My friend and fellow copywriter Justin gave me some of the best advice when I was just starting out as a writer.
Actually, it wasn’t “advice” so much as a passing comment. He said simply: “You have to write a trunk full of bad copy before you can write great copy.”
Truer words have never been spoken. I don’t care how good a writer you are when you’re starting out … you’re going to get much better the more you write.
And the more often you write, the quicker you’re going to get better.
A “Healthy Habit” that Can Help Increase Your Writing Income…
That’s why the best advice I can give any new writer is to write every day – without fail.
It doesn’t have to be pages and pages. A simple “polished” paragraph will do – 15-20 minutes of your time. It doesn’t even have to be original. One of the best ways to learn the art of “barefoot writing” is to take a successful ad, article, or sales letter and write it out two or three times. It’s a great way to learn tempo, structure, and style.
The important thing is to sit down at the computer and exercise your “writing muscle.” Doing this will accomplish several things.
First, it will get you into the habit of writing every day (I’ll show you just how profitable that can be for you in a moment).
Second, the old adage “practice makes perfect” is especially true here. The more you write, the better you’ll get. Period.
Third, it keeps your “head in the game.” After all, any time you’re writing, you’re engaged in “the business” of writing and moving your writing career forward.
Can You Earn $468,000 Writing 2 Pages Per Day?
Establishing daily writing habits now can prove very lucrative for you when you finally are writing professionally.
Consider some calculations I made a few months back, which led to a little strategy I use that’s vastly increased my productivity. Now, you should know that I write sales letters for the financial publishing industry. Normally, these are “long copy” letters that are typically 16 to 24 pages.
I figured out that if I could commit to writing just two pages of finished copy per day, I could increase my income by over $150,000.
Here’s how the math works out: As an experienced copywriter, I’m paid $9,000, on average, for every letter I write. If I write two pages per day for 260 days per year (Monday through Friday), that’s 520 pages of copy.
Now divide that number by the average number of pages per letter – say, 20. That’s 26 letters I can write in a year writing two pages a day. At an average of $9,000 per letter, that’s $234,000 just in writing fees. Add in the royalties I could make from these letters and my potential income balloons to $468,000 per year!
“The more you write, the better you’ll get. Period.”
Amazing isn’t it?
Hopefully, it will be just the motivation you need now to get into the habit of writing each and every day.
You can work on projects for clients, something personal – maybe you’re into poetry or short fiction – or write about your daily life in a journal.
If you choose to sign up for AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, you’ll have plenty of writing assignments – including live spec assignments you can work on for real clients. Not to mention the access you’ll have to DirectResponseJobs.com, the job site for direct response copywriters.
The writing challenges will get your creative juices flowing by writing about something new and unfamiliar. They’ll help you hone your persuasive writing skills. And in the process, you could even end up with some samples to show clients.
What Else Can You Do to Practice Writing Every Day?
Here are a few other ideas for daily writing prompts:
- Write a compelling Craigslist ad for an item around the house you haven’t used in the past year. And why not post it? You’ll test your skills and make a few bucks.
- Comb through the direct mail offers you receive for one week, pick out one, and rewrite it so it’s better – at least a new headline and lead. Be bold. Send your revised version in to the company. You never know what could happen.
- Think about one of the best gifts you ever received and write about what made it special.
- Write a review for the last eatery you visited – could be a coffee shop, burger joint, or sit-down meal. Use the style of a restaurant critic.
- Think of a teacher who had a big influence on you – could be from college, high school, or earlier. Write about what you learned from that teacher and how that helped you later in life.
You can mix and match the type of writing you do each day. Maybe three days in a row of client work, with a poem thrown in on the fourth day, and a writing exercise the next. It’s up to you.
Another option is try out these seven days of writing exercises to improve your writing skills.
Whatever you write about or when – first thing in the morning, after the kids have gone to school, or late at night when the house is quiet – write every day. This is an almost sure-fire way to increase your writing income over time.