If you’re looking for an easy business model/side hustle, consider becoming a copywriter and taking on online writing jobs. This is an extremely simple money-making method that almost anyone can have a go at, and which is highly adaptable to fit around your lifestyle.
You could have your first payment in your account by tonight!
I should know: I’ve been working as a copywriter for the past 10 years with no signs of slowing down!
It’s one of the easiest online jobs to get into as well. So read on if you’d like to learn the craft and start finding online writing jobs right away. You could have your first payment in your account by tonight!
What does an online copywriter do?
Copywriting generally refers to writing for a business or advertising purpose. Traditionally, that means you won’t be writing fiction or journalism, but rather homepage content, ad content, sales scripts, press releases, and other copy designed to help things to sell.
In the digital era, the term “copywriter” is used a little more broadly however, and now often also incorporates blog content. The reason being that many websites also use blog content in order to sell products and promote their brand via “content marketing.” The writing here is often journalistic in style, but still used for sales and marketing, so the role of the journalist and that of the copywriter have somewhat merged.
If you market yourself for content writer jobs, you’ll get hired to write a larger proportion of blog posts and articles. If you market yourself for copywriter jobs you’ll get a larger number of requests to write emails, sales pages, site content, and the like. That said, you will probably get a combination of both these types of online writing jobs regardless of how you list yourself, unless you specifically state that you only accept certain types of work.
Your job either way is to find clients and provide them with copy that meets their goals (sales, engagement, persuasion). Often this will mean working as a “ghostwriter,” meaning that you won’t be credited anywhere. You’ll often be required to meet deadlines, and will usually be paid per word.
How much does an online copywriter earn? This can range anywhere from $1 to $100 per 100 words, depending on the type of work you take on (and we’ll look at some ways you can charge more as we go on).
Why writing jobs from home are easy to come by
What the web has also done for copywriting is to make it more essential than ever. It’s easy to find online writing jobs, simply because the web is so reliant on “content.”
It’s easy to find online writing jobs, simply because the web is so reliant on content
The way that most people find websites these days is by searching through Google. There’s a good chance that you typed the phrase “online writing jobs,” which brought you to this site! That comes down to content.
Otherwise, you might be here because you are a regular reader of Android Authority (thanks!). Once again though, it’s probably because you like our content! This is how most brands engage with their audiences these days.
When a company tries to sell you a service or product, it will do so in a similar manner, except it will also utilize some form of “sales page” in order to get you to click “buy.” What does that sales page consist of? Copy!
Other online marketing techniques include writing press releases (which helps them get featured in stories by the press), posting adverts on other web pages, and sending emails. A lot of websites will give away ebooks or “reports” to encourage people to sign up to their mailing list (other sites will sell these).
All of these strategies involve written content in one form or another. And for that reason, you will find there is little difficulty in finding freelance writing jobs online, as long as you’re confident taking on this range of tasks.
The life of an online copywriter
So, are online writing jobs a good way to earn money?
Benefits of copywriter jobs
In terms of stability and ease of finding work, the answer is a resounding yes. I have only posted around three ads in my whole life and have received enough online writing jobs to sustain myself financially for the past 10 years. I started out while I was still at university, and found it was a perfect side hustle on top of my studies. Today I use it to “fill in the gaps” while I look for more interesting work, as well as to fund my own projects.
My wife is a stay-at-home mum and also benefits from being able to take on the occasional gig like this.
This kind of work appeals to me. I’ve always enjoyed writing (I used to work for a magazine called Writing Magazine), and I’m highly motivated. I like being given a set task and a time frame to complete it in, then being left to my own devices. Unlike web design or programming, there is relatively little back-and-forth with clients (which creates “communication overhead”). That gives me more time to get actual work done.
There is relatively little back-and-forth with clients
I will often work in coffee shops where I find the lack of distractions and constant supply of caffeine to be conducive to productivity. I’ll stick on some headphones, lose myself in the writing, and emerge hours later a little wealthier. Sometimes it’s almost meditative.
I also like that my clients typically pay each time they receive a batch of work. That means that I get paid almost daily, which in turn creates a lot of interesting options for budgeting.
If those things appeal to you as well, then you might be a good fit for this kind of online freelance work.
Negatives of copywriter jobs
That said, there are some significant drawbacks and challenges.
One is that the pay can be quite low on a per-word basis when you first start out. Because this is work that anyone can do (in theory), that means that you’ll be competing with people from all around the world. Many of these writers are able to charge significantly lower rates due to lower costs of living, thereby driving down the amount other writers can charge.
There are mitigating factors here: the market you advertise in plays a role for instance (more on that in a moment), as does the type of work and the type of client. If you can demonstrate your expertise with a strong portfolio, then you may be able to appeal to a high-caliber client that will provide you with greater remuneration for more challenging work.
Otherwise, you can attempt to compete with the lower-paid writers by learning to write quickly and in large volumes. It’s tiring, but it has worked well for me!
Likewise, if you’re someone who struggles to work to deadlines, then copywriting probably isn’t going to be right for you. Writing high volumes of content on dull topics, sometimes with asinine instructions from clients, can be mind-numbing. If you’re prone to procrastination, that can be a real problem.
Finally, difficult clients are an unfortunate reality. 90 percent of people you work with will be easy-going and reasonable, but the remaining 10 percent will want revision after revision, will request lengthy Skype calls, and will generally make your life a misery. Learning to spot the good and bad clients is an absolutely essential skill to learn early on therefore.
What skills and qualifications do you need?
Still here? Great! Then you might be wondering what kinds of qualifications and skills you need to start getting online writing jobs.
