Wondering how you can work from home as a copywriter? We've shared details on starting a copywriting business and places to find freelance copywriting jobs.
This year may very well be known as the Work From Home Era, or the time when work started moving more and more to the online, remote space due to COVID-19. For that reason, you may be wondering how you can make the most out of a bad situation or simply do what you have to do to survive.
I’ve been there – in fact, the same thing happened to me, though thankfully not during a global pandemic.
When I first started my own copywriting business, it was 2015, and I was six months pregnant. I had just moved back home to Atlanta from Los Angeles, after spending a few years on the West Coast outside of college. I was broke and living with my in-laws, sleeping in my husband’s childhood bedroom; it still had its Jurassic Park wallpaper.
I only had one “client” at the time – a painting contractor who I had worked for for several years, and who I was doing admin work for when I moved back to Georgia – and I had no idea where to start. But the admin work was minimal, and I was bored in the suburbs, pregnant with no friends and no real job – so I started a business (technically, I started two businesses).
I spent all my time trying to get my in-laws’ home ready for a newborn, napping for hours intermittently (honestly, sometimes I miss being pregnant), and Googling how to start my own copywriting business. That’s right – my business degree came from the University of Google, as did my “parenting degree.” But a writer and mom’s gotta do what a writer and mom’s gotta do!
And you know what? It worked. I’m both a business owner and a pretty good mom!
Of course, any business has its ups and downs and living in the midst of a pandemic certainly doesn’t help. If I look at my sales on Squarespace, without even looking at the months, I can pinpoint the exact moment that the coronavirus hit. The most important thing is that you keep on trucking, as long as this is something you need to do and love to do.
What Is Copywriting?
This is essentially writing sales copy for marketing purposes. Many companies need promotional content for their websites, magazines, and other media. This content could be in the form of short, 3-4 sentence blurbs or full-length blog posts. It all depends on the company you're writing for and what they need.
A good copywriter will know how to write in a “salesy” way without being over-the-top pushy. After all, most of the time the goal in copywriting is to get the reader to take some sort of action that boosts business.
Starting Your Own Copywriting Business
First thing’s first – you need a name. I chose Girl.Copy, because at the time it represented my interests: empowering women and starting my own entrepreneurial endeavors as a woman and a creative.
I registered my business as a sole proprietorship, as I was still freelancing at the time (and still do freelance occasionally), and quite frankly, broke.
I registered the business name under the state I’m living in, so the Georgia Secretary of State. Then, I purchased a website domain through Squarespace. Girlcopy.com wasn’t available, so I chose a .org address to seem more “official” – however, other options, such as .us, are just as valid.
I began advertising on social media on my newly created business pages and in women-focused social media groups. I built up a “fan base,” and word of mouth travels quickly.
Within three years, I was making a full-time salary while working part-time hours. And yes – it did take me three years, and those first two years were some of the roughest of my life.
Starting your own business is no joke, especially if you don’t have financial backing, so be prepared. But if you stick it out long enough and know what your brand and goals are, you’re sure to be successful!
No Business? No Problem!
Starting a business isn’t for everyone. Perhaps you don’t want to start your own business, or you don’t feel ready. Maybe you simply want to work from home as a freelance copywriter. There are plenty of places online where you can still look for work.
Below are a few of my personal favorites:
1 – Join a Social Media Group Focused on Your Interests
I joined several women’s writer’s groups on Facebook, where they post freelance writing gigs and even full-time work. Building up a support network is always key.
If you’re introverted too, this is a great way to start getting to know people. Folks in charge of hiring generally like to hire people they know or at least feel like they have a good read on.
Join some groups, start talking to other writers, and figure out how the freelance world works. You may eventually even get to hire your own writers! That has been one of the most enjoyable parts of my journey, honestly: getting my writing friends work, especially when they’re out of work, and getting to help them nurture their own talent.
One of my contractors tells me again and again that he never fully understood his value as a writer until he started freelancing full-time. You can’t beat that kind of compliment!
2 – Remote.Co
Remote.Co is a website that posts freelance creative gigs, including occasional copywriting work. The website received a recent upgrade, too, and the minds behind it often post very well-paid work – or at least work to help build your portfolio. Who knows? A small freelance gig could turn into full-time work, if that’s your thing!
Go here to check out Remote.Co
3 – BloggingPro
I have used BloggingPro for years. It’s a website that businesses pay a small fee to post their jobs on, and freelancers can apply for said jobs for free – not a bad deal! Jobs are available for businesses to keep active for 30 days. You'll find copywriting work as well as other types of writing jobs you can do as a freelancer.
Pay varies, of course, but it’s decent, especially if you can book a few gigs through the website.
Go here to check out BloggingPro.
4 – Craigslist
Yes, I know – Craigslist doesn’t seem like the most legitimate source for copywriting jobs, but I’ve gotten plenty of long-term, paying gigs off of the website.
Hot tip – it helps to look in cities with higher standards of living, like San Francisco or New York. Of course, like with any freelance writing gigs, make sure you fully vet the business or individual as best you can before applying. There are some good tips on doing that here.
Go here to begin searching Craigslist for copywriting work.
5 – Constant Content
Full disclosure, Constant Content is a writing mill, and I generally try and stay away from mills after having a few negative experiences with them (non-payment and low pay is among the most common grievances with content mills, as well as long hours and demanding managers).
However, after doing some research on Constant Content, it seems that the writing agency may be one of the more okay ones. According to clippings.me, “Constant Content is a marketplace where you can fulfill an article request from one of the platform’s clients or write an article of your choice and offer it for sale. If you choose the second option, you have the freedom to choose your purchase price. You get 65 percent of that amount if the article sells. Constant Content takes the other 35 percent.”
Clippings.me states that’s pretty high for a content mill, especially by comparison to a website like Textbroker, which I considered including in this article but then discovered that their rates are notoriously low.
Go here to check out Constant Content.
6 – Freelancer.com
I have signed up for Freelancer.com in the past, because I heard good things about it, but honestly have yet to use it. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not the perfect gig source for you!
Also, if you have other talents besides writing, this can truly be a phenomenal resource, as Freelancer hires all kinds of creative types, from graphic designers to writers to cyber security experts.
The website allows writers to bid for project-based work, but the projects can sometimes go on for months.
Go here to start searching for copywriting work on Freelancer.com.
7 – Guru
I’ve never heard a bad word spoken about Guru. Many freelancers think it’s one of the best websites for finding gigs.
How does it work?
First, you create a writing profile and upload your portfolio so that new clients can see your work. You set your “standard rate,” so potential new clients can see how much you charge, and boom – your profile is ready to show up for businesses and individuals searching for writers!
Go here to get started finding copywriting jobs with Guru.
Good luck if you pursue any of the options listed above
Not Sure Copywriting Is For You?
If you want to start a freelance writing career, but you're unsure about copywriting, you may want to download a copy of Gina Horkey's FREE list of 200+ writing niches to consider! That should certainly give you some other ideas.
Gina also offers a very helpful 19-page workbook to help you kickstart your writing career. The workbook shows you how to choose your niches, write a sample, create a portfolio from the ground up, start prospecting for work, develop smart pitching habits and a lot more.