Growing up, I wanted to become a Cricketer. I never thought I would become a Software Engineer… And becoming the highest-paid copywriter in India was something that never ever crossed my mind.
So today, when I’m working as the Highest-Paid Direct-Response Copywriter in India, it still feels like a dream.
And in this article, I will share with you my journey… My journey of how I went from wanting to become a Cricketer to doing my Engineering to finally working as the highest-paid Direct Response Copywriter in India.
Trust me, my journey so far is no less than a Bollywood blockbuster.
In the last 10 years, I been through and seen it all… Success, failure, emotionally draining moments, confusion, chaos, happiness… The last decade has been one heck of a ride for me.
And to be honest, I truly believe that to achieve anything worthwhile in life, your journey is never going to be a straight line. To achieve anything meaningful, you need to pay your dues. You will go through moments of Fear, Chaos, Confusion, Triumph, Happiness, and eventually Success if you don’t give up mid-way.
So what are you waiting for, grab a coffee or your favorite beverage, and let’s dive deep into my journey towards becoming the highest-paid direct-response copywriter in India!
My Journey To Becoming The
Highest-Paid Copywriter In India!
Cricket Has No Future – My Son Will Be An Engineer
Growing up, I was a BIG time introvert! The only way I could express myself and get any attention was when I was on the Cricket field.
I was a really good player… An all-rounder, a left-handed batsman, and a right-hand medium pacer. In fact, I was so good that I would get bored playing with kids my age. I would always play with people who were at least 6 years older than I was.
And no wonder, given my capabilities with the bat and the ball, I would always end up getting appreciated. I would get a lot of attention.
So the only thing I looked forward to in my life was the play-time.
Sadly for me, there was no IPL when I was in my 9th grade. And my parents thought, my time would be better spent studying and preparing for the boards than playing in the nets and representing my school. They felt there was no future in Cricket.
As you know by this point, I was an Introvert… I couldn’t fight for my dreams. I just put my head down and accepted what they asked me to do. Just like that, I gave up on my dreams. Deep within, I was shattered… I would go sit in some corner and cry when I was alone. But there was nothing more I could do then to protect my dream.
Like most parents, my parents wanted me to study hard and become an Engineer. And to be honest, I don’t blame them. When I look at most parents even today, nothing is changed. It’s still the same. Most parents today want their children to become Engineers and then do an MBA. They think it’s the path towards a safe and secure career.
So with my dream of becoming a Cricket gone, I just spent time studying and memorizing everything to get good grades and get admission into an Engineering college.
Well, all the memorizing paid off, I got into one of the best Engineering colleges in Bangalore. I was all set to become a software Engineer. Yay!
But there was a problem.
I HATED Coding. And I Did Not Want To Do A Job.
Somewhere in the 6th semester, I realized one thing.
I HATED the idea of wearing formals and reporting to work. Not that there is something wrong with it. But it just did not feel right to me. It did not resonate with me. It wasn’t me.
You see, those 3 years of living all along in a hostel in Bangalore really helped me become Independent. I started to express myself. I became somewhat extroverted. I started to think for myself and most importantly, I started to dream again.
I dreamed of living life on my own terms… Like the cliche, no boss, not answerable to anyone.
I wanted the power and choice to do what I wanted to do.
And clearly, working in a TOP IT firm, the regular 9 to 5 wasn’t how I wanted to live the rest of my life. I wanted to explore life, make up for all the years I lost by trying to fulfill my parents’ dreams.
So although I got placed in 2 BIG IT companies in the 6th sem… I was 100% clear, I wouldn’t take up the job offer.
And this time, I was ready to fight for my dreams.
But strangely, I did not have to fight my parents. They agreed. There was no drama. They were OK with me not taking up the job offer.
And BOOM – I took the next train to Mumbai. A city I always wanted to live in…
For the next couple of years, I went into an exploration mode.
I worked as a Trainer in an English Speaking Institute for a salary of 8K.
I was simultaneously auditioning and trying my luck in Ads and Television shows.
After a few months, I joined a gym as a trainer where I made 6K per month in salary.
Oh, and in the middle of all this, I left home and rented an apartment and started living alone.
