Wednesday 27th May 2015
Freelance Copywriter

Freelance copywriting course by Bob Bly

Hello. My name is Bob Bly.

I’m a full-time freelance copywriter and a member of AWAI’s Board of Advisors.

For years now, AWAI students have been asking me – at Boot Camps, over the phone, and via e-mail – questions about how (and whether) they can make a good living, a six-figure income, or even a million dollars (!) as a full-time freelance copywriter.

Questions like these:Join Bob Bly's Program

bullet “Is it possible to make $100,000 or more as a freelance copywriter in today’s economy?”
bullet “Are companies still hiring freelance writers? Or do they do everything through their agencies or in house now?”
bullet “Has the Internet destroyed the market for freelance copywriting services – or expanded it?”
bullet “I know how to write, but I have no idea how to get people to hire me. Where do I find my first clients?”
bullet “I have no experience and only the writing samples I did for my AWAI assignment. What do I do when a potential client asks to see my portfolio?”
bullet “How much should I charge? What if I ask for that amount and the client says it’s too high?”
bullet “Can I become a self-made millionaire strictly through freelance writing? Or do I have to create and market my own mail-order product?”
The good news is: Now, as an AWAI student, you can get all the answers to these questions and any others you might have directly from me. I’ll tell you everything I’ve learned in my 25+ years of freelance copywriting.Our New and Expanded “Selling Yourself as a Copywriter: How to Earn $100,000 a Year” tells you everything you need to do, in the order you need to do it, to start (or jump-start) your freelance copywriting business – and quickly get on track to earn $100,000 … $200,000 … even $300,000 a year or more … enough to make you a self-made millionaire within the next few years!We launched the initial version of “Selling Yourself as a Copywriter” about a year ago.And already, AWAI students are achieving phenomenal income results:
“I was initially skeptical that your ‘Selling Yourself as a Copywriter’ course could benefit me. After all, I’ve been a full-time copywriter for years. And I already earn well over $100K annually. But Bob Bly guaranteed that I would pick up several nuggets of information from the course that would help me attract more and better clients – and higher fees. He was right. This course is terrific. Thank you.”

-Steve Slaunwhite, Professional Copywriter

“The client hired me today for $750 per sheet. It is my first copywriting job and I got it because my sales letter impressed them so much that they never asked for any samples. Thanks to Bob and all that I’ve learned from AWAI, I’m off and running. This was a very practical, focused program and I believe it was worth every penny!”

-Carole D., Bowie, MD

“I’m afraid to keep promoting myself … I’ve landed so much work I may not be able to do it all!”

-Victor E., Winfield, BC

“Following your advice, Bob, I sent out 50 DM packets for my copywriting services to Chamber of Commerce members last week. I have already received 2 replies, one for an immediate job and one for more information.”

-Mark K., Chicago, IL

“Taking the Six-Figure Copywriting along with the Coaching program is like building a super-high-performing sports car, able to handle anything. What does ‘Selling Yourself’ do? It puts the high octane in the tank of that sports car to get you, super quickly, wherever you want to go. Where you only dreamed of going. Where you never thought you could go. Engage! Thank you again.”

-Ken T., Nagoya, Japan

But I wanted to provide our AWAI students and other copywriters with even more and better help.

That’s why I’m pleased to announce that our new and expanded “Selling Yourself as a Copywriter: How to Earn $100,000 a Year program,” now includes personal mentoring and coaching with yours truly. It’s a program designed to guide you to steady six-figure earnings in your copywriting career.

Turn your writing talents into a multi-million-dollar fortune

“Selling Yourself as a Copywriter: How to Earn $100,000 a Year” is the most complete, powerful, and comprehensive program for becoming financially independent as a freelance copywriter that has ever been offered.

Everything in “Selling Yourself” is taught from experience – by people who’ve already achieved what you want to achieve.

All the marketing methods I tell you about – from having your own website, to taking on spec assignments – I’ve done personally. There’s no theory in “Selling Yourself” … just proven, real-world results.

Over the past two decades, I have spent literally thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on testing in order to discover the methods that really work in getting clients.

