If you're looking to develop a new income stream, you may have seen this in your feed online. In today's post, I describe exactly what copywriting is, what copywriters do, and how to get into copywriting.
The beauty of becoming a copywriter, even as a side hustle, is that you can work from anywhere, be paid well, and the work is so varied.
My Copywriting Story
I took the plunge in April 2020 to train to be a copywriter, and I've never looked back. I wanted to develop another income stream alongside blogging that would allow me to leave teaching and live and work where I want.
At the time, I was at a crossroads over what type of freelance writer I wanted to be. You can find out more about my journey in this post below. This course has been the reason I have moved to a lovely house, fixed two rooves, scaled down my teacher work to 3 days a week, and developed my passive income strategy!
What Is Copy?
Copywriting or copy is any piece of writing that is designed to persuade. Everywhere you look, you will find copywriting from advertisements for products via social media to leaflets in the mail.
Examples of Copywriting
There are many examples of copywriting in the real and digital world. So this is a partial list.
Here are some examples you will see of copywriting:
Digital Copywriting Examples
- Websites – home page, services, About page
- Landing pages
- Email marketing
- Sales pages for products or services
- Facebook and Instagram ads
- Sequences of emails
- DMs on Facebook
- Wedding invitations
- Proposals for work
- Sales letters
- Business cards
The Difference Between Content Writing and Copywriting
Copywriting is often confused with content writing – especially online. Copywriting is designed to help someone take a specific action. So maybe click through to a link or buy the latest mascara on Instagram.
It tries to connect with the reader by highlighting how the product or service can help them.
Copywriting takes time to write and refine, which is why copywriters get paid well for what they do. It has to sound EXACTLY like the brand, communicate a clear message and help someone take action.
One example would be an email, as part of a sequence, that encourages people to sign up for the coaching services they need. Good copywriting will help them see if the coach is the right fit to help them.
Another example of good copywriting would be clear, important messaging on a food product that instantly communicates to a person allergic to nuts that they shouldn’t eat it.
Here is an example of my work. I have connected parents with toys from their past and married this up with the need to be sustainable and for children to have less screen time.
Content is informative and valuable for someone looking for the answer to a specific question.
Below is an example of content I have written for my cycle niche site. It answers the question of which is the best aero bar this year.
This kind of work is much lower paid than copywriting, but as an established copywriter, know that it’s okay to charge copywriting rates when writing content. It’s quite a regular practice for content writers to be paid by the word, so it can work out as relatively low pay for how much research you do, then writing and optimizing the content for SEO.
What Do Copywriters Do?
Copywriters start by helping the client or creative director identify the project's goals. Working together, they outline who the project will connect with, how it will be delivered, and what action they want people to take.
If you are working on staff, you will create the copy from this brief, refine it as a team and then work with a designer to make how the copy will look and feel.
If you are freelancing, you can also team up with a designer if this is what your client wants. Most of the time, in my career, I have created the copy and reviewed it with the client, as most of them send it to their designers afterward.
Ways Copywriters Work
Copywriting is so flexible as a career. You have the choice of whether you want to work as an on-staff copywriter; or whether you work with an agency. You can even work wholly freelance or a combination of these paths.
On-staff copywriters work as part of a creative team, usually under the direction of a creative director. You are employed by the company or agency as their copywriter and will work alongside a designer to create project copy as it comes in.
Agency Copywriter or Contractor
Being a contractor means you aren’t employed by the company you work for, but you may have contracted hours for them per week or month. You can choose what to do when your contract ends and have the flexibility to move on whenever you want.
You usually work on-site, so you can meet and develop relationships with people in the same field as you.
Being a freelance copywriter means you can work from home and conduct meetings on tools like Zoom or in person. You get the ultimate freedom to choose what work you want to do and for whom. You decide how much you earn, so you must ensure a steady workflow.
How Can I Get Started With Copywriting?
When I started, I had yet to gain experience in copywriting. This is an essential thing to remember if you are considering getting started with copywriting. You DO NOT need experience to start. Read my story here.
Everyone starts somewhere, and you will be fine if you are willing to learn new things.
As copywriters, we had to learn how to write copy. No one turns pro instantly.
If you’re interested in finding out more about copywriting, I’d recommend you check out this free training from Filthy Rich Writer. It’s how I started.
How to Land Freelance Copywriting Clients. Without Wasting Time on Frustrating Job-Bidding Sites or Cold-Calling Strangers.
Copywriting is all around us.
From websites to printed leaflets, businesses are always in need of great copywriters. Copywriting is essentially words that sell or persuade people to do something. The possibilities are endless regarding who you may be writing for; trust me, every day is different!
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