Is copywriting a good career? The benefits and challenges of going freelance

by Harriet Swartout-Phipson

Is copywriting a good career? The benefits and challenges of going freelance

Is copywriting a good career? The benefits and challenges of going freelance: Table of Contents

Perhaps you’re at university for a related degree, or maybe you love to write in your spare time. You could have a marketing background or simply fall into the field of copywriting by accident. Whatever your experience, the first thing you’re likely to want to know is: is copywriting a good career? Depending on the outcome you’re looking for, it certainly can be. As the new year full of new promises dawns, we take a closer look at what copywriting as a career means, what it usually entails, as well as the benefits and challenges of choosing to copywrite as a career.

Let’s start with the basics:

What is copywriting as a career?

Typically, people who copywrite as a career work freelance, though there are some copywriter-specific jobs across a range of job areas and industries. But, for the majority of people out there that copywrite, they make their money as a freelancer – enabling them to broaden their skills, work with many different clients and even develop new skills.

Copywriting as a career is, essentially, taking those writing skills and making money from them – whether you work through an agency, seek our work solo or use an online copywriting platform. According to Susan Greene, a copywriter creates content for websites, brochures, ads and more – a more commercial version of writing, but still creative in its own way.

As a mostly freelance career, there are no real limitations to becoming a copywriter. No specific qualifications, certificates or talents are part of the job description, but they can make a difference when you’re starting out to ensure you’re on the right track and up to standard. Copywriting is undoubtedly a career that many people go into, but being successful in this particular line of work is more challenging than the average office job or salaried role. As you might expect, from a position that requires additional work and input to achieve your goals.

How can you succeed in copywriting?

While a formal education isn’t necessary for copywriting, a knowledge of soft skills is a must to succeed. As with any freelance career, a strong work ethic and self-motivation is a must to get the work done. After all, there’s no boss setting deadlines and breathing down your neck – it’s all on you. You also need to have excellent skills in copywriting itself. For many, their background in writing comes from more of the creative side of the spectrum – so it can be a learning curve understanding how to write good copy that sells itself. There is a range of different online courses and even copywriting books that can help give you that edge, but practice is what makes perfect.

To succeed in copywriting, you need to be able to create copy that matches the brief of your client. The more positive testimonials and feedback you receive, the further you can move towards success in what you do. Building up steam is also essential to get up to the amount of money you want to make each month – it certainly won’t happen overnight without hard work, effort and enthusiasm. Succeeding in copywriting is, of course, entirely subjective – but earning enough to live on, or simply earning cash on the side, as well as continuing to gain positive feedback and happy customers, is a fantastic indicator.

The benefits of a copywriting career

There are many significant benefits to choosing to jump into the world of copywriting. Here are just a few to get you started:

Be your own boss

The majority of copywriters are self-employed or freelance. This means that you’re your own boss. Fancy taking Friday off and working at 10 pm on a Saturday instead? If the deadlines work, it’s up to you. Want to work in your pyjamas all day? There’s not a manager to tell you that you can’t. While being your own boss means all the work falls on you, it also means you have the freedom to expand your business on your own terms, and do the copywriting you enjoy doing in the process.

Get into marketing

While we wouldn’t necessarily call copywriting a foot in the door to other marketing careers, for some, those invaluable skills have been the leg up needed to enter other creative and marketing-based areas later on in their careers. Not to mention, copywriting is a valuable skill and ability for many entry-level marketing roles, meaning your opportunities may open up even if you don’t plan on sticking with copywriting alone for life.

Do something new every day

One of the things that make copywriting so enjoyable is the ability to write about all kinds of different things. Hillary Weiss loves copywriting because it brings new opportunities every day – something most content creators agree with. Copywriters must do a lot of research and understand detail, but they get to expand their knowledge across all manner of sectors and job roles. Almost half of copywriting is spent getting to know what you will be writing about before you put words onto the screen, so if you’re the type that likes doing something new every day, there’s no better career.

The challenges of a copywriting career

As with any career, copywriting comes with its challenges and downsides. Here are some of the things you should consider before making a move:

Lack of stability

Freelance work notoriously lacks stability, whether it’s seasonal or you have to have time off with the flu. As a copywriter, earning money will rely on you doing the work. There are no sick days or holidays for those of us that take copywriting as our career unless you happen to be amongst the few employed directly by a company to provide copywriting services. While it can be highly rewarding picking your hours, it can be a source of stress for some.

Everyone’s a copywriter

No, we’re not talking about your competition – we’re talking about your clients, as well as others you’ll work with. Copywriting can be highly subjective and can cause some serious division in opinions. If you’re the type that doesn’t take feedback well, then it might not be the career path for you.

Sometimes, clients will just dislike your writing because they dislike it. And that’s okay. Don’t let it come as a surprise when complete rewrites are requested for something you thought was perfect. It’s all part of the job.

So, is copywriting a good career for you?

It all depends. If you think freelance life might suit you, and you have a talent for marketing products through writing, then it might be your ideal job. Why not sign up with Copify to try it for yourself, or kickstart your copywriting career today?

Main image credits: Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Internal image credits: Image by Анастасия Гепп from Pixabay, Image by StockSnap from Pixabay, Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

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Harriet Swartout-Phipson

Harriet is a 20-something Digital Marketer/Creative Copywriter based in not-so-sunny North Somerset. Her passions include writing, for business and pleasure, as well as blogging and video games.