By joining our “Selling Yourself” program, you can learn from my “expensive experience” … and not waste a small fortune on stuff that doesn’t work (like I did) …

… and spend your time only on those promotions and activities that can quickly generate lucrative copywriting assignments – even if you’re a total novice.

Here’s just a sampling of what I will share with you:

3 ways you can immediately land a client – even if you are a beginner with zero experience. Using one of these techniques, I had 35 companies inquiring about my copywriting services within 4 weeks after I quit my job to go freelance.

The client already uses other freelance copywriters, and an ad agency, and he has writers on staff. But he still needs you and wants to hire you! I’ll tell you why – and how to use this knowledge in your favor.

Can cold-calling work? Yes, but not the way most freelance copywriters do it. I’ll show you the right way to uncover new prospects by telephone.

New freelance copywriters always ask me, “Where can I get mailing lists of potential clients?” Most list brokers, unfortunately, have minimum rentals of 5,000 names. My alternative gets you around this and allows you to mail to 500, 100, even 10 names at a time – at far less than it would cost to rent a commercially available list.

I’ll also tell you who to call to get conventional mailing lists. There’s only one list broker in the United States that specializes in renting lists of potential marketing clients to freelancers. I’ll give you this broker’s name and phone number.

The easiest (and least expensive) self-promotion method on the planet: writing articles for trade journals. I’ll explain how this works, what publications to contact, how to get them to agree to publish your articles, and how to generate actual sales leads from every article you write. As a bonus, I will also give you a list of titles and subjects for the articles you need to write. In the early 1980s, I went from unknown novice to a well-respected copywriter primarily on the strength of this method.

The quickest way to meet lots of potential clients and build your credibility as a direct-mail copywriting expert. You won’t have much competition, because most freelancers are afraid to do this (and for no good reason; it’s really fun and easy).

The absolutely most effective direct-mail format for generating sales leads for your freelance copywriting services. The package needs only 3 elements, but you must follow this format precisely – or else it won’t work. The letter I wrote following this formula generated a 7% response the first time I mailed it … a 10% response after I tweaked it a little. To get 10 leads for my copywriting services, I only had to mail 100 of these simple letters!

Should you have a website promoting your freelance copywriting services? Must you? What should be in it? How should it look? What domain name is best? My website brings me at least 3 genuine inquiries a week … and thousands of hits.

How to follow up leads until they give you a job, but without pestering them. Prospects have profusely thanked me for using this follow-up method – and many have hired me because of it. (I just got a $6,000 project from an old client, for example, and Michael Masterson has said he “loves” hearing from me in this way.)

The Internet is exploding with “e-zines” – self-published promotional online newsletters. Are there too many of them for e-zines to work any more? Or should you rush right out and create one? Mine goes to 30,000+ subscribers monthly and works like a charm. I’ll reveal the easy formula responsible for its success … and how to use it to generate dozens of leads any time you need them … at virtually zero cost.

How to write classified ads that get business, and where to place them. I’ll also give you the inside story on my full-page ad in DM News and whether the 71 leads it produced paid off. (The ad costs $8,000, but I’ll show you how I got it for FREE!)

All of what I’ve just told you about involves marketing and self-promotion – finding potential clients, generating leads, and letting direct marketers know you are out there and available.

And you can get these insider marketing secrets now! Just click here.

Who wants to be a multi-millionaire?

But in addition to the all-important marketing, we’ll cover every other key aspect of starting and running a successful, six-figure, freelance copywriting business.


How to know when a client has a project on his desk that he needs a writer for – so you can call him that day. Clients only hire you when they have a project. They don’t create projects just to give you work. Here’s the easy way to make sure you call when they have a job.

Building a “stable” of highly lucrative, ongoing clients who give you a steady stream of high-paying assignments. I got Rodale, Boardroom, Agora, Phillips, and Nightingale-Conant as clients just by following these simple guidelines.

How you can be incredibly prolific and super-productive – and get twice as much work done as other freelance copywriters in half the time. Bottom line: You’ll be up to 4 times more profitable than the average freelance copywriter. (Your course materials include a 234-page hardcover book that I’ve written on this topic!)

