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How eating crickets boosted my copywriting income

How to write killer copy FASTER and boost your income! 

Part 1

Hiya CopyStar!

I love a good challenge! It pushes me to do things I normally wouldn’t have the guts to do. The challenges can be small or big — for example…

  • Doing a pushup (Yep you read it right — until a few years ago I’d never done one!)
  • Running a 10K marathon in less than 60 minutes. And get this: I came in first place! Ok so I was the ONLY participant — but I challenged myself and did it in 58 minutes flat!
  • Eating an insect salad made of crickets, grasshoppers and termites in Thailand!

Each challenge pushed me out of my comfort zone and took me to another level: Pushups gave me long-desired upper body strength… running the 10k marathon increased my stamina and endurance level… and eating insects — took away my fear of bugs! Now I can squash insects myself instead of screaming for my husband to help!

And when it comes to copywriting — I’m always trying to challenge myself! For example… 

…Back in 2005 — I gave myself a huge challenge: Cut in half my writing time without sacrificing quality and profitability. So how’d I do?

Not only did I achieve my goal but I BEAT IT in spades!

Back then, I was writing about six direct mail packages a year. These were mostly 24-page magalogs/tabloids. I also completed a few other smaller projects — inserts, renewal programs, etc …

My success rate was around 66% — in other words, 4 out of 6 packages became controls.

In 2006, I put into practice my speedwriting program and I wrote 14 magalogs/tabloids… provided copy for a new website launch… wrote several inserts, calendars, other small projects and was the copy chief for half a dozen junior copywriters on other projects.

Phenomenal, right? But that’s not all…

I wrote 6 of the tabloid packages in less than 3 weeks — one package launch took me just 10 days! 

Plus — I more than DOUBLED my copywriting income — and my success rate shot up to 86%!

In other words, I’m getting 20% more royalty income from 6 additional packages!

And the writing streak just kept improving:

In 2009, I wrote 9 packages in less than 12 days — and 8 of them became controls!

In July, 2010, I finished a project soooo fast — it made my client’s head spin. He subtly accused me of rushing to finish the job. But when he read the copy — he loved it — and made very little changes! (By the way — I have to admit I was a little ticked off by the accusation. So if I ever decide to write for that client again, do you think I’ll change my writing approach? Heck no! I’m sticking to my winning formula! However — I may just let his copy “sit” for several weeks before sending it to him!) Sorry, I digress…

In 2013 — my husband and I celebrated our 30th anniversary. We spent the year traveling around the world — visiting 7 different countries! Did my writing business suffer? Absolutely NOT! With my now finely-tuned system — I still wrote 8 packages — and had an 88% success rate!

In 2014 — ONE international client booked up all 12 of my entire copywriting slots for the year! I worked on all sorts of projects — including launching a new line of products and revamping the copy on his website! What an adventure!

In 2015 — I THOUGHT I was going to take it easy after a whirlwind 2014. My plan was just to work on fun projects and launches. Well, I had so much FUN — I ended up writing 14 packages. Success rate remained at 88%!

In 2018 — I partnered up with AWAI to create my first-ever “How To Write Kick-Butt Copy Carline Anglade-Cole’s CRAZY Way! It was a virtual seminar that created a few DOZEN copywriting stars for the health market! WOW! What an experience!

In 2019 — I took on another cool challenge — writing copy for the German market! Yep — I put together a “TEAM USA” to deliver a completely written, translated and designed magalog to test against the current control. And just TODAY I got the news that my packaged SPANKED the control! Wunderbar!

Now, I’m not telling you all this stuff just to brag (well, maybe just a little). I want you to know the secret to my success isn’t rocket science. You too can put a few of these little tricks to work — and you’ll see your copywriting income skyrocket too!

You can find some great copywriting tips in my ebooks. Feel free to take a look at them — and learn some of my techniques. I think you’ll find them super helpful to boost your income. But for now…

In the next few issues — I’m going to give you 7 keys to writing faster copy and making lots of moolah. They worked for me — and I know they can work for you. So let’s get started…

Key #1: Before you write one single word: Know what the heck you’re talking about. In other words, do your research. Spend time getting into the mind of your prospect.

Many clients will send you a copywriter research kit. This gives you the background info you need to really get into the project. But don’t stop there. You’ve got to do as much research as you can to really KNOW the product. You’ve got to convince yourself this is the best product ever and everyone needs to have it. And, if at all possible — take the product yourself!

I always ask for samples and then I take the supplement when I’m working on the project. My one exception is the male potency stuff. Won’t work for me and my husband swears he’ll never need it!

I take the products because I want to see if it makes a difference for ME. In other words, I’m convincing myself before I try to sell anybody else! Many times, I’m so certain the product works — I write my own testimonial for the package!

If you’re working on a product and don’t believe its value — do yourself a favor and turn down the job. The odds of failure are great — and why do you want to sell a crappy product anyway?

Key #2: Work with a few clients — and really get to know their business! I’m starting my 21st year as a freelance copywriter. And I’ve found the years I worked with just 2 or 3 clients produced more revenue than when I worked for 6 or more companies!

Of the 14 packages I wrote in 2015, 10 of them were from 2 clients. They were a variety of nutritional products — but all targeted the same demographics. So I knew immediately who I was writing to.

I didn’t have to “learn” my market every time — just had to get into the benefits of the product. And because I was familiar with the companies, I knew their risk tolerance. That helped avoid a lot of edits from the legal department!

Let me also say this: I do believe it’s important not to “put all your eggs in one basket”. In other words, I make it a point to write for at least 1 new client every year to pump new blood into my business. But I make sure that new clients fit my niche. That way I don’t have to re-learn an industry.
(Of course, one exception to this rule was the opportunity to work on an Oprah project — how could I turn THAT down?!? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, CLICK HERE.

However — please know this: Limiting yourself to one client — without a sweet exclusivity arrangement — means if your only client is having a bad year — so are you. So be careful!

Ok, CopyStar — we’re going to stop here. Don’t want to overload you. In the next issue — I’ll show you how to get over that “Deer in the headlight” feeling when you’re staring at a blank page! But…

…If you can’t wait — then make sure to check out my ebooks and get even MORE valuable copywriting tips: CarlineCole.com. Until then…

Yours for stellar results,

Million-Dollar Copywriter & Consultant