224 pp paperback
Published by Marshall Cavendish

Hi. I'm Andy Maslen, an independent copywriter specialising in business-to-business (b2b), subscriptions and direct response.

Write Copy, Make Money: How to Build Your Own Successful Freelance Copywriting Business

I set up Sunfish – my copywriting agency – with my fellow copywriter Jo Kelly, in 1996. We have written copy for every type of client, from large multinational companies and institutions to start-ups,nternet businesses, charities and government departments.

In this book I draw on my own experience, and that of other freelance copywriters, to share the secrets of running your own successful copywriting business. Everything from choosing what to call yourself to pricing your services – the freelancer’s number one headache. But before you buy it, here’s a (little) warning...

If you want to learn how to write copy, this is not the book for you. I have written three other books that will teach you the skills of the craft, from headlines to emotional copywriting.

But if you’re making the move into freelancing, and you want to know how to get it right – or you're already there but want to do it better, have more fun or make more money – buy this book.

Packed with stories, practical tips, advice, exercises, a survey of freelance pay scales and example marketing letters, emails and telephone scripts – and featuring interviews with 16 freelance copywriters – this is the book that will turbo-charge your copywriting business.

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Section 1: Taking the plunge

The demand for copy

2 Learning your trade
3 Why freelance works
4 No more nine-to-five
5 Achieving work/life balance
6 Are you cut out to be a freelance copywriter?
7 Five things you need to be a successful copywriter
8 Seven things you need to be a successful freelance copywriter
9 Exercise 1 - freelance copywriter personality quiz
Section 2: Setting up in business as a copywriter

What kind of business are you going to be?

11 Sole trader
12 Limited company
13 Where are you going to work?
14 What equipment do you need?
15 Your phone
16 Your desk
17 Your chair
18 Your computer
19 Your stationery
20 What are you going to call yourself?
21 Are you going to specialise?
22 No more water-cooler: building your network
23 Time management
24 Copyright, contracts and terms of business
25 Conflicts of interest, what are they and do they matter?
Section 3: Dealing with money

What role does money play in your life?

27 Who’s going to look after the books?
28 Billing isn’t banking
29 Tax
Section 4: Winning your first copywriting job

Exercise 2 – The elevator pitch

31 How are you going to decide who to write for?
32 Whom to approach
33 What if you don’t have any contacts?
34 How to build up your portfolio from scratch
35 What are direct clients looking for?
36 Exercise 3 – 25 client expectations
37 What are agencies looking for?
38 Deadlines
Section 5: Pricing your services


40 Experience
41 Reputation
42 How much money you need
43 How much money you want
44 Salesmanship
45 Poker skills
46 Getting to £100,000
47 The single biggest mistake you can make...
48 ...and what to do instead
49 Where do you pitch your prices?
50 Are you giving it away?
51 Ballparks, estimates, and quotes
52 Discounting
53 Price-quote confidence booster
54 Exercise 4 – gaining confidence in quoting prices
Section 6: What is a marketing strategy, and do you really need one?



Promotion channels – picking the ones that work for you

57 Word of mouth/referrals
58 PR
59 E-zine
60 Website
61 SEO
62 Direct mail
63 Seminars/training
64 Networking
65 Public speaking
66 Social media
67 Advertising
68 Blog
Section 7: Selling yourself and your business, and why it’s different to marketing

Exercise 5 – Learning to sell yourself

70 Sales meetings: what clients want to hear (and what they don’t)
71 To cold call or not to cold call?
72 Building relationships
73 Favours
74 Where’s the brief? Get it in writing…or take the consequences
75 Testimonials…uncovering your best sales people
76 Making yourself look and sound good
Section 8: Design and what to do about it

Why you need to know about design

78 Do you need a partner?
Section 9: Interviews with freelance copywriters

Analysis of our interview sample

80 The interviews
81 Tom Albrighton
82 Matt Ambrose
83 Relly Annett-Baker
84 Caroline Gibson
85 Caroline Hampstead
86 Richard Harrison
87 Anthony Hewson
88 Jane Kingsmill
89 Vince Love
90 Claire McCarthy
91 Abbe Opher
92 Sally Ormond
93 Jill Tomlinson
94 Johnny Thomson
95 Sarah Turner
96 Peter Wise


97 About the author

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About Andy Maslen

I have spent 23 years in the business communications and information industry. I began my marketing career at Euromonitor, a leading research publisher, as a marketing assistant.

