Any copywriters here? Advice on getting a gig?

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Hi all. Just wondering if there are any copywriters/content writers etc on here?
It's an area I've been unsuccessfully trying to get into over the years, so someone might have some super duper up to date advice.
I have seen many American freelance job sites but would like to access something in the UK/Ire/Europe.

I'm not looking to publish articles as such or look for a byline, but get into writing content for websites.

I also realise I may have to offer my services for free to start with (if it were just writing a few articles a month), to build up my CV. I know this cheapens the whole process, and is like playing a gig for free, but it might be a way to get my foot in the door.

Any advice?
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  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 352
    Do you have particular areas of expertise? I suspect this is much easier to get into if you can offer some kind of technical knowledge.
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  • GrunfeldGrunfeld Frets: 2711
    A few weeks back I needed someone to write content and I went to fiverr.com for someone.
    What I wanted was pretty niche but that really helped sort who could do it and who was a bullshitter.
    If you've got something to offer then it might be a good place to hawk your wares.
    I've used freelancers quite a few times now and with careful selection I've been really happy with the results.

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  • DannyPDannyP Frets: 775
    I'm a copywriter, and I work full-time at a marketing agency.

    I'm a good writer, but a crap go-getter, so it suits me down to the ground to rely on the agency to bring in the work.

    And on rare days like this when there is no work, I still get paid — even though I'm just sitting here writing this!

    So for me, it's agency all the way.
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  • LuttiSLuttiS Frets: 1045
    I do copywriting as part of my job.. not a great deal, and it's not something i'm particularly fond of doing. I have outsourced in the past when i've been on a deadline and don't have time/ cba / need a different take on something.

    I have gone to fiverr before, but it is a case of get what you pay for there, and i've had some horrendous things sent to me and i generally avoid. I seem to remember freelancer (.com?) was quite good, you put what you want up then people apply/bid for the job.

    What sort of experience do you have?
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17340
    edited November 9
    I own a marketing agency and do copywriting although other people in the company do more than me these days. It can be tough to break into if you want to make a living - there are a lot people working from home who charge peanuts. It's just a lifestyle business for them. If you approached me for paid work I'd want some examples of your copywriting - this needn't be for a client. You could write an article about a topic you know something about, like guitars. It is important to have a small portfolio to show your style of writing - website copy will be different from a blog which will be different from a magazine article or company newsletter. Think about what you might be good at.

    Writing copy for websites isn't that well-paid. SMEs tend to have small websites and small budgets and bigger companies will tend to do it in-house. We do it but it's a pain - you also need to factor in SEO so you would need access to something like Wordtracker.

    Writing blogs for companies can be profitable, especially if they are professional services firms like solicitors or accountants. I look after a legal blog and am paid well - the senior lawyers charge upwards of £200 per hour so it's cost-effective to outsource. They give me some ideas, I do some research and write the blog. It's often of changes to the law and the impact on SMEs or interesting cases - you'd be surprised the number of people who read them.

    Writing for magazines can earn money. I write for a business mag aimed at company directors. I've also written technical stuff for newspapers like the Times.

    If you can specialise in something that helps - we have a specialist education writer. She has become well-known in the FE and higher education sectors and gets work as she understands how colleges and universities work and the challenges they face. Work can be for blogs, brochures. magazine articles or policy.

    Creative writing is the best paid - if you can write copy that gets people to buy things you'll do very well ... :-)

    Try an online agency - you won't earn a fortune to start with but it will give you an idea of the work that's out there. Attend local business networking groups and find out what people are looking for - in the long run this can be a great source of business.

    Good luck.


    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 4285
    The top 5 ways to become a copywriter - You won't believe number 3

    Copywriting is difficult to get into but there are some ways, read my next post to see the top 5 ways that you can become a copy writer.
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 4285
    edited November 9
    1.) Write copy

