How to Become a Freelance Copywriter with No Experience (10 Steps) PLUS Pitfalls to Avoid

November 7, 2023

How to become a freelance copywriter in 10 steps, even if you have no experience:

  1. Understand the basics of freelance copywriting
  2. Shift from a freelancer’s mindset to a business owner’s mindset
  3. Accept any type of copywriting work
  4. Be referable by specializing in a copywriting niche
  5. Build your copywriting portfolio
  6. Set your freelance copywriting rates
  7. Generate leads and find more copywriting clients
  8. Grow and nurture your freelancing network
  9. Continuously learn and improve your copywriting skills
  10. Properly manage your freelance copywriting business

A freelance copywriter is a skilled writer who specializes in crafting persuasive content for various clients but works independently rather than being employed by a single company or agency. Once you offer freelance copywriting services, you’ll be managing your own clients, setting your own rates, and choosing your own work hours. You might work on one-off projects or establish ongoing client relationships for a more regular income.

Copywriters work with both digital and print media, including ad campaigns, billboards, brochures, email marketing copy, graphics, magazines, product descriptions, social media captions, and website content. Copywriting is also heavily involved in marketing and sales, so you should be skilled in market research, sales psychology, and targeting the right audience.

Currently, the USA has around 131,200 copywriters, with the job market predicted to increase by 7.6% from 2016 to 2026, based on data from CareerExplorer. That means copywriters are still in demand in 2024, despite Seth Godin stating in an Ad World conference that mediocre copywriting is doomed because of the rise of AI writing software. Also, Copy Posse founder Alex Cattoni emphasizes Seth’s use of “mediocre.” Alex says that anything mediocre is dead (not just copywriting)—that she uses Canva to make YouTube thumbnails and social media graphics, but she’d still hire a graphic designer when she wants expertly designed work. The same idea applies to copywriting. While AI tools help businesses quickly produce content, that doesn’t mean they won’t hire good copywriters to get truly compelling copy.

So, if you want to become a successful freelance copywriter, this article outlines the steps you need to follow, from honing your persuasive writing skills to building a portfolio and finding potential clients. You’ll also learn what pitfalls to avoid while building a freelance copywriting business from the ground up.

1. Understand the Basics of Freelance Copywriting

Writing copy is a high-income digital marketing skill that needs time and practice to master. You won’t be great at it immediately, but start by understanding the fundamentals.

First, becoming a freelance copywriter means you’ll be self-employed. So, you should learn how to work independently and communicate with clients. You should be disciplined, practice proper time management, and keep learning to improve your copywriting skills and stay competitive.

Copywriting differs from content writing in that it focuses on persuasion and prompting readers to take a specific action. Most of the time, the goal is to get customers to purchase a product, but it could also be to sign up for a newsletter, download an app, or any other desired outcome. So, whether you’re crafting a headline or blog post, remember that the essence of copywriting is motivating readers to act.

To learn how to write copy fast and effectively, follow these tips:

