How to Make Money As A Copywriter

How to Make Real Money as a Copywriter

They say that copywriters aren’t born. They’re made. Fortunately, where money is concerned, the opposite is true.

To make money as a copywriter, you need a certain number of components in place:

  • You need to be able to write copy
  • You need to know where to find copywriting markets
  • You need to know what to charge for your expertise
  • You need to be able to deliver quality work on time

If you can’t write copy, you can’t be a copywriter. There are lots of online copywriting courses that will guide you on the right path if copywriting is something you want to do.

Every piece of copy you write – even if it’s part of an assignment – can become part of your online copywriting portfolio to show to potential clients and to help you land copywriting jobs.

Once your skills are up to scratch, it’s time to test the water by writing some copy. Copy refers to text designed to persuade people who read it to take action. That action might be clicking on a link, purchasing a product, downloading a file, or visiting a web page.

Finding Paying Copywriting Markets

If you’re a copywriter, you’ll probably work in one of two ways:

  1. Writing general copy as and when jobs come along
  2. Writing copy for niche markets that you wish to specialize in

When you start as a copywriter, you may have to accept any paying jobs. That’s only natural and to be expected. But as your skills progress, you’ll develop your style and preferences. And that’s when you should consider tailoring your work to specific, niche markets.

There’s plenty of copywriting work available, but plenty of copywriters are going after that work. That’s why it might pay in the long term to become a specialist. Once your skills and reputation are established, you’ll be the “go-to” copywriter in that field – which will also mean you’ll be able to charge more for your time and abilities.

Here are some of the niche markets in the copywriting world today:

  • Alternative health market
  • Baby products market
  • Christian market
  • Commercial construction market
  • Commercial or residential furniture market
  • Education market
  • Financial market
  • Green/Eco clothing market
  • Home maintenance market
  • Jobs market
  • Self-help market
  • Senior healthcare market
  • The small business software market
  • The solar commercial solutions market
  • Travel market
  • Wine and food market

Do you work in education? In the restaurant business? Make your software? Spend a lot of time traveling?

There’s bound to be something on this list that you’re either familiar with or passionate about. If there is, write about that. Get some articles together and bang them in your portfolio, making your expertise known and allowing you to apply for related jobs when they come along.

If you’re a HubPages author, consider writing ten or more hubs based on the same topic, such as home maintenance or senior healthcare. These are the evergreen topics that are always popular. By writing a series of articles, you’ll be able to hone your skills while simultaneously learning more about the topic in question.

How Much Can Copywriters Charge?

Setting fees for your copywriting services is a delicate balancing act. You don’t want to price yourself out of the game, even if you know you’re worth it – and you don’t want to end up working for peanuts.

Some sites such as eLance require that you bid for jobs. That’s easier to do when you’ve been writing copy and getting paid for it for a while, but it’s not so easy when you’re just starting. You need to bid for the amount of work involved, your time, and any research needed to complete the task.

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you think the job is worth, even if other writers are bidding well below that amount. The cheapest bid doesn’t always win: quality work delivered on time is the key to success.

One of the best ways to get work is by word of mouth. If a client has been particularly effusive about the work you’ve done for them, be sure to get a testimonial. Place it in your portfolio so future employers can easily find it and read it.

Copywriting work can come to you in several ways. You might be offered the chance to write web pages for a site, product descriptions, reports, or ebooks.

In some cases, the fees will be decided in advance, while in others, you’ll be able to charge an hourly rate. Whichever is the case, ensure your fees are agreed upon before you begin the project. $5 for a 500-word article doesn’t make you rich, even if you write hundreds of them.

On the other hand, working for $50 an hour gives you some sense of stability and is probably a better reflection of your actual value. And, of course, if you can churn out enough articles, you’ll be earning $50 an hour anyway.

Setting Your Copywriting Fees

You can decide how to set your fees before you get your first copywriting job. Here’s how to do it:

  • Think about how much you’d like to earn a year. Let’s take $50,000 as a starting point.
  • $50,000 annually breaks down to about $4,166 monthly or roughly $1,000 weekly. That equates to $200 daily for a 5-day week, which is perfectly feasible.
  • Suppose you work 5 hours a day. At $200 a day over 5 hours, your hourly rate will be $40. If you work 8 hours daily, your hourly rate will be $25.

Hopefully, you can see how this works. It’s not always possible to make more money just by working longer hours, at least not when freelancing.

The trick is to set up a system that will give you a reasonable return for the effort you put in – say $40 an hour – and stick with it. That way, you know you’re achieving your goal ($50,000 a year) without killing yourself. You may have to work smarter, but you shouldn’t have to work longer.

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