Did you know that freelance copywriters earn on average $83 per hour? That is a hourly range that can realistically be achieved, even as an emerging freelancer within your first year.
However, being a freelancer requires being no slouch. You must hone your craft quickly and efficiently in order to command the rates that you know that your writing talent can yield.
To truly ramp up your freelance career as a copywriter give these 5 tips serious consideration:
1. Create a stunning portfolio before pitching your services to potential clients.
If you don’t have any clips or writing samples, there is no way you can consider yourself a professional writer. The good news is that this is a minor set-back. Just create 4-6 mock samples of the type of content that you want to write for clients. You can even go as far as writing content for real brands that you admire, but put a disclaimer in your portfolio of course citing that you created the samples on a speculative basis.
2. Partner with small marketing firms for outsourced projects early on.
Finding clients that are willing to pay you what you are worth is by far the biggest challenge for new freelance copywriters.
One way to get an inside track to an on-going stream of contract work is by partnering with small online or traditional marketing firms. These firms already have the clients. And since they are in the business of boosting their clients brand and discoverability, that means more and likely they need to provide their clients with content, especially for the web.
Pitch yourself to small firms offering to write; blog posts, press releases, case studies, video scripts, you name it, on their client’s behalf. The pay is not top dollar because you are getting work from the middle man, but its a sure-fire way to build up some additional writing samples and an income stream rather quickly.
3. Do not waste your time on bidding websites.
The weight that content marketing currently carries has spawned an onslaught of companies that make freelancers bid on writing projects. To make matters worse, these companies often encourage freelancers to pay steep fees to be “featured” just to show up in search results within their sites.
Participating in these sites absorbs serious amounts of your time. As an efficient freelancer you have to take into consideration every endeavor you embark on to build your career. Time is truly money as a writer for hire. The time spent bidding on sites could be used to create a stronger portfolio, writing blog posts for your own blog (which is solid free advertising for your writing), and pitching potential clients directly.
4. Write for Yahoo Network.
Think of the potential weight you can carry by having “Yahoo! Contributor” on your website, blog, portfolio, and resume. Writing for a news syndicate such as Yahoo will help you to build writing stamina, increase your clips/writing samples, and sharpen your skills at what it is truly like to write for a living. Basically, being a bonafide entrepreneurial writer.
5. Write an e-book on your expertise.
Think of your potential clients. What can you teach them? Companies will hire you to solve problems through the power of the written word. Writing and publishing your own e-book in your niche or that touts your expertise, is a way to quickly establish yourself as a writer for hire.
Make sure that you hone in on a current problem in your field. Are you wanting to be a personal finance freelance blogger? Write an e-book on how to pay for college out of pocket. Or do you want to be an advertising copywriter? Create an e-book that breaks down the top apps needed to succeed in advertising today.
Write an informative and compelling e-book and market it like there’s no tomorrow. Let it be a funnel to your brand as a copywriter.
To succeed as a freelance copywriter, you must draw upon all of your creative juices from day one.
Be wise with your time and strategic with your talent. With the right mix of preparation and some elbow grease, you should be able to begin generating income almost immediately.
Before you know it, you will hit the $83 per hour mark or higher for your proven writing chops.