What is a freelance copywriter? Unveiling the craft in 2023

what is a freelance copywriter

Ever curious about the craftsmanship behind the engaging ads, websites, and articles encountered daily? It’s the realm of freelance copywriting.

So, what is a freelance copywriter?

Delve into the mesmerizing journey of words and wonders, navigating through the ebbs and flows of creativity—from the golden days of effortless ideation to the challenging times when writer’s block casts its shadow.

Ready to explore how to become a freelance copywriter and boost your copywriting skills? Let’s delve deeper.

What is a freelance copywriter?

Envision a sunlit morning, the first piece of content comes to life, marking the beginning of a freelance copywriting business. It’s more than just writing skills; it’s about crafting compelling narratives without being tethered to a single entity.

Like nomadic storytellers, freelance copywriters traverse the landscape of ideas, building bridges between brands and audiences from quaint home offices or lively coffee shops.

It’s not merely about stringing words together; it’s about understanding, resonating, and translating emotions into compelling narratives.

The journey of a good freelance copywriter encompasses riding the tumultuous waves of diverse projects—some days, it’s about crafting catchy taglines for startups; on others, it’s penning heartfelt narratives for established brands.

Diversity is at the core of this profession. Yet, with the freedom it entails, comes a realm of responsibilities.

As one navigates through this ever-evolving domain, the quest for adapting and growing never ceases. There’s a plethora of insights to unveil for those venturing into the captivating world of successful copywriting business.

1. Master the Art of Copywriting

freelance copywriters work
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Embarking on a successful freelance copywriter business journey transcends the simple act of drafting words on a canvas. Prior to plunging in, there are practical facets worthy of contemplation.

Consider the fundamentals: a reliable computing device, a robust internet connection, and a distinguished website to exhibit one’s expertise.

Recent investments in gadgets for the budding endeavor? Ensure to document these expenditures, as they become invaluable assets during the tax season.

The pivotal undertaking of business registration also merits undivided attention, laying down the official groundwork for the venture.

Now, transition to the core: the artistry of copywriting.

It’s not just about embroidering appealing phrases. While a linguistic flair provides a leg up, it’s but a slice of the broader framework.

Become a freelance copywriter is the fusion of artistic allure with meticulous accuracy; a domain where creative zest aligns with strategic acumen. Envision sculpting narratives that are not only engaging but also intentional!

It’s a venture into the depths of content marketing nuances, exploring consumer psychology, and intertwining these findings into narratives that echo with relevance.

For those pondering the necessity of formal education, while a degree may serve as a boon, it’s not a definitive gateway. Hence, embrace the digital epoch! The online sphere is brimming with opportunities.

Explore courses, delve into insightful blogs, and partake in enlightening webinars. Regardless of being a fledgling wordsmith or an adept writer contemplating copywriting, these resources are stepping stones on the enlightening pathway.

Actionable Tips

  • Invest in necessary tech and set up a professional online presence.
  • Recognize the blend of art and strategy in technical writing.
  • Traditional degrees are helpful but not mandatory.
  • Use digital platforms to constantly learn and evolve.
  • Ensure you have the business basics in place.

2. Discover Your Niche

professional writer niches
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Embarking on a freelance copywriting career mirrors the initiation of a business venture, particularly in the fiercely competitive digital arena.

Amidst a multitude of successful freelance copywriters, each showcasing their pinnacle works to allure potential clients and propel their ventures, the pursuit for distinction prevails. Yet, what if within you resides a unique, captivating essence that magnetically attracts audiences?

Consider an individual with a profound passion for technology, who, from a tender age, immersed themselves in a world of gadgets. This deep-rooted familiarity morphs into a unique niche, rendering their technical writing skills infused with authentic resonance.

Perhaps your narrative is colored by a wealth of travelogues from exhilarating backpacking escapades. Such cherished experiences could enliven your travel-centric pieces.

Crafting a niche transcends mere focus refinement; it’s about ensuring your voice resonates amidst the clamor. It’s about identifying that sweet spot where passion and prowess converge.

