How to earn money writing greeting cards
If you love getting cards in the mail and you’re a writer, chances are you’ve thought about writing greeting cards. Yes, there are some greeting card companies that accept submissions from freelance writers (but forget Hallmark).
Can you condense the immensity of love into a few verses? Do you want to help people express themselves to their partners, children, or friends? Do you have a talent for saying just the right thing to let people know how you feel?
If so, you might do well as a greeting card writer. Yes, you can get paid for writing the verses that go on greeting cards. Whether you’re a humorous writer, romantic writer, or a “for any occasion” writer, writing for greeting card companies will help you improve your craft as well as get paid for it.
Here’s a step-by-step process on how to earn money for writing greeting cards:
1. Decide if you want to freelance or sell your own cards.
If you’d like to concentrate on just the writing, you’ll be better off pitching already existing greeting card companies. But if you’re an illustrator in addition to being a writer, and you enjoy creating new businesses, you may consider creating your own greeting card company, and selling your art directly do clients or retailers.
It’s beyond the scope of this post to go into all the details that need to be considered to start a greeting card business, so we’ll concentrate on the freelancing option for now. If you’d like to learn more about starting a greeting card company from the ground up, this post from How to Start an LLC gives you all the step-by-step details. But if you’re like me, and you’d rather just write, here’s how to get started freelance writing in this niche.
2. Decide what kind of greeting cards you’d like to write
There are three main ways to write greeting cards: verse, jokes, and “prose.” If you enjoy writing poetry, writing verse-based cards is probably your best bet. If you have a talent for romantic or descriptive writing, prose-based cards would be a great choice. And if you’re always coming up with punchlines and can see the humour in most situations, joke/punchline cards would probably be a great choice.
And if you’re like most of the readers of this site—a MultiTalented Writer, you could probably write all of these types of cards. But remember, in the beginning, it does help to pick a focus. Don’t worry; you can always diversity your niche later on.
3. Do some reading
If you want to do any type of writing, reading in your niches of interest can help not only inspire you, but also show you how writing in those niches is done. Spend some time browsing through a greeting cards display and look at the different types of cards. How are they written? Do most rhyme? What is the general feeling each one is trying to get from the reader? Also, what’s the name of the company on the back of each card? Once you’ve browsed for a bit, it’s time to put that inspiration to good use.
4. Do some writing (lots of writing)
Before you even pitch any companies, get some practice in. Write poetry, prose, and jokes. Do it over and over. Write bad poetry. Write bad punchlines. Just write, without concern for quality for now. Just start writing. Remember: you can always fix a bad piece of writing, but a blank page is useless.
5. Find the companies that will pay for your writing
Yes, there are greeting card companies that will pay for your verse, prose, and jokes. But, just like with every other freelance writing endeavour, it’s hard to get your work accepted, and you’ll need to hustle.
The first thing to do is to make a list of the places you’d like to pitch. Then you’ll need to read their submission guidelines, research the cards they usually sell, and send a well-crafted pitch.
Want a list of companies that pay you to write greeting cards? Check out this post.