Why a Few Freelance Copywriters Make Most of the Money

Freelance X Factor

Yesterday Brian talked about the unfair advantage that good copywriters have when they’re marketing themselves. But a discussion in the comments broke out about whether or not good writers are a commodity.

The counterpoint was that good writers are a dime a dozen. There are just too many of them on freelancing sites like Elance. The market decrees that commodities (like oil, wheat, and talented writers) are priced based on pure supply and demand. So even if you’re quite a good writer, you have to duke it out with all the other good writers, competing for that precious limited resource: lucrative projects.

So what makes the difference for those lucky few, the best-paid writers? What’s their “X” Factor?

What freelance writers need to compete today

The general solution to the commodity problem was also revealed in the comments, but on the Killer and the Poet post that kicked off the week. The sentiment revealed how your prospective clients think about freelance writers.

In short, businesspeople don’t want a freelance writer. They don’t want a word-grinder to crank out a few pages describing their product. And when they do want that, they’re not willing to pay much for it.

As Brian touched on in the post yesterday, businesses don’t want someone who simply writes. The writing is a feature.

Businesses want the benefit of that feature. They want more customers, better customers, more sales, and lower marketing costs.

They want to know how to cut through the information clutter that keeps their advertising from working. They want to know how to stake out a juicy corner of the market with killer positioning. They want to know how all this mysterious social media stuff works. (And they need to know that their 1998 ideas about SEO are disastrously off-base.)

What they need is you. But only if you step up and package your skills to become the resource they’re looking for.

The Freelance “X” Factor

Brian and I really like professional writers (and those aiming to get there). You’re smart, you laugh even when our jokes are subtle, and you’re terrific at learning new things.

But a lot of you struggle with business.

You don’t always translate the great stuff you know about USPs, direct response marketing, social media, and exceptional content into building your own businesses. (Even when you’re using them to benefit your clients.)

And there might even be a few gaps in the value you deliver to clients. You might need a brush-up in one or more of those topics (after all, the online marketing space is in constant flux).

You need a map. So we made one for you.

Brian and I have created a powerful online course just for freelance copywriters. To deliver that “X Factor” that’s the difference between a ramen-noodle writer and a sushi-powered specialist.

Obviously, it’s about a lot more than money. It’s really about being able to have the writing business you want to have. Without constantly hustling for clients. Without stressing about how you’re going to cover your expenses. And without having to (ugh) cold call.

The course is called The Freelance “X” Factor, and it’s all about building a lucrative freelance writing business using smart social media marketing. Here’s what’s included:

  • Over 4 hours of audio modules
  • Optimized and searchable transcripts
  • Pragmatic worksheets that guide you through the processes, tactics, and strategies we reveal
  • Supplemental reference material that ties it all together

Get all the details about the Freelance “X” Factor course here.

About the Author: Sonia Simone is Senior Editor of Copyblogger and the founder of Remarkable Communication.

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Comments

  1. Thanks Sonia and Brian, you guys really deliver great content! I’m picking up some great stuff from your introduction already.

    Now that you’ve said it, I understand why I’m getting the attention of a sales director who wants to hire my services. It’s because I told him that I could help him in “Content Marketing”, and not as a “Writer”.

    Thanks again!

  2. FXF and a Fullwidth-Framework Thesis update in 24hours. Nicely done.

  3. I believe this to be true as well. There are only about 10 copywritters that tend to always service around the internet marketing industry. This also goes along with top selling products on Clickbank

  4. Brian and Sonia, I’m crying foul! You all OBVIOUSLY picked my brain, for this is my philosophy exactly.

    All kidding aside, what an excellent piece of work. I tell freelance writers all the time — especially new media content providers — there’s no need to struggle, no matter what the economy is doing.

    If you learn how to market your skillsf, you’ll always have more work than you can handle.

    I was just telling a colleague today that I haven’t sent out any marketing materials since the beginning of the year. I’ve been so busy that I just don’t have time. Now, this goes against everything I believe about how freelance writers should conduct their business.

    But, I’ve been at this so long that I know what works for my firm.

    Again, great info!

    Good luck with the course; I’m sure it’ll be another great success for you.

  5. I’m looking forward to going over the material. You are right – clients aren’t looking for a “writer,” they are looking for a solution to their problem, be it a better market presence, consistent follow up with existing clients, or an easy to navigate website. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Oh boy :)

    Sounds like an excellent course, and if you can transform even a small fraction of your audience into people who think the way your course description suggests, you’d have done the world a service.