Delve into reflections of your past, your passions, and your strengths to unearth that exclusive domain where your narratives resonate the most.

In this boundless marketplace, the objective transcends mere assimilation; it’s about etching a bold imprint. So, has your niche revealed itself yet?

Copywriting business examples:

  • Writing copy for social media posts
  • Writing copy for blog post
  • Writing for content marketing
  • Writing advertising copy for the advertising industry
  • Writing video scripts
  • Persuasive writing for branding and website copy
  • Writing product descriptions
  • Writing instruction manuals
  • Writing high quality content for landing pages

Actionable Tips

  • Discover your niche based on personal strengths.
  • Use personal experiences to enhance authenticity.
  • Focus on specialization over generalization.
  • Reassess your niche as interests evolve.
  • Stay updated within your chosen niche.

3. Understand Your Target Market

in demand copywriter market
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In the nascent stages of a freelancing trajectory, it’s not uncommon to encounter moments of perplexity, pondering why certain segments of the copy remain discordant.

The revelation dawns—mere articulation isn’t the linchpin; the essence lies in forging a connection, resonating profoundly, reaching the very nucleus of the audience’s realm.

Here lies a nugget of insight: deciphering the nuances of your target market is akin to peeling layers of an enthralling enigma, with the prize being their captivated engagement.

Ever experienced that pulse-quickening moment when a detective unearths a pivotal clue, illuminating the crux of a mystifying case? That epitomizes the exhilaration enveloping the comprehension of your market.

It mandates a deep dive, transcending superficial layers to uncover not only the persona of your clientele but also their inherent aspirations, looming apprehensions, and towering ambitions.

So, what’s the route to this profound understanding? Don the hat of a sleuth. Acquaint yourself with potential clients, delve into the intricacies of their ventures.

Crafting Copy that Bridges Businesses to Consumers

Delve into the psyche of consumers. What musings occupy their twilight hours? What propels their choices? This information is your goldmine.

Equipped with such discernments, refine your lexicon, tone, and approach to reflect their sentiments, addressing their unspoken apprehensions.

Your copy then metamorphoses beyond mere textual matter; it burgeons into a dialogue, a response, a channel bridging enterprises with their clientele.

Though metrics and analytics serve as invaluable companions on this investigative voyage, permit your intuition to contribute its voice. For, woven into the fabric of impactful copy is the essence of human connection.

So, cultivate your inherent inquisitiveness, let genuine encounters brighten your trail, and mold expressions that not only convince but also elevate.

Actionable Tips

  • Research Thoroughly: Understand clients and their audience.
  • Adapt Your Tone: Match your language to resonate.
  • Engage Through Copy: Make words conversational.
  • Trust Your Gut: Combine data with instinct.
  • Inspire Action: Write to move, not just sell.

4. Craft Your Personal Brand

copywriter personal branding
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Upon embarking on this journey, a clear reality crystallized: the crucial role of establishing a strong personal brand. Just as every copywriting business harbors a distinctive voice, every freelance copywriter exhibits a unique flair in self-presentation.

In this vibrant freelance writers marketplace, it transcends merely crafting words; it entails carving an identity to your own business.

A brand extends beyond a logo or a catchy tagline. It’s the nucleus, the aura, the very heartbeat of your venture.

This identity manifests in your writing style, your communication tone, and even the visuals chosen for representation. It casts that critical first impression, either drawing prospective clients nearer or steering them afar.

But where does one initiate this expedition? There may be nights spent pondering over color palettes and emblem designs. A nugget of advice: begin with what resonates.

It could mean embracing a minimalist aesthetic paired with serene hues. Pinpoint your unique style, ensuring it’s consistently reflected across all assets, from business cards to your pivotal website.

Build Your Personal Portfolio

On the aspect of presentation, your portfolio holds supreme significance. Deem it the facade of your writing enterprise. Potential clients will peruse, assess your offerings, and decide their course of action.

Even if in the nascent stages your portfolio isn’t expansive, it can still showcase pieces crafted with zeal, tailored for a particular audience. The guiding principle? Quality over quantity, invariably.

