Freelance Copywriter: A Step By Step Guide To A Successful Career

freelance copywriter

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Enjoy copywriting? Want to make at least $100,000 with it yearly? Here’s a quick glance at how much money the average freelance copywriter is making in 2023.

Freelance Copywriter Salary

Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$146,000$12,166
75th Percentile$132,000$11,000
25th Percentile$57,000$4,750

The table above (taken off ZipRecruiter) shows what a copywriter can make as recent as July 2023, in the USA. 

The demand for skilled copywriters is growing, and there are plenty of opportunities to make a living as a freelancer in this field. More and more business owners are looking to hire and have an SEO copywriter manage their web pages and help their businesses rank in search engine results.

But why freelance?

As a freelance copywriter, you’ll have the flexibility to work from anywhere, choose your clients and projects, and set your own rates. You get to be your own boss. 

How do you get started?

First, you’ll need to develop your writing skills and learn how to write effective copy that sells. You can take courses online or in-person to learn the basics of copywriting, or you can learn on the job by taking on small writing projects and building your portfolio.

Once you have some writing experience under your belt, you can start looking for freelance copywriting jobs. There are plenty of online platforms where you can find work, such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. You can also reach out to businesses and individuals in your network to see if they need any copywriting services. With persistence and hard work, you can build a successful career as a freelance copywriter in 2023 and beyond.

Let’s go more in-depth into every step.

What Is Freelance Copywriting

a lady on her laptop

If you’re interested in becoming a freelance copywriter, it’s important to understand what it is and what it entails. In this section, we’ll define freelance copywriting, discuss the different types of copywriting, and outline the roles and responsibilities of a freelance copywriter.

Definition of Freelance Copywriting

Freelance copywriting is the act of writing content or copy for businesses and organizations on a contract basis. As a freelance copywriter, you’ll work independently and set your own hours and rates. You may work on a variety of projects, from writing sales pages and emails to creating social media posts and case studies.

Related: Sample of freelance writing contract

Types of Copywriting

There are many different types of copywriting, each with its own unique focus and purpose. Some of the most common types of copywriting include:

  • Direct response copywriting: This type of copywriting is designed to elicit a specific response from the reader, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
  • SEO copywriting: SEO copywriting involves writing content that is optimized for search engines, with the goal of improving a website’s search engine rankings.
  • Content marketing copywriting: Content marketing means creating valuable content that is designed to attract and engage a specific audience. As a content marketing copywriter, you’ll create blog posts, articles, and other types of content that are designed to educate, inform, and entertain your target audience.
  • Brand copywriting: Brand copywriting involves creating content that reflects a brand’s unique voice and personality. This can include writing taglines, slogans, and other types of brand messaging.
  • Email marketing: Email marketing can be an extremely lucrative career if you are able to churn out great email copy, increase open rates and click-through rates for your clients, as well as launch successfully, and meet sales targets purely via email copywriting.

Roles and Responsibilities

As a freelance copywriter, your primary responsibility is to create high-quality content that meets the needs of your clients. This may involve conducting research, writing copy, editing and revising content, and working closely with clients to ensure that their needs are met.

Other responsibilities of a freelance copywriter may include:

  • Managing projects and deadlines
  • Conducting keyword research and optimizing content for search engines
  • Collaborating with other writers and designers
  • Staying up-to-date with industry trends and best practices

In summary, freelance copywriting is a flexible and rewarding career path for those who love writing and enjoy working independently. With a solid understanding of the different types of copywriting and the roles and responsibilities of a freelance copywriter, you’ll be well-equipped to start your own freelance copywriting business and begin writing content that helps businesses succeed.

Starting Your Freelance Copywriting Career

freelance copywriter: a laptop on a table

If you’re interested in becoming a freelance copywriter, there are a few things you need to do to get started. In this section, we’ll cover the first steps you should take, how to build a portfolio of work, and how to identify potential clients.

First Steps

The first step in starting your freelance copywriting career is to determine your starting point. This means figuring out what kind of copywriting you want to do, what your niche is, and what kind of clients you want to work with. Once you’ve figured out your starting point, you can begin building your portfolio.

To get started, you’ll need to create a website or online portfolio that showcases your writing skills. You can also create a LinkedIn profile or social media accounts to connect with potential clients. Make sure to include samples of your work, your rates, and any other relevant information that can help clients understand what you do.

