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How Do You Start a Copywriting Business? A Comprehensive Guide

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Working as a freelance copywriter comes with a lot of exciting opportunities and challenges. You get to work with a variety of clients, have control over when and how you work, and have the potential to make a great income. But with this freedom also comes responsibility, such as finding and keeping clients, managing your finances and time, and developing your writing skills.

In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of starting and running a successful copywriting business.

P.S. Build your brand within the copywriting industry and show up on Google, by getting an exclusive feature interview with Copywriting.org. Fill out an interview at no cost and claim the opportunity to be showcased on this top-ranking website in the industry.

Create A Game Plan For Your Freelance Copywriting Business

You have the writing skill, you’re driven, and you know what you need to do to make it. But how do you get there?

Devising a plan that works for you will help you map out your goals and objectives. It’s also the best way to stay on track of your work, deadlines, and milestones.

It helps you figure out the operational aspects of your business, such as pricing strategies and projected income. It also helps you establish the best method for marketing your services and winning new high-paying clients.

Here’s what your plan should entail:

• An overview of your services, target market, and competitive advantages

• A detailed budget that accounts for operating costs, and marketing expenses

• An outline of your pricing structure and payment terms

• A timeline for growing your business

• Details of any collateral materials you need, such as business cards or website

• A process for tracking your performance and client feedback

How much does it cost to start a copywriting business?

You don’t need a huge budget to start your own copywriting business. In fact, many successful freelance copywriters have launched their careers with very little upfront costs. That said, it’s still important to know how much you’ll need to spend before you get your business off the ground.

Business Structure

Depending on your needs and preferences, you may want to set up an LLC or other formal business structure. Fees for establishing a formal business entity and creating a business bank account may differ based on locality, ranging from as low as fifty dollars to up to five hundred.

Software & Tools

You’ll need a computer and software that’s suitable for writing tasks such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Tools like Grammarly are available to help you polish up written pieces. Most of these programs and applications are either without cost or economically priced.

Marketing & Promotion

You’ll need to set aside a portion of your budget for marketing and promotion, especially in the early days. This could include creating a website to showcase your work, setting up a blog and social media accounts, or investing in paid advertising. The cost of these will vary depending on the platform and scope of your marketing efforts.

Setting up a website, for example, can be done relatively cheaply. Using a template website builder could cost you as little as $10-20/month, depending on the provider.

Key Takeaway: Starting a freelance copywriting business doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, as long as you are mindful of what you need, and where to find it. A little research goes a long way in helping you keep your overhead costs low and make the most of your budget.

Choosing a Copywriting Niche

A niche is an area of focus that you decide to specialize in. It could be anything from financial copywriting to travel writing, direct response copywriting, SEO copywriting, or technical writing. By choosing a specific area of focus, you can:

  • Narrow down your target audience and cater to their specific needs

  • Increase your exposure to potential clients in that niche

  • Become an expert in the niche and set yourself apart from other freelance copywriters

  • Simplify the search process and make it easier to find clients in your chosen niche

  • Spend less time researching and understanding the ins and outs of various industries

Your niche should reflect your interests, skills, and experience. While it is possible to learn on the job, having an understanding of the industry you are working with will help you write more effective copy.

If you have an education or background in something that could be turned into a niche, consider it. For example, if you have a degree in finance, financial copywriting may be the perfect fit for you.

Once you choose a copywriting niche, don’t be afraid to delve deeper and specialize even further. Technology companies might need more specialized forms of copywriting than other industries, so you could specialize in tech copywriting. If you want to focus on travel writing, consider narrowing it down to a specific region or type of travel such as luxury cruises or adventure holidays.

It’s also important to ensure enough work in your chosen area – do some research and see how many potential clients are out there. Consider the type of clients you want to target and if they are likely to need the freelance copywriting services you provide. For example:

  • Advertising agencies offer a lot of recurring work, but you may be required to work with tight deadlines and follow specific instructions. They also typically hire experienced freelance copywriters with extensive portfolios.

  • Startups may have less of an immediate need for copywriting, but they can offer more creative freedom and the potential to grow with the company.

  • Large corporations usually have ongoing copywriting needs and a large budget, but it may take longer to get through the approval process. Writing for them often requires following specific brand guidelines and adhering to a corporate style.

Each of these types of clients requires a different approach — they have varying levels of need, budget, and expectations. Evaluate your skills and interests to decide who you want to target with your professional copywriting services.

That said, Troy Ericson’s Email List Management Certification course is an ideal way to begin if you’re aiming to specialize in email list management. This comprehensive program will provide a thorough education on the essentials of creating an effective list-building strategy, crafting emails that engage readers and convert them into customers, launching successful campaigns, and analyzing results for continuous improvement.

Setting Your Copywriting Rates

Research the rates in your niche and get an idea of what the market is currently paying for copywriting services. Remember you’re not just selling your time, you’re also providing a valuable service. Your rates should take into account all of the factors that go into copywriting services: research, interviews, writing, editing, client communication, and business expenses.

You can charge clients either hourly, per article/blog post/landing page, or per project.

