Freelance copywriting: what I’ve learned so far
It has always been my dream to be a freelance copywriter and I’m finally pursuing it full-time. I’m doing what I love, when I want and where I want. How lucky am I?
I have already been given opportunities beyond what I could have ever imagined being possible at this stage. I have also learned a lot about the traits and qualities that I need to make sure I am constantly working on and developing to allow me to enjoy what I do, and be successful in doing it.
If you are considering becoming a freelance copywriter, or even if you are simply interested in what you are reading (fingers crossed!) then what I have learned so far, is that to be successful you need to be:
Being your own boss is great, but it also has its challenges. I’m currently based in Majorca and, as you can imagine, living in an apartment directly above the beach can make finding motivation to crack on with work rather difficult. Fortunately for me, I enjoy writing so much that 99% of the time I’m happy to sacrifice a few hours on the beach if a job comes in. This is precisely why you must truly love what you do.
Organise your time to organise your mind. In my own personal experience, if I don’t make a plan of what needs doing and when, I can sometimes feel slightly overwhelmed. Noting down your plan really helps to clear your mind whether it's a list, a brainstorm, or calendar entries. This means that you will free up your brain power to think up great ideas and do great work, rather than using it to stress out about how and when to do those things.
Able to take criticism
This is difficult for everyone. Having somebody tell you that they don’t like a certain part of your work can really knock you back. Don’t let it! It’s easier said than done, but criticism helps you to develop and be better at what you do. Turn the negative into a positive and learn from it.
To build a portfolio of work and improve your writing skills, it’s important to step outside of your comfort zone. There will be topics and styles of writing that you love, and topics and styles of writing that you aren’t so keen or knowledgeable on. Like me, you might initially be apprehensive and worry that you can’t do a certain piece of work because it’s not your ‘niche’. Every time I’ve thought this, I have done it. Adopt a ‘bring it on’ attitude and challenge yourself. It will pay off.
Building a successful freelance career is difficult. When you’re completely new to it and don’t have much, or even anything in your portfolio, how on earth are you supposed to start earning money and getting businesses to give you a chance? I started out by writing for my friend’s business for free, so that I had examples of my writing abilities. If this isn’t possible for you, then research the types of companies that you want to write for and contact them. Be persistent. Keep reaching out to those businesses and don’t be afraid to contact them more than once if they say no the first time. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
This is the last on the list but, in my opinion, it is the most important. I am purposely writing about it last so that it hopefully sticks in your mind. Before I left my previous job and started this journey, I knew that I would have to be patient and not be discouraged if I didn’t immediately start getting lots of work. It really does take time for things to kick off, and it is easy to think that it’s because you aren’t talented or good enough. You are. Just be patient, keep pushing and don’t give up.
‘Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway’
Don't forget to visit my website! rachelredmond.co.uk