Copywriting is one of those subjects that is often misunderstood, especially in the online world. You will often see people advertising for a copywriter on forums across the internet and expecting content for prices like $1 per 100 words. Let’s be truthful here, you are not going to get copywriting for this price and if you do, it is not going to be very good quality at all. Copywriting is an art and there are people out there who can do it properly for you but these will charge a lot more than $1 per 100 words.
If you are looking to be a freelance copywriter, there is a lot that you need to know. First of all, you will need to know exactly what it is.
What is a freelance copywriter
Basically, a freelance copywriter is someone who works on a freelance basis writing copy (pretty self explanatory I guess). However, the big question comes when we think about what exactly copy is. Of course, any kind of writing is copy in some form or another but the basic idea of copywriting is that it needs to sell the product to the potential customer. This is what separates the good copywriters from the not so good. When you are hiring someone to write copy for $500 per page, you need to writing to convert a lot of people into customers for you to get a return on your investment.
So, you do not necessary have to have a grammar or English degree to be a copywriter, but you do have to have a way with words that convinces people to purchase the product or service. As well mentioned, this is an art form and practice makes perfect here.
Understanding exactly what a copywriter is and then becoming one are two different things, Here are a few things to help you out.
Build a portfolio
The first thing that you should do if you really are serious about becoming a freelance copywriter is to build a portfolio. Now, you might think that you are unable to do this as you don’t have any real world clients yet but this would be wrong. The good thing about writing is that you can use your creativity. So, if you don’t have any clients, then why not make one up and write some copy for them. If you really don’t feel comfortable doing this, you could advertise yourself as a low cost or even free copywriter online and pick and choose the best client you want.
In order to be taken seriously in the world of copywriting, you are going to need to have a few examples of your copy so make sure that you build up a decent portfolio.
Get a website
Every business in this day and age should have its own website and your freelance copywriting business is no different. You need somewhere where you can direct potential clients so they can take a look at what you do and a website is the perfect place for this. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy and you can probably get a site designed for just a few dollars. Alternatively, you could trade someone your copywriting skills for their website design skills. This is a great way of getting a site up and running for free and you are sure to be able to find someone online who would be willing to opt for a deal like this.
Your website doesn’t need to be complicated and in fact, you should try and keep it as simple as possible. Keep your pages to a minimum and use your copywriting skills to sell your own product. This is a great test of how good you really are.
Join a marketing agency
Of course, you might aspire to be a freelance copywriter but you might feel that you need to gain a bit of experience first. This is fine and perhaps the best way to get into this type of career anyway is to actually join a marketing agency. Yes, if you do this you won’t be working on a freelance basis but you will gain a lot of experience and learn a lot.
if you can land yourself a job working as a junior copywriter for a decent marketing agency, you have a much better chance of one day making it as a success in the world of freelance copywriting. Contact agencies with samples of your work and see if they have any use for you. You never know, there might be some that actually hire you on a freelance basis if you’re good enough.
Hire an SEO
One way to gain clients is of course through your website. However, getting visitors to your website can be easier said than done but one way of doing this would be to hire an SEO. The job of an SEO is to get your site ranked for certain relevant keywords. For example, you might want to appear on the first page of Google whenever someone types in “copywriter in london”. If you can do this and you have a good website selling your services effectively, you are bound to get work.
SEO’s can be expensive however, so you might want to gain a few clients and a bit of experience before you do this.
In conclusion, there are a lot of different paths into this career but the most important thing is that your copy actually sells. It is important that you have a way with people and that you really communicate with them. Copy can be short but effective so if anyone if hiring you on a “per word” cost basis, they are more than likely not looking for high quality stuff.
It is a good profession if you can get into it and it is also quite well paid. Working your own hours and being your own boss is also a bonus too.