When I set up my copywriting business back in the ’90s, I was frustrated by how much I was able to charge to write a press release. Despite its high value — remember, press releases actually worked back then — the most I could get was about $400. And some clients wanted to pay far less than that.
Whatever the reasons, it was a low-paying gig.
There was no point in fighting it. No amount of convincing would get clients to value these workhorses of public relations any more than they did. It was just the way it was.
So I did what any self-respecting freelancer would do. I focused on other types of projects that paid much better: direct mail, ads, annual reports, and articles.
Today, the world of copywriting has changed. (To put it mildly!) What paid well a few years ago in some cases pays peanuts today. And a new slate of copywriting projects has emerged where the fees range from professionally-respectable to very high.
So what are those new darlings of copywriting? Here’s my list.
Website writing has been a roller-coaster ride. First, it paid well. Then, it didn’t. Now companies are willing to invest in good website writing again.
Why? I suspect it’s because so many companies are upgrading to responsive design and, as a result, taking a closer look at their websites. They want better branding and storytelling; more compelling messaging; and more leads, enquiries and conversions.
And that requires a skilled messaging strategist and writer. (That’s us.)
2. Email Marketing
Word for word, email copywriting is one of the best-paying specialities these days. And for good reason. Companies are constantly looking for ways to get better results with their e-newsletters, follow-up emails and email marketing campaigns.
Any writer who can help them do that will be in high demand.
3. White Papers & Ebooks
There are so many of these things on the internet, you’d think they don’t work anymore. But they do. A great white paper, for example, can build thought-leadership, position a company as go-to experts and innovators, generate leads, get publicity, spur sales, and more.
That’s why so many companies are willing to invest serious dollars in this content.
4. Sales Pages
These are web pages designed to make a sale. If it has a Buy Now button or similar call-to-action, it’s a sales page.
This type of project pays well for an obvious reason. The better it’s written, the more leads, sales, registrations, sign-ups, etc. a company gets. Anytime you can write copy that makes money for a client, you can charge accordingly.
You could argue that naming isn’t copywriting. But I disagree. I think anything that involves coming up with the right marketing/selling words is copywriting. Even if it’s just one word.
I’ve developed numerous product names, and even new business names, for clients. These are fun projects, but a lot more work than you might think. It takes hours of strategizing, brainstorming, and long walks hoping for lightening to strike to come up with a terrific, brand-worthy name.
So that’s my list. Did I miss anything? Probably. If you’d like to add your two cents to this list, I’d love to hear from you. You can use the comment section below.