Make Money Writing Greeting Cards
You may not get rich, but you can earn decent money
You probably won't get rich writing messages for greeting cards, but this ever-growing industry can provide more than spare change, once you acquire the knack. And the pay-per-word rate can be astounding. Freelancers report earning anywhere from $25 to as much as $150 per card.
Greeting Cards are Always Personal
When someone buys a greeting card, their goal is some sort of personal communication. The greeting card writer is, in a way, ghost writing by creating a message that is the “voice” of the purchaser. If you think back to the last time you stood in front of a greeting card rack, you'll see what I mean.
For instance, I never, ever buy the Traditional type of card that has rhymed verse. I'd be foolish to attempt to write this kind of card. My style is more in the Studio card with a pithy or even slightly ironic statement or two.
If, on the other hand, sweet, short poetry is something you love to read and write, writing traditional cards may be perfect for you.
Which Greeting Card Styles Will You Write?
You get the idea. In fact, the best way to begin to explore writing greeting cards is to go to the store, notebook in hand, and spend some serious time in front of the card displays. Note what catches your eye, read it and if you think you could do something similar, turn the card over and note the publisher. Explore like mad, taking notes all the way. You can do the same thing in specialty shops that carry cards. In large metro areas you can find cards at everything from Harley-Davison stores to stores catering to Gays and Lesbians.
But I can't draw!
You don't need to submit artwork with your words. Greeting card companies have staff and freelance artists who will create the image that turns your work into a whole greeting card. Of course if you are also an artist, you can include artwork and, in many cases, get paid for both.
The Greeting Card Guidelines
Practically every greeting card company that considers freelance writers have their own specific guidelines. The guidelines include details about the kind of cards they produce and exactly how they want you to submit your ideas. Some companies want ideas submitted in batches on 3x5 cards, others want x number of ideas per page, and still others want a single idea per page.
It's critically important that you follow the guidelines exactly - to do otherwise marks you as an amateur and practically guarantees your work will be rejected.
Most card companies that accept freelance work have websites that detail their guidelines. If you've done your homework at the card rack, use Google or other search engines to find their website. If they don't have a site, you can often track down a mailing address through Yahoo.
Both the print and online versions of Writers Market list greeting card markets. Paging through the lists can often spark ideas you wouldn't have had otherwise.