Are you a maestro with a keyboard? Does writing make your heart sing? If you enjoy writing and want to turn it into a successful career, then becoming a copywriter is a possibility you should seriously consider—and a highly paid copywriter at that!
Freelance work is a growing industry that can be a great side hustle or a full-time career—and even without experience, a skilled copywriter can earn a lot of money
In this post, I’ll show you how to get started and share some of my best tips for sharpening your copywriting skills.
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A copywriter is anyone who is paid to write content that entices readers to take action. Simply put, they write the words used for marketing products and/or services. This includes things like:
Despite the name, copywriters are more than just writers. They’re writers, salespeople, and behavioral psychologists all rolled into one. To be a good copywriter, you need to learn to master all those elements and skills.
Luckily, it’s easy to start gathering the experience you need to become a successful copywriter.
Copywriting salaries can vary significantly, depending on what industry you work in (more on that in the next section) and how much experience you have as a writer. 
According to Glassdoor, the median salary for copywriters in the U.S. is $58,465/year. 
However, this is  for writers who work in-house or for an established agency. When you work as a freelancer, you can make a lot more (or less) depending on the amount of work you take on and, of course, the rate you charge your clients. The sky’s the limit when it comes to your income as a freelance copywriter, and it’s not unheard of for writers to have steady six-figure salaries. 
There are two main settings that you can work in as a copywriter: 
Like anything else, both of these options have their pros and cons. Let’s dive deeper into them!
The art of copywriting is one you’ll learn with experience. If you’re just starting out as a writer, you might not be great at first. Give it time, be willing to learn from your mistakes, and consult with other, more experienced writers.
You don’t need a creative writing degree to learn how to be a copywriter, but you do need to know how to persuade readers to take action. The good news is you can learn this  by studying those who’ve done it already. 
These additional IWT resources are a great place to start:
You can’t be a copywriter without writing, and you won’t be a successful one without practice. So get into the habit early of honing your copywriting skills. 
 Some perfect practice opportunities that you can work on today are: 
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With some writing practice under your belt, you can start to get a feel for the niche you want to pursue. Your niche is the specific area and audience you’re going to target as a copywriter.
You might ask, “Why would I want to limit myself? Wouldn’t I get more work if I opened myself up to more people?”
It’s paradoxical, but you’ll actually be able to find more work AND charge more if you niche down your audience and specialization. That’s because the more you write in a specific niche, the more expertise you’ll gain and as a result, clients will trust you. This is the start of building a strong reputation.
You should also think about what role you want to own; There are a lot of them:
There’s no right answer here. The important thing is you pick what’s interesting to you and get started. And you can always change it later if it’s not the right fit.
When niching down your target market, ask yourself:
Once you have the answer to those questions, you can come up with your niched-down role.
Here are a few examples:
Once you know how you want to approach your copywriting hustle, it’s time to find your first clients.
Finding clients for a copywriting side hustle can be a little intimidating especially when you’re new.
Luckily, once you find your first few clients, the process becomes MUCH more simple, since they’re likely to refer you to their network (more on this later).
There are a lot of different ways and platforms for finding your first client
Upwork and Fiverr are two job and gig sites catered toward freelancers and can be good places to begin offering your copywriting services. 
Getting started with these websites is simple and you’re walked through the process once you sign up for your accounts.
It should be noted that while Upwork and Fiverr can be great places to start finding clients and building your portfolio, they typically don’t pay well so you shouldn’t necessarily rely on them to find all of your clients. 
Instead, I suggest you go to where your clients spend time online. Checking out message boards, forums, and websites that your clients frequent can be incredibly helpful. For example:
Go to these places and provide value. And do it consistently. I’m talking every day for AT LEAST one hour a day.
By being engaged and providing immense value, you’ll build a network of clients organically and develop a rock-steady reputation.
Once you’ve built up your confidence, consider writing a pitch email to your dream client —and then, of course, send it!
Knowing what to charge for your freelance work can be confusing, especially when you’re starting. 
There are four main pricing models that freelancer writers can use:
If you’re a beginner, I suggest you charge hourly, because most clients are going to be unsure about whether or not you’ll be able to do a good job. As such, they might not want to give you a fat project fee.
Once you’ve gotten your first three or so clients though, then you can move on to different pricing models.
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When it comes to how much exactly you should be charging, there’s no right answer. When in doubt, charge at the lower end of the median when you’re a beginner, and raise your prices from there as you get more experience. According to Payscale, the current median hourly rate for a freelance copywriter is $34.16.

If you want to charge based on the type of content you’re writing, check out this chart from professional copywriter Abbey Woodcock. She surveyed 68 copywriters for IWT to find out how much they charged:
You can see that there’s a HUGE disparity between a highly experienced copywriter and a beginner copywriter. This should be encouraging for anyone just getting started.
Also, even when you’re a relative beginner, you’re still making a good amount of money for your services. Say you write an About Page for a company and charge $85. If that About Page only took you an hour to write, that’s a fantastic ROI on the time you spent on research, writing, and editing.
I’ve been a copywriter for over 15 years, everything from a New York Times Bestselling book to million-dollar sales pages. So, I have some tips to share with you as you get started in your career (or side hustle) as a copywriter.
This sounds obvious, right? Aren’t all writers focused on the reader? Not at all. It’s shocking how often writers lose focus when they’re writing. A lot of writers sit down at their desks, stare at a blank page for a minute, and think, “What should I say?” And then, wham! They’ll just dive right into whatever they feel like writing about. They go off on long tangents. They inject their writing with random stories. And they make everything about themselves (this is I, I, I syndrome). In the process, they kill their writing.