  • Understand Your Target Audience: A target audience is a group of people defined by demographics and behavioral characteristics, like age, gender, location, and income. If you know who your target audience is, you can tailor your messaging to attract potential customers better. To understand a company’s target audience, create a detailed buyer’s persona, which is a profile of an individual that represents a business’s entire customer base. A buyer’s persona usually includes the name of the fictional customer, their demographic traits, and interests.
  • Practice Creating Different Types of Copy: Experimenting with various formats (sales copy, SEO copywriting, etc.) makes you more versatile. It’ll also help you learn what type of copywriting you enjoy the most. For instance, if you really enjoy writing email copy, you can specialize in email copywriting down the line.
  • Learn to Turn Features into Benefits: Copywriting goes beyond just researching a product’s features and writing about it. One of the hallmarks of compelling copy is the ability to convert product or service features into tangible benefits for the reader. A great tip from Henneke Duistermaat, founder of Enchanting Marketing, is to think about features as facts and benefits as the reasons that get people to buy. For example, instead of saying, “This laptop has 16GB of RAM,” you should say, “Experience lightning-fast performance and multitask with ease.” You can even go deeper and say, “Be more efficient at work, get promoted, and earn more money.” Simply ask, “What’s in it for me?” and think about how the product will make the customer’s life better, and sell the results they’ll have if they purchase your product.
  • Master Sales Basics: Since copywriting is heavily tied to sales, you should understand foundational sales techniques to write effective copy for different products and services. These sales basics include understanding the customer’s needs and wants, the product’s complete set of features, and the brand’s sales process for a structured approach to converting leads into customers. You should also master closing techniques to help seal the deal, such as creating a sense of urgency or offering incentives within your copy.
  • Be Great at Headlines: According to Copyblogger, 80% of people who see your copy will read the headline, but only 20% will read past it. That means crafting an attention-grabbing and curiosity-inducing headline can increase the chances of readers making it to your call to action (CTA). To write a great headline, follow the 4U’s strategy of the American Writers & Artists Institute (AWAI). These 4 U’s stand for “useful,” “urgency,” “unique,” and “ultra-specific.”
  • Use Personal Language: This is why understanding your target audience matters. If you can craft your messaging to make your readers feel like you’re writing for them, your copy will be more personal and urge them to take action.
  • Write a Strong Call to Action: Since the whole purpose of writing copy is to get people to do something, a strong CTA will clearly state what you want the reader to do.
  • Leverage Unique Selling Propositions (USPs): Simply put, the USP is what makes the product or service you’re writing about different (and better) than the competition. A strong USP can make writing copy quicker, as it gives you a clear focus to sell around.
  • Learn to Use Copywriting Formulas: Copywriting formulas, like PAS and AIDA, provide a proven structure for creating compelling copy. They save you a lot of time on planning and ensure you cover all necessary elements since they draw on psychological principles that are known to drive responses from customers. You’ll find some more formulas below with writing samples so that you understand how they work.

Don’t get too caught up in this step. Only spend 2-3 days learning the fundamentals, so you know what you’re doing. Most of your time should be spent in Step 3 onwards.

Understanding the basics also means familiarizing yourself with the benefits and downsides of freelance copywriting. You should know what becoming a freelance writer fully entails because it isn’t for everyone. Since you’ll be working remotely, you’ll love this arrangement if you want location independence. Your work is also more flexible. But if you want more structure and stability in your profession, then freelance writing isn’t for you. Below are the pros and cons of freelance copywriting so you can make more informed decisions about pursuing it as a career path.

Pros and Cons of Becoming a Freelance Copywriter

Pros of Being a Freelance Copywriter

High Demand: Businesses constantly seek skilled copywriters to help sell their products. There are over 334 million companies worldwide, according to Statista, and these businesses all need great copy for their marketing efforts. So you’ll never run out of clients to pitch your services to.

Flexibility: Freelance copywriting offers the flexibility to choose clients, projects, and work hours. Because you can work with as many clients as you can handle, your potential income is much higher. You can also choose to work full-time or part-time and take a vacation whenever you want.

Remote Work: An Upwork survey concluded freelance copywriting was the most popular freelancing gig in 2022, which is unsurprising because it’s well-suited to remote work. You can work anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.

No Degree Necessary: You don’t need a degree to be a copywriter. While the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says you’ll need a bachelor’s degree to get an entry-level writing job, that’s not the case for freelance copywriting. Often, your experience, skills, and social proof matter more.

Creative Expression: Copywriting improves your creative thinking skills because you try to find new ways to engage with customers. Plus, creativity in copywriting goes hand-in-hand with strategic thinking, so it’s a great skill to master.

Learning Opportunities: Copywriting involves learning about various industries, marketing psychology, and different platforms like social media, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and writing tools (Grammarly, Copyscape, and Hemingway App).

Financial Potential: You’ll command higher rates as you gain more copywriting experience or if you become more skilled in your specialization. Clayton Makepeace, the highest-paid direct response copywriter according to AWAI, has been making up to $3 million annually since 1997 just from royalties.

