Ways to become an "in-demand" copywriter

12 replies
Being a freelance copywriter can be an extremely rewarding career, offering great work/life balance and flexibility in working arrangements (obviously, since you as the freelancer would set your hours and place of work yourself). However, there are some obvious pitfalls and downsides to being a freelance copywriter, usually along the lines of I have no clients which ties in very closely to I have no income.

Today, lets look at three simple and basic ways to becoming an in-demand freelance copywriter.

1. Be realistic at the outset
Everyone thinks of the dream freelance copywriter lifestyle where you are either:
rolling out of bed at 10am, ambling down to the closest hipster coffee haunt with laptop in hand, sipping on lattes while churning out a few hours work before a late lunch, then relaxing for the rest of the day; or
sitting on sun lounge or a hammock next to a beach/pool, catching some sun in between tapping out some work on the laptop.
For the majority, thats a LONG way away; for some, its just a pipe dream. At the beginning, you need to be willing to dig in and do the hard yards because the other end doesnt happen without a lot of toil at the start.
Be prepared to not get paid regularly (or sometimes, at all) while you build your freelance business from the bottom up.

2. Start small
Unless you have years of experience as an agency or corporate copywriter in a previous life, most freelance copywriters dont have a wealth of work and/or experience in copywriting behind them. This means prospective employers are less likely to come a-knocking for your (undoubtedly) amazing services.

However, there are plenty of others who may also be starting out. Or some entrepreneur who has a limited budget but is willing to give a fresh newbie a go (because they themselves want their start-up to be given a go!). Sites like www.fiverr.com can be a great starting point, although it can feel horrible writing plenty of words for not a lot of money (on this, refer back to point 1).

You must be patient, and build up, if you dont have that prior experience to call on. Be realistic!

3. Get a niche
One of the best ways to start standing out sooner rather than later, even as an inexperienced copywriter, is to have a niche that you are specialised in. It seems like common sense but inevitably, you will produce a better product when you are writing about something you are passionate about and you have worked almost exclusively in for a long time.

It makes a lot of sense when you look at it this way. Lets say Frank is a budding freelance copywriter, who has a lot of personal experience and knowledge in boats. He knows boats, loves them to bits. So when he visits a boating show, and meets people in the business of profiting from boats in some way (whether by selling boats, servicing boats, selling boat accessories, etc.) then it helps when he knows what hes talking about. It also then becomes very handy when he lets them know that he is also a freelance copywriter who specialises in boats.

Simple but effective. Give it a go!

I'd be interested to hear other people's feedback on my post above!
#copywriter #indemand #ways
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Louise007 View Post

    Being a freelance copywriter can be an extremely rewarding career, offering great work/life balance and flexibility in working arrangements (obviously, since you as the freelancer would set your hours and place of work yourself). However, there are some obvious pitfalls and downsides to being a freelance copywriter, usually along the lines of I have no clients which ties in very closely to I have no income.

    Today, lets look at three simple and basic ways to becoming an in-demand freelance copywriter.

    1. Be realistic at the outset
    Everyone thinks of the dream freelance copywriter lifestyle where you are either:
    rolling out of bed at 10am, ambling down to the closest hipster coffee haunt with laptop in hand, sipping on lattes while churning out a few hours work before a late lunch, then relaxing for the rest of the day; or
    sitting on sun lounge or a hammock next to a beach/pool, catching some sun in between tapping out some work on the laptop.
    For the majority, thats a LONG way away; for some, its just a pipe dream. At the beginning, you need to be willing to dig in and do the hard yards because the other end doesnt happen without a lot of toil at the start.
    Be prepared to not get paid regularly (or sometimes, at all) while you build your freelance business from the bottom up.

    2. Start small
    Unless you have years of experience as an agency or corporate copywriter in a previous life, most freelance copywriters dont have a wealth of work and/or experience in copywriting behind them. This means prospective employers are less likely to come a-knocking for your (undoubtedly) amazing services.

    However, there are plenty of others who may also be starting out. Or some entrepreneur who has a limited budget but is willing to give a fresh newbie a go (because they themselves want their start-up to be given a go!). Sites like www.fiverr.com can be a great starting point, although it can feel horrible writing plenty of words for not a lot of money (on this, refer back to point 1).

    You must be patient, and build up, if you dont have that prior experience to call on. Be realistic!

