What is a freelance copywriter?

what is a freelance copywriter?

What is a freelance copywriter?

Have you ever wondered who writes all those catchy slogans, compelling website content, and engaging emails you see from brands? Behind the scenes, there’s a good chance it was the work of a freelance copywriter.

Copywriting is the art and science of creating persuasive, branded content that motivates people to take action. And as the world becomes more digital and content-driven, the demand for great copywriters continues to soar.

If you have a flair for writing, a creative mind, and an entrepreneurial spirit, freelance copywriting could be your calling. It offers the freedom to be your own boss, the variety of working with different clients, and the satisfaction of helping businesses succeed through the power of words.

But what exactly does a freelance copywriter do? How do you get started? And what skills do you need to thrive in this exciting career? Let’s take a deep dive and find out!

What Does a Freelance Copywriter Do?

A freelance copywriter is a professional writer who creates compelling, persuasive content for businesses and organizations on a contract basis. They are hired to craft various types of copy, such as:

  • Website content: This includes homepage content, product descriptions, about pages, and blog posts that engage visitors and drive conversions.
  • Marketing materials: Copywriters write advertisements, brochures, sales letters, email campaigns, and social media posts that promote products or services.
  • Branded content: They create entertaining and informative content like articles, videos, and podcasts that build brand awareness and customer loyalty.
  • Taglines and slogans: Those catchy, memorable phrases you see in ads? Yup, copywriters come up with those too!

The core responsibility of a freelance copywriter is to understand a client’s business, target audience, and marketing goals, then craft copy that resonates with that audience and inspires them to take the desired action.

According to a study by Semrush, 70% of online marketers are actively investing in content marketing.

The Different Types of Copywriting

Copywriting is a diverse field with many specialties. While some copywriters are generalists who can tackle any type of copy, others choose to focus on a specific niche. Here are some of the main types of copywriting:

1. Content Writing This involves creating informative, engaging content like blog posts, articles, ebooks, and whitepapers to attract and retain customers.

2. Digital Copywriting
From website copy to social media posts, email campaigns to app messaging, digital copywriters specialize in writing for online platforms.

3. Technical Copywriting Technical writers simplify complex information into clear, concise copy, like user manuals, product documentation, and software guides.

4. Creative Copywriting These writers tap into their imagination to craft clever taglines, powerful calls-to-action, and punchy advertising copy.

5. SEO Copywriting SEO copywriters optimize content for search engines by incorporating relevant keywords and following best practices for on-page SEO.

Skills Needed to Become a Successful Copywriter

While great writing skills are obviously essential, there’s more to being a successful freelance copywriter. Here are some key skills you’ll need:

1. Research Abilities To create persuasive, targeted copy, you must thoroughly research the client’s industry, products/services, target audience, and marketing goals.

2. Adaptability
As a copywriter, you’ll need to adapt your writing style to suit different brands, audiences, and content types. Versatility is crucial.

3. Time Management Freelancing requires excellent time management to juggle multiple clients and meet deadlines. Being organized is a must.

4. SEO Knowledge
Understanding SEO principles allows you to optimize copy for higher search rankings and more organic traffic.

5. Branding and Marketing Basics Familiarity with branding strategies, consumer psychology, and marketing funnels will help you craft more effective, conversion-focused copy.

6. Self-Motivation As a freelancer, no one will be looking over your shoulder. You need the drive and discipline to stay focused and productive.

How to Get Started as a Freelance Copywriter

Ready to take the freelance copywriting plunge? Here are some tips for getting started:

1. Build Your Portfolio

A strong portfolio showcasing your best writing samples is essential. You can create spec pieces for fictional brands or offer your services at a discount initially to build your portfolio.

2. Develop Your Niche

While it’s okay to be a generalist when you’re starting out, having an area of specialization can help you stand out and command higher rates.

3. Create an Online Presence

Set up a website, LinkedIn profile, and other social channels to showcase your skills and make it easy for clients to find you.

