The Dirty Truth About Freelance Copywriting

Sometimes, freelance copywriting allows me the privilege of editing the work of other writers. Typically, they aren’t earning their living as a writer, but decide to take a stab at the writing that needs to be done by their office.

However, this writer did something a little unusual; he solicited my feedback. He asked me to tell him what I thought of his writing. That takes guts, right?

He went on to say that he’s seen a lot of freelance copywriting, some of it very good, and some if it shockingly unprofessional.

Dirty Truth About Freelance Copywriting

Here’s the dirty truth I didn’t want to tell him:

Most freelance copywriting professionals aren’t formerly trained.

The Low-Down on Freelance Copywriters

As far as I know, there is no specific degree that dictates our backgrounds. Some of us come from English (learn more about me), business communications, marketing, and/or science/tech/engineering (the folks who write manuals).

Additionally, you may see an M.D. (medical doctor) or Pharm.D. (pharmacist) working on medical writing projects. At times, lawyers lend a voice to legal writing, too. Unless you require a Chicago Manual standard be met, in which case only a journalist will do.

Sigh. In other words, freelance copywriting and the skills you need are 100% dictated by the things you need to accomplish as part of your marketing strategy.

Finding a Someone Awesome in Freelance Copywriting

Someone who loves to write can do an excellent job freelance copywriting, too, as long as they understand how their work will tie into the sales they are trying to bring in for a company.

Before you even get to the point of thinking about the background of your writer, consider which of the diverse writing tasks they’ll be taking responsibility for in your organization:

Marketing copy

Most of my writing falls into this realm. It includes website content writing, blogs, sell sheets, opt-ins, etc. Anything a business needs to make its sales wheels turn.

Further, a marketing freelance copywriting guru has to understand who they’re writing too, and how that piece of content ties into the overall strategy of a company.

Novels for publication

Long-form copy is all about highly developed creative concepts and characters coming to life on the page.

  • Novelists swirl and twirl tales of love, strife, and revenge.
  • Sometimes, you may want to hire a ghostwriter. You can:
  • Look for experience with book submissions to ensure publishing
  • Match their writing voice/tone/style/lifestyle with your needs

For an online book, or ebook, you may be able to hire a marketing copywriter; they will have intimate knowledge of how to promote you online, build your audience, and sell 100s of copies of your book as soon as you launch.

Article submissions, etc.

Magazine articles, journalism, and P.R. also fall into a separate area of freelance copywriting. These journalists are often very successful at investigating a story and reporting it to the public.

Likewise, they might appear on newscasts and talk about the information they’ve gathered. They interview high-profile folks, as well, and translate their words to the public.

Amazon marketplace

For those who do not know, Amazon now accounts for over 45% of all online sales in the US. Amazon allows third party sellers to sell their merchandise on Amazon for a fee. This usually costs across all platforms at around 15%. If you are think of selling ion Amazon make sure you use a highly qualified amazon SEO services such as the writeresult!!!

Business communications

Diplomatic, with the highest attention to detail possible, business communications require a keen eye within a corporate environment.

Imagine speaking for your boss as his puppet, and then, speaking to the masses as his puppet. Even the slightest slip can slam (i.e. the Twitter and U.S. Airways scandal) a business brand.

If you really aren’t sure who you need to hire and why, fall back on a review of their portfolio. Be specific about what you’re looking for, “Can you please send me additional examples of XYZ.”

And don’t expect the best ad copy writers to be the best novelists. Ever. Coming up with a three-word slogan can be even more challenging than crafting a modern-day version of Ulysses. I wouldn’t want to be that guy.