So you want to become a freelance content copywriter…

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Well, good on you, for a start, and welcome to the world of freelance copywriting; a job where you can work as much or as little as you like, wherever you like, so long as you have a computer and an internet connection to hand. It’s a strange little world that us copywriters live in; one where you develop a community of friends/associates locally, nationally and internationally, who you never actually meet. Nevertheless, this strange little world suits most of us down to the ground and can be hugely rewarding. Not only can you be your own boss, you can fit the work around family commitments, you never have to deal with rush hour traffic again, and (I like this one best) you don’t have to answer to anyone!

Current demand

 The big question before embarking on a freelance career is how much work is available for the taking? Well, I’m pleased to say that demand for high quality, original content could not be greater right now as more and more businesses take advantage of online platforms to reach and engage with their target audience. Not only do web visitors like to see fresh content, Google also rewards regularly updated websites with higher rankings, so for businesses the generation of unique content on a regular basis is a no brainer.

Skills

 To become a successful freelance content copywriter, it goes without saying that your writing ability must be pretty awesome. However, to stand out from the crowd the best content writers are often those who are knowledgeable and skilled in other areas such as coding, SEO writing and social media marketing. With a broader range of skills, writers can take advantage of greater opportunities.

Self-motivation is also crucial for this line of work. It’s all too easy (and I talk from experience) to open the door to a neighbour for a chinwag, make a cup of tea, have a quick look on Facebook, ring your nan, make an appointment with the dentist…you catch my drift.  

 Finding work

 This can be tricky to begin with, however, websites that bring jobs together in one place, like Odesk, Elance, Guru and Peopleperhour, are a great place to start. With these websites you can browse, bid and apply for jobs that you are interested in and start building your confidence and credibility as a freelance writer.

You can also target magazines, newspapers and other publications directly with your pitches. Remember to keep pitches short and sweet for the best chance of response. If you hit a stumbling block, remember that persistence is key. Your good ideas will eventually get noticed and once you’ve got your foot in the door, chances are it will open wider.

Market yourself

 Think about creating a business website and/or blog to showcase your services and examples of your work. By marketing yourself online and creating a strong web presence, potential clients can find you, rather than you having to find them.

Another way of showcasing your work is to create an online portfolio. There’s a really cool website called Carbonmade which allows you to create multiple portfolios online for a small monthly fee. Genius idea! With various themes and tools to work with you can create portfolios to suit your style. Once you have created your portfolio/s you can direct potential clients to the appropriate one. Take a look at these examples for inspiration: https://carbonmade.com/examples/copywriters

Final thought

Speaking from experience I can say that freelance content copywriting is a satisfying career. When I set out some years back, I had a clear objective which was to be able to work from home where I could drink lots of tea and earn money while raising a family (I’m quite a simple being). I’m pleased to say this objective has been met in all areas. High five! With the right determination you too can earn a decent living and enjoy a great work/life balance. Good luck!