Cons of Being a Freelance Copywriter

Irregular Income: While you can earn 6-7 figures with freelance copywriting income, it’s still highly variable. Sean Ogle, author of the Location Rebel blog, says that 95% of freelance copywriters will fail and won’t make as much money. Those who are profitable have results to show for their skill, and it takes a lot of work to get there.

Tight Deadlines: Projects often come with pressure to deliver under tight timelines. This can be stressful, especially if you’re juggling multiple clients.

Revision and Critique: Your work is subject to client feedback and multiple revisions. If you and your client aren’t on the same page, this can cause many headaches.

Competition: You’ll have difficulty competing with more experienced freelance copywriters or agencies offering copywriting services.

Sedentary Lifestyle: The job entails long periods of sitting, which can impact health. Dr. I-Min Lee, a professor at Harvard Medical School, says that more people die globally each year from inactivity (5.3 million deaths/year) than from cigarette smoking (5 million deaths/year).

Isolation: Lack of an office environment and interaction with co-workers can lead to feelings of loneliness and disconnection.

Job Insecurity: Freelance copywriting doesn’t have job security and benefits (like health insurance or retirement plans) that come with being employed.

Client Dependence: Your success heavily depends on maintaining good client relationships, which can sometimes be demanding.

3 Essential Copywriting Formulas (with Examples)

1. PAS (Problem - Agitate - Solution)

PAS is arguably the most popular sales blueprint because of its versatility. You can use it in blog posts, emails, landing pages, social media ads, and more. According to marketing advisor Dan Kennedy, PAS is the most reliable copywriting formula that exists. Here are the components:

  • Problem: Identify a problem your target audience is experiencing. This is the most critical part of the formula because you need to truly understand your customer’s pains if you want to write with PAS efficiently.
  • Agitate: After making your reader feel understood in the first part, agitate their pain points by digging deeper into the consequences of their problem. Make them feel an urgent need to find a solution. The purpose of this step is to build emotional investment.
  • Solution: Lastly, introduce your product as the solution to your customer’s problem. Here, describe how your offering alleviates their pain points. This part should ultimately lead your reader to take action.

Here’s an example copy for the PAS formula, taken from Ticker Nerd Crypto’s landing page:

2. AIDA (Attention - Interest - Desire - Action)

AIDA is one of the oldest marketing formulas, developed by advertising advocate Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898. Contrary to PAS, this formula focuses on your reader’s wants instead of their pains.

“The mission of an advertisement is to attract a reader so that he will look at the advertisement and start to read it; then to interest him, so that he will continue to read it, then to convince him, so that when he has read it he will believe it. If an advertisement contains these three qualities of success, it is a successful advertisement.” - E. St. Elmo Lewis

  • Attention: The first step in this formula is to grab the reader’s attention with a powerful headline or intriguing image.
  • Interest: Once you’ve captured the audience’s attention, the next step is to build their interest by stating facts that increase their curiosity. You can also appeal to their emotions by highlighting problems only your product can solve.
  • Desire: Next, make them desire your product by emphasizing the benefits (not features), using testimonials or case studies, and helping the reader imagine how much better life would be if they purchased what you’re selling.
  • Action: Finally, prompt the reader to purchase your product, sign up for a consultation, or whatever your next steps are with a compelling call to action.

Here’s a well-executed example of AIDA in the landing page for design agency Sumit Hegde:

3. Before-After-Bridge

The Before-After-Bridge is an excellent strategy if you want to show your reader some kind of transformation. Its beginning is similar to PAS, where you open the customer’s eyes to their current situation by focusing on a problem that they have and may not know about (the “before”). Then, show them what their world would be like if their problem was solved (the “after). The bridge between these two states will be your product. It’s the pathway your customers can take to leave their non-ideal present toward a happier future.

This tweet by Kevan Lee, vice president of marketing in the social media software company Buffer, is a short and sweet example of Before-After-Bridge copy:

2. Shift from a Freelancer’s Mindset to a Business Owner’s Mindset

A freelancer’s mindset revolves around working on a project-by-project basis, often relying on clients to come to you with their needs. But if you shift to a business owner’s mindset, you’ll have more control over the next steps in your journey.

It means thinking beyond individual projects and considering the larger picture of your career. You’ll start thinking about business objectives, financial plans, client acquisition, project management, content marketing strategies, and other high-level tasks.

Consider yourself a CEO. A CEO is confident, not fearful. Each prospective client you pitch to will be able to sense if you’re hesitant. They will perceive you as inexperienced and not hire you.

According to Jorden Roper, owner of the Writing Revolt blog, most freelance copywriters get stuck with limiting thoughts, like comparing themselves to others or having imposter syndrome. These thoughts then become feelings of discouragement, failure, and rejection. And eventually, these feelings lead to inaction because you’re afraid to fail. She says that based on her experience, mindset is what differentiates freelance copywriters who succeed and those who don’t. So, having the right mindset can be a game-changer.

3. Accept Any Type of Copywriting Work

This is the part where most tutorials tell you to choose a niche. But this can be limiting and time-consuming if you’re a beginner. A common mistake for beginner freelance copywriters is getting stuck on niche research or deciding what niche to focus on when they could spend their time better by simply looking for and doing work.

So, your focus at this stage should be to gain experience, and you can do that by reaching out to your existing network and finding any type of copywriting job. You don’t need a niche or a portfolio just yet. You simply have to offer your copywriting services, even if you do it for free or at a minimal rate.

Where to Find Freelance Copywriting Jobs for Beginners

  • Your Existing Network: Reach out to family, friends, and colleagues and notify them that you’re pursuing a freelance copywriting career. Then, ask them if they know anyone in need of copywriting services. You already have a network; leverage it.
  • Facebook Groups: Lurk around online communities in a market you’re interested in (for example, e-commerce, dentists, SaaS, etc.) and, if it’s allowed by the group’s admin, upload a post offering your copywriting services for free in exchange for testimonials.
  • Job Offers: Yes, you’re supposed to be freelancing, but if you can apply for a copywriting job at any company or agency, you’ll learn about the craft while getting paid as you build up your portfolio. You can apply for a remote position at job boards like ProBlogger, Indeed, and FlexJobs.
  • Direct Contact: Visit local businesses or startups’ websites and directly offer your services. Small companies often need copywriting help for their websites, email campaigns, and ad copy.
  • Online Freelance Marketplaces: You can create a freelancer account on platforms like Fiverr, Freelancer, and Upwork. In these marketplaces, you can bid on job posts or set up “gigs” that clients can purchase. While this option is easy to set up, it’s difficult to get clients because of high competition.

4. Be Referable by Specializing in a Copywriting Niche

Now that you’ve done a couple of copywriting projects, this is the time to niche down. And you’ll have a better understanding of what niche to specialize in at this stage because you’ve done actual work.

Copywriting coach Ashlyn Carter defines niching down as being “referable.” If you’re referable, you’re the go-to person for something clients can categorize in their brains. Ashlyn has a two-step process for becoming a referable copywriter:

  • Niche Horizontally: A horizontal niche is a skill that serves a wide array of audiences. Do you want to specialize in ad copy, website copy, email copy, social media copy, direct mail copy, or blog content? You can also do voiceover scripts, sales letter videos, PR writing, or short-form content like TikTok scripts.
  • Niche Vertically: Narrow down your specialized skill with a vertical niche, which involves choosing a specific audience to serve, like small business owners, dentists, or painters. Many freelancers resist doing this because it feels limiting, but it’s a necessary step if you want clients to remember you. Ashlyn says you don’t have to stay in your chosen lane (you can still offer your services to different audiences), but your marketing should focus on this vertical niche.

5. Build Your Copywriting Portfolio

As you finish your first projects, develop a portfolio through Google Drive, a website (via WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace), or a PDF to attach to emails or online messages. Remember to include your contact details for potential clients to easily reach out to you. If you’ve gathered testimonials from past work, include them. And whenever possible, talk about results such as conversions, sales, or engagement metrics.

Since you’re trying to be referable at this point, gradually replace portfolio projects that aren’t in your niche with pieces that are. You don’t have to show everything you’ve ever written. You can curate your pieces to display only the best and most relevant work.

6. Set Your Freelance Copywriting Rates

Copywriters get paid per hour, per word, per project, or with a retainer fee. You can also get royalties, commissions, and performance-based pay. Payments are typically processed through bank transfers or online payment services like Stripe and PayPal. According to Indeed, freelance copywriters make $18.38 to $72.88 per hour, averaging $36.60 per hour. And based on a survey of 656 copywriters by The Copywriter Club, the average annual copywriter salary is $68,586. Exact earnings depend on experience, niche, market, country, and work arrangement.

Here are some pricing strategy tips by Christine Gomolka, a B2B copywriter and host of the Paid Copywriter podcast:

  • Set Your Income Goal First: If you know what type of income you want to achieve, you can work backward and gauge how much work you need to do and at what rate to earn it. Don’t fall for the “6-figure copywriter” hype online. If you’re a beginner, start with a realistic goal (perhaps $50,000 to $70,000 for your first year). This process also increases your standards because you’ll create a minimum rate to charge and choose your clients carefully. For instance, you won’t agree to write a $15 blog post if you know it won’t help you reach your income goal.
  • Use a Freelance Copywriter Hourly Rate Calculator: Some copywriting blogs like Copyhackers and All Freelance Writing have free calculators that quote what you should charge based on project type (SaaS onboarding sequence, lead-gen page, etc.), experience, hours of professional training, and desired yearly income.
  • Charge per Project: Christine doesn’t recommend charging a set hourly or per-word rate. Instead, she uses an hourly-to-flat pricing equation where you estimate how long it’ll take you to finish a project by the hour and what dollar amount to assign to each hour. You can then multiply that hourly rate by the total completion time, which will be your price for the entire project. This equation is useful for lengthy jobs, such as a long blog post with multiple client calls for revision requests.
  • Set Up Value-Based Pricing: This pricing strategy is perfect for direct response copywriting since you can estimate how well your copy will convert and charge your clients based on that amount. For example, if you’re writing a sales page for a high-ticket coaching service worth $5,000 per sale, you can calculate projected revenue based on the product’s conversion rate. Then, determine your price depending on how much money you’ll make them. If your copy can generate over $200,000 worth of sales, then charging them $20,000 for writing the landing page is entirely possible.
  • Use Industry Reports: Download AWAI’s State of the Industry report on copywriting. It’s a free report with pricing ranges for different copywriting services. Christine says she relies on this data a lot and that if you’re a beginner, aim for the mid-range number and gradually increase as you become more skilled. Here’s a breakdown of fee ranges from the report’s copywriting pricing guide:

Copywriting Service

Fee Range

Homepage Copy

$1,500 - $3,000

New Website Page

$500 - $1,250 per page

Updating Website Pages (About, Services, etc.)

$250 - $1,000 per page

Full Microsite (2-5 pages)

$3,000 - $7,000

User Experience (UX) Copywriting

  • $150 - $1,000 per page
  • $100 - $500 per email

Lead Gen Landing Page or “Squeeze” Page

$500 - $1,500

Long-Form Sales Page

  • $3,500 - $5,000+ for beginners
  • $7,500 - $12,500+ for intermediate copywriters
  • Up to $25,000+ for highly skilled copywriters (plus royalties at all skill levels)

Short Blog Post (300-1,000 words)

$250 - $800 per post

Long Article (1,200-2,000 words)

$250 - $1,000

Pillar Blog Post (4,000 words or more)

$500 - $2,500 per post

How-To Guide

$500 - $1,000


$500 - $1,000

Blog Content Strategy

  • $500 - $800 per calendar
  • $250 - $800 per post

Product Page Update

$100 - $250 per page

Order Page or Shopping Cart Sequence

$400 - $800

Banner or Text Ad

$250 - $1,000

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaign

$75 - $350 per ad

Social Media Ad Campaign


Standalone Email

$250 - $2,000

Email Sequence or Autoresponder

$100 - $1,000 per email

Cold Prospecting Email Templates (10-pack)

$1,500 - $2,500

Follow-Up Email Templates (10-pack)

$1,500 - $2,500


$800 - $2,000 (writing and/or consulting)

Newsletter Editorial (600-800 words)

$200 - $500

Social Media Setup

$500 per network

Company Description

$25 - $500

Press Release

$500 - $1,000 per release

Case Study/Customer Success Story (2-3 pages; 800-1,200 words)

$1,200 - $2,000


$500 - $800

Resume or Personal Profile

$2,000 for bundled services

Survey Wording

$500 - $1,000

White Paper (5-10 pages)

$2,000 - $10,000


$2,000 - $7,000

Event Speech

$3,000 - $5,000+

Short Video Script (1-5 minutes)

$500 - $1,500+

Long-Form Video Sales Letter (20-45 minutes)

$5,000+ based on length/VSL

Podcast Script

$500 - $1,000 per minute

Radio Commercial Script (30-60 seconds)

$1,200 - $1,500

TV Commercial Script (30-60 seconds)

$1,000 - $1,800

Training Script

$500 - $3,000

Webinar Script

$1,500 - $3,000

Chatbot Script


Telemarketing Script

$500 - $2,000

Sales Call Script (5 versions)

$2,000 - $2,500

Sales Deck (20 slides)

$2,000 - $3,500

Sales Proposal

$500 - $750 per page

Direct Mail Sales Letter Package

$1,500 - $5,000+

Direct Mail Renewal Series

$1,500 - $2,500+

Brochure (3+ panels)

$750 - $1,500 per page

Magazine or Tabloid

$9,000 - $15,000

Postcard or Double Postcard

$750 - $1,500

Sell Sheet

$500 - $1,000

Sales Battlecard

$1,000 - $2,000

Small Print Ad

$800 - $2,000


$800 - $1,500+

Store Poster

$250 - $500 per sign or poster


$31-$75 per hour OR 3-5 cents per word

Product Naming

$1,000 - $3,000

7. Generate Leads and Find More Copywriting Clients

As a freelance copywriter, your ability to generate leads and secure new clients is just as crucial as your writing skills. It’s the lifeblood of your business, ensuring a steady flow of projects and income. Here are some strategies freelance copywriters use to gain new clients, according to copywriting coach Alex Cattoni:

  • Hunt: Most people “post and pray,” creating Upwork profiles or updating LinkedIn bios only to just sit and wait. You should be proactive. Understand what products you want to write about and what type of copywriting client you want to work with. Then, check out their website’s Careers page or look for contact information and start pitching your services.
  • Gather: This method is all about networking. You should constantly build your list of freelance clients and fellow digital marketers. You can attend local meetups, marketing seminars, and workshops. Alex says she met her first, longest, and highest-paying client at a 2011 marketing event, and all she did was show up, give value, and make connections with them.
  • Play: Being active in online communities is essential in freelance copywriting. So, you should be everywhere—Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, forums, freelance marketplaces, and job sites. If you haven’t yet, build your copywriting website, complete with the necessary pages (About, Services, Contact, and a scheduling page). Don’t just lurk around the platforms, either. Make sure to engage with your audience by providing value in your interactions. Working on your online presence improves your branding and makes you more memorable to potential customers.
  • Slay: Don’t just generate leads aiming to get one new client after another. You have to actually be good at your job and deliver quality work. Alex says that 80% of new projects will come from existing clients, either through referrals or contract extensions. So, build great relationships with all your clients and treat each connection as a stepping stone to new connections.

8. Grow and Nurture Your Freelancing Network

Once you have recurring leads coming your way, make sure to cultivate your growing network. Client nurturing will lead to new freelancing projects, professional partnerships, and a wealth of resources to help you grow your copywriting business. Maintain a strong freelancing network by:

  • Improving Your SEO: Optimize your website and online profiles with effective SEO (search engine optimization) strategies so that you can increase your business’s organic traffic and visibility. Regularly update your LinkedIn profile, publish high-quality content on your blog, and consider guest posting on well-regarded sites in your industry.
  • Marketing Your Service via Paid Ads: While organic reach is a great long-term strategy, paid advertising offers quicker wins and can expand your network faster. Targeted ads on Facebook, for instance, can help you reach out to clients you know require copywriting services.
  • Creating a Reliable Referral System: A referral system encourages satisfied clients to refer others to you by offering them a discount or a bonus service in return for closed referrals.

