Over the past couple of months, I can attribute my best online earning methods to freelancing. Freelance writing provides about 50% of my earnings. A freelance copywriter provides freelance copywriting services for a specific fee. In simple terms, you write the words and the company, individual or business pays you for it. Sounds like a fair deal? It sure is!
The quality of your words matters a lot as a lot of clients will contact you based on the words you’ve written for publications, agencies, emails and eye-catching pitches. So, the better you are at what you do, the better it is for you.
It doesn’t matter if what you do is sell digital or physical product, or running a blog, or you offer services to people in your locality, knowing the right words to say, use and HOW to say them bridges the difference between getting a good job and a GREAT pay.
To some, copywriting is very useful in getting things done and paying the bills while to others it is running a blog. Whichever one applies to you, you should utilize it well.
Want to know the best part?
You don’t need to be an expert writer, or bag a certificate in copywriting, or spend years studying to write words and make six figures. Here are Five Pro Tips for Freelance Copywriters, Bloggers and Side Hustlers.
1. Define Your Target Audience-then Narrow Them to a Specific Niche
As a freelance copywriter, you must take great pride in knowing your reader, what they want and how they think. It is better never to assume and instead of rushing straight past knowing your audience and just writing a piece you think they might like; do a little bit of digging to discover what will work best with the audience.
Almost everyone has had their fair share of writer’s block but one major advantage of digging deep is the eradication of difficulty in coming up with content ideas. This makes writing so easy for you to begin with.
For instance, you are a blogger and you think that your ideal readers are frugal people. There are hundreds, thousands or possible millions- who fit that description. But the number game is not the problem. The problem is that all of these people, despite the fact that they all want to live economically, are going to save money wildly differently. Try writing for frugal people generally and you might struggle to ever write anything meaningful. But try writing for frugal lifestyle for single mums who own kids? You’ve just made life a lot easier for yourself and them in terms of saying something that they’re going to want to read.
2. Quit the Surveys and Begin Carrying Out More Deeper Research
Once you are able to identify your target audience-and you’ve got really consistent with it-then you need to dig a little bit deeper by carrying out research. This is the only way to discover what these people REALLY care about, what they’re struggling with, what’s keeping them up at night, and all the juicy stuff that’s keeps them running back to YOU.
Also, this is the stage at your copywriter career where people begin recommending that you survey your audience. It’s not a bad thing to do so. In fact, asking your audience questions shows that you value them and don’t want them leaving any sooner, but inserting a couple of questions into Survey Monkey and then annoyingly harassing people into answering them will do more harm than good. It’s boring, it’s time consuming, it’s almost impossible to get meaningful or deep answers that will assist you in drawing conclusions( or recommendations from), and there are easier, simple, smarter and more effective ways to do things.
One reliable tactic I have come to discover and will gladly recommend to you is to Join Facebook Groups where your niche readers are, and use the search bar to find conversations about your topic. You’re most likely to unearth a truckload of questions and answers that speak of burning issues of your readers, that they’d be interested to find out more about.
This method also offers you KEYWORD RESEARCH. How? By doing it this way, you are able to see the exact word and terminology your potential readers are using. So, open up MS word, notepad or any other tool you use, and, write down things you discover that will take you one step closer to REALLY talking to your readers in ways that grabs their attention, sits them down and will make them listen.
Another benefit of doing it this way is that you get to see the exact wording and terminology that they’re using. Keep a little swipe file with what you discover, and you’re taking yourself one step closer to REALLY talking to your readers in a way that’s going to make them sit up and listen. It’s a bit like Facebook stalking, but with a legitimate purpose.
3. Tackle All Possible Potential Reader Objections Beforehand
The hardest part of freelance writing jobs is making the target audience BUY IN into the idea. Truth is whatever knowledge you are trying to share, your readers are going to have a handful of potential reasons in their mind why their circumstances are different, and why what you’re saying won’t work for them. Humans are experts at playing the blame game and would gladly make excuses about why things aren’t going according to plan rather than accept full responsibility for their actions.
Imagine that you are writing a 2000 word blog post about how to make money with no money. What potential objections are your readers going to have about why THEY can’t follow your advice and see results? It might be because they’ve tried a lot of shitty sites many times. It might b because they believe that one must need money to make money. It might be that they are currently broke or tight on budget.