    3. Get a niche
    One of the best ways to start standing out sooner rather than later, even as an inexperienced copywriter, is to have a niche that you are specialised in. It seems like common sense but inevitably, you will produce a better product when you are writing about something you are passionate about and you have worked almost exclusively in for a long time.

    It makes a lot of sense when you look at it this way. Lets say Frank is a budding freelance copywriter, who has a lot of personal experience and knowledge in boats. He knows boats, loves them to bits. So when he visits a boating show, and meets people in the business of profiting from boats in some way (whether by selling boats, servicing boats, selling boat accessories, etc.) then it helps when he knows what hes talking about. It also then becomes very handy when he lets them know that he is also a freelance copywriter who specialises in boats.

    Simple but effective. Give it a go!

    I'd be interested to hear other people's feedback on my post above!
    Really? Pablam. Simplistic. Downright meaningless.

    This is no place for copywriters to find useful information, at this time. Maybe it will make a comeback, highly doubtful. Between the content writers who don't know the difference and this cut and paste horsehockey, the place to connect with other REAL COPYWRITERS is on one of the many Facebook groups, as those 1001 Warriors like to exclaim about this, that and the other...being dead and all...

    I'll get in line...

    The Copywriting Sub Forum at the WF is DEAD. You just nailed the lid on the coffin.

    GordonJ
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    • Profile picture of the author Louise007
      Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

      Really? Pablam. Simplistic. Downright meaningless.

      This is no place for copywriters to find useful information, at this time. Maybe it will make a comeback, highly doubtful. Between the content writers who don't know the difference and this cut and paste horsehockey, the place to connect with other REAL COPYWRITERS is on one of the many Facebook groups, as those 1001 Warriors like to exclaim about this, that and the other...being dead and all...

      I'll get in line...

      The Copywriting Sub Forum at the WF is DEAD. You just nailed the lid on the coffin.

      GordonJ
      My apologies if my post has offended you. I haven't been on this forum for long, so I'm unfamiliar with most of what your reply is on about. I noticed there wasn't much activity so I figured I could throw up a few short posts for discussions' sake.

      Perhaps my post is "meaningless" to you (and it appears plenty of other "seasoned forum veterans") but I trust that someone who is unfamiliar with the area may find a more general post easier to digest / more accessible before getting into more "detail".

      In any case, I'm not a fan of Facebook, maybe instead of shooting down other forum members for making an effort, you could offer some more constructive criticism?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10897864].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
        Originally Posted by Louise007 View Post

        My apologies if my post has offended you. I haven't been on this forum for long, so I'm unfamiliar with most of what your reply is on about. I noticed there wasn't much activity so I figured I could throw up a few short posts for discussions' sake.

        Perhaps my post is "meaningless" to you (and it appears plenty of other "seasoned forum veterans") but I trust that someone who is unfamiliar with the area may find a more general post easier to digest / more accessible before getting into more "detail".

        In any case, I'm not a fan of Facebook, maybe instead of shooting down other forum members for making an effort, you could offer some more constructive criticism?
        Well, you are right...but really, was it much of an effort?

        Constructive: instead of just writing out general posts about the very basics of copywriting, or if you are going to do that, to at least forewarn us, but your post had an air of knowing, from experience. Share where the knowledge came from...

        "in my days in the corporate world where the money flowed and the life was sucked from my soul, I learned....." sort of a thing but just to assume a cut and paste post of the most basic assumptions about copywriters, how could you not expect to get some flak...unless you totally didn't take any time to read some of the threads, get a feel for the forum and what it was all about.

        Listen, I'm glad you're here. This place needs fresh blood and new enthusiasm
        and even a few more viewpoints and experiences. So please stay and share what you do know, or where you want to go with this.

        It is disheartening to see so many new wannabee copywriters just cut and pasting articles and nonsense to build post count or for sig file views.

        Why do you want to be a freelance copywriter? How have you begun to prepare yourself, what experiences are you willing to share?

        You are right, however, about my tone and for that I aplogize, you just came at a time when this sub forum, in fact all of WF is under attack from TROLLS, and small groups of people all posting under each others posts just to get either a sig file in front of people, or to lure us away to some hokey affiliate program.

