Can you earn more as a fully independent or a freelance copywriter?

14 replies
When I say fully independent copywriter I refer to a copywriter who has his/her own website/blog/book/ebook. As such you don't need to work on freelance platforms such as Freelancer or Upwork.

Now here are my questions:
Can you earn more working as a fully independent copywriter or as a freelance copywriter?How and where you can find clients, if you choose the independent way? We all know that as a freelance copywriter you use freelance website to get in contact with potential clients. What are the costs for both options? If you run your website/blog compared to freelance fees. What about the risks? How do you protect your work and ensure payment as an independent copywriter?

I've heard it for so many times that freelance zone is somewhere you go when you care more about price than the quality itself. Is it true? In addition, I have this feeling or maybe the wrong kind of prejudice that an independent contractor status or an opportunity to run the agency/company specialized in copywriting services is a privilege reserved for US/UK/AUS/CAN writers. Prove me right or wrong. I have a colleague copywriter from Portugal, who runs an independent agency. Yet, his main activity is focused on translations. He gets a lot of orders involving Portuguese/English translations. So, this is more about translation than copywriting.

I've met quite a few warriors/copywriters who match my independent description. So, I would like to hear from them. At the same time, all other warriors who provide different type of services as both independent and freelance workers are also encouraged to share their experiences and thoughts.

Thanks in advance.
#copywriter #earn #earnings #freelance #fully #independent
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    You can be a lousy freelance copywriter and make a lot of money
    and be a great copywriter and starve. The money you make as
    a freelance copywriter has more to do with your business skills
    than copywriting skills.

    So if you want to build your own business using your copywriting
    skills then you have no need to deal with clients BUT you will
    have to know how to market your products. There is no easy
    solution.

    I work mainly as a freelance copywriter but also have my own
    products that I market. Those products take care of the lean
    times when your client schedule is not as full as you'd like.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      You can be a lousy freelance copywriter and make a lot of money
      and be a great copywriter and starve. The money you make as
      a freelance copywriter has more to do with your business skills
      than copywriting skills.
      -Ray Edwards
      This was a great and spontaneous moment of Zen. These lines are going to stick with me for a very long time, that's for sure.

      Thinking about the "products." Maybe an eBook, or a novel that would've been a jackpot. Your lean time is my dead time. We're talking about the same thing, but I still haven't found a successful solution for this killer problem.

      I should definitely learn more about business, how to run a successful business. In terms of writing, I know what I know, I can improve here and there, but that's it. Guess, I need to be my own manager.

      Thx.
      Nesha
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    What do you mean by "copywriter""?
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    When I say fully independent copywriter I refer to a copywriter who has his/her own website/blog/book/ebook. As such you don't need to work on freelance platforms such as Freelancer or Upwork.
    It's fine to seek work on the freelance platforms you mentioned, but no one "needs to" work there.

    There are dozens of ways to find your own copywriting clients, even when you are starting out and have little or no experience. Join BNI, for example (there are chapters all around the world), and you don't even need your own website to get clients.

    The "needs to" is completely made up in your own mind, not a reality otherwise.

    Just wanted to point that out to anyone else looking at this thread.

    Marcia Yudkin
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    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      It's fine to seek work on the freelance platforms you mentioned, but no one "needs to" work there.

      There are dozens of ways to find your own copywriting clients, even when you are starting out and have little or no experience. Join BNI, for example (there are chapters all around the world), and you don't even need your own website to get clients.

      The "needs to" is completely made up in your own mind, not a reality otherwise.

      Just wanted to point that out to anyone else looking at this thread.

      Marcia Yudkin
      Thx Marcia. Agree. Honestly, I have to Google to see what the BNI stands for. Hearing that running your own website isn't a must in this is such a relief. Your point about "needs to" is accepted as it should be. I hate to admit it to myself, but I have to. That's the only way if I want to examine other opportunities. Appreciated. N
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  • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
    Hi Nesha,

    I started out in business and while I had my own clients, I needed to rely on freelance work to fill in some gaps while I was establishing myself.

    To be honest, freelance work takes quite a lot of control away from what I was trying to achieve. There is the perception that freelance = cheaper and my hourly rate was bartered down which meant I was to work harder, for less and on some platforms be rated on a 5 star rating system (which doesn't always work too well).

    I'll be honest, I earn way more working fully independently and I would rather work this way, however at the beginning you don't always have enormous amounts of choices.. so sometimes freelance is where you have to start.

    My tip, be honest about your hourly rate and reject any freelance work that reduces your capacity to earn and always take the time to understand what is required from each freelance project.