    Partly due to yesterday’s discussion, and partly through hearing about a cool new outfit, thegamecrafter.com, I was inspired to do a post today that revives an idea for a board game I made up last year, that I think really captures some of what we discussed. Any copyblogger readers interested in helping create the game?

  7. Sorry, wrong link. My post is here.

  8. @Charles, that’s excellent! It’s that old Mark Twain thing, the difference between the lightning & the lightning bug. Labels matter a lot.

    @Yuwanda, yeah, I know, I feel a bit like a space alien when I talk w/most freelance copywriters. “Cold call? Uh, no, that sounds pretty hard. Direct mail? I guess I would if I needed to. How do I chase down clients? Gee, I don’t know, they keep emailing me. I think I need a VA to get back to people more quickly, I’m just so darned busy.” Different universe.

    @Venkat, The board game thing sounds pretty cool, good luck with it!

  9. Your recording piqued my interest in the course. I agree completely that identifying and articulating a unique selling proposition is the first and hardest hurdle for a freelance writer to clear. If other writers struggle with this as much as I have, then I think your course will address a real need in the market – especially if your claim pans out that thousands of writers can apply your approach without ever stepping on each others toes.

    For what it’s worth, that claim was a key selling point for me.

    Also, you were even wiser to avoid presenting anything in this course as a “secret” or “shortcut.”

    I think I speak for more than a few freelance writers when I say I’m tired of being sold the “secrets” of success. The problem with selling secrets, as any investor will tell you, is that their value depends on them remaining a secret.

    Give me tools, teach me to use them. I chose this career because I enjoy my work, not because I was looking for a shortcut to riches… Nothing against riches, you understand.

  10. Thanks for the free overview. I look forward to listening to it over the weekend.

  11. The secret formula…cool :P

  12. @Dan, yeah, we didn’t think you guys would be big fans of a lot of cheesy hype about “secrets” and “shortcuts.”

    Mind you, the course does have one or two things we don’t tend to share with the general public. :)

  13. Very nice. I’m surprised you didn’t do an email capture in exchange for the free content you developed. In any case, it was useful!

  14. How much is the cost? I think that’s what most of the readers would like to know.

  15. Good Luck with the launch of the X factor.
    How much will it cost?

    Igor

  16. The benefits rather than features is a very good point, so you are saying value added rather than just plonging a product in front of them.

  17. I have yet to download your recordings, but your post makes a great point. People don’t just want writing, they want SEO, great marketing, something that performs in social media, etc. etc.

    It almost seems ridiculous to call ourselves “writers” anymore.

  18. @Corey, exactly. Writing is a key skill, but it’s not what should be on the package label. :)

    All the details on how to purchase will be here on Monday, so stay tuned. (I know, pretty evil, huh?)

  19. Great post. I think a good writer has to be a good marketer too, in order to succeed.

  20. Great Article!

    I think that, as a writer, finding your own personal selling point in order to differentiate your skills from those of everyone else around you can definitely be a tricky task (and often far more tricky than the writing itself!). By introducing a course like this it will hopefully offer a lot of support to all those really talented writers out these who are lost in a sea of more mediocre web writers.

  21. You’re so right. Back on my blog at Men with Pens, so many freelancers shuffle their feet nervously, seem shy, seem lost… they rock at writing, and they suck at marketing themselves.

    Hire someone to market you, or learn how to do it. (Kind of like me. Leap boldly out and say, TA-DA! I’m HERE!)

    I think this course will solve both those problems – and with one great solution. Rock on with that.

  22. Yeah really great post ..

  23. I love you guys. Love. “We won’t ask for your email address…you know how to find us.” I was just slain by a poet.

  24. Freelancing? That’s what I’ve been trying to aim too, I’m striving to make it good both as a blogging guru and a pro writer. So much of valuable contents on the web, it’s been so saturated that the recent trends have called for more skills. The “X Factor” as you’ve put it.

    Good work Brian and Sonia! ;)

  25. Good on you guys, great stuff! I’ve never been busier and I think that’s due to writing words thats sell to the heart not the head because people buy a product or use a service based on how you make them feel about it! The results, 87% of my work comes from repeat clients and word of mouth.

  26. Great Post dear…keep it up. Would like to read more on copywriting stuff.