Are you interested in becoming a copywriter? Do you have a passion for writing and a flair for creativity? If so, then you’re in the right place.
Copywriting is a fulfilling job that lets you share your ideas and creativity through writing. But how do you get started? In this step-by-step guide, we’ll take you through the process of becoming a copywriter. From honing your writing skills to building a portfolio and finding clients. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced writer looking to transition into copywriting. This guide will give you the tools and knowledge you need to succeed. So, let’s get started on your journey to becoming a successful copywriter!
What is Copywriting
Copywriting refers to the process of creating content for advertising or marketing a product, service, or idea. The goal is to persuade the reader or listener to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, subscribing, or providing information.
Copywriting can be for ads, descriptions, emails, social media, etc. Good copywriters consider the audience and use language that appeals to them. They emphasize the product/service’s value.
In addition to persuasive language, effective copywriting often use various techniques. This includes added humor, storytelling, emotional appeals, and calls to action to engage the reader and encourage them to take the desired action.
Copywriting has become popular over the years because more and more businesses are joining the online space to sell their products and service. As of June 18, 2021, there are over 1.86 billion websites online. Siteefy notes that more than 547,200 new websites are created globally every day. Therefore to grow a business online, they need to reach out to a digital copywriter.
What is a digital copywriter?
A digital copywriter writes content for digital channels like websites, social media, and emails. They write for SEO, mobile, and social media platforms.
With Google search engines constantly modify their search analysis. Digital copywriters have to work towards getting the attention of search traffic to increase traffic to a website to increase revenue and earnings. To do that, they will need to do sophisticated keyword research to find the best keywords that Google is looking for.
10 types of copywriters
With that said, there are 10 different types of digital copywriters. Find the one you are most interested in and do a deep dive to learn more about the specialization. Each copywriting has its purpose and has its style of writing. To make it easier for the readers to read, I have added a keyword that summarizes all you need to do about the various copywriting.
B2B copywriting (Most common)
B2B copywriting is a specialized type of copywriting that focuses on creating written content for business-to-business (B2B) marketing and advertising. It is designed to persuade other businesses to purchase products or services from a particular company.
B2B copywriting differs from B2C (business-to-consumer) copywriting in that it typically targets a more specialized audience, and focuses more on providing technical information and data-driven evidence to support purchasing decisions. B2B copywriters often work with technical subject matter experts or with business owners. This is to ensure that their content is accurate and effective in communicating complex concepts to other businesses.
Some common types of B2B copywriting include whitepapers, case studies, product descriptions, email campaigns, and webinars. B2B is recommended by most freelancers to start because it has the highest potential without having to write long sophisticated articles. But before you jump straight into B2B copywriting. It’s crucial to know that copywriters need to have other copywriting skills to build a resume.
Brand copywriting (An important Skill)
Brand copywriting involves crafting messages that resonate with the brand’s target audience, using language and tone that is consistent with the brand’s personality and values. This can include slogans, taglines, brand messaging, and other forms of brand communication. Although most freelancers don’t provide this service, this service goes well hand-in-hand with B2B copywriting.
Brand copywriters often work closely with brand strategists and designers to ensure that all aspects of the brand’s identity are consistent across all touchpoints. They may be responsible for developing brand guidelines, creating copy for websites and other marketing materials, and crafting messaging for social media and advertising campaigns.
One of the key goals of brand copywriting is to create an emotional connection between the brand and its target audience, helping to build trust and loyalty over time. Effective brand copywriting can help to differentiate a brand from its competitors and establish it as a leader in its industry.
content marketing (Basic skill to have)
Content marketing copywriting is the most basic form of copywriting. It is designed to inform, educate, and engage an audience, with the ultimate goal of driving profitable customer action. This type of copywriting is used to support content marketing initiatives, which typically involve creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and ultimately drive profitable customer action.
Content marketing copywriting can take many forms, including blog posts, articles, social media posts, email newsletters, videos, whitepapers, case studies, and more. The key to effective content marketing copywriting is to create content that is relevant, useful, and interesting to the target audience, while also aligning with the business’s overall marketing goals.
