To be honest, I loved writing in High School. But when it came time to choose a college and career, being a writer seemed like a pipe dream. Most likely, it was because I thought to be a successful writer, I needed a beach house and a typewriter and some sort of sponsor that would call every week to ask if I’d figured out how to kill off the protagonist yet.
The good news is that while it took me a while to learn it, it turns out that you don’t need to be a best-selling novelist or a Time Magazine journalist to make a living as a writer. You don’t even need to be an English major.
How I Became a Fulltime Copywriter
I’ve worked a million different jobs (ok not that many) but when I try writing it out on a resume, it seems like it. I went to school to be an Early Childhood Educator, and honestly, I loved working with children. But I loved traveling more. I especially loved traveling in the wintertime when I could chase the sun and warm weather. Unfortunately, the school year months were the cold months I longed to be away.
Eventually, I got to a point where instead of working for the school year, I would work really hard during the summer months at whatever job I could get, save all my money, and travel during the winter months.
I got jobs at restaurants waitressing, fish hatcheries, counting fish (yes, it’s a thing!), house sitting and taking care of pets, babysitting, working for my dad in construction, and housekeeping.
It wasn’t until a friend told me she had currently started copywriting. Of course, the first thing that came to my mind was the little “C” with the circle around it. To clarify, we’re talking about copyWRITING not copyRIGHTING which I’ll explain more below.
Once I understood what a copywriter does, I asked myself, “can I become a copywriter?”. I figured I’d give it chance and see what happens.
My friend sent me some blog posts about how to get started, and I uploaded my profile to Upwork and starting gaining experience applying for freelance copywriting jobs for beginners.
The Learning Curves of Becoming a Copywriter
I made very little money in the beginning, and I was close to giving up several times. Since I was new to copywriting, I had no idea what to charge and how long I should charge “beginner” rates. This led me to taking on projects that literally paid $5 per project that were labeled as freelance copywriting jobs for beginners. Each of those projects took a minimum of an hour. So, yeah, you can see how that wasn’t going to work out very well.
I’ve been fortunate to find some wonderful clients through Upwork, but I quickly learned that some clients use the platform to get the cheapest possible work done. So while it was beneficial to get one or two low paying jobs just so I’d have something to put in my portfolio, I learned that if I was going to make it, I couldn’t keep taking on these “beginner” jobs.
That meant I had to learn not to say “yes” to every project and how to identify clients that appreciated my hard work and effort. That was probably the biggest lesson that helped me get where I am today.
Over time, after I learned more about the process of writing copy and creating content, I had enough clients to quit my day job, and I now work from my home office/couch/backyard/wherever I want. And I have to say that things are pretty great.
I started off writing for anyone who would give me a job. That included any business, any subject, any form of written content.
Eventually, I learned that if I wanted to hone in my skill, I needed to choose a niche that I not only enjoyed writing about, but that there was a need for expert copywriters in that field. I now focuses primarily on healthcare copywriting but the specifics of how I chose this niche will have to wait for another blog post entirely.
I’m continuing to build up my clientele, improving my skills, and learning new things about running a business.
What Does a Copywriter Do?
Most of us don’t think about it, but words are everywhere that someone had to write. Copywriters write the majority of blog posts, emails, the words on website home pages, product descriptions, advertisements, social media posts, and more. The internet wouldn’t exist without copywriters.
Copywriters write both copy (text written to move the reader to some sort of action and is sales-oriented) and content (text written to inform, educate, guide, or entertain the reader and build trust).
Other responsibilities of copywriters include:
Researching topics, sources, and keywords to improve search engine ranking.
Learning to mimic the client’s tone, style, and brand.
Editing and proofreading.
Managing content projects like planning sales funnels and working with other content creators.
How Can a Copywriter Help You?
Were you surprised by how much writing you have to do as a wellness professional? Until you own a business, it’s easy to ignore the amount of writing that goes into creating great content.
Copywriting takes away precious time you could be spending with your clients and from growing your business in other ways. It also takes up time in your evenings and on the weekends that you’d rather be spending with your friends, family, and with your self.
If you are a healthcare professional that needs a little extra support (or a lot!) with your copywriting and content planning, I can help. I specialize in copywriting for healthcare and wellness professionals.
For more information, fill out the contact form. I’d be happy to help you with any and all of your copywriting needs!