If you live in Mumbai, 6K per month is not enough money to put decent food on the table. Forget all the protein shakes etc. And my rent was 8K per month.
This is when I realized that I needed to become serious about where my life was heading. My plans of living my life on my own terms weren’t working. Every day was a fight to make ends meet.
Sometimes, I wouldn’t have the money to even pay for the bus ticket. So I would walk all the way from Lokhandwala to Versova, where I lived.
The thought of quitting it all and going back home and getting a safe job was on my mind all the time. But I did not want to give up.
So I kept searching for money-making opportunities. And one fine day, I landed on this ad that said something on the lines of – Make XYZ dollars as a Content Writer.
I immediately clicked on the ad… And I landed on another site which asked for a few dollars in exchange for giving me a list of unlimited writing gigs that paid well.
Now, I knew nothing about writing.
In fact, I sucked at grammar. And everyone back in college made fun of how I wrote and spoke.
But thankfully, my wife, Sandhya Valecha, co-founder of ‘The Marketing Nerdz’, who I was dating back then was a published journalist and a columnist. So I knew she could write. And she could teach me how to write.
And if I got these content writing projects, we could both make money in dollars and she could quit her job and we could both spend more time together.
She liked my idea… And I started looking for Freelance Content Writing Jobs.
After a few weeks of trial and error and wasting some money here and there, we finally found – Freelancer.com.
The 1st Freelance Content Writing Project!
And after applying for a few days on Freelancer.com, I finally got our first freelance content writing project. Now although it was a very low paying project. Just $1. It was the start of the dream.
From there, all I did was apply on new projects and Sandy did the actual writing for the first few months till I got better at writing. And slowly, I started writing for clients too. My writing was getting better. Things were moving slow, we were working10-12 hours a day… But by this point, we were able to take care of our monthly expenses.
We kept doing this for almost 18 months. But by this point, we were starting to get frustrated with the little money we were making and the number of hours we were working.
Getting a job seemed like a better option. We would both make more money and wouldn’t have to work so long and deal with all the deadlines and pressure of writing for almost 12 hours a day.
Again, the thought of quitting and giving up started crossing my mind.
There were times when we would fall short of cash to pay our monthly bills because we wouldn’t find new clients that month. We just did not know what to do. We spoke about quitting so many times…
But deep down, that little voice always told me that no matter what, you will find your way. Don’t give up on your dreams. Not now.
So I kept looking, and one fine day, while I was searching for a new freelance content writing project, I came across a writing project which said – Copywriter wanted. And the pay for that project was about $350 for 5 emails.
My eyes popped out when I read the amount this client was willing to pay.
I had never heard about copywriting before. I did not know what was copywriting. Because all we had done up to this point was content writing. Write articles, blogs, etc. So I immediately started my research on Copywriting.
I searched for – What is copywriting?
This is what I found – Copywriting is the art and science of selling products/services with the power of written words.
But here is something that caught my attention.
How much do copywriters make?
When I read the answer… I was SHOCKED.
I found that copywriters make anywhere from $200 to $1000 to write email copies. Clients pay copywriters $10000 to $30000 to write sales copies. And the top copywriters in the world make 6 figures ($100K) plus to write a single sales copy along with royalties.
I was completely blown away with the kind of money copywriting projects paid.
I thought to myself, here we were. Slogging and working up to 12 hours a day making a few hundred dollars a month. And there are people called copywriters making $100K or more every year writing copies. We need to learn copywriting.
This is when Sandy and I started learning copywriting.
Enter Craig: How to Charge More & Get High Paying Freelance Content Writing Clients
While we were learning copywriting, around the same time we decided to hire our first business mentor, Craig. I had been following Craig for a while and knew that he could help us charge more money for our content writing services.
In just a few weeks of working with Craig, we were able to increase our rates. We increased our rates from $1 to $5 to $25 and so on… In fact, I recorded a complete podcast on how we increased our rates for our content writing services. You can listen to the podcast here.
So you see, working with Craig really paid off.
Now, we were working less and making more money than ever before. I moved into a nicer and better apartment in Mumbai. Things were finally starting to look good.
