Who needs freelance copywriters?

The market for copywriters is vast and is expanding all the time thanks mainly to the Internet where company information and marketing has to be up-to-date as soon as news breaks or a new product line is released. This rapidly developing market is an excellent area for copywriters to gain a number of clients as many small to medium sized sites need regular content to keep up with new products, news or press releases and are not large enough to support, or warrant, a full time copywriter in house.

As well as the Internet there are numerous other places that require copywriting, all businesses will require some of the below at some point so creating a portfolio covering as many of the areas below as possible will stand you in good stead when bidding for new work.

Direct Mail

Direct mail (often abbreviated as DM) is quite often the main route for smaller businesses to advertise their products and services due to the relatively low overheads involved when compared to a magazine or television advert.

Whilst a cheap way to reach a large target audience the steady rise of this marketing technique over the years has left DM more often referred to as 'junk mail' as the vast majority of it ends up in the bin rather then securing leads and sales for the sender. Lead rates are so low that a two percent response rate is considered as a good result. Bad copy can seriously reduce this small margin so writing inviting copy for this area is vital.

The Press

The press, covering magazine and newspaper publications, is by far the largest source of work for copywriters in the UK. The main issue for the freelance copywriter is that the vast majority of this work is completed by trained journalists. A slightly different skill set exists for the copywriter in comparison to the journalist where journalism requires a different degree of research standards and a higher understanding of the legal issues involved in reporting copy.

While you may not be a qualified journalist there is nothing to stop you contacting magazine and newspaper editors if you have written an article that you feel would fit well in their publication.

Advertising

The most coveted of copywriting sectors. To get a job in this industry will entail hard work, a vast creative flair and a little bit of luck. There is a lot of competition for this industry and lots of ready established agencies who will take the majority of work from larger corporations. It may be that some of your clients who rely on your work will want ad work completing so it is good to familiarise yourself with the rules and skills that relate to advertising copy, check our recommended reading for suggested titles.

The Internet

As already stated the Internet has increased the amount of work available for good copywriters as it has grown and more businesses feel the need for an online presence. Not only does more copy need to be written it also has to be updated and added to more regularly as it is constantly on view to any passing visitor.

Public Relations

PR can be defined as:

Communication with various sectors of the public to influence their attitudes and opinions in the interest of promoting a person, product, or idea.
Source

PR is used to promote products, services, and identities (whether corporate or individual) to the public, via any media available. PR activities vary from the writing of a press release about a client for the local paper to some of the more daring PR stunts such as those used by Vodaphone in order to draw attention to their services. As indicated even the smallest clients have need for PR activities and as a freelancer local PR companies may have need of an extra copywriter from time to time if you prove that you can do the job.

Sales and Sale Promotion

Brochures, leaflets, flyers, media packs, client testimonials, case studies and more are used to support the sale during the lifecycle of many products and services. Work can range from writing the initial copy to taking an existing brochure and updating it for a new release or for use on the Internet. You may be surprised at how many local companies require these services.


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