Content marketing copywriters must be skilled in writing for various formats and platforms, as well as understanding the needs and preferences of their target audience. They must also be adept at conducting research, analyzing data, and measuring the effectiveness of their content to optimize its performance over time.
direct response copywriting (MUST-HAVE)
Probably the easiest copywriting skill to automate but one of the most important skills to have. Direct response copywriting is a type of copywriting that is specifically designed to elicit an immediate response from the reader or viewer. This copywriting skill is the most important writing technique to have because it builds up the way writers need to respond to their audience.
The goal of direct response copywriting is to persuade the audience to take a specific action. such as making a purchase, signing up for a service, or requesting more information. This is done through lead generation through email marketing and online advertising.
Direct response copywriting often uses a variety of techniques, such as emotional appeals, scarcity, and social proof. This makes the audience excited and encourages them to take action. It is typically more aggressive and direct than other forms of copywriting and is focused on generating measurable results.
email copywriting (Useful Lead Generation)
Email copywriting is the act of crafting written content for email marketing campaigns. The only goal is to convince recipients to take a specific action. It’s designed to persuade the reader to open the email, read it, and ultimately take a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a service, or clicking on a link.
The content of an email marketing campaign is crucial for its success. A well-crafted email can make all the difference in converting leads into customers. Effective email copywriting involves understanding the target audience and crafting compelling, concise, and engaging messages that grab the reader’s attention.
To be honest, these days no one checks their email to check on things anymore. However, this is still a great way to get recurring customers to stay updated.
public relations copywriting (Hard to Master)
Public relations copywriting is writing content to promote a brand or organization to the public. It involves creating positive messages that accurately represent the brand, targeting the right audience, and building relationships with media outlets and journalists. The goal is to build a positive reputation and engage with the public.
The reason why this copywriting skill is the hardest to master is the way the messaging needs to be written. It has to be simplified, direct, and easy for readers to pick up on. Traits that many copywriters will have to take years before reaching this level of the profession.
SEO copywriting (MUST HAVE)
SEO copywriting involves writing content for websites or other online platforms that is optimized to rank higher in search engine results. This means using targeted keywords and phrases that users are searching for, as well as creating high-quality, engaging content that keeps visitors on the website.
The goal is to improve visibility in search results and attract more traffic to the website. Effective SEO copywriting requires a balance of good writing skills and a deep understanding of search engine algorithms and user behavior.
Businesses are constantly fighting against each other to boost their business ranking in SEO. That means they would compete against each other to see who ranks among the top in SEO for their business. With higher SEO, Google is more likely to push out your content as it shows your website has higher creditability.
social media copywriting (Trendy)
Social media copywriting is creating written content for social media platforms that are designed to engage and connect with followers. This includes posts, captions, and comments that build a community and promote a brand or organization.
Effective social media copywriting requires an understanding of the target audience and the unique characteristics of each platform. The content must be engaging, informative, and relevant to encourage sharing and interaction. Copywriters use strategies like hashtags and multimedia content to enhance the message and encourage participation.
Social media managers need to learn various trendy styles of social media copywriting since the platform is always changing. They may look into leveling up their skill by jumping on other social media platforms to work on.
technical copywriting (Basic skill to have)
Technical copywriting involves writing content that communicates technical information to a non-technical audience. The goal is to make complex technical concepts and products more understandable and accessible to the average person. Technical copywriters must have a deep understanding of the subject matter and the ability to explain it clearly and concisely. They may create user manuals, product descriptions, and other technical documentation.
Every copywriter needs to have technical copywriting skills because their job is to learn how to “sell” their writing.
UX copywriting (Basic skill to have)
UX copywriting involves creating written content that enhances the user experience of a digital product or service, such as a website or mobile app. The goal is to guide the user through the product, providing clear instructions and helpful feedback along the way. Effective UX copywriting requires strong writing skills and a deep understanding of user behavior and psychology.
This skill is common for businesses to hire because most businesses are moving towards having mobile apps. Therefore, the skill of a UX writer has been increasing in popularity.
