Greeting card companies are always in need of poems and sayings to use on their products. While most greeting card companies keep illustrators on staff, they use many freelance writers to create the text for the cards. This helps give access to a steady stream of fresh ideas. A greeting card writer can make a great deal of money or almost no money at all, depending upon how much work is sold and to which companies.
In-house Greeting Card Writer
Big companies like Hallmark and American Greetings use in-house greeting card writers and won't accept submissions from freelance writers. The pay for an in-house greeting card writer is hard to determine because often these companies pay by experience, however, the latest estimates available from the Department of Labor suggest an average of between $30,00 and $45,000 a year, as of 2011. Breaking into one of these companies can be difficult, which is why a majority of the writers who write greeting card text do so on a freelance basis for the numerous other card companies that accept freelance work.
Freelance Greeting Card Markets
The money a freelance greeting card writer makes can vary, depending upon pay rates of individual markets, and the amount of work the writer turns out and has accepted. Many greeting card companies allow submissions in batches of 10 or more and pay per slogan or verse. Pay ranges from $10 to $25 per slogan or verse on the low end to as high as $75 or $100 on the high end, as of 2011.
Additional Avenues for Income
Besides writing verse for greeting cards, many greeting card writers supplement their income by writing funny slogans for stickers, T-shirts, hats and mugs, and drinking glasses. Some of the card markets available purchase these items from freelancers, as well as novelty companies. The pay rates for these are similar to the pay rates for greeting card slogans and often require the same type of writing.
You can't make any of this money writing greeting cards without the market resources to showcase your work. Writer's Digest includes a greeting card section that lists markets for greeting card writers. The market listings include how to submit, what to submit and where to submit, as well as what you will be paid for your work. Additionally, many greeting card companies have submission guidelines and pay rates on the company website. There are also numerous greeting card market listings online.