How I Went From 1.8 Naira Per Word in 2020 With A Client Who Criticized Me To Earn At Least $2,000 As An Email Copywriter in 2022

6 min readAug 5, 2022


“All I knew was to write. I had no idea what hyperlink was or why images were relevant in articles.”

In today’s issue of Laddr, Arthur disclosed how he was lambasted by his first official client who paid him 1.8 Naira per 800-word article in 2020 for not following the writing guidelines but now makes roughly 1,000x the amount in dollars in 2022.

And he is grateful to this to do a free writing job. Here’s what happened.

Hi Arthur, let’s kick things off from the start.


My partner told me you’re an email marketer if I’m correct

It’s email copywriting and copywriting generally.

Okay. I feel you didn’t start as an email copywriter or did you?

I would say I had been writing since I was young. In my primary and secondary school days, I always enjoyed writing compositions.

If you can remember, after mid-term breaks we were asked to write a composition about “how I spent my last holiday.” That was an interesting part of primary school for me then.

Also, there was essay writing which I chose over letter writing in secondary school.

Interesting. I found it difficult to write compositions.

Yeah…for me it was my favorite part to write among other choices. I had never chosen letter writing but at some point, I started writing letters for my friends. I remember as a teenager, I wrote letters of invitation and letters to source funds when we had special church programs coming up.

I’ll write those letters and they’ll convert but I had no idea what copywriting or persuasive writing was.

So when will you say your copywriting journey began?

I will say it started around 8 years ago and not in 2020 when I officially started.

Was it in 2020 that you knew people get paid to write?

I knew before then. I knew a lot of people making money as freelance content writers.

In march 2020 when the pandemic hit, I went home from school because of the fear of lockdown. Then in April, I decided to fully go into writing and see how things go from there.

How long did it take you to land your first writing gig?

In a matter of days…less than a week!

I have a friend who is a graphics designer and he helped me design a mini business card. The card had my name, a photo of me, and a description of what I do.

I shared the card on WhatsApp and anywhere or with anyone I could think of.

After a while, a friend reached out to me that she knows someone who has a group where freelance writers hang out and get jobs. She asked if I was interested and I said yes. I joined the group and boom that was how I got my first gig in less than a week.

You started in April and got your first gig in less than a week…

Yeah…but relax because the interesting part is coming.


I got my first client and he wanted me to do a project on some statistics about the gaming industry, movie industry, and Netflix. I wrote a lot of stats for him.

How much were you paid?

I was paid 1.8 Naira per word with a word count of about 700–800 words. I was excited because that was the first time I was officially paid to write.

To put that in context, you were paid 1,440 Naira for an 800-word article…

Very correct. I had little knowledge about making money off writing. My friend whom I wrote letters for paid me some money but this was more official to me.

How did your “official gig” go?

My first article was crazy. I mean crazy, but not in a good way…


I finished the project and the client lambasted me. He finished me because in his words I didn’t follow the guidelines he gave to me. I didn’t hyperlink and add images.

Honestly, I was new to all those things. All I knew was to write and I had zero knowledge of SEO.

But whenever I talk about my writing career, I usually say that he (the client) influenced my career. After he lambasted me he took out time to teach me. And I went on to write about twelve more articles for him.

How did you spend the money?

I was just flexing…hehe

At night I will buy shawarma from one of the spots in my location for 600 Naira with a topping of Hollandia yogurt and enjoy myself.

What was the writing process like?

It was hell because I used my phone to write. It was a small Techno phone and most times I’ll spend more than 7 hours writing. Then my parents wondered what I was spending my time doing.

But I’m grateful for those periods.

What did you do next?

I was still doing content writing until July when my friend introduced me to copywriting.

He came to my house and was like have you heard of copywriting?

“What is copywriting?”, I replied.

To me what it was was the legal stuff — copyright.

But my friend went ahead to explain what it is to me and told me about Toyin Omotoso, Andy Mukolo, and Robert Allen. He bought a course and gave it to me for free and that was how I started copywriting.

Tell me about your copywriting journey.

After that course, we still needed to get more courses because free resources aren’t structured even though they have value. We couldn’t get courses but used the free information out there.

Today, my friend is my partner. We collaborate on different jobs as they come.

On the side, I started posting content on Twitter because I wanted to be an influencer. 2022 was a major shift for me because there was so much time to focus.

What do you think about your influencer journey?

It paid off. I was drafted for a gig that paid 10,000 Naira weekly. The gig was for people with at least 3,000 Twitter followers. But towards the end of 2020, I switched from sharing random bants to marketing-related content.

What’s the highest amount you’ve been paid since you started writing?

I don’t have a specific monthly income but the least I make is $2,000. Started working with a company as an email copywriter and I earn based on commission.

How did you get the job?

I got this gig in June from a friend who traveled outside Nigeria for work. I could remember some months back, I asked him if I could revamp his website copy, he agreed and I did it for free.

After a while, I asked him if he had a writing project I could do for him and fortunately for me he had a course he wanted to launch so I wrote the landing page copy.

Later, on the 29th of June, this same man reached out to me. Then, he was out of the country. He asked me to send a link to my LinkedIn and Twitter profile and that it was urgent. Within the next 30 minutes, I got an email from an American company. They said that they have reviewed my profile and that they would like to give me a job.

Did you get the job immediately?

I would say yes because the decision was made on that same day and the interview scheduled for the next day turned out to be an onboarding session. It doesn’t feel like I did anything to get the job other than giving free value and creating a digital footprint.

Before you got here, what were your struggles like?

I won’t say I came from a poor background. I had one advantage which was food. It was 2020 and I was at home so food wasn’t a problem for me. The data struggle was there though.

But one of the things I struggled with the most was impostor syndrome. I remember writing a copy for a lady that didn’t convert.

What is your one piece of advice to other people reading this?

They say out of sight is out of mind. So you have to keep putting yourself out there just to cement your name in the mind of people.