How I Get Paid

A lot of different kinds of people read this blog.

From time to time, I am asked some version of the following question: “Why do you write the blog, and what exactly is it you do for a living? How do you make money?”

For those who are curious, here are some answers…

Why I Write This Blog

While I doubt this question can be answered completely in a few simple sentences, I can at least give you a fairly accurate, if somewhat incomplete answer. Here are a few of the reasons why I write every day:

  • I write because I feel compelled to write. There’s something about expressing my ideas on paper that leaves me calm, cool, and collected.
  • I write to prove that I know I’m talking about (and lest you think that is a shallow motivation, please note that this is not about ego gratification: it’s about the development, training, and getting of clients and customers.)
  • I write to develop a relationship with my readers, to dialogue with them, and to learn from them.
  • I write to develop material for my books. My next book will be published in November, and I have plans to publish no less than four books next year. If I wasn’t writing every single day, it would be difficult to keep up such a grueling publishing schedule. My books, incidentally, are a key component of my marketing machine and designed to feed into my overall strategy-everything I do is designed to build credibility, establish my expertise, train and develop potential client and customers. You would be well-advised to pursue a similar method of operating.

How I Get Paid

I do very little direct work for clients these days, preferring to work in partnership with other entrepreneurs, and to develop my own business properties. However, I do derive a substantial amount of income from the writing of copy for clients, and the giving of advice to clients. The reason that I say I do “very little direct work” is because I do a lot of work for a very small number of clients. This is by design.

When I started in the business of writing direct response copy, and providing consultation services, I juggled as many as 8 to 10 clients at a time and produced a voluminous amount of copy. This quickly took a toll on me mentally and physically, so I raised my prices so that I could devote more quality time to fewer projects. It’s a course of action I recommend to anyone who’s interested: I promise you it’s a healthier, more profitable way to do business.

Now, because I know this next is the question that is really on your mind, I will answer it… with some misgivings. Maybe this is a mistake – time will tell. I’m  sure I will attract some criticism because of what I’m about to reveal. So I guess I will just pinch my nose, jump into the deep end of the pool, and see what happens. Here’s what I charge…

Profit Strategy Retainer: $120,000 and 10% of gross revenues.  This usually means I’ll be helping to manage a product launch or similar campaign for a client with an established business and track record. This arrangement typically lasts for a full year. For those who can’t afford this kind of arrangement…

Profit Strategy Coaching: $12,000 per year,  payable in advance.  This is a small group of hand selected coaching students, whom I deal with by telephone and Internet almost exclusively, helping them create profit architecture for their business that is superior to what they may have been able to achieve on their own.

The Apprentice Program: I also oversee a small number of apprentice projects, which means copywriters who have been trained and approved by me do the actual writing work for clients who are seeking my advice but cannot afford to pay my direct fees. I have oversight on the copywriting project, offer critique and direction and final stamp of approval for any work that is done, and this proves much more economical than having me do the work directly. Even though this allows me to work with more clients, there are still only a limited number of these projects I can oversee, because my schedule is very full.

Information product publishing: I produce a number of information products, training programs, and online classes each year. These training programs and products are offered at a variety of price points, delivery methods, and time intervals. This is the area of my business that provides me with the most leverage, and is also the area of my business under the most scrutiny at the moment. I’m developing a strategy for expanding and multiplying this particular income stream.

Book publishing: my first business book will be published in November of this year, and as I’ve mentioned previously I will be publishing no less than four books next year. This is a new arm of my business endeavors that is designed to bring more clients and customers into our marketing funnel, and I’m pursuing it with a vengeance. Don’t be deceived; this is part of a larger strategic initiative, and should not be attempted by the faint of heart nor the ill-prepared. Publishing books as a sole means of producing income is not a very good way to make a living. In fact, it’s a very good way to stay broke and frustrated. However, publishing books as part of an over-arching strategy for building a financial empire, however, is a very good way to make money. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this in the near future, but for now the overview should suffice.

That’s probably enough self-revelation for the time being.

I get lots of questions about these sorts of things almost constantly, so I’m offering this posting as a bit of an experiment: if you’re truly interested in knowing more about how I run my own business, I’m happy to share (up to a certain point). However, I don’t want to be boorish and spend too much time talking about myself-so you’ll have to let me know whether you want more of this kind of information or not.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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12 thoughts on “How I Get Paid

  1. Very interesting Ray, I definitely would like to hear more of how you operate your business. We hear the normal, do as I say stuff online, it would be nice to see the actual behind the scene, real “as I do” sort of stuff.

    Thanks for putting yourself out there for our benefit.

    Healing the world, one person at a time!

    Linda Curtis, Founder
    http://www.HealingHandsforHumanity.com

  2. Kudos to you Ray for opening this up. I think it's important for those who have not been there, to see the bigger picture, and understand the possibilities of financial models that work. Excellent.

    And congratulations on taking the bull by the horns and becoming a published author, FIVE times over! No small task. In fact, I hired a writing mentor/coach since January to guide me through my first movie script I'm writing, that I hope will change lives on a grander scale. It's all about leverage and platform! 🙂 That's why I'm in entertainment. I'm on a mission.

    If there's anything I can do to help, seriously, don't hesitate to ask.

    • Thanks Andy – that's the reaction I hoped to generate, but whenever I “open up the kimono”, I'm always a bit curious about the reaction I'll get. You just helped me know I made the right choice.

  3. Thanks for your eloquent transparency Ray. Your career road map brings a lot of clarity to the copywriting business, especially valuable to those of us just starting out. And when you get a chance, throw in some more posts about your cross-country adventure so we can emulate when appropriate.

    Thanks again,
    Mark Henderson

  4. Keep it coming Ray, there are a lot of us out here that appreciate the behind the scenes look at someone that is actually making money on the Internet. There are a lot of snake oil salesmen and charlatans are ready to take our money, so it is nice to hear an honest person talking to us from the heart, and we appreciate it.

  5. Definitely insightful and helpful, Ray. You've obviously been up and down the road and kept your eyes open as you've traveled. I've been reading your work for a couple of years and have never seen you make a recommendation or give counsel that wasn't on target. Thanks for the lean content–the lack of fluff. –Philip Dale Smith