Getting Started As A Freelance Copywriter
Want to get into freelance copywriting? You’ve come to the right place!
Read on to learn all about freelance copywriting and how to get started (written by a freelance copywriter!)
First of all…
What is copywriting?
Not to be confused with copyright, which is legal protection for your intellectual property, copywriters write content with a marketing or advertising goal in mind.
Typically copywriters will work for a company or agency that needs regular content created for their social media, blog, website, or emails.
When you see your favorite brand pop up on your newsfeed, sharing a photo or video of their latest product with a cute caption, that’s copywriting. Someone has sat down and thought out every sentence you’re reading (including this one)!
When you’re browsing Netflix, those little descriptions telling you what the show’s about? That’s a copywriter’s handiwork.
Have you ever picked up a magazine and started reading an inspirational story about a girl whose life was changed after she switched to this one amazing soap? And then realized it was an advertisement for Dove?? Yep, a copywriter was behind that.
In the world of online business, text is considered “copy” and the people who write that text are considered “copywriters”.
Do I need experience?
Not necessarily. There are plenty of employers out there who are be happy to give you your chance if like your writing style. You will need to show examples of your writing though!
If you need ways to get experience & build up your portfolio, you can always volunteer your services on small projects in exchange for references and testimonials.
Harmony, didn’t have any experience when she first started out. “Working hard, asking questions and listening to what your clients want is key. Start small, and eventually you will build a portfolio. “
How long does it take?
Copywriting is not just about writing. In reality, the actual writing might be the thing that takes up the least of your time. The rest of the time you’re researching!
For example, sometimes clients will ask for blog articles on totally random subjects, and you’ll have to learn about it before you can write.
Is it fun?
It’s going to be different for everyone. Some people love it & can’t get enough. And others will find that it’s not quite their cup of tea.
If you write for a company that you believe in, and you know that you’re helping people by providing a service or product they actually need/want, then you can really unleash your creativity as a copywriter!
Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose how you approach it. Copywriting doesn’t have to be dull and official. Play around & have fun with it!
How much does copywriting pay?
This will vary quite a bit depending on who you’re working for, and what type of copy you write. For example, people who write copy for websites & emails can get paid quite a bit more than a blogger.
Most copywriters charge by the hour, and a decent copywriter can charge between $20-35/hour and increase that rate as time goes by.
Some bloggers & copywriters charge by the word count, and an experienced copywriter will ask for at least $50 for 500 words.
Check out this blog post for more guidance on this topic.
How can I be a good copywriter?
1. Work for a company you believe in (or start practicing by writing for your own blog)! That’s half the job done right there. If you know you are promoting a product or service that will actually benefit customers, you won’t have to work as hard on trying to write convincing copy.
2. Know your audience. Research shows you only have 7 seconds to grab someone’s attention before they click away. Your writing needs capture their interest and make them want to hear more.
3. Write in the client’s voice. This can be tricky, because naturally you have your own voice. But if you’re writing copy for someone else, that someone else is going to want it to be consistent with their usual style. Do a bit of research, check out their website, and familiarize yourself with their tone and style.
4. Listen to the client. Take the time to talk your client and understand what they really want & need from your writing. It might be something that you haven’t even considered, or maybe they didn’t even think of it yet! Getting clarity at the start is key to good writing (and less revisions!).
5. Copywriting isn’t the same as academic or other formal forms of writing. You don’t want to come across as arrogant, flashing complicated words and advanced punctuation techniques. But you also don’t want to dumb it down because you might offend or alienate your potential customers. The trick is finding a balance between a conversational tone and grammatically correct sentences.
Where can I find copywriting work?
If you haven’t already, subscribe to the GUAVABUZZ!
You’ll receive a bunch of job vacancies straight to your inbox. It’s also a good way for you to familiarize yourself with the various freelancer job sites out there, so that you can bookmark these and carry on the search yourself.
Facebook also has tons of great groups with regular job vacancies. Good keywords to search for include “freelancer”, “remote”, “digital nomad”, “freelance copywriter”.
Harmony says: “I’ve found work by contacting potential clients in Facebook groups and interacting in those groups as much as I can. One of my best clients came from a comment I made on someone else's Facebook page, you just never know!”
Another great way to show clients your style is to use your own social media channels. If you want to keep your work & personal life separate, consider creating a new account just for showcasing your work.
Francesca, Content Creator says: “Having my social media channels up to date and my own website definitely helps. I've secured clients by having a combination of both of them.”