How much can I expect to make?

28 replies
I always hear stories about people making six-figures after copywriting for a year or two and I'm not sure how much of that I really believe. I'm sure it's true for some but not for most. I prefer not to set my goals quite so high. At least not initially.

But, do you guys think it's reasonable for me to expect to make 25k during my first year of freelance copywriting?

That's actually more than I made last year. I have a pretty cheap apartment and no kids, so a salary like that would go a long way for me.

Keep in mind, I have never held a job as a copywriter. I have taught myself through several books and examples but don't actually have any work under my belt as of yet. I realize I'd probably have to start out doing "pro-bono" work and I'm fine with that. But, seriously, 25k. That's not much. I can make that in my first year if I work hard enough, right?
#expect #make
  • Profile picture of the author Stephen Dean
    It's more than possible to make $25k+ per year - many Warrior members do it every year.

    It helps if you're a good copywriter And you'll have to hustle hard if you don't have any experience. Constantly work on getting better, offer to help others, and make your offer known. You'll get bites.

    Cheers,
    Stephen
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    You might be able to pull in $25,000 or more even. And you don't have to do pro bono work either. This often comes up and I always have the same answer. Create a useful information product loaded with value and then write the copy to sell it. If you're smart you'll find virtually all the resources to accomplish this right here on WF. There's no need to make it harder than is has to be.

    Put up a clean looking site and figure out how to get traffic to it, then promote the hell out of it. If the copy is any good and you manage to make some sales, you become a proven copywriter.

    That's what I did, though it was more by accident than design. I don't even consider myself a copywriter but can still write stuff that sells. In fact, sometimes it sells pretty well. In the meantime maybe you could pick up some article writing gigs or ghostwrite ebooks for people to keep the bills paid. Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author mech111
    Your asking the wrong questions, you should ask,

    How can i become a better copywriter?" instead of "how much money can i make?"

    Because, when your copywriting you have to think of your customer more than ever, and the ones that pull in over $50,000 per month do exactly that, they train and train and become incredibly good at it.

    They learn from visionary copywriters like Gary Halbert. They continue to find ways to improve their copy.

    I understand, you want to make money. But if you are really looking to make alot of money in this buisness or any business you should always be finding ways to improve your customers ROI and not only think of your profits. Because ultimately, they are the ones that are giving you the money and when they find out your just in it for the money. They back out.

    Tip: The most profitable businesses are very profitable because many of their customers are the same people buying their products over and over again.You need to think of ways to improve their copy and make them money and they will reward you greatly for it, trust me.

    This can apply to almost any business.

    So keep that in mind when your looking to make cash online.



    - Mech
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    • Profile picture of the author StephenJJackson
      Thanks Mech111,

      It shouldn't be about the money because if it is, you really don't build a passion for it.

      I have always been fascinated about copywriting and would like to learn more.

      Is there any recommended reading?

      Stephen
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    • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
      Originally Posted by mech111 View Post

      Your asking the wrong questions, you should ask,

      How can i become a better copywriter?" instead of "how much money can i make?"
      - Mech
      IM for newbies is about the dream. The myth of making easy money. The idea of making of living from home.

      Its about making money. Hopefully boatloads...eventually.

      And to start, 25K is pretttttty prettttty good.

      The question of how much you can actually make is the honest and valid question.

      Copywriting is about making money. Period. Hell, I don't even need to like the copy as long as it converts. Nor does your client.

      In fact, i think this is the first question every copywriter should ask, "How much am I going to get paid".

      And if you want to make more, then you ask how to get better.

      Adam
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    • Profile picture of the author mjsing3r
      Originally Posted by mech111 View Post

      Your asking the wrong questions, you should ask,

      How can i become a better copywriter?" instead of "how much money can i make?"

      Because, when your copywriting you have to think of your customer more than ever, and the ones that pull in over $50,000 per month do exactly that, they train and train and become incredibly good at it.

      They learn from visionary copywriters like Gary Halbert. They continue to find ways to improve their copy.

      I understand, you want to make money. But if you are really looking to make alot of money in this buisness or any business you should always be finding ways to improve your customers ROI and not only think of your profits. Because ultimately, they are the ones that are giving you the money and when they find out your just in it for the money. They back out.

      Tip: The most profitable businesses are very profitable because many of their customers are the same people buying their products over and over again.You need to think of ways to improve their copy and make them money and they will reward you greatly for it, trust me.

      This can apply to almost any business.

      So keep that in mind when your looking to make cash online.



      - Mech

      I thought I made it pretty clear that it's not about the money for me. I want to make a bare minimum so I can feed myself and pay my bills. That's all. I'm not talking about getting rich. My number one goal will always be to constantly hone my skills and try to master my craft.

      With that being said, thanks for the response! I appreciate any and all input. All of you.
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    • Profile picture of the author joinfoarrive
      Great post...love your attitude I feel helping others is the ultimate way to make money. Thanks for the great advice.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rigmonkey
      Originally Posted by mech111 View Post

      You should be asking... ...How can i become a better copywriter?" instead of "how much money can i make?"