Mediocre writers talk about themselves. Great copywriters write about what their readers care about. This takes planning. You also must be meticulous about the actual words you use. But it’s important to know: the best writers focus their copy on their readers, not themselves.
One of the best ways to do that is to stop talking about YOURSELF and talk to your audience. That means to drop all the “me” and “I” in your copy and start saying “you” instead.
Do you see the difference? When you focus on your readers and write to them, you turn tired, boring writing into exciting and relevant copy.
Good copywriters never stop improving. They don’t wake up one day and think, “Wow, my writing is perfect; I’ll never have to change it again.” That would be absurd.
Beyond that, they’re constantly investing in themselves. They read books on copywriting and marketing. They buy the newest courses. And they read other copywriters’ stuff to stay in the loop. They know it’s important to stay sharp and always keep up-leveling their skills.
Good copywriters aren’t fighting tooth and nail to defend every idea they have. They’re always looking for feedback. That could mean they show their first draft to a friend to see if it’s interesting. Or it might mean reaching out to customers directly for their take.
Good copywriters know that getting feedback on their early first drafts helps their writing improve by 10x or even 100x. They don’t see feedback as criticism. They see it as an opportunity to improve their work.
Notice that I don’t say anything about grammar or editing skills. Those things are important, but you can develop those skills over time with practice. What I pointed out are the mindsets that you MUST bring to the table.
You can work on your technical writing skills later on, but if you’re starting out with the wrong frame of mind, you’ll never make it as a copywriter.
So adopt these mindsets. If you do, you’ll already be 90% of the way to being a good copywriter.
Imagine you’re sitting at a bar with your closest friends. You’re having a few drinks and chatting away.
After a few minutes, your friend asks you, What does your business do again?
Would you read off the mission statement from a company about page and say something like, were you on a mission to drastically reduce process inefficiencies for our valued clients?
No. If you used stiff words and robotic phrases like that, they’d look at you like you were crazy.
So what would you do? You’d take a sip of your drink and just start talking, using simple words and stories.
Good copywriting works the same way.
It’s not super-dense technical material. It uses short sentences and reads the way people talk.
If you want to be a copywriter, read everything you write out loud. If you find yourself thinking, “There’s no way I would ever say that,” trash it and start over.
Vague copy might as well not exist. It doesn’t get people excited or even keep them reading. So any time you find your copy drifting into the clouds, you should try to bring it back down to the ground level with some specific examples. Take a look at these simple edits to vague copy that make them exponentially more powerful:
These simple tweaks will make all of your writing much stronger.
And once you understand how to apply these frameworks, you can start earning money right away. Let me show you what I mean.
Copywriting can be a lucrative career, but you don’t have to go all in at the beginning. You can earn a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars per month doing it on the side in as little as a few hours per week.
How? Think about it like this: every company has something they need to sell, but not every company knows how.
They may have an amazing product or brilliant idea, but no idea how to get people to buy it.
That’s where you, as a copywriter, come in. You can help them sell their products and services better.
All you have to do is work with them on the copy in their sales letters, emails, and on their website.
Think of the horrible sales pitches you’ve gotten. You don’t have to be a great copywriter to do better. And as long as you beat the competition, you can earn good money.
There are thousands of people looking for these types of jobs every day. The only hard part is selecting good clients to work with (some people just don’t value copywriting and that’s okay).
Often,  new copywriters end up chasing low-paying gigs and working with clients who don’t value their services.
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It is possible to learn copywriting by yourself. You can read books, listen to podcasts, join a good course, and attend webinars, but this takes time. A good way to learn is to hire a coach who can tell you what you’re doing wrong and how you can improve your writing.
You don’t need extensive experience to be successful as a copywriter. Many high-income freelance copywriters started closing big-ticket offers with little or no experience. 
Copywriting is accessible to learn, especially for those with a knack for writing and communication. The challenge lies in mastering the art of persuasive writing that resonates with target audiences. It requires understanding consumer psychology, marketing principles, and continuous learning of industry trends. With dedication, practice, and possibly mentorship or formal education, most can learn and excel in copywriting.
According to Glassdoor, copywriters can make between 60k – 99k per year. 
Although, copywriters’ earnings vary widely based on experience, specialization, and location. Beginners might start with lower rates, but as experience and portfolio quality increase, so does the potential for higher earnings. Freelance copywriters might charge per word, per project, or hourly, with rates significantly increasing for specialized niches. Full-time copywriter positions in companies can offer steady incomes with benefits, with salaries ranging from mid-level to high depending on seniority and expertise.
To become a copywriter with no experience, start by honing your writing skills through practice and studying copywriting principles. Create mock copywriting projects for imaginary or real products and services to build a portfolio. Consider taking online courses or attending workshops to learn industry standards and techniques. Networking with professionals and offering your services for free or at a reduced rate initially can also provide valuable experience and testimonials.
As a copywriter, it’s essential to be versatile. You should be familiar with various writing styles, including but not limited to SEO writing, sales and marketing copy, content writing (blogs and articles), technical writing, and creative writing for advertising
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Host of Netflix's "How to Get Rich", NYT Bestselling Author & host of the hit I Will Teach You To Be Rich Podcast. For over 20 years, Ramit has been sharing proven strategies to help people like you take control of their money and live a Rich Life.
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