How To Make Money Copywriting

Baby steps. First, you have to make your first dollar. Then, small wins and incremental growth will take you to $10,000/month and beyond.

There's a s#!t ton of work in between. But anyone can do it — I've done it once and seen it hundreds of times.

8 Steps to Make Money as a Freelance Copywriter

To make money in freelance copywriting, you need to focus on what moves the needle. Don't worry about a fancy-schmancy portfolio website or promotional materials.

Go from:

  • $1 to $1,000
  • $1,000 to $3,000
  • $3,000 to $5,000
  • $5,000 to $10,000
  • $10k to infinity

Along the way, focus on these eight steps. That's what every successful copywriter does.

1) Choose a Niche

There are tons of copywriting niches to choose from.

  • Twitter ghostwriting (my niche) — manage and grow Twitter accounts
  • LinkedIn ghostwriting — manage and grow LinkedIn accounts
  • Direct response copywriting — sales pages, sales video scripts, social media, PPC
  • Email copywriting — autoresponders, drip campaigns, newsletters
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) copywriting — e.g., blog post/landing pages
  • Technical writing — write blog posts instruction manuals, software documentation)

If you're creative, go for something like social media ghostwriting, email, or direct response copywriting.

For the analytical and detail-oriented folks, blog post writing and technical writing are great options.

I chose to do Ghostwriting.

If you want more details, check out this video I made:

2) Pick the Right Market

Don't worry too much about your ideal client in the beginner phase. Your main concern is to get experience and build a portfolio.

However, you'll want to narrow down your target market to a type of client. Otherwise, you'll never grow your copywriting business (or work efficiently on anything)

It's best to pick a market that offers both high pay and a wide range of potential clients. That way, you'll make more money faster and diversify, even within the same market.

Here are the best markets to tap into:

  • LinkedIn/Twitter personalities (they usually sell digital products/consulting)
  • Ecom/SaaS founders
  • DTC ecommerce
  • B2B SaaS
  • Finance
  • Crypto, blockchain, and Web3
  • AR/VR
  • Education/online courses
  • Marketing agencies (they need copywriters for clients, but watch out for incompetent ones)

Ghostwriters should go for founders and social media personalities. Direct response and email copywriters should heavily target the DTC ecommerce and education/online course spaces. SEO copywriting and technical writing will make you a killing in B2B SaaS, finance, and AR/VR sectors.

3) Develop Your Writing Skills

I have a whole other post about how to get better at copywriting.

If you want to have a successful freelance copywriting career, you have to immerse yourself. There are already thousands of others who are obsessed with words and marketing...and they're your competition.

  • Read Cashvertising (free PDF) to understand persuasive language and why people buy.
  • Learn when to apply the appropriate copywriting framework (AIDA, PAS)
  • Follow copywriting blogs, subscribe to newsletters, and engage your favorite creators on Twitter.
  • Start looking at the outside world with a copywriting lens. Marketing materials are everywhere.
  • Study the greats. Even if you're not writing sales letters, obsessing about those guys will make you better at anything related to marketing.
  • Invest in a copywriting course.

Get 1% better every day and you'll learn very quickly the power of compounding.

4) Get One Client (and Keep Learning)

Successful copywriters learn by doing.

Reading and practice are great, but you've eventually gotta put your copywriting skills to the test. The sooner, the better.

Don't worry about an offer. Don't worry about the perfect package structure.

Reach out to businesses in your niche, find out what they need, and offer your services at discounted rates (or free).

You'll learn where you need to improve in real time through client feedback.

5) Get One Solid Case Study

how to make money copywriting

You'll eventually get a "breakthrough" client — someone you delivered solid, measurable results for. You either made them money, improved their engagement, or grow their follower base.

This is proof you're in the right place, doing the right thing.

When it happens:

  • Have them give you a written and video testimonial.
  • Work with them to organize all the performance metrics
  • Create a case study that walks prospects through each step (problem, solution, deliverables, timeline, completion). Include quotes, visuals, and specific numbers.
  • Publish the case study on your website and social media.
  • Share it with potential clients. This is now your best sales tool.

6) Build Systems

Your copywriting services have made a huge impact on one person's business. Now, it's time to create systems and processes to scale your business.

  • Get a system in place for finding, nurturing, and closing leads.
  • Create templates for proposals, contracts, invoices...anything you've been doing manually.
  • Use a project management tool (I like Notion) to organize and streamline client delivery.
  • Automate as much of your marketing strategy as possible (social media scheduling, email campaigns, etc.).

As a freelance writer, you're the one doing all the work. How much you can make as a copywriter largely depends on how quickly you can finish each copywriting job.

Systems allow you to do three things:

  • Structure a service package to create an offer
  • Sell the same offer multiple times
  • Deliver that offer faster

When you aren't constantly switching gears, you'll serve more clients while working fewer hours.

More money. Happier clients. A win-win.

7) Get More Case Studies and Clients

Rinse and repeat!

Once you've got momentum, it's all about keeping your head down and flooring it.

One piece of advice: Don't celebrate too early or often. I've seen a lot of people make it to $10-20k/month and start flexing, clubbing, etc.

If you over-celebrate a W, you'll lose steam. It'll be 10x harder to come back.

8) Build a Personal Brand

Instead of using your extra time to spend the six figures you're making, use it to invest in your brand.

A solid personal brand = more inbound leads, better clients, and higher rates.

Plus, posting content about your journey and engaging with other creators will open the doors for other business opportunities.

  • Partnerships
  • Inside connections
  • New clients
  • Business opportunities
  • The ability to sell literally whatever else you want

Plus, people will automatically trust you over other freelance copywriters. You've posted content and have a following. You're "obviously doing something right."

I've taught 115+ others how to make it through each step of the process. I only work with serious freelancers, though. So, you'll have to apply to Growth Ghost before working with me.

Who is Dakota?

I show you how to build a high-paying creative business without doing work you hate.

Don't be a potato. Sign up to my free newsletter.
Join 11,000+ based individuals who are receiving actionable content on writing, business, and content creation every week.

Our latest posts