Wondering how to start your copywriting side hustle? You’ve come to the right place!
In the realm of side hustles, few pursuits can match the unique blend of flexibility, creativity, and earning potential found in freelance copywriting. Becoming a freelance copywriter has the potential to offer not just a steady stream of extra cash, but also the opportunity to tap into a new skill and open up exciting career possibilities.
Whether you’re seeking to supplement your full-time job, pave your own way to a consistent income, or you’re simply curious about the world of copywriting, this guide is here to light the path.
Understanding the Copywriting Industry
Let’s start with the basics. Copywriting, at its core, is the art and science of writing copy that sells a product, service, or idea. It involves everything from crafting compelling sales letters, writing persuasive email copy, to developing engaging landing pages. However, the role of a copywriter extends beyond the confines of sales and marketing. It’s also about understanding what clients expect and translating that understanding into words that inspire, inform, and ultimately, persuade.
The copywriting industry has been around for over a century, with roots tracing back to classic advertising and the era of “scientific advertising.” Over the years, copywriting has evolved, embracing digital platforms, changing consumer habits, and emerging technologies. Yet, the core principle remains the same: good copy sells.
By starting a copywriting side hustle, you’re entering an industry that is both established and constantly evolving, offering opportunities for those willing to learn and adapt. And the best part? You can do it all on your own schedule, from the comfort of your home, or anywhere in the world.
As we delve into this guide, we’ll explore the steps to start copywriting, how to build your copywriting skills, find copywriting clients, and manage your new copywriter side hustle successfully. So, buckle up and get ready for an enlightening journey into the world of copywriting side hustles.
The Magic of Copywriting
So, what is copywriting, you ask? In a nutshell, copywriting is the art of writing text (also known as copy) for advertising or other forms of marketing. Its primary goal is to persuade the reader, listener, or viewer to take some action – maybe it’s to buy a product, subscribe to a newsletter, or follow a brand on social media. But more than that, copywriting serves a crucial role in businesses. It’s the voice of the brand, the words that connect businesses to their audience.
Great copy is the cornerstone of effective marketing. It’s the secret ingredient that makes an advertising campaign memorable, a landing page convert, and a sales letter irresistible. In other words, without the persuasive power of copy, marketing would be like a car without gas – pretty to look at but not going anywhere.
Copywriting: A Many-Splendored Thing
Now that you have an understanding of what copywriting is, let’s talk about the different types of copywriting you could dip your toes into. Remember, diversifying your copywriting skills can help you cater to a wider range of clients and open up more opportunities for your side hustle.
Web copywriting includes writing copy for websites, landing pages, and blog posts. This is where you help businesses sound like the best version of themselves online.
Advertising copywriting is all about writing for commercials, billboards, brochures, and other promotional materials. This is the Mad Men world of punchy headlines and captivating slogans.
SEO copywriting involves writing web content that ranks well in search engines. Here, you’ll not only write engaging copy, but you’ll also need to smartly incorporate keywords that help the content get found online.
And these are just a few examples. There’s also social media copywriting, email copywriting, and technical copywriting, each offering its own set of challenges and rewards. Variety is the spice of life, after all! So why not spice up your copywriting side hustle by mastering different types of copywriting?
Power Up Your Copywriting Skills
Embarking on your freelance copywriting side hustle requires a toolkit of essential skills. First up, and it probably goes without saying, you need solid writing skills. A good copywriter can write clear, compelling, and grammatically correct copy. But don’t panic! Even if you feel like your writing isn’t up to scratch, remember that writing is a skill that improves with practice.
Creativity is another must-have for copywriters. You’ll need to come up with fresh ideas, unique angles, and compelling stories that make your copy stand out. It’s all about grabbing the reader’s attention and holding it.
You’ll also need to be a good researcher. Whether you’re writing about travel destinations or the benefits of organic skincare, your copy needs to be accurate and informed. That means digging into your topics, understanding your client’s products or services, and knowing their audience inside out.
Finally, resilience is key. The world of freelance copywriting can be tough, especially when you’re first starting out. You might face rejection, criticism, and the odd difficult client. But don’t let that deter you! Resilience will keep you going, help you learn from your experiences, and ultimately make you a better copywriter.
