Copywriting is an accessible and high-paying skill with these advantages:
In-Demand: Businesses are actively hiring copywriters.
Lucrative: Skilled copywriters can earn six figures.
Remote Work: Most copywriters work from anywhere.
No Formal Education Needed: No need for formal training.
AI Assistance: New AI tools make copywriting quicker.
In this guide, I’ll show you step by step how to become a copywriter and reach a six-figure income in just one year. I’ve been a freelance copywriter since 2015. While I’m not the best or the fastest, I’ve figured out why I succeeded and how you can too. So, get ready to learn how to become a successful six-figure copywriter!
Table of Contents
What is Copywriting?
Copywriting is all about using words to sell, market, and promote products and services to customers. It’s broader than just writing ads and includes things like brochures and websites.
In copywriting, the aim isn’t just to provide information; it’s to make people take action. Here are some important ideas to remember:
- Focus on Benefits: Talk about how your product or service benefits customers. This gives them a reason to act.
- Make Offers: Offer something appealing that encourages people to take action.
- Think from the Customer’s Perspective: To connect with customers, you need to understand and speak from their point of view.
Words should do more than sit there; they should prompt action.
Every piece of writing should drive action, like making a sale, getting leads, or attracting customers.
You should ask yourself two important questions:
What Does This Do for My Business? Define what you want your writing to achieve. If it doesn’t have a clear purpose that helps your business, reconsider it.
What Do I Want the Prospect to Do After Reading This? Determine the action you want readers to take. Ensure your writing provides the needed information and persuades them to take that action.
In a nutshell, copywriting turns words into a powerful tool that moves your business forward and encourages action from both you and your customers.
What Does a Copywriter Do?
A copywriter’s role involves much more than just putting words on a page. It’s a multifaceted job that includes:
Generating Ideas: Copywriters brainstorm and develop concepts for advertisements and marketing campaigns. They often collaborate with graphic designers to create cohesive visuals.
Writing Copy: They craft compelling and persuasive content for various formats and media, tailored to specific marketing objectives.
Client Interaction: Copywriters pitch their advertising and marketing ideas to clients or decision-makers within their company, ensuring alignment with overall goals.
Research: They dive into extensive research, exploring products, services, customer demographics, website search trends, competitor strategies, and industry trends to inform their writing.
Voice Development: Copywriters establish or adapt brand voices, ensuring that the messaging aligns with the brand’s identity and values.
Performance Analysis: They analyze the results of marketing campaigns to refine their future copywriting strategies, aiming for improved effectiveness.
Editing and Revising: Writing is rewriting, and copywriters take feedback from stakeholders to revise and refine their copy through multiple drafts until it meets the desired objectives.
How Much Money Do Copywriters Make?
Copywriting income can vary widely, and it depends on two main factors:
Your Copywriting Skill: Your ability as a copywriter is a significant factor in determining your earnings. It takes time to become proficient in this craft.
The Opportunities You Choose: Your income potential also hinges on the kind of work you pursue and how you make money from it.
Here are the average salaries for copywriters in the United States, categorized by years of experience:
Freelance Copywriter Averages:
- $51,144 for 0-1 years of experience
- $59,225 for 4-6 years of experience
- $75,202 for 10-14 years of experience
In-House Copywriter Averages:
- $55,635 for 0-1 years of experience
- $65,452 for 4-6 years of experience
- $84,349 for 10-14 years of experience
While these figures provide a starting point, remember that they represent general averages. Copywriters’ earnings can range widely, from a few thousand dollars to several million dollars per year.
To increase your income potential, focus on improving your copywriting skills over time. Additionally, think about the opportunities you pursue and how you monetize your work. For instance, you might specialize in writing LinkedIn posts (the type of work) and charge clients on a monthly basis (your monetization strategy).
In essence, your income as a copywriter isn’t set in stone; it can vary significantly based on your expertise and career choices.
How to Make Money Copywriting: 8 Best Ways
Let’s discuss some popular ways to make money as a copywriter and provide you with resources to help you get started in each of these opportunities.
1. Blog Post Writing
One way for copywriters to make money is by writing blog posts. Many businesses want to appear at the top of Google search results for keywords related to their industry. To achieve this, they often hire freelance writers to create high-quality articles that answer users’ questions.
For example, if you sell small business accounting software, you might hire a freelance writer to create content that ranks first for the keyword “small business accounting software.” This content can attract potential customers to your website.
To succeed in blog post writing, you should also have a basic understanding of SEO (search engine optimization) and keyword research. While SEO is crucial, companies might also hire copywriters to create articles about new product launches, thought leadership pieces, or general information they want to share with their audience.
Another option is to create your own affiliate website and direct visitors to products and services offered by other companies. When people from your site make purchases, you earn a commission on the sale.
These affiliate websites can be very profitable, potentially worth millions of dollars, but they require a lot of time and effort to develop.
2. Sales Pages
Selling stuff online means making persuasive sales pages. These pages are super important for folks selling online courses, coaching programs, digital stuff, or even physical items like supplements.
