Salty sea air.
Warm waves lapping gently at the shoreline.
Silky-smooth sand beneath your feet.
You whip your laptop open. It’s time to start your working day.
That’s right, you heard me.
You’re at work.
And today you’re choosing beachside.
Yep, being a freelance copywriter has priceless perks.
Like being able to work from anywhere in the world (hello, beach bar). Choosing your own work schedule (2pm start today, post-power nap). And hey, you can wear whatever you want (PJs/pants – the choice is yours).
BUT that doesn’t mean you can slack off.
You gotta hustle. Juggle multiple deadlines. And of course, you’ve got to get out there and find your own clients.
But you’re independent. You don’t have to deal with rank office coffee.
And the best thing of all, you can become a freelance copywriter with no experience.
Great stuff. Read on to learn about freelance copywriting, including a step-by-step guide to becoming a freelance copywriter in 2024.
Off we go.
What is a freelance copywriter?
Think of a brand you like.
It could be the cereal you eat, the face cream you use, or the tech that you’re ever loyal to.
Now, what first drew you in? What compelled you to invest in that service/product?
Maybe it was an emotional TV advert. An email with a powerful offer. Or maybe you were won over by a cheeky Insta-ad (don’t worry, it happens to the best of us).
Well, whatever it was, chances are a copywriter wrote it.
A copywriter is a skilled wordsmith. A pro writer who is hired by brands to craft copy and content that’s persuasive, engaging, and irresistible to their target audience.
And a freelance copywriter? Well, snap. Except you’re not tied to a company.
You’re off on your own self-employed journey, like the daring entrepreneur you are.
Check you out.
What does a freelance copywriter do?
The daily working life of a freelance copywriter is varied. I mean, you’re the boss. So you’re managing the entire show.
Here’s a snapshot of the daily tasks you may find yourself doing:
Winning over (and managing) your own clients
As a freelancer, the rollercoaster of finding and keeping clients can be…challenging.
An employed copywriter will get their work assigned to them each day. But you, my freelancer friend, you’ve gotta network like a pro, prove yourself, and build your own client base.
But with all that said, there’s nothing like the thrill of winning a new gig. Or getting glowing feedback on something you’ve created (especially copy that you’ve worked your socks off for).
Research, research, research
The most effective copywriting is powerfully backed up by research.
You want your words to resonate with your client’s target audience like the nostalgia of hearing a much-loved but long-forgotten song.
So you have to understand how their audience tick.
Get to grips with their pain points and how they experience your client’s product/service. Only then can you create copy that solves their problems, inspires desires, and breaks down barriers.
So get ready to dive into online reviews, social media comments, forums – that sort of thing. (Sherlock Holmes style.)
Managing your own business
As a freelance copywriter, you’re a one-writer band.
So be prepared to manage all the admin and business management that comes with it. You’ll have to get on board with things like:
- Tax returns
- Managing deadlines
- Setting your own rates
- Project management
- Onboarding new clients
But don’t stress, organisation is not everyone’s forte. That’s why there are tons of super-useful apps out there to help you out.
Crafting copy and content
Here comes the creative bit: the actual writing.
In the current digital world we’re living in, there are more and more ways for a brand to engage with their audience. Which means you’re sure to get a range of deliverables to get stuck into.
And variation is good (the spice of life, so they say).
So whether you’re writing persuasive ad copy, SEO-driven blog posts, or attention- grabbing socials (to name a tiny few), you will still be reaching into your copywriting toolkit to create compelling copy that hits the spot.
Whatever the project, you’ll collaborate with your client to get a true understanding of their brand voice, target audience, and copywriting goals, so you can make sure your copy aligns perfectly with their vision.
No one likes out-of-date milk. And the same goes for your copy.
The digital world we live in is changing – ALL the time. And as a freelancer, there are no organised training days for you.
So it’s your job to stay in the loop with industry trends, techniques, and engagement platforms and keep up with the times.
Who needs a freelance copywriter?
Every brand should have a copywriter.