Building a Portfolio

Building a portfolio of work is essential for any freelance copywriter. Your portfolio should showcase your best work and demonstrate your ability to write compelling copy that engages readers. You can include blog posts, articles, sales pages, and other types of copy that demonstrate your skills. Share writing samples that reflect your unique writing style and how you can use them to match a company’s branding.

Make sure to organize your portfolio in a way that is easy to navigate and visually appealing. You can use tables, bullet points, and bold text to highlight your strengths and make your portfolio stand out.

Identifying Potential Clients

Once you have a portfolio of work, it’s time to start identifying potential clients. You can start by reaching out to friends and family members who may need copywriting services. You can also join online communities and forums where potential clients may be looking for copywriters.

When identifying specific clients, it’s important to do your research. Look for companies that align with your values and interests, and make sure to tailor your pitch to their specific needs. You can also reach out to companies that may not be actively looking for a good copywriter but could benefit from your services.

By following these steps, you can start your freelance copywriting career and begin building a successful business. Remember to be patient and persistent, and always strive to improve your skills and grow your portfolio.

Related: Hourly rates for graphic designers

Skills and Qualifications A Freelance Copywriter Needs To Have

As a freelance copywriter, there are several skills and qualifications that you need to possess to be successful in your career. This section will cover the educational background, essential skills, and ideal skills that a freelance copywriter should have.

Educational Background

While a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, or communications can be beneficial, it is not always necessary to have these to become a freelance copywriter. However, having a degree in a related field can help you develop the writing skills and knowledge needed to excel in this field.

Essential Skills

As a freelance copywriter, you must possess essential skills to produce quality work that meets your clients’ expectations and targets your readers effectively. Here are some essential skills that every freelance copywriter should have:

  • Writing skills: The first thing is to have excellent writing skills, including grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Your writing should be clear, concise, and persuasive.
  • Research skills: You must be able to conduct research on the topic you are writing about to ensure that your content is accurate and up-to-date.
  • SEO skills: You should have a basic understanding of search engine optimization to write content that is optimized for search engines.
  • Sales skills: As a copywriter, your job is to persuade your readers to take action. You must have a good understanding of the sales process and be able to write content and create landing pages that drive conversions.

Ideal Skills

In addition to the essential skills, there are some ideal skills that can help you stand out as a freelance copywriter. Here are some ideal skills that you should aim to develop:

  • Professional writing experience: If you have experience as a professional writer, whether it’s in journalism, advertising, or marketing, it can help you develop your skills and build your portfolio.
  • Creative direction skills: If you have experience in creative direction, it can help you understand how to create content that aligns with a brand’s voice and vision.
  • Technical writing skills: Being experienced in technical writing can help you write content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand, helping you charge more seeing as you have an extra skillset as a technical writer.
  • Software skills: A good freelance copywriter should be comfortable with basic internet tools such as Microsoft Word, Google Suite, and more.

In conclusion, to be a successful freelance copywriter, you need to have a combination of essential and ideal skills. While a degree in a related field is not always necessary, it can help you develop the skills and knowledge needed to excel in this field.

Marketing Yourself as a Freelance Copywriter

As a freelance copywriter, marketing yourself is crucial to attracting new clients and growing your business. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Building an Online Presence

Having an online presence is essential for any freelance writer. It allows you to showcase your work and make it easier for potential clients to find you. Here are some ways to build your online presence:

  • Create a website: Your website should showcase your portfolio, services, and contact information. Make sure it’s easy to navigate and visually appealing.
  • Start a blog: Blogging is a great way to showcase your writing skills and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Write about topics that potential clients might be interested in. Get this free course on how to start a blog!
  • Use social media: Social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram can help you connect with potential clients and showcase your work. Make sure your profiles are professional and up-to-date. Learn how to get seen on Pinterest here.

Networking with Other Professionals

Networking with other professionals is a great way to find new clients and build relationships with other writers. Here are some ways to network:

  • Attend industry events: Attend conferences, seminars, and other events related to your field. This is a great way to meet other professionals and learn about new opportunities.
  • Join professional organizations: Joining a professional organization can help you connect with other writers and stay up-to-date on industry news and trends.
  • Reach out to other writers: Reach out to other writers in your field and ask if they’d be interested in collaborating on a project or sharing leads.

