Katherine Kay has a long history of writing and editing for a living, but she’s found a way to pursue other passions and business interests simultaneously. Discover how she’s made headway in a writing industry full of opportunity, and how she continues to shape her lifestyle exactly the way she wants it.
Have you been a freelancer for long?
Off and on for 12 years. I’ve had gaps where I was focusing on other things like Internet marketing, niche websites, tutoring, selling on eBay and Amazon. I still sell on Amazon.
What got you started in health copywriting?
A doctor in my town found me on a private tutor list at my university in 2005 where I was tutoring students in pre-med courses and English. He asked me to a write a couple of sales letters and reports for him. I didn’t know what copywriting was at the time. I had not heard of AWAI. He gave me a handful of reports, guides, and letters to use as examples of what he wanted.
The only thing I did know was that I had found a used book called Secrets of a Freelance Writer: Earn $85,000 a Year, by Bob Bly, and was fascinated by the idea.
The first letter stayed on the doctor’s website for over five years. It was essentially my first control.
After that, I spent five years helping an internationally-known holistic health expert with his book — as editor. It’s been an incredible education.
I also wrote articles, a column and book reviews for a medical magazine, a holistic magazine, and SEO articles for Lance Armstrong’s LiveStrong website.
So do you feel very connected to the topic of health?
I enjoy learning new things that especially interest me. Holistic and alternative health is what I really like. The public needs education in this area too — I’m appalled at how much people do not know about basic health and taking care of themselves — like the importance of good water and good food.
You co-wrote two e-books with Bob Bly (Herschell Gordon Lewis’s Marketing Secrets and LinkedIn Marketing Magic). How did that come about?
I’ve been an active reader of Bob’s e-newsletter for years, offering feedback and comments and asking questions.
He said I could write for him before, but I didn’t take him up on it. I didn’t think I would make enough money, or could afford the time away from my Amazon business.
He called last year in April and offered the Herschell Gordon Lewis e-book assignment to me. I was ready. I jumped at the opportunity. Wrote the e-book — and he liked it a lot. Immediately after that, he offered me the LinkedIn Marketing Magic e-book assignment. I grabbed that one as well.
I’m happy about the sales letter he wrote for LinkedIn Marketing Magic, which has a number of excerpts from the e-book. He mentions me as copywriter in paragraph five: www.linkedinmarketingmagic.com. It makes me feel good to have Bob Bly call me a copywriter.
What’s on tap for the future?
I’ve started EditWrite again — as an LLC. I’ll use it to promote myself as Katherine Kay, Editor-Writer-Copywriter. I’m an excellent editor, but I want to be a really good direct-response copywriter. EditWrite helps me generate good writing, editing, and copywriting opportunities, so I do my best to keep promoting that with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and my blog website: www.katherinekay.com.
What do you love most about the freedom you get as a Barefoot Writer?
There’s a lot of flexibility in my schedule. I prepare my own healthy food at home. I follow up on business opportunities. When friends or relatives visit San Antonio, my boyfriend of 12 years and I can stop and spend time with them and show them the best vegetarian restaurants, the missions, the Alamo, and the River Walk.
Best words to guide aspiring writers?
When opportunities come your way — try to make the most of them. Be humble. You never know when the cycle of opportunity may come your way again. Try not to burn bridges. Appreciate people.
Write a lot. Write articles, blogs, a column — whatever it takes. This way, you’ll feel like a real writer and will always be in form and practiced up.