The good news is that you don’t “need” any at all. I’ve helped friends with zero background as writers to get work. A well-written ad can really go a long way in this regard. But a few things can certainly help.
First, you need to be a good writer. While there are a few professionals out there that are able to find steady work with shoddy, pidgin English, you will of course stand to progress much faster and further if you have actual writing talent. You don’t need to be Shakespeare, but being able to write clearly and concisely is very important.
The good news is that copywriting can be learned. There are a few good courses over at Udemy to start you off for instance:
- Copywriting secrets – How to write copy that sells
- Copywriting Master Course – Work From Home 3 Hours a Week
Also very useful is to learn a bit about SEO. SEO is Search Engine Optimization, and it simply means optimizing websites to be visible on search engines like Google. Good “SEO writing” involves subtle use of keywords and many online writing jobs will require a basic understanding of the topic.
Seeing as this is how the majority of users find the content they read online, many clients will want you to understand at least the basics.
You can also make yourself a more appealing proposition by offering to include images with your writing (you can do this by using a stock photography website such as Envato Elements, or by learning photography).
Or you could learn web design, or SEO, and then start selling those skills as a package. For example, you could build a website and offer to add the content as well. Or you could provide an SEO service and include SEO articles as part of that work.
Another strategy is to become a specialist technical writer working in a specific niche. For example, you could become a health writer, a business writer, or a technology writer. I have had great success writing about self-improvement, health, fitness, and programming, and I have relevant achievements and qualifications under my belt to help me stand out from the crowd.
Perhaps most important though, is to build up that portfolio. So submit some articles to high profile sites, consider starting your own blog, and maybe even try and get a technical book published.
How to find work and start earning
If you have the skills and you’re still interested, then you can begin looking for online writing jobs right away. There are a few places you can find these, which are shared below.
Freelancing sites are sites where freelancers can list their skills and clients can list jobs. They’re ideal for finding one-off gigs and short-term contracts, and even occasionally the odd complete job!
The biggest and best-known of these sites is Upwork. This site is used by over 4 million businesses and, as such, is an ideal place to find a steady stream of work. That also makes it the most competitive of these sites however, and its fees are also the highest. Slightly smaller but still very useful are PeoplePerHour and Freelancer.
Toptal does the same thing, but only accepts 3 percent of applicants. This will reduce the amount of competition with ridiculously low fees and help you to find the very best clients, but only if you can secure a place on the platform. College Recruiter is a freelancer site for college students.
One of the most interesting options for finding online writing jobs though is Constant Content. This is a freelancing site for writers specifically, but it also works as a repository where you can place your work and then get paid each time someone chooses to use it. If you happen to have old unused content on your computer, it’s a great way to monetize that.
A webmaster forum is a forum where webmasters hang out. Here, they will talk about internet marketing, SEO, web design, and other matters relating to their business. At the same time though, it’s also a place where they can place job listings and where professionals can advertise their skills. The three biggest of these are Digital Point Forums, Warrior Forum, and Black Hat World.
The going rate here tends to be very cheap, meaning you’ll often work for little and compete against foreign writers. A lot of the webmasters on these sites are interested in “get rich quick” schemes, and will build low-quality blogs with the aim of tricking Google.
While this might not sound particularly tempting, if you’re looking for a steady supply of online writing jobs where high quality isn’t required, then it can be found here in vast quantities! And if you can’t find content writing jobs, then you can try selling content you’ve already written in the form of ebooks and article batches that others can use. If you want to make money fast, then head onto one of these sites, post an ad, and you might be able to find work and get paid inside 24 hours.
Writing agencies are companies that have a number of writers on their books and that mobilize those writers to complete jobs as they come in. You can get a full time job with a writing agency, or you can use one to find freelance writing jobs.
Writing agencies of course take a large cut of the profits, meaning that you won’t get paid as much as you might elsewhere. On the flip side, working with an agency means you don’t need to do any advertising yourself, or waste time arguing with clients. You’ll get sent work to complete on a daily basis, then return it for cash. This is extremely stable work, and I personally recommend getting your copywriter jobs from a combination of freelance sites and writing agencies for this very reason.
Working with an agency means you don’t need to do any advertising yourself
You can find writing agencies with a simple Google search and there are plenty out there (a quick search just now brought up BoostContent.com and Copify.com). And you can get very similar work by approaching SEO firms and web design companies as well.
Big blogs and businesses
One last option is to approach websites, businesses, and other potential clients directly. Find a business you like, then send them an email offering your services. This can involve a lot of feeling around with little pay-off, but if you get a response then you may be able to find recurring, high-paid, and high-profile work.
You can even approach publishers and try getting some technical writing published!
Again, there is no harm in putting out feelers while at the same time earning a steady income from agency work.
Once you’ve found the online writing jobs and agreed a rate and time-frame, you simply need to carry out the instructions: type up the articles, blog posts, or website content that have been assigned to you. Email it back to the client, and they will normally respond by sending you funds via PayPal (some writers will ask for this up-front when taking on online writing jobs).
PayPal does take a slight cut, but the convenience of the method makes it the preferred option for the vast majority of online professionals. That said, if you use a platform like Upwork, then the transaction itself might be handled there.
Either way, you can this way get funds into your account by the end of your first working day. From there, it’s simply a matter of deciding how much work you want to do, and slowly taking on higher and higher profile work.
So what do you think? Are online writing jobs right for you? Will you be trying your hand at copywriting? Let us know in the comments down below, and be sure to share your tips with the rest of our readers. Good luck out there!