Whenever someone asked me what I do for work and I say that I’m a copywriter, they’ll usually respond with something like, “Oh, cool. What’s that?”
The truth is copywriting is one of the most important aspects of advertising. It’s what captures people’s attention and prompts someone to take a predefined action.
Now that action is normally to buy a product, but it can also be to sign up for a mailing list to request a quote, or to book a consultation. So every time you see a Facebook ad or an email from your favourite clothing brand, or even if you just go to a business’s website, what you’re reading is copywriting.
In this article, I’m going to take you through the different types of writing that a copywriter does. And I’m also going to tell you what you need to be successful if you’re thinking about starting a side hustle as a copywriter. Let’s get into it!
What is copywriting?
Alright, so first things first, let’s talk a little more about what copywriting actually is.
Now copywriting is not the same thing as content writing. Although, many copywriters also write content. Have I confused yet?
So essentially, copywriting is writing that is designed to persuade a reader to take a specific action. Content writing, on the other hand, is content that helps to build a business’s know, like and trust factor.
This blog article is content. But if you look at my website’s home page, that would be an example of copy.
This blog article is providing value, on my home page I’m trying to get you to sign up to my mailing list in order to develop our relationship further. So examples of copywriting include; sales pages, Facebook ads, email campaigns, landing pages, YouTube ads, basically, advertising. Content writing includes; blog articles, YouTube videos, and podcast episodes.
What does a typical day look like?
Okay, so now that we know what copywriting is, what does a typical day look like for a copywriter?
Well, most copywriters work with a few clients at a time. Your clients might be small business owners, marketing agencies or even large organisations. And the copywriter will receive project briefs from their clients, and then it will be their job to create the copy.
So if you think back to when you’re at school, and you got an assignment, that’s like what a brief is. So your brief might say to write a 1000 word blog article on five ways to style your hair in summer, or something like that. That’s your brief.
Another example of a brief would be to create a sales page for a skincare product. So then the copywriter will take the brief and they will assess the client’s target market and do some research into what kind of language to use and what kind of pain points the target market has, in order to create copy that is going to be most likely to get the action that the client wants.
So copywriters are not writing as themselves, they’re writing as the business.
I often like to think that a copywriter is sort of like an actor in a way like you have to get into the mind or in the psychology of the person that you’re writing to and figure out how to best present your client’s products in order to get those sales.
So once the copywriter has created a draft of whatever project they’re working on, they will then send it back to their client who will give feedback. And the copywriter will keep working on the copy until the client is 100% happy.
Is copywriting right for you?
Let’s talk about whether or not this is the right side hustle for you.
So the first thing you’re going to need to have is decent writing chops. Now you don’t need to be a master at writing. I certainly wasn’t. I have no formal qualifications in English. But you do need to be able to put a sentence together and tell a story.
It’s quite easy to learn the principles of copywriting online. That’s what I did. But if you’re someone who struggled with English in school, or you don’t know how to structure a basic essay, then copywriting may not be the right side hustle for you.
Secondly, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of how human psychology works and what motivates someone to take action. Now again, this is something that you can learn.
There are plenty of books and resources available on human psychology. But this is something that will help you tap into the target market and create a compelling marketing message that is going to get the results that your client is looking for.
Thirdly, you need to be able to hit deadlines.
Your clients are not going to be wanting to wait around for weeks and weeks for you to create copy for them. So you need to have a really good handle on your schedule. Only say yes to projects that you know you can complete in a timely manner. And make sure that you communicate that to your clients upfront. It will save you a lot of headaches later on.
I hope that gives you a better understanding of what copywriting is and what copywriters do. If you have any questions about copywriting or building a freelancing business, please drop a comment and I will point you in the right direction.