The reason clients may be passing you by in favor of other copywriters. Surprisingly, it has absolutely nothing to do with how good your copy is or how well it pulls.

Setting and getting your fees: What to charge for typical assignments … how to present your fee to the client … what to do if the client says “Your price is too high” … how to get and negotiate royalties … when NOT to ask for royalties … and more.

You hand in what you think is your best piece of copy ever. The client says, “I hate it.” You are shocked – and you think he is totally wrong in his unfavorable assessment of your copy. He thinks he’s right. Here’s what to do to save the relationship and the project.

Which computer should you use? Which Internet connection? Which word-processing software? Which security system and firewall? What other software do you need? How much will all this cost? Where should you buy it?

Closing the sale: contracts … letters of agreement … retainers … advance payments … methods of payment. (I take credit cards – and I’ll show you how you can, too!)

The client comes to you with a single assignment. Here’s how to turn it into 2 assignments … or maybe even 3 or 4. So instead of getting a $1,000 or $2,000 fee, you get a $5,000 to $10,000 fee. And, the additional assignments take only a fraction of the time it takes to do the first one (if you follow this secret) … so they’re even more profitable.

How to handle the client who says, “I also need layout and design. Do you do the whole thing, or just the copy?” You can win the job even if you’ve never done a page layout in your life – and don’t want to.

Don Mahoney’s secret for earning $250,000 a year (or more) from one single client. (This is just about the only thing in the program I haven’t done. But Don has, and he’ll tell you how.)

Hate proofreading your own stuff? (Actually, I don’t know any copywriter who can effectively proof his or her own work.) With this little secret, you can deliver clean, flawless copy to the client every time.

In “Selling Yourself as a Copywriter: How to Earn $100,000 a Year,” I’ll deliver all this knowledge to you personally. It may sound immodest, but not many people in the country know more than I do about freelance copywriting.

And you won’t be learning only from me. “Selling Yourself” will give you some of the best freelancing advice from some of the world’s most successful novice and experienced freelance copywriters: including Beth Erickson, Krista Jones, Paul Hollingshead, Don Mahoney, Peter Beteul, Cathy Cairns, and Will Newman.

Recognize some of these names? You should: Some are your fellow AWAI students. They started as beginners – just like you. They had no clients or portfolios – just like you.

But by following the simple methods we’ll share with you in “Selling Yourself,” you’ll quickly be getting clients and assignments and receiving big fat payment and royalty checks – just like us!

We’ll also have people from the client side. Katie Yeakle from AWAI, Jenny Thompson from Agora Health and other industry insiders give you their views on what freelancers who want their business have to do to get it. And the mistakes freelancers make that you will want to avoid. (They even offer spec assignments to you!)

Mike D. took Sandy Franks up on a spec challenge she offered to “Selling Yourself” students and ended up with a $3,500 assignment … plus more to come.

Write, stay home, and make $100,000 to $500,000 a year or more

As an AWAI student, you already know the many advantages – money, self-employment, working from home, no commuting, flexible hours – that the freelance copywriting life can give you.

So I won’t waste your time talking about them again here.

But what I do want to tell you is that this is a career with “legs.”

After 25 years as a freelance copywriter, I still love what I’m doing. I literally jump out of bed each day, because I can’t wait to get to my office, turn on my PC, and start writing my various direct-mail projects.

And there are a lot of extra “perks” I’ve enjoyed – and you may too – that AWAI doesn’t talk about when you join:

