Quickly Become a Barefoot Writer — With Reliable, Consistent Income

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Many writers look forward to the freedom of being a Barefoot Writer. They’re eager to do anything they want, when they want, and from where they want.

There’s just one thing standing in their way …

The fear of not having a predictable, steady income.

If this sounds like you — or if you want to make a more consistent income as a writer — I have great news!

There’s a way you can be a Barefoot Writer and make a predictable, steady income every month.

How?

Writing electronic newsletters (or e-newsletters or e-zines).

A Writing Niche Where Clients Pay You Month After Month and Stick Around for Years

One of the main benefits of writing e-newsletters is that the projects are extremely simple. They’re basically short, concise “articles in email form” sent from your client to their target audience, with the goal of keeping new prospects and existing customers engaged.

E-newsletters don’t do much selling. Instead, they take a non-salesy approach to building relationships with prospects. I like to say they “sell without selling.”

Like all the writing opportunities we introduce you to here in Barefoot Writer, this one offers the typical perks that come with living the writer’s life — from setting your own rates to working when and where you please.

But an additional perk to the world of email newsletters is the regularity with which clients will hire you — and then re-hire you. Most e-newsletters come out at least once a month. Others come out once a week, and some are even bi-weekly.

Once you establish yourself as an email-newsletter writer and impress a client with your work, it’s not unusual — quite typical, in fact — for that client to have you take over all subsequent email newsletters.

That means you have steady projects at regular intervals that you can count on every month. (And, the pay is great! But, I’ll get to that in just a minute.)

Why Are These Lucrative, Repeating Projects So Effective?

As a writing project, email newsletters tend to be short — much shorter than a long sales letter. In fact, these projects are so simple and short you can learn how to write them in just a few days. Then, with a little practice, you can complete each one in just a few hours.

But despite their brevity, e-newsletters are one of the most effective marketing tools for any business out there.

Why are they so effective? For starters, they’re interactive. E-newsletters can be forwarded to a friend. They have links to click on, questions that can be replied to. Readers might archive or make copies of them. In short, they’re engaging, which creates a valuable two-way dialogue between a business and its customers. Dialogues and engagement, of course, can increase sales.

According to MarketingSherpa, roughly 79% of new sales leads for businesses never convert into customers. While those sales leads showed an interest in a certain product or service, their interest was never encouraged. That’s where email newsletters prove valuable. When interested customers, or leads, are taken by the hand and given more information, 47% will go on to make purchases, according to the Annuitas Group.

But, e-newsletters aren’t the newest thing in marketing. A lot of companies offer them. You probably subscribe to several, in fact.

At the same time, that’s what makes this such a valuable writing opportunity to Barefoot Writers. Anybody can send out an email newsletter, but people are tired of reading self-promotional, “act-now” messages. They want something they can learn from, read enthusiastically, and enjoy over the long-term.

And That’s Where You, The Professional Writer Come In.

So if short projects suit your writing style, each one offers the opportunity to write something that’s fun, quick, and often creative.

But it gets better …

With e-newsletters, there’s very little research required. In fact, one of the best approaches to e-newsletter research is to get your client on the phone for an hour and have them talk about something important in their business. Then, simply ask them to go into detail and share positive experiences, anecdotes, and even customer encounters.

Doing this opens up a bunch of new topics you can use, all from the perspective of your client. Before you know it, you’ve got enough content for a new issue — or even multiple issues. After all, your clients are the experts in their individual fields, so their perspective is often all you’ll need for a message that resonates.

This is another reason the Return On Investment is high in the e-newsletter world. It’s your client’s message that needs to come across clearly. So, as long as you know how to tap their knowledge, you’ll find it relatively easy to put together a newsletter their audience wants to read — and will respond to.

Email Communication is Alive and Well

Here’s another reason to love e-newsletters: They’re one of the most versatile projects you can pursue in the world of paid writing. They can be an extremely valuable communication tool for small businesses and big companies in any industry.

But, professional service providers especially benefit from e-newsletters. And, because there are 26 million professional service providers in the U.S. alone, you’ll have a ton of potential clients to choose from.

Professional service providers include anyone who offers their services or expertise for hire, so there’s likely to be a niche that fits your interests. Think about lawyers, accountants, chiropractors, therapists, personal coaches, real estate brokers, consultants, and even writers.

In fact, an email newsletter is an extremely useful tool for prospecting as you build your own writing business. It gives you the opportunity to not only showcase your writing, but also to show off your knowledge of the field.

Secrets to an Effective Newsletter

Though it’ll vary between clients and industry, e-newsletter “issues” typically fall between 700 and 1,000 words. The communication style is typically informational, yet casual. And the more you sound like your client, the better.

