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How to make money writing greeting card messages for publishers and companies

Updated on September 28, 2011

Cash for cards


Anybody can send their rhymes or poems to publishers who pay up to $200 when they're used in a greeting card.

MOST POPULAR

  • ''Happy Birthday''
  • ''Happy Christmas''
  • ''Happy Valentine's Day




Greeting cards fall into three main categories: traditional; contemporary; and humorous.

  • Traditional cards use very structured rhyming verse of four to eight lines. This is metred poetry - usually iambic or trochaic pentameter. Eg. ''May your days be full of joy / Now you've had a baby boy''
  • Contemporary cards tend to use simple designs and contain sentimental prose messages on the inside. Eg. ''Your my best friend and you make my life worth while''
  • Humorous cards use puns, jokes, comedy and back-handed compliments - these are the most popular cards. Eg. Happy Mothers' Day - what's for Dinner?

The first thing anybody should do is spend an afternoon browsing the cards at the local store. Make a note of the messages you like and use these as inspiration.

The publisher's details are on the backs of cards. Take down their name and research the company online. There will often be guidelines on their sites for sending contributions. If not, send them a very polite letter or email stating that you would like to contribute to their range of cards.

Remember to follow their guidelines closely, submit electronically if that is what is requested. If they would like you to post your submission make sure your name and contact details are on every sheet as pieces of paper can go astray.

Cash

Rates vary but a funny card could typically earn around $200 or £150in the UK and a traditional card around $40 or £25 in the Uk. The great thing about writing for greeting cards is that you can submit your messages anywhere in the world.

There are more than 3,000 greeting card publishers in the United States. Here's a mix of large corporations and small family publishers


E-cards

E-cards have boomed in recent years thanks to the Internet. Most of us have sent them before. The good news is that these companies are also looking for contributions. The guidelines for print cards are very similar and can be found online. Here are some popular e-card companies...

Spend plenty of time perfecting your greeting card messages. Quality is more important in this game.

Keep a record of which greetings you've submitted and to which publishers. They will be annoyed if you send the same message several times.

Be patient. It takes a while for editors to pick the best messages. If they don't reply send a polite reminder and ask them for feedback on your work. Then try again.

There are some great books that give tips on writing for this niche. Some of the best ones are listed here.

Most off all...enjoy what you're doing! When that's the case the great messages will just roll off the tongue.

Here are some useful links for writing greeting cards...

 

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    • profile image

      Aarti Harish 4 years ago

      Hi,

      I am from India. I wanted to know if these companies mentioned above would outsource freelance writers from India too or you have to be a citizen of US or UK to write these funny cards.

      Thank you.

      Regards,

      Aarti Harish

    • profile image

      melvin buckley 4 years ago

      i have many copy written greeting cards and would like to sale a couple of them to a greeting card company. do they pay much?

    • profile image

      Robert R. Van Buren 5 years ago

      I have christrian poems and rymes that I"ve done.

      I like to sell,who buys these?

      S0me rymes such as.

      Christ in you.

      Chist in me.

      Because of this.

      We know we"re free.

    • gregoriom profile image

      Deninson Mota 5 years ago from East Elmhurst, NY

      Excellent information.

    • profile image

      tebogo shuma 6 years ago

      hi i live in south africa which company can i sign up with to earn some extra cash my email is mmapuleshuma@ymail.com

    • profile image

      Jennifer 6 years ago

      Hi, I live in the uk. I write poetry and little qotes for fun, but I'd like to earn a little too. But am not quite sure where to start. What small card companies could I write to?

    • Rickrideshorses profile image
      Author

      Rickrideshorses 6 years ago from England

      Yes, Jade, submit the same idea to as many companies as possible.

    • profile image

      Jade 6 years ago

      Is it okay to submit the same idea to many companies?

    • Rickrideshorses profile image
      Author

      Rickrideshorses 6 years ago from England

      You're very forward thinking then! ;)

    • tamron profile image

      tamron 6 years ago

      I thoughtof writing greeting cards before I ever wrote on the Internet!Vote Up

    • Rickrideshorses profile image
      Author

      Rickrideshorses 6 years ago from England

      Hey Sagar for the message. Good luck with your enterprise. Drop me an email and let me know how it goes. R

    • profile image

      Sagar chopra 6 years ago

      Rick, you r my man..m 22 and i intend to start greetings business..my father has industries and ol and i kinda dont want to join but wanaa use my writing to earn living..he s very pissed abt my liking coz there s no one to take cre of his multimillion empire..but i ve interest in messages n emotions..m from bombay..west India..m currently handling my own pakaging plant also..if u ve good expertise in this greeting cards fiel..i d appreciate ur support...

    • Rickrideshorses profile image
      Author

      Rickrideshorses 6 years ago from England

      Good luck, prairieprincess. Let everybody know how it went!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

      Rick, this is something that I definitely want to do -- to submit some of my ideas. It's on the list for the next three months, to get this done. Thank you for a great hub. Bookmarked for further reference!

    • Rickrideshorses profile image
      Author

      Rickrideshorses 6 years ago from England

      True, well put.

    • profile image

      CardlyUK 6 years ago

      We believe a greetings card message can be the most important part of the card and should be carefully thought out in terms of the recipient.

      Great messages deserve a great response.

      xCx

    • profile image

      Gift of Cards 6 years ago

      Great post , I know 'real' card companies who also actively take on new writers..

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 6 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      Inspirational. I didn't think the market was open to freelancers anymore, but I guess it's still alive and well. Very well written hub.

    • Rickrideshorses profile image
      Author

      Rickrideshorses 7 years ago from England

      Hi ponchomeg, thanks for the feedback. Some of the best companies to write messages for are those listed on the page. However, you might like to start with smaller companies to build up your experience and a portfolio. This will make the bigger companies more likely to take you seriously. Good luck!

    • ponchomeg profile image

      Meagan 7 years ago from Lansing, MI

      Seriously, thanks for making this hub. I wanted to let you know that I bookmarked it so that I can come back to it when I need to. :)

    • ponchomeg profile image

      Meagan 7 years ago from Lansing, MI

      This is a great hub with so much useful information in it. Thank you so much for sharing. :) I would like to write for greeting card companies. My mom always thought I'd be good at it! haha Do you do a lot of work for greeting card companies yourself? If so, who do you have the best luck with?

    • Rickrideshorses profile image
      Author

      Rickrideshorses 7 years ago from England

      Hope you're able to use the information, chinemeremz. Thanks for reading!

    • chinemeremz profile image

      chinemeremz 7 years ago

      Waoh! There's basically nothing that cant be done these days to earn cash from the Internet. These is another way that sounds pretty cool. Especially for those with a flare for writing emotional and motivational stuff. Thanks for this wonderful info.

    • Rickrideshorses profile image
      Author

      Rickrideshorses 7 years ago from England

      Thanks Fenrisiys, glad you liked.

    • Fenrisiys profile image

      Fenrisiys 7 years ago from Bulgaria

      Very interesting thanks very much!

    • Rickrideshorses profile image
      Author

      Rickrideshorses 7 years ago from England

      Thanks Michael! Very encouraging, will write another one soon.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Great hub & awesome information! Thanks! Bookmarked it!

    • Rickrideshorses profile image
      Author

      Rickrideshorses 7 years ago from England

      Hey - go for it! And don't forget to publish your designs on Hubpages so everybody can see what you've come up with! Thanks for the comment. Rick

    • bonny2010 profile image

      bonetta hartig 7 years ago from outback queensland

      great hub - thank you for thinking of others - I like to design cards and actually thought of writing them, but never got further than that - you have given me a kick start - thank you

    • Rickrideshorses profile image
      Author

      Rickrideshorses 8 years ago from England

      Yeah it's defintely worth a try if you already have some words!

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 8 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      I researched writing for greeting cards at one time I just didn't actually do it, maybe after reading this hub I'll have to rethink that decision!

    • Rickrideshorses profile image
      Author

      Rickrideshorses 8 years ago from England

      Thanks for the kind words!

    • profile image

      BookFlame 8 years ago

      Terrific info. Another source of cash for those of us who write for a living! Thanks so much!