    That's my 2 cents worth anyway
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Thx GN. Guess, I have no other choice than to embrace this "hybrid" model for the time being. My feet on the freelance ground, while my head is the independent clouds. Maybe it's just me, but I still have this corporate feeling while I'm freelancing on major freelance platforms. It's just like there are more or less independent freelancers.

      A thoughtful comment as always. Appreciated. Cheers.

      Originally Posted by gingerninjas View Post

      Hi Nesha,

      I started out in business and while I had my own clients, I needed to rely on freelance work to fill in some gaps while I was establishing myself.

      To be honest, freelance work takes quite a lot of control away from what I was trying to achieve. There is the perception that freelance = cheaper and my hourly rate was bartered down which meant I was to work harder, for less and on some platforms be rated on a 5 star rating system (which doesn't always work too well).

      I'll be honest, I earn way more working fully independently and I would rather work this way, however at the beginning you don't always have enormous amounts of choices.. so sometimes freelance is where you have to start.

      My tip, be honest about your hourly rate and reject any freelance work that reduces your capacity to earn and always take the time to understand what is required from each freelance project.

      That's my 2 cents worth anyway
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    I have no other choice
    You would be hugely rich already if you got paid every time you claimed you "have no choice" about something.

    This language habit is keeping you trapped. It partly comes from your way of thinking, but it also compounds your stuckness every time you say or write it.

    Try saying instead of "I have no other choice," "This is my choice at the moment." If you could break this habit, you would begin to understand that you do have many, many choices, all the time.

    Marcia Yudkin
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    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robscom
    If you wrote emails/letters to prospective clients as often as you post on the WF, I have the feeling you wouldn't be as lacking in clients.

    Focus on what makes money.

    Just my two cents.
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    "Do. Or do not. There is no 'try.'" -- Yoda
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by Robscom View Post

      If you wrote emails/letters to prospective clients as often as you post on the WF, I have the feeling you wouldn't be as lacking in clients.

      Focus on what makes money.

      Just my two cents.
      Of course if Nesha did that, we wouldn't have all the sig parking opportunities and that wouldn't do, would it?

      If you didn't have a "Nesha", you just might create one.

      Nesha's posts have been good for business. Are you paying attention, Nesha?
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      • Profile picture of the author Robscom
        Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

        Of course if Nesha did that, we wouldn't have all the sig parking opportunities and that wouldn't do, would it?

        If you didn't have a "Nesha", you just might create one.

        Nesha's posts have been good for business. Are you paying attention, Nesha?
        Good for whose business? LOL

        (I'm not usually this slow, but I blame a lack of sleep and coffee.)
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        "Do. Or do not. There is no 'try.'" -- Yoda
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    ...his/her selection of clients.

    Highly paid writers CHOOSE their clients, and don't (as a rule) let them choose you.

    Do a good job for just one or two high paying clients and they will keep you writing.

    Most newbs, and many with several years under their belt, still chase after work.

    I know dozens who reject work offers. It starts (in MY opinion) at your start.

    Who you go after and how much you learn about specific industries you want to write for determines your pay. A specialist can get higher paying gigs right out of the gate, where the generalist, who will write anything...

    keeps posting and posting and bemoaning the fact she can't get work.

    Select your markets and go after deep pockets.

    GordonJ




    Originally Posted by neshaword View Post

    When I say fully independent copywriter I refer to a copywriter who has his/her own website/blog/book/ebook. As such you don't need to work on freelance platforms such as Freelancer or Upwork.

    Now here are my questions:
    Can you earn more working as a fully independent copywriter or as a freelance copywriter?How and where you can find clients, if you choose the independent way? We all know that as a freelance copywriter you use freelance website to get in contact with potential clients. What are the costs for both options? If you run your website/blog compared to freelance fees. What about the risks? How do you protect your work and ensure payment as an independent copywriter?

    I've heard it for so many times that freelance zone is somewhere you go when you care more about price than the quality itself. Is it true? In addition, I have this feeling or maybe the wrong kind of prejudice that an independent contractor status or an opportunity to run the agency/company specialized in copywriting services is a privilege reserved for US/UK/AUS/CAN writers. Prove me right or wrong. I have a colleague copywriter from Portugal, who runs an independent agency. Yet, his main activity is focused on translations. He gets a lot of orders involving Portuguese/English translations. So, this is more about translation than copywriting.

    I've met quite a few warriors/copywriters who match my independent description. So, I would like to hear from them. At the same time, all other warriors who provide different type of services as both independent and freelance workers are also encouraged to share their experiences and thoughts.

    Thanks in advance.
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  • Profile picture of the author DKCopywriter
    Fully Independent=Freelance
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  • Profile picture of the author jonbowsir
    I think you'll earn more as a freelance copywriter.

    More access to your reviews, past work, and you can be right where the buyers are, without spending money on advertising.
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