Can you sum up a product in a sentence? Think of something funny — and not another joke about too many candles — to put on a birthday card? Make a point in few concise words?
If so, you might be able to make money writing slogans.
Companies sometimes need new corporate taglines, advertising slogans and jingles. Bumper sticker and greeting card makers want cute, endearing or funny thoughts to put on their products. When these businesses need help, they sometimes collect submissions from freelance writers or run contests that anyone can enter — including you!
Writing Corporate Slogans and Taglines
Product slogans can be very short, like Nike’s “Just Do It.” They’re rarely much longer than Hallmark’s “When you care enough to send the very best.”
Although companies usually have their own teams of writers and marketers, they often run competitions that pay big prizes to outsiders who can come up with a catchy line. Watch for these opportunities on television and in print, but your best chance of finding them may be online. Try one or more of these platforms:
- Slogan Slingers helps companies create slogan contests in which their registered writers compete. It’s free to sign up as a writer, and the company claims you can “make up to $999 per contest (minus our small admin fee).”
- Get a Slogan is a “crowd-sourcing platform that brings in custom, creative and catchy slogans from a variety of sloganeers.” Companies come to them for help, and writers submit their ideas. It’s free to sign up, but you initially have only “qualifying” status. Once you obtain “qualified” status, you’ll receive $50 for each of your winning slogans.
- Freelancer.com has a section devoted to slogan-writing projects, which are sometimes run as contests. For example, at the moment a personal injury law firm is offering $150 for the best “unique and memorable tagline/slogan.”
For ideas about how to craft a catchy tagline, look over lists of some of the best advertising slogans and think about what makes each one work.
If you Google “slogan contest” plus the current or upcoming year (to weed out expired contests from the results), you’ll notice that government and nonprofit organizations may have even more slogan contests than companies. Many of these are open to children as well, so get your kids writing!
For example, Kentucky’s Secretary of State holds an annual slogan contest for students in grades 6 through 8. The kids have to write a slogan about voting or elections. The 2014 first-place winner earned $1,000 for “Don’t stay home and think you might. Go vote now, the time is right!” Even the third-place winner received $400 for “There’s nothing sweeter than to elect your leader!”
Writing Greeting Card and Novelty Slogans
Nadia Ali wrote the slogan, “Nicotine Challenged,” for use on lighters — and earned $100. That’s $50 per word!
Ali wrote the slogan for Kalan, a gift and novelty seller that mostly does edgy stuff I can’t repeat here. However, their unusual products might be good writing opportunities for you! The Kalan Idea Factory accepts submissions through their Facebook page. Most recently, they were looking for greeting card ideas for next Valentine’s Day.
Oatmeal Studios is a card company that pays for outside submissions — and you don’t even have to be able to draw. Describe the visual elements of the card, and their artists will take it from there. Their submission guidelines include the following tips:
If you find yourself wondering whether a line is funny or not, read it to a few friends and see if they laugh. From a creative perspective, go wild! Keep in mind your target list of people you send cards to.
Here are the occasions you’ll want to consider:
- Birthdays (especially 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th)
- Belated birthday
- Get well
- Thank you
- Miss you
Unlike some card makers, Oatmeal Studios doesn’t want puns, poetry, gross ideas or mean ideas, so keep it clean for your best chance of a payday.
Here are some other companies that will pay for catchy sayings or funny one-liners:
- Freedom Greeting Cards: They take freelance submissions for a variety of greeting card types, both by mail and email, but they do not specify how much they pay (WriterGazette.com says the pay varies).
- Ephemera: This novelty maker wants “satirical slogans about pop culture, politics and the president, job attitudes, women’s and men’s issues, coffee, […] religion, food, aging, teens,” and more. They pay $50 per slogan.
Your Turn: Can you create a catchy phrase or a funny line, and would you like to be paid for writing slogans?