How does one get into commercial writing? July 6,
Back For Seconds a triple-award-finalist. We chatted about his new title, which is billed as a detailed how-to for breaking into the lucrative and surprisingly accessible field of freelance "commercial" writing.
What exactly is freelance commercial writing? Commercial writing is writing for corporations or other business entities on a freelance basis.
That means marketing brochures, ad copy, newsletters, direct mail campaigns, speeches, trade articles, video scripts and about a commercial writing companies other types of projects. Because the business world generally has a lot more money than magazines or other organizations that might hire writers, the pay is considerably higher than in those fields.
What sort of experience do you need for commercial writing? Well frankly, I had no industry contacts, no professional writing background and no previous paid writing experience when I started out and I was self-sufficient in less than four months - by self-sufficient, I mean full-time and paying all my bills through writing.
I had a sales background, which helped get me going, but zilch in the writing arena. Why is commercial writing a good field to go into now? Often, the first departments to be cut were in the creative and communications arenas - and that means writing.
But the work still needs to get done. Not to mention thousands of smaller companies who have plenty of money but are less likely to have the in-house resources to execute their projects, and hence, far more likely to outsource that work.
Is the money equation in commercial writing different from say, magazine writing? How good a writer do you have to be for commercial writing? You DO have to be a decent writer.
Not more than once, anyway OK, so how much money can you make in this field? Build a good reputation, start getting referrals, and who knows? I mean, for the most part, you get up and go to bed when you want to, take vacations when you want, take showers when you want to, no rush-hour traffic.
So, besides corporations, what other types of companies hire commercial freelancers? A lot of "middleman" entities, which means companies that are working for an end-user like a corporation. Like graphic design firms, marketing companies, ad agencies, PR firms event production companies and others.
Does it take a mental adjustment to write for this field? Writing, for the most part, is writing. If you know how to assemble information and build a story, commercial writing will be similar in structure and format to magazines.
The big difference of course, is the higher fees. That may seem like a wonderfully easy adjustment, but it can be tricky to shift your perception of your value on the open market.Driven By Values To Deliver Excellence.
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