I Used to Get Paid to Write Greeting Cards — Here’s How You Can Get Started

It was the final straw.

I used to be at a retailer sifting by way of birthday playing cards for my niece. I noticed one with a cat on the skin and thought, Courtney like cats. This might work.

Then I opened. “Right here’s hoping you might have a purrrrrfect birthday!”

%#$&**$#!!!

I felt duped. What number of occasions have I seen a cat greeting card that performs off of that one silly pun? And, even worse, somebody acquired paid to put in writing that!

That’s after I decided that a technique or one other I used to be going to receives a commission to put in writing greeting playing cards.

The Seek for the Greeting Card Writing Facet Hustle

A fast Google search led me to lists of greeting card corporations open to freelance author submissions.

From there, it was as much as me to analysis every firm. I needed to see what sort of playing cards they bought. Are they humorous? Do they go for the feelings? Do they use poetry or not? This is a crucial step since you don’t need to waste your time or the corporate’s by submitting work that doesn’t match the corporate’s picture.

As soon as I discovered some prospects, I appeared for the submissions web page.

I can’t stress this sufficient: You could take a look at how the corporate needs submissions despatched in and observe the directions completely.

In a single occasion, I needed to write out a few of my greeting card concepts on notice playing cards and ship all of them in. I figured in the event that they had been that old-school, they might not get as many submissions so it was value the additional work. In the long run, it wasn’t. Under no circumstances. I spent hours handwriting my concepts on notice playing cards and didn’t make a single sale. I didn’t even hear again from them, however they might have been utilizing the Pony Specific, so it might nonetheless occur.

Begin With Birthday Playing cards

Writing greeting playing cards is usually a enjoyable and fascinating facet hustle. Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Now for the enjoyable half — the writing.

Regardless that most corporations promote playing cards for various events and holidays, birthday playing cards are all the time the largest want. However how do you provide you with new and unique concepts? I knew that I needed to deal with humorous playing cards, as that’s what I like to purchase.

Take into consideration your life. Your mates. Your loved ones. Attempt to pinpoint humorous little moments or conversations. Consider the viewers in your playing cards. Does the model you might be submitting to cater to ladies, males or youngsters?

I bear in mind one feminine buddy of mine throwing a match as a result of a cashier known as her ma’am. Why? As a result of to her ma’am equalled outdated. Gentle bulb!

“It’s lastly official!” I wrote on the entrance. Then, when the recipient opened it up it stated, “Ma’am!”

Different playing cards took a barely racier tone. “The perfect and the worst birthdays can find yourself the identical approach…” stated one other card’s entrance. The punchline? “In handcuffs!”

Yeah, they weren’t playing cards you’d ship to your grandma for her 80th. However then once more, I don’t know your grandma.

What do Greeting Card Firms Need from Writers?

We all know what we ourselves assume is humorous or touching, however that doesn’t imply what we provide you with goes to work for different folks.

To get a glimpse of what it’s like on the opposite facet, I spoke with Nicky Burton, managing director at Calypso Playing cards.

“They actually do should be unique,” she stated. “They should have one thing contemporary. We will’t maintain going again to grey hair and over the hill.” She additional famous that Calypso Playing cards accepts “lower than 1% of what we learn.”

Yikes. Learn that final line fastidiously. Lower than 1% of what they learn.

Why? As a result of folks both don’t perceive the cardboard line that they’re making an attempt to put in writing for or their writing is cliche. I wrote for Calypso Playing cards’ Egocentric Kitty line which has a really particular model. It’s a type of, “I purchased you a card, however I’m all about me” sort of vibe.

“The surface is kind of harmless and the within is a twist that makes you snigger,” Burton stated in an e-mail. “Harmless, tongue in cheek, by no means merciless or degrading. We get an terrible lot of submissions from individuals who have clearly not researched the road.”

She added, “We search for sensible, ORIGINAL sort jokes, i.e. not drained age-related, heard it earlier than stuff.”

The Harsh Actuality of Writing Greeting Playing cards

Did I generate profits writing greeting playing cards? Sure, I did.

Did I make some huge cash writing greeting playing cards? No, I didn’t.

I typically despatched in as many as 70 concepts for numerous holidays or events and would get a response saying, “We actually like these three concepts.”

Since they paid $50 per accepted concept, that’s a whopping $150. Generally I did higher. Generally I didn’t promote something in any respect.

Additionally they despatched me a number of samples of every card, so if you already know somebody who’s having a child, I can hook you up. I solely know so many individuals.

By the best way, many card corporations gained’t reply until they need one thing you’ve submitted. When you struck out, you gained’t hear about it. Don’t pester them with inquiries as a result of it gained’t win you any pals.

Any concepts you don’t promote to 1 firm, you’ll be able to ship in to a different. However, bear in mind to make certain the writing suits the cardboard line and don’t submit the identical concepts to a number of corporations directly. That might result in a multitude you don’t need in your arms.

The reality of the matter is, for many of us, writing greeting playing cards is usually a enjoyable and fascinating facet hustle so long as you take pleasure in it. You gained’t make a ton of cash and also you’ll should put in a good period of time arising with new concepts. However in case you take pleasure in it, why not? Give it a shot.

Good luck and pleased writing!

Tyler Omoth is a senior author at The Penny Hoarder who loves absorbing the solar and discovering inventive methods to assist others. Subsequent on his bucket checklist is singing the nationwide anthem at a baseball sport. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

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