also have several items that I need to list on Etsy and eBay, which I will continue to do until copywriting replaces my income. In truth, I may continue selling on Etsy anyway just because I enjoy it.

I am still in the process of reading Secrets of a Freelance Writer: How to Make $100,000 a Year or More. While you may think I am a slow reader, I like to think of my progress like the tortoise and the hare: slow and steady. Or as my husband says: baby steps.

For now, I am content with this.

Bob Bly Gave Me an A+ On the Copywriter’s Motivating Sequence

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As you are all probably aware, I am an avid fan of Bob Bly.

In a recent email newsletter, Bly was discussing the necessity of understanding the fundamentals of copywriting if you want to pursue content marketing.

He wrote:

“One of those many formulas that copywriters master through long
years of study and practice is the 5-step Motivating Sequence.

Content writers: have you heard of it? Can you name all 5 steps
in the correct order? If not, I guarantee your writing does not
sell nearly as well as it could.”

After studying and memorizing portions of his book, The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Copy that Sells, I was able to name off the 5 steps in order – from memory.

I shot him an email naming the 5 steps in order (he likes feedback).

He responded:

A+ 

If you are curious about the 5 step motivating sequence it is in chapter four of the previously named book.

It is available on Amazon.com!

I just used the sequence to revamp one of my listings on Etsy. Check it out here! I look forward to seeing if it will get any results. I may have to make a few more changes.

Taking Personal Inventory to Create a Copywriting Portfolio: No Experience Necessary

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According to Robert (Bob) Bly, novice writers who are trying to break into a lucrative copywriting career need to take inventory of their previous writing experience (or else create some).

He asserts that almost everyone (who is interested in writing) has written something that can be used in a portfolio (and if they haven’t, they need to get typing) whether they have “copywriting” experience or not.

Based on this advice from Secrets of a Freelance Writer: How to Make a $100,000 or More, I immediately set to work taking personal inventory of my writing experience. I was astonished at the amount of material that could potentially be used in my portfolio.

For example (and in no particular order):

Now, lest you think I am a genius, much of this has been done without a marketing degree or the persuasiveness training (learning the art of copywriting) that I am currently pursuing.

However, I am not satisfied stopping here. I intend, Lord willing, to follow the advice in Bly’s book, Secrets of a Freelance Writer, to gain more experience for my portfolio. In the meantime, I am working on putting the above list together in the format that Bly suggests for best success.

His book is priceless and affordable (and available on Amazon.com).

If I can do it . . . so can you!

How I Am Presently (Like Right Now) Financing my Copywriting Education

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Technically, though without knowledge, I have been engaged in copywriting since May 20, 1999 – and earning a steady profit online since the first month.

Online sales, without a doubt involve copywriting. An appropriate title and careful description are essential for search results as well as customer satisfaction. May 20, 1999 I opened an eBay account, selling mostly vintage type items.

For various reasons, I have moved most of my business to Etsy (which in my opinion is much more seller friendly). Some items are not appropriate for Etsy, so I do use eBay on occasion – and am always thankful for the outlet.

As a hobby I net anywhere from $150 to $500 a month. Not much, but I absolute love shopping for vintage items – and love selling them even more (for a profit of course).

Recently, all my profits have been added to the regular budget, paying for miscellaneous needs. However, I need to finance my copywriting education somehow – so I have decided set aside those profits for that purpose.

My commitment (for now): Use my monthly Etsy profits to support my new habit, which is learning the art of copywriting.

If I never succeed at copywriting, I know what I am learning will improve my sales – that is exciting!

Curious about what I have been selling?

eBay: my*old*hat

Etsy:

  1. Vintageopoly: Miscellaneous vintage
  2. DeNovoChic: Vintage clothing and accessories for women
  3. DeNovoGents: Vintage clothing and accessories for men
  4. GoldenRubies: Fine Jewelry

Do you have a hobby that you could turn into some monthly profit to finance your education?

 

 

 

 

Secrets to Making $100,000 a Year Freelance Copywriting

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Well, I finished the essential portions of Robert Bly’s The Copywriter’s Handbook. It turns out that a large portion of the book is not relevant to my goals in copywriting, at least at this stage in my journey (as I am more interested in freelancing than working for an advertising company). But…the beginning of the book is worth memorizing key points and the rest is great to have for reference sake. See my full comments on the book in my Annotated Reading List page.

So, after skimming through the remainder of the above mentioned book, I decided to contact (once again) Bob Bly and ask him for the next step. He recommended that I read Secrets of a Freelance Writer: How to Make $100,000 a Year or More.