Most email newsletters will be pure content. Your main job is to provide educational and informational copy. You can share advice, inspirational tidbits, and metaphors to keep your client’s name in front of their audience. At the same time, your copy should underscore their credibility and expertise.

Your goal as the writer is to take whatever service or product your client offers and make it engaging. Stories are a particularly effective way to do this. So if your client sells real estate, you’d want to steer clear of “dry” topics in real estate — like square footage, or flexible floor plans — and instead talk about how to make a new house feel like a home, or tips for creating memories in your newly-purchased house.

In the marketing world, this is called “lead nurturing.” It’s not directly selling. Instead, the goal is to go for engagement, develop a relationship, and open up a dialogue.

Just Starting Your Writing Career? No Problem …

As for fees, you can charge between $450 and $1,500+ for each issue. The low-end would be appropriate for clients who prefer to write their own first drafts. The higher end is when you write the newsletter from beginning to end. So, even if you’re just starting out in the writing world and you charge on the low end, a weekly newsletter could bring you $1,800 a month. And once you’ve established yourself and have measurable results to show new clients, you can raise your fee.

You can also charge fees to help a client set up a new e-newsletter service, including layout, design templates, and color.

Or, charge a consulting fee for helping your client see the “bigger picture” by putting together a marketing plan and using the e-newsletter as a key tool in that plan.

If you don’t have a lot of writing experience under your belt … or even if you have none … this could be the niche for you. As Michael Katz, author of Creating Email Newsletters for Professional Service Firms says, “Anybody can write. But most people hate it. Imagine how happy you can make a prospective client when you take writing needs off their plate and deliver them higher sales in return.”

It’s not hard to learn the specifics of writing email newsletters. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a large pool of clients happy to use your services.

Enjoy This Writing Niche Where You “Sell Without Selling”

A huge draw to this kind of writing project is that email newsletters are straightforward and conversational — definitely not hypey. Like I said, the purpose of an e-newsletter is to stay in contact with customers and nurture sales leads. Although staying in touch with customers certainly has a marketing purpose, it’s not hard selling — far from it.

If you’re wondering how to get started from scratch, here are two approaches I recommend …

The first approach is to put together some samples. Pick out a product or company you like and write a sample series of e-newsletters for it. You don’t even have to pitch it to that company — just writing the sample to show to other prospective clients is enough.

Or, you can approach a company you’d like to write for and pitch them directly. Talk to them about the effectiveness of e-newsletters when it comes to growing relationships and nurturing leads (point out that nurtured leads produce a 20% average sales increase). Explain how staying in contact can make a huge difference in their bottom line, especially because it can reduce the expenses of other marketing efforts and provide a single channel for their message.

And once you’ve landed your first project, keep the ball rolling and go after other clients. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire email-newsletter writing business set up, complete with steady income and — best of all — access to the freedom that comes when you pursue the writer’s life.

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19 Comments

  1. Martha S. Evans on

    Hello Barefooted writing company. I’m very interested to find out more about pursuing this. Please send me some additional info through the mail. Thank you.

    Thanks again,
    Martha Sue

  2. Maureen Cleveland on

    This is a very good article and I LOVED Mindy McHorse’s interview with Michael Katz. I’ve been wanting to break into the writing field for some time, but just can’t decide how to do it, and e-newsletters sound right up my alley. I absolutely hate reading those long, long sales letters and don’t think I could ever get myself to write them, so have been looking for some kind of shorter writing projects.
    But I wonder if there is some way to learn the basics of how to do this? Do they expect you to mail out the newsletters yourself to their mailing list after you write it, or do you have to grow a list of your own? What about autoresponders? How do you set those up? You mentioned that you could also “help a client set up a new e-newsletter service, including layout, design templates, and color” – so how do you do that?
    I just have a lot of questions on how to follow this thru so was wondering if there is a course somewhere that teaches this, or online information somewhere that I could look up? Any information you could give me would be appreciated.

    • I have a question about email lists too. Where does it come from, how is it developed? Can one purchase lists of email niche prospects? I’d love some responses to this query. Thanks.

  3. ok, I’m just starting this, the only product I have is the Barefoot Writer’s magazine. What bottom line product should I get to be able to do the email newsletter. I have very little money to work with to try and buy something to get me started so I can start generating an income. I’m not happy with the writing long copyletters for hard selling but the newsletter is definitely my style that I can do and would pursue. Advice please? Thanks!

  4. Larry Whitmore on

    Thank you for this informative piece. You have helped me finally find the niche I have been looking for. I have a desire to help people, inform them, and of course I have to make a living.

