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Copywriting is one of those rare skill sets that is both highly accessible AND highly lucrative.
  • Businesses are hiring copywriters like crazy.
  • Good copywriters can easily earn six figures.
  • Most copywriters today work remotely.
  • Copywriters don’t need formal training or education.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you, step by step, how to become a copywriter and earn six figures within the next 12 months.

I’ve been a freelance copywriter since 2013. I went full time in 2016 and earned around $80k. I netted $130k the following year and $220k in 2018.

I’m certainly not the best, the fastest, or the smartest. I know copywriters who hit six figures in their first year and were well past $300k by year three.

But unlike many people who succeed for one reason or another, I have a very good understanding of WHY I was able to hit my goals and grow my business.

As a result, in this guide, you aren’t just going to learn how I became a six figure copywriter. You are going to learn how you can become one as well.

If you already understand what it means to be a copywriter, click here to jump to the “how to”.

Otherwise, let’s establish some context first.

What Is A Copywriter?

A copywriter is someone who creates written messaging for a business or organization, usually with the intent to sell or promote a product, service, or brand.

When you read a book, you are reading the work of an author.

When you read any type of written message from a business, organization or brand, you are reading the work of a copywriter.

A lot of people mistake the word “copywriter” as being connected to “copyright”, but they are not related in any way.

A copyright is a legal term denoting intellectual property.

A copywriter is someone who creates the written messaging for a business, brand, or organization.

What Does A Copywriter Do?

Copywriters spend most of their time… writing copy.

There are some additional steps that can go into the process of writing copy:
  • Ask good questions to obtain key info
  • Research competitors
  • Choose the appropriate copywriting framework
  • Plan out each section of copy
  • Get feedback from stakeholders
  • Go through rounds of editing
But the vast majority of a copywriter’s time is spent writing and rewriting the copy itself.

If you are employed as a copywriter, this will account for 75% of your time, with the other 25% going toward meetings, performance & feedback review, and collaborating with other types of marketers working on your same project.

If you are a freelance copywriter, writing might only account for 25% of your time, with the other 75% going toward pitching, managing your clients, running your business, and marketing your brand.

Types Of Copywriting You See Every Day

You read copy constantly.

When you see an ad with words on it, you are reading ad copy.

When you see a social media post from a brand you follow, you a reading social media copy.

When you visit a website, you are reading website copy.

When you get an email from a brand, business, organization, or influencer, you are reading email copy.

When you read a blog post like this, you a reading blog copy.

What makes these things “copy” is that they are intended to drive an action with the ultimate intent of selling you something.

Sometimes, the goal is to get the you to act immediately. This type of copywriting is referred to as “direct response copywriting”.

Examples of direct response copywriting include:

  • A Twitter ad designed to get an ad click
  • A billboard designed to make you turn at the next exit and visit the establishment
  • A landing page designed to get an email signup
  • An email designed to get a message in “reply”
  • A product description designed to drive an “Add to Cart” click
Sometimes, immediate action isn’t the goal. The reader might not be in the position to take immediate action when they read the copy, or having them take immediate action might not be the priority. This type of copy doesn’t have a snappy name, but the concept of marketing now for results down the road is essentially branding.

Examples of branding-focused copywriting include:

  • A magazine ad designed to expose readers to the brand
  • A blog post designed to educate and connect with the reader
  • A white paper designed to establish the brand’s authority
These types of copywriting want an action at some point:
  • The magazine ad wants the reader to think about the brand and buy down the road.
  • The blog post wants the reader to recommend the blog to others, signup for the email list, and probably buy something later.
  • The white paper wants the reader to purchase from the brand or refer a purchase down the road.
The difference is that this type of copywriting isn’t designed to drive an immediate action, and that’s important, because attempting to drive an immediate action is counterproductive in many marketing scenarios.

Imagine if every blog post you read tried to get you to buy something immediately. Imagine if every blog post was so focused on getting your email signup that it cut off the article’s key conclusion and made you signup to read it. You’d probably be annoyed and leave.

Both branding scenarios and direct response scenarios make up an important part of the marketing process.

Copywriter Salaries Depend On Your Career Path

Obviously, with all this copywriting everywhere, there’s a LOT of demand for copywriters.
If you want to tap into this demand, there are three main ways to do it:
  1. Work as a staff copywriter at an agency
  2. Work as a copywriter for an in-house marketing team
  3. Become a freelance copywriter

Here’s the salary scoop:

  • Agency copywriters start at an average of $47k and work up to an average of $88k.
  • In-house copywriters start at an average $48k and work up to an average of $84k.
  • Freelance copywriters are all over the place, but more than 20% are doing $100k+.
Landing an entry-level copywriting job is just a matter of drafting a good resume and acing your interview… you know… typical job stuff.

And if you live in a larger city or just get lucky with a copywriting job opening up near you, I would definitely recommend going for it and trying to spend around 2-3 years there. In an entry level position, you are essentially getting paid to be trained.

That said, this article isn’t about “how to become a copywriter and make $80k after 10 years”.

I promised you six figures, and if you want to hit that $100k mark in the next calendar year, there is only one viable option for you as a copywriter: becoming a freelance copywriter.