Reaching Out to New Clients

Reaching out to new clients is essential for growing your business. Here are some ways to reach out:

  • Cold emailing: Reach out to potential clients via email. Make sure your email is personalized and shows that you’ve done your research on their business.
  • Offer a free consultation or audit: Offer a free consultation to potential clients. This is a great way to showcase your skills and build a relationship with a potential client.
  • Use job boards: Making use of numerous job boards like Upwork and Freelancer is a good idea and can help you find new clients. Make sure you tailor your proposals to each job posting. For a full list of over 30 job boards, check out this article.

By building an online presence, networking with other professionals, and reaching out to new clients, you can successfully market yourself as a freelance copywriter.

Running a Freelance Copywriting Business

freelance copywriter: a lady on a  beach with her laptop and phone

As a freelance copywriter, you have the freedom to set your own rates, manage your own schedule, and work on big projects that interest you. However, with this freedom comes the responsibility of running your own business. In this section, we’ll discuss some key aspects of running a successful freelance copywriting business.

Setting Your Rates

One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a freelance copywriter is how much to charge for your services. Rates can vary widely depending on your level of experience, the type of project, and the industry you’re working in. To help you determine your rates, consider creating a table that outlines your rates based on your skills and experience level. Here is a table reflecting the average freelance copywriter salary ranges for reference.

Skill LevelHourly Rate
Entry-Level$25 – $50
Intermediate$50 – $75
Expert$75 – $150

Of course, these rates are just a starting point. You may need to adjust your rates based on the specific project, the client’s budget, and your own needs. It’s important to be transparent with clients about your rates upfront so there are no surprises later on.

Related: Use this free calculator to determine your hourly rates and salary range.

Managing Your Schedule

One of the biggest advantages of being a freelance copywriter is the ability to manage your own schedule. However, it’s important to be disciplined and organized to ensure that you’re meeting deadlines and delivering high-quality work. Consider using a project management tool like Asana or Trello to keep track of your projects and deadlines. This can help you stay on top of your workload and avoid overbooking yourself.

Another important aspect of managing your schedule is setting boundaries with clients. It’s important to communicate your availability and preferred methods of communication upfront to avoid any misunderstandings. For example, you may want to let clients know that you don’t work on weekends or that you prefer to communicate via email rather than phone.

Handling Big Projects

As a freelance copywriter, you may have the opportunity to work on big projects that require a lot of time and effort. While these projects (such as big marketing campaigns and email campaigns) can be lucrative, they can also be overwhelming if you’re not prepared. To handle big projects effectively, consider breaking them down into smaller tasks and setting deadlines for each one. This can help you stay on track and avoid getting overwhelmed. These are all parts of business skills every freelancer should have to keep their career growing.

Another important aspect of handling big projects is managing client expectations. Be honest with clients about how long the project will take and what the deliverables will be. It’s better to underpromise and overdeliver than the other way around. Additionally, consider setting up regular check-ins with clients to keep them updated on your progress and address any concerns they may have.

In conclusion, running a successful freelance copywriting business requires a combination of skills, including setting your rates, managing your schedule, and handling big projects. By staying organized, communicating effectively with clients, and delivering high-quality work, you can build a successful freelance career on a project-by-project basis.

Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Being a freelance copywriter comes with its own set of challenges. However, with a little bit of effort and the right mindset, you can overcome these challenges and succeed in your career.

Dealing with Dry Spells

One of the biggest challenges you may face as a freelance copywriter is dealing with that dreaded dry spell. These are periods of time when you don’t have any work coming in. It’s important to remember that this is a normal part of freelancing and happens to everyone. Here are some ways you can deal with dry spells:

  • Plan ahead: Always have a backup plan in place. This could be anything from having some money saved up to taking on a part-time job to keep yourself afloat during lean times.
  • Network: Stay in touch with your contacts and let them know you’re available for work. Attend industry events and conferences to meet new people and expand your network.
  • Market yourself: Keep your portfolio up-to-date and showcase your work on social media platforms. Consider running ads or reaching out to potential clients directly.

Maintaining Work-Life Balance

As a freelance copywriter, it can be easy to fall into the trap of working long hours. However, it’s important to maintain a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout. Here are some tips to help you maintain balance:

  • Set boundaries: Create a schedule and stick to it. Set specific work hours and avoid working outside of those hours.
  • Take breaks: Take regular breaks throughout the day to stretch, go for a walk, or do something else that helps you relax and recharge.
  • Prioritize self-care: Make time for exercise, hobbies, and spending time with loved ones. Remember that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your work. It is very easy to forget to care for yourself, eat on time, exercise on time, and sleep on time when you’re rushing work and trying to make more money.

