Did you know that you can earn $40-$120 hourly by merely writing words? This amount rounds off to $6,400-$19,200 per month. Copywriting can be a highly lucrative domain if you are willing to turn words into feelings and feelings into actions…
Now, you might be wondering - Who is a copywriter, and what exactly does copywriting mean? In this blog post, we will dive deep into this topic. At the end of the blog, you'll get a clear picture of the freelance copywriting profession and how you can make great money in it.
What is copywriting?
In the simplest terms, copywriting means writing words to convince people to take certain actions. It is the art and science of using written words to persuade the reader to take a specific action. Now, this action can be persuading them to click on a link, collecting their email address, or convincing them to make a purchase.
Every writing process that consists of writing the right words to make the reader take a particular action is copywriting.
How much do copywriters make?
The income that a copywriter earns generally depends on the level of experience that the copywriter has. In the copywriting space, we can find an assortment of copywriters, ranging from beginner copywriters to world-class professional copywriters. The ones who have extensive copywriting experience charge even up to $1 per word or $200 per hour.
Let's see how much copywriters make based on their experience levels:
- 0-1 years of experience: $28-$30 per hour or $0.07-$0.1 per word
- 1-3 years of experience: $30-$50 per hour or $0.1-$0.3 per word
- 3-7 years of experience: $50-$100 per hour or $0.3-$0.5 per word
- 7-10 years of experience: $100-$200 per hour or $0.5-$0.9 per word
- 10+ years of experience: $100+ per hour or $0.9+ per word
(The above-mentioned are estimated rates that freelance copywriters typically charge.)
What does a copywriter exactly do?
The ultimate goal of a copywriter is writing copy for online or offline publications. They create content that educates their target audience and steers them towards taking a desired action. They may also write copy for landing pages, web pages, social media posts, white papers, emails, blog posts, sales pages, and even video scripts.
Another thing that you should note is that writing content is just the principal task of being a copywriter. As a copywriter, you may have to perform an array of other tasks:
- Content marketing
- Handling projects
- Searching for relevant images
- Developing marketing and email campaigns
Also, if you are a marketing copywriter, your role can entail SEO planning and social media management. If we boil down the key tasks that a copywriter has to undertake, they would be to research and write content that essentially captivates readers and convinces them to take some action.
The 5 steps to starting a business as a freelance copywriter
1.Immerse yourself in the learning process
Copywriting is a skill that can be learned with enough dedication and commitment. To embark on your learning process in this domain, the most fundamental thing you can do is to start reading relevant books.
You can begin with Robert Bly's "The Copywriter's Handbook". This book covers the basic nitty-gritty of copywriting and gradually goes deeper into the copywriting sphere. Some other books that you can consider reading:
- Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz
- Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy
- Influence by Robert Cialdini
- Boron Letters by Gary Halbert.
These books have pragmatic copywriting strategies as well as tons of handy copywriting tips. You can also read blogs and find additional resources on the internet.
2.Practice copywriting exercises to polish your skills
Once you've gotten familiar with the fundamentals, you can start practicing copywriting exercises to polish your skills. There are many exercises that you can do to hone your skills.
One of the most profound copywriting exercises you can do is to rewrite successful copies. It will train your brain to grasp the psychological patterns that the copy possesses. Your brain will then automatically tune into these patterns the next time you're working on a new copy. You can go to www.swiped.co to find countless copies that have been successful and start writing.
Another great exercise you should do is to read your copy aloud. It will help you understand if your copy flows well or not. If your copy doesn't flow well, the readers will be more resistant to taking action. You should also write copy in the way you talk. It makes the copy seem more natural and fluid, rather than something artificial and hard to connect with.
3.Join communities to learn from others' failures and successes
Nothing is more powerful than a group of people marching towards the same mission. When you have a community of individuals who are focused on improving themselves as well as their associates, you're almost assured to improve with them. The same goes for copywriting.
You can find many supportive copywriting communities on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit, and many others. When you join a community, you get a glimpse into the failures as well as successes of other community members.
Some good communities you can find on social media are:
- Advertising & Copywriting (LinkedIn)
- Copywriters Networking Group (LinkedIn)
- Copywriting Jobs (Facebook)
- Copywriters Giving Copywriters Feedback (Facebook)
- Copywriting (Reddit)
4.Write your elevator pitch to onboard new clients
When you've got a grip on the basic principles of copywriting, you can hop into the process of creating your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a concise introduction of yourself, emphasis on the issue, and offering the solution while communicating your value proposition. It's known as an "elevator pitch," as it virtually takes the same time you'd spend in an elevator with a person.