        So, do accept my apologies and feel free to contribute...help us get to know and understand you a bit more so we can decide IF we can be of any help, or learn from you or if you get lumped in with the current trolls (the Icebergs) of this Titanic forum.

        GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    1. Why? Accurate thinking is necessary; realistic, as in low, goals are not.
    2. Why? What if in my world, there's a bunch of owners of businesses with over 5mil a week in revenue. Should I ignore them and go find myself some stranger with a small company who can barely pay his $185/monthly phone bill?
    3. Not necessarily. Better thing to learn: learn to like what you do... Did you know that accountants who love to do tax returns for small business owners make less than the owners of businesses that clean dead animals from the middle of the road? I am betting they don't wake up every morning thinking: I'm going to see the guts of a skunk today spread over smoldering hot tar road. I'm betting they've learned to get passionate about running a business.


    Originally Posted by Louise007 View Post

    Being a freelance copywriter can be an extremely rewarding career, offering great work/life balance and flexibility in working arrangements (obviously, since you as the freelancer would set your hours and place of work yourself). However, there are some obvious pitfalls and downsides to being a freelance copywriter, usually along the lines of I have no clients which ties in very closely to I have no income.

    Today, lets look at three simple and basic ways to becoming an in-demand freelance copywriter.

    1. Be realistic at the outset
    Everyone thinks of the dream freelance copywriter lifestyle where you are either:
    rolling out of bed at 10am, ambling down to the closest hipster coffee haunt with laptop in hand, sipping on lattes while churning out a few hours work before a late lunch, then relaxing for the rest of the day; or
    sitting on sun lounge or a hammock next to a beach/pool, catching some sun in between tapping out some work on the laptop.
    For the majority, thats a LONG way away; for some, its just a pipe dream. At the beginning, you need to be willing to dig in and do the hard yards because the other end doesnt happen without a lot of toil at the start.
    Be prepared to not get paid regularly (or sometimes, at all) while you build your freelance business from the bottom up.

    2. Start small
    Unless you have years of experience as an agency or corporate copywriter in a previous life, most freelance copywriters dont have a wealth of work and/or experience in copywriting behind them. This means prospective employers are less likely to come a-knocking for your (undoubtedly) amazing services.

    However, there are plenty of others who may also be starting out. Or some entrepreneur who has a limited budget but is willing to give a fresh newbie a go (because they themselves want their start-up to be given a go!). Sites like www.fiverr.com can be a great starting point, although it can feel horrible writing plenty of words for not a lot of money (on this, refer back to point 1).

    You must be patient, and build up, if you dont have that prior experience to call on. Be realistic!

    3. Get a niche
    One of the best ways to start standing out sooner rather than later, even as an inexperienced copywriter, is to have a niche that you are specialised in. It seems like common sense but inevitably, you will produce a better product when you are writing about something you are passionate about and you have worked almost exclusively in for a long time.

    It makes a lot of sense when you look at it this way. Lets say Frank is a budding freelance copywriter, who has a lot of personal experience and knowledge in boats. He knows boats, loves them to bits. So when he visits a boating show, and meets people in the business of profiting from boats in some way (whether by selling boats, servicing boats, selling boat accessories, etc.) then it helps when he knows what hes talking about. It also then becomes very handy when he lets them know that he is also a freelance copywriter who specialises in boats.

    Simple but effective. Give it a go!

    I'd be interested to hear other people's feedback on my post above!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10895802].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Louise007
      Originally Posted by DABK View Post

      1. Why? Accurate thinking is necessary; realistic, as in low, goals are not.
      2. Why? What if in my world, there's a bunch of owners of businesses with over 5mil a week in revenue. Should I ignore them and go find myself some stranger with a small company who can barely pay his $185/monthly phone bill?
      3. Not necessarily. Better thing to learn: learn to like what you do... Did you know that accountants who love to do tax returns for small business owners make less than the owners of businesses that clean dead animals from the middle of the road? I am betting they don't wake up every morning thinking: I'm going to see the guts of a skunk today spread over smoldering hot tar road. I'm betting they've learned to get passionate about running a business.
      Thanks for actually replying. I'll respond in accordance with your numbering too.

      1) Perhaps my point wasn't clear - my meaning was along the lines of being "realistic" or "accurate" in the early days - goals and ambitions should of course be lofty and someone to work towards!