bullet You can rub shoulders with celebrities. One of my clients is Sy Sperling, founder of The Hair Club for Men. Yesterday, I was on the phone discussing a copywriting project with psychic Uri Geller, the only man on Earth who can bend spoons with his mind. And I just coauthored a book with Bo Dietl, subject of the motion picture “One Tough Cop” starring Stephen Baldwin.
bullet I’ve had fun appearing on dozens of radio and TV shows, talking mainly about marketing but also about other things. I was a guest on CNBC and CBS Hard Copy. And both Nation’s Business and TheNational Enquirer have run full-page articles about me.
bullet I’ve given speeches and lectures on direct mail to executives at Fortune 500 corporations, and have taught marketing at a major university.
bullet You get to work with and learn from some of the smartest marketers in the country. I’ve learned a lot writing copy for folks like Bill Bonner and Michael Masterson. Other AWAI members have, too.
bullet You can branch out into other types of writing. One AWAI student writes screenplays and has actually starred in a feature-length film. Another owns and runs a successful small publishing company. Another is a well-known romance book writer. And, the list goes on.I like to write nonfiction books, and have written dozens of books on topics ranging from Star Trek to Stephen King. AWAI graduate and copywriter Kieran Doherty is a successful children’s book author.
bullet You can get tens of thousands of dollars in repeat business from steady clients. Some of mine have been with me for over 20 years. Do good work and they will stay with you.
bullet You have total “job security.” Since you’re your own boss, you can never be fired.
bullet You can make enough money to retire early … in your 60s, 50s, or even your 40s … if you decide you want to lie on the beach and take life easy.
bullet Or, you can work for as many years as you like, because the work is not physically taxing. My neighbor had to quit his freelance carpentry business because of a bad back. But you can sit at a computer and get paid to write direct-mail copy well into your 70s and 80s. I know several writers who have done just that!

Listen: I’m not a best-selling author or the world’s top copywriter. But despite that, in recent years, I’ve typically made over half a million dollars a year from my writing.

(In 2002, in the wake of 9/11, I had one of my worst years in recent memory. And I still grossed over $320,000. In 2004, I earned $606,383.)

A couple of freelance copywriters I know have hit the $1 million a year mark. But that’s rare. I wouldn’t count on it (though I wouldn’t rule out the possibility, either).

One copywriter I trained, living in an airy log cabin in the bucolic New Hampshire woods, earns over $300,000 helping construction companies market their services.

More freelance writers than I can count have hit and exceeded the $100,000 a year mark using the methods I taught them.

You may make more. You may make less.

But I can virtually assure you of earning a great living as a freelance copywriter when you follow the advice I give you in “Selling Yourself as a Copywriter: How to Earn $100,000 a Year.” For details, click here.

It took me 25 years of expensive experience

to learn all this. Now it’s yours for less than

what I charge for just ONE DAY of my time!

Now, as to how we’ll deliver this information to you. When you join “Selling Yourself as a Copywriter: How to Earn $100,000 a Year,” you will get:

bullet A special e-mail address where you can ask me questions about anything – and I mean ANYTHING – and get my best advice on the subject right away. Through this special e-mail link, you get *unlimited* access to me for personal, one-on-one mentoring and coaching for a full year. I will work with you as your personal coach and mentor for the next 12 months. Value: At least $1,200. Could be much more. Depends on how much you use it.
bullet A comprehensive 6-CD collection that includes a recording of my sold-out New York workshop, “Secrets of a Freelance Writer: How to Make $100,000 a Year,” and “personal” conversations with industry pros who share with you exactly how they find clients, how they keep them happy, and how they make $100,000 a year. VALUE: $499.
bullet A series of 12 one-hour teleconferences in which I discuss, in great detail, the key issues of starting and running a successful freelance copywriting business with working copywriters and marketers such as Joe Vitale, Nic Usborne, Paul Hollingshead, Sandy Franks, Steve Wexler and Chris Marlow. Listen to them in your car and drill into your brain what you must do to succeed. VALUE: $349.
bullet Lots of extra goodies – articles, samples, model contracts, letters of agreement, model promotions – some in print, others online. VALUE: $399.
bullet Password-protected access to a special “Selling Yourself” section on the AWAI website – loaded with resources, information, FAQs, model sales letters, ads, and more. VALUE: $399.
bullet Four of my books, including: the revised 1997 second edition of my classic Secrets of a Freelance Writer … my time-management and personal-productivity book for writers, Write More Sell More … my out-of-print 1983 classic small-business marketing guide, How to Promote Your Own Business … and a collection of my articles for writers, Bob Bly’s Guide to Freelance Writing Success. VALUE: $56.
bullet Our exclusive special report, ” The 62 Most Common Questions Beginning Copywriters Ask About Getting Clients With Answers from the Pros and Your Fellow Working Students.” A compilation of the questions I get asked most often by our members, along with my responses. VALUE: $49.
bullet Members-only discounts to AWAI bootcamps and mini (regional) bootcamps. VALUE: At least $400.

