Both “freelancing” and “copywriting” sound like non-traditional career paths. Well, that’s the case, but it doesn’t mean that a freelance copywriter wouldn’t have a bright future. Such non-traditional employment may scare some people away or may be perceived as risky. Working on a project by project basis or without a contract, for instance, may raise some job security concerns. However, freelance copywriting is, in fact, a great career path for professional writers.
So, where to start? Let’s unpack the job into its component parts to make it easier to understand.
Freelancing is working on a project by project basis instead of being committed to a full-time job. In other words, a full-time freelancer is a person who decides to ditch the monotony of his or her 9-5 job to become self-employed. That offers flexibility in terms of time; you set your own schedules, deadlines, and so forth. Also, you get to set your own rate and choose your own clients.
Now you’re probably asking yourself, is freelancing a secure career path? Yes, freelancing comes with the risk of hiring dry spells, yet there are ways to mitigate this risk and build a reliable clientele. After all, there has to be a reason for freelancing to be growing in demand and popularity.
Many clients choose to outsource certain services to cut down on unnecessary fixed costs. This translates to hiring freelancers whenever needed. As for job seekers, many freelance as an extra source of income. The more their experience, the more they can charge. Once they’ve proved themselves, having their work out there and with their names on it, they can secure a steady source of income. It’s all about portfolio building!
Moving on to being a copywriter: what does that really mean? What does a writer who writes “copy” really do? What is “copy”?
Well, copy is basically advertorial content that promotes a particular brand, product, or service. That could be in the form of a commercial script, a tagline for a magazine ad, an article, or more. A copywriter is basically a wizard who does the work of a salesperson with his or her words.
How to get started?
There are several steps you should take for your freelance copywriting career to take off.
Step number one to becoming a freelance copywriter is to gain experience! If you’re a professional writer, you need to create a portfolio as most clients will want to see your work before they entrust you with their brand. Make sure your portfolio includes writing samples that are relevant to what you’re offering, which is promotional pieces of content.
If you still don’t have enough writing samples, you can always create your personal projects or maybe offer to work for free or at a reduced price for friends and family. This way, you’ll have some work to show to your potential clients.
Develop mad research skills
Yes, the client should provide you with a brief, but if you want to be a successful freelance copywriter, this is not enough. A little bit of extra research is needed here. Dig deeper and get to know more about the brand you’re promoting, its achievements, and its competitive edge. Research should help you grasp the brand’s essence. You can also take a look at competitors, see what they’re offering, and maybe seek some inspiration.
Expose yourself to other copy, EXTENSIVELY! If you’re offering website content or articles, read more; if you’re offering advertisements, watch a lot of commercials; and so forth. Examining the work of others and really paying attention to details should inspire you and help you learn.
Familiarize yourself with SEO
This tip is especially important when creating articles for online magazines, blog posts, or any sort of website content. SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the process of improving the visibility of a certain webpage. This involves the use of keywords that are most searched for, integrating internal and external hyperlinks, and so on. So, having a basic knowledge of SEO will definitely enable a freelance copywriter to create valuable content.
To kickoff your freelance copywriting career, you need to actually get started! Yes, gaining knowledge and experience is great, but you need to get those fingers moving to actually make it happen. Hunt for clients, land jobs, and start writing. Practice makes perfect and the more you write, the better you become at it. You can get started by signing up on Ureed, where you’ll find lots of opportunities that match your skills set.
Copywriting is writing the text; which is known here as ‘copy’, in advertorial materials such as commercials, billboards, flyers, etc. A copywriter is the one who writes the text/copy to better promote and market for the brand’s product or service.
Rates normally vary from one freelancer to another, depending on various factors. Those include the kind of service provided, level of expertise, and the amount of time required to provide that service. On an hourly basis, for example, a new skilled copywriter could make around USD 25 to USD 35 an hour.
There’s no fixed fee, in particular. A copywriter’s rate mainly depends on his/her level of expertise. For instance, experienced copywriters charge a minimum of USD 50 per hour.
Having a marketing background is great to start with. This could be a bachelor’s degree in communications, media studies, English, or marketing, or relevant work experience in the advertising field.