You may have wondered who writes the blog posts about your favorite travel destinations or the people behind those funny ads shown during basketball games. Well, those are the copywriters. They’re incredible people who harness the power of words and at the same time earn money from doing so. The best of the best may earn thousands of dollars for a short piece. Sounds good, right?
If you believe you can write well and you’re able to picture yourself as part of the marketing industry, you might want to consider copywriting as a career. However, you can’t just quit your current job and expect to land writing gigs left and right without any effort. There are several things you should ponder on before you decide to become a copywriter.
1. Types Of Copywriters
The main task of a copywriter is to come up with interesting textual content that serves to promote a particular brand, service, lifestyle, or product. However, you may want to think about what kind of copywriter you want to be. Copywriters are classified into two types:
- In-House Copywriters: They’re associated with only one business entity, regardless if it’s an advertising agency rendering services for numerous brands or a business focusing on a single brand.
More often than not, being an in-house copywriter is a full-time office job. These copywriters take on various writing tasks throughout the day, directly report to the creative director, and receive a regular paycheck.
- Freelance Copywriters: Unlike in-house copywriters, freelance copywriters answer to no one but themselves. This means they operate their own copywriting business, offering their services to various employers through contracts.
When you choose to be a freelance copywriter, you can work either full-time or part-time. However, you must understand that your pay may not exactly match the amount of effort you put into your work because apart from writing, you have to look for clients, manage them, and prepare invoices.
If you want to establish a copywriting business, you have to specify the services you can provide to your clients. The best way to promote your skills is to build a portfolio of your best writing samples. It’s also a good idea to start a blog that will allow you to hone your skills and build a solid reputation. You should sell yourself in a confident manner so as to get the attention of potential clients and persuade them to hire you as a freelancer.
Some people may have unrealistic expectations when it comes to a writer’s earnings and ends up getting disappointed when those aren’t met. Nevertheless, you must keep your passion for writing alive and practice discipline so you can make a living as a wordsmith.
It’s best for you to know how much a writer can generate in a particular industry. You should also research the current asking rates for the services you’re willing to render. And, equally important, you must be aware of how tough the competition is. If you discover that you’ll be joining a tough battle, then you must come well equipped. You cannot expect your competitors to yield to you just because you’re new.
Landing your first client is an accomplishment worth celebrating, but that’s not the only way you can earn money as a copywriter. This detailed article explains how else you can profit from your copywriting skills and expertise.
There’s a good reason why you should pursue a career in copywriting: it can be highly lucrative if you take the right steps and make smart choices. And if you happen to enjoy advertisements, commercials, and jingles, you’ll love your job even more.
3. Your Skills And Attitude
Whether you want to be an in-house copywriter or a freelance copywriter, you should seek to improve your skills as much as you can. Remember that there’s a lot of competition out there, so you don’t want other writers to overtake you.
The more you invest in your skills, the better your reputation becomes and the easier you can get access to available jobs. Hence, you should have the following attributes before starting a copywriting career:
- Willingness To Learn: Regardless of your age, you must never stop learning. If you want to become an expert copywriter, you must work on sharpening your abilities daily.
- Focus: Concentrate on aspects of yourself that you need to work on so you can be the best writer you can possibly be. Prioritizing self-improvement will take you one step closer to your goals.
- Patience: Just like with any other career, you can’t expect your copywriting career to be successful in only a matter of days. It’ll surely take time, a lot of it, so patience is a much-needed virtue if you’re a copywriter. No matter how hard the path is, you must never lose hope and keep going.
- Motivation: There are copywriters who rarely get discouraged even if they have to go through a lot of hurdles. However, most writers will find themselves unmotivated at some point, so you should know how to remedy such a situation. It might help to revisit the reasons why you’re writing and use your goals to motivate yourself when you’re having a hard time.
- Passion: They say you won’t work a day in your life if you love what you’re doing. Thus, it would be highly beneficial for you to be passionate about writing if you want to turn it into a career. That is the reason for the success of numerous copywriters and bloggers. If you’re serious about succeeding in the world of copywriting, then you must write not only for the sake of earning but for the joy it brings you as well.
4. Your Copy Niche
If you think you have the necessary skills to manage a copywriting career, then you should determine your niche next. This should come first before anything else. It would be nonsense to search for clients and begin drafting content if you haven’t specified your niche. Knowing this will help you find and target the right audience.
To figure out what your niche is, assess yourself and identify what kind of role you intend to take on. There are plenty to choose from, so make sure you have adequate skills to deliver good results once you’ve made your decision. Here are some copywriting niches you can choose from:
- Podcast/Video Scripts
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Articles/Blog Posts
- Emails/Sales Funnels
- Community Management/Social Media Management
There are no standard choices when it comes to niches. What’s important is for you to choose the one that’s most suitable for you. The good thing about niches is that you can change yours if you later discover that it’s not working for you.
Once you’ve found a niche, you can trim down the target market or your potential clients. But before reaching out to them, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the services they want?
- What’s the industry they’re operating in?
- How do they use copy to their advantage?
After getting the answers, you may go ahead and make your pitch or send a proposal to target clients.
5. Pricing Your Copy
As mentioned, copywriters don’t have the same day-to-day tasks. This means you can’t expect all of them to earn the same amount of money every month. Some have a low income, while others get to enjoy a high income.
- High-income copywriters are aware that their services should produce incredible results for clients. They concentrate on projects that come with a high monetary reward and that they know they have a full grasp on.
- On the other hand, low-income copywriters may not have enough flexibility at the moment to increase their rates. If they’re an in-house copywriter, they may have agreed to a low salary due to the scarcity of available jobs. If they’re a freelancer, perhaps they’re not as skilled or experienced as high-income writers, so they have to keep their rates low in order to attract and keep clients.
The main distinction between high-income copywriters and low-income copywriters is how much they charge for their services. Whether you want to charge per hour, per page, or per word, that matter should be settled between you and your client. The most crucial thing to ensure, however, is the quality of your writing services. If you can produce consistently excellent content, clients will be more willing to pay as much as you ask them to.
It’s best to adjust your rates depending on how much you intend to earn. Some people might say it’s the amount of experience you have that should determine your pricing. In a way, that’s logical, but your skill level is a more significant contributing factor.
If you keep improving your skills and produce outstanding results, then it won’t matter if you’ve been in the industry for only two years. Although experience is essential, your ability to nail all the crucial aspects of copywriting holds more weight.
Even if you have the writing chops to become a professional copywriter, that’s not always enough to thrive in the marketing industry. In order to succeed in this profession, you must have the discipline to work through tough times and consider the factors previously mentioned before diving in.
You should manage your expectations ahead of time since establishing a copywriting career cannot be done overnight. Time is required if you wish to be at the top of your writing game, so should you be the impatient type, it would be better to choose another career. As a copywriter, you must commit to learning continuously, endure the challenges that will come your way, enhance your skills every day, and above all, enjoy what you’re doing.