Are you struggling to find a specialty or niche as a freelance writer?
Do you want to snag higher-paying clients or more promising projects?
Then you may want to consider copywriting.
A special type of writing used mainly in the business and corporate world, copywriting focuses on the act of selling through content.
It’s used mainly in advertising and marketing, on websites and email newsletters, and sometimes in professional works like eBooks, manuals and presentations.
The main goal of copywriting?
To convert the reader from a passive onlooker to a lead and/or paying customer for the business.
How to Become a Copywriter
Not everyone can be a copywriter. It takes certain skills and some talent, but if you’ve got what it takes, you can get paid to be a copywriter – and paid very handsomely.
I did some copywriting a few years ago creating website content for businesses. Website content is a form of copywriting and this is a good way to get started in the copywriting industry since website content isn’t as in-depth as a long form sales letter.
At the time, I was raking in at least $150 per page of website content and that is a low rate in comparison to what you can earn when you move into media like long-form sales letters and direct response copy.
There is a lot of money to be made in copywriting if you get good enough at it. Some of the best copywriters in the business earn anywhere from $5,000 – 50,000 per sales letter depending on their reputation in their respective industries.
Businesses are willing to shell out top dollar for a great copywriter, and you know why? Because they virtually pay for themselves. The content they create brings in sales, profits and revenues that more than cover their cost – and then some.
Do you think copywriting could be a good niche for you?
Want to get paid to be a copywriter for big businesses and websites?
Then read on.
Preparing for a Career in Copywriting
If you have a background in marketing or business, you may already be the perfect candidate for copywriting, but if you don’t, that’s okay.
There are plenty of resources you can use to hone your copywriting skills and transform yourself into an A-plus copywriter.
Here are a few options to consider:
- A copywriting course
- Marketing education
- Hands-on practice
These are online classes and educational programs designed to train you specifically in the art of copywriting. Some industry favorites are the American Writers & Artists Accelerated Program for Six-figure Copywriting, the Blackford Centre for Copywriting’s accredited diploma in copywriting program, or one of the many classes by industry pros on Udemy.com. Udemy is the more affordable option, so if you’re strapped for cash, start there and move on to the other courses if you feel you need more training.
A good marketing mindset is a must-have for copywriting. Everything you will write as a copywriter will be geared toward selling – showing a reader what they need and why they should pay your client for it.
If you don’t have much experience in marketing, there are some resources you can utilize. Hubspot’s free inbound marketing courses are a great place to start, and you can even get certified if you really want to impress your clients. The American Marketing Association also offers courses in marketing, and Econsultancy.com has everything from fast-track classes to advanced workshops to completely customized programs, so take a look around and find one that fits your needs best.
When you feel comfortable, dive in and start working on your skills.
Begin on your freelance writing website, and give it a makeover a professional copywriter would deliver. Make sure your content sells your services, your talents and your skills, and use marketing strategies like opt-ins and newsletters to hone in on your audience.
Next, start soliciting smaller clients first – small businesses, blogs, websites or even just the sites of friends and family members – and offer your copywriting skills.
Once you have some samples, add them to your portfolio. If you can include any results from your writing, like analytics data or sales numbers, do so.
How to Get Copywriting Jobs
Once you feel comfortable with your newfound skills, it’s time to start getting paid. There are some simple ways you can do this like tapping into your LinkedIn network, watching job boards or even just reaching out to local businesses you think could use some help.
Let’s cover a few of those:
- Online job boards. There are dozens of job boards where you can find copywriting work. Sites like MediaBistro and Journalism Jobs are great if you’re looking for a steady, part-time or even a full-time copywriting position. Many of them are even telecommute jobs, too. If you’re looking for one-off gigs, curated job sites like the ones at ProBlogger and Contena are the best places to look. In the beginning, if you’re still trying to get your feet wet, you may even want to consider looking for copywriting jobs on bidding sites like Freelancer or Upwork. These won’t pay a six-figure salary by any means, but they will help you get your foot in the door in what can be a very lucrative industry.
- Pitching. Keep an eye out when you browse the web. Are there any businesses you buy from that could use some help with content? Websites that are less than impressive? Marketing materials that just aren’t doing the job? Reach out to the owners of those sites, and offer your services. Include any samples, education and experience you have, and talk about specific goals you would have when handling the job. Chances are, they don’t even know there’s a problem, so be clear, be direct and keep their best interests at heart when you get in touch.
- LinkedIn. Most business owners are on LinkedIn, and many of them even pay for the premium accounts that let them search more profiles, send messages and network more efficiently. Use your LinkedIn account to your advantage, and stay in tune with the connections in your circle. Are any of them starting new businesses? Struggling to keep a business afloat? Launching a new product? Keep your ears and eyes open, and get in touch if an opportunity arises. You can also include your new copywriting skills, education and samples on your profile and, of course, change your title to include “freelance copywriter” or some other descriptive term that will get you noticed.
You can learn how to find more copywriting jobs and clients in my Free eBook, The Freelance Writer’s Complete Strategy Guide to Wining High-Quality Clients. In it, I compiled all of my proven client-winning strategies for freelance writers. Download it here!
Once you land one great copywriting gig, the rest will follow. Be sure to update your portfolio regularly to include any new content you produce, and when you close out a job, ask your clients for recommendations you can post on your site or on LinkedIn.
Business owners want to know they’re using a trusted, proven service, and great testimonials can go a long way in showing that’s just what you are.
Copywriting may not be the easiest niche to focus on, but with a little training and some old fashioned hard work, you can get paid to be a copywriter… and get paid VERY well.