Copywriting is profitable because it is a growing industry. According to ZipRecruiter, the average copywriter makes $6,431 a month or up to $77,180 per year. Reports also indicate that over 90% of companies and businesses “use custom content to generate leads and sales.” Companies often need content that helps them improve brand awareness and connect with more of their intended audience. This presents plenty of opportunities for those who want to make a living through copywriting. However, not everyone can be a successful copywriter.
The challenge is that the industry can be highly competitive. Staying self-motivated can be a constant obstacle since writers often have to work long hours to churn out copy daily, beat deadlines and be ready to revise their work. Also, effective copywriting takes time to learn and master.
In this article, we look into the profitability of the industry, how much writers usually make, what top-notch experts did to succeed, and how you can do it, too. We also share about a different business model that requires lesser work, is not as competitive, and can generate passive income for you within months.
Is Copywriting Profitable?
Copywriting is profitable because copywriters can make up to 6 figures per year. Today, this type of service remains in high demand among businesses of different sizes - from local startups to Fortune 500 companies. Big and small companies often hire skilled copywriters to help them in building their brands, connecting with their target customers better, and ultimately, increasing their sales. In return, copywriters earn good money, especially for those who write for profitable niche categories and work with high-paying clients.
Stefan Georgi is a skilled copywriter who made a fortune for himself through direct response copywriting. Since launching his copywriting career in 2011, Stefan has grossed over $1 billion in sales from writing 70+ direct response marketing content. He has also co-founded Copy Accelerator. The high-end mastermind community helps members make money copywriting by teaching them to “write faster, better sales copy and to create winning offers and scale them on cold traffic.”
Meanwhile, KCI Communications describes Gary Bencivenga as “the world’s greatest copywriter.” He worked in the industry for 12 years and eventually decided to retire to his $5 million mansion, which was “paid for with the royalties from just one of his copywriting projects,” according to a LinkedIn article.
Copywriting can be a profitable full-time career for freelancers, employees, and business owners. It can also work as a part-time job or side hustle. According to Coherent Market Insights, the global copywriting services market is expected to reach US$ 42.22 billion by 2030. To sum up, the copywriting industry is here to stay and skilled writers passionate in writing persuasive copy can always explore various options and opportunities.
Which is More Profitable: In-House or Freelance Copywriting?
Freelance copywriting is more profitable than in-house copywriting because it allows writers to work with multiple clients. Plus, since they charge on a per project basis, they can potentially earn more money than in-house copywriters. Both of these factors can contribute to growing a freelance copywriter’s earnings.
For the most part, the main difference is that an in-house copywriter is limited to a fixed monthly salary. A freelance copywriter has greater financial flexibility because earnings usually vary from month to month, depending on how many projects they work on and how many hours they spend writing. Freelancers also get to enjoy copywriting from home or other locations since they are not bound to physically report in offices.
Freelance copywriters do face certain challenges, such as the constant need to hunt for new clients, the lack of benefits (health insurance, retirement, etc), and the risks of unpredictable income. Although earnings are generally higher, there may also be slower months when they won’t make as much.
A freelance writer earns an average of $93K per year in the USA, according to ZipRecruiter while Talent.com reports that an in-house copywriter has an average yearly salary of $68K.
4 Smart Ways To Make Money From Copywriting
1. Freelance Copywriting
As a freelance writer, you can make money by finding your own clients or by using freelancing platforms. An independent copywriter sends cold emails to several businesses until they find an ideal client that needs their expertise. This can be time-consuming but the advantage is you get to keep your earnings in full.
Alternatively, freelancers can use copywriting online platforms like Fiverr, Freelancer.com, and Upwork to find paying gigs faster. The obvious disadvantage is that these sites often charge freelancers with a service fee or percentage cut for every completed copywriting job.
2. Commission-Based Copywriting
If you’re a website owner, you can also diversify your income by signing up with affiliate marketing programs. Next, you need to consistently write compelling copy that inspires people to take specific action and purchase products or services. Companies usually pay affiliates with a commission of 10 to 30% out of sales made from affiliate links. This could mean an extra $100 to $500 earnings per month on top of your income as you get paid for copywriting.
3. Creating Online Copywriting Programs or Courses
Experienced copywriters can also earn money by creating and offering online copywriting programs or courses. For example, Sarah Turner shares her copywriting skill and knowledge through her Write Your Way To Freedom. Her course teaches learners to build their own freelance copywriting business within 3 months. Sarah offers a free copywriting masterclass but also charges $1,999 for her course.
Filthy Rich Writer founder Nicki Krawczyk also has the Comprehensive Copywriting Academy where she accommodates beginners who want to learn to copywrite and advanced writers with the goal of mastering copywriting. Nicki's program costs a one-time payment of $697.
4. Selling Fixed Copywriting Services
One great way of building your copywriting income in a super simple way is to add productized services to your offerings. So instead of charging per hour or per copy project, you will ask a potential client to pay a fixed amount per month for certain packages. This will allow you to work less while earning more at the same time.
As shared by the Copyblogger website, here are some productized service examples for digital marketing copywriters and anyone who does content writing in general:
What is Copywriting?