I had a momentary internal struggle as I considered that AWAI (through Writer’s Digest) was offering their Six Figure Copywriting program for an incredible $197.00 (usually $497), and their special offer ended TODAY! However, I know they will offer the discounted rate once again. After all, that is a HUGE part of copywriting… offering great discounts.

So now I wait for my new book to arrive. I decided to pay full price for a brand new copy so that Bob could receive some compensation for his kindness in suggesting a good path. So far I trust the man. He is a great writer and well established in his field. His books are much less expensive than the many offers I receive each day trying to sell their programs.

I also like that Bly’s books are in print and on Amazon. This means that someone has actually published them. Anyway, I love to hold a book in my hand. However, I suspect at some point, I will purchase additional products, including AWAI’s Six Figure Program – but I will bide my time.

For now, I will be content learning Bly’s way to earning $100,000 or more a year. Who knows – maybe it will be all I need.

Mastering the Craft of Copywriting

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One month (and change) later, I am still reading Robert Bly’s The Copywriter’s Handbook. Have I given up? No.

In the introduction to his book, Bly mentions how the Internet has changed (or not changed) copywriting. I will recap (from memory) in my own words.

  • Because human nature remains unchanged, copywriting remains largely unchanged
  • However, people are keener of scam and spam, therefore copy must be intelligent (and honest)
  • In addition, people have shorter attention spans, therefore copy must be concise
  • The amount of information has increased, but knowledge has decreased, therefore copy must be relevant
  • People live in a fast food mentality, therefore copy must promise a quick delivery
  • On the other hand, delivery options have increased, and this is a benefit for the copywriter
  • Copy remains KING

I purposely left out one important detail in this list: the Internet has increased the necessity for the copywriter to master her craft.

This is why I am only half way through Robert Bly’s Copywriter’s Handbook. And able to ramble off this list from memory. [And willing to begin sentences with conjunctions and use sentence fragments.]

I am not memorizing the book word for word, just what I feel is important. Others have shared the futility of approaching copywriting in this way, discovering memorization was not necessary when a checklist would suffice. I intend to make use of both methods.

In all honesty, I have only consistently had minutes at best to study due to commuting and work. However, I have found that driving is a great time for recalling what I read in those few minutes.

What I Learned About Copywriting on Pearl Harbor Day

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So far In my journey to learn copywriting, I have learned many things. Here is what I learned today.

These powerful headline techniques, developed by Michael Masterson, and expounded by Robert Bly in The Copywriter’s Handbook, can dramatically increase readership and response rates, and they can be implemented in a matter of minutes.

Bly calls the technique, “The 4 U’s Formula.”

#1: Urgent. Does the headline stimulate urgency in the reader, make them want to act NOW? Rate it on a scale of 1-4, one being the least urgent, four being very urgent.

#2: Unique. According to Bly, “The powerful headline…says something new…or says something [old]…in a new and fresh way.” Rate your headline 1-4.

#3: Ultra-specific. Does the headline narrow down the topic of the copy in a way that provokes the reader to want to read more? Rate it 1-4.

#4: Useful. Does the headline convey a benefit to the reader? Nothing motivates a person more than their own self-interest. Rate the headline.

Does your headline fall short of a 16 pointer? Don’t despair. Bly says to aim for at least 3 ratings of a 3 or 4 for the successful headline.

Have you begun your journey yet? The Copywriter’s Handbook is available at Amazon in print for under $20.00 or on Kindle for under $10.00. The book is “a step-by step guide to writing copy that sells.”

Can You Learn Everything You Need to Know About Copywriting for Under $20.00?

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The journey begins!

Bob Bly, copywriting Guru, recommended that I begin my copywriting journey not with the $497 AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, but rather with his book, “The Copywriter’s Handbook.” To me this was good advice, and an inexpensive way to get my feet wet. The book is available at Amazon for under $20.00 or get it right now for under $10.00 on Kindle.

I have been a subscriber to Bob’s Direct Response Letter for some time. He regularly gives great advice for free, and often tries to sell one of his products or the product of an affiliate.

I have chosen Bob Bly as my mentor (though he doesn’t actually mentor anyone) because of a recommendation by Gary North. Though Bob does not personally mentor budding copywriters, he will answer short email questions, and he actively solicits feedback from his newsletters. He is a transparent man, which I appreciate.

This is why I sought his advice concerning where I ought to begin in my pursuit of copywriting. I had been ready to take the plunge with AWAI, but thought I should seek the master first.

His book arrived in the mail today: time to get cracking!

Pick up the book now and begin your journey too!

The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly

Kindle Edition: The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly

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