How To Become a Freelance Copywriter (With FAQ)

Almost six years ago I stepped away from my last 9-5 job to become a full-time freelance copywriter.

I was scared, with every reason to be. I had no idea how to run my own service business. I scoured bookstores for guides on entrepreneurship. I read dozens of blogs about freelancing and persuasive writing. Podcasts, YouTube videos—I consumed all the information I could find about how to become a freelance copywriter.

At the heart of my curiosity was a simple moonshot question: Could I really turn my passion for writing into a long-term, high-paying career?

With hindsight, the short answer was: yes, I could. Because freelancing has worked out way better than I even imagined. (Read how I went from earning minimum wage to becoming a six-figure freelancer.)

Sure, success didnt happen overnight. I endured many bumps and learning curves along the way. But with time, I slowly uncovered the foundational secret about why becoming a freelance copywriter is such a great career (especially for aspiring writers).

How to become a freelance copywriter
  1. Find your specialty. Your specialty, or niche, dictates the type of content you want to write as a freelance copywriter. …
  2. Gain professional experience. …
  3. Build your copywriting portfolio. …
  4. Brand yourself as a freelance copywriter. …
  5. Written communication. …
  6. Time management. …
  7. Editing. …
  8. Research.

How To Become A Freelance Copywriter & Get Your First Client

What does a freelance copywriter do?

Freelance copywriters are in charge of their own business, which means they must establish the rates of their services and advertise their business to build a clientele. They choose their assignments and work with their clients to set deadlines and expectations. Their typical duties may include:

What is a freelance copywriter?

A freelance copywriter is a professional who writes copy for clients on a contract or project basis. Copywriters create content that aligns with each clients business. For example, if a company wants to launch a campaign to promote a new product, it may hire a freelance copywriter to write the product description or blog posts discussing the products benefits.

Freelance copywriters work may also appear in the following locations:

How to become a freelance copywriter

Your path to becoming a freelance copywriter may follow these steps:

1. Find your specialty

Your specialty, or niche, dictates the type of content you want to write as a freelance copywriter. Perhaps you want to produce technical writing, such as instruction manuals or brochures, or you want to focus on fashion and beauty copy. Contemplate what copy you enjoy writing and the clients you want to attract. Discovering your niche can allow you to build your professional brand and start your career.

2. Gain professional experience

With professional experience, you can become a stronger copywriter and learn how to work with clients. Connect with people in your network, such as your family members and former classmates, for employment opportunities. You can also research local organizations, such as small businesses or nonprofits, and volunteer to write content to fit their needs.

3. Build your copywriting portfolio

Your copywriting portfolio shares samples of your work, which you can use to showcase your writing skills and creativity. Your portfolio may include:

4. Brand yourself as a freelance copywriter

Building a professional brand can help you promote your services and build your clientele. You can start establishing your brand by:

Skills of a freelance copywriter

Freelance copywriters use the following soft and technical skills in their profession:

Written communication

Being a freelance copywriter requires strong written communication skills, such as:

Time management

Freelance copywriters need time management skills to work on assignments for multiple clients at once. They prioritize their assignments by deadline, reserving enough time to produce quality work and edit their content. As freelancers, copywriters may work full time in other positions, so they must balance their copywriting responsibilities with their other obligations.

Editing

With editing skills, freelance copywriters can ensure that their content is free of errors. After they finish writing, they may proofread their work for grammatical and spelling mistakes as well as compliance with AP style. They may also use several editing techniques before delivering the final product to their clients. For example, some freelance copywriters may read their words out loud, while others may read the article from the end to the beginning.

Research

As a freelance copywriter, you may need research skills for:

Creativity

With creativity, freelance copywriters can write copy that target audiences may enjoy reading, which can increase website traffic or social media followings for clients. For example, a bank might hire a copywriter to write business-to-consumer (B2C) content about applying for loans and credit cards. If the copywriter approaches the assignment creatively, using words that educate and appeal to readers, the banks blog might experience an increase in readership.

Business management

Business management skills enable freelance copywriters to:

Frequently asked questions about being a freelance copywriter

To learn more about being a freelance copywriter, review the answers to the following questions:

How much money does a freelance copywriter make?

What is the work environment for freelance copywriters?

Freelance copywriters can work from home or in private offices. They need access to computers to type their writing into a CMS or in a shareable document. They also create their own schedules, which allows them to choose when they want to work and what projects they want to complete.

How can I improve my skills as a freelance copywriter?

Use these practices to strengthen your copywriting abilities:

FAQ

How do I become a freelance copywriter with no experience?

Below are some more of my top tips on how to become a copywriter:
  1. Choose One Niche Market To Start With. …
  2. Don’t Get Distracted By What Other Copywriters Are Doing. …
  3. Make Your Prospects An Offer They Can’t Refuse. …
  4. Earn While You Learn. …
  5. Decide That You Want To Master This Skill, No Matter What.

Is it hard to be a freelance copywriter?

Despite our high demand, freelance copywriting isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Running a successful copywriting business requires long hours of deep work as well as some marketing and business skills. It can take several years to get where you want to be.

How much can you make as a freelance copywriter?

A new copywriter with minimum experience and copywriting skills will earn about $3,000 – $15,000 per year while a medium experienced copywriter will make anything from $75,000 to $150,000 per year. A highly skilled copywriter on their part could earn over $300,000 per year.

How do I start a career as a copywriter?

Copywriting 101: How to Become a Copywriter [Free 2022 Guide]
  1. Learn the basics of effective copywriting from books.
  2. Choose a copywriting specialty (email, Facebook, etc.)
  3. Write some copy for yourself or friends.
  4. Get your first gigs from job boards.
  5. Build your reputation to generate referrals.

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