Learning and Growing as a Copywriter
Improving and updating your skills is a must in the ever-evolving world of copywriting. If you want to stay competitive and versatile, you need to be a lifelong learner. That’s the best part of starting a copywriting side hustle – the learning curve never ends.
Now, you might be wondering how to learn copywriting. The great news is, there are plenty of resources out there for aspiring copywriters. Online courses are a popular choice, offering flexibility and a wide range of topics. Websites like Coursera and Udemy offer courses on everything from basic copywriting to specialized areas like SEO copywriting and writing sales letters.
Books are another fantastic resource. Classics like “Scientific Advertising” by Claude Hopkins offer timeless advice and insights into the art of persuasive writing.
Lastly, consider finding a mentor in the industry. This could be someone you admire professionally or someone who’s successfully doing what you aspire to do. A mentor can offer guidance, feedback, and valuable insights from their own experiences.
Remember, the goal is to keep refining your craft. As you gain experience and learn more about the industry, your copywriting skills will grow – and so will your copywriting side hustle!
Constructing Your Copywriting Portfolio
Having a strong portfolio is a game-changer in your copywriting side hustle. A well-crafted portfolio showcases your skills, gives potential clients a taste of your style, and helps you stand out from the crowd. Think of it as your visual CV, a collection of your best works that represent your abilities as a copywriter.
So, how do you create a compelling copywriting portfolio?
First, pick your best work. This may be pieces that have garnered great results, pieces that showcase your versatility, or pieces that you’re particularly proud of. If you’re just starting out and don’t have much to showcase, don’t worry. Consider writing copy for hypothetical projects or offering your services pro bono to non-profit organizations to gain experience and samples for your portfolio.
Second, make sure each piece in your portfolio includes a short explanation of the project and the results it achieved. This helps potential clients understand the context and impact of your work.
Lastly, remember to keep your portfolio updated. As you take on more projects and your skills improve, your portfolio should evolve too. Keep it fresh and current to reflect your ongoing journey and growth as a freelance copywriter.
Finding Your Copywriting Gigs
You’ve honed your skills, built a standout portfolio, and you’re ready to dive into your copywriting side hustle. But where do you find jobs?
Online job boards are a great starting point. Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Indeed regularly post copywriting gigs in various niches. Don’t forget to check out niche-specific job boards too, like ProBlogger for blog writing gigs, or MediaBistro for a mix of media and writing jobs.
Networking also plays a huge role in landing jobs. Join online communities for copywriters, attend industry events, and don’t be shy about reaching out to other freelancers or agencies. You never know where your next gig could come from!
Now, when it comes to pitching your services to potential clients, remember to keep it short, sweet, and centered on them. Let them know how your copywriting skills can benefit their business, share relevant pieces from your portfolio, and don’t forget to personalize your pitch. Show them you’ve taken the time to understand their needs and explain how you can help meet them.
Remember, starting your copywriting side hustle might feel daunting at first, but with persistence and the right strategies, you’re well on your way to turning your passion for writing into a profitable venture. Onwards and upwards, my friends!
Setting Your Copywriting Rates
When it comes to pricing your copywriting services, it can feel like walking a tightrope. Set your rates too low, and you’re undervaluing your skills; too high, and you might scare off potential clients. Here’s a couple of pointers to help you balance on that tightrope!
Considerations for Pricing Your Services
The first step in setting your rates is understanding what factors to consider. This could be the complexity of the task, your expertise, the industry standard rates, and your living expenses. Let’s not forget your own business expenses, including taxes and any software you use to get the job done.
Another essential factor to think about is the value you’re providing to your clients. Don’t just consider the time you spend writing the copy; think about the research, meetings, revisions, and the potential impact your copy could have on your client’s business.
Common Pricing Models in Copywriting
There are several pricing models in copywriting that you can consider.
1. Per Hour: This is straightforward – you charge your clients based on the number of hours you work on a project. While this method is simple, it may not account for the value you bring, especially if you’re a fast worker.
2. Per Project: In this model, you charge a flat rate for an entire project. This is great for tasks where you can estimate the time and effort needed, but for larger, more complex projects, it could mean a lot of unexpected extra hours.
