One of the biggest things new writers are faced with is the decision of whether or not to just continue writing novels, or to branch off into the world of professional writing. We've all seen the big sells. "You can earn $100,000 your first year as a copywriter!" "It only takes a few minutes to find out how to build your client list and make thousands per week!" "Get started for free!" If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
There's a sort of backwards marketing technique that's been popular for years, and while most people don't think much of it, the ones that find a way to get their hooks in it can make a fine living. The 'experts' of a field will offer information to those just starting out, but at a price. Sounds reasonable, but it's a little dirty if you look at it from another angle. It's someone saying, "I'm already successful, and I want you to be as well, but my advice isn't free, so you need to line my pockets a little more before I can point you in the right direction." It's their way of offering you a little advice, but making sure that their foothold in the market isn't in jeopardy. No one does anything for free these days, but if you're really looking out for the interest of newcomers in your field, at least be forthcoming in your intentions. A lot of places aren't, and that's why I'm writing this for you today.
If you ask me, I'm a half-way decent writer, which means I should be able to take an idea and flesh it out with a little bit of research and time, right? So who's to say that I couldn't launch a money-making campaign on how to get free money from the government? Sound familiar? I thought so. Take an idea, do the research, then write up a program that is "quick and easy" and sell it for profit. It happens all the time, since the initial information is free, and so many people want an immediate solution without putting much work into it. Free money for the taking.
"But if it's so easy, why doesn't everyone do it?"
Honestly, most people don't even think about doing it. They see the infomercials on TV on how to get rich quick and just think it's some kind of scam, when in reality the information is there, you just have to pay for it if you want to get it easily. It's what we call paying for convenience. The host will say, "I can show you how I got rich, and if you follow my steps you can be rich, too." Did the host actually get rich through their practices? Maybe, maybe not. But they will get rich off the well-written buzz surrounding their product. The idea is only the first part of the process; building it up and making it flashy and easily accessible is what really takes the project from an idea to a salary machine.
The purpose of this article is to expose the hierarchy of information gathering in a specific market. Most people that are just starting out don't have the money to blow on all of these get rich quick programs, but they may check a few of them out at face value and then decide to take a chance on one of them. One of these, for example, may be AWAI, or American Writers and Artists, Inc. I just saw earlier they were having a huge special, $9 for a year's worth of their subscription magazine, The Barefoot Writer, instead of its normal $49. I figured, what the hell, might as well give it a look. So I ordered it and took a look around. Here are some examples of the thing's you'll see there:
- How to Cash in by Providing a Turn-key Solution for Info-marketing Clients
- Save $150 on Financial Copywriting Program
- FREE Webinar: Writing for the Business-to-Business Market
These are pretty hook-y headlines, aren't they? That's because they're written by writers like us. The only problem is, once you get into the meat of the article, a lot of times you find out there really isn't anything there. When you save $150 on the program, you find out at the end of the article that the program was originally $500, so you still have to pay $350. In the webinar, they tell you how much money you can make, how great it is working for yourself on your own time and what qualifications you need, but when it comes to actually finding real clients or getting access to lists of prospects, you gotta cough up some kind of membership fee or one-time payment.
Of course, I'm not saying every place is bad, and I'm also not saying that AWAI doesn't have legit articles with good information. What I am saying is that the majority of what you will run into is fluff, and you need to be wary of who you pull your debit card out for. Do your research. When you visit a site, don't just feast on the clickbait articles and catchy headlines. Do some digging and see if there's any real information there. If a company really wants to share something with you instead of putting their profit first, they'll have some meaty bits even in their open areas that you can run with.
Be wary of catchy headlines and do your research before you shell out money.