I was slowly but surely moving towards the life I had always dreamed about.
With the number of clients now growing, a few months down the line, Sandy and I started our new company.
Contentorial – A Content Writing And Marketing Agency.
We hired a few writers to write all the content. While we focused on growing our content marketing agency and learning copywriting.
For the next 15-odd months, Sandy and I religiously invested at least a couple of hours every day learning how to write high converting sales letters.
We practiced writing every form of copy, be it:
– Long-form sales letters
– Email sales copies
– Landing page copies
– And on and on.
At this point, I had no idea that in just the next couple of years, I would become the highest-paid copywriter in India. Heck, forget the highest-paid, I was yet to find our first copywriting client.
First Freelance Copywriting Client – The 1st Step Towards
Becoming The Highest Paid Copywriter In India!
Then out of nowhere, a client that we wrote content and articles for in the past, emailed us asking if we would write a sales copy for his SEO agency. He said, his budget was $1000.
This was it. It was the BIG moment we were waiting for.
You know, up to this point, we were still not confident if we were ready to take the jump into the world of copywriting. We were doing great with our Content Writing Agency.
But we knew, if we wanted to make the BIG money, our focus should be on Copywriting projects.
And when this client reached out to us, we immediately said, YES!
Although, the payment of $1000 was low considering it was a long-form sales page and from what we knew, most copywriters charged anywhere from $10000 to $250000 to write a sales page… We were happy to take up the project for JUST $1000 because we wanted that confidence, the initial boost, the validation that we could write a good sales copy.
Excited, we started working on the sales copy.
If I remember correctly, we sent the final version of the long-form sales copy to this client 2 weeks after we started working on it.
The moment we hit the send button, we were anxiously and nervously waiting to hear from him. We had butterflies in our stomach.
And after a few hours, we finally received his email.
Sandy read the email and we both JUMPED and DANCED with happiness.
He said, “I’m impressed. This is great guys.”
His email gave us all the confidence we needed. And it was only a matter of time that I was destined to become the highest-paid copywriter in India.
We Were Ready To Get New Freelance Copywriting Projects and Clients.
We were on cloud 9.
In the next few weeks, we got a couple of new clients for Email Copywriting and writing a long-form sales copy for a fitness product.
In just the next few months, our revenue grew tremendously.
While the content writing agency was doing well, Sandy and I were now working on multiple Freelance copywriting projects.
Life looked good.
It was around this time that I got a new car and moved into an even BIGGER and Nicer house in Versova, Mumbai.
Till just a few years back, I was traveling in buses and we were struggling to make ends meet. And here we were, living the life of our dreams. Working for ourselves, making way more money than we would have had we taken up the corporate jobs.
Life looked good until this happened.
We Got Paid $10K For A Webinar Copywriting Project!
While we continued to gradually increase our copywriting fees, something BIG happened towards the end of 2015.
Nathan, one of our clients wanted us to write his Webinar Script. Up to that point, Sandy and I were charging about $4000 to write a webinar script. We knew it was low. The top copywriters in the US were charging anywhere from $10K to $20K to write a webinar script.
But we were scared to ask for a higher fee… We did not want to risk losing the client by asking for a higher fee. But when Nathan reached out to us, we decided that it was time to ask for what we deserve. It was time to join the league of Top and High Paid Copywriters.
If we lost his project, it’s was alright. We were making good money, so it was not like our life depended on it.
So Sandy sent an email to Nathan and quoted $10K for the project.
And in just a couple of minutes, Nathan sent an email saying – “DONE! Let’s do this!”
WHAT? Did he really say, YES!
We couldn’t believe it.
We were getting paid $10K to write a webinar script.
It was what the top copywriters in the US charged.
I did not know of any copywriter in India who charged anywhere close to $10K.
It was during this moment that I told Sandy, “We have officially entered the BIG League. We are officially the highest-paid direct-response copywriters in India”.
The feeling was unbelievable.
Just a few years back… I had read that copywriters get paid $10000 to write a single webinar script.
And here I’m getting paid $10K to write a webinar script.
Man, that moment. It was like the world had stopped. It just felt unreal.
Sandy and I pinched each other… Was this happening for real?
