If you can skillfully write copy, you can make money by providing a valuable service many businesses need. Copywriters write articles, advertisements, emails, and other marketing materials for companies. Through informative, thoughtful, persuasive, or humorous copy, this role helps drive attention and traffic to a brand’s products or services.
Copywriting is an essential aspect of a company’s content marketing strategy. By networking and developing the right skill set, copywriters can earn thousands of dollars a month as freelancers or employees for brands and agencies.
What does a copywriter do?
A copywriter is a professional writer whose words help sell or promote a product, service, or brand. A copywriter creates concise and clear text for advertising and marketing materials, including blog posts, press releases, sales pages, social media posts, emails, and video scripts.
Copywriters are responsible for generating compelling written content that informs readers and directs them toward a specific action, like making a purchase or signing up for a subscription. This role works alongside marketing agencies, corporations, and small businesses to write copy that draws attention and connects with a company’s target audience.
Along with writing duties, copywriters collaborate with managers and clients on deadlines and revise drafts based on editorial feedback. Copywriters familiarize themselves with a company’s brand voice, tone, and values, and employ them across multiple channels to create content that is cohesive.
Key skills for successful copywriting
Here are some of the key skills copywriters use to create compelling copy that engages readers:
Writing skills are essential for writing copy that resonates with readers. Clear, concise, and persuasive language can drive readers toward a desired action like downloading an app or clicking through to a brand’s landing page. For example, if a copywriter can create effective headlines for a newsletter, it can lead to a reader opening an email.
Successful copywriters direct their reader’s attention toward the benefits of a particular product or service. Additionally, they often shift among writing styles to align with different companies’ brand voices.
Skilled copywriters communicate effectively with their writing as well as through phone conversations, emails, and meetings. Communication skills are necessary when interacting with clients, coworkers, managers, and editors about content, deadlines, and revisions so projects remain on track.
Copywriters use search engine optimization (SEO) to help brands improve their website ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO involves writing appealing headlines and meta descriptions, as well as organically integrating keywords within the copy. As brands vie for space on the first page of search engines, a natural writing style that focuses on answering a reader’s query can improve a company’s standing on Google.
Copywriters who take the time to understand marketing strategies can gain insights into how a customer thinks. By looking at a client’s target audience, unique value proposition (UVP), and brand voice, they can create content that speaks to a reader and aligns with a company’s goals.
How to make money copywriting
There are a few routes for aspiring copywriters:
Companies hire in-house copywriters to create written content for their brands. An in-house copywriter works within internal marketing, SEO, or sales departments to develop and implement content strategies for advertising materials, website content, social media posts, sales pages, and other forms of branded content like scripts for videos.
Some copywriters earn money working with marketing, branding, and advertising agencies. These agencies source clients, manage the editorial process and project pipelines, and hire writers to create written content for their clients. Depending on the agency, you can get a job as an employee or a freelance contractor.
Agency copywriters focus on a variety of copywriting jobs depending on the specialization of the agency and the requirements of their clients. For example, a marketing agency offering email copywriting services will have different needs than a branding agency focused on helping companies define and develop their brand story.
Freelance copywriters work as contractors for clients who hire them to write a wide range of content, including case studies, blog posts, and newsletters. Freelance copywriting is more flexible than agency or in-house copywriting but offers less stability and structure. Freelancers must find clients, manage invoices and taxes, and deliver quality work where they can find it.
A freelance copywriter can earn anywhere from a few hundred dollars a month to well over six figures a year, depending on the quantity and quality of their copywriting clients. Unlike agency and in-house copywriting positions, a freelance writer is responsible for generating leads and applying diligently to freelance copywriting gigs.
Here are a few possible assignments that a copywriter—whether working in-house or freelance—might take on:
Articles and blog posts
Copywriters create blog posts and articles to increase organic traffic for brands with informational written content that offers readers valuable insights. Article and blog post writing requires an understanding of SEO and an ability to intake and recontextualize information in original and engaging ways.
Freelance writing roles and in-house copywriters alike focus on website copy, working on various types of landing pages, including home pages, About pages, and product pages.
Sales copy includes original content for sales letters (a persuasive pitch to customers), ad copy, promotional offers, discounts, product announcements, and loyalty programs. Copywriters who specialize in this type of content write advertising copy that inspires readers to take an action like purchasing a new product or signing up for a subscription service.
Social media posts
Companies hire copywriters to create social media content that engages their audience on platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. You likely won’t write the same copy on one platform as on another.
For example, a shoe company might ask for quippy, short posts on X (previously Twitter) about the difficulty of finding knee-high boots with enough calf space or breaking in new pumps. However, on LinkedIn, a platform geared to professionals, the same company might ask for longer posts that weigh in on industry news or recount how it sources materials.
Large corporations and small businesses alike use email marketing campaigns to reach their audience with newsletters, automated email sequences that re-engage shoppers, and invitations to customer surveys. With email marketing revenue estimated to reach nearly 18 billion worldwide by 2027, creating email content for brands is a promising avenue for copywriters to pursue.
Technical writing involves communicating information about specialized topics in the form of documents like employee handbooks, user manuals, and business plans. The audience can be average users or highly specialized workers.
Technical writers need to be detail-oriented and must understand complex problems and communicate them to audiences in simple, clear language. Depending on the role, they may also be subject matter experts on the topic on which they are writing.
Tips for success in copywriting
Follow these tips as you develop your career as a copywriter:
Lean into networking
When it comes to working with brands, agencies, and clients, networking is one of the most important areas on which to focus, especially at the early stages of your copywriting career.
Join online forums and social media groups relevant to your industry. Meet up with expert copywriters and learn as much as you can about their experience creating content for paying clients. Reach out to local businesses and offer to write content to build your initial sample portfolio.
Send emails to relevant copywriters, content creators, and brands in your industry with an offer to write a guest blog for their website. Keep your eye on job boards and explore freelance marketplaces for entry-level copywriting projects.
As you get more experience, track the outcomes of your copywriting services. Aspiring copywriters should assemble a collection of compelling writing samples that highlight how clients have benefitted from their services, ideally with metrics like click-through rates, social media shares, and conversion rates for sales or subscriptions.
These kinds of action-driven metrics are a great way to earn a high-quality reputation, especially when paired with more personal testimonials from clients who have had a positive experience with your work. Showing these positive outcomes can give you the social proof you need to attract more potential clients searching for skilled copywriters.
Be patient and practice often
It can take time to start earning money copywriting. Continue developing your copywriting skills while searching for your first clients. Practice writing as much as possible, even if you’re only creating content for your own website, newsletter, or channel.
Proofread your work, and consider reading it out loud. Stay open to feedback from your editors, managers, and clients; your copywriting skills can only improve from the editorial process.
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How to make money copywriting FAQ
Can you really make money copywriting?
Yes, you can make money copywriting if you take the time to learn the skills necessary and make connections with brands, sales teams, marketers, managers, and clients who can offer you copywriting work.
How do I become a paid copywriter?
There are several ways to become a paid copywriter, including starting at an entry-level position in a marketing or advertising agency, networking with potential clients and managers in your industry, and accruing a portfolio of writing samples.
How do beginners start copywriting?
Beginners can start by offering copywriting services to local businesses until they amass a solid portfolio of writing samples that have performed well for clients. Consider learning the basics of search engine optimization and apply those skills to your website to attract new potential leads.