First things first
Follow your passion
Before you consider a freelance career of copywriter, you need to confirm you have a passion for writing, and be prepared to run it as your business.
Businesses seldom succeed in isolation. You need networking. This means you will devour contents from others, write your own content, and promote to others. You will do more than copy writing.
If writing is your passion, then read on. You can choose to write on topics you are passionate about.
You are probably knowledgeable on topics of your passion, and keen to learn more. This helps you to write at great speed, reducing the time of research.
Core skills of the trade
Master the art of persuasion
Online marketing is about establishing trust and convincing people. The better you persuade, the better you will get in copywriting.
This is a tried and proven approach in marketing: identify pain points, communicate benefits, emphasise difference, and present evidence.
I will write another article about how to apply this principle when creating landing pages.
Skills to set you apart
Learn SEO basics
Register your own domain name and run your own website
A website on your own domain name is potentially your most powerful marketing tool. It showcases your passion, knowledge and networking skills. Its domain authority increases when you publish content and get backlinks. It is your asset. This is different from a free subdomain owned by someone else.
The cost of registering a domain name varies across registrars. You can search, compare and find a good deal. It is best to register the domain name by yourself, and have full access to your account.
Some companies offer “free” website hosting. You need to check their terms and see the restrictions. Some providers limit the bandwidth, or limit your ability to migrate to another provider even if you are on a paid plan.
You can create a website using a popular content management system such as WordPress. It comes with free themes and plugins to extend the functionality. Many hosting companies provide a simple way to install WordPress with a few clicks.
For simple static websites, you can also host for free on Gitlab. We have developed a website builder which is free for personal use. In fact this website itself is edited using this website builder. Please refer to the tutorials for details.
Start a blog on your website
A blog is a very useful tool to network with other writers. It allows you to write on a wide range of topics, link to other writers when appropriate, and earn backlinks from them.
You have total control over the blog on your own website, and can decide whom to link to. This is different from blogging on a third party platform where the links can be automatically modified.
You may also consider writing blogs for other websites, and inviting other writers to write guest blogs for you. Blogging opens new doors.
A website is less useful if it is only a portfolio or bookmark of your writings on other websites. If the articles have been published under the client’s name, it is hard to prove authorship.
Many copywriters don’t have a blog or don’t have their own website. If you do, you have a higher chance of standing out in the crowd.
Promote your copywriting service
Here are some effective ways to promote your service and look for clients.
create a Facebook account, and connect with friends.
You may choose to use other social media too, if you have time.
create a Facebook page
Having a Facebook page means you are serious about copywriting service. It is no longer a hobby for some petty cash. Facebook pages offer extra features, and are named after a business rather than people.
You can also delegate the Facebook page to someone else.
join Facebook groups
Some clients look for writers in such groups.
You can promote your copywriting service while you add contents to your website. Your website proves your skills, and convinces clients you have the right talent.
Develop and sell your courses
When you write for clients, you get paid once for the copies. Each copy takes you time, and your available working hours become the bottleneck.
A course such as an e-book or video is designed for the general public, and can be sold to multiple clients. This increases your earning potentials by teaching people how to succeed just like you.
This is the business model shared by successful copywriters who write contents and invest in their websites. Their websites help clients find them, and generate passive revenue from their assets.
About the author - Oliver Liu