Here’s how much you can potentially earn as a copywriter
The potential earnings for a copywriter can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as experience, location, and the type of work they do. Here’s a breakdown of the earning potential for copywriters:
copywriting hourly rate
|Entry Level||$35,000 to $45,000 per year (or $20 to $30 per hour)|
|Mid-level||$50,000 to $75,000 per year ($80 to $100 per hour)|
|Senior Level||$75,000 to $100,000 per year or more ($100 to $120 per hour)|
|Freelancing||hourly rates ranging from $5 to $200 or more|
|Specialization||hourly rates ranging from $100 to $300 or more|
This information is crawled online and I can gauge the hourly rate of freelancing because I work in that industry. Specialization for certain copywriting for copywriters is hard to come by, basically, these types of copywriters are well-known in the industry to be the best in the field. They can charge these high rates because they have proven themselves in the industry to be the leader in their specialization through competition, the number of clients serves, and numerous online feedback.
copywriter day rate
|Earnings per day|
|Entry Level||$250 to $500|
|Mid-level||$500 to $1,000|
|Senior Level||$1,000 to $2,000|
Unlike working in a corporate job for copywriting, freelancing as a copywriter can have various levels of earning. Some copywriters may only need to provide email marketing support while others may need an entire website to revamp.
How to charge for website copywriting
So the big question freelancer is always asking themselves is finding out how they can properly charge their clients. Website copywriting can be difficult to gauge the pricing especially since there is a lot of rewriting and a sudden need to touch up on the wording. The best way to charge your client is based on word count.
The average freelancing rate for website copywriting is as follows.
|500 words||$10 ~ $50|
|1,000 words+||$25 ~ $150|
|2000words+||$35 ~ $250|
I highly recommend freelancers charge a higher rate for freelancing even though there may be a lot of low ballers. This lowballer doesn’t stay long in the industry because they know they can’t make a living with such earnings. The problem most copywriters need to know is that copywriting has a deep personal relationship with the business owner or company. Therefore they will ask for a revamp. This means that it will take up more of your time to work on.
That’s not to say that you should start by providing low pricing. It can be a great learning opportunity for you to start off but just make sure to increase your rates as soon as possible. And during your spare time, work on building up a portfolio for you to showcase your work.
freelance copywriter rate
Upwork reported that their hourly rates for freelance copywriting are just $19 to 45 per hour. If you plan to work as a freelance copywriter, know that your job is to work on freelancing platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork to get customers. After about 6 to 12 months, you need to learn how to sell your copywriting skill by yourself. That means building up a portfolio.
Here’s how to get into copywriter with no experience
Now that you know how much you can potentially earn from copywriting. You will need to learn how to become a copywriter as a beginner. Here is how I have broken down the content that you need to learn as a copywriter.
how to practice copywriting
Practicing copywriting is crucial to improving your skills and becoming a better copywriter. Here are some ways you can practice copywriting:
- Write every day: Set aside time each day to write, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This will help you develop the habit of writing and improve your skills over time.
- Analyze successful copy: Look at successful ads, emails, and website copy to see what techniques they use and how they’re structured. This will give you insights into what works and help you develop your writing style.
- Write for different mediums: Practice writing for different mediums, such as social media, email, and website copy. Each medium has its own unique style and best practices, so it’s important to develop skills for each one.
- Get feedback: Share your work with other writers or mentors and get feedback on how you can improve. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and give you direction on how to improve.
- Take on spec work: Offer to write copy for a business or charity for free or at a discounted rate. This will give you real-world experience and help you build your portfolio.
- Read books and blogs: Stay up-to-date on the latest copywriting trends and techniques by reading books, blogs, and articles on copywriting. This will give you new ideas and help you stay inspired.
Remember, the key to improving your copywriting skills is to practice consistently and seek feedback from others. With time and effort, you can become a skilled and successful copywriter.
exercises for copywriters
Here are some exercises that can help copywriters practice and improve their skills:
- Headline writing: Practice writing headlines for articles, blog posts, and advertisements. Focus on creating attention-grabbing headlines that draw the reader in and encourage them to read more.
- Rewriting: Take a piece of the existing copy and rewrite it in your style. This will help you develop your voice and improve your ability to convey a message effectively.
- Wordplay: Play with words and phrases to create a unique and memorable copy. Try using puns, alliteration, and other literary devices to add interest and flair to your writing.
- Persuasive writing: Practice writing persuasive copy that encourages the reader to take action, such as buying a product or signing up for a service. Focus on highlighting the benefits of the product or service and addressing potential objections.