Copywriting is the practice of creating written content for the purpose of marketing a business. Its main goal is to share information that engages and persuades readers to take action, such as purchasing a product, joining a program, subscribing to an email list, or others. Generally, copywriting serves as a tool to boost a company’s sales and conversions.
A copywriter is a professional who specializes in creating valuable content marketing and advertising materials. A copywriter produces various types of copy for clients, such as ads, brochures, email copy, sales letter, social media posts, website content, and others. Some copywriters are hired in-house while others work as freelancers.
What Type of Copywriting Makes the Most Money?
Freelance copywriting, technical copywriting, direct response copywriting, email copywriting, and SEO copywriting are the types of copywriting that make the most money because they are in high-demand among big and small businesses.
How Much Do Copywriters Make?
Copywriters make anywhere from $28,500 up to $136,000 per year. $77,180 is the average salary of a copywriter, according to a ZipRecruiter report. Monthly salary usually ranges from $2,375 to $11,333, and the national average is at $6,431 per month.
What Factors Impact a Copywriter’s Income?
Experience, education, and geographic location are the factors that impact a copywriter’s income. For example, it’s possible to become a copywriter with no experience or any formal education. However, the fact is writers with those advantages usually earn higher than those who don’t. Geographic location also plays a part since major cities often offer bigger salaries than those living in smaller towns.
Additional factors that may likewise determine your overall copywriting pay include:
Can Copywriters Scale Their Income?
Copywriters can scale their income, based on their skill level, experience, and type of pay arrangement they have with their clients. For example, royalty-based payment can be “a dependable source of income over time,” according to Copywriting.org.
In a Quora thread, Deanna Blanchard shared she knows copywriters who “earn in the millions” each year. One writer was able to buy her mother a new house from a single royalty check. “Without royalties, it doesn’t matter how good you are,” she adds. “It’s nearly impossible to earn a 7-figure income if you’re just paid by project.”
On the other hand, in-house copywriters may receive a pay raise, depending on their performance or when they get a promotion.
Is Six Figures as a Copywriter Really Possible?
Six figures as a copywriter is really possible given that you have extensive experience, niche expertise, and are well-paid by your employer or clients.
The American Writers & Artists Institute (AWAI) shares several examples of good copywriters who became six figure earners. As a full-time freelance copywriter, Ed Gandia made $163,181 in his first year. Mindy McHorse has also reached $100,598 despite struggling for two years as a copywriter.
On Reddit, PeterWritesEmails says “it’s very doable,” adding “it’s a matter of having a rate high enough and doing enough hours each month.” As an email copywriter, he’s working with multiple clients to reach the goal.
Meanwhile, breadzero writes they “just got a 6 figure offer in-house” as a lead/senior copywriter with “some added responsibilities.” The Redditor also points out that the only way to reach 6 figures is to “branch out and get additional skills.”
Can Copywriters Be Millionaires?
Copywriters can be millionaires if they master the art of persuasive copywriting, persevere in the industry, work in top-paying niches, and take control of their career. While not all copywriters can hit the millions, some have proven that it can really be done.
Case in point, Forbes tells us about New York-based copywriter and Talking Shrimp founder Laura Belgray. She formed her one-woman business in 2009, which eventually made it possible for her to earn up to $1,450 per hour as a copywriter. At age 50, she finally made her first million in revenue. “It’s going to be really hard to make the kind of money you want doing one-on-one work,” she told Forbes.
According to a Business Insider report, Belgray made $1 million in 2020 alone by offering online copywriting courses Story Hero + Inbox Hero and Launch Hero where she charges $499. She also makes extra money as a mentor for Shrimp Club, a group coaching program for copywriters, where people pay $1,500 for membership.
Local Lead Generation Offers a More Stable and Scalable Income Than Copywriting
These days, online data suggests 74% of website users pay close attention to the quality of grammar and spelling on company websites. As such, businesses need excellent content to keep their brands relevant and earn customer trust. Copywriters remain in high-demand today. However, we say lead generation is still a superior business model. For the most part, a copywriting job can not guarantee a stable income, especially for beginners. Scaling one’s income can also be difficult, considering the overwhelming competition. Plus, getting into copywriting and gaining experience takes time. It can be hard to gain the trust of high-paying clients. You’ll definitely have to work long hours to earn good money.
In comparison, becoming a lead generation specialist is not as challenging as being a copywriter. The market isn’t as saturated since you are targeting localized niches and have fewer competitors. It’s also easier to market your services as long as you can deliver quality results. Instead of spending long hours typing content, your job is to build websites and then rank them on major search engines. This may only require a few hours of work each month. The goal is to reach top spots and then offer your digital assets for rent to interested business owners. As you bring organic traffic and leads for their companies, you get to earn a steady income each month.
I made this Grand Rapids tree care website years ago, and it continues to make me good money each month. Although I’ve only done little or no maintenance work for the site over the years, it continues to make me $2,000 per month. My happy client benefits from the leads my site generates for their business. Since I own several of these sites, I earn up to $52,000 per month, which is significantly higher than what you can earn from copywriting. I also teach a lead generation coaching program where we have had over 7,000 students and counting. We teach you our effective and repeatable 3-step process on how you can make $500 to $3,000 per month from each website you build and own.