Regularly rejuvenate your portfolio, stay attuned to the shifting milieu, and maintain a keen curiosity. Immerse in market research and continually fine-tune your brand to align with evolving client needs.

In this endeavor, recognize this: understanding your market and clients isn’t merely a strategy; it’s an artistry.

It revolves around genuine empathy, active engagement, and molding expressions that not only sell but also nurture relationships, inspire, and trigger transformations.

In the dynamic domain of freelance copywriting, your brand is more than an aesthetic emblem. It’s a narrative, uniquely yours. Rest assured, there’s an audience, eagerly awaiting your narrative.

Actionable Tips

  • Brand Yourself: Create a unique personal identity.
  • Prioritize Quality: Build a niche-specific portfolio.
  • Stay Updated: Refresh your portfolio regularly.
  • Understand Clients: Research their needs deeply.
  • Share Your Journey: Blend personal experiences into your brand.

5. Find Clients

finding multiple clients as a good copywriter
Image credits: Unsplash

Another pivotal aspect of freelance copywriting is the client acquisition. It may seem daunting, but it’s as much a part of the journey as it is an art in itself.

Success in this arena often pivots on three core elements: proactive networking, adept display of your skills, and a dash of fortuitous encounters.

There may be days when it unfolds with ease, almost becoming intuitive. However, on some days, it may pose as a complex puzzle. It’s imperative to ward off discouragement.

Here’s a piece of wisdom: never underestimate the power of your existing network. Could there be individuals within your circles who manage a local business? They might require your expertise. Or those online blogs you follow ardently?

They could potentially become your next client.

Platforms like LinkedIn serve as invaluable stages to exhibit your honed skills. Ensure your profile is meticulously crafted (keeping in mind the earlier discussed tips) and genuinely reflects your enthusiasm.

Upon garnering initial interest, it transitions to proposal stage. This document isn’t merely procedural; it’s your first impression, a digital handshake.

Customize it to resonate with your prospective client. Aim to make them feel recognized, understood, and valued. It’s not just about the services provided but the unique experience you offer.

Actionable Tips

  • Engage in proactive networking to broaden your connections with client’s business.
  • Showcase your skills through well-organized web pages portfolio.
  • Be open to unexpected opportunities from casual interactions.
  • Explore opportunities within your existing networks.
  • Start writing proposals to address potential clients’ specific needs.

6. Define freelance copywriting Rates

freelance copywriting Rates
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The pricing strategy of a freelance copywriter observed that numerous writers step into this domain, only to find themselves navigating the intimidating waters of rate determination. Indeed, it’s a formidable challenge, yet there are valuable insights to be gleaned.

Initially, setting your rate might resemble a tightrope walk. Aim too high, and potential clients could recoil. Aim too low, and there’s a risk of undervaluing your expertise. The optimum rate delicately balances between.

The starting point? Research. This isn’t about poring over every writer’s profile and website on LinkedIn. It’s more about understanding the prevailing rates within your locality.

Rates can exhibit variance across cities, regions, and countries, reflecting diverse market dynamics.

Following that, engage in introspection. What sets you apart in the expansive ocean of writers? Maybe you shine in drafting precise technical pieces, or your forte is weaving lifestyle narratives with a deep resonance.

Elements such as your experience, area of expertise, and even personal overheads play a role in determining your rate. Subsequently, the negotiation phase unfolds, where flexibility can be a valuable companion.

Actionable Tips

  • Research Local Rates: Check regional copywriter charges.
  • Balance Your Pricing: Avoid undervaluing or overpricing.
  • Identify Your Unique Value: Know your special expertise and particular sector.
  • Be Flexible in Negotiation: Every project varies.
  • Rates = Passion: Pricing reflects your dedication.

7. Expand Your freelance copywriting business

attending networking events
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The adage goes, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” To extend that thought: it’s also about who knows you. Every interaction, whether it’s a formal handshake or a casual conversation in a coffee shop with small businesses owners, carries a potential opportunity. But, where does one begin?