9. Continuously Learn and Improve Your Copywriting Skills

Engage in lifelong learning to become a better copywriter. Actively seek educational resources such as copywriter courses, books, workshops, and industry conferences. Subscribe to copywriting and marketing blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch tutorials to stay updated on the latest best practices. That said, the best resources for learning copywriting are:

  • Online Course Platforms: Websites like Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning offer courses taught by expert copywriters. These courses often include interactive elements, assignments, and peer feedback. Some courses are also free. A quick search for copywriting courses in Udemy will get you over 240 results.
  • “The Copywriter’s Handbook” by Robert Bly: David Ogilvy, widely known as the “Father of Advertising,” recommends this book to improve your writing skills. It offers practical tips on effective headlines, readability improvements, and email marketing tactics. It also provides a roadmap for building a successful freelance copywriting career.
  • “Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley: Ann Handley is the world’s first-ever Chief Content Officer (CCO), and Everybody Writes is a crucial resource if you want to learn how to communicate effectively in the digital age. This book provides actionable advice on creating content across various online platforms. It underscores the importance of storytelling and empathy when fostering connections with an audience.
  • “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini: This New York Times bestseller dives into the psychological principles that compel people to say “yes” and how these can be ethically applied to persuade others in business and everyday interactions. This work covers the 6 fundamental principles of influence. It’s not just about writing but about understanding the human psyche to craft messages that achieve desired outcomes.
  • Copyblogger: Founded by digital entrepreneur Brian Clark, Copyblogger has been a seminal content marketing resource since 2006. It’s a simple blog about creating content that attracts attention. VentureBeat, a San Francisco-based tech website, claims that “Copyblogger is the bible of content marketing.”
  • The Copywriter Club: Co-founded by Kira Hug and Rob Marsh, The Copywriter Club aims to help copywriters think big about their business. They have a popular podcast and an active Facebook community that fosters a supportive environment for copywriters to learn, share, and enhance their craft.
  • Copy Chief Radio: This podcast is hosted by copywriting mentor Kevin Rogers. And it’s a treasure trove of real-world marketing success stories. If you want insights directly from experienced copywriters, then this is a great podcast to listen to.

10. Properly Manage Your Freelance Copywriting Business

Now that you’re running your own service business, you can choose to stay small or build a team to take on more projects. Whatever the case, prepare to handle many business-related tasks, such as marketing, client experience, invoicing and payments, pricing strategy, and taxes. Properly managing a freelance copywriting business demands entrepreneurial skills, organization, and a logical approach to business operations. Here are some best practices:

  • Establish a Legal Foundation: Set up your copywriting business as a legal entity, particularly as a limited liability company (LLC). It will help protect personal assets and may offer tax advantages.
  • Manage Your Finances: Keep a detailed record of income and expenses. Use accounting software like Freshbooks, Quickbooks Online, and Wave Accounting (which is free) to track your business’s financial health.
  • Use Tools for Client Interactions: CRM software, such as Moxie, Monday, and Hubspot, can help foster relationships with clients through timely communication and giving them the ability to track projects.
  • Learn to Negotiate Contracts: Be prepared to negotiate rates and contract conditions (such as scope of work, timelines, and payment terms) confidently.
  • Outsource Non-Core Tasks: Consider outsourcing administrative tasks, accounting, and other non-core activities to focus on growing your business.
  • Practice Self-Care: Prevent burnout by taking regular breaks, setting working hours, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

5 Business Pitfalls to Avoid as a New Freelance Copywriter

  • Neglecting Consistent Study

    Professional copywriter Ashlyn Carter made the mistake of not building a habit of studying and improving her craft. So, when her business was focused on hiring new team members, her copywriting skills began to wane due to less practice. When she returned to writing, it took extra time to regain her proficiency.

