The $75,000 Writing Career -
Freelancing for Corporate America


© Copyright 2005, Peter Bowerman All Rights Reserved


As I passed a cubicle in the office of my biggest client, a regional telecom giant, the nameplate looked familiar. I stuck my head in. “Did you used to have an ad agency?” “I did,” was the reply, “but thanks to the huge recession in the creative industry back then (a fact I was blissfully unaware of at the time), I had to shut my doors.”


Ah now I remembered her. She was one of several people who told me, that with no industry contacts, no agency background and no paid professional writing experience of any kind (ponder that), I’d have a heckuva time making it as a freelance commercial writer. “Thanks for sharing,” I recall thinking. I hit financial self-sufficiency in four months that very year.


Have decent writing ability? Why not put it to work?


A Lucrative and Growing Opportunity

For the last decade, downsizing and outsourcing have sculpted the corporate American landscape. Businesses – large and small – are all doing more with less, with many relying heavily on freelancers to write those marketing materials – brochures, ads, newsletters, direct mail, web content and much more, and for hourly rates of $50-125+. And the


So, what’s “commercial writing”? Marketing brochures, ad copy, newsletters, direct mail campaigns, video scripts, speeches, sales sheets, web sites and so much more. In short, any written materials a corporation has to create for any reason: print, online, business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), and internal communications – the huge volume of projects companies need to develop “for their eyes only.”


Who Will Hire You?

There are two main groups of prospects: End Users (EUs) and Middlemen (MM). EUs are the corporations, large and small that will be the end-users of the writing. With bigger firms, try the “MarCom” (marketing communications) department, or if it’s smaller, contact, marketing, sales, or HR.


What About a Portfolio?

In the beginning, you may not have much to show a prospective client. Start with any writing projects you may have done in any of your jobs: a marketing manual, press release, newsletter, sales sheet, article, etc. Try doing some pro bono work for a charity or start-up firm, or team up with a graphic designer in the same boat, and approach those same type entities together. And the best part? All this can be done while you’re employed elsewhere.


Beyond the Yellow Pages

Where else can you find your prospects? Check the annual Book of Lists, put out by the Business Journal publications in many major cities. Check for the full nationwide listing. Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend their networking event. Remember: every business is a prospect for professional writing services (if they want to stay competitive, that is.)


Why not turn your love of writing into a handsome living? The business is there. Isn’t it time for a raise?




Love to write, but hate to starve? For a free report (“Why Commercial Writing?”) on building your own high-income writing career with enviable freedom and flexibility, visit, home of the award-winning Well-Fed Writerbooks by Peter Bowerman, one of America’s leading experts on the lucrative field of commercial freelancing. And check out Peter’s newest release, The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living, based on the successful self-publishing of his first two books.




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