Copywriting Sangria and Rolling Stones Tidbit

According to Wiki, “Sangria is a wine punch typical of Spain and Portugal.”  Let’s celebrate with some copywriting Q & A Sangria – wine mixed with juices of various fruits.

What is the average daily rate for a freelance copywriter in New York?

Let me put on my statistical hat first. In order to obtain a statistical average, you need data. This can be obtained via surveys, market research, or other means. I know that general rates can be found in Writer’s Market on “How much should I charge” section. Rates depend on specialty (I.E. – white papers, SEO, industries like technology and health care, etc.). So an average would better be served by specialty. And if the data was collected, celebrity copywriters will skew the data via outliers (I.E. – from Wiki – outlier is an observation that is numerically distant from the rest of the data).

Yet it really breaks down to a simple equation:
Rate = what you charge per hour * how many hours to finish the project.

If you wish to check a rate database (warning: it will cost some money), check out http://www.brennerbooks.com. I think it’s broken down by state, and the person’s specialty is collecting this information. It was referenced in the Lucy V. Parker book “How to Start a Home-Based Writing Business.” Since I haven’t used the product yet, I can’t say anything positive or negative (other then Robert C. Brenner has an impressive resume work history, as given in Lucy’s book).

How do you create a digital portfolio?

Let me put on my “techie” hat here, and add some information regarding digital portfolio.

You can store a digital portfolio up to 5 gig free at http://www.4shared.com/.  The only  catch is you need to log in once a month, to keep the free account active. Another good backup facility (not good for sharing, with the free version) is http://www.adrive.com/ , with a nice 50 gig storage.

I would recommend producing everything as a PDF. My favorite (the one I use) is http://www.primopdf.com/. Yet another alternative is http://www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp. These act as print drivers, and you just print your word document, Open Office (if you like a good, free alternative to Microsoft at http://www.openoffice.org/ ), etc..

To produce a shorten URL reference for 4 shared, look at http://tinyurl.com/.

If clients complaint about the PDF reader overhead, than send them to http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/reader/.

It’s actually easy to legally obtain a student copy of Microsoft Word or Office Suite, as a fraction of the business model price. For all practical purposes, it functions just as well. Microsoft has some document sharing capacities at http://workspace.officelive.com/en-us/LearnMore , while Google Docs has their own offering at http://docs.google.com. I know that Open Office (http://www.openoffice.org/) can directly create a PDF file, and you can convert between Open Office and Microsoft Word. I don’t know why third party tools (like CutePDF) would take up more resources than a direct PDF output from Microsoft Word.

I noticed you’re a former Peace Corps volunteer.  What type of projects did you work on?

I was stationed in Pleebo, a small town in Liberia, West Africa.  The school I was stationed at was a Roman Catholic Franciscan mission school.  There was a substation nearby for Firestone (now Bridgestone) workers from American and Europe.  Another contact point was an Assembly of God mission.

What I did was teach high school math, science, and literature.  But I did more than that.  For the bight students, I had special sessions in the home, and taught them to play chess.  For the slower students, I did one-on-one sessions.  Everybody was happy with the results.

Interesting setup.  Reading the history of western philosophy from Roman Catholic priests, learning about Islam from Muslim Ivory traders, getting beat at chess by the bright students, being saturated with short wave radio, and trying to explain snow from the Christmas Carol, to students from the tropics.

I read two New York Times articles on freelancing – one positive and one negative.  What do you think?

I’m happy to see you read (or at least skim) the New York Times. Freelancing is a business – regardless of what one says. That means that sound business, and marketing principles (hopefully direct response) still guide the business ship.

Freelance writers put different emphasize on sound business plans. Author Peter Bowerman doesn’t like a formal one (just “Keep on Calling” is his song – like the Grateful Dead “Keep on Trucking”). What is it that Peter says, in one of his books? A former sales mentor says, “if you tie an order book to a dog’s tail, and send it loose in a big city, it’s bound to come back with an order.” On the other hand, author Lucy V. Parker strongly emphasizes a formal and sound business plan, which Core Four (http://www.corefouronline.com/) and the US small business development center (http://www.asbdc-us.org/), would aid in the construction. Just image being a pirate in days gone by, and sailing a ship without navigation maps, compass, or navigators to assist.

There’s also a faith based or spiritual perspective vs. the perspective of the politicians, academics, and economists. I like to listen to positive spiritual spins, regardless of the faith orientation, or background – or whether I fully agree with them. You might find me watching on TV each week, Protestant minister Joel Osteen (http://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Index.aspx), turning on PBS (public broadcast station) 30 good minutes (http://www.csec.org/), listening to the pod casts of the Christian Science website (http://www.spirituality.com/), or listening to Wayne Dryer on PBS (http://www.drwaynedyer.com/ ) during their pledge drive. Motivation is a key factor. “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford.

Can One Make Money on Information Products?

It takes work.  The best, free training on Internet Marketing (no strings attached) is the 30-day challenge at  http://www.thirtydaychallenge.com .  I have been through the 2008 training and I’m now starting the 2009.   A good summary is found at webventurer.com/blog/t… , under “Thirty Day Challenge Training”.  It does require some work, but it will give you an excellent, solid foundation.  I think the book on Freelance Writing by Bob Bly has a chapter devoted to information products.

How should one view themselves and other writers?

From all the books I read, part of success is being easy to get along with, and achieving deadlines. It’s funny that in direct marketing you “dumb down the writing”, “break the rules of grammar”, and “instead of going to an opera, you’re going to a W.W.F. wrestling match”, when it comes to literary awards, and literary quality.

Never underestimate your own potential, and don’t look down at others. Remember David Mackenzie Ogilvy? How many mediocre careers did he have, before breaking into advertising? And don’t put people down because of what they are. A few years back, I met a chef at a spiritual function. Now I could have put this person down, because they were only a cook. After I got to know this person, I found out a few interesting things. It turns out they went to school with Mick Jaggar, and was the chief cook for many rock band tours – including (you guessed it) – The Rolling Stones. And speaking of a six-figure income. This person accomplished that yearly objective, with just one Rolling Stones tour.

Randy Kemp

http://www.b2b-techcopy.com

 

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5 Responses

  1. copywriting ?? hm… good idea to faster out time.. so we can use our time more wisely..

  2. Larry–do you know my site: http://www.peacecorpsworldwide.org
    I have been tracking Peace Corps Writers since 1987. I was a PCV in Ethiopia in the early years.
    John

  3. […] R­e­a­d the­ o­r­i­gi­na­l­ po­st: Co­p­y­writ­in­g San­gria an­d­ Ro­l­l­in&#17… […]

  4. No matter what your motive is, there is a way you can get No Fee Work At Home positions that will be able to bring in that money that you are in great need of.

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