Employed as in-house copywriter, want to go freelance/work from home!

8 replies
Title says it all. I know several of you are lucky enough to be in the position to work from home, and well -- I want to get there myself.

To make a long story short, I'm a recent journalism grad, and I'm lucky enough to have an in-house copywriting gig for a fairly large advertising agency covering a niche market.

I've only been in this position for about three months, but I'm already dreaming of greener pastures--i.e., a home office, a twenty-step commute, and a schedule that's completely up to me.

Realistically, how long should I stay in this position to beef up my resume/skills before I venture out into the scary world of freelancing? I'm not afraid to admit that I'm still learning a ton about copywriting from my editors every single day, so I'm not thinking about striking out on my own just yet. But at the same time, I don't want to sit around in a cubicle for years and years before I get brave enough to start working for myself.

Is there any rule of thumb on something like this? I figure a year of steady experience would be a good starting point, but would it be wise to start actively looking for freelance work NOW so that I can ease into the transition better once the time comes?
#copywriter #employed #freelance or work #home #inhouse
  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Three strategies:

    1. Moonlight. Lots of different money-making strategies here for a copywriter.

    2. You're in the enviable position of having a mentor by default. Stay where you are, until it's obvious you're being underpaid. Then fire your boss.

    3. Exit now, as in right now. Every day you're not making what you're worth, you'll kick yourself.

    One of these strategies will resonate with you, depending upon your penchant for risk and skill level.

    - Rick Duris
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5903273].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author videolover7
    Keep track of your results... they'll make for good credibility when you go out on your own.

    Also, be thinking about (and planning) how you'll position yourself in the marketplace. Positioning is just as important as learning how to write good copy. Some say more important.

    VL
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5903294].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DavidG
    I don't know if this will help answer your question but visit this site - The Gary Halbert Letter

    Read and study every single letter. Treat this site as if it were your bible.

    I'm sure that if you pick up on anything that it will help you down the line with experience and further understanding of copywriting.

    That's generally what I tell anyone who asks about the world of copywriting.

    Hope that helps,
    David
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5903388].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Wytnyt
    Rick Duris' 3 strategies are good. If I were you, I'd stick with option 1 or 2. Like Rick said, you have a mentor by default. That really helps a lot when you're starting out. I myself am still new to copywriting, and I'd love to have a mentor who I don't have to pay.

    Ever since I started (that would be a few months ago), I've wanted to work at the Ogilvy and Mather office here near my place. I don't think they'd take me though, since I don't have a journalism degree.

    I want to channel this famous line, though.

    "What would a Scotsman know about advertising? Apparently more than they do." - D.O.
    Signature
    Take Advantage Of This Profit-Pulling Marketing "Vaccine" That Ensures Your Business Won't Be The Next To Flatline... Save Your Business... CLICK HERE NOW... or else... helplessly watch it fade into oblivion...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5903959].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author tgpros
    Having been in a near-identical situation to you (yes, I was a journalism grad too!), I think I can probably offer you some good advice. I used to be a full time freelance writer, working from my home office (or bed, if I was feeling lazy!).

    I was in a job I hated and unable to get work when I graduated from university. In the end I set a deadline and did full time writing hours alongside my full time job. I did this for around 3 months, in which time I was able to build up a solid profile/feedback - which is crucial to getting work on freelancing sites like Elance and oDesk. Initially I did offer my services for stupidly low money - but if you're to build up rep on these sites it's something you have to do. After a while you can gradually increase your rates to a level you're happy with.

    After the three months was up I left my job, and never looked back! I worked about 40 hours per week and made a lot of money on all the usual freelance sites. I did look into starting my own writing service and promoting it forums like this one, but in the end I started affiliate marketing and setup a few ecommerce stores so never got around to it.

    The hardest thing to do is to let go of your cushy job, which no matter how much you hate it offers financial security, amongst other things. Once you leave and become self employed as a freelancer there's no safety net, so you'll work extra hard knowing there's no option but to succeed.
    Signature
    Last month I turned over $57,646 on one of my Shopify web stores. Read my honest "warts n' all" review of the Shopify platform click here now!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5905705].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Griffin Smith
    Originally Posted by Legacy212 View Post

    Title says it all. I know several of you are lucky enough to be in the position to work from home, and well -- I want to get there myself.

    To make a long story short, I'm a recent journalism grad, and I'm lucky enough to have an in-house copywriting gig for a fairly large advertising agency covering a niche market.

    I've only been in this position for about three months, but I'm already dreaming of greener pastures--i.e., a home office, a twenty-step commute, and a schedule that's completely up to me.

    Realistically, how long should I stay in this position to beef up my resume/skills before I venture out into the scary world of freelancing? I'm not afraid to admit that I'm still learning a ton about copywriting from my editors every single day, so I'm not thinking about striking out on my own just yet. But at the same time, I don't want to sit around in a cubicle for years and years before I get brave enough to start working for myself.

    Is there any rule of thumb on something like this? I figure a year of steady experience would be a good starting point, but would it be wise to start actively looking for freelance work NOW so that I can ease into the transition better once the time comes?
    You probably have all the skills you need to write copy online already

    The actual work is not the hard part, it's really easy.

    The HARD part is finding, developing and maintaining long term relationships with clients. Sifting through all of their quirks and idiosyncrasies until you find the ones that your comfortable working WITH and not FOR.

    Some of the things I wish I'd done before I went freelance fulltime:
    • Saved more money for the everyday BS that happens
    • Spent more time learning how to negotiate
    • Learn how to be a marketer and not just a copywriter (This is where you'll make your money)
    There is an OCEAN of freelance work out there that is just waiting to be tapped, but you'll have to learn how to swim first.

    Good Luck and wish you the best!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5906278].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author staceythewriter
    I have a free report that helps with this very issue on my site: staceythewriter.com entitled: "Everything You Need to Know to Start a Freelance Copywriting Business Immediately"
    Signature

    Stacey Mathis
    Stacey Mathis Copywriting
    The Copywriter's Highway to Success
    http://www.staceythewriter.com
    Twitter: @staceythewriter

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5934510].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author myeanne
    well, just do what you think is best for you.

    but for me, you don't need to leave your current job coz you can still work as a freelancer at home. At least you're sure that you can get a monthly salary.
    Signature
    Staff Leasing
    We Lease Offshore Employees

    Hire inexpensive labor from the Philippines!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5938239].message }}

Trending Topics