3. Retainer: A retainer is a recurring fee that a client pays for ongoing work. This model provides a steady stream of income and helps foster long-term relationships with clients.
4. Value-Based: This model involves charging based on the value or results your copy is expected to bring to your client. This could be a percentage of sales for a sales letter, for example.
Remember, the best pricing model depends on your personal preference, the type of project, and the client’s expectations. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different models and see what works best for your copywriting side hustle!
With these tips, you’re ready to confidently price your services and make the extra cash that makes your side hustle truly worthwhile.
Growing Your Copywriting Side Hustle
Once you’ve dipped your toes into the freelance copywriting world and have a few gigs under your belt, it’s time to think about growth. Remember, a side hustle isn’t just about extra money, it’s about creating a sustainable business that complements your full-time job.
Powerful Tips to Scale Your Side Hustle
1. Hone Your Skills: Keep working on your copywriting skills. The better you are at writing copy, the more clients will seek your services. Consider taking online courses or seeking a mentor to guide your growth.
2. Network: Establish connections with other freelancers and potential clients. Networking isn’t just about landing more gigs, it’s about building relationships that can lead to more opportunities down the line.
3. Create a Professional Online Presence: Potential clients should be able to find you online. Optimize your LinkedIn profile and consider creating a website showcasing your portfolio and services.
4. Be Consistent: A steady stream of clients is key to growth. Consistency in the quality of your work and meeting deadlines will ensure clients come back for more.
Satisfied Clients and a Strong Reputation
Remember, in a copywriting side hustle, your reputation is everything. Happy clients often become repeat clients and can refer you to other businesses. Keep in mind what clients expect from a good copywriter – quality work, reliability, and a clear understanding of their brand and audience.
Tackling Challenges Head-On
Starting a copywriting side hustle isn’t without its hurdles. The learning curve might be steep, and juggling a full-time job and a side hustle can be challenging. You might also experience slow periods where gigs are hard to come by.
But don’t get disheartened! Every new skill has a learning curve. Take this time to further hone your skills, tweak your processes, or even give back to the community by mentoring new freelancers.
Balancing your full-time job and your side hustle can seem overwhelming. Time management is key here. A few hours dedicated solely to your side hustle each day can make a significant difference without burning you out.
Slow periods can be stressful, but they can also provide you with time to focus on self-improvement, network more, or work on personal projects. Also, consider exploring new job boards or reaching out to previous clients for more work.
Starting a copywriting side hustle can be one of the most rewarding things you do. With these tips, you’re well on your way to turning those blank pages into a bustling business! Remember, the challenges are part of the journey, and every great side hustle started with that first leap. So why not start copywriting today?
Conclusion: Wrapping Up Your Journey to a Copywriting Side Hustle
So, there we have it. We’ve navigated the nuts and bolts of a copywriting side hustle, from understanding what copywriting is and how it can be your new side gig, to navigating the freelance marketplace and setting your own schedule, all the way to growing your business and overcoming common challenges.
From Sales Letters to Landing Pages: The Power of Copywriting
Remember, copywriting is more than just writing catchy sales letters or engaging landing pages. It’s about helping businesses convey their message and sell their products or services effectively. Every email copywriter knows the power of words, and with time and experience, you too can master this art.
Adding a New Skill to Your Arsenal
Starting a copywriting side hustle is also a fantastic way to learn a new skill, not to mention a means of making some extra cash. It’s not just about small projects that fill up your free time, it’s about the potential of building a consistent income that can, in some cases, turn into a full-blown career. Some copywriters have even made six figures!
A Side Hustle Worth Pursuing
Yes, there might be challenges along the way. It’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed or unsure when you’re trying to gain experience in a new field. And yes, there will be times when you’ll need to do some free work to build your portfolio. But the sense of accomplishment that comes from seeing your work out there in the world, helping businesses grow – well, that’s priceless.
A Toast to Your Future in Copywriting
So, here’s to your exciting journey ahead in the world of copywriting. Always remember that learning is part of the process, and every professional was once a beginner. Take one step at a time, use the resources available to you, and never forget the power of perseverance. Now, go on and start copywriting, because the world needs your words!