How to Become a Freelance Copywriter

by Gabe Arnold


Type “freelance jobs” into Indeed. You can scroll through pages upon pages for hours upon hours and you still won’t reach the end of the list.

Now type “freelance copywriter” in. You narrowed the list down a bit, but there are still so many options to choose from.

Businesses need writers. Without them, they cannot market their products, services or brand as a whole.

It’s a competitive career path. If you’ve been curious about what freelance writing really is and what you have to do to make it, keep reading.

What is a Freelance Copywriter?

So what is a freelance copywriter?

Let’s break it up into two elements.

According to Oxford Languages, freelance is when you work for various companies at different times. Instead of a single company hiring you as a permanent internal employee, you are more of your own boss.

A business might tell you what work they need and give you a deadline. But at the end of the day, you are responsible for your own time management and getting the job done. You can usually choose however many places you want to work for and when you want to do so.

Now let’s get into the second part of the job title. A copywriter is someone who creates and writes the written text for ads or general material for content marketing. That text is called “copy.” You are literally a “copywriter.”

So when you put the two together, a freelance copywriter is someone who a full-service marketing agency or marketing department takes on to help out. They are not a full-time employee or direct affiliates of that business. Rather, they pay their copywriter hourly, per project or per day of work. Your copywriter salary varies depending on that, but many freelance copywriters make up to six figures. 

What Exactly Does a Freelance Copywriter Do?

The exact answer to this question varies depending on the company you freelance for. A lot of copywriters do not even adhere to a strict schedule, as long as they get their copy done by the deadline.

But let’s take a look at what a typical day of writing copy looks like in the context of a nine-to-five job. For this section, say that you are a freelance copywriter who is working for one business on any given day. This will be a very basic overview, just to give you an idea.

9 a.m.: Log on to your company’s portal/email. Check all communication and ensure everything is up-to-date. Check your calendar to see if you have any meetings today. See what projects/pieces of copy are due today. Plan your day accordingly.

10 a.m.-3 p.m.: Research the subjects and clients you will be copywriting for today. Track your time spent on each project and the total time you worked all day. Check-in with your timer often to ensure effective time management. Read aloud and self-edit after you finish each piece of copy. Use tools to communicate with internal business departments and clients if needed.

3 p.m.: Attend your scheduled meetings or end-of-day project status meeting, if applicable. Work on relevant copywriting courses to further your training and education.

4 p.m.: Check email and respond to any urgent correspondence that may have come up since you began writing at 9 a.m. If possible, schedule time for more research on the subject/client. Plan your day for tomorrow.

5 p.m.: Log out once everything is complete.

Again, some positions are more intensive. Plus, with almost every freelance copywriter position, there are business-specific tasks you need to complete multiple times daily. Think of this timetable as a rough draft.

What are Strong Freelance Copywriting SkillsWhat are Strong Freelance Copywriting Skills?

If you think copywriting skills are mainly just “proficiency at grammar and spelling,” think again. There are many skill sets that you don’t realize you need to hone until you start.

As a freelancer, you also need to sharpen particular skill sets on your own. As you can imagine, there are almost double the typical number of skills of an average career when you are a freelance copywriter.

It’s time to dive into some initial skills.

  1. SEO Writing – SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” SEO writing is key to developing web visibility. SEO tactics boost a business’s ranking on search engines like Google. That brings about more site traffic and extends the target market reach. Use seamless keywords, hyperlinks and more for SEO writing.
  2. Graphic Design – Get familiar with graphic design tools. It lets you stand out from the competition. Almost every piece of copy has a graphic design element.
  3. Digital Marketing – Writing copy falls under the marketing umbrella. After the advent of the Internet, traditional marketing is no longer a forerunner in the business world. Understand social media, PPC and display advertising, to name a few.
  4. Communication Skills – Freelancing, in general, is fast-paced and often faceless.  If you want to stick out as a desirable freelance copywriter, communicating is key. Be available, actively listen and respond to communication like emails in a timely manner.
  5. Blogging and WordPress Management – A lot of the copy you write will be for blog posts. Get familiar with creating, posting and managing various blog platforms and tools like WordPress.
  6. Data Input and Microsoft Excel – “Proficiency in Microsoft Office” is more than a line on your resume. Freelance writers must compile and analyze data. The copy you write cannot start and end with basic words. You have to make them measurable to know if you succeed at your job.

Tips on How to Become a Freelance Copywriter

If all of this information registers in your mind as something you are passionate about, check out these tips on how to become a successful freelance copywriter.

Think About Your Niche

Niche marketing is when you market to a specific subset of your specific market.

As a copywriter, you need to find a particular influencer on a particular network. You want them to spread the word about your copy and give it influence to their established followers/audience.

Know everything there is to know about them; no detail is too small.

Always Further Your Education

Copywriting is a competitive career path. It evolves, transforms and updates daily.

To keep up, read relevant books and resources that have helpful tips. Listen and subscribe to podcasts about copywriting or writing tools and tricks.

Enroll in interactive copywriting courses. Sign up for and attend copywriting conferences and events.

There is a wealth of writing tools and resources out there. A simple search can get you to the best ones. Be creative when you pick your education resources.

Join a Copywriting Community

You need support as you go down and up on this professional road. Join a copywriting community (either online or in-person) for that support. You can learn tips and about resources from other industry pros. And you’ll make some lifelong friends in the process.

Only Do Work That You Believe in

If you don’t believe in what you write, your audience won’t believe in it either. It won’t be compelling enough to follow your work. The businesses you contract with and their clients won’t want to read it, either.

If you write compelling and genuine copy, people want to talk about it. It naturally spreads the word.

Choose a Specialization

Choose a Specialization

After you figure out all of those many details about your niche, pick where you will specialize. You want to know everything there is to know about a certain area. Better to know everything about one or two subjects than a little about countless subjects.

You’ll be the go-to for industry advice. Nothing and no one can compete with that. 

Conclusion

You have a lot of tips circulating on the worldwide web about how to be a “good copywriter.”

But you don’t want to be good. You want to be the best.

At Copywriter Today, we know how to cultivate the best of the best.

If you operate a business that needs an effective copy, click here for a free consultation. We know what your brand needs to shine and we can get it for you in record time.

If you are a freelance copywriter or want to be one, we have more tips like these on our blog. But we don’t stop there, and you don’t want to either. Contact us today to level up in the cosmos of copywriting.

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