At 27 I was promoted to Marketing Director, leading teams in London and Chicago. During my ten years there, I created and managed over 2,000 marketing and sales campaigns.

After six years heading the marketing function, I resigned to return to my first love—writing—and to set up my own creative agency, Sunfish. I now divide my time between copywriting, training and writing books.

As a specialist independent copywriter and writing coach, I work with organisations of all sizes and across widely differing sectors, helping them build sales and profits using the written word.

I write articles regularly for InCirculation—a best-practice magazine for magazine and newspaper publishers—and have also contributed to B2B Marketing magazine and Direct Marketing International. I also publish my own monthly e-zine—Maslen on Marketing.

I have spoken at workshops, seminars and conferences organised by The Data Publishers’ Association, the UK Newsletter and Electronic Publishers’ Association and the Independent Publishers’ Guild; as well as in-house events for The Economist Intelligence Unit, Euromoney and T&F Informa.

My clients

  • Large global businesses:
    The Economist Group, Euromoney Institutional Investor, Pitney Bowes, Dun & Bradstreet, News International, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Charities and the public sector:
    The Landscape Trust, the Small Business Service
  • Smaller national companies:
    A a night nanny agency, a transport company, a restaurant, a TV production company, a sporting social club for well-heeled singles.

My training business, Write for Results, which I co-own with a business partner, is the preferred supplier to The Economist Group and works with managers at AstraZeneca, Bank of America, BP, Emap, Nationwide Building Society and PricewaterhouseCoopers, among others.

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What Andy's clients say about his copy

My copy works—you can tell from the number of clients who come back to me for project after project. Their opinions speak volumes:

“We have had further very favourable response to our Tattoo mailer today. With your excellent copy writing we have generated the best ever response to any internal DM campaign that we have run .”

Terry Turner, Managing Director, Priority Newstrade, Mailing & Digital

“Many thanks for the work you put into our Group Capabilities project. The copy itself was exactly what we were looking for: clear, concise, high-impact. On top of that, you added a huge amount of value by helping us shape the ideas behind the concept, so that we ended up with a compelling story, not just a bunch of random facts. Working with you was great fun and highly productive. I hope we can do it again soon.”

David Laird, Group Commercial Director, The Economist Group

“You'll be glad to know that both the Personal Computer World and Computeractive new letters that you've produced for me have significantly outperformed my control pack. Therefore I'd like to use your copy & designs for the next few mailings to the end of the year.”

Harriet Cumming, Subscriptions Controller, VNU Business Publications

“We appreciated this work and didn't really change anything before broadcasting. We also used the 'Billion Dollar Baby' headline as the subject line in an email which got the best opening rate of an email for this particular campaign. So many thanks for this - I look forward to working with you again soon.”

Jason Coles, Marketing Manager, Euromoney Seminars

“I wanted to pass along a thank you for your work on the November 10th conference. I am always in awe of creative folks that can take our words and create the most incredibly readable and appealing documents. Once we come to a decision on the Observatory for the UK, I will be counting on your talents to customize and beautify our marketing pieces.”

Yvonne Fizer, Business Development, Sirolli Institute

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Andy Maslen

Praise for Andy Maslen's first book on copywriting -Write to Sell

“If I were starting out as a writer tomorrow, I would definitely want to read this book. I pretty much taught myself most of the tricks all those years ago - and it took me far too long. Had I read it, it would have saved me years of trial and, for the most part, error.”

Drayton Bird, the godfather of direct marketing

“Hi Andy,

I just wanted to say a big thank you for your 'Write to Sell' book which I bought recently. I set up my own business a year ago and have regularly purchased books and self-help guides to help me through the process.

Your book is exceptional - not only is it terrific to read (obvious I know but worth saying), it has helped guide me like no other.

And even more importantly it will help me to help my clients. It has made me want to sign up to your newsletter, which I'll now do. Thank you - please keep your great advice coming!”

Best wishes,
Fiona Barker
barker pr

"This book is a gem. Not only enjoyable to read but packed full of useful and practical tips for better copywriting. Andy has a talent for making the subject of good writing lively and fun as well as hugely educational."

Sally Bibb, Group Sales Development Director
The Economist Group