Staying Updated with Industry Trends

The advertising industry and digital media are constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. Here are some ways you can stay informed:

  • Read industry publications: Subscribe to industry publications and blogs to stay informed about the latest trends and news.
  • Attend conferences: Attend industry conferences and events to learn from experts and connect with other professionals.
  • Take courses: Consider taking online courses or attending workshops to learn new skills and stay current with industry trends.

Remember, challenges are a normal part of freelancing. By staying proactive and taking steps to overcome these challenges, you can build a successful career as a freelance copywriter.

The Future of Freelance Copywriting and AI

freelance copywriter: AI writing tool Koala

As a freelance copywriter, you must stay up-to-date with emerging trends and opportunities in the digital age. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, it’s natural to wonder about the future of freelance copywriting. In this section, we’ll explore the role of AI tools in copywriting and what it means for your freelance copywriting career in 2023.

Emerging Trends

AI tools are becoming increasingly popular in the world of copywriting. These tools can help you generate headlines, write product descriptions, and even create entire articles. While AI tools can save you time and effort, they are not a replacement for human creativity and intuition. As a successful copywriting business, you must learn to use AI tools to your advantage while still maintaining your unique voice and perspective.

Your ability to utilize and have a deep understanding of AI is a good thing and will put you in the right place, at the right time. Check out the best AI copywriting tools (free and paid) that you can use to level up your writing skills.

Opportunities in the Digital Age

The digital age has created new opportunities for freelance copywriters. With the rise of e-commerce and online marketing, there is a growing demand for high-quality copywriting. As a freelance copywriter, you can take advantage of these opportunities by specializing in a particular niche or industry. For example, you could focus on writing copy for tech startups or fashion brands.

Freelance Copywriting in 2023

As we approach August 2023, the role of AI tools in copywriting will continue to evolve. While AI tools can help you generate ideas and streamline your workflow, they cannot replace the human touch. As a freelance copywriter, your job is to create compelling content that resonates with your audience. To do this, you must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies while still maintaining your unique perspective.

In short, the future of freelance copywriting and AI is an exciting and ever-evolving landscape. As a freelance copywriter, you must learn to use AI tools to your advantage while still maintaining your unique voice and perspective. By staying up-to-date with emerging trends and opportunities in the digital age, you can build a successful copywriting business that thrives in 2023 and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

lady outdoors on her laptop

What qualifications do I need to become a freelance copywriter?

While there is no specific degree or certification required to become a freelance online copywriter, having a background in writing, marketing, or a related field can be helpful. Additionally, having a strong portfolio of work and good writing skills are essential. Many successful freelance copywriters have a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, or a related field.

How can I find freelance copywriter jobs near me?

There are many ways to find freelance copywriting jobs, including job boards, social media platforms, and networking with potential clients. Some popular job boards for freelance copywriters include Indeed, Upwork, and Freelancer. You can also reach out to businesses in your area and offer your services. Having your own portfolio or some web content will go a long way in helping you land your first client.

What is the average hourly rate for freelance copywriters?

According to, the average hourly rate for a freelance copywriter is $59,169 per year. However, rates can vary depending on factors such as experience, type of work, and location.

What are some examples of successful freelance copywriters?

Some successful freelance copywriters include Joanna Wiebe, Ash Ambirge, and Neville Medhora. These copywriters have built successful businesses through their strong writing skills, marketing savvy, and ability to connect with their target audience.

Can I work from home as a freelance copywriter?

Yes, one of the benefits of being a freelance copywriter is the ability to work from home or anywhere with an internet connection. This allows you to set your own schedule and work from the comfort of your own space.

Investing in a good copywriting course will also help you land clients faster.

How can I create an effective website as a freelance copywriter?

To create an effective website as a freelance copywriter, you should focus on creating a clear and concise message that highlights your skills and experience. Include samples of your work, testimonials from satisfied clients, a strong copy on your online portfolio, and a way for potential clients to contact you. Make sure your website is visually appealing and easy to navigate.

Good luck with your freelance copywriting career!

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