For Me, Copywriting Equals Livelihood and Power (And I Trust You With Power and Resources)
Written by Kelly Diels
Copywriting is Power-building
In 2008, newly split from my partner, I had two little girls under the age of 4. I had no child support — hell, I had no support of any kind. I was totally on my own, 24/7.
I did have an apparently “good” job as a Proposal Writer & Contract Manager; but after I paid daycare and rent, luxuries like groceries were going on my credit card — and one day soon that credit card was going to run out of room.
At the same time, I was profoundly lonely. I felt unseen in my day-to-day life. I had all these big ideas, and dreams, and yet it felt like I walked through my daily life underestimated. I had no social life — because I had little ones and no money for a babysitter in the evenings or on weekends.
And so writing became a lifeline.
At night, after I put my daughters to bed, I wrote.
At work, I kept an email to myself open all day and dropped thoughts and sentences into it. In the evenings, I’d turn those sentences and half phrases into blog posts.
Every night I wrote a blog post. And published.
I don’t even know how I ended up getting readers, because at the time I wasn’t even on any social media, not even Facebook (!!!) — but I did.
A couple of fellow bloggers started commenting on my blog posts, and then reaching out by email…and suddenly I had friends! A community!
In those early days, my new writing & blogger friends were my champions.
- They taught me how to get more readers.
- They taught me about SEO.
- They told me about a thing called Twitter [maybe you’ve heard of it :)] and insisted I join.
- They encouraged me to guest post.
- They let me guest post on their sites…and cheered me on when I got audacious and pitched a guest post to a huge site. (That was a turning point — I got hired to write a column and my audience expanded exponentially.)
- One, Dave Doolin, a coder and professor from the East Bay, taught me how to copy-write.
Although I was already a good writer (that’s why my blog was getting attention and I got offered the column) Dave introduced me to a form of writing that helps people take action — whether it’s to call their representative, hire a coach, or buy the e-book.
There were particular copywriting tactics I learned and layered into my online writing —
right down to formatting.
(A lot of the time, copywriting isn’t about how much to write, it’s about how to style it and where to put the white space between your words.)
Once I had a grasp on how to copy-write, I started reading every book about copywriting, and saving every sales email and sales page that came my way. I’d deconstruct them to see what the writers were doing to keep me reading.
I started using my new copywriting skills to re-do my own website pages, and write sales pages and emails —
and I started making money.
Copywriting was a game-changer
One night, I wrote a sales page and sent an email to my (tiny) list, and in the morning there was $2,500 in my PayPal account.
This was life-altering.
You have to remember: I was a single mama with no money. I was putting my groceries on credit cards — and that runway was running out.
Soon, I landed a $9,000 contract with a non-profit to write their website and blog; the same week I landed a $3,000 contract to write case studies for a tech company in Vancouver. Both paid me in advance.
To have more than $10K in my bank account…
Honestly, I would login to my account several times a day just to look at it. I had NEVER had that much money, ever.
It gave me the confidence I needed to leave my job and start my own business as a copywriter and digital marketing strategist.
There were many ups and downs. There were months I was worried I wouldn’t make rent. There was the time I bought a used car and it blew up a week later and I needed money ASAP to fix it.
And every time I had my back against the wall, I could write my way out of trouble.
I could write a sales page and send a sales email and get a new client or three, and take a deep breath. Because I was going to be ok.
This is not a small thing. This is HUGE — especially for those of us facing systemic barriers to our flourishing. (Like, say, gender wage gaps and socialization that lets men opt out of providing for their children.)
Copywriting means I’m able to write an About Page that shows people I am hireable; I can write sales pages and send sales emails…
…and that meant that I was no longer at the mercy of a job that underpaid me and an ex who DIDN’T pay me.
For me, learning the skill of copywriting was POWER.
Yes, it made me money, which was one of the ways I grew in power.
It’s so much more than that.
My daughters witnessed me growing in confidence and capacity. They saw me free myself from a terrible situation and create a brilliant new one. They saw me start a business. They saw me make things happen and change our circumstances. And now they know that they can do it, too. (They’re fierce, let me tell you.)
My confidence in my ability to create change grew, too.
Plus, no one can fire me so I can publicly say whatever I want.
And so I do.
I use my voice and my writing to raise awareness about white supremacy, and gender essentialism, and JUSTICE.
Writing is a form of power.
It gives us the ability to share ideas, create new norms, and create new realities for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our businesses.
And copywriting, in particular, can help you change the trajectory of your business.
- It can help you get visible.
- It can help you expand your audience.
- It can help you make SALES.
- It can help you secure yourself a thriving livelihood…
- It can help you write your way out of trouble…
- It can help you write new realities into existence — for you, and for all of us.
In my story there wasn’t a magic wand that got waved and I instantly turned into a princess. Instead there was a process of skill-building, practicing, iterating, taking risks to be visible, and a community of people supporting me.
Copywriting was one of the essential skills that I built and practiced.
It’s not a magical, innate talent; it’s a skill you learn and build out, tactic by tactic.
For me, copywriting = livelihood and power.
This is why I spend a lot of time working on people’s messages and teaching copywriting. Because I want culture makers and feminist entrepreneurs to have this game-changing, LIFE-CHANGING skill.
I want you to have a flourishing livelihood. I want you to have more power. (I trust you with money and power.)
And I want us to do it through a feminist lens, so that we create MORE IMPACT with LESS HARM.
That’s what the Copywriting for Culture Makers Certification Program is designed to help you do. I’ve poured a decade of copywriting experience — from a specifically feminist perspective — into this framework, and used it over and over again with hundreds of marketing and copywriting clients…and it works.
Let’s build out our copywriting skills so we can build power and resources — personally, and collectively.
love + justice,
PS Yes, there are payment plans! And if you have another payment arrangement to propose, email me and let’s try to make something work 🙂