3 Big Freelance Writing Myths Debunked
2021 is The Year of the Writer — and I want to ensure nothing stands in your way …
That’s why yesterday, I squashed a big copywriting myth that can easily hold you back from pursuing your dreams. (You can check out the issue here if you missed it.)
And today, I want to squash three more pervasive myths in the well-paid writing industry that can create roadblocks on your path to success.
This next myth is the one most often confused by people new to the industry …
Myth #2 — You need to invest a lot of money to be successful.
This is simply not true.
And while, yes, many of AWAI’s success stories happen to be Circle of Success members or have attended Bootcamp or participated in live Certification programs … their successes are not because they spent a lot of money.
It’s because they had a goal, a clear plan, and made an investment in something that would help them be successful.
There are thousands of free articles on the AWAI website. Plus, there are dozens of free Inside AWAI webinars. And, loads of successful AWAI members on AWAI’s Facebook and LinkedIn groups who are more than happy to help you get started.
None of that requires you to spend a penny.
Now, don’t get me wrong …
You’ll have to spend more time researching, figuring out what information is relevant to you, and then learning by trial and error. But, it’s definitely possible.
Next, I want to talk about money … specifically the TRUTH about making six-figures as a copywriter.
It’s true … As a copywriter, you can make more money than most doctors and lawyers. And, you don’t have to be on call day and night … or bill 60 hours a week. (Plus, you can start making money right away — not 2-5 years after you start your training!)
But, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. And it doesn’t happen for everyone.
So let’s address the “six-figure copywriter” myth once and for all …
Myth #3 — The six-figure path is an easy one.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the stories of copywriters before you who hit the six-figure mark the first year they “really” started out.
They’re all true.
But there’s often a piece of information that gets overlooked when you read those stories …
You might have heard the story of AWAI Success Joshua Boswell, who started out his first year of copywriting $200,000 in debt, and cleared six-figures just 11 months later …
But there’s part of the story that is sometimes disregarded.
Having just closed a business, he was able to dedicate 100% of his time to building his freelance copywriting business.
Here’s another example …
Ed Gandia hit $163,181 his first year as a full-time freelance copywriter …
But, it was after spending 27 months moonlighting as a copywriter while he continued to work his full-time sales job.
Brian Whitaker also hit six-figures his first year …
But the majority of his clients were contacts he had made while working in the high-tech B2B industry as a marketing manager.
So, yes …
It CAN happen in your first year. But for most of these outliers, it comes with some related work experience like marketing or sales, a good network of contacts, a little luck — or a combination of all three.
But that’s okay!
It may take you two years … even three years … to hit the six-figure mark.
It will all depend on where you’re starting now, being clear about your goal and how you’ll approach it, and how much time you can invest.
Lastly, I want to debunk the myth that, in my experience, is the #1 reason most aspiring writers don’t move forward toward their dreams.
They like receiving a steady paycheck.
The idea of their income going up and down month after month as a freelancer stresses them out.
Myth #4 — It’s all or nothing.
Somewhere over the years, the phrase the writer’s life started to be construed only as the “freelance” writer’s life. But, that’s simply not the case …
The writer’s life means something different to everyone. And, for many, it does not mean working as a freelance copywriter.
For instance, Rae Robinson actually started as a full-time freelance copywriter right out of college …
She took The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting while she was still enrolled in school, and began taking on clients before graduation. But a couple of years down the line, she decided she’d like a bit of stability month after month and enjoyed being part of a team.
So, she took a part-time in-house writer position that offered her a steady retainer in exchange for a set number of projects month after month.
Throughout her copywriting career, Rae has been able to reinvent her work setup to meet her lifestyle and career goals.
Christina Gillick had a full-time job she actually enjoyed. But she wanted to make more money, while ultimately working fewer hours.
At first, she took on a few copy clients in her spare time, while she kept her full-time job. She soon realized she could replace her entire salary working only 20 hours a week at copywriting, by adding her employer to her client roster and quitting the full-time job.
Both copywriters … totally different paths and versions of the writer’s life.
So, don’t let the fear of “going freelance” hold you back. It doesn’t have to be an “all-or-nothing” decision.
Here are a few things you can do to get started …
- Start small, taking on a project or two on the side.
- Approach your employer about a more flexible work schedule.
- Ask if you can help your employer grow the business by writing copy for the website, social media, or other marketing channels, and then use the experience and samples down the road when you’re ready to take on other clients.
- Consider moving into a part-time position to allow for some steady income, while at the same time, freeing up time to work on building your copywriting side business.
One day down the line, you may decide you WANT to go 100% freelance. Especially if the clients and projects are abundant, and you simply don’t have any time because of your j-o-b.
Or, you may be happy to do copywriting on the side …
Or, you may change jobs to become an in-house writer.
My point is this …
The life of a copywriter is not one single path. It’s completely flexible and can give you as much freedom and income as you want.
So, don’t let fear hold you back.
If you want to make a living as a writer, copywriting is definitely the best opportunity available. You can live where you want, work the hours you want, make as much money as you want, and live the life you want.
Sure, it takes work …
But, so do most things in life!
And now that we’ve debunked these myths, I hope I’ve removed some roadblocks that were potentially in your way.
And if there’s something else you feel is still holding you back, I’d like to hear about it. Please share with me in the Comments, and I’ll see what I can do to help!
The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter
The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »
Hi Rebecca - I signed up as an AWAI member a few months ago, but need to wait until the summer to get started with your courses and other programming. I work full time as a public school staff member (training teachers how to teach reading and writing), and it's a 24/7 job. I'll retire in June, after which you'll find me active with you and what you offer. Looking forward to getting started - Bruce
I've read most of your initial stuff and what is holding me back is this: it's so indredibly extroverted! The style, the bouncy upbeatness, the cheery perky smiles...all that does not inspire me onward here. It says: this isn't for you. Is there a place here for someone who's more laid back, and frankly skeptical of language that sparkles a bit too much?
Guest (Daniel) –
@Bruce2021 - we'll be here when you're ready! I look forward to working with you. Rebecca
@Daniel - I promise you're not alone. :) Most of us writers are introverts, despite the upbeat tone! There's a place for every type of writer. If you prefer more straightforward, I recommend you check out B2B - business to business. It might "feel" a bit more approachable. Check this out: https://www.awai.com/p/is/b2e/ And circle back if you have any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck! Rebecca
Rebecca Matter –
You make a good point, Rebecca, to not compare one's situation with another's as the situations can vary greatly. All the same, I picked up a few ideas as to how to drill down my market more successfully.
I enjoyed your article. Thank you!
Word Peddler –