Copywriting guide

The copywriting freelance market has few boundaries. Every word in every brochure, advert, website and leaflet is written by somebody. Some of this will be written in-house or by marketing / PR firms, some by the freelance copywriter. By taking the time to read through our Starting Out section you will see that there are many ways to set up as a freelancer; you may be working full or part time and dream of a writing career where you can work where you want, when you want and, if successful, only with those clients who pay on time and are grateful for your services! It can happen but like all market sectors it will take time and hard work to get to this level and it takes a certain kind of personality to succeed where many others have failed.

Like all freelance jobs you are selling yourself, your ability to complete the job on time and to budget by utilising your skills and knowledge of the market. As a copywriter you can choose to specify in a particular market sector or product, or could conceivably write about anything that a client desires. The ability to research your topic and to understand your clients' target customers and therefore write your copy accordingly are skills that you will need to learn as a copywriter. Yes, copywriting takes imagination and flair, but if your ideas are so far removed from the customers' client base or corporate identity then you will be constantly chasing down new clients rather than working from a bank of happy customers who will always turn to you for their copywriting.

Today copywriting covers a huge range of media (television, radio, magazines, brochures, direct mail, etc.) but initially it was restricted to ad agencies that filled paid-for space within the newspapers of the day. With the advent of radio and television, more work became available for ad writers for this new medium; printing processes also developed which led to the large amount of glossy publications in circulation today. The mass take up of internet technologies by the business and home sectors has pushed advertising and PR use by companies to new heights with every web site and email shot requiring a copywriter somewhere to have put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard.)

There is no sign of the internet diminishing, in fact it is still growing at a steady rate, which has also made the job of the copywriter easier when it comes to finding customers and researching content. The scale of the internet makes the possibility of earning a living writing from home a realistic possibility and thousands are already taking advantage of this.

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