I despise cold pitching. Here’s how I made $19,000+ in 46 days from referrals alone… without sending a single cold email.

“Don’t talk to strangers.” 

That’s the earliest advice I remember being given. 

It’s also the one I followed most strictly. But not because of my parents.

Nope. What truly cemented it as an immutable law in my tiny four year old brain was a puppet show put on by the police for my pre-kindergarten class.

It started innocently; a group of woolen anthropomorphized puppies and kittens with buttons for eyes were happily playing at the park…

… then a puppy talks to a stranger. And gets abducted.

Dark twist for a bunch of four

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How rest – not hustle culture – made me a better copywriter.

Imagine you’re a canary in a coal mine:

You’re healthy as you enter the mine – full of joie de vivre. Singing to your heart’s content as you enter into the darkness. Fluttering your wings as only birds like you can.

Later, you exit the mine. Except now you’re:

Covered in soot. Frail from disease. Your song is gone.

And you’re no longer able to do what you’re uniquely qualified as a bird to do:


Was it you that made yourself sick? Or was it the coal mine?

To most of us, the answer

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I am an introvert. Here’s how I went from fearing authority to speaking on stages.

“I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.”

^^ Monica Lewinsky at a Women’s Day presentation I attended in 2017. 

Yes, that Monica Lewinsky. The woman who, by some POVs, almost brought down Bill Clinton’s presidency because she kept a certain blue dress. 

Her presentation was so well crafted on the subject of cyber bullying, I couldn’t stop watching. But it also felt like a warning: visibility can be bad. Making yourself into a household name might not be the business windfall you think

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How to Survive Your First Recession (or Any Other Disaster) as a Freelance Copywriter

While the world at large is discovering Zoom and hoarding toilet paper, I am celebrating a milestone in my freelance copywriting business.
No, it wasn’t hitting the six-figure mark.
And no, I didn’t score an interview on an episode of MarieTV. At least yet.
It’s that I received the following email from a client in response to the COVID-19 outbreak around the world….
And I turned down the offer.

Before you type out a “WHY DIDN’T YOU TAKE THE OFFER TO GET PAID EARLY” comment, let me be clear…
I am grateful that after

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Forget Ad Revenue. Here’s How to Monetize Your Blog to the Tune of $185,975/year, Ad-free

They say hard work is a reward unto itself.

But for most freelancers – you know, the kind with bills and a constant eye on their bank balance – it’s a lot more rewarding when work turns into hard cash.

Let’s face it: There’re only so many pats on the back you can survive on when you’re trying to make money from your blog.

Like, five. Maybe seven, tops.

Eventually, probably sooner rather than later, you need to take those pats on the back and turn them into bank account deposits.


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How to be a freelance copywriter when you suck at doing what freelancers are “supposed” to do

Back in 1949, a psychologist from the University of Wisconsin set out to study primate behavior.
Harry Harlow and a couple of his colleagues set up an experiment.
Source: Drive by Daniel H. Pink
They got some monkeys together, prepared a simple puzzle, put the puzzle in front of the monkeys and watched the scene unfold.
The scientists expected the monkeys to show disinterest.
But when the monkeys saw the puzzle, they began solving it. Immediately. With zero treats or incentives.
Over the next 14 days, Harlow and his team watched the monkeys problem-solve

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Is $5000 a lot to charge for a sales page? We asked 14 marketers who hire freelancers. What they revealed could help you land your next project.

I spent the last 4 days writing a long-form sales page for one of our Copy Hackers programs.
At my day rate of $5000, that’s a $20,000 investment.
Given what a long-form sales page can do for revenue generation, $20K is money well-spent.
But not everyone would agree with that. Few would. And, to be honest, even yours truly would have a very, very hard time paying a freelance copywriter $20,000 to write a sales page. I’d need… well, we’re gonna get into what people like moi would need in order to

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I used cold emails to 14x my freelance copywriting business. Here’s how. (Includes templates.)

Cold emails aren’t a numbers game.
You don’t have to send 1000s of emails just to score a disheartening open rate of 2%.
(That’s the often-touted open rate for cold emails, BTW.)
That’s all just a lie perpetuated by marketers who suck at cold emailing… and who want to make you feel like you’re as horrible at this delicate skill as they are.
Truth be told:
Cold emails can – and do – work.
How do I know?
Because I used 328 of ’em to launch my business and grow it 1400% in 4 months.

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Client Management the Mad Men Way

This July, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the premier of season 1, episode 1 of Mad Men, the 1960s era show that validated and united everyone who’s worked in advertising.
Ten years later, we’re still nostalgically sharing marketing insights coined by Don Draper and consoling ourselves with Roger Sterling’s account management axioms:
“My father used to say this is the greatest job in the world except for one thing: the clients.”
Ahh… the double-edged sword of clients.
Despite his mastery of persuasion, Don Draper couldn’t handle client management on his own. After losing

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Note to Self, On Time Management

Dear Joanna,
This year, you gained 8 pounds.
You skipped the gym more than you went.
You sat at your desk (or a desk in a hotel) almost every single day of the year. At least 360 days of it. And when you were at a desk, you were there for eight or ten – sometimes 14 – hours at a time. Even on Sundays. Even though you promised Dave you’d take Sundays off.
Your almost-mother-in-law said you looked tired every time she saw you.
You cancelled your vacation to Hawaii. “Too busy.”
You cancelled a book

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