      - Mech
      This. Absolutely this. Every last word of it.

      I'm not copywriting for clients, although I do my own promotional work, and I'm continually developing my skills for that purpose alone. Sooner or later, my customers benefit from my effort, even if it's simply down to the fact that my copywriting puts them in touch with my main services.

      I understand the need to set targets. We all have bills to pay and if we don't reach minimal targets, we starve. However, I'd be more inclined to say "What can I do to beat my targets?" instead of "What can I do to meet my targets?".
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  • Yes, $25,000 in your first year is realistic. In fact, if you're planning to work a 40 hour week, I'd say that's on the low side. I made about that in my first year of freelance writing in general - and that's not even copywriting, I spent a few months doing whatever I could get and most of it wasn't real copywriting. And that was doing an average of probably 20 hours a week. So yes, it can definitely be done.
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  • Profile picture of the author joejoechen
    Well I'd say the price of a copywriter depends on how much he can make for his clients.

    So.. right now if you're just starting out and you have not done any copywriting for anyone before, you have to break in the hard way.

    Go to Clickbank, Paydotcom, Plimus, find sales pages that you think you are able to improve on, email them to strike a deal - that you will do a fresh sales copy for them and they can use it for a week, or split test it for a week, and if your copy over-sold his control copy, you get a royalty out of every sale.. or just ask him to buy it out for a price, couple hundred dollars will be cool..

    AND don't forget to ask for testimonials!!

    It's easier said than done though, but that's pretty how you can start.

    Joe
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    • Profile picture of the author Ideaswise
      I think you can expect to make at least that in your first year and far more as you develop skills and contacts etc
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    • Profile picture of the author SC83
      Originally Posted by joejoechen View Post

      Well I'd say the price of a copywriter depends on how much he can make for his clients.

      So.. right now if you're just starting out and you have not done any copywriting for anyone before, you have to break in the hard way.

      Go to Clickbank, Paydotcom, Plimus, find sales pages that you think you are able to improve on, email them to strike a deal - that you will do a fresh sales copy for them and they can use it for a week, or split test it for a week, and if your copy over-sold his control copy, you get a royalty out of every sale.. or just ask him to buy it out for a price, couple hundred dollars will be cool..

      AND don't forget to ask for testimonials!!

      It's easier said than done though, but that's pretty how you can start.

      Joe
      I'm in a similar situation to the poster, only I'm experienced information writing (articles, ebooks, etc) and am looking to break into sales copy now. I've really struggled with figuring out how to even get started though, so this seems like a viable solution for me.

      After working with your first few clients, will they typically provide you with their conversion rates so then you can provide this information to future proposals for other clients? Or do most copywriter's even provide this info?

      One thing that I'm a little confused over with everything is do any clients ever come back to a copywriter if their product isn't selling and demand their money back? (claiming the copy isn't converting).

      Sorry to piggy back on with this topic...it was just something I was wondering for a long time and finally decided to sign up and ask.
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      • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
        Originally Posted by SC83 View Post

        One thing that I'm a little confused over with everything is do any clients ever come back to a copywriter if their product isn't selling and demand their money back? (claiming the copy isn't converting).

        Sorry to piggy back on with this topic...it was just something I was wondering for a long time and finally decided to sign up and ask.
        Many copywriters offer rewrites if the client isn't happy with the copy, so if the copy isn't converting, they can modify it and test again. However, copy isn't the only factor in conversion and there may be factors involved that aren't in the copywriter's control, such as the source of traffic.
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      • Profile picture of the author CopyAcolyte
        Originally Posted by SC83 View Post

        I'm in a similar situation to the poster, only I'm experienced information writing (articles, ebooks, etc) and am looking to break into sales copy now. I've really struggled with figuring out how to even get started though, so this seems like a viable solution for me.

        After working with your first few clients, will they typically provide you with their conversion rates so then you can provide this information to future proposals for other clients? Or do most copywriter's even provide this info?

        One thing that I'm a little confused over with everything is do any clients ever come back to a copywriter if their product isn't selling and demand their money back? (claiming the copy isn't converting).

        Sorry to piggy back on with this topic...it was just something I was wondering for a long time and finally decided to sign up and ask.
        I voiced this concern earlier in this thread but no answer.

        What is to stop a client from lying and saying "Oh, your copy blew; I want my money back." How do we make sure clients tell to truth about how well you performed?
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        • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
          Originally Posted by CopyAcolyte View Post

          What is to stop a client from lying and saying "Oh, your copy blew; I want my money back." How do we make sure clients tell to truth about how well you performed?
          You've conjured up an imaginary problem here.... a false expectation appearing real.

          If you hold up your end of the deal, any client worth having LOVES YOU.

          There's several ways to deal with this:

          Require access to the books/sales reporting systems in your agreement.

          Do the testing/conversion reporting FOR the client.
          Make measuring and tracking response part of your deal.

          Treat your client like a partner, or risk being considered a vendor.

          But really, the best advice (and toughest to implement sometimes) is to GET BETTER CLIENTS than that.

