Copywriting: Secrets of a Freelancer

Lately, I've been getting emails from other copywriters who ask me questions like "What's your secret?" and "How did you do it?" and "Can I be your apprentice?"

Aw, heck, are you serious? People are talking to me like I'm some kind of demi-goddess... when really, I'm just a humble girl from Jersey who's having a fun time running a freelance copywriting business.

I take that back. Freelancing isn't fun. It's AMAZING. Brilliant marketing, like beautiful music, makes my arm hairs stand up. Meeting people who share my passion for writing and dreaming up clever advertising strategies exhilarates me. Connecting with entrepreneurial geniuses who can teach me things I didn't know before is such an incredible privilege. Having the option to walk away from people I don't respect... well, that feels mighty fine too!

To all who want to know what it takes to be successful:

It takes will and determination. That's pretty much it. Here's a crazy analogy for you. Suppose you haven't eaten in days. You're starving beyond belief, and there's a thick, juicy steak just out of your reaching distance. You reach out your arm but you can't get it. You're sooo hungry. If you just stretch your arm a little further, maybe then you can grab that steak. It might mean you'll dislocate your arm. Do you stretch beyond your limit? Of course you do. You would sacrifice the temporary use of your arm for that meal you need so badly.

That's what freelancing is like. The steak is your paycheck, and your success. The stretched arm is your time, resources and patience. You'll have to make a lot of sacrifices if you really want to be successful as a freelancer. You'll be forced to do things that writers aren't always naturally good at, like math, and negotiating, and dealing with people on the phone! You won't see your friends nearly as much as you used to, because you'll be shackled to the computer. But that's in the early stages.

As you grow and learn, your circle will expand, and you'll have more help to run things. Your income will grow. You'll have money to buy little gifts for your business (your baby!). And the more you put into your business, financially and otherwise, the more you'll get back. It's like a rolling snowball that just keeps growing bigger and bigger. And it's ALL YOURS! That's a glorious feeling. That's worth some sacrifice, I think.

To the people who asked if they could be my apprentice:

I don't like to use that word. I might know more about some things than you do, but maybe you have something to teach me as well.

If you think you'd enjoy being associated with the Wordfeeder.com brand, well, okay! Send me an email and let's get you some writing jobs.

Knowledge really is power. I was once a floundering little freelancer, groping around in unfamiliar territory. But now I see that there are so many wonderful, smart and honest people out there who are willing to pool talents. Are you one of them?

Don't be intimidated by what you have yet to learn. Don't be a lost babe in the woods! Instead, grab my hand... and together we'll run toward the light. :D

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

Kick off your freelance copywriting career with guidance and commissioned assignments! Dina Giolitto is a Copywriting Consultant and web marketer with ten years of experience. Visit http://wordfeeder.com. Email your bio and writing samples: dina@wordfeeder.com.

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