They say that copywriters aren’t born, they’re made. Fortunately, where money is concerned, the opposite is true.
In order 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
Obviously 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 really 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 specifically to persuade people that read it to take an action. That action might be to click on a link, purchase a product, download a file or visit a web page. Copywriters from Buy Essay Club traditionally write the text used to sell an idea, a product, or a vision, and can also use their skills to portray individuals or companies in the best light possible.
Finding Paying Copywriting Markets
If you’re a copywriter you’ll probably work in one of two ways:
- Writing general copy as and when jobs come along
- Writing copy for niche markets that you wish to specialize in
When you start out as a copywriter you may very well have to accept any paying jobs on offer. That’s only natural and to be expected. But as your skills progress you’ll undoubtedly develop your own style and your own preferences. And that’s when you should consider tailoring your work to specific, niche markets.
There’s plenty of copywriting work available, but there are also plenty of copywriters 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
- Small business software market
- Solar commercial solutions market
- Travel market
- Wine and food market
Do you work in education? In the restaurant business? Make your own software? Spend a lot of time traveling? There’s bound to be something on this list that you’re either familiar with or that you’re passionate about. If there is, write about that. Get some articles together and bang them in your portfolio, making your expertise known and giving you the chance to apply for related jobs when they come along.
If you’re a HubPages author, consider writing ten or more hubs all based around 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 a lot 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 out. 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 that future employers can find it and read it with ease.
Copywriting work can come to you in a number of ways. You might be offered the chance to write web pages for a site, or to write product descriptions, or to write 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, make sure your fees are agreed up front before you begin the project. $5 for a 500-word article isn’t going to make you rich, even if you write hundreds of them. Working for $50 an hour, on the other hand, 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 a year breaks down to about $4,166 a month, or roughly $1,000 a week. That equates to $200 a day 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 a day, 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 you’re freelancing. The trick is to set up a system that will provide you with 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.