A Glimpse Into the Highly Lucrative World of Financial Copywriting
There’s an old saying that if you want to make a lot of money in real estate, it comes down to three things: Location, location, and location.
A similar thing can be said with copywriting. If you want to learn how to make money writing, and lot's of it, then it comes down to three things: Financial, financial, and financial.
Copywriters who specialize in writing direct-response long-form sales letters make lots of money. Some make six-figures a year, like Jake Hoffberg who in his first year as a financial copywriter earned $140,000.
Then, there are the top-tier copywriters who make seven-figures. I’m talking about the likes of Clayton Makepeace, Jedd Canty, Mike Palmer, and so on. And you find more of these top dogs writing copy for big players in the industry such as Agora, Inc., which generates over $1 billion annually.
Most of that money comes from the company’s publishing units that sell financial newsletters.
And it’s because these companies earn so much money that they can afford to pay their copywriters handsomely. But what I’ve come to realize over the years is that when it comes to picking this niche as their specialty, many new and upcoming copywriters choose to look the other way.
I suspect that’s because they have some preconceived notions about what it takes to break into financial copywriting. In fact, financial copywriting might just be the most misunderstood niche.
That’s a shame, because as I said earlier, there’s so much money to be made by becoming a financial copywriter. So instead of letting that money sit there, let’s break down a few the most popular misconceptions.
Popular misconception #1: You have to be a number cruncher. Not true at all. Writing about financial investments such as stocks or bonds isn’t about crunching numbers. It’s about telling the reader a story … or offering an idea he hasn’t seen or heard before.
Besides, your job as the copywriter is to sell the financial service which is usually centered around a financial expert who knows how to crunch numbers. If you wind up talking numbers in your sales letter, more likely it’s that expert who provides the numbers.
Popular misconception #2: You have to know something about investing to get started in this niche. Nope, not so. Sure, it helps you have an understanding of investing or have bought some shares of a company’s stock. But everything is learnable. The client you wind up working with is going to help your learning curve. They want you to succeed so it’s in their best interest to help you understand investing and all the terminology involved.
And here again, that financial expert whose product or service you are selling will help you maneuver around the ins and outs of investing. I know this from personal experience.
When I started my career in financial publishing, I couldn’t really tell anything substantial about a mutual fund. But I relied on the financial gurus I was working with to help me grow my knowledge. I wasn’t shy about asking them questions. And they were more than happy to answer every single one.
By the time I retired, I had written several different sales promotions that brought in millions of dollars, was the creative force behind multiple new financial newsletters and trading services, and had two top-selling financial books under my name.
Popular misconception #3: It takes so long to make that kind of money. Wrong again. Writing one strong-selling financial sales letter could easily earn you huge payouts. Financial publishers not only pay freelance copywriters a flat fee to start the project but you earn a royalty as well.
If the copy you write generates $2 million in sales and your royalty is 3%, you get paid an additional $60,000. That’s on top of your flat fee. Write a package that does $5 million and you earn an extra $150,000. And these numbers aren’t pie in the sky either.
These days, it’s not uncommon for a sales letter to pull in those kinds of sales. Publishers have large lists and money to spend on marketing campaigns. Plus, they often price their trading service products anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500 and higher. Doesn’t take too many orders at those prices to generate millions in sales.
Popular misconception #4: They only want well-trained writers. No, no, and no. Writing financial sales copy isn’t about being the best writer. It’s about coming up with good ideas or what we call Big ideas.
In fact, as a financial copywriter, most of your time is spent doing research to come up with a sellable Big Idea than it is actually writing.
Heck, even some of the financial experts behind the products you’re selling aren’t great writers. Some are crappy writers. In those instances, the publisher hires a ghost writer to do the actual writing. They do this because what the financial expert offers is good ideas.
If you can teach yourself how to think outside the box, you’re more likely to have an “in” with a financial publishing company than if you have the best writing skills.
Popular misconception #5: Those big financial publishing companies will never hire me. Well, yes that’s true … only if you never try to get hired. It’s like saying I’ll never win the lottery when you don’t buy lottery tickets.
Financial publishers need copywriters. Desperately. For instance, when traveling to Bootcamp last October, Mike Palmer, the well-known copywriter for Stansberry Research, and I were on the same flight. We also shared a ride to the hotel.
That gave us time to catch up with each other. He told me that his company had just bought another financial publisher. That meant they would be adding several more products to their mix. And that also meant they need more copywriters. That’s one of the reasons he was coming to Bootcamp, to find writers.
The bottom line is this. There is plenty of opportunity available to you as a financial copywriter, along with the potential to earn a good living. Possibly six-figures a year or more.
You’ll never know what the future holds if you don’t try. There aren’t many great careers made without some kind of effort.
So why not give it a shot? After all, there’s plenty to be gained from trying.
Do you have any questions about writing for the financial market? Please share with us in the comments below.
Editorial Note: If you’d like to be part of a market that’s created more copywriting millionaires than any other, go here now.
The demand has exploded and the supply of trained copywriters is at an all-time low.
Learn to be a copywriter for the financial market, and you will have more career options and bigger paychecks than you can imagine.
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How can a market (such as financial, health, travel & lifestyle) be crowded & competitive and face a severe shortage of copywriters? I will elaborate if, at all, my question is not clear.
I've always heard to choose a niche based on what you know; where your experience lies. I know alternative medicine.
However,financial copywriting interests me also; specially as a learning opportunity.
The article was very encouraging. I may switch gears.
However, regarding your comment, "you can teach yourself how to think outside the box..." clues on a way to do that?
Guest (Bette) –
Awesome article. I found it challenging and encouraging. So I am throwing my hat in the ring.
How does one get started in this lucrative field?
What should my next and immediate step be to at least demonstrate my interest and competence?
I'll be honest... I've always steered clear of the financial niche for all of the reasons you mentioned. I think I need rethink my decision. Thanks Sandy for opening my eyes to the possibilities.
Pauline Longdon - The Copy Alchemist –
Coming from a career in international banking, one would think this would be a perfect fit for me. However, some preconceived notions (touched on in the article) led me in another copywriting direction. I'm going to keep on that road to get my business going, but I see this as complimenting my chosen path.
St Stephen –
Thank you for an informative article. Did you read the book "Secrets of Writing Blockbuster Financial Market Controls" by AWAI to break into this niche? Are you familiar with it and would you recommend?
Guest (Jada) –
I´m still studying the Accelerated Six Figure copywriting but I´m interesting about financial copywriting. This article is very informative. So, after I finish the accelerated six figure copywriting, how can I start in the financial niche?