    The best way to become a copy writer is to write more copy. But don't take my word for it, for a limited time you can buy access to our inclusive copy writing course for $111 available at clickfunnel@scum.scam.
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  • Cheers for the replies guys and gals. At the moment, I work pretty much 100% on PPC campaigns, so my plan is to try and get something on the side while still earning ££$$€€ doing PPC, which I do for an agency. My plan would be to move into content eventually then, preferably for an agency.
    My speciality.... hmmm. I should say PPC, but I would find writing about PPC quite boring! :) 
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17340
    Cheers for the replies guys and gals. At the moment, I work pretty much 100% on PPC campaigns, so my plan is to try and get something on the side while still earning ££$$€€ doing PPC, which I do for an agency. My plan would be to move into content eventually then, preferably for an agency.
    My speciality.... hmmm. I should say PPC, but I would find writing about PPC quite boring! :) 
    Doesn't matter - something you know about which can open doors. As you already have a job and an income stream another angle would be to setup a blog - you can do this cheaply. I know a few copywriters who blogged, Tweeted their blogs and got hired to write content by agencies. It's a good way of promoting yourself.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • I do have a blog, and should update more regularly, but I often feel it's like chucking a pebble into a waterfall. I guess it's a good angle though and a good way of promotion. I'll spend the weekend thinking this one over for sure...
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  • LuttiSLuttiS Frets: 1045
    I do have a blog, and should update more regularly, but I often feel it's like chucking a pebble into a waterfall. I guess it's a good angle though and a good way of promotion. I'll spend the weekend thinking this one over for sure...
    The blog is your online portfolio, may seem like pebbling a waterfall, but it's a showcase of your writing that you send to people when your applying for work.

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  • DannyPDannyP Frets: 775
    edited November 12
    Cheers for the replies guys and gals. At the moment, I work pretty much 100% on PPC campaigns, so my plan is to try and get something on the side while still earning ££$$€€ doing PPC, which I do for an agency. My plan would be to move into content eventually then, preferably for an agency.
    My speciality.... hmmm. I should say PPC, but I would find writing about PPC quite boring!  
    Doesn't matter - something you know about which can open doors. As you already have a job and an income stream another angle would be to setup a blog - you can do this cheaply. I know a few copywriters who blogged, Tweeted their blogs and got hired to write content by agencies. It's a good way of promoting yourself.
    I totally get the "write about what you know" thing, but as a full-time agency copywriter, I find that becoming an 'instant expert' in stuff is a big part of the job. I have written thought leadership blogs on the Mergers and Acquisitions market in the US after a morning's research.

    So if you want to produce examples of your writing, just pick something, basically 
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 5899
    I made a career out of writing bollocks... Is nothing I can't turn a pen too... what you want specifically??
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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  • DannyP said:
    Cheers for the replies guys and gals. At the moment, I work pretty much 100% on PPC campaigns, so my plan is to try and get something on the side while still earning ££$$€€ doing PPC, which I do for an agency. My plan would be to move into content eventually then, preferably for an agency.
    My speciality.... hmmm. I should say PPC, but I would find writing about PPC quite boring!  
    Doesn't matter - something you know about which can open doors. As you already have a job and an income stream another angle would be to setup a blog - you can do this cheaply. I know a few copywriters who blogged, Tweeted their blogs and got hired to write content by agencies. It's a good way of promoting yourself.
    I totally get the "write about what you know" thing, but as a full-time agency copywriter, I find that becoming an 'instant expert' in stuff is a big part of the job. I have written thought leadership blogs on the Mergers and Acquisitions market in the US after a morning's research.

    So if you want to produce examples of your writing, just pick something, basically 
    Thing I've also noticed is that most job specs seem to look for X amount of experience. So I could send a link to my blog, but it's always just going to be a blog. It's not going to be anything that has been published or gone through some kind of quality control, in a professional capacity.
    Like you, I would have no issue having to research and write an article around a particular topic.

    Do agencies take on board someone's blog these days?
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  • 57Deluxe said:
    I made a career out of writing bollocks... Is nothing I can't turn a pen too... what you want specifically??
    At the moment, I'm working full time on PPC campaigns. My thinking was to slowly slowly build up my writing experience on the side, and then after 6 months or so, try looking for a full time gig that revolved around writing content.

    That could be under the guise of SEO, so writing content for websites and so on...

    At this stage, doing a bit of PPC and content writing would be an ideal gig.
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  • TimmyOTimmyO Frets: 3063
    Fretwired said:
    I own a marketing agency and do copywriting although other people in the company do more than me these days. It can be tough to break into if you want to make a living - there are a lot people working from home who charge peanuts. It's just a lifestyle business for them. If you approached me for paid work I'd want some examples of your copywriting - this needn't be for a client. You could write an article about a topic you know something about, like guitars. It is important to have a small portfolio to show your style of writing - website copy will be different from a blog which will be different from a magazine article or company newsletter. Think about what you might be good at.

