If you are a content writer, you have probably heard of Content Done Better, sometimes referred to as CDB. You may have seen Carson, the owner, post on forums, or read his blog. If you have never heard of him, read this interview to get to know a little about Carson and his work.
If you are just starting out in the content writing business, you should take the time to read this article. Have you ever thought of making money writing? Do you think you could make a living writing? Read more to meet someone who does!
I first saw him at wahm.com. I was interested in the posts made by him, so I clicked on the signature links, and found a great blog, and a cool website.
I have a little confession to make. At first I thought he was a woman. I guess I mistakenly thought that because of the site name ‘Work at Home Mom’. Sorry Carson! After going to his site, reading about him, and seeing a pic, I know that he’s a man, baby!
Carson has inspired many with his challenge to make $125,000 in a year! Do you think he can do it? I know I’m routing for him!
FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW YOU, WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
First, thanks for giving me the chance to answer a few questions. My name is Carson Brackney and I used to run Content Done Better, a copywriting and content writing business specializing in online materials.
I write content. That encompasses many different things. I do articles, press releases, sales letters, advertising copy, blog posts, instructional materials, auto responders, ebooks and other ghostwriting projects.
WHEN DID YOU START WRITING?
In 2004. I’ve always considered myself a “writer waiting to happen,” but didn’t decide to tackle writing as a career until then.
Before Content Done Better, my writing was primarily job-related. I’ve worked in a number of positions that required production of different written materials and that was always a favorite part of those career experiences. Finally, I decided to concentrate exclusively on writing.
DO YOU FOCUS MAINLY ON CONTENT WRITING?
In one sense, everything I write for online businesses is content. So, I guess the answer is “yes.”
Most people, however, do differentiate between what I call “straight content” (informational material, primarily constructed in article form) and “copywriting” (more directly commercial materials). If you take that perspective, I would consider “straight content” a key part of my business but not its sole focus.
Lately, I’ve been spending a great deal of my time on a handful of ebook ghostwriting projects. At other times, I’ve been neck-deep in writing sales materials. Sometimes, my “in box” has more “straight content” work than anything else. I guess it all depends on what’s happening at any given moment.
WHEN DID YOU START WRITING CONTENT GEARED SPECIFICALLY TOWARD THE WEB?
I wanted to find a career path that would make the most of what I see as my chief strengths (writing and research) that would also give me the opportunity to flex some entrepreneurial muscle as my own boss. I did a lot of research and experimentation with Internet-related businesses in my spare time until I realized that something like Content Done Better would be right for me.
Although I will occasionally do print projects, my focus with the business has always been directed toward the net.
IS WRITING YOUR FULL-TIME JOB?
Yes. Originally, I planned to transition out of my prior employment slowly over the course of several months to a year. Things took off faster than I had predicted, and I was able to make the switch to full-time writing fairly quickly.
SOME MAY HAVE HEARD ABOUT IT, OTHERS MAY NOT HAVE, WHAT WAS THIS $125,000 CHALLENGE YOU HAD?
I decided I wanted to boost my own earnings a bit and wanted to make a point that a writer can make a healthy living working in online markets. I decided to make a public announcement at my blog that I was shooting for $100K over the course of a year.
My goal at that time was to create some public accountability to encourage me to get to that point. I also wanted to let people know that there is real opportunity in this industry. Eventually, I shifted the target number to $125K for tracking purposes.
The response to making my personal goals public was really amazing to me. People took an immediate interest and some of them even said they were inspired to get more serious about their own goals because of it. I also received a great deal of support, which was fantastic.
DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE?
I used to have two websites – the base site at http://www.contentdonebetter.com, but now I only have Content Done Better Blog at http://content-writer.blogspot.com.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER WEBSITES OUT THERE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO MENTION?
Thousands. Well, at least hundreds. There is so much great information out there that it’s hard to point out just a few specifics.
If I mentioned one or two of my favorites, I would automatically feel guilty for not mentioning scores of others. I probably have over a hundred RSS feeds I check up on religiously and many more than I occasionally review. Plus, I stumble upon others every day. There is no shortage of great sites related to writing, SEO, usability and other content industry topics.
ARE THERE ANY TIPS, SUGGESTIONS, OR RESOURCES FOR WRITERS JUST STARTING OUT?
I won’t claim to be the best source for sage advice, but I do have some recommendations.
Writing skills are essential, but they will only get you so far in this industry.
In order to do well you also need to become a good marketer of your services, someone who understands client needs and expectations, and constantly up-to-date with online trends and developments. That kind of research commitment is, in my estimation, essential.
On top of that, you have to work. If you have romantic notions about days spent in a hammock sipping iced tea and jotting down a few notes in your moleskin with a fountain pen, a reality check is in order. You have to roll up your sleeves and put your butt in the chair in front of the keyboard every day. A strong work ethic is critical.
If you can write, are willing to learn the ins and out of the business, and are ready to work hard, you can make a living as a writer specializing in online materials. Assignments like projects, presentations, essays, and notes, are among the few types of work you can start with (read this interview)
There are countless resources to help along the way. Read other writers’ blogs. Read forums where your potential customer base gathers. When you encounter a term or idea that doesn’t register with you, research it.
Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Sounds simple, but it works.
— I would like to thank Carson for taking the time to answer my questions. He is a very friendly and helpful person. He has inspired a lot of people with his $125K challenge. Carson shows that if you want something, you can attain it by setting goals for yourself and working hard. I admire him for that. He is a great writer and has taken the time to help other writers. I would like to wish him good luck with his challenge and his overall writing career.