Roving Report: Writing Success Story — Steve Maurer

Successful professional casual man celebrating work success and raising arms against city background on sunset. Job achievement or goal concept.

Steve Maurer started copywriting in 2010. When he embarked on his freelance career, he was writing for content mills, but he’s a long way from that now.

Wealthy Web Writer’s Managing Editor Heather Robson talked with Steve about his copywriting success — the teleconference is HERE for your listening pleasure.

Before Steve discovered copywriting, he had a long-time industrial job. For years, he worked 48 hours a week, but suddenly the company eliminated the overtime. For Steve and fellow coworkers who depended on that income, it was a shock.

Steve knew he didn’t want a second job, so he looked around for better options. Then a friend who’s an editor and author, encouraged him to try writing.

“I found an ad on Craigslist for someone who wanted to make money writing,” he explained, “and about three months later, I had a Textbroker account.”

“It was a content mill,” he clarified. At a rate of $4-$5 per article, Steve earned $2,000 the first year, writing about 400 articles. In fact, he did that for nearly two years. For him, it was a proof of concept — people wanted writing, and would pay him to provide it.

In late 2011, Steve discovered some videos online by copywriter Bob Bly. Steve bought Bob’s Copywriter’s Handbook, and then discovered Brian Clark and Copyblogger. The next summer, he came across AWAI. “That was the beginning of my real quest for copywriting success,” he told us.

Managing Time

Since then, Steve has built a successful copywriting business while maintaining a day job. “What was that like?” Heather asked.

“It’s been interesting,” Steve acknowledged. His trick is to manage his time carefully, with a place for everything, including his family, on the calendar.

“In the beginning, I had to cut out some of my favorite TV programs,” he stated. “Anything you can cut out, cut it out. Once you’re successful you can add it back in again if you’re so inclined. You may find you don’t want to though.”

You also need to take time to play so you don’t get burned out, he cautioned.

To use his time well, Steve takes advantage of “little drops,” like prospecting on LinkedIn while standing in line at the grocery store or using his lunch hour at work to respond to email.

A good website and LinkedIn profile can be your brand ambassadors and do the selling 24/7, so “let them talk to the prospects until you get a chance to,” he advised.

Increased rates

Today, Steve’s earning more than he did in those first two years — a lot more. Instead of $4 for an article, his rates now range from $250-$500 for an article that takes him about three hours to write and edit.

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna was dragged back, kicking and screaming, into freelancing after losing her job in the banking meltdown in March, '09. One 3-month stint in an appalling temp job persuaded her to get serious about establishing herself as web writer. In March, 2012, she moved to a small town in Panama with her husband and three small dogs. After enjoying the writer's life in the culture of "buenas" and "mañana" for 2-1/2 years, she's returned to the US. At least for now.

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