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5 Reasons to Become a Self-Employed Copywriter (And Reasons Not To)


To be a copywriter means experiencing invigorating highs, and some stressful lows; there's no need to sugarcoat the truth. Pleasure and pain are all apart of a day's work for those who've chosen the path of the self-employed copywriter. The fact that there's 'nothing new under the sun' is upended on such a dynamic, challenging adventure. One day a commodities producer needs content for an 'About Us' section - the next day, an insurer may need help in the interim with print ad copy. Who knows what's next? 

That's what draws people to the profession - but it can have its drawbacks as well. One could think of a list of reasons why one should make the leap, but there's also another side to the story. Here are 5 Reasons to become a self-employed copywriter and reasons that can (and probably will) present some formidable challenges.

5 Reasons to Become a Self Employed Copywriter

!. Home-Based Business Opportunity

In the realm of remote work and home-based business opportunities, becoming a self-employed copywriter is one of the best options. Unlike many other service and product-centered endeavors, the overhead is low, yet the income potential remains comparable. Additionally, one obvious trade off is that writing tends to be more intensive mentally than physically (though more recently, I've discovered that there is indeed a physical toll). 

Making good money as a freelance copywriter is more than possible, so the only question left is how much? Freelance copywriter annual salary stats from ZipRecruiter reveal that top earners bring in close to $90k a year, while those in the 25th percentile can expect around $40K. This would seem in-line with Glassdoor's average copywriter salary at just above $70K. The range depends on skill level, productivity, and personal rate for services.

2. Good Copywriters Are Always In-Demand

Experienced copywriters have probably turned down more work than they've been offered. This may shock those that are new to the business, but it's another upside of the game. At first, turning some clients away may make writers feel pretentious, or unavailable, but the simple truth is that there are always more projects than there are good writers. Those who are capable of crafting persuasive messages can basically write their own ticket. Besides, a business has a continuous need for copy, and the as time goes on, the lifespan of a piece of copy decreases. 

Even in the slow times (and they will come), writers can normally shift focus in order to pursue new subjects, or take the time to improve writing skills. Despite the advent of artificial intelligence copywriting software, the need for a flesh and blood writer will remain.

3. Low Barrier to Entry

Many times, people hear the term 'writer' and it evokes the image of a tightly-wound communications major who corrects everyone's grammar and received immaculate grades in all of their English courses. Some might look like that, but writers are everyday people. It isn't necessary to be an English major or even a perfect English speaker; it is important, however, to have a love for structuring ideas in ways that are clear and concise - this is what makes someone a writer other than being published in the traditional sense. Writers come in all shapes and sizes. 

4. It Feels Like It Matters

Speaking from personal experience, it feels good to do something that brings the passion out of you, or something that is off the beaten path (if you're into that), but what ultimately feels the best (in copywriting just as in many other careers) is knowing that you're bringing value to the table, the type that cannot easily be replaced. It feels good to be needed in a way that's not expendable - businesses NEED writers.

5. Writing Can Take You Places

Imagine having a revered position within an advertising agency. What if a New York design firm wants you to develop a content calendar for their upcoming product roll-out? There are prominent law firms out on the west coast that could you use your help. Being a self-employed copywriter means the sky is limit. Writing itself can take you places, but also acts a springboard for other opportunities as an editor, communications manager, or even a social media manager.

Here Are Reasons Not to Become a Copywriter

1. Working From Home

It takes an immense amount of discipline to succeed as self-employed copywriter. Being able to work from home is a great privilege that requires a great amount of responsibility. You have to a self-starter and things can get lonely sometimes. If this kind of power is difficult to handle for you, then steer clear.

2. Unrecognized Contributions

Writing can mean doing a lot of work that goes unnoticed or underappreciated. This may not seem like a big deal, but eventually it does. After the income starts to roll in, it's normal to seek out signs of appreciation for the blood, sweat, and tears. If working hard without frequent validation bothers you, then I would advise against becoming a writer.

3. Deadline Stress

As a writer, you live within the deadline - this will become your life, day after day after day. Project oriented people have a better time coping with this kind of work flow. Without a proper framework for dealing with deadline stress, anxiety can build up leading to procrastination. Bad planners are advised not to become writers. 


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