Bootcamp Brings $100K Starter Year for Florida Copywriter
Susan Nickerson was in the business of helping people stay active and get more out of life. But ironically, she was working too much to enjoy her own.
The chiropractor and physical therapist found herself toiling 50 hours a week on an inflexible office schedule. To make matters worse, she made less and less money.
“I was getting more frustrated with the challenges of having a medical practice,” Susan said. “The laws kept changing and insurance covered less. From one day to the next my income dropped by 40-60 percent. I needed to have more control over what I was making.”
Landing Two Clients from Bootcamp
When she least expected it, a new career opportunity landed in Susan’s mailbox in Colorado. A letter from American Writers & Artists Institute (AWAI) introduced her to a type of work she had never heard of: copywriting.
And the promise of a better life – working less, earning more, and doing it anywhere – were too great to ignore.
“I immediately thought, ‘I could work from Costa Rica or the Keys, or even live right on the water,’” she said.
She signed up for the self-paced Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting and worked through it slowly while maintaining her full-time job. Then she made a decision that unnerved this introvert. Susan headed to Delray Beach, Florida for her first AWAI FastTrack to Success Bootcamp and Job Fair.
“Just like everybody, I wondered if it would do me any good to go to Bootcamp. Could I really get a job from a job fair?” she said. “It wasn’t easy to go into a group of people I didn’t know, but everyone at AWAI is very friendly. And turns out, it paid for itself many thousands of times over. I gained two clients from submitting my first Bootcamp assignments.”
At Bootcamp, Susan’s Spec Challenge entries landed immediate work with Newsmax Health and Mercola.com, the largest natural health website. After a 20-year career in health, she found a fit in health copywriting. “I get paid to learn new things every day,” she said.
Following Bootcamp, the work continued to roll in. After a couple of months, Susan left her chiropractic/physical therapy patients in the hands of a business partner and become a full-time copywriter. And with those two clients as anchors, Susan surpassed $100,000 her very first year as a freelance copywriter.
Making Millions for Clients
Nearly a decade later, Susan still writes for one of those health clients and others, producing sales letters, video sales letters, newsletters, special reports, and magazine ads. Her longevity lies in the results she delivers for clients.
“I’ve done a lot of promotions that have helped build up multi-million dollar businesses for my clients,” she said.
With continuous work from current clients, and referrals, Susan has found she never needed to market herself actively as a copywriter. In fact, she never even created a website for her business.
Now, she’s putting a lifetime of health knowledge into authoring her first book, a non-fiction health book.
Diving around the World
Susan continues to pull in six figures a year solely with freelance copywriting, working about 30 hours a week. She earns as much money as before – or more – without the high overhead of running a medical practice.
But more than higher pay, she’s completely remodeled her life. Susan moved from landlocked Colorado to a bay in Key Largo, Florida where she’s feet from an ocean playground. Last year, she logged more than 100 ocean dives. And she often takes time out mid-day for a bike ride or yoga.
“I can step outside my door and look at the bay,” she said. “I can see the edges of Everglades National Park. And now I have the time and the income to travel. If I had to be somewhere during normal business hours, I wouldn’t be able to live this kind of life.”
But frequently, Susan’s somewhere else altogether. Over the last few years, she has traveled to Honduras, Greece, Italy, Turkey and Croatia. This year, she’s already been to the Cayman Islands and the Philippines, and just finished requirements for her Master Scuba Diver rating. She’s also got plenty of time to work through the “huge learning curve” of her latest hobby – underwater photography with a 20-lb camera rig. In the Philippines, she captured macro photos of dozens of types of sea life.
It only made sense that Susan would choose to test the waters with travel writing as well. After taking a travel writing program with Great Escape Publishing, she landed her first travel article – on the gypsy chickens of Key West.
“I like to make my hobbies pay for themselves,” she said. “If I can make money copywriting while traveling, writing about the places I visit – and write off expenses – then my trips pay for themselves.”
Susans’s Tips For Copywriters
- Have a Bootcamp plan – Susan was anxious about her first Bootcamp. Her strategy? “Just try to strike a conversation with one person, rather than looking at a group of 1000,” she said.
- Stick to a schedule – “It took me a while to realize that I needed to schedule writing time,” she said. “So now I start working after breakfast and do my most demanding, creative work before lunch.”
- Don’t worry about being perfect – “A lot of new writers get obsessed with being perfect. But good is good enough. You can still make $100,000,” she said.
Ready to pursue the writer’s life?
Ready to pursue the writer’s life? Learn more about the program that launched Susan’s career, FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair.
“Just like everybody, I wondered if it would do me any good to go to Bootcamp. Could I really get a job from a job fair? It wasn’t easy to go into a group of people I didn’t know, but everyone at AWAI is very friendly. And turns out, it paid for itself many thousands of times over. I gained two clients from submitting my first Bootcamp assignments.”
Key Largo, FL
Chiropractor, physical therapist
After completing Spec Challenges at AWAI’s Bootcamp, Susan landed two health industry clients – helping her surpass $100,000 her first year as a copywriter.