The Copywriter’s Paycheck: Grow Your Biz in 2007

Elizabeth ShortBy Elizabeth Short

We’ve all heard that copywriting is a great way for writers to make extra money. Guess what? It’s true. But first a couple of minor details—how to actually get clients and write copy. Welcome to The Copywriter’s Paycheck! In 2007, I’ll share practical guidelines for building a business along with tips for honing your craft.

Getting Started Tip: Nab your first client—yourself As an aspiring copywriter, it’s easy to get your first client. Just accept the job of writing your own marketing materials. Start with a simple brochure—something that demonstrates your skills and provides contact information (see content tips below). For design and printing, try an independent copy outlet that uses a digital press. They’ll provide basic layout services and can print a small, economical run of your materials. Then, hand out your brochure—with confidence—to every business contact you meet.

Copywriting Tip: Think (a lot) before you write Good copy may look simple on the page, but it’s actually the result of careful planning backed by marketing savvy. Before you begin writing, learn all you can about your client’s business (conduct an interview, read other marketing materials). Then, answer the following questions: What is my client selling? Who is my client selling to? What problems does this market face? How does my client provide solutions? Next, determine what kind of language—soothing, hip, upbeat, serious—your client’s market will respond to. Use this information as a guide throughout the writing process.

Elizabeth Short is a freelance copywriter and graphic designer with a passion for helping small businesses clarify and broadcast unique marketing messages. With a focus on websites and print materials, she brings together content + design in one easy, affordable package (www.write-design.biz). Check out her e-book, 7 Steps to Effective Web Content (www.write-design.biz/e-books.htm) to learn the secrets of writing copy for the web.

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