Some examples of an elevator pitch:
- Hello, I'm Becky. Work can be chaotic irrespective of which domain you’re in. However, dynamic project management software can surely enhance efficiency and productivity. If you’re wondering how it could assist your team, revert back to me, and I will share some numbers with you.
- Hello, it's Robert. I came to know that you are facing some communication issues. My team and I also used to face those issues. But those issues vanished when we adopted project management software that gave birth to a new wave of overall communication and improvement in teamwork. Let me know if you need more information on this.
5.Start networking and pitch your services to the decision makers
Once you are equipped with the necessary skills and your pitch is ready, you can step right into the copywriting world. You can build an eloquent LinkedIn profile to get started and connect with professionals who have the potential to do business with you. These people would mostly be decision-makers like founders, co-founders, or people who have the authority to assign you work (such as creative directors or HRs).
You can spend about a week researching and connecting with such designated professionals. Then, gradually you can start posting content related to copywriting that is valuable to these folks and their businesses.
You can also go the extra mile and engage with their posts and personally in their DMs. But remember: don't try to ram your services down the throats of these professionals. Genuinely ask them if your skills would be valuable for their businesses, and if they say yes, you can explain how you would help.
The 4 must-have skills for new copywriters
Copywriting is all about bringing a set of skills together and blending them to produce determined results. But very often, copywriters tend to overlook these skills, which renders their copy useless. Let's take a glance at some of these crucial skills.
Connect with your target audience and their pain points
The ability to empathize with your audience is often undervalued. In any copy, the number one thing you should remember is to efficiently focus on the pain points that your target audience has and drive them smoothly to the solution, i.e., the product or service. For instance, let's take a look at two examples. These are ads for a weight-loss product for women.
Advertisement One: If you want to stay healthy and lose weight, then you should try our Weight Loss Concoction. Our product has organic ingredients that make you slimmer and fitter.
Advertisement Two: Are you tired of people's comments on your weight? Do you feel envious when you look at women with hourglass figures? If yes, then all your worries can come to an end with our amazing Weight Loss Concoction.
Notice how the first ad doesn't focus on the pain, while the second does. This minute element of pain incorporation can be a game-changer for a business.
When the reader reads through your copy, he or she must instantly relate to it and feel, "Hey! I can relate to this problem so much. It's literally my own problem. " Once this feeling arises in their minds and hearts, they automatically start looking for the solution. This is the point where you should introduce your offering.
Learn how to sell benefits and not just list features
A feature is an attribute a product or service has. Whereas the benefit is the output that the consumer would receive while using the product. Hence, stressing about something that's beneficial, i.e., benefits, will make your copy sound more valuable. For example, let's consider the different headlines in two identical scenarios. In both of these marketing copy, we are selling fans.
Headline One: Try our X-brand fans that are powered by the latest ultra-spinning technology.
Headline Two: Use X-brand fans to cool yourself off in this scorching heat.
Do you see the difference? In the first headline, we emphasized the feature of the product, while in the second one, we focused on the benefit. Thus, when you are selling products or services., make sure that you primarily stress the benefits and subsequently mention the necessary features. This copywriting formula is leveraged in various successful advertisements.
Your aim should be to get the reader emotionally engaged. This allows the potential clients to envision how exactly the product or service would help them come out of a painful situation or help them achieve a desired goal.
Use the language that your audience uses
As we have seen above, establishing reliability is of paramount importance when it comes to convincing the reader to take action. Understanding your target audience’s pain points is absolutely critical, but you must also pay heed to whom exactly you are speaking with. Let's consider that we are writing a project pitch email to a Fortune 500 company for an app development project. Here are two pitches for the same:
Hey dude, what's up?
Just wanted to tell you that the software development thing you asked my team is awesome!!! We have some amazing tools to make the software that your startup needs. Our software app will be fab for your business operations. Let's talk more about this tomm.
We are glad that you shortlisted our company for the app development project for your business. Our cutting-edge technology would ensure that the software would be highly valuable for your business. Let us know an appropriate time slot to take this further.
There is a big difference that is clearly evident and needs no justification! By going through Amazon reviews, Instagram comments, Quora answers, and even your DMs, you can get a more comprehensive understanding of how to talk to your audience. If it's a B2C audience, you can lean more towards a casual and informal tone, but if it's a B2B conversation, it's always safe to be formal.
