top of page
  • justinmarkbeats

You May Be Wondering What Exactly Is A Freelance Copywriter?

Updated: May 8, 2023


 
...it's a misnomer, in that it doesn't just encompass the act of writing.

Whether you occupy a role in the marketing space, or are a writer, you’ve probably noticed the term ‘copywriter’ bandied about, and then perhaps wondered ‘what exactly is a freelance copywriter’? Simply put, they’re a writer that publishes their writing predominantly online, but also in printed publications. However, it’s the wider scope of work that goes into the discipline that really defines the role. Copywriting can involve deep dive research, interviews, the interpretation of fact over fiction, UX advising, and image sourcing. The discipline can also take the shape of a blog post, web page text, short snappy headlines and CTA’s, brochures, catalogues, emails, white papers, and the list goes on.


Freelance copywriters are often preferred by those seeking expertise, and versatility, they can be best suited for defined projects with definitive end points. Whereas in-house copywriters, or company copywriters, can have a grounded esoteric approach in their writing, revolving around their specified field or product. Freelancers, on the other hand, will commonly bring with them a cocktail of experience, industry competence, and a wider view of the current writer’s landscape.



Content marketing


Copywriting, for the most part, now fits broadly into content marketing. With B2B an important outlier, which I will come to later. Content marketing, for those unaware of the label but no-doubt an audience to its far reaching grasp, encompasses a company’s efforts in boosting their presence via media and outward facing means. ‘Content' usually refers to social media, video media, written articles, text/image heavy landing pages, and infographics. Copywriting content marketing refers solely to anything that requires writing as its lead messaging vehicle. It is a practice designed, in the main, to build traffic for designated web pages and generate interaction and further sharing, with a dual focus of informing, selling to, or persuading the reader.

SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) led copywriting content is the cornerstone of the traffic driven approach, with various strategies put into play to increase a company’s presence in search engine rankings. If searching, say ‘ what exactly is a freelance copywriter? ’ this phrase will have the search engine pull up all relevant pages in a list. This list is ranked as assessed by the engine’s algorithm, to represent what it sees as a descending order of relevance and authority. Copywriting plays a crucial role in this, because web text defines this entire process. The search engine picks out keywords on a site, it assesses all written content, and then decides their relevance in regards to their use and level of authority conveyed on a subject. These factors, along with other UX considerations, lead to a ranking over time (it’s a long game), and in turn can promote listings further upwards on SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages). Positively executing a strategy usually equates to notable increases in traffic, and therefore business. So, in short - SEO copywriting is the focus of keyword implementation, and strategic use, as a broad campaign led approach in having search engines find a business and then push it further up their rankings. It’s all about writing to increase a site’s visibility.


B2B copywriting


That’s the SEO tangent done and dusted, I promise. Another important segment of the copywriter’s purview is B2B (business to business) writing. B2B copywriting is a notable aside to content copywriting, in that it doesn’t have to showcase the same overt outward flashy nature, nor fit all the parameters, of marketing content copy. It's copy written as a business selling a product or service to another business. SEO is either irrelevant or simply becomes secondary, or tertiary. Instead communications, ingrained industry knowledge, and terminology all take a front seat. Language and approach can be more detailed, to the point, less persuasive and more demonstrative. White papers, proposals, industry articles, and recruitment copy are all good examples of B2B copywriting.





Let's circle back around, what exactly is a freelance copywriter?


Back to answering the question in hand; what exactly is a freelance copywriter? As touched on in the opening paragraph it’s a misnomer, in that it doesn’t just encompass the act of writing. Although, admittedly this still accounts for the majority of the role. It also takes into account various research of all levels, and communication in getting to a point where the writing can begin. There’s also more than a fair share of administrative tasks to perform when going out alone as a freelancer; registering as an entity, tax logging and reporting, invoicing, calendar management, as well as personal organisational behaviours to hone in. Much of the role can be chasing leads and shoring up clientele. Once your head is sufficiently wrapped around all of that, the writing can begin.


Best practices and hot takes


A good freelance copywriter will have an understanding of each sub-discipline, so their workload can be varied and remain interesting. Which leads me to my final point, and one which vindicates all the considerable effort laden considerations detailed so far: flexibility, freedom and digging deeper into subjects before left uncharted.


With going freelance you stand to take matters into your own hands, inherent in that are risks and leaps of faith, but also freedom and flexibility. Want to pick your kid up from school earlier than a salaried position would allow - it’s all you. Need to head to a recurring medical appointment that can’t be moved and would usually clash with whatever your corporate overlords would have you doing, you got it. But perhaps the most refreshing aspect is the pure breadth and scope of subject matter, industry, medium, and how you adjust your writing per project that will open up before you. Pursue avenues previously out of reach and out of context, meet new interesting people who may present opportunities and values that align better with your larger world view. All the while you’ll get paid for it. You’ll graft, oh you’ll graft! But, the chunk of change earned from a piece written with passion, or simply of more interest to you, will always feel more substantial and rewarding than for a revenue goal expressed with cold figures in a Monday morning sales meeting. So, to return to the question at hand; what exactly is a freelance copywriter? Well, it’s a lifestyle I suppose, as much as it is a career.


Feel free to comment and share your experiences, this is just my take since going it alone in late 2022.


Lastly, you probably have some knowledge of the searing issue dividing opinion across the tech landscape - the dawn of A.I tools. Programs such as ChatGPT are likely to disrupt industries such as copywriting, on a scale yet to be understood. Well, I've written a page to discuss this very topic, please give it a read.

30 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page