Living the Writer's Life:
Steve Maurer

Living the Writer's Life: Steve Maurer

Steve is a constant source of support and encouragement within AWAI’s social media groups and also serves as a Circle of Success Mentor.

Steve Maurer has long been one of the friendliest, most helpful Barefoot Writers we’re proud to call a member. Along with always being ready to encourage someone move forward in their writing journey, he’s one of the humblest copywriters you’ll meet — though his rise to well-paid writing was seamless and fast. Enjoy Steve’s story.

What were you trying to escape before you found copywriting?

Steve’s wife, Mary, has a seamstress business
	that took off after Steve wrote web copy for her.
Steve’s wife, Mary, has a seamstress
business that took off after
Steve wrote web copy for her.

Go to work, come home, sleep, repeat. That was pretty much it. And missing a lot of family events. And having a boss. I had some good ones, I had some stinkers, but I like being my own.

I stayed with my previous company for 36 years. Six days a week, eight-hour days. In 2010, we went to four days a week, and I ended up with Thursday through Sunday, so I had no weekend. I worked 6 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m., and by the time I got home, I was too tired to do anything. I missed a lot of recitals and football games, that kind of thing.

How did you decide copywriting was your way out?

I had been writing off and on. I had my own hobby website back in 2000, talking about computers and software. But around 2010 they cut back our hours. So I started looking around. Read about work-at-home-type stuff. Thought maybe I could turn my writing into something that could make some money. So in October 2010, I began writing in the ultra-low-paying content mills.

Making something like $5 an article, right?

Yes. I worked six hours on an article and got paid $4.95. So I was way below minimum wage. And my first full year of writing, I wrote over 400 articles and made $2,000 for the year. I’d hate to do the math. It’s kind of scary. But it was proof of concept. I thought, Maybe there’s more. And certainly there was.

You saw a crack of light through the door. Now if you write that same kind of article, you make upward of $400, correct?

Yeah, between $400 and $800 for something like that. And in a lot less time. Because I know my niche, so it’s fairly easy for me to write what I write. I speak the language, and that helps.

My niche is industrial manufacturing and commercial businesses. If you want to put it in food terms, my meat and potatoes are blog articles and newsletter articles. And then my dessert, my chocolate cake, would be case studies and white papers and brochures.

Would you say the cherry on top is what you did for your wife, Mary, and her website?

She was one of my first customers. She wanted to start a seamstress business, and I had just started learning web copywriting. We treated it just like a real client-and-copywriter relationship, because it was. We put that up in 2013 at with $30 in paid advertising. Everything else has come from internet searches and referrals. She’s so busy, the racks in her office are always full.

Back when you were getting started, what was your biggest challenge?

Believing I could do it. I mentioned that first article was kind of like proof of concept, but after two years in the mills, you begin to wonder, Are you really that good a writer? And that really works on your self-esteem. That, and I was an electrician in a chicken plant — come on. How can I be a successful copywriter?

What do you like best about your writer’s life?

Being home. In June of this year, I’ll be retired for two years from my day job. I write copy full time, and that’s my gig now. I own my time and can schedule my calendar and not have to worry about getting up at 4 a.m. to climb in the truck and drive 12 miles to work.

What would you tell somebody who is brand-new, wondering if there’s more to writing than just the content mills?

Believe that you can and find like-minded people and then understand that you can do this. You can if I can. I don’t have a college education. I worked in a chicken plant and still made a six-figure income with copywriting. It’s not six figures now because honestly, I don’t need that much at this time. We have taken care of all the major expenses. I still make more money than I did at the full-time job, but it’s easier money. And if I need more, I don’t have to ask a boss. I just find another client.

Steve's Living The Writer's Life story was originally published in Barefoot Writer. To learn more about how you can start living your dream writer's life too, click here.

What help do you need to move forward with your version of the writer’s life? Let us know in the comments below so we can help guide you in the right direction.

Click to Rate:
Average: 5.0
Published: April 27, 2024

1 Response to “Living the Writer's Life: Steve Maurer”

  1. I think If I can get feedback of my submissions- it can help me to move forward with my writer's life


Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)