    Writing copy for websites isn't that well-paid. SMEs tend to have small websites and small budgets and bigger companies will tend to do it in-house. We do it but it's a pain - you also need to factor in SEO so you would need access to something like Wordtracker.

    Writing blogs for companies can be profitable, especially if they are professional services firms like solicitors or accountants. I look after a legal blog and am paid well - the senior lawyers charge upwards of £200 per hour so it's cost-effective to outsource. They give me some ideas, I do some research and write the blog. It's often of changes to the law and the impact on SMEs or interesting cases - you'd be surprised the number of people who read them.

    Writing for magazines can earn money. I write for a business mag aimed at company directors. I've also written technical stuff for newspapers like the Times.

    If you can specialise in something that helps - we have a specialist education writer. She has become well-known in the FE and higher education sectors and gets work as she understands how colleges and universities work and the challenges they face. Work can be for blogs, brochures. magazine articles or policy.

    Creative writing is the best paid - if you can write copy that gets people to buy things you'll do very well ... :-)

    Try an online agency - you won't earn a fortune to start with but it will give you an idea of the work that's out there. Attend local business networking groups and find out what people are looking for - in the long run this can be a great source of business.

    Good luck.


    Coming from a slightly different angle (company I was a Director of employed perm and engaged freelance copywriters)  - I'd echo much of that. 

    You don't need a "CV" of previous work but you do need examples of your writing to get you a first engagement. After that, if you work in a timely fashion, produce decent copy, handle feedback/revisions well you'll quickly have people who come straight to you.

    To this day I still use (and recommend) 2 people who we used to use back then. "Good" money seems to be about £350 for really good folks - but they tended to be pretty swift workers too. Ooh that's a point - being able to asses how much work a job is/how long you'll take is something you'll need to develop quite quickly - both so that the client has a realistic timeframe and you know whether something is worth your time/the fee. 
    "Congratulations on being officially the most right anyone has ever been about anything, ever." -- Noisepolluter knows the score
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  • TimmyO said:
    Fretwired said:
    I own a marketing agency and do copywriting although other people in the company do more than me these days. It can be tough to break into if you want to make a living - there are a lot people working from home who charge peanuts. It's just a lifestyle business for them. If you approached me for paid work I'd want some examples of your copywriting - this needn't be for a client. You could write an article about a topic you know something about, like guitars. It is important to have a small portfolio to show your style of writing - website copy will be different from a blog which will be different from a magazine article or company newsletter. Think about what you might be good at.

    Writing copy for websites isn't that well-paid. SMEs tend to have small websites and small budgets and bigger companies will tend to do it in-house. We do it but it's a pain - you also need to factor in SEO so you would need access to something like Wordtracker.

    Writing blogs for companies can be profitable, especially if they are professional services firms like solicitors or accountants. I look after a legal blog and am paid well - the senior lawyers charge upwards of £200 per hour so it's cost-effective to outsource. They give me some ideas, I do some research and write the blog. It's often of changes to the law and the impact on SMEs or interesting cases - you'd be surprised the number of people who read them.

    Writing for magazines can earn money. I write for a business mag aimed at company directors. I've also written technical stuff for newspapers like the Times.

    If you can specialise in something that helps - we have a specialist education writer. She has become well-known in the FE and higher education sectors and gets work as she understands how colleges and universities work and the challenges they face. Work can be for blogs, brochures. magazine articles or policy.

    Creative writing is the best paid - if you can write copy that gets people to buy things you'll do very well ... :-)

    Try an online agency - you won't earn a fortune to start with but it will give you an idea of the work that's out there. Attend local business networking groups and find out what people are looking for - in the long run this can be a great source of business.

    Good luck.


    Coming from a slightly different angle (company I was a Director of employed perm and engaged freelance copywriters)  - I'd echo much of that. 

    You don't need a "CV" of previous work but you do need examples of your writing to get you a first engagement. After that, if you work in a timely fashion, produce decent copy, handle feedback/revisions well you'll quickly have people who come straight to you.

    To this day I still use (and recommend) 2 people who we used to use back then. "Good" money seems to be about £350 for really good folks - but they tended to be pretty swift workers too. Ooh that's a point - being able to asses how much work a job is/how long you'll take is something you'll need to develop quite quickly - both so that the client has a realistic timeframe and you know whether something is worth your time/the fee. 
    Food for thought. Thanks for the advice!
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