Five freelance online writing opportunities for 2013

Copywriting is a $2.3 million industry worldwide, open to anyone with a basic knowledge of copywriting. You can earn extra income, pre- or post-retirement—on your own time in your own home, and there’s lots to be done.

By Carol Barron

The reality for many baby boomers in today’s economy is that traditional retirement is no longer a possibility. Layoffs. Drained savings accounts. Retirement nest eggs gutted by stock market volatility. It’s the new normal.

The prospect of working well past 65 is a reality for many. And that’s for those lucky enough to have a job. Unemployment for those 55 and older has skyrocketed as companies increasingly take on younger workers willing to work for less.

But there is a way for boomers in need of extra income to take matters into their own hands: freelance copywriting. Copywriting is the process of writing advertising promotional materials. Copywriters are responsible for the text on brochures, billboards, websites, emails, advertisements, catalogs, and more.

This text is known as “copy”. And copy is everywhere — it’s part of a $2.3 trillion industry worldwide.

Unlike news or editorial writing, copywriting is all about getting the reader to take action. That action might be to purchase, opt-in, or engage with a product, service or company. And these days, with 34 per cent of the world population online, much of it is done online in the form of emails, website pages and more.

“Freelance copywriters have super flexible schedules, can work from anywhere and, with the right skills and training, can make as much as six-figures annually,” says Katie Yeakle, American Writers & Artists Inc. executive director.

It’s the ideal part- or even full-time career for the unemployed, underemployed or those looking to work towards an earlier retirement. Even within copywriting, there are five sectors in particular that industry watchers expect to experience tremendous growth this year.

Cause marketing, which combines advertising and worthy charitable causes.
Video scriptwriting, or simply creating the text for video ads.

Self-publishing. Thanks to the explosion of ebooks and other online formats, there is plenty of room in this market.

Video sales letters. These reimagined old-style, direct-response letters quadruple response.

Business-to-business content writing, which helps businesses engage potential business customers and keep them open to sale messages.

Plenty of clients are hiring copywriters at top dollar to take on new projects in these niches. A basic knowledge of copywriting techniques and principles is needed. But, once this knowledge is acquired, anyone can find fulfillment and a great second income with these opportunities.

American Writers & Artists Inc. recently explored each of these careers in depth, including the money-making potential. To read the entire article, google “Unconventional Careers in Uncertain Economic Times”.

Carol Barron is associate editor of Florida-based American Writers & Artists Inc.

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