It was time for us to celebrate by going for a drive to Bandstand.
Fast-Forward to Today!
It’s been almost 5 years since we got paid the first $10K for a copywriting project back in 2015.
In the last 5 years, we’ve worked with a lot of Freelance Copywriting Clients from all over the world, especially: US, Australia, Canada, & UK.
We’ve written all kinds of direct-response copies, right from Sales letters, to Email copies, and everything in between.
In the last 5 years, we’ve made a great living writing as copywriters. And I can proudly say that “I’m the highest-paid online copywriter in India”.
It’s just been one heck of a ride.
I still feel it’s a dream.
I still find it difficult to BELIEVE that an average software engineer like me – who couldn’t write a single sentence in English without making mistakes… Someone who was made fun of for his writing… Is making way more money writing than all my Engineering class-mates including the ones that laughed at my writing.
I still can’t BELIEVE that a software Engineer like me can become the highest-paid direct-response copywriter in India.
And more than the money, learning copywriting gave me the choice and the freedom to live life on my own terms.
Today, I have the FREEDOM to travel where I want… I can work when I want…
I have the Personal and Financial FREEDOM to do what I want…
And all of this is thanks to learning the ART of Copywriting.
Well, this was a little bit about my journey from software engineering to becoming the highest-paid direct response copywriter in India.
I know this was long, but I’m a copywriter, so what do you expect, eh? 😉
Where do I go from here?
While I love writing copies, over the last few years, Sandy and I are personally writing only for a select few clients… Clients who can afford to pay $5000 per month for Email Copies.
Our focus has been on training our in-house writers so we could scale our agency and help more clients with copies that convert.
Also, a large majority of our time is now focused on growing the other businesses that we are passionate about.
In about a couple of years, my plan is to completely stop writing for clients and I’ll only be writing for TMN and my other businesses.
If you have been thinking about getting into copywriting, don’t waste your time thinking. Just jump into it. It’s a really rewarding career.
But here is something you should remember. As with anything worthy in life… And as you read in my journey, becoming successful at anything in life is NEVER a straight line. There will be periods of uncertainty, fear, chaos, etc that you may encounter when you transition into this new career.
If you are not Committed.
You are bound to FAIL at anything you choose in life. The odds are stacked against you.
You would give up at the first instance of those DARK moments, the time when your mind says – QUIT. Give up.
So remember this, if I can become the highest-paid direct-response copywriter of India. Anyone can become successful at this. All you need to do is start with a commitment to yourself that you will not give up.
And trust me, when you do that – you will find the way.
If you are wondering how to select the best Online Content Writing Certification Course, then you are in the right place.
And if you are thinking who is this guy and why you should listen to him… here is why.
My name is Karan Dharamsi. I’m the CEO of ‘The Marketing Nerdz’ – A Popular Digital & Content Marketing Agency in India. I’m also India’s Highest Paid Direct Response Copywriter. In fact, I make my living writing and a pretty good one at that…
So I guess now you know why I qualify to talk about this topic and why you should consider what I have to share with you in this article 🙂
OK, if you are reading this, I am assuming 2 things about you:
1) You are Interested in learning Content writing and
2) You want to know how to select the best content writing course so you can invest in the right course and kick-start your career as a content writer.
In this article, I’ll make sure that you find the answers to your questions.
So without further ado, let me dive deep into what you are really here for… Which is – How to select the Best Online Content Writing Course!
A good content writing course will fulfill the following criteria!
Criteria #1: Is the course mentor a successful content writer himself/herself?
The first thing you should always look for while trying to sign up a content writing course or any course, in general, is – the background of the Faculty or the Course mentors.
Who you learn from can determine how successful will you become with a new skill you are trying to acquire.
A good teacher can help you learn a new skill faster and accelerate your success.
So the first thing you should always look for in any course is – the professional background of the faculty or course mentor.
Check for the following:
1) Is the course mentor a successful content writer himself/herself?
2) Does the course mentor actually make a living writing or are they only a teacher?
Important: Always choose to learn from someone who makes a living writing. Anybody can teach today.
But not everyone can make a great living as a content writer.