      2) Ok, fair point, but your hypothetical scenario is very rare. Common sense has to apply though... if you've got those potential clients waiting for you, then go for it.

      3) This might just be me... I'm very big on wanting to do something you want to do. I previously worked in the corporate world and the money was there - I just didn't like what I did. I thought money might smooth over the lack of passion/interest but in the end... nope. So work was a real downer back then, and now that I've moved away from that (and still finding my way towards what I truly enjoy and want to do) I'm finding my quality of life a lot more enjoyable.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        Thanks for responding. You got my answers because your post was way too general. General ideas are not that useful. Even to beginners. General ideas with a few specific ones (in the same area) are way more useful.




        Originally Posted by Louise007 View Post

        Thanks for actually replying. I'll respond in accordance with your numbering too.

        1) Perhaps my point wasn't clear - my meaning was along the lines of being "realistic" or "accurate" in the early days - goals and ambitions should of course be lofty and someone to work towards!

        2) Ok, fair point, but your hypothetical scenario is very rare. Common sense has to apply though... if you've got those potential clients waiting for you, then go for it.

        3) This might just be me... I'm very big on wanting to do something you want to do. I previously worked in the corporate world and the money was there - I just didn't like what I did. I thought money might smooth over the lack of passion/interest but in the end... nope. So work was a real downer back then, and now that I've moved away from that (and still finding my way towards what I truly enjoy and want to do) I'm finding my quality of life a lot more enjoyable.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10898562].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author hdantle
        If you just wanted to feel like you were being productive, you should've been getting on LinkedIn, going to networking events, and PROSPECTING like an actual salesman. Much more productive and profitable than Fiverr. :/
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    Unless you have years of experience as an agency or corporate copywriter in a previous life, most freelance copywriters dont have a wealth of work and/or experience in copywriting behind them.
    I am sorry, but the above is a ridiculous statement.

    I was never an agency or corporate copywriter. Nor were almost all the successful copywriters I know. Some were in sales and had writing as a small part of their job. Others were journalists who switched tracks. Others got started after a copywriting course or mentorship. Others simply learned on their own. And none of them (including me) started off working for peanuts.

    As I said in another thread, if you can show us that you know what you are talking about, we will welcome your posts.

    Marcia Yudkin

    P.S. Please study up on how to use apostrophes before you post again!
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    • Profile picture of the author Louise007
      Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      I am sorry, but the above is a ridiculous statement.

      I was never an agency or corporate copywriter. Nor were almost all the successful copywriters I know. Some were in sales and had writing as a small part of their job. Others were journalists who switched tracks. Others got started after a copywriting course or mentorship. Others simply learned on their own. And none of them (including me) started off working for peanuts.

      As I said in another thread, if you can show us that you know what you are talking about, we will welcome your posts.

      Marcia Yudkin

      P.S. Please study up on how to use apostrophes before you post again!
      Sorry, that's my bad, poorly worded sentence. My point was meant to be in relation to freelance copywriters who were just starting out - in which case, yeah, even if you were switching from an industry which was conducive to copywriting, it's not like you would have had actual copywriting experience. Hopefully that clarifies things.

      I am not doubting that plenty of you experienced heads have your own stories on how you became successful in your fields, I would be keen to hear more of your journeys.

      P.S. I'm more than proficient at punctuation but unfortunately I had tapped that post out while offline in a Word document before copy+pasting here... I didn't realise that the majority of my punctuation/formatting didn't copy across.
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    P.S. I'm more than proficient at punctuation but unfortunately I had tapped that post out while offline in a Word document before copy+pasting here... I didn't realise that the majority of my punctuation/formatting didn't copy across.
    Since you're new here, let me point out that before you submit your post, you have the opportunity to preview your text. I've been writing professionally for 35 years and I still use the "preview" button to proofread myself before posting. It's a good habit to get into.

    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 JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      Since you're new here, let me point out that before you submit your post, you have the opportunity to preview your text. I've been writing professionally for 35 years and I still use the "preview" button to proofread myself before posting. It's a good habit to get into.

      Marcia Yudkin
      Marcia, I have to admit that, even using the preview function, I still find myself hitting the "Edit" button for typos and such I don't see in the moment, when I know what it's supposed to look like...
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  • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
    The real way to find yourself in demand is to make your clients a truck load of money!

    That will get you all the demand you can handle.
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