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What does a freelance copywriter do?

Read Time 5 mins | Written by: George Miles

If you've considered writing for a career then you've probably wondered 'what does a freelance copywriter do?' The fact is that freelance copywriting is a varied career that involves everything from undertaking initial research to managing multiple projects and sourcing images. A freelance copywriter can craft everything from a quick blog post to shaping the tone of a company's online presence.

It all falls into content marketing. A good freelance copywriter will be able to create SEO-friendly content that's engaging and gets visitors onto a particular page or site. Content marketing gurus such as Lilach Bullock recognise just how important effective content marketing is and regularly talk about strategies companies could implement in order to grow their online presence. Every single good content marketing strategy starts with good content, and that's where a freelance copywriter comes in.

What does a freelance copywriter do?

Aside from writing, freelance copywriting will regularly include conducting research and interviews as well as editing and proofreading, they may also be called upon to use their copywriting skills to successfully implement a marketing campaign. Although writing is the main focus of the job, a lot of the time is spent researching, thinking and formatting to ensure the content is as well thought out as possible.

It's quite common that half the time on a project will be spent researching and trying to figure out how to craft a keyword-friendly article or post without ruining the natural flow of the content. With the world of SEO continuously changing, there is much more to consider as a freelance copywriter than copywriting alone.

The importance of developing an adaptable voice

Picture of a chameleon

Most copywriters will have their own style, but a big part of being a copywriter is being able to change and mould your writing so that it fits in with the clients. That means adapting the writing style and the tone to fit who the content is speaking to. There are plenty of rules when it comes to crafting good copy, but if the client has their own ideas on what they want, then that will generally come first.

Working as a copywriter means completing work for all sorts of clients, from start-ups to established companies. An established company is likely to have their own tone of voice as well as a definitive way they communicate with their customers, and whilst a start-up may not be established, they will almost certainly have an idea of how they wish to talk to their target market.

A key part of a copywriter's role is to do research on the client and to not be afraid to ask questions. The more information a freelance copywriter has, the more able they'll be to immerse themselves in their client's voice and meet their client's expectations.

Where do freelance copywriters work?

One of the most cost-effective ways for businesses to attract new customers is through good content marketing. Research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute found that content marketing is much more effective than paid search and that it generates three times more leads than outbound marketing. On top of that, the cost of content marketing is 62% less than outbound marketing. All of which means content marketing is an extremely effective tool if businesses utilise it in the right way.

Businesses are constantly looking for ways to grow their online presence, meaning there's always a healthy demand for writers of articles, emails, landing pages, blogs and general web content. Good copywriting can help a business engage with its core audience as well as push a product or service. It means freelance copywriters are usually highly versatile and have a broad client list. Most of the time a freelance copywriter will work under the client's name and will work to ensure the client is completely happy with the content provided.

What content do copywriters create?

Freelance copywriters don't generally specialise in one aspect of copywriting unless they're trained in a particular sector such as medical copywriting. Most copywriters, however, focus on crafting content for a wide variety of clients, all of which have their own unique demands. A typical copywriting project will usually fall into one of the following:

Blog posts

In order for a client's site to rank highly on search engines, they need to keep updating their content. The most convenient way to do this is through regular blog posts. Depending on the client, a blog post can range from a couple of hundred to even thousands of words. Most of the time a blog post is more relaxed in tone and aims to engage and inform the reader on a particular subject.

White papers

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Quite often a client will require a white paper to be written. These tend to be longer and focus on a particular problem and how it can be solved. White papers tend to have a more professional tone and are designed to be useful, educational and objective.

Email marketing

A good email marketing campaign can make or break a particular product or service. Freelance copywriters are regularly called upon to create enticing email marketing campaigns for businesses from all sorts of sectors.

Social media

One of the most common ways companies communicate with their customers is via social media. A good freelance copywriter will have practised effective social media techniques and be able to write effective Twitter and Facebook updates that encourage shares and grow the company's social media presence.

Website copy

Writing for the web can involve everything from creating a step-by-step guide so that a customer knows the ins and outs of a particular service, to crafting impactful landing pages which improve a client's conversion rate. It can also include product copy, creating a home page and much more. Website copy is incredibly varied and the best freelance copywriters will be able to adapt their style for every one of their clients.

So, the answer to what a freelance copywriter does is a little bit of everything. If you find yourself on a website and are compelled to purchase a product, chances are that a good copywriter helped you along the way towards deciding to buy it.

Main image credit: Luke Peters

Image credits: Pierre BaminMarkus Spiske

George Miles