These sales pages are usually a few hundred to a few thousand words long and follow a basic formula to get people to buy. Here’s how it usually goes:
Identify the Problem: Start by saying, “Hey, we know what problems you’re dealing with.” This helps you connect with them and show you get what they’re going through.
Make the Problem Worse: Dig deeper into those issues. Explain why they’re really painful and how they mess with your readers’ lives. This makes your bond with the reader stronger.
Offer the Solution: Introduce your product or service as the solution to those problems. Explain how it can really fix the issues your audience is dealing with.
Talk About the Good Stuff: Paint a clear picture of how great life will be after they use your product. Describe it in a way that matches what your audience sees as their perfect situation.
Prove It Works: Show proof that your product does what it says. Share stories and reviews from people who’ve benefited from it.
Say, “Buy Now!”: Tell the reader to take action and buy. Offer a money-back guarantee to make them feel better about buying.
A sales page’s success depends on how well the copywriter connects with the target audience. To do this, you might need to chat with the client, talk to their customers, and even try the product yourself. This info is vital for making a strong case that convinces folks to buy.
3. Website Copywriting
When it comes to websites, the words you put on the homepage, about page, and product or service pages are super important. They can make or break a business’s ability to turn visitors into customers.
That’s why lots of businesses are ready to pay good money to skilled copywriters who can create awesome content for these pages.
Website copywriting is a bit different from long, wordy sales copy you might find elsewhere. It’s usually shorter, about 500 to 1,000 words, but it’s just as crucial. To do well in this field, you’ve got to really understand your customers’ problems and how your product or service can solve them. Your goal is to convince readers that your stuff is the best solution around.
But hold on, there’s more to it. Website copywriters also need to be pals with SEO (search engine optimization). You need to make sure each page ranks high on search engines for the right keywords. This means you should know how to find the right keywords and tweak your content so it shows up when people search for those words.
If you bring A/B testing skills and experience to the table, you can charge even more for your website copywriting services.
That said, how much you can earn as a website copywriter can vary. Some clients are cool with paying a few hundred bucks for basic website copy on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. But if you work with big companies, they’re totally willing to shell out thousands for top-notch website copy that gets results.
4. Email Copywriting
Email copywriters play a key role in helping businesses boost sales through emails.
They create a series of emails that are sent out over about a week to ten days. These emails aim to build a relationship with potential customers by offering something valuable, like free content that solves their problems. The goal is to lead readers to make a purchase.
Good email copywriters are pros at forming a connection with readers. They start by offering value and know how to craft eye-catching subject lines. They also experiment with different elements in the email, such as call-to-actions (CTAs) and hooks, to see what works best.
The money you can make as an email copywriter can vary. For instance, if you work with a startup that just needs a simple email series to encourage people to sign up for a free course, you might earn a few hundred dollars.
However, established companies with a proven product and a top-notch email subscriber list are often willing to pay more. They might invest over $10,000 or even $25,000 for a high-quality email sequence, especially if they believe it will boost their sales.
5. Social Media Ghostwriting
More and more B2B leaders are realizing how important it is to be active on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. They’re willing to pay ghostwriters a lot of money to create content for them on social media.
For example, Alex Lieberman, one of the founders of Morning Brew, started a ghostwriting agency that charges about $8,000 per month to make social media content for executives.
To be a great social media ghostwriter, you need to:
- Understand Your Clients: You should be good at taking your clients’ ideas and organizing them into clear posts that match their style.
- Stay Informed: It’s crucial to keep up with the latest news and trends so you can connect current events with your clients’ content.
- Be Ready to Write A Lot: Success in this job often means writing a bunch of content regularly.
Rates for social media ghostwriting can vary. On average, you might charge about $2,000 per client for multiple posts or threads each week. However, some agencies like Storyarb, led by Alex Lieberman, might charge as much as $8,000 per month for several posts and threads each week.
6. Newsletter Writing
Newsletters have become a hot business trend lately. Companies like The Hustle and Morning Brew sold for millions of dollars. That’s why many businesses are willing to pay big bucks for talented copywriters.
Here’s what this job involves:
- Research and Insights: You’ll need to dig into current trends and events, find the juiciest insights, and explain how they affect the reader.
- Mix of Humor and Storytelling: Your writing should blend humor and storytelling while getting your point across clearly.
Newsletter writing is a relatively new gig in the world of copywriting, but if you can prove you’re great at it, you can earn thousands of dollars each month.
7. Video Script Writing
Here’s another cool way to make a full-time income as a copywriter: write scripts for videos, whether it’s for YouTubers or companies producing video content.
A top-notch video script writer knows how to:
- Create a Captivating Start: They can hook viewers right from the beginning.
- Build a Story: They craft a narrative that keeps people engaged.
- Write Naturally: Their words sound like something a person would say, not like a dry textbook.
If the writing feels too stiff and formal, it won’t come across well on camera, and you’ll struggle to keep clients.
As for earnings, video scriptwriters can make about the same as blog post writers, which is around $300-$500 for about 1,000 to 2,000 words. But if you team up with a client whose main gig is video content, you could earn even more.
8. Novel Writing/Ghostwriting
Last but not least, you can earn a full-time income in copywriting by ghostwriting novels for authors.
