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 have 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 copywriting services 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.
The press, covering magazine and newspaper publications, is by far the largest source of work for copywriters in the UK. The main issue for freelance copywriters 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 from contacting magazine and newspaper editors if you have written an article that you feel would fit well in their publication.
The difference between being a freelance journalist and a freelance copywriter is in the tone of voice, the style of writing, and the skill set. Copywriters tend to write content that would lead to an action from the reader, whether this is from promoting a product which they then go and buy, or giving tips that are then acted upon. Freelance copywriters can write content for the press depending on if that is the niche they would like to tackle. A freelance journalist is more likely to stick to a certain type of narrative to inform people of news and news only whereas a copywriter is more varied and would perhaps write a blog in part of the magazine section rather than the headline story.
The most coveted of copywriting sectors. Getting 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 in this industry and lots of already established agencies that 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.
Advertising is a key aspect of copywriting, writing promotional and informational copy to help promote products and businesses. Businesses need copywriters as they understand the need for writing valuable content and how to use it to promote products and services to a wider audience. Understanding the type of business you are copywriting for is essential to creating content. Advertisers don’t just rely on imaging and marketing of a product, but also the voice of the product. Describing a business product takes a lot of skill to target the correct audience, so build up a portfolio of different audiences that you have advertised for to show future clients your broadened writing skills.
BUSINESS SALES AND PROMOTIONS
Similar to the type of copywriting required by advertising agencies, are sales and promotional items such as brochures, leaflets, flyers, media packs, client testimonials, case studies, and more, which 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 online. You may be surprised at how many companies require these services, but promoting a client’s services through copywriting can increase sales immediately if the correct choice of wording is used. Although colour and images can draw people in, it will ultimately be your copywriting that decides for a reader whether or not to commit to that business and its product.
WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA
There are multiple sources of work when it comes to getting your content published online. Many websites and businesses now have blogs that require copy for. If you are particularly interested in a subject or a website then contact them to offer your services. Every business has an online presence or needs to make it a priority, and this opens a vast amount of opportunities for freelance copywriters looking for work.
Web copywriting involves writing freelance content for social media posts, websites and so much more. Intriguing headlines are vital to copywriting for the internet as this will be what draws the reader into the website. Copywriters may also be required to have knowledge of SEO to write for the web, so this is another skill to brush up on as it could help you stand out from other online freelance copywriters.
PUBLIC RELATIONS (PR) COMPANIES
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. As indicated even the smallest clients have a need for PR activities and as a freelancer, local PR companies may need an extra copywriter from time to time if you prove that you can do the job.
Freelance copywriting for public relations businesses involves writing content to promote marketing content and the business. Press releases are usually covered as part of PR and as always you will need to understand the business you are freelancing for thoroughly to project the right reputation.
More on freelancing as a copywriter.