4. Network and Pitch

Attend local networking events, join online freelancing communities, and start pitching your services to potential clients.

5. Set Your Rates

Research industry standards and determine your pricing model (hourly, per-word, per-project, retainer, etc.) based on your experience level.

6. Stay Up to Date

The marketing world continually evolves. Take courses, read blogs, and attend conferences to keep your skills fresh and modern.

Pros and Cons of Being a Freelance Copywriter

Like any career, freelance copywriting has its pros and cons. Here are some key points to consider:


  • Flexibility and Freedom: Set your own schedule and work from anywhere.
  • Variety of Work: You’ll never get bored writing for different clients and industries.
  • Unlimited Income Potential: Top copywriters can earn six figures or more.
  • Creative Fulfillment: Use your creative talents to help businesses succeed.
  • No Corporate Politics: Avoid office politics and other constraints of a 9-to-5 job.


  • Inconsistent Income: Your earnings can fluctuate drastically when starting out.
  • Self-motivation Required: You must have the discipline to stay productive.
  • Finding Clients: Constantly pitching and marketing yourself can be challenging.
  • Lack of Benefits: No company health insurance, 401(k), or paid time off.
  • Scope Creep: Clients may try to add extra work beyond the initial agreement.

How Much Can You Earn as a Freelance Copywriter?

One of the biggest perks of freelance copywriting is the potential for a very healthy income, especially as you gain more experience and specialization.

Entry-level copywriters can typically charge $10-$50 per hour or 10-20 cents per word. At the higher end, seasoned copywriters with a solid portfolio and specific expertise can command $100-$300+ per hour or 50 cents to $2 per word.

Your rates will depend on factors like your experience, niche, location, and the type of copywriting you do. For example, direct-response copywriters who specialize in high-converting sales letters can charge $10,000 or more per project.

According to PayScale, the average freelance copywriter rate is $34.07 per hour as of 2023.

While starting out you may need to charge lower rates, so don’t sell yourself short. As you build your skills and client base, you can gradually raise your rates to align with your value and experience level.

Questions and Answers

Q: Do I need a degree or certification to be a freelance copywriter?
A: Not necessarily. While a degree in English, marketing, communications, or a related field can be helpful, copywriters are typically judged more on their portfolio and ability to produce results-driven copy.

Q: Can I freelance part-time while keeping my full-time job? A: Absolutely! Many copywriters start out freelancing on the side before eventually transitioning to doing it full-time once they have a steady stream of clients.

Q: How do freelance copywriters get paid? A: It varies, but common methods include per-project fees, retainer agreements, hourly rates, or per-word/per-page rates. Payments may come via PayPal, direct deposit, check, or other online payment platforms.

Q: How can I find freelance copywriting jobs? A: There are many options, including freelancing sites (Upwork, Fiverr), job boards (Problogger, FreelanceWriting), reaching out directly to companies that need copywriters, and leveraging your network.

Q: What types of companies hire freelance copywriters? A: The types are endless – marketing agencies, B2B and B2C companies, startups, bloggers, authors, nonprofits, and virtually any business that needs quality written content.


  • Freelance copywriters create persuasive, branded content for businesses on a contract basis. This includes website copy, ads, marketing materials, and more.
  • Key skills needed are exceptional writing abilities, research skills, versatility, time management, SEO knowledge, and marketing basics.
  • Get started by building a portfolio, developing a niche, creating an online presence, networking and pitching.
  • Freelance copywriting offers great income potential (from $25-$300+ per hour) plus flexibility but requires self-motivation and client acquisition.
  • Consider the pros (freedom, variety, earnings) and cons (inconsistent income, self-employment) carefully before diving in.

If you have a knack for writing engaging content that motivates action, freelance copywriting could be an incredibly rewarding career path! With dedication and perseverance, you can build a thriving business doing what you love.

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