This job needs special skills because most authors have a message to share but may need help turning their ideas into a well-organized book.
Here’s what you’ll do:
- Get the Message: First, understand the ideas your client wants to convey. Then, pick out the stories and key points that make those ideas come alive, so readers can easily grasp and connect with the message.
- Be a Great Storyteller: You’ve got to be a top-notch storyteller to keep readers hooked over hundreds of pages.
This means you’ll likely need to have lots of conversations with the author and make several edits to capture their style and message just right.
When it comes to pay, most novel ghostwriters make between $10,000 and $50,000 for writing a book or memoir.
5 Tips For Improving Your Copywriting Skills
1. Think About Your Reader
Effective copywriting revolves around understanding and addressing the needs and interests of your audience. Many writers often lose sight of this critical aspect. Instead of being reader-focused, they get carried away with their own ideas and stories, which can result in disconnected and ineffective copy.
To implement this tip effectively:
- Research your target audience: Understand who your readers are, what they want, their pain points, and what motivates them.
- Create buyer personas: Develop detailed profiles of your ideal customers to guide your writing.
- Use the language and tone that resonates with your audience: Tailor your copy to speak directly to your readers, addressing their specific concerns and desires.
- Keep the reader’s perspective in mind throughout the writing process: Continuously ask yourself, “How will this benefit the reader?”
2. Be Open to Feedback
Receiving feedback is essential for growth as a copywriter. Often, writers are hesitant to share their work or are defensive when they receive criticism. However, constructive feedback can significantly improve your writing. Here’s how to embrace this tip:
- Share your drafts: Show your work to colleagues, friends, or mentors who can provide honest feedback.
- Don’t take feedback personally: Understand that feedback is about improving the work, not criticizing you personally.
- Consider multiple perspectives: Different readers may offer diverse insights, so be open to various points of view.
- Continuously seek improvement: Use feedback as a tool to enhance your skills and refine your copywriting.
3. Use the Bar Stool Test
The “Bar Stool Test” is a simple concept that emphasizes making your copy sound conversational and relatable, as if you were talking to a friend at a bar. The goal is to avoid overly formal or robotic language that can alienate readers.
Here’s how to apply the Bar Stool Test:
- Imagine you’re having a casual conversation with friends at a bar.
- Write your copy in a friendly, approachable, and natural tone, as if you were explaining your product or idea to your friends.
- Avoid using overly complex or technical language. Instead, opt for simple words and storytelling to engage your readers.
- Read your copy aloud. If it doesn’t sound like something you’d say in a casual conversation, consider revising it.
By applying the Bar Stool Test, you ensure that your copy is reader-friendly and relatable, making it more likely to resonate with your target audience.
4. Add Specifics
Vague and abstract language can make your copy less engaging and convincing. Adding specifics involves using concrete examples, details, and anecdotes to make your message more powerful and relatable.
Here’s how to incorporate specifics into your copy:
- Replace generic statements with specific examples or anecdotes.
- Provide tangible details and numbers to support your claims.
- Make your writing vivid by appealing to the senses and emotions of your readers.
- Use storytelling techniques to illustrate your points and create a more engaging narrative.
Adding specifics not only makes your copy more persuasive but also helps readers visualize the benefits and outcomes you’re promoting.
5. Keep Learning
Copywriting is an ever-evolving field, and staying stagnant can hinder your progress. Great copywriters are committed to continuous improvement. Here’s how to apply this tip:
- Read books on copywriting and marketing: Invest in resources that teach you the principles of persuasive writing and marketing strategies.
- Take courses and workshops: Enroll in courses that provide hands-on training and practical knowledge.
- Study the work of successful copywriters: Analyze the techniques and styles of renowned copywriters to gain insights and inspiration.
- Stay updated with industry trends: Marketing and consumer behavior evolve, so keeping up-to-date is crucial for relevance.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Can Beginners Learn Copywriting?
You can start copywriting even if you’re a beginner:
- Self-study: Read books, listen to podcasts, and attend webinars. It takes time but works.
- Take a Course: Join a good copywriting course for structured guidance.
- Get a Coach: Consider a coach for personalized feedback and faster improvement.
2. Can I Be a Copywriter with No Experience?
Absolutely! Many successful freelance copywriters began without experience. This job offers flexibility, and experience isn’t a must.
3. Is Copywriting Hard to Learn?
Copywriting is a skill you can acquire, but it does require effort. It takes time, practice, and dedication. Understanding your target market and customers is crucial for effective copywriting. Be ready to experiment and refine your skills over the years.
Remember, while copywriting may take time to master, it’s a valuable skill that can open up opportunities to earn money and work on your terms.
Copywriting is a valuable skill that can boost your income, but it takes time to become proficient.
To become a sought-after copywriter, focus on consistently delivering a strong return on investment (ROI) for specific services. For instance, if you can show that your emails regularly generate $2 for every $1 invested, clients will be willing to invest more in your services, possibly even thousands or millions of dollars.
Don’t worry if your initial copywriting efforts aren’t outstanding. Keep practicing, seek feedback, and track the ROI of your work. With dedication, success will come over time.