Instead of writing a blog post about money making methods, you could take it a bit forward and title your article “10 Tips For Making Money With No Money- Even If You’ve Got No Money To Begin”. Now you’re talking their language, and this time, they’ve got no reason to dismiss your advice before they even read it. In fact, you’ve successfully created more curiosity in their mind than ever before.
Whenever I take up a copywriting client job, I ensure that I do some initial work on identifying the objections that their audience might have. Then, we make sure that every step and action we take after are objection-proof.
A quick way to come up with objections is to think: what excuses or objections will your ideal readers come up with when you are talking about your subject…. YEAH, BUT IT’S DIFFERENT FOR ME BECAUSE…” Bang! It is very easy to come up with at least five potential objections. And right there, you’ve created a lot of fresh helpful materials to sharpen up your existing content, and making everything you do from that point even more effective.
4. Write out Your Aims and Objectives at The Front of Your Mind
It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out your copywriter career or a pro at it, your freelance copywriting should have an ultimate goal. The goal could be to drive more traffic to your blog so you can monetise through ads (Google or Bing ads), encouraging visitors to subscribe, or getting email subscribers to buy a product.
You should never write content for the sake of writing or because that’s what every other person do. In the end you’d waste more energy, resources and yet not achieve a single result. Not what we want now, do we?
As a blogger, let’s say you want more blog visitors, and you’re also growing a list of email subscribers. How can you write to those subscribers in a way that’s going to pull you a step closer to achieving your goal, instead of pulling you away from seeing them come to life?
It might be tempting to just “ctrl + A” and paste your latest blog post into the email you will be sending. The end result of this equals LESS traffic to your site. Why would your readers bother checking out your blog, when they’ve got your latest content in their inbox?
Instead, it will make more sense to send a benefit driven shorter email informing your readers to click through to your blog to read the full content. This should strike some curiosity in their hearts, and increase the odds of clicking through. Ask yourself what’s going to make them keen to read what you’re saying, practice what you recommend, right now and what’s in it for THEM.
Before you begin writing at all, put the pen down. Step away from your notes and laptop and ask yourself: what reaction/action do you want to achieve? And how can you reverse engineer that so you’re not just writing for the sake of it?
5. Let Your Writing Project You
Your piece should speak a lot about you. Sadly, not too many people know this- a lot of individuals make copywriting harder than it already is by telling themselves it has to be done in a particular fashion or words need to be written in a particular way…. That it has to be “long, sound professional, or official or formal”. The result is that what you end up writing looks and sounds like an academic essay you’d write in a school than a piece of content that’s going to engage people.
In the end, every element of your copywriting should be engaging CONVERSATION with your readers. No one loves to be bored to death, bombarded with a bucket load of jargon and language they barely understand and no one wants to spend their valuable working time on some dry, rigid or dull content that lacks value-it doesn’t even matter if it has value; no one cares!
It’s not enough to just inform your readers. They love the process to be entertaining and engaging. This might sound like something really difficult but it truly is not. Also, it is something you do every day to an extent. You know how to be conversational, because it’s something you do when you speak on a daily basis. Once you decide to let YOU speak through your writings, you’ve broken free from all the “should” and “should not” that just leads to boring content.
Another easy way to make sure you’re doing this: After you’ve written your blog or your email or whatever it might be, read it out loud. Does it look, feel and sound like you? Is that how you normally talk? If not, go back to what you have written and tweak it until you are fully satisfied. You can also use this tactic the other way round- start reading out loud what you intend to write down, instead of being faced with a blank page, and use that to get started. You might feel a bit stupid, but it works anyway.
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY…
If you truly desire to improve your copywriter career, the best way to do that is to WRITE MORE.
Your emails or blogs probably won’t look “that much amazing” when you’re starting out-mine didn’t look that good when I began- but committing to a little bit of writing each day is the fastest way to get better each practice day.
With dedication and practice with actual writing, there is no limit to the heights your freelance copywriter career will witness. You will but notice the big difference in the quality of what you’re producing within just a couple of months.