It’s a saturated market out there, brimming with brands promoting their products. Which means your client needs to stand out from the crowd – and that the need for sharp, persuasive, and informative writing has never been higher.
But why is the demand for freelance copywriters in particular skyrocketing?
Say you’re a digital marketing agency.
Busy times and not-so-busy times come with the territory.
And during the manic-busy periods you’ll find yourself quickly needing writers. And freelancers are the ideal solution as they can be brought onboard immediately and on an ad hoc basis. Everyone’s a winner.
You’re more cost efficient:
Employed writers often come with added costs: regular salaries, benefits and bonuses, and possibly training.
Freelancers, on the other hand, can be paid per project, keeping costs down and falling within tighter budgets (perfect if you’re a start-up, for example).
You’re an expert in a certain topic:
Many a freelance copywriter falls into a niche.
Which is super handy for companies who need a copywriter with certain expertise.
For example, say you’re a tech company and you need an article about quantum computing. Chances are you’ll need a writer who knows their stuff on that topic.
How much do freelance copywriters make?
Ahh the golden question.
How much are you gonna earn as a freelance copywriter?
Well, let me tell you. Your earnings can be as diverse as the projects you tackle.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a freelance copywriter can vary hugely, based on a number of factors:
- Level of experience
- Niche type
- Delivery time frame
- Client size
- Project complexity
Obviously as your portfolio gets bigger, so will your rates.
Which leads me on nicely to the next question:
How do I become a freelance copywriter with no experience?
How to become a freelance copywriter with no experience
You want to jump on board this freelancing-freeliving bandwagon.
But you have little (to no) writing experience.
Don’t worry, this is normal. Everyone starts somewhere, right?
You just need some expert guidance to get you started.
Allow me to break down the process:
1. Learn copywriting inside out
OK, this may sound obvious.
But you’d be surprised at how many budding copywriters launch straight into pitching for clients without actually learning about copywriting.
Lemme tell you, copywriting is very different from writing a novel. It has its own set of proven tricks and techniques of the trade that you need to master to succeed.
- Read and practise. Then read and practise some more.
- Learn from the best in the business.
- Take a copywriting course (check out The Creative Copywriter Academy, a course written – and feedback given – by real copywriters).
2. Get networking
Word of mouth is powerful in copywriting.
Join online platforms. Attend marketing networking events. Webinars. Basically anywhere you can connect with other industry pros and drum up some business.
LinkedIn is a must. And there’s always other copywriting groups in places such as Reddit or Facebook that you could join to mingle.
3. Build your portfolio power
What’s more persuasive than a powerful portfolio bursting with your talent?
Not much. But if you’re brand new to copywriting, you probably won’t have much to showcase. Right?
Well, the trick is to start off small.
Platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr can be great starting points. They’re competitive but there are clients on there who are willing to give new talent a chance.
You may also have a few business-owner friends who could do with a copy refresh. Sure, you’ll be offering up your services for free. But once you get a few jobs under your belt you’ll be able to build your own client base.
4. Perfect a client-winning proposal
To win business you’ll look far more professional if you have a beautifully designed proposal coupled with powerful copy.
Your proposal needs to be:
- Clearly structured so you don’t make your potential client work for info
- Packed to the brim with persuasive copy backed up by copywriting techniques
- Tailored to the needs of your client. Show them you understand them and the true value you’re bringing to their business.
Here’s our blog post on how to create the perfect customer-winning proposal to get your started.
5. Keep on learning
The world of copywriting is ever evolving.
Be sure to stay up to date with the latest trends, tools, and techniques. The more you learn, the more valuable you become to your clients.
So read. Write. Learn. Get feedback and learn from it.
Oh, and make sure you get on board with AI too. It’s the future, and will help boost your copywriting to the next level.
Freelance copywriting: Ready to jump in?
What’s the verdict?
Can’t wait to get stuck in?
Good for you.
Here’s my final word on the matter:
Brace yourself for rejection – but don’t be discouraged.
Put the time in. Work hard. Master all the tricks and techniques you can.
You’ll be a sought-after copywriter in no time.