Write Your Way Through "Retirement"!
Eight “Seasoned Citizens” Discover Flexible, Lucrative “Commercial” Freelancing!
By Peter Bowerman
Martie Callaghan, 58, a Preston, Maryland grandmother and former secretary, now profitable commercial writer, crafts marketing materials for clients in banking, law, interior design, and health care. She says, “Commercial freelancing is the PERFECT fit.”
Downsizing & Outsourcing
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+.
Scott Koegler of North Carolina spent 15 years in technical management, burned out, and at 56, now writes for both computer mags and more lucrative commercial clients: “One job keeps me busy more than 3 days a week and makes my life a dream.”
The “mature” set is taking notice. The combination of healthy income potential, ability to draw on vast career experience, and “on-my-own-terms” lifestyle flexibility makes it an appealing draw for those either nearing or smack dab in the midst of “retirement.”
Dr. Bill Duhey of San Diego retired from the steel industry at 57, worked as a consultant till last year, when at 76, he became a commercial freelancer. “I have three clients who give me all the work I can handle,” he says, “but I’m looking for more work.”
Is There That Much Work?
Oh, yes. What we see as consumers is B2C: business-to-consumer (i.e., ads, direct mail, newsletters, brochures). What we don’t see – except as employees of a company – are two other huge arenas. First, B2B (business-to-business) – all the materials created by businesses to market to other businesses. And secondly, “internal communications” – all the projects that exist solely within a corporation and for their eyes only: newsletters, sales sheets, web sites, presentations, manuals, and more. Much of it is outsourced.
At 64, Munford, Alabamian Chuck Belitz, former military contractor and small company president (with total writing responsibility), now bids writing work from the government and its contractors throughout the Southeastern U.S. “The prospects look good,” he says.
Wanted: All Ages
And what’s not to like about a field essentially devoid of age barriers? Paul Chimera, 55, from Buffalo, part-time commercial freelancer, observes, “If you write well, they’ll put you to work – whether you’re 85 or a Gen-X’r in sandals.”
Californian Celia Sue Hecht, 55, who transitioned from journalism to freelance PR writing, loves it for the variety, flexibility, and another reason: “Given that stereotyping is alive and well in some business environments, for older women, this is the way to go.”
Reality check. No one’s going to pay you $60-80+ an hour if you’re lousy. But, fields such as healthcare, financial services, high-tech, and many others have steady needs for clear, concise copywriting that doesn’t have to be a work of art. Start studying your junk mail – direct mail postcards, ads, newsletters, etc. Could you write that?
Doug Dammier, ex-carpenter, and now in sales in Olympia, Washington, moonlights commercially. He’s landed several juicy assignments from a non-profit, including over $3000 for a web copy project. “I’ve just scratched the surface,” he says bullishly.
What About a Portfolio?
Start with any projects you may have done in a past or current job. Do some pro bono work for a charity. Team up with a graphic designer starting out as well and “create” a portfolio. The best part? All this can be done while you’re employed elsewhere.
Sally Rushmore, 55, of Indianapolis, turned to flexible commercial freelancing to be with her “working-out-of-town-all-week” husband. She explains, “I get to travel, have two cities from which to draw clients, and earn money to keep the kids in college.”
Today’s seniors thirst for more – more work adventure, more quality of life, more excitement. Martie Callaghan sums it up when she says, “I can’t imagine doing a 9-5 gig again, nor can I imagine not working at all.”
Planning the next exciting chapter of your life? Looking for a flexible, lucrative way to build on a three- or four-decade experience base? As you read this, thousands of writers are landing countless, high-paying writing jobs. Why not you?
Interested in turning your love of writing into a full-time living? Or a flexible, lucrative "retirement" career? For a free report (AND to subscribe to a free ezine and blog) on lucrative "commercial" freelancing, visit www.wellfedwriter.com. While there, check out the quadruple-award-winning 2010 updated edition of, "The Well-Fed Writer," the how-to industry “standard” by veteran commercial writer and business coach Peter Bowerman. Got a book in you? Forget the publisher - do it yourself and turn it into a full-time living! For a free report, visit www.wellfedsp.com, home of Peter's triple-award-winning 2014 updated edition of, "The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living," which chronicles his self-publishing success (at press time, 70,000+ copies in print and a full-time living since 2001!).
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