If you want to build a successful career as a content writer, always select a content writing course where the faculty member is also a working content writer.
Criteria #2: The Course Syllabus – What would I learn from this Content Writing Certification Course?
It goes without saying, but the 2nd important criterion for selecting the best online content writing course is the course content. The course syllabus.
Today, as a content writer, you have various options.
You can write content for Blogs, optimize articles for SEO, or write content for Social Media.
A good content writing course will teach you how to write for different platforms.
You can find more details about my 4 Week Online Content Writing Course here – Click Here.
So after you scan through the professional background of the course mentor, and you are happy with the course syllabus. You should check the teaching style next.
Criteria #3: What Is The Teaching Style & Format Of The Content Writing Course?
Now, this is another important factor that you should consider before signing up for any course in general.
We all have a preference for a certain personality and teaching style.
But if you prefer a more formal teaching style… Or if you prefer a certain language… You should make sure that the course you plan to select fulfills those criteria.
The best way to learn more about the teaching style of the course faculty is to search for their videos on YouTube. If the faculty member is popular and experienced, they would 100% have a lot of videos on YouTube.
Watch their videos, and decide if you like how they teach.
Once you are satisfied with the teaching style, you come to the most important criteria – The Content Writing Course FEE.
Criteria #4: Price Versus Cost – What is the Online Content Writing Certification Course Fee?
Now, you should be really careful at this step.
You see, most people go wrong here. They start with the course fee.
The first thing they look at is the course fee. And they usually select the cheapest course.
The problem with trying to SAVE money on the course fee and selecting the cheapest but the wrong course is – It ends up COSTING you way more in the long wrong.
Let me explain this with an example.
Let’s say, your search for the keyword – Best online content writing certification course, and you check out the top 5 search results on Google.
You find that there are 2 institutes that approximately charge Rs 5000 for the certification.
2 other institutes charge Rs 3000. And one institute charges Rs 700.
Because the syllabus almost looks the same for all the 5 institutions… Most students end up selecting the cheapest option.
Now the problem here is – Most students going with the cheapest option did not check the background of the faculty member… Nor did they check the teaching style. They are not even sure if the person teaching actually makes any money writing apart from selling courses.
So although they SAVED money by selecting the cheapest online content writing certification course. It’s very likely that:
– They do not like the teaching style of the teacher.
– They only learn superficial things because the faculty member is not experienced.
– They don’t know what to do after completing the course… They are clueless on how to go about building their career.
Now, these students end up spending a lot of time trying to figure out the path to a successful career as a content writer.
Yes, you can save a few hundred bucks by selecting the cheapest course. But you end up wasting months in trying to figure out the path to building a successful career… Months where you could have made money in salary or freelancing.
So going with a cheap course without looking into the other criteria I listed here could help you save a few 100 bucks, but you end up losing a lot of money by not being ready to work as a content writer and thus not finding the right opportunities – either a job or freelance gigs.
And that’s why the course fee is something that you should compare or look into as the 4th and not the first criteria.
I hope this article helps you in selecting the best online content writing certification course and kickstarting your career as a content writer.
Is AI going to take over and replace content writers?
Well, if you are a Content writer or are planning to become one… I’m sure you must have thought about these questions.
In this article, I’ll share with you my thoughts on what I think is the future like for content writers…
I’ll cover the following points:
Can AI really replace Content Writers?
Is content writing still a good career option?
And if it is, what should you focus on to excel in your career as a content writer.
Oh, and if you want to be a professional and certified copywriter, join my 11 Week Online Copywriting Certification Course. I honestly believe that it’s the best online copywriting course out there. You can get all the course details here.
Alright, so without further ado, let me quickly dive deep into the Future of Content Writing.
The Future of Content Writing Jobs – Can AI Really Replace Content Writers?
Before we start reacting to the whole hype about AI, we first need to ask ourselves…
Is the current innovation in AI today ready to replace Content Writers?
And my answer to that is a BIG NO.
In fact, it’s not even close.
You know, this whole hype about AI replacing content writers started when the news about GPT-3 started doing the rounds.
It was around this time that a lot of individuals took to the hype and over-emphasized what GPT-3 could do.
But before I talk about this further. Let me quickly answer an important question.
