- A freelance copywriter is an independent expert who writes compelling and engaging content about a brand or product to generate more traffic/audience.
- To become a freelance copywriter, you must professionally showcase your abilities, pitch and nurture client relationships, and improve continuously.
- Time management is one of the crucial factors that affects the quality of the delivery.
- Copywriters should expect positive and negative criticism, feedback, and other client comments.
A Mar 2023 Fiverr study notes that 70% of Gen Z would pick freelancing over the traditional in-office 9-5 job. Given the results and high interest, we can assume the future direction of our careers.
However, freelancing is a broad term. Many niches make the whole of freelancing, and one of the most popular and well-paid is copywriting. The average hourly rate of a copywriter is $30-$50, which is competitive enough to motivate younger audiences to choose it as a career path.
So, what is freelance copywriting? Below, we break down the concept of copywriting and provide a guide on how to start copywriting and tips and tricks to kick off your career.
What Is Freelance Copywriting?
A freelance copywriter is a professional writer whose job is to craft persuasive and engaging content for businesses and generate more customers. However, while by definition the main focus is around writing, in practice, it’s much more different. Writing is less than half the job.
Copywriters spend most of their time researching the topic, the company, products, etc., until they collect the necessary information to create the article. The more involved the copywriter is with the brand strategy, the more your marketing efforts will pay off.
How to Start Freelance Copywriting: Explore the Possibilities
To become a freelance copywriter, you should be creative, ideally have a degree in digital marketing or similar fields, know about current sales trends, and have excellent writing skills.
In addition, a successful copywriter is skilled in both short-form and long-form content. You can write anything from Facebook and Instagram captions to blog posts with sales pitches.
The best thing about being a freelance copywriter is that you make your own hours and don’t have to go into the office. Working from home allows you to create your own schedule to suit your needs.
If this sounds like the type of career for you, let’s talk hourly rates.
Know Hourly Copywriting Rates
Another viable share of the answer to “how to start copywriting online” is knowing how to establish your rate before you even start. This is important because some struggle to break into the market, and others cannot determine the ideal time to raise their rate or ask for more money when they have unexpected edits.
In short, your rate should be reciprocal to several factors, and they go as follows:
- Success rate
- Project complexity
- Market demand.
However, it’s also important to decide whether you’ll charge:
- Per word
- Per page
- Per hour, etc.
Currently, the copywriting rate on Upwork varies from $19-$45 per hour. You should raise your rate as your experience grows and your successful projects multiply. The niche is also important; finance copywriting or business copywriting, for example, are paid higher due to the level of research and expertise.
Finding Clients for Freelance Copywriting
Getting started with copywriting means learning how to attract your audience online. Among the many copywriting business strategies you have at your disposal, the most effective is cold pitching. For those who don’t know this strategy, it’s presenting yourself, your skills, expertise, and reasons you’re a good fit for a client through e-mail or direct messages.
Another idea is to create a social media profile and a robust portfolio where you can prove and demonstrate your skills and abilities to your potential clients. If you want to go even further, a website is a great way to sell your services.
Finally, create a strong online presence at various freelancing platforms and choose projects you want to complete. That way, satisfied clients can leave you positive reviews and even refer their friends to you.
Crafting Compelling Copy: Techniques and Tips
So, how to get started in copywriting if you’ve never written an article or ad before? If you’re a beginner, there are a few tips to guide you at the beginning and set you on the right track. Eventually, your experience will make you more confident to play with strategies and create even bolder copy.
The rules for copywriting for business success are as follows:
- Retain your client’s brand voice: You cannot start writing without researching the brand’s voice. While you may want to add a personal touch to your writing, you’ll have to fuse it with the brand message.
- Choose an appropriate tone: Always mind the tone – be sales, informative, friendly, expert, etc. Depending on the client, it’s also important whether you’ll write formally or informally.
- Research is key: Before you start writing, make sure that the outline of your copy corresponds to and meets the end goal – product listing ad, social media ad, short video, etc. You’ll have to thoroughly research the client, their brand, and the topic for this.
Time Management and Workflow
To become a successful business copywriter doesn’t mean to be the best in the field only, but to learn to manage to meet deadlines, remain professional, and stick to the client’s requirements. Therefore, if you want to know “how to start a copywriting business?” – first learn how to be organized, establish a quality workflow, and provide quality work.
Speaking of quality, time management and effective workflow significantly influence the quality of the work you send in. In the beginning, the workload can be manageable and tolerable. But, as soon as you pitch more clients, you will have to learn how to prioritize the projects, toggle multiple projects, organize your tight schedule, and avoid burnout. Here are our best tips:
- Deliver the batch earlier if possible: It’s always better to send in the order earlier than at the expected time or later.
- Accept workload within your abilities: You may think you can finish a content batch within the given deadline because of your experience and familiarity with the content. Know that experience and knowledge don’t change the word count!
- Hire help to help you with a content batch: Make sure you always meet the deadlines and deliver quality work as arranged. You may need to hire more business copywriters to help you with the batch.
Navigating Client Relationships
Building or creating your client audience is key in the copywriting business. Without a strong client relationship, you wouldn’t make a living. Therefore, you’ll have to learn to deal with some common scenarios during projects.
Challenge number one in copywriting is the client feedback and revision. You should expect feedback and even criticism/comments after you submit your work, and correct it if the client points out that you didn’t meet the instructions. Also, do not change the brief or plan mid-way – always contact your clients for approval before you make a change.
The second most common challenge is the client who asks for changes and edits that differ from the initial arrangement. In this case, you should charge extra for new content.
Other tips include constant communication and quality work. All this combined will help you retain a steady client base and form business relationships with mutual support and understanding.
Scaling Your Freelance Copywriting Business
If you choose the copywriting business as your career, you should consider that the work will pile up as you grow, clients will start to recommend you to other clients, and you’ll reach a point where you’ll have to consider outsourcing.
A few helpful expansion suggestions for a copywriting business are:
- Including more niches to expand the audience
- Hiring managers, customer support, and SMM
- Hiring more writers.
To become a freelance copywriter, the candidate has to have exceptional writing skills, a diploma/formal certificate or experience in digital marketing, and impeccable research skills. Familiarity with content-builder tools is also beneficial. On the other hand, self-motivation, time management, project toggling, and prioritization are the soft skills that complete the profile of a freelance copywriter.
To enter the market, narrow down your portfolio and highlight your best work. Creating a website where you explain your services and cold pitching are the first steps to building your career. Once you find clients, establish a good relationship, and turn your clients into loyal ones, the final step is to improve continuously and keep up with industry trends.
Free lance copywriting can be a very rewarding profession, especially for creative souls who find it difficult to navigate a 9-5. The nature of the job allows you to work anywhere, anytime – one of the many pros of being a professional writer.