Copywriters come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and there’s no one fixed copywriter career...
Have you always dreamed of working for yourself? Would you like to earn money from freelance copywriting? Many people feel that they cannot follow the career path they want because they do not have the correct experience. However, the only way to enter your chosen field, and build that experience, is to get started.
"If everyone waited to become an expert before starting, no one would become an expert" (CEO and author Richie Norton)
If you are interested in finding work as a freelance copywriter, we have put together some helpful tips which should show you how to become a freelance copywriter with no experience.
What skills are essential for a freelance copywriter?
Of course, you will need a few key skills to get started. Great spelling and grammar skills are absolutely essential for a freelance copywriter. If you deliver work to your clients that contains mistakes and errors, they are unlikely to return for more. Freelance copywriters also need a good grasp of time. You will have to structure your own research and writing times in order to meet your clients' deadlines, so great time management is crucial.
It also helps if you have some experience of writing. This needn't be formal, professional experience. Do you write a blog on a regular basis? Have you written content for a friend's business, or for a volunteer project? Share links to your work and showcase your skills. If you do not have links to share right now, why not set up a blog and start demonstrating your writing abilities? Pick a topic close to your heart, be creative, and start publishing examples of the work you could do for your clients.
Is a degree or previous experience necessary?
Every client is different, and every writing gig differs. Some clients may be fixed on hiring writers with a specific degree or qualification, while others may want to see examples of your work in a similar field before they will hire you.
Many freelance copywriters have studied English language, literature or journalism. Others get into the role through marketing and business degrees. Politics and law also lend themselves to the writing trade. However, absolutely any degree or other qualification can assist you with copywriting. If you studied sport, music, art or history, look for writing gigs that can make use of your specialist knowledge.
If you do not have a formal education, you can still become a copywriter. The lack of a degree should be no barrier. Many clients are more interested in finding somebody with a flair for writing, an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, and a strong portfolio of writing examples.
How to become a freelance copywriter with no experience
Follow the steps and start your writing career today:
1. Join a freelance writing agency
A digital copywriting agency like Copify is a great place to start your freelancing journey. Agencies are great for new writers because they allow you to build that experience and grow your reputation as a writer. You also have access to support services, and you are guaranteed payment for your work. New freelancers often find that invoicing clients and chasing unpaid bills is one of the most stressful and time-consuming parts of their business. An agency takes that stress away - and ensures you get a fair price for your work.
2. Reach out to potential clients
You can also approach the clients you would like to write for, and offer them your work. Pitching work to publications and companies can be scary at first, but with a little practice and perseverance, it will soon become second nature to you. Work you complete independently from an agency is great for building your portfolio, as long as the client gives permission for it to be used. The more comprehensive and relevant your work examples become, the more likely you are to secure work through pitches.
3. Network with other writers
As well as reaching out to clients, take the time to find other freelance writers in the online space. Following key influencers on social media is a great idea.
Copywriting professionals are usually happy to answer questions and share advice with industry newcomers, and they often link to writing opportunities that pay freelancers. You could also link with writers who cover topics you are interested in and read and share their work. Don't be afraid to ask for tips.
4. Establish a niche for yourself
Knowing how to start copywriting with no experience is a lot easier when you draw on your existing skills. Do you enjoy playing video games? There is always demand for gaming reviews. Are you great at gardening? Horticulture blogs and businesses will love your expertise.
Some writers use their personal knowledge of a specific industry to differentiate themselves and grow their copywriting business. You may not have formal writing experience, but you do possess a unique blend of knowledge and skills that could be extremely valuable to the right client.
5. Continue to grow your freelance writing business
Once you have established yourself within the freelance copywriting field, you can start to look for bigger, more profitable copywriting jobs and aim to secure long-term clients. It can take a little time and perseverance before you break away from small-time writing jobs and start making a good living, but the more you put yourself out there, the more chance of being spotted by the right client.
Over time, you will start to build a writing portfolio - and you may well collect reviews and recommendations from your client. The more work you get, the more your reputation will grow. Before you know it, you will be an experienced freelance copywriter!
Main image credit: Suliman Sallehi