What exactly is GPT-3?
Simply put, it’s the next advancement in the Auto-Complete Program.
Think of the time when you reply to an email from your Gmail account. And you type the word ‘Hi’.
Gmail automatically suggests the first name of the person you are replying to.
Or when you search for something on Google. And you type a word… Google search bar automatically suggests the next set of words based on your history and a lot of other factors.
This phenomenon where the AI suggests the next set of words is typically what an Auto-Complete Program is all about.
So you see, all the HYPE around GPT-3 and how it will replace content writers is ABSURD.
To begin with, GPT-3 is more of an Auto-Complete program build to predict what you would type next.
It’s not primarily designed to write content or articles on its own.
Anyone suggesting that doesn’t really understand GPT-3.
In fact, The Verve even wrote an article about this suggesting that the GPT-3 is flawed.
Plus, writing is an art… A good writer can create content that moves or appeals to different human emotions.
While AI will keep getting better and better with the logical rationale of the human mind.
It will take a very long time for the AI to Understand human emotional patterns… Which comes naturally to a good content writer.
So yeah, now that you know there is no AI program even remotely close to replacing Content Writers.
Let me answer the next and the most important logical question.
The Future of Content Writing – Is Content Writing Still A Good Career Option?
Of course, it is!
In fact, in the post-COVID-19 world, the demand the good content writers went off the roof.
Today, no company can survive without an online presence.
A large majority of the offline marketing budget is now allocated for online marketing.
And when it comes to online marketing – everything is based on CONTENT.
Companies need a good content writer for:
Creating Social Media Posts
Write Articles and Blog posts
Create Email Campaigns
Write content for info-graphics
Create click-generating YouTube video titles
Write punchy text on banners
And on and on
So you see, the demand for good content writers is at an all-time high.
The salaries are great. The future of content writing jobs is nothing but outstanding.
And the demand will continue to rise as the world becomes more and more digital.
So to answer the primary question – The future of content writing jobs is nothing but secure and great. You could build a successful career as a content writer with great scope and opportunities without really having to worry about AI taking over your job or clients.
Alright, so now that you know there is no AI taking your job away. Let me share with you how you could go on to build a successful career.
What to FOCUS on to build a successful career as a Content Writer?
While there is no AI taking your job away. But, there is just one thing you need to be careful about while building your career.
It’s choosing not to be Average or Mediocre.
Before I continue, you should listen to this episode of ‘The Marketing Nerdz Podcast’ that I recorded for you.
In this episode, I go deeper into the topic of building a successful career as a Content Writer. Listen below.
I hope that you listened to the podcast. Like I said in the podcast, the Biggest MISTAKE most people make when it comes to their career is – choosing to be average.
It’s people with average skills that get replaced first when technology changes, there is a new innovation, the economy is down, or the company they are working for is not making PROFITS.
So if you aren’t skilled, if you don’t choose to become good at what you do…you do not have a secure future in any space, in any industry.
You are always at the RISK of losing your job.
But when you choose to become good at what you do… No matter what industry or profession you choose to build your career in, you would NEVER be Replaced.
In fact, companies will line up to hire you because you are good at what you do.
So if you want to build a Successful Career in Content Writing or any field… FOCUS on building your skills. As the title of the book – Be So Good that they can’t IGNORE You.
And TRUST me, there is nothing that you will ever have to FEAR or worry about as far as your career is concerned.
So to conclude:
Here’s what you need to do.
Forget these discussions because they’re not productive. It’s like news media.
The more you listen to it, the more fearful you become.
Just forget these discussions and spend the majority of your time focused on building your skills, developing the skills, becoming a better content writer, becoming a better digital marketer, becoming a better salesperson, becoming a better entrepreneur.
In a nutshell, becoming better at what you do. And when you do that, you would never, ever be fearful of anybody replacing you.
And most importantly, you would be prepared for the next transition that happens in your space, in your industry.
A skilled individual is always prepared for the transition and moves ahead with the change and the transition that happens in the industry.
The mediocre ones get replaced and get left behind.
So the choice is yours.
How your future turns out to be is something that you need to decide based on what you choose to do today.