If someone told me a few years back that I could make a living, have hundreds of different (and really amazing) clients and be able to work from home around my family, doing what I loved, I probably would have laughed in disbelief. Writing has always been my passion, but lack of confidence in my potential saw me limiting myself to writing short stories, blogging and writing small amounts of marketing material for the various businesses I worked for. It was only a year ago that I decided to take the challenge into becoming a freelance copywriter, and, from initially working just a few hours a few times a week, with one Quicky, I have now built my customer base into a thriving little freelance empire of my own with over 940 sales on that first Quicky alone.
The benefits of becoming a Freelance Copywriter
One of the best things becoming a freelance copywriter can give you (aside from the fact that it can provide you with a sustainable income if you’re ready to work for it) is the ability to write about diverse topics ranging from sports to celebrities to business, and everything in-between. As a copywriter, your text might be appear on websites, adverts, brochures, digital media, or elsewhere, and you might write to inform, entertain, or persuade your audience. Each different job brings a new challenge, and you’d be surprised about what you’ll learn when researching.
There are other benefits in becoming a freelance copywriter, aside from the few mentioned above, they include:
- There are no strict requirements for qualifications or specialised equipment to be able to write (though obviously qualifications can help you when it comes to advertising your skills), and you can work as a freelance copywriter from anywhere you are in the world. To get started, all you need is a computer, a phone, and of course a passion for writing.
- A big room for flexibility comes with this role as well. Unlike a usual 9-to-5 job, you’ll have the freedom to schedule your writing around any other work or family commitments you might have.
- The copy you produce can be used for marketing campaigns, and might have lasting positive impact the future of a brand. To know that your copy has helped a business thrive is very fulfilling. Think of yourself like Superman or Spiderman and you can see those you saved living happily ever after!
Freelance Copywriting Clients
If like me, you choose to work through eWorker, which avoids the worry that many freelancers have about whether they’ll get paid for the work they do, you’ll more than likely find yourself working for a diverse range of clients, all of which will have varying intentions when hiring you as a freelance copywriter. For example, they might want you to write copy to inform their customers about a new product or service they have launched. On other occasions, a brand might want you to create content to improve their search engine rankings.
Here are some of the different kinds of writing tasks clients may request from you. From my experience, I’ll suggest you study the various styles of writing, and get a feel for structure/tone for each situation, to ease your writing:
With increasing popularity of the Web 2.0, more companies are seeking copywriters to produce content for their social media pages. You may be hired to write for their Facebook or LinkedIn pages for example. This content will usually be brief, but will need to be original and eye-catching to attract more readers.
This type of copywriting is used to persuade an audience to purchase a particular product or service. You may have to write in a particular voice on behalf of the brand, and explain any benefits or features of the product they are trying to sell.
Here you will be required to write copy for other businesses on behalf of your client. Business-to-business, or B2B, copywriting might be more formal, and include certain key words that are familiar with a particular industry or niche.
A copywriter who has a broad knowledge of a particular field (for example, technology, nature, or arts) will be able to write more in-depth/detailed articles on particular subject/s for their client.
SEO copywriting is intended to rank very well on search results pages. In the past, writers would include certain keywords and phrases in their content in order to make their copy rank high on search results. However, in recent times, search engine optimisation, or SEO, has evolved and is now much more complex and the quality of the content is much more important than bombarding an article with keywords.
Skills and personality traits required
The two most important qualities you’ll need are a proven writing ability, and dedication to succeed. You will also need to possess some good administrative skills, such as the ability to communicate with clients, prioritise and schedule work, and adhere to time deadlines. I try my best to “under promise and over deliver”, in order to make sure my clients are impressed with my work, which has gained me some great feedback and led to word of mouth referrals from some clients.
Becoming a freelance copywriter is not always a smooth sail though. You are bound to have some bumps along the way, especially if clients aren’t initially happy with your work. You’ll have to develop your “shock absorber”, be able to accept criticism and respond appropriately by making amendments to your work. Should you receive a negative query from a client, my advice would be to wait a while before responding, as firing off a quick response when angry and/or upset is not a good idea. Constant communication is VITAL when it comes to your clients, so if you’ve had a problem at home that has led to you lagging behind with work, informing your clients early is essential.
Finally, you need to have confidence in your expertise, and if you think you can do it, then take that LEAP & give it a shot. You can always start small, like I did, scheduling your writing work around your current job, until the time you have enough work to break away from the 9-5, and find your own place in the world as a freelance copywriter.