Freelance copywriting can be an enjoyable choice of career and offers the flexibility to work at times best suited to your needs.
However, working as a freelance copywriter means you need a few particular skills, including a good helping of business acumen, as you will be running your own small business. Nevertheless, there are plenty of opportunities to grow your writing business in the way you want, whether that involves taking on your own content writing employees or specialising in certain types of writing.
If that sounds interesting, you probably want to learn more about the freelance writing profession so you can decide whether it’s the right choice for you. Let’s take a closer look…
What is a freelance copywriter?
A freelance copywriter makes a living creating content for clients, whether that’s one major client or a variety of different writing customers.
Freelance copywriters may work directly with clients or indirectly through agencies such as Copify or online marketplaces, like PeopleperHour.
It’s important to be able to write coherently and accurately, and writers also need a good grasp of their native language and grammar structures. If you need to brush up on your linguistic skills, take a look at our grammar checklist for writers.
A copywriter’s typical day
You’ll find a lot of your time is spent looking for new business, as well as researching topics and proofing and editing your work. When you become skilled at writing for business, the actual writing part can be relatively small!
Working directly with clients will require spending a good deal of time marketing and promoting your copywriting business on social media and via guest posts unless you already have potential clients in the pipeline. When you work with an agency, you can access a range of available writing jobs on a daily basis. This can make it easier to reach earnings targets every day. With online work marketplaces, you need to structure bids for each job you want to apply for, which can prove extremely time consuming and there’s no guarantee you’ll be given the assignment.
In general, agency freelance copywriters tend to work with a few different agencies as this ensures a steady stream of regular work. It’s also possible to pick up direct client orders on some agency websites and these can prove more lucrative.
What does a copywriter write?
There are many different types of copywriting out there, and freelance copywriters generally compose a miscellaneous range of texts such as email newsletters, blog posts, social media notifications, web pages and promotional literature. Though some writers may just work in one arena, such as compiling blog posts for marketing purposes.
When you’re just starting out freelancing, though, you should expect to work for a variety of clients, all with different needs, deadlines and specifications to meet. It also helps to write your own blog to showcase your skills.
So, now we’ve answered your query of what is a freelance copywriter, you’re probably frantic to set up on your own and start running your writing business. Here are some tips…
Considerations when running your own freelance copywriting business
One of the great advantages of working as a freelance copywriter is that you get to choose just how many hours you put in, and the times you work. Of course, if you have client deadlines to meet, you will have to time your working day around these. On the whole, though, working freelance as a writer makes it easy to gear your writing around other commitments or take time out during the day to pursue interests or hobbies. This type of work can also be absolutely ideal for stay-at-home mums and part-timers, as writing is flexible enough to fit around all your other commitments.
The legal requirements
Setting up your writing business is just a case of informing HMRC that you are now working for yourself, and you’ll need to submit regular tax returns to them. It’s important to maintain accurate financial records for your business, as these will form the basis of the tax returns you submit. You should keep a record of all earnings, as well as any business-related expenditure to make it easy and quick to complete your year-end tax submission.
You may find it is far more simple to begin writing with agencies when you first launch your writing business and this also helps you create a portfolio of work that can be used when you pitch for other freelance roles. Writing for an agency also helps you acquire the discipline needed to meet writing deadlines and ensures you timetable your working day to meet your needs.
Once you’ve set up in business as a freelance copywriter you can expand in a number of ways, including creating your own website and marketing your services to local and national companies. If you want to specialise in one particular area, like writing legal blog posts for law firms, you can specifically target your client market to source the clients you are seeking.
The potential earnings you can achieve as a freelance copywriter really do depend on the amount of time you put into growing and maintaining your business. It’s entirely feasible to achieve a six-figure income as a freelance copywriter, but it entails superb organisation and great marketing and business skills. On the whole, if you plan to make megabucks from your writing career, you should aim to source your own clients direct in the long run so you can negotiate rates and fees.
The future of freelance writing
Writing content of any kind is in very high demand now, as companies recognise the importance of updating websites and social media accounts with fresh, valuable texts on a regular basis. This means that the role of the freelance copywriter has become more valued by brands, of any size. Many of the texts you will be composing on a regular basis will be marketing materials of one type or another, as businesses are spending less and less money on big advertising budgets and turning to original internet content to attract their target audience.
This is absolutely great news for freelance copywriters, and it doesn’t look as if this trend will slump in the next few years. Yes, many internet browsers are using voice messages and assistants, like Siri and Alexa, much more now. But, there is still a role for freelance copywriting within this voice-activated digital world, as voice tags and texts will still need to be compiled. So, if you’re considering making the switch to a freelance copywriting career, take the first step today and sign up with Copify because there are numerous available opportunities and openings.
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