- Storytelling: Use storytelling techniques to create an engaging and memorable copy. Incorporate elements such as characters, conflict, and resolution to make the copy more compelling.
- A/B testing: Create two versions of the same piece of copy and test them to see which one performs better. This will help you understand what works and what doesn’t and make data-driven decisions when writing copy.
Take your time to practice writing and provide multiple examples to work with. That way you can gauge which writing style best suits each customer and from there you develop multiple unique marketing writing skills.
Best places to start learning copywriting
With so many resources available online, it can be challenging to determine the best places to start learning copywriting. Here is a list of courses you can learn how to get started with copywriting.
Copyblogger is a popular website that offers comprehensive resources on copywriting, content marketing, and digital marketing. From beginner-level guides to advanced courses, Copyblogger provides a wealth of information on copywriting, SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing.
Udemy (Highly Recommend)
Udemy is an online learning platform that offers a wide range of courses on copywriting. With over 1,000 courses to choose from, Udemy provides learners with comprehensive training on copywriting, content creation, and marketing. Additionally, you can take courses from the comfort of your home, and you can learn at your own pace.
Hubspot Academy provides a range of free and paid courses on marketing, sales, and customer service. Their copywriting courses are comprehensive and teach learners how to create effective content for websites, social media, and email marketing. Additionally, Hubspot Academy provides certification upon course completion.
Skillshare (Highly recommend)
Skillshare is an online learning community that provides learners with access to over 25,000 courses on various topics, including copywriting. The platform features courses from top experts and provides learners with hands-on projects and exercises to improve their copywriting skills.
copywriting website examples
I only recommend two pages that I think are one of the best copywriting website examples where beginners can gain the most value.
A great example of a copywriting portfolio is that of Gari Cruze, a freelance copywriter who has worked with several local businesses. His portfolio page has a black background and highlights his work with small businesses, ad campaigns, and social media ad content. He also includes a portfolio section dedicated to his writing style and showcases his creative process.
Another excellent example of a copywriting portfolio is Clare Barry‘s portfolio site. Her website has a simple color scheme and highlights her writing skills in marketing copy, website pages, product descriptions, and social media content. She also includes a section with client testimonials, which is essential for building trust with potential customers and employers.
A copywriting course can also be a great start for aspiring copywriters to develop their skills and build their portfolioss. The purpose of a copywriting portfolio is to demonstrate your writing skills to potential clients and employers, so it’s essential to have a killer copywriter portfolio that showcases your best work.
In conclusion, a copywriting portfolio is an essential tool for any professional writer. It should include examples of your work, client testimonials, and contact information for potential clients. A copywriting portfolio website is a great way to showcase your skills, and a good copywriter portfolio takes hard work and dedication to create high-quality samples that demonstrate your expertise in the field.
Best copywriting books
Here are the top 10 copywriting books to read. They are based on my personal experience and how I would summarize their content.
- “Breakthrough Advertising” by Eugene Schwartz (Way too much information; so it is the best book to read)
- “The Boron Letters” by Gary Halbert (explaining the best copywriter in history and what they did)
- “Scientific Advertising” by Claude Hopkins (best book to read to learn how to emotionally sell your copywriting)
- “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser (easy book to read for beginners)
- “The Copywriter’s Handbook” by Robert Bly (if there is 1 book you need to get out of the 10, this one is good)
- “Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads” by Luke Sullivan (for business owners)
- “The Ultimate Sales Letter” by Dan Kennedy (to learn about marketing copywriting)
- “How to Write a Good Advertisement” by Victor O. Schwab (if you plan to advertise, read this first)
- “Copywriting Secrets” by Jim Edwards (a great book that gives good storytelling to teach you how to sell)
- “The Adweek Copywriting Handbook” by Joseph Sugarman (teaching you the basics)
As mentioned, if there is one book you need to read to be a better copywriter. Go and read The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly.
best copywriting software to use
With technological advancement, AI is a common online tool that is helping copywriters write better content. Here are the tools you need to have as a copywriter.
If you plan to become a writer. There is no escaping from the free online tool called Grammarly. It is an extension that can help to auto-correct your spelling error and provide you with better word usage if you plan to purchase the premium version.
This is the tool that almost every experience writer uses and you must know. Hemingway is an online tool that grades your writing between grade 3 and grade 12. Given that most readers have a reading capacity of grades 6 to 9. The job of a copywriter is to keep the grading as low as possible to reach out to more audiences.
SEO Tool (I use RankIQ)
Sadly, SEO is a tool that every writer will need to buy to make more money through SEO writing. You can check out this article explaining why SEO will never be free. Simply put, SEO writing is such a profitable business.
There are many types of SEO tools you can use to do keyword research with the most popular ones being Ahrefs and SemRush. As mentioned, SEO tools are not cheap and the lowest pricing you can get for SEO on Ahrefs is $99. That is why I highly recommend beginners and other SEO writers start using RankIQ.
Unlike other SEO tools, RankIQ provides way more keyword research into their topics to provide SEO writers with more information to write about and get a higher ranking. Most importantly, they do not give general information on titles that many business websites are using because they understand this will make it harder for them to rank.
In just 2 weeks, I was able to get multiple contents on Google page one and rank high for HustleVentureSG website. That is why I highly recommend writers use this tool.
Why you should do copywriting as a freelancer
Copywriting can be a lucrative and rewarding career, and freelancing offers many advantages for those interested in pursuing it. As a freelancer, you have the flexibility to work on your own terms, taking on as many or as few clients as you like and set your own rates.
You can also work from anywhere in the world, giving you the freedom to travel or work from home. The best part of all, freelance copywriting offers a diverse range of projects, allowing you to gain experience in different industries and expand your skill set. With the potential for higher income and the personal fulfillment that comes with creating effective copy, this skill can be a great option for those with a talent for writing and a desire for independence.
There are plenty of freelancing platforms for writers to join. I use Fiverr and made over $2,000 per month simply writing content. The crazy part about Fiverr is that there are many writers out there that are making 6-figure incomes providing writing services on the platform.
Building a copywriting portfolio
So if you plan to do copywriting as a freelancer, you need to have a good copywriting portfolio.
To do this, you can share your previous work experience, education, and customer reviews to build creditability. My secret to *almost* landing every single customer that reaches out to me is I dedicate some time to come up with a direct copywriting service for the client’s product or service. That way, they instantly know what they are paying for and how I work with my clients.
How to create a copywriting business
You should only start a copywriting business once you have multiple clients to work with and your portfolio is strong enough. I’ve seen many copywriting businesses fail over the years and go back to their freelancing platform because they were too eager to set up business elsewhere.
I get that these platforms do take 20% of revenue from their sellers but the reason why they can do that is that they provide free traffic for the freelancer. In 2021, Fiverr has over 3.42 million buyers on the platform and it has grown more than 43% compared to last year. So until your freelancing business can grow well and independently, maybe then you may want to consider opening a business.
That said, I would recommend copywriters to open a business. Instead, the most profitable business they can start with their experience is selling courses and e-books. Selling these products online is increasing in popularity. It is a lot easier to sell an e-book and make $2,000 to $3,000 a month!
provide multiple writing services
If you plan to start a copywriting business, you need to be able to provide multiple services. There are many forms of content writing for you to look into. From SEO writing, helping others to write a book, or proofreading for them. By providing multiple services, the business will be able to make more money and provide higher value to its clients.
finding freelancers to support
Finding a freelancer to support your business can offer many benefits, including access to specialized skills and expertise, increased flexibility, and cost savings. Freelancers often have experience working on a variety of projects and can bring a fresh perspective to your business. Most importantly for most startups, working with a freelancer allows you to scale up or down quickly depending on your needs, without the costs and commitments of hiring a full-time employee.
How to find a copywriter
Finding a copywriter freelancer can be a relatively straightforward process. There are many online freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, and PeoplePerHour where you can search for copywriters who offer the services you need. You can narrow down your search by choosing specific criteria, such as the type of copywriting or the level of experience.
Another way you can look for a copywriter is by asking a friend, colleague, or other business owners for referrals to copywriters they have worked with and recommended. Personal referrals can be a great way to find copywriters who have already proven themselves in their field.
Learn more about content writing
There are many ways for you to start earning an income through content writing and copywriting is just one of them. If you are interested to learn more about content writing. Be sure to check out our side hustle 101 on content writing.