I talk about chronic pain and copywriting — updated April/21

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Hello and welcome to my Medium profile! I’m Carly Barrett — copywriter, dog mum, tea drinker, and chronic evolver based in Ontario, Canada.

I Write About Chronic Pain

In my early twenties, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I started writing — both on and off Medium — to help find the light in a dark diagnosis and make friends along the way.

Today I’m 29 and I’m happy to say that I’ve healed my chronic pain. Now I’m even more driven to write as a means of connecting with people in their dark moments. …

Most of it came from clients — here’s how I did it

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I don’t have a website. I rarely post on social media. I’m not too fond of Zoom calls and try to avoid them when possible. And I’m terrible at marketing myself. So how do I make money writing?

By establishing consistent, long-term relationships with clients, that’s how.

I don’t work with hundreds of writing clients. In fact, this income came from six clients ($8,899.49) and writing royalties ($17.51). Here’s exactly how I did it:

Lesson one: Big things can come from small actions

Don’t discount smaller freelance gigs. Three out of the six clients that contributed to my income this month came about indirectly, simply by being in the…

I thought a business game plan was enough to be successful

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My 66-year-old father is an entrepreneur. I’ve watched him build businesses from the ground up my entire life. I’ve listened to him pitch too many business ideas to count and then successfully execute many of them, with a few failures along the way. Throughout it all, I continually told myself one thing: I never want to have my own business.

Guess what I do for a career today?

Surprise, I have my own copywriting business. I’m doing exactly what I thought I never wanted to do, and (spoiler alert) I love it!

So why did I deliberately state that I…

Your body and brain are constantly looking for the “hit” that comes from uninformed optimism.

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A rush of adrenaline flowed through my veins as I clicked “Purchase” on a new online course. So many emotions were hitting me, but one thought was loudest of all:

“This course is going to change my life! I’m just going to follow along and do it, no matter what it says. If I can follow along, I can get amazing results like everyone else. This is the missing piece I’ve been waiting for. Now that I’ve bought this course, I’ll be successful.”

Sound familiar? Yeah, we’ve all been there. Spoiler alert: The Earth didn’t shift on its axis when…

You have to niche down until it physically hurts, or you aren’t doing it right.

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It was a Wednesday afternoon, and I was sitting in a cafe with a client for a briefing meeting. You know, back in 2019, when we could do things like that. Ah, the simple things in life.

My client was re-designing her website and had commissioned me to write the copy. I was taking her through my usual onboarding process when I got to the pivotal question:

“Who’s your target audience?”

She stirred her tea, casually dumped in one more sugar packet, then looked me straight in the eyes and said the exact words I was dreading:

“Honestly, I think…

Grow your audience with these organic lead generation strategies

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Do you break your friends into different groups based on what you talk about with them? Like there’s that one friend that you talk about relationships with, another that you can talk business, and yet a third that’s perfect for getting into the nitty-gritty of finances, income, and internal money blocks?

No? Just me? Good, good.

Well, I was talking to my business friend the other day, and we were discussing starting up new online businesses. She was like,

“I know I need a funnel, but I’m confused about how to automate it and drive traffic to it.”

I was…

From e-books to email courses, there are more ways to make money from your writing than working with clients

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“I love my writing business, but I hate marketing myself and looking for clients.”

I told my friend for the umpteenth time as we relaxed in her hot tub. It had been a particularly hard day for me with clients requesting ridiculous changes, chasing down late payments, and dealing with unrealistic expectations.

The thing is, I had been chasing that freelance lifestyle for so long, and now that I had finally achieved my goal, the realization hit like a brick: I didn’t want it.

I hated the hustle, the marketing, the constant search for high-quality clients who would actually pay…

If you feel burnt out, your business is probably out of alignment with your personality type

Photo by Hean Prinsloo on Unsplash

A few years ago (okay, more than a few), I was walking home from elementary school with my report card in hand. I was one of those kids that got good grades, so I wasn’t afraid to hand my report card over to my parents. I was excited because it generally meant I got a reward, like a chocolate bar or some other treat that translated into a “Very Exciting Event” for a child.

My Mum finished reading my report card and looked up at me with a puzzled look on her face.

“This is great, Car, but your teacher…

You can take on a bunch of small freelancing clients or establish a long-term relationship with one or two retainer clients

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The other day, a fellow blogger and writer reached out to me asking for advice on finding writing clients. He had the writing skills and time to dedicate to completing client work — but where were the clients?

Since I currently own and operate a client-based writing business, I felt very qualified to share some inside tips and tricks with this fellow writer. After following one of my suggestions, he even told me that he received a “positive response” from a new potential client!

Finding great clients is a common problem for many writers, so I’m going to share with…

Bigger doesn’t always mean better

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Many people have misguided notions about what an email list actually is — maybe you’re one of them? You know email lists are important. You know you want one. You might even know how to build one, or already have one. But do you truly know what they are, at the most basic level?

“Duh, Carly….they’re a list of emails.”

Sounds obvious, right?


As so often happens in life, we tend to overlook the simple things. Yes, an email list is simply a collection of contact information that you have the ability to contact…

Carly Barrett

Copywriter. Dog Mum. Goal Digger. Introvert. Chronically Evolving.

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