After the first lockdown period of 2020, I decided to launch Local Writer as partial rebrand of my business. Local Writer is my copywriting and content marketing website, specialising in writing for businesses which target local customers.
Of course, there is deliberately some ambiguity in the term “local.” What does “local” mean in a global marketplace. I was expecting my first client to be local to me in Hackney as that was where I was pitching my services. But the first enquiry that came in through the door was in fact from New York. The second was from Bromley.
I studied hard during the lockdown period, taking a direct response copywriting course and an email mastery course from Digital Marketing Lab, the business run by Ryan Deiss, and a copywriting course from the Blackford Centre. I also read extensively, covering material from David Ogilvy, the “godfather of advertising”, Andy Maslen, James Newell and many others. I also subscribed to several blogs on blogs, including pro blogger and copy blogger.
All good stuff, but at the end of the day, the best way to learn is to learn by doing, which is one of the reasons for writing this blog post today. I also want to provide a link to www.localwriter.co.uk for SEO purposes.
But why take up copywriting? I was struggling to make time for my travel business, so surely it makes no sense to start yet another business?
Travel has had a terrible 2020, with pretty much all travel being cancelled. At the time of writing this post, it looked unlikely that much travel would be opened up much before the spring, if not much later. I could not face another year without income.
My Linked In posts generally get good engagement and many people, including copywriters have commented on how well they are written. I am developing a bit of a reputation as a story teller, so I decided to place my writing on a more formal basis.
Of course, copywriting is a very different discipline, focusing much more on persuasiveness. I have had to work hard to discipline myself when writing copy to pare everything down and to concentrate on the benefits to the reader rather than writing style and personality.
The image for Local Writer comes from a picture I took in Berlin, being of some street graffiti or art and the words, “You can run, but you can’t write,” which seemed like a good slogan for my writing business. I want to write for my clients’ business so that they can concentrate on running their businesses. It is not easy writing consistently for a business and even harder writing for your own business.
I have set myself a difficult target with Local Writer. The Blackford course suggests that it should be possible to earn £500 during the first three months. It will be interesting to see how they recommend that is achieved. I want to be hitting £1000 a month after three months. If I start making that sort of money, I will put some of it towards the purchase of a Leica Q2. It is expensive, perhaps a completely unnecessary purchase, but I want to set something tangible as a goal. It has a fixed 28mm lens, which is a lens I hardly ever use. I do have a 28 mm with my Nikon and I will start to use it.
I went into 2020 with great hope and expectations. I still have great hope and expectations, but my direction has changed a lot. I have a great deal of work to do to get ready for 2021, and I need to start earning quickly.
I have an interesting and challenging six months ahead!