But wait. There’s more ….

Bonus: Get an assignment from your “dream client”

Sign up for “Selling Yourself as a Copywriter: How to Earn $100,000 a Year” today, and you’ll receive an incredible bonus – “Self Promotion Secrets for Novice Copywriters: How to Land Work With Your Dream Client This Year.”

This special course was written exclusively for AWAI by one of our top success stories, Cathy Cairns.

At age 23, with no money, no experience, and no college education (we told you a degree is not required to do this!), Cathy Cairns created a unique self-promotion campaign, the likes of which had never been done before, with only one objective: to get an assignment from her “dream client,” Nightingale-Conant.

Her bold self-promotion campaign, which you simply must see (and you will, when you join “Selling Yourself”), generated a 100% response rate: Nightingale-Conant called Cathy with an assignment, and she is now one of their top writers.

For the first time ever, you can see the actual self-promotion package – and the follow-up e-mails – that Cathy, a total novice, used to win the business of one of the country’s major direct marketers

She also outlines, step by step, how her unique promotion works … and spells out the 4 keys to targeting and acquiring your dream client.

Plus, you get to see how another AWAI students, Vic Elias, has successfully “copied (uh, I mean “adapted”) Cathy’s model to get the attention of Rodale and other top accounts.

“I picked half a dozen target dream clients, used Cathy’s method, and got three very excited responses with offers for work,” says Vic. “My plate is already quite full.”

Join “Selling Yourself” today and get all 4 volumes of Cathy’s course absolutely FREE:

bullet Volume I: The First Two Self Promotion Secrets for Capturing Your Dream Client’s Attention … Cathy reveals how to define your unique selling proposition (USP) as a copywriter – so you can change yourself from a novice into a copywriter who sells millions.
bullet Volume II: Mastering the Art of Following Up: How to Ensure Your Dream Client Gives You a Project – and Keeps Work Flowing Your Way … How to master the art of follow-up and ensure that your dream client gives you a project – and keeps work flowing your way.
bullet Volume III: Case Study … How Copywriter Vic Elias Used Cathy’s 4 Self Promotion Secrets to Land and Keep His Dream Clients.
bullet Volume IV: Five Items You Need to Prepare for a Client Call so Your Dream Client Feels Confident about Giving You a Project … How to follow up your promotional mailing with a phone call that’s guaranteed to answer all of the client’s question and convince him to give you a try.

As you know if you’ve heard Cathy speak at our bootcamps, Nightingale-Conant keeps her busy with as many copywriting assignments as she can handle!

Cathy’s unusual self-promotion method works, and when AWAI starts marketing “Self Promotion Secrets for Novice Copywriters: How to Land Work With Your Dream Client This Year” as a separate product, you’ll have to pay dearly to get it – probably $500 for all four volumes.

That’s a reasonable price, because I think studying Cathy’s breakthrough self-promotion package will be worth a lot more than $500 to you in your freelance copywriting career.

And I mean a lot more: $1,000 would not be an unreasonable price to pay for studying and mastering this material.

But you won’t pay $1,000 … $500 … or even $100 … to get your hands on the famous Cathy Cairns promotion.

Because, for a limited time only, you can get a copy absolutely FREE – when you join “Selling Yourself as a Copywriter: How to Earn $100,000 a Year” today. Just click here now.

Rave reviews for Bob Bly’s marketing advice

“Your books served as a complete reference when I started my own freelance writing business a year and half ago. By following the advice you laid out, I quickly reached goals that I had set for year three of my business within the first year. My philosophy is, if you’ve written it or recommended it, I want to read it.”

-Carla Johnson

“Having read two of your books, I am now taking the leap. If not for the strong encouragement of your books, I might not have jumped. Thanks again for the roadmap that your books offered.”

