Becoming a freelance copywriter is one of the best decisions any skilled writer can ever make. The only problem is that most people choose this path for the wrong reasons – some are searching for freedom or dream of making more money without much effort. While it's true that you get more independence as a freelance copywriter, note that clients you will be working for have deadlines to make as well. The more time you dedicate to writing, the more money you make. Therefore, if you quit your 8-5 job just because you don’t like working “long hours”, you are in for a shock because now you will be paid strictly based on the quantity and quality of content you're able to churn out.
If you have resolved to pursue a career as a freelance copywriter, consider the following tips.
Carve out a niche.
Doing something you love can be rewarding because you will be more motivated to keep doing it. Copywriting has a number of diverse specializations, and most clients look for experts in specific fields. Writers who are knowledgeable in a specific field make for good candidates if they know how to find the right client. Technical subjects require experts with an in-depth understanding of the subject matter to craft the best copy. Don’t go about chasing every topic under the sun because you risk getting lost along the way. If you love sports, chase that dream and turn your passion into good content. The same applies to lawyers interested in copywriting; look for jobs that require copy related to your field.
Prepare a portfolio.
Writers without the dedication will have very slim chances of making it as a freelance writer. The competition is stiff and employers can be very specific. Note that there are many wannabe copywriters who won’t mind giving their last drop of blood for a project, even if they have no idea how to go about it. To make you stand out from the crowd, take the time to prepare a rich portfolio. Take screenshots of your previous work and share them on your profile. If you are truly serious about becoming an online copywriter, you must present some evidence of your writing capabilities. If you currently don’t own a blog, then maybe you should start developing one.
Know what your work is worth.
One of the toughest decisions to make as a freelance copywriter is service pricing. It is much more difficult if you are chasing clients on bidding sites where it seems like the lowest bidder always wins. To effectively price your work, take time to compare market rates, join copywriting forums and asks online communities about how other freelancers charge for their work. Employers are willing to pay an amount that is commensurate with the quality of work, so make sure you provide value for money.
Never stop reading.
Copywriters don’t just write. They assemble copy. To become a successful writer, you must be an ardent reader. You can polish your skills if you keep reading and comparing yourself against the industry’s best copywriters. Is there an advert that leaves you grinning whenever it plays on television? Do you like any advert on magazines or newspapers? Have you read Web content and felt like someone really nailed the copy and effectively drove the message home? If you want to be the best, read what good copywriters have put out and try to analyze what made them good.
Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work for a day in your life.” If you really love playing around with words, then you should strive to perfect your craft.