Master a few copywriting formulas
When it comes to great copywriting, you should be aware of copywriting formulas that have been proven to work and generate the expected results. Some of the most prominent formulas in copywriting comprise:
The full form of the abbreviation PAS stands for Pain, Agitate, and Solution. To understand this formula in-depth, let's break it down into segments.
To write copy that triggers a response, you should be well-versed in the challenges that your audience faces. The more expressively you can concentrate on their pain, the more you showcase your understanding of it.
As the reader reads your landing page copy, the person should experience that you're validating the conversation taking place in their mind.
Your next move is to amplify the pains of your audience. To make it fruitful, you should use emotional language that makes them go nuts for a solution. Once they feel like they have the biggest pain in the world, they will begin looking for a solution.
Keep in mind not to agitate excessively. Or else they'll start to realize that they are being manipulated. Instead, plow a path for them to walk to the ideal solution, that is - your product or service.
This is the final destination where you slowly start to make things better. This is the point where you uncover the golden solution - the pain-soothing ointment they have been looking for so long.
In this part, you can demonstrate the value of the offering that you are promoting. Once you're able to shed light on the pains successfully and agitate them properly, selling the solution becomes a cakewalk.
The 4Us Formula
The 4Us formula is another formula that is quite popular. The 4Us in this formula stands for Useful, Urgent, Unique, and Ultra-specific. Let's dive descriptively into 4Us.
Your writing must convey something that is useful and demonstrates value. If it doesn't sound useful, the prospect is going to turn a blind eye to it.
Most of the time, a prospect remains a potential customer because the writer is unable to incorporate a sense of urgency into the writing structure of the offer.
It's important that you effectively communicate what's unique in your offerings. This differentiates you from the noise in the marketplace.
As Seth Godin, the renowned marketer, says, if you're selling to everyone, you're selling to no one. Make your offer ultra-specific and focus on a specific target market.
The AIDA formula is another proven formula used to disintegrate the buying process into the segments of Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
The prime step of this formula is to capture the reader's attention, mostly with an appealing headline of an ad or subject line in an email.
Evoke the interest of your audience by focusing on things that are necessary for their lives. Don't boast about the company or the offering, but rather hammer the challenges that they are facing.
Create a strong desire and outline the major benefits of your offer. Also, elaborate on how it will positively impact the life of the reader.
Lastly, in a subtle but hassle-free manner, drive the prospect towards the offer and convince them why they should purchase at that very moment.
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The diverse copywriting jobs and their salaries
An in-house copywriter is someone who engages in copywriting and (sometimes content writing) for a specific brand or business. You are employed by the business on a full-time basis to create copies for their brand. In this role, you understand and incorporate the style and tonality of their brand into various content pieces. In-house copywriters, on an average earn between $48,332 to $84,667.
As an agency copywriter, you’ll be writing content for a plethora of clients that the agency has. Similar to other copywriting roles, your main objectives here would be effective communication and persuading the audience directly or indirectly to purchase certain products or services. But, in an agency, you will work closely with other team members to create content marketing campaigns. Agency copywriters, on an average earn between $47,037 to $88,210.
Freelancers are some of the most seasoned copywriters in the domain as they've worked with a ton of businesses and industries. Freelancers have the freedom to cherry-pick their clients. Hence, most of them have profiles that cater to a few niches. The incomes of copywriters based on their experiences have already been alluded to above.
Where to look for your first copywriting job?
Once you have stepped into the world of copywriting, you should start looking for a job so that you can practically implement what you've learned. To start your copywriting career and get your first job as a copywriter, you can:
- Apply on job sites
The number one thing you can do in terms of finding a copywriting job is to apply for jobs on job portals. To find these jobs, you can turn to many job search engines and filter for the copywriting role you're looking for. Some popular websites for copywriting freelancing are Upwork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, Fiverr, and many more.
- Reach out on social media
We have briefly elaborated on how you can connect with potential clients on LinkedIn and pitch your copywriting services. You can shadow the same process with other social media platforms and promote your services.
To say that copywriting is a great career would be a huge understatement. As more and more businesses emerge, the demand and value of copywriters will also grow parallelly. Learning copywriting takes some time, but once you're geared up with the necessary copywriting skills, there's nothing that can stop you from living your dream life.
Copywriters who are freelancers are typically the ones who are able to mint the largest amounts of money. This is because they have the freedom to choose the niche they want to work in, the client they want to work with, and most importantly, they set their own rates.
If you're a freelancer looking to begin your journey as a copywriter, you should be able to organize your tasks properly and conduct transactions seamlessly. If not, you'd be losing a lot of time and, eventually, clients.
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