  5. Wow, I just loved reading this article. If these are the kind of persuasive writing skills AWAI teaches, well, sign me up. Going through the other replies, I find it interesting, and impressive that other readers seem oblivious to the deeper lesson being offered in the above article. Check it out—
    On the surface, the article does a fine job of explaining the basics of effective e-newsletter writing—Who the clients are, what they need, and how the aspiring copy writer could easily meet those needs using the e-newsletters format.
    Just one of 9 methods you will learn from the AWAI course. Each one a doorway to a brand new life of freedom, flexibility, and financial rewards like you’ve never imagined. All for just writing a few letters.
    And as I read through the article I gradually become convinced that I could do this too, I too could have a great life as a Barefoot Writer because the article’s author who,—explaining all this in a very folksy sort of voice, an anecdote here, some free information there, another example showing how easily it’s done; meanwhile, a rhetorical question slips beneath the door(aka, the threshold) without being noticed(usually); “Does that sound like something you’d enjoy doing?”— hasn’t really tried to sell me anything … LOL.
    Most people, having read this far, will never tweak to the realization that they have been receiving several messages at once. Their take away, once finished the article to this point is, typically, something like—“Great article, very informative. Where can I get more information on …blah, blah, blah.” What they evidently don’t notice is that the article itself, (like the others included on the website) is a model demonstration of the art of copy writing at a very high level.
    And that’s the whole point isn’t it?
    Very impressive.
    So yes, I’m sold. I want to learn what you know.

    Paul Oster
    Vancouver BC

    • Paul, you’re right on the money! I found myself thinking the same thing as I read the article…gave me all the information I needed to know ‘what’ e-newsletters are all about, and left me wanting to know ‘how’ I can learn to do the exact, same thing with this level of skill. Double the learning experience right here!

    • I agree with Paul. This article, like many from Barefoot Writers, is teaching by doing. Inspirational.

  6. Good afternoon,
    My name is Jennie. On friday july 3rd, at 4:00 PM, while everybody prepares for the cook- out. I am sitting at the desk reading this article.. It is helpful for a new person like myself.
    I will learn from the great leaders.
    Thank you. God Bless

  7. Eugene Coghill on

    This was an amazing article that solidified the type of writing I want to do. What I now need the most is great training on how to write customer engaging e-newsletters. I have signed up for the Accelerated Six Figure Copywriting course. Is there a specific course for email newsletters and if so I think it would be a great investment for my career. Please respond and reply with some info regarding training.

    Sincerely,

    Eugene

  8. I’m an at home mom with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication. I homeschool my two children and want to continue doing so. I love writing, and doing it from home is exactly what I want to do. My husband and I are both disabled veterans. So, staying home, writing and making money is just what I want to do. So, how do I get started?

  9. Gracie Granado on

    Hello, on Friday I signed up for barefoot writer and after paying $49 I was sent a report from AWAI offering more info for more money. The first report said there would be a “job board” but I haven’t found it yet on barefoot writer. Do I have to pay the addtl fee to AWAI to get to the job board? If so, I misunderstood. Not that I’m ready to start taking jobs, I just want to see what is out there. Since then I have received several aggressive emails trying to get me to pay the addtl money for the additional reports, etc…. Need time to process the first steps. Not sure if I want to pursue this. Confused… Please help. Thank you.

    • Li Vasquez-Noone on

      Hi Gracie,

      Welcome to the Barefoot Writer Club!

      Now that you’re a member, you should have received an email with instructions on how to log in to your member page. That’s where you’re going to find all the good stuff: all issues of Barefoot Writer Magazine, access to DirectResponseJobs, the job board, all the bonus reports, the Smart Start Copywriting program, and everything else.

      If you didn’t get that email, please contact Member Services right away and let them know, so they can re-send it to you. (You can also check your “junk” or “spam” folder, sometimes it ends up in there.) The folks at Member Services are really nice and helpful, and you can reach them during business hours at (toll free) 866-879-2924, or via email at help@awaionline.com.

      Once you’re logged in to your member page, be sure to take a look around and get familiar with what’s there. Start reading through the magazine and the reports. And if you have any questions, please be sure to contact me. My email is info@thebarefootwriter.com.

      Again, welcome! I’m looking forward to connecting with you and learning more about your writing goals!

  10. Good afternoon fellow writers, I just signed up yesterday and there is a lot of information to read and process; the most basic question is who to send sample e-letters to and when. I will keep in touch after reading the 88-page download on the basics. Thanks, Cindy

  11. Thank you for sharing this article. How exciting is the writing world of e-newsletter. I would like to learn more how to get started, recognized and get the ball rolling. I am a newbie to the Barefoot Writer community. 🙂

  12. Joseph Adams Adams on

    This article has really given me a spark of inspiration and hope in pursuing a new career in writing. I have just made the decision to turn over the operation of my painting company to my son and to pursue a new path by which I can use my life experiences to benefit others. Thank you for helping me to see the manifold possibilities which lie ahead.

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