I guess I’ve never had a real gig yet… I’ve written website content for clients many, many times. I’ve also had gigs writing SEO content. But I’ve never really truly had a copywriting gig yet. Thanks for this article. To be honest, I’ve only buzzed through it quickly just now (#MeWantsTShirt), but it actually looks really good and I plan to re-read it carefully, following all the helpful links (especially the ones on the copywriting resources… I really want to be good, no… GOODER, at the art of written persuasion), and bookmarking it. (By the way, offering a paid service to rewrite websites is brilliant. I’ve offered to review and improve websites from a CRO perspective… but I never thought of offering a “better copy” only approach. Nice!
Copywriting is persuasive writing, also known as sales in print, or what I like to call closing in print. Every single day, copywriters prove that written words can influence people to take a particular action, such as buying a product or service after reading the copy. The written content – the ‘copy’ – is persuasive and meant to compel the reader to take action.
You always loved my examples and featured my writing in klass discussions. Another student in the klass was the owner of an established software company. He needed help using content marketing to promote a new app they were launching. He said he was in the klass to learn more about what a good nurture series should look like so he could guide his team to doing them correctly.
Take it from someone who writes for a living: Just start writing. Your first idea is probably not going to be a winner, and that’s why you should get it out of the way as soon as possible. Write out all of the ideas you have for your copy, no matter how silly– you may be surprised at what gems come out of a brainstorming session where you don’t edit or criticize your creativity.
I got my first writing gig on Upwork, helping a guy rewrite some content for his ecolodge website. The pay was only about 5 bucks each, but after I’d helped him with a few pages and blog posts he asked me to help him respond to his customer reviews on TripAdvisor for $125. I’ve gotten a few more clients since then, and not one of them has come from my website; it’s all either been through Upwork (mostly small-time) or from talking to friends and family (much more profitable).
My big mistake was quoting based on hours at first — because I’m really fast, I’d quote a ridiculously low rate. Now I quote based on the value of what people will get. Because I’ve been in online business for about 6 years, I bring a ton of experience and strategy as well as a way with words. :) They’re happy, I’m happy, and my old “friends” now have to stand in line to book me. Bwahahahah!
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