-Eddie Adelman

“I am a great fan and avid reader of your books. When I first started out in this copywriting business nearly 10 years ago, your book was my Bible (it’s so dog-eared, some of the pages are coming apart). You continue to be a great source of inspiration and education.”

-John M. Mora

“The first time I read your book, I laughed picturing myself as a business writer. The second time I read it, I made over $1,000 in a week. I’m laughing for a much better reason now.”

-Grady Smith

“Had I not discovered your books, I would still be a frustrated, unfulfilled hack. Thank you for saving me from that! I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with the rest of us and allowing us to take a piece of the pie. I already love this new career that I never would have discovered without your guidance. Thanks.”

-Elizabeth Hanes

“Your books helped me start work as a freelancer. I can’t tell you how many times those books saved my skin and got me confidently through unfamiliar materials. I am very grateful for your expertise and generosity.”

-Lorraine Thompson

I genuinely want to help you make a great living as

a freelance copywriter – if you will let me.

I’ve always wished I could sit down with you and all the other freelance copywriters who write to ask me questions and let you pick my brain for hours on end about my 25+ years in this business.

With “Selling Yourself as a Copywriter: How to Earn $100,000 a Year,” you’ll be able to do that. We won’t actually be sitting in the same room, but other than that, it’s equivalent to hiring me as your private coach and mentor.

As you can imagine, over the years, dozens of freelance copywriters have approached me about privately mentoring them in the way I am proposing now. But I don’t have time to do it for everyone individually – and even if I did, my $3,500 minimum consulting fee is simply too much for the average freelance writer to afford.

Now, through “Selling Yourself,” you get virtually unlimited access to me – for a fraction of what I charge for just one day of my time – for a full year.

You always have an experienced guide and friend to talk with – whether you need a pep talk on a down day or my help on pricing a job.

Believe me: The writer’s life is a great life. You’ll love not having any money worries … making a handsome six-figure income … avoiding the rat race … and staying home doing what you love: writing.

Just look at all you get when you join “Selling Yourself” as a member:

Special members-only access to me via e-mail
Cathy Cairns’ 4-volume course, “Self-Promotion Secrets”
The “Selling Yourself” 6 CD program
The “Selling Yourself” 12 teleconference collection
A 4-volume set of my books for writers
The “62 Most Common Questions” report
Bonus materials
Unlimited access to our members-only website
Bootcamp Discounts

The total value of all of these materials and services comes to over $3,851. But when you join “Selling Yourself as a Copywriter: How to Earn $100,000 a Year” today, you get the entire program for only $1,995, a fraction of that price.

One more thing: your membership in “Selling Yourself” comes with this personal guarantee from me….

You can ask me anything about the freelance copywriting profession – anything at all – and I will ALWAYS give you a full, prompt answer based on personal experience … in-depth knowledge of what works in the real world … based on my having earned millions of dollars as a freelance copywriter over the past couple of decades.

That way, your every question will be answered thoroughly and authoritatively. You’ll know exactly what you have to do to get clients. And you’ll forge ahead toward your goal of earning $100,000 to $250,000 a year with renewed vigor and confidence.

To register for “Selling Yourself,” click here.

I promise you’ll be glad you did!

Robert W. Bly
Board Member, AWAI

P.S. The more AWAI copywriters we sign up for this program, the busier I get – and my time is already stretched to the limit as it is (even with me working 12-hour days). So I’ve told AWAI to limit membership to “Selling Yourself” to just a few more copywriters. And it’s first-come, first-served.


The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells

The Online Copywriter’s Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Write Online Copy That Sells

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Direct Marketing

Internet Direct Mail: The Complete Guide to Successful E-Mail Marketing Campaigns

Selling Your Services: Proven Strategies for Getting Clients to Hire You (Or Your Firm)

Secrets of Successful Telephone Selling: How to Generate More Leads, Sales, Repeat Business, and Referrals by Phone

Secrets of a Freelance Writer: How to Make $85,000 a Year

Write More, Sell More

How to Promote Your Own Business