5 Steps to Starting a Copywriting Home Business
A home business in copywriting can be started relatively quickly and easily, with a very low investment cost.
There are many entrepreneurs