          Be great at what you do and control the terms.

          Don't accept any old gig that lands in your inbox.
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        • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
          Originally Posted by CopyAcolyte View Post

          I voiced this concern earlier in this thread but no answer.

          What is to stop a client from lying and saying "Oh, your copy blew; I want my money back." How do we make sure clients tell to truth about how well you performed?
          If somebody writes sales copy for you and it brings in sales, would it benefit you more to keep working with them so they can write more copy for you and keep making you money, or to effectively end the relationship by telling them their copy sucks (which presumably if it sucks you won't be hiring them again)?

          If you find a good copywriter it makes sense to keep them around, not get rid of them. I'd have no problem giving a testimonial for a copywriter who makes me more money.

          That said, if all you're doing is writing copy, it's probably not a good idea to offer a guarantee based on how well the copy performs, simply because you don't have control over how it performs. You can write great copy, but you can't control where their traffic is coming from or the quality of the list they're mailing to, etc.
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          • Profile picture of the author CopyAcolyte
            Originally Posted by Hesaidblissfully View Post

            If somebody writes sales copy for you and it brings in sales, would it benefit you more to keep working with them so they can write more copy for you and keep making you money, or to effectively end the relationship by telling them their copy sucks (which presumably if it sucks you won't be hiring them again)?

            If you find a good copywriter it makes sense to keep them around, not get rid of them. I'd have no problem giving a testimonial for a copywriter who makes me more money.

            That said, if all you're doing is writing copy, it's probably not a good idea to offer a guarantee based on how well the copy performs, simply because you don't have control over how it performs. You can write great copy, but you can't control where their traffic is coming from or the quality of the list they're mailing to, etc.
            So would you say that in a freelance copywriter's business proposal to prospective clients, one should just offer copy that is on brief, on budget, etc. instead of offering guaranteed better results?
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  • Profile picture of the author Dean Jackson
    I'm just echoing what Stephen said - get yourself an offer out there and start working on improving your skills (might have the side effect of making a nice passive income too )

    Also, there are some great coaching deals here too which will help you improve your skills immensely. I got into Ray L Edwards coaching and the material inside is pure GOLD. Not to mention his critiques which will pinpoint areas to work on.

    Best regards,
    Dean
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  • Profile picture of the author CopyAcolyte
    This might be a slight tangent, but how does one make sure that a client does not lie about your measurable copywriting results in order to justify paying only partially or not at all?

    I'm guessing you ask that they verify by giving proof, but what would that be?
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    • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
      How much you make is a matter of how much you charge and how much billable work you do. You could technically make $25K or more in a year from one client. If someone's happy with the copy you wrote, then they'll tend to come back and want to work with you on more projects. So what starts out as a $2,000 job can turn into $5,000 or $10,000 (for example) over the course of a year from that client.
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      • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
        But, seriously, 25k. That's not much. I can make that in my first year if I work hard enough, right?
        "I can..."

        You're right. So just do it.

        Good luck!

        -Scott
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        • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
          Banned
          Break your $25k down. Set a 'lofty' goal and psychologically you can make it seem like much harder work to achieve your dream. Break it down into bite-sized pieces...

          Divide your $25k per year down into a monthly target or if you need to... a weekly target. A weekly target in your case is just under $500 per week. $100 per day. Assuming an 8 hour day... just $12.50 per hour.

          To achieve a constant $12.50 per hour for 8 hours per day... what is your strategy?

          What tactics can you employ starting right now to move you from where you are now towards your monthly weekly or monthly target?

          What will be your business plan?

          Your business plan is your contract to yourself. Your personal call to action to fulfill your goal and hit your target.

          You can do it if you say, "I will do it."

          Define your strategy, align your tactics and you will achieve your goal.


          Pete Walker
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          • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

            ...or you could write 252.5 sales letters for 99 bucks a pop.
            Or less. From just...
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    first you need experience.

    then you need proof

    then you need a way to show this proof. I like video.

    But if you combine all these well, you can charge whatever you like for you products and services.
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Halbert
    Haha...I like it Ken.
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  • Profile picture of the author Henry White
    Originally Posted by mjsing3r View Post

    I always hear stories about people making six-figures after copywriting for a year or two and I'm not sure how much of that I really believe. I'm sure it's true for some but not for most. I prefer not to set my goals quite so high. At least not initially.

    But, do you guys think it's reasonable for me to expect to make 25k during my first year of freelance copywriting?

    That's actually more than I made last year. I have a pretty cheap apartment and no kids, so a salary like that would go a long way for me.

    Keep in mind, I have never held a job as a copywriter. I have taught myself through several books and examples but don't actually have any work under my belt as of yet. I realize I'd probably have to start out doing "pro-bono" work and I'm fine with that. But, seriously, 25k. That's not much. I can make that in my first year if I work hard enough, right?
    Pro bono is fine, but I think you would come out way ahead of the game if you followed the affiliate model - get your domain name and hosting, a mere US$160 per year - and develop your skills as a copywriter there rather than spending the bulk of your time looking for someone to take the risk on a beginner.
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