Today I want to discuss how to earn a living as a freelance copywriter. A freelance copywriter is simply a freelancer who earns money by writing words for others on a contractual basis. When I was younger, I never imagined that someone could ever earn a living from simply writing. My line of thinking was that everybody could read or write once they went to school so why would anyone pay someone else to write for them? It didn’t make any sense to me. Until I discovered that there are several persons who don’t feel qualified to write well. By writing well I don’t mean penmanship. I mean being able to express oneself using words in such a way that others are able to easily understand. Surprisingly not many people feel competent in this area. So these people will gladly pay others to write for them.
When I took the time to think about it, I realized the great value there is in being able to write well. In school, the students who tended to perform better were those who were able to answer written questions in a way that conveyed to the teacher that they understood the material. If you couldn’t put your thoughts together well on paper, then it would mean that your grades would reflect that shortcoming. I had this one particular classmate who would marvel me every time. He was excellent at expressing himself orally. In fact, he was one of the best debaters on the debate team. But when it came to written exams, he would always do poorly. Why? Because he was not proficient at expressing himself in writing.
Later on when it came to the work world, when reports and other written documents were required, those who did this well were more likely to receive promotions than others who found it difficult to write reports well, all other things being equal. You would be surprised at how many managers have a difficulty with writing reports. In essence, writing is a very valuable skill that you can earn a living from.
So are you ready to find out how to earn a living as a freelance copywriter? I thought so. Here are the basic steps involved in launching a career as a successful freelance copywriter.
Find Your Writing Niche
There are numerous copywriting opportunities available to you if you can write well. But to increase your earning power, it is always better to become a specialist in a particular area of writing than to simply generalize. It is similar to what happens in the case of doctors. A general practitioner usually earns less than a specialist because his service is not specialized. The specialization attracts a premium. So if you are really interested in how to earn a living as a freelance copywriter, the first thing that you need to do is to decide which niche market you want to write for.
Your background and training is a logical place to begin your exploration. For example, if you work in the field of computers and are passionate about that field, you may consider becoming a freelance copywriter who specializes in the computer or technology niche. The key is to find a niche that you are knowledgeable and passionate about and direct your efforts in those directions.
The more technical the niche is, the more it will pay. For example, the technical aspects of blogging is something that not many persons are proficient in. If you are proficient in that area and have a talent for writing, there are persons who will hire you to write tutorials or guides or other articles on technical subjects. The greater the demand for writing within a particular niche, the more people are willing to pay you for your freelance copywriting services.
So begin your quest by identifying your niche.Start with something that you have specialist knowledge in and something that you are passionate about.
Find Your Potential Clients
As a freelance copywriter, it is your responsibility to find your own paying clients. The onus is on you to identify where these people who want your service are and to reach out to them. With the increase in internet technology, there are more and more opportunities opening up for freelance copywriters all across the world. Web content is in huge demand. A logical place to look for your potential clients is through online searches. Whether through Google or through other websites and freelance marketplaces, there are persons who are always advertising and seeking for freelance copywriters. Here is how you can conduct a Google search to find clients looking for writers in your particular niche:
Simply type in the keywords “writers wanted” plus the niche market that you are interested in. For example if you are interested in the travel niche, you would type in the keywords “writers wanted travel” into Google and your results should look something like this:
Note the huge number of results returned! This is a great place to start your search. You could narrow your search by also including a geographical location in your keyword search. So let’s say you wanted to offer your services to the UK market, then you would include the word “UK” in your keyword search as well.
It is also a good idea to explore job boards and online freelance marketplaces for open jobs. While this option may not be the most lucrative in terms of finding high paying jobs, it is an excellent way to break into the freelance market and to get some experience as a freelance copywriter.
Once you have found your potential clients, of course you would need to get in touch with them and to offer your services to them. This involves pitching, which is something that you need to get comfortable doing if you really want to earn a living as a freelance copywriter. Here is a great article on pitching.
Keep on Prospecting
To earn a living as a freelance copywriter, your prospecting needs to be consistent. In fact, it should be something that you do on a daily basis. Freelancing can be fickle if you don’t prospect consistently and you may find that you have no paid jobs in the pipeline if you slack off on your prospecting.
The key is to find a system or a structure that works for you and use it. Some freelance copywriters find it beneficial to draft their own pitching templates that they would tweak to fit particular prospects. This is a good way to save time on prospecting. However, it is important that your pitch does not come across as generic. So be certain to include the editor’s name or to mention something specific that you saw in the ad in order to personalize your pitches and to make them more appealing.
Never Ever Give Up!
Breaking into the freelance copywriting market comes with its fair share of challenges. But don’t ever be tempted to give up. Yes, the competition may be fierce but that just means one thing – there is money to be made. Eventually you will get to the point where you are able to earn a living as a freelance copywriter. If you love writing and are good at it, go for it! To find out more about how to earn a living as a freelance copywriter, check out my book “Freelance Writing Entrepreneur: Write and Grow Rich” on Amazon.