    That’s why she recommends setting aside dedicated time, such as weekly “lunch and learn” sessions, to incorporate continuous learning even on a busy schedule. If you can afford online courses or books, they’re worth the price because they provide fresh insights. You can also participate in writing exercises, like a 750-word challenge, to hone your skills.

  • Hesitating to Write Polarizing Copy

    Many of Alex Cattoni’s students fear creating polarizing content because they don’t want to exclude potential customers. But she says that without polarization, you won’t become a successful freelance copywriter.

    Appealing to everyone can dilute your message, whereas polarization helps define and reach your ideal audience. By understanding that not every product is for everyone and being authentic in your copy, you create a stronger message that stands out. The strategy isn’t about being offensive but being true to your brand’s core values.

  • Putting Up with Bad Clients

    A successful copywriter knows when to draw the line with problematic clients. According to SEO content strategist and author Maddy Osman, you should implement contracts, rigorously vet potential clients, and not shy away from ending a toxic professional relationship if it comes to it. These measures will save you from countless headaches in the long run.

  • Not Making Friends with Other Freelancers

    Sean Ogle from the Location Rebel YouTube channel teaches that if you fail to build relationships with other freelancers, you may miss out on referral work and the chance to delegate during peak times. Fellow freelance copywriters in your network may become overloaded with projects. If they trust you, they’ll look to you to help them. Freelancers with different service offerings, such as web design or virtual assistance, may also have clients who need copywriting services. If that’s the case, they can refer you to them.

  • Writing in First-Person Instead of Second-Person

    According to SEO manager Kevin Elliott, creating self-centered copy—those that use phrases like “we are” or “our expert team”—is a frequent error for beginner copywriters. You should shift your focus from first-person to second-person (“you”) to ensure your content is reader-centric. Doing so makes your tone more conversational and can transform passive readers into active participants.

Freelance Copywriting Related Articles

  • What Is Copywriting: In this article, you’ll learn how copywriting works and its significance in modern marketing. You’ll unpack different facets of the craft, from the various types of copywriting to the expected growth trajectory of the industry. You’ll also learn what skills you’ll need to excel, how copywriting differs from content writing and digital marketing, and some tips for dominating the field in 2024.
  • How to Become a Copywriter (non-freelance): This guide lays out the educational and skill-based milestones to enter the field professionally. You’ll dive into the importance of niche specialization, challenges posed by AI writing software, and effective self-marketing strategies.
  • Best Copywriting Niches: Read this piece if you’re looking to specialize in a copywriting niche. It outlines the top niche options for 2024 and discusses the financial benefits of specialization versus general practice.

Ditch the Crowded Freelance Market: There’s a More Lucrative Way to Make Money from Your Copywriting Skills

Freelance marketplaces, like Upwork, have become crowded over the years, with the platform signing up over 2 million freelancers just in 2019. And the vast majority of them earn modest incomes. Only 1 in 800 (or 0.13% percent) of freelancers on Upwork earn over $1,000 per month. Add to that the instability and unpredictability of client-based work, and freelance copywriting becomes less alluring.

Tree Care Lead Gen Site

The bright side: There’s a more sustainable and lucrative approach to earning money from your copywriting skills. It’s called local lead generation. This strategy moves away from the traditional client-servicing model and instead empowers you to apply your knowledge to your own digital assets. This method can make you $500 to $5,000 per month from each site, which means you can enjoy a passive income stream with high profit margins and minimal ongoing effort.

Local lead generation exceeds the transitory nature of freelancing. With it, you can be a digital landlord owning prime real estate in Google’s search results. You’re working on your own websites instead of clients’ websites. And by harnessing SEO strategies and building trust within local markets, you can use your copywriting skills to turn your websites into lead-generating platforms that local businesses are eager to pay for. It’s a direct connection to a targeted customer base. If you’re ready to pivot from the competitive freelance hustle to a model that affords more control and a steadier revenue stream, consider taking my lead gen course.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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