These days the internet is filled with more useful content than you can swing a cat at; whatever your field, you can be sure that a simple Google search will yield a plethora of rigorous and helpful articles/tutorials. This is no different for the copywriting industry, and the blog articles I will review below offer views on everything from copy briefs and rates you should charge, to social media strategies and general tips from industry experts.
Why being a freelance copywriter is one of the best and safest jobs in the world
Aside from an insanely long title, everything provided by Nick Usborne (@nickusborne) in this intriguing article is music to the ears of anyone aboard the freelance copywriter boat, destination Port Creativeville. You’ll learn about how thousands of designers and engineers are having to provide their services at knock-down prices, while freelance copywriters sit at home nursing a hob nob and firing out snappy content thanks to inspiration from whatever masterful piece of music is blasting out of the radio. This is a break from all of the doubters who so often bombard you with comments such as ‘but that sounds like quite an unstable job’ and ‘I would get bored working from home’. After reading this piece (which you can do here), optimism will be coursing through every vein of your creative body.
Write a copy brief for the best results
Liz Holt is a seasoned copywriter and has produced a joyfully comprehensive article (which you can view here) explaining the ins and outs of a copy brief. During my search, this article struck me as particularly useful because it serves both newbie freelancers and potential clients. Up-and-comers can learn about what they should be asking in a copy brief, and future clients can use this article to get thinking about the various things that a copywriter might ask them. Just a nice helpful piece, and fun for the whole family.
Write well at work
Perceptions, impact, productivity; these are all crucial when it comes to producing good writing regularly, and this article (by @sparks_studio) breaks each one down to educate people on just how they can produce effective writing no matter what their task.
Everybody loves an article that dives right in at the deep end with a practical example, and that is surely the case here; you can see straight away what the piece is all about, and what you’re in for over the next however many words. If you feel like improving the level of your daily writing then you can click here to take a look.
I was very intrigued by one particular aspect of this article by journalist George Woolfrey (@GeorgeWoolfrey). At the top of the piece she talks about how Blue Monday is simply a marketing ploy, and this got me thinking of a post I wrote about how so many titles encountered on the net are exaggerations, or even just pure lies (you can click here to see it).
Marketing controversy aside, every sentence of this article is laced with exciting quirkiness, keeping the reader on his/her toes while also dishing out some extremely informative spoonfuls of knowledge. But there is a serious side to this knowledge, and the very real issue of depression is addressed in an extremely helpful way.
As George quite rightly points out, Blue Monday trivialises depression, and spits in the face of those trying make everyone else realise that depression is an illness, and something which millions of people suffer with every day. This day is a careless ploy concocted by thoughtless marketing minds in a desperate attempt to sap what’s left of people’s already-depleted post-Christmas funds. A horrible concept, but a really great article.
What can you do in an hour?
At the top of this article I mentioned copywriting rates, and this succinct guide from Beth Townsend (@BeeCopyUK) is extremely insightful (click here for a glimpse). This article is a result of the numerous enquiries she has had from both clients and freelancers who are curious about what they should charge. It is definitely something that all freelance creatives can relate to; getting your rates just right is so important for freelance copywriters when it comes to securing work.
How to Get over Writer’s Block
Short but sweet, Fiona Thompson’s (@wordspring_UK) blog article entitled How to get over Writer’s Block is a snappy break down of a few useful strategies which can be used if that much-feared nightmare period of emptiness darkens your doorstep. It’s exactly what I think a helpful blog article should be – not too long and straight to the point.
Among her tips, I think the most interesting is to speak not talk. I can certainly relate to this. Voicing things can be a great way to get a feel for the copy you are writing. I also find myself moving my hands or even doing a bit of a jig as if I’m dancing to music (nope that’s not made up). Anything that allows you to get your writing into a rhythm is going to help you in the long run.
Five things I have learned in five years as a freelance copywriter
Alastaire Allday (@alldaycreative) is a name you will often encounter on tier 1 of the Google podium, and this summary of what he has learned over the course of his creative tenure is extremely useful for those starting out, or anyone who has been going for a while but can’t seem to get out of first gear.
Of the five points he makes, the most helpful, in my opinion at least, are those related to pricing your services and promoting those services as much as you can. I think it’s definitely true that a lot of freelancers will set up a website and just expect this, along with a bit of promotion and some fancy business cards, to be enough; that is certainly not the case. Eventually, with enough hard graft, you may find yourself doing the creative, exciting work you got into this for, but ‘enough hard graft’ is the key phrase.
What copywriters really think of your writing
This article (click here) by Jamie Thomson (@BrandNewCopy) is certainly a lesson in enticing titles. It evokes thoughts of secrecy, and even scandal. The mind wanders to the unpleasant, critical remarks that other copywriters might be making about you. Basically, it is a title you want to click on.
But on closer inspection, this piece is more than just a snappy title. By pointing out the ways in which seasoned copywriters might critique your work, this article provides a valuable insight into what you should be keeping in mind as you seek to perfect the copy you are producing; after all, there is nothing better than constructive criticism.
How I work
For any potential clients reading this article, you may well be wondering how copywriters work; what you can expect and when, etc. I know I have had this enquiry on many occasions. With this recurring theme in mind, I refer to an article (walk this way to see what I’m talking about) by fellow scribe Rachel Ingram (@RachelsWritings). This short, concise, insight into the way she works breaks down some fairly mysterious aspect of copywriting – copy briefs (see the article by as well), invoicing, feedback (as well as changes following feedback). All in all this is a good answer to the most commonly asked questions from those looking to harvest the creative energy of a freelance copywriter.