Freelance Copywriting Isn’t Dying. It’s Already Dead.
When I first found out about the possibility that I could quit the job I hated and become a freelance copywriter, my life changed forever.
I was sold on a vision of rolling out of bed and spending an hour or two joyously typing away on my keyboard in my bathrobe with a hot cup of joe.
I’d be sitting on my patio.
The birds would be chirping and the sun would be shining.
Oh, what’s that?
The mailman is here with a pile of royalty checks for me!
Well… that’s how AWAI and every other person with a Freelance Copywriting product sold me.
Here’s the thing though…
This romantic vision of freelance copywriting died.
A long time ago.
Very few freelancers ever live the ‘vision’ that’s sold to you.
In fact, I’ve read the average freelance writer makes about $50k/year.
Perfectly respectable salary.
But hardly “FU, I’m gonna sit around in my underwear and collect royalty check money.”
The landscape has changed.
The traditional, romantic vision of the “freelance lifestyle” is no longer.
And while I’m not saying an awesome lifestyle with big paychecks is impossible to achieve… you have to understand how the landscape has changed.
Why Traditional Freelance Copywriting Is Dead
If you went back in time to the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s your role as a freelancer would be pretty simple.
You’d most likely spend most of your time writing space ads and sales letters. And these two things really aren’t all that different from each other.
Sure, you might have to write a few classified ads or maybe even a radio spot or two… but for the most part, there was a much smaller universe of project types you’d be required to work on.
You could justify a $25k price tag + royalties for a sales letter. That was the main medium companies used to advertise.
But today, things are a lot different.
This thing came along. It’s called the internet.
And what came with it was an explosion of new kinds of projects for freelancers to work on.
Nowadays as a freelance copywriter, you might still write space ads or sales letters.
But you also might have to write emails, google PPC ads, FB ads, video scripts, squeeze pages, upsell pages, downsell pages, cross-sell pages, PLF funnels, webinar scripts, webinar funnels, Tweets, facebook posts, youtube video descriptions, front end funnels, back end funnels, etc…
There’s a shit ton of stuff you need to know how to write.
It’s not just “Here’s a check, go write me a sales letter I can mail a million times.”
If you are taking advice from people who made their money that way, but are struggling to survive in today’s ever-changing freelance market, you are going to be shit out of luck.
The way I see it, you can’t just be a freelance copywriter anymore.
You can’t just say “Hey, I’m a copywriter, I can write words that make you money.”
No one gives a shit.
There are a million people just like you, who are saying the same thing.
You have to differentiate yourself.
Business has changed.
So you too must change your approach.
There Are 3 Ways To Make A Killing As A Freelance Copywriter In 2017
- Specialize In Some Type Of High Value Project. The freelancers who make the most money specialize in specific types of projects. Maybe you are awesome at doing PLF style launches. Maybe you write webinar funnels. Maybe you specialize in Facebook lead generation campaigns. Maybe you are an expert at Kickstarter launches. You can charge a higher price if you give someone a done-for-you solution. Business owners have problems and, for the most part, want these done for you solutions. If you tell someone, I just do sales letters or I just do emails, well… you’re going to get passed over by someone who can do the entire job the client needs to get done. Some clients might just need a few pieces of the puzzle to make their business work. But the clients who pay big money oftentimes need someone who can do a complete job. If you just do emails and the client needs an entire funnel written, you’re not going to get that job. Remember, if you are just a copywriter, you are competing with every other “copywriter” out there. Differentiate yourself.
- Go Deep With One Or Two Clients. Clients who are selling stuff on the internet need a ton of copy. It’s not just sales letters and emails. It’s everything. Everything they publish online needs an expert copywriter’s touch. If you plan on just doing one-off jobs your whole life, it’s going to be very hard to make a lot of money. When you choose one or two clients and go really deep with them, it’s a win-win for you and for them. You have to spend less time doing market research and getting up to speed with a product’s benefits. And your client spends less time looking for another freelancer everytime they need something done.
- Write faster. I’m amazed at how long some writers take to complete certain projects. As a freelancer, your time is money. Literally. It doesn’t matter how leveraged your freelance business is. As long as you are a freelancer, your time will always be tied to your money. If you are going to succeed, you need to know how to write fast. If you can’t get 5 emails done in two hours, you’re not going to last. You can have a pretty chill lifestyle as a copywriter. But for a few hours a day, you gotta put your ass in the seat and get your work done. Or, if you want to make a lot of money, put in longer hours, do more volume and you can really clean up. Remember: writer’s block isn’t real. It doesn’t exist. Amateurs complain about writer’s block. Pro’s get the job done no matter what.
I hate to be the guy who has to break the bad news to everyone.
But the vision you were sold on when you started this journey just isn’t true.
It’s a fairy tale.
You can be blind to this fact.
Or you can learn how to play the game to win.
You can have it all as a freelancer:
But you have to recognize that the game has changed.
Traditional freelance copywriting is dead. But that’s a good thing.
Go out and start dominating.
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