  • Hourly: This is the most common way for copywriters to bill clients. Your hourly rate should reflect the amount of time, experience, and skill you bring to the table. Use time-tracking apps like Toggl or Harvest to track how long it takes you to complete tasks so you can base your rate on actual time invested.

  • Per Article/Blog Post/Landing Page: This type of payment structure is ideal for clients who need a specific number of blog posts or articles. You can set a rate based on the length and complexity of the task and how much time it will take you to complete it.

  • Per Project: This is a good option when working on larger projects such as e-books and whitepapers. The rate will vary depending on the scope of work, research required, and turnaround time.

You can create a rate sheet that outlines the services and rates you offer, or set rates for individual clients on a case-by-case basis. Some copywriters have different rate sheets for different types of clients i.e. one for medium-sized businesses, one for individual clients, etc.

Be prepared to negotiate a rate increase and be willing to adjust your rate if necessary. Ultimately, you want to be paid fairly for your services and ensure that you are not overworking yourself or undervaluing your work.

Finally, remember that your rates will continue to evolve. As you gain more experience and copywriting skills, you can adjust your rates accordingly.

Build Your Portfolio

You don’t have to be an artist or graphic designer to build an impressive portfolio. There are plenty of free and easy-to-use tools available online for creating stunning visual portfolios. Platforms such as ClearvoiceClippings, and Contently are just some of the options available.

Start by putting together samples of your writing, whether it’s blog posts, web content, press releases, or anything else you may have written before. Put together some pieces that demonstrate different types of writing styles so potential clients can get an idea of what you can do for them. Include any commendations you’ve garnered from prior clients in your portfolio.

You could also consider creating video versions of your portfolio pieces if they lend themselves well to this format – videos are becoming increasingly popular these days and will give potential employers another way to see how talented (and creative) you really are.

You don’t necessarily need to have an extensive portfolio when you start out but make sure you proofread and edit your samples before submitting them. A few well-crafted pieces of writing can go a long way toward helping you land your first copywriting client.

Key Takeaway: To start your own copywriting business, create an online portfolio showcasing your best work and demonstrate different writing styles to potential clients. Consider creating video versions of your pieces too – it’s worth the extra effort as videos are becoming increasingly popular for promotional purposes. Assemble your work in a manner that makes you unique and superior to other copywriters.

Finding Copywriting Jobs

Now comes the task of finding clients who need your services. Here are a few popular ways to find writing gigs:

Cold Emailing

Create a list of companies that might be interested in hiring a professional copywriter. Search for the contact information of the person responsible for managing the company’s content marketing efforts. Then, craft an email that introduces yourself and your services. You want your email to be professional yet engaging so the reader is motivated to click through to your portfolio. Include a link to your portfolio in the email so the client can get a quick idea of your writing style.

Freelance Job Boards

These platforms offer a wide variety of copywriting jobs, ranging from SEO and web content to creative writing. Sites such as ProbloggerSmartBlogger, and Upwork are some of the most popular job boards for copywriters.

Before applying for copywriting gigs on job boards, make sure you read the job description and requirements carefully. You want to send a personalized pitch that outlines your experience and why you’re the perfect fit for the job. While the competition may be tight, the right pitch can help you stand out from copywriters who send generic applications.

Content Marketplaces

These services provide a meeting ground for copywriters and clients looking to hire them. Clients post their project requirements and invite freelancers to submit a proposal. Content marketplaces such as ScriptedTextbroker, and Zerys are great for beginners who are just starting a copywriting business. Keep in mind that some of the rates may be lower than what you’d normally charge, but it can be a good way to pick up some gigs and get your foot in the door. Once you gain enough experience, you can move on to higher-paying clients.

Build Up Your Copywriting Brand

Building a strong copywriting brand helps attract premium clients and builds loyalty with existing ones. Here’s how to do it:

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

Having an optimized and professional-looking LinkedIn profile is key to building your copywriting brand online, as it can be used to showcase your work and connect with potential clients or collaborators in the industry.

To get started, make sure you include all relevant information about yourself such as education, experience, and skillsets – but don’t forget to add a few personal touches like hobbies or interests that make you unique.

Ensure the data on your profile is correct and current. Create a professional headshot and add relevant connections who could help promote or collaborate with you on projects in the future. Use keywords related to copywriting in your profile summary so that recruiters can find you more easily when searching for new talent.

You can also join groups related to copywriting such as Freelance Writers’ ConnectionWriting on LinkedIn, and Writing Professionals Group to connect with other experienced copywriters.

Creating a Website

A website serves as the foundation of your business and your online brand. It acts as an online portfolio, showcasing examples of past work that prospective clients can view before hiring you for projects.

Your website should be user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing — make sure that yours reflects who you are as a writer.

To create a copywriting website, start by purchasing a domain name then create pages featuring samples of written content. Include your contact information so people know how they can reach out if interested in working together.

Finally, link back from other websites where possible – such as social media accounts or guest posts on other blogs – so visitors have multiple ways of discovering what you do best.

Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs

Writing guest posts on related industry blogs is an effective way to showcase one’s knowledge and draw attention, while also providing readers with valuable insight into the topic. 

Make sure each post contains links back to your original site/portfolio though – this will help direct traffic there rather than relying solely on organic search engine results which could take significantly longer timeframes to achieve desired outcomes.

Show Up on Google with an Interview at Copywriting.org

Appearing on websites like Copywriting.org offers copywriters additional exposure since these sites often rank high among search engine results pages (SERPs). Additionally, answering questions asked during such interviews provides potential clients insight into both personal experiences and topics being discussed, making them feel more connected with writers than ever before.

Key Takeaway: Copywriting is highly competitive, but you can carve out your own spot with the correct technique. To get started, optimize your LinkedIn profile and create a website that showcases samples of past work. Then leverage guest posts on other blogs to increase visibility for yourself as an expert in copywriting topics – just make sure there are links back to your original site so people can find it.

Network & Promote Yourself

Promoting yourself as a freelance copywriter is essential to building your business. Networking and advertising your copywriting services can be done in various digital and traditional ways.

Online Networking

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are great for connecting with other professionals in the field.

Join copywriting groups or post about your services on these sites so that potential clients can find you easily. Here are a few Facebook groups you can join as a freelance copywriter:

Offline Networking

Attend local events such as seminars, workshops, conferences, etc., which will help you build relationships with other writers in person. Attending gatherings, such as workshops or seminars, allows you to make connections with other accomplished copywriters in person and gain potential customers or referrals.

Leverage Referrals

A potential client is more likely to hire you if they hear about you from a trusted source. That’s why networking is so important for any freelancer, especially copywriters. Reach out to people in your network and let them know that you’re now offering copywriting services. Ask them if they know anyone who may be interested in hiring a copywriter.

You can even offer to write copy for free on a one-off project if it’s for a cause or charity you believe in. This is also a great way to build up your portfolio and gain some valuable experience. You can use that opportunity to ask for referrals and expand your network.

In conclusion, networking and promotion should be an integral part of any successful copywriting business strategy – whether it’s online through social media platforms or offline at local events. Taking time out each day to focus on growing your network will pay off dividends over time.

Key Takeaway: In a nutshell, if you want to make it as a copywriter, networking, and promotion are key. It’s important to cast your net wide – whether that means engaging with potential customers online through social media or getting out there in the real world at industry events. Building relationships is essential for success so don’t forget about word-of-mouth referrals too.

Create an Email List

Building a list is easy, but managing it can be tricky if you don’t have the right tools. Select a service, like MailChimp or Constant Contact, that can help you manage contacts and send out newsletters or marketing emails.

Create a sign-up form on your website to enable visitors to join your list quickly and easily. Once people have subscribed, create various categories depending on their interests so that you can send out relevant material tailored to each group.

Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to boost your email list subscription numbers by advertising upcoming promotions or special offers through social media posts. This allows you to get more subscribers quickly without spending money on advertising campaigns.

Consider providing subscribers with engaging content, such as blog posts, videos, ebooks, or free downloads on copywriting topics like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies and instructions for creating compelling content.

By taking the time now to set up an effective email list system for yourself, it will pay off in spades down the road by helping to grow both recognition of yourself as well as revenue streams coming through the door over time.

Key Takeaway: Starting your own business requires setting up an email list and using various social media platforms to promote it. Make sure you provide engaging content that will keep your readers coming back for more, as this is essential in growing recognition of yourself and generating revenue over time. Begin immediately – procrastination will only impede progress.

FAQs: How Do You Start a Copywriting Business

Is a copywriting business profitable?

Yes, a copywriting business can be very profitable. As with any business, the key is to find clients who will pay you for your services. Networking and referrals are great ways to find your first few clients, as well as looking for freelance jobs on job boards and content marketplaces. With the right strategies, you can build a successful copywriting business and make a good living.

Is it hard to start a copywriting business?

To achieve success as a freelance writer and business owner in the copywriting world, it is important to hone your skillset by taking a copywriting course and learning from other successful freelance copywriters. A good understanding of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and writing style are essential components of any successful copywriter’s toolkit.

Additionally, having an eye for detail and being able to recognize errors quickly will help ensure that clients receive quality content on time.

How do copywriters get paid?

Clients may compensate writers either by the hour or on a project-by-project basis.

When working hourly, copywriters charge an agreed-upon rate per hour and bill clients accordingly. Payment for a copywriting job may vary based on the complexity of the task; some jobs that require more effort or research may be rewarded with higher payouts. Copywriters can also receive bonuses if their work is particularly successful or drives results that exceed expectations. Ultimately, how you bill clients for copywriting services is entirely up to you. 

The Bottom Line

 

Launching a copywriting business can be intimidating, but with the right preparation and dedication, you can make it work. Take time to put together a portfolio of your best work, find job boards and content marketplaces that cater to copywriters, and leverage word-of-mouth referrals to get your name out there.

If you’re a copywriter yourself, make sure to click the orange button below to get interviewed on Copywriting.org: