How to Rock It as a Freelance Copywriter (& Ditch Your 9-5)
Are you fed up with your mundane, 9-5 job? If you’re like most people, you wish you had more freedom and flexibility in your schedule.
Well, it’s time for you to enter the exciting world of freelance copywriting. It could just be your golden ticket to escaping the office grind.
Just imagine waking up to the cozy aroma of a coffee shop or the soothing sound of crashing waves, with your laptop open and words flowing freely. This could be your new workday, filled with inspiration and excitement.
Many people dream of breaking free from the 9-5 routine and working for themselves. With the right strategies and a dash of determination, you can turn your talent for creating captivating content into cold hard cash.
So, are you ready to trade in that swivel chair for a hammock on the beach?
What is a Freelance Copywriter?
A freelance copywriter is an independent professional who crafts compelling content designed to promote a product, a service, or a brand.
These skilled wordsmiths generate a diverse range of content, from catchy ad headlines and persuasive sales emails to compelling blog posts and engaging social media content.
As a freelancer, a copywriter isn’t bound by a typical 9-5 schedule or office environment.
They work on a project-by-project basis for multiple clients, offering flexibility in both workload and work location.
As for pay?
Rates for freelance copywriters vary greatly depending on factors like experience, expertise, and project scope, but beginners could expect somewhere around $20-$50 per hour, with established writers earning $100 per hour or more.
12 Hacks That’ll Help You Become a Freelance Copywriter in 2023 (& Beyond)
Whether you’re a beginner just dipping your toes in or a seasoned writer looking to level up, these actionable tips are your stepping stones to a flourishing freelance career.
Shall we begin?
1. Develop a Niche & Become an Expert
We’ve all heard the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” In the world of freelance copywriting, it’s never been more true.
Writing about everything for everyone might seem appealing to attract more gigs, but having a niche can be a game-changer.
Here’s the deal: you can either be a small fish in a big pond or the big fish in a smaller pond.
Having a niche not only sets you apart from the crowd, but it also positions you as an expert.
If you love technology and have a knack for explaining complex concepts in simple terms, tech writing might be your niche. Alternatively, if you’re passionate about sustainable living, why not carve out a space in environmental copywriting?
Write a compelling blog post about your niche and share it. This will not only attract the right clients but also establish you as an authority in your chosen field.
2. Build Your Portfolio by Showcasing Your Brilliance
Think of your portfolio as a haute couture fashion show, where each piece is a meticulously crafted work of art that showcases your exceptional writing skills.
When presenting your portfolio, you’re not just displaying work samples; you’re demonstrating to potential clients why they should choose you.
Remember, you don’t need hundreds of samples to impress. Sometimes, less is more.
Choose your best work — pieces that not only demonstrate your writing prowess but also reflect your unique voice.
Keep in mind that your portfolio is a dynamic showcase that evolves over time. If you feel there’s a gap, take an hour today to write a new piece, perhaps exploring a genre you’ve never tried before.
Show potential clients that you’re not just a writer, but a versatile wordsmith.
3. Set Your Rates
As a freelance copywriter, it’s essential to know your worth and charge accordingly.
Setting rates is an art, and many freelancers undervalue themselves. Charging too little can leave you with a workload that doesn’t match the payoff, while charging too much might scare off potential clients.
So, how do you tackle this conundrum?
Use online rate calculators, check out what other freelancers in your field are charging, or even conduct a mini market survey. Remember, your rate isn’t just for the words you produce; it’s for your expertise, time, research, and unique flair. Don’t underestimate the value you bring to the table.
Spend an hour today setting competitive rates that fairly reflect your skill and effort.
4. Establish an Online Presence
If you’re a freelance copywriter and you’re not making waves online, you’re missing out big time.
Even if you craft stellar content, without a strong online presence, you’re like a star shining in a void.
Consider setting up a website to showcase your portfolio. Don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy — platforms like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace make it a breeze to create a professional-looking website.
Don’t forget about LinkedIn — it’s a goldmine for networking and finding freelance gigs.
If you’re active on Twitter or Instagram, use them to your advantage. Share snippets of your work, engage with other writers and potential clients.
And most importantly, leverage the power of SEO.
Craft your web content carefully to ensure that your portfolio pops up when clients search for writers. After all, what’s the point of having a flashy billboard if no one can see it?
5. Start Networking
Networking might sound like a buzzword, but in the freelance world, it’s your key to the hidden job market.
Did you know that many freelance gigs are filled even before they’re advertised? That’s where networking comes in.
Connect with fellow writers, join online communities, and don’t shy away from putting yourself out there. Reach out to past clients and check if they have more work or know someone who does.
Spend an hour a week networking, both online and offline. Remember, every contact could potentially lead to a gig.
So put on your networking hat and start making those connections. You never know where your next big project might come from.
6. Pitch Like a Pro
So, you’ve crafted a stellar portfolio and honed your skills, but the gigs aren’t pouring in? It’s time to polish your pitching game.
Your pitch is your first impression, your foot in the door. Make it count.
Tailor each pitch to the potential client — no copy-pasting!
Understand their needs and show them how your skills can solve their problems. Don’t just tell them you’re good; show them with your previous work.
Take an hour today to craft and send personalized pitches to potential clients. Remember, your pitch is not just a request for work. It’s a showcase of your skills, passion, and commitment.
7. Manage Your Time
Time is a freelancer’s currency, and managing it wisely is the key to success.
As a freelance copywriter, you’re likely juggling multiple projects at once, and without a good system, chaos can ensue.
Enter time management tools.
Break down your day into focused chunks — research, writing, pitching, networking — and don’t forget to set aside time for breaks.
Mastering time management not only keeps your clients happy but also preserves your sanity.
Doesn’t that sound like a superpower you’d want?
8. Learn to Say No
In the race to build a successful freelance career, it’s easy to say yes to everything that comes your way.
But here’s the hard truth: not all gigs are worth your time.
Learning to say no is a powerful skill. It’s about respecting your time, your worth, and your sanity.
Don’t stretch yourself thin with low-paying jobs or projects that don’t align with your goals. Prioritize gigs that pay well, add value to your portfolio, and bring you satisfaction.
Remember, as a freelance copywriter, you’re the boss. You get to call the shots!
9. Embrace Continuous Learning
In the ever-evolving world of freelance copywriting, complacency leads to stagnation. Your ability to stay relevant and in demand depends on your eagerness to learn.
Stay informed about industry trends and know what’s hot and what’s not.
Explore new writing styles, try different content types, and enroll in online courses or attend webinars.
Make learning a constant part of your routine. It not only adds to your skill set but also makes you more appealing to potential clients.
The best freelance copywriters are those who are willing to learn and adapt.
10. Take Care of Yourself
Remember the phrase, “You can’t pour from an empty cup?” Well, it applies to freelance copywriting too. Writing is not just about filling pages — it’s a creative endeavor that requires a healthy mind and body.
Schedule breaks, make time for exercise, pursue hobbies, and spend time with loved ones.
Strive for a balanced life. Don’t let work consume you to the point of burnout, as it will deplete your ideas and creativity.
So go ahead, take a walk in the park, read a book, or simply relax with a cup of tea.
A well-rested mind is a creative mind.
11. Embrace Rejection
Here’s a reality check — rejection is inevitable as a freelance copywriter.
Whether it’s a rejected pitch or harsh feedback on your work, it can sting. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.
View rejection as a stepping stone to success. Learn from it, use the feedback to improve your work, and move forward. Every rejection brings you one step closer to success.
Remember, every successful freelancer has faced rejections. Don’t let them deter you. Dust yourself off, take a deep breath, and get back in the game.
You’re made of tougher stuff.
12. Pace Yourself
It’s unlikely you’ll go from zero to six figures in six months.
Building a freelance career takes time and effort. Not to mention more than a little patience.
Freelancing is a business, and like any other business, it takes time to see success and results. Don’t get distracted by stories of freelancers who made it big in a short period of time.
You have no idea how much time they put in behind the scenes, or how much of a headache that “big” client was.
Slow and steady wins the race, as they say.
You can create a new future for yourself through freelancing. And if you start now and work at it every day, it will happen faster than you think.
Time to Break Free from the 9-5
We understand that breaking free from the 9-5 routine and becoming a freelance copywriter feels like jumping into the unknown. It can be scary, but oh so exhilarating.
Remember, you’re not just chasing a paycheck; you’re pursuing freedom, flexibility, and the satisfaction of calling the shots. It will take time, but there’s no better time than now to start.
So take that leap, spread those wings, and fly. The world of freelance copywriting awaits.