The 2008 financial crisis hit Andrew Murray and his Australian engineering company hard. Their clients, mainly Americans, panicked and simply stopped spending. The company Andrew and his wife Peta had built went from prosperous to zero work in a split heartbeat.
While disheartening, they saw an upside.
“There’s no point in sitting around at home,” they thought. “Let’s take three months off and do something.”
A New Perspective
That idea morphed into a decision to take a full year off.
Andrew and Peta’s year-long sabbatical, traveling around the Australian Outback with their kids, left them with a new perspective – they didn’t want their former 9-to-5 lifestyle anymore.
“It was an awareness that the standard template of working to make lots of money, then buying things, is a hollow and futile waste of one’s life that leaves so many of us cold,” he says.
They resolved to find a way to travel full-time until they got sick of it. But first, their two children had to finish school and they needed income now and while on the road.
When they returned home to Sydney, Andrew and Peta re-invigorated their engineering consulting business temporarily.
Meanwhile, Andrew spent his time planning for their new upcoming lifestyle and looking at different options.
“Most of them involved some sort of digital nomad lifestyle,” he said. “The biggest concerns were how we’d generate consistent income, and enough consistent income to fund our travels indefinitely.”
Additional planning involved what to do with their business. They decided to close it gradually in the year before they started traveling. By two months out from their start date, Andrew had wound it down completely. They were free.
A Rarity Materialized – An Engineer Who Could Write
Andrew’s answer to the question of income while traveling came in classic American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI) fashion with a letter that asked: “Can you write a letter like this?”
He investigated it and thought, “I can do that.”
Andrew was one of those rare engineers who had loved English subjects and writing in school. He could write, and write he did, starting with AWAI’s foundational copywriting program, The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting (now called The Accelerated Program for Seven-Figure Copywriting).
Taking the Accelerated Program, advertising, and persuasive writing finally made sense. And when he discovered instructors like Heather Robson or Nick Usborne, he just knew AWAI really did know their stuff.
Inspired by what he learned, Andrew started a website for his new copywriting business. He landed his first client by simply mentioning his copywriting business to an engineering friend who needed help with his website.
His Big Break
Deciding on a niche was easy. With their passion for outback travel and camping, it would be 4x4 travel and camping accessories.
When Andrew discovered Nick Usborne’s program, How to Write Your Own Money-Making Website, he had a flash of inspiration – that could be a perfect fit for his future traveling plans – and he started a money-making website dedicated to outback travel.
While he was nurturing his money-making website into profitability, a big break came along. He became a Reality Blogger for AWAI’s Wealthy Web Writer, an opportunity that ended up lasting for two years.
Andrew was surprised and excited when Heather contacted him about being the next Reality Blogger.
“Heather was fascinated with our lifestyle,” he says. “It was certainly something completely different and unlike any other Reality Blogger’s story.”
Before he knew it, Andrew was also writing for AWAI’s Writer’s Life, plus more projects for Heather such as articles for Tech Talk and help with Heather’s new website.
And he put his knowledge and experience into helping other businesses with their websites. His writing career was taking off.
Meanwhile, Andrew continued to study his craft, building his copywriting toolkit with AWAI programs such as Site Audits Made Simple: Consult Your Way to Lucrative Web Copywriting Projects, Build Your Freelance Website in Four Days, and Digital Copywriting Apprentice.
Living The Writer’s Life as a Nomad
Their kids out of school and settled in their own careers, Andrew and Peta set off for the Australian Outback. They resolved to live the nomadic life until they grew tired of it, their lifestyle funded by Andrew’s copywriting and web writing. To ensure a measure of comfort, they invested in a Wedgetail Camper that slid onto a 2016 Isuzu NPS 4x4 truck.
Andrew loves the freedom he and Peta have.
“I’m probably a little different than a lot of the other people in case studies,” he says, “because we’re only looking for enough income to maintain our travel lifestyle. I earn a part-time income copywriting from our camper and that’s enough to support our priority – traveling in perpetuity.”
Andrew is happy and fulfilled living his writer’s life where and how he wants – in a 4x4 camper wandering the Australian Outback.
Andrew’s Tips for Copywriters
- Pick a niche – “Stay with what you know, at least at first,” Andrew counsels. “You can always change later if you want to.” You’ve got the contacts; you know the people.
- Realize it’s a business – Be professional in everything you do. “You’re running a business.” Andrew says. “It’s not a hobby, it’s a business. Treat it as one.”
- Focus on one thing at a time – “There comes a point where you actually have to do,” Andrew says. “Don’t just perpetually be a professional course-taker.”
Ready to pursue the writer’s life?
Learn more about How to Write Your Own Money-Making Website – the program that propelled Andrew’s career into high gear.
“I earn a part-time income copywriting from our camper and that’s enough to support our priority – traveling in perpetuity.”
Manufacturing engineer, consultant
His first client was a long-time friend who needed his website redone.
- The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting
- How to Write Your Own Money-Making Website
- Digital Copywriting Apprentice