Ask for Referrals

Here’s a simplified approach. Had a positive experience working with a client? Solicit a referral from them for others who might be in need of your expertise.

A single referral can sometimes unfold into multiple new client engagements.

This forms a chain of trust, the worth of which is beyond measure. Always bear in mind, a satisfied client can be the gateway to new prospects. If your client aids in spreading the word, reciprocate with a gratitude discount.

Attend Networking Events

Recollections from the first networking event may evoke a cocktail of excitement and jitters. However, the authentic relationships established there are enduring.

Venture beyond the confines of your immediate industry during these events. A tech startups meet-up, for instance, could be a goldmine. Entrepreneurs and start-up founders, buzzing with innovative thoughts, often seek to hire freelance copywriters.

Take the plunge, introduce yourself, and let the rhythm of networking take over from there.

The domain of freelance copywriters is a vibrant and expansive one, rich with stories waiting to be narrated. It transcends a mere occupation—it embodies a community, a collective of individuals with a shared love for the power of words.

Actionable Tips

  • Embrace diverse freelance writer roles.
  • Nurture client relationships for referrals.
  • Attend varied networking events.
  • Offer thank-you discounts for loyalty.
  • Adapt to stay relevant in written content.

8. Bonus: SEO Copywriting

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Navigating the dynamic landscape of SEO copywriting can often mirror the experience of a freelance copywriter stepping into the digital domain.

Just as a personal brand is crucial in freelance copywriting, in SEO copywriting, the brand voice plays a pivotal role, resonating through the keywords and content strategies employed.

If you want to become a SEO copywriter, this introduces an additional layer of complexity—mastering the art and science of search engine optimization.

A tool like Semrush emerges as a valuable ally here. It provides a solid foundation for those venturing into SEO copywriting, offering a plethora of features to analyze and optimize website content for search engines.

From keyword research, site audit, to competitive analysis, Semrush equips SEO copywriters with actionable insights to enhance their content’s visibility and ranking on search engine results pages.

It’s not just about weaving persuasive narratives; it’s about ensuring these narratives are discoverable by the target audience.

As SEO copywriters delve into understanding their audience’s behavior and preferences, they also need to align their content with the algorithms of search engines.

The blend of creativity with strategy, akin to freelance copywriting, finds a more data-driven expression in SEO copywriter career.

Whether crafting compelling meta descriptions or engaging headlines, the objective remains to resonate with both readers and search engines.


What skills do you need to be a freelance copywriter?

Freelance copywriters write copy for startup founders, advertising agencies, and small businesses.

To excel as a freelance copywriter, you need strong writing, creativity, research, SEO, adaptability, attention to detail, and communication skills.

How much can freelance copywriters make?

Freelance copywriters can earn between $35,000 to over $100,000 annually, depending on experience, specialization, and project complexity. You can find more information by accessing one of the job boards and online copywriting platforms.

How can I start as a freelance copywriter?

Begin by writing samples and building a diverse copywriting freelancer portfolio, establishing an online presence, networking, setting competitive rates, marketing yourself, and delivering high-quality work.

How does a copywriter get paid?

Freelance copywriters receive payments through various methods like hourly rates, per-word fees, project-based charges, or invoices, often facilitated by secure online platforms.

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Executive Summary

Embarking on a freelance copywriter or SEO copywriting journey unfolds a realm of opportunities and challenges.

At the heart of both ventures lies the essence of connecting with the audience through compelling narratives, yet the methodologies diverge as we delve deeper into the technicalities of SEO.

From establishing a robust personal brand to mastering client acquisition, the journey requires a harmonious blend of creativity, strategy, and proactive networking.

The transition to SEO copywriting further underscores the importance of aligning content strategies with search engine algorithms to enhance visibility and engagement.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, staying adept with SEO practices and fostering genuine connections within the industry will continue to be the cornerstone of success in both freelance and SEO copywriting endeavors.

The narrative of every copywriting expert, regardless of their specialization, is a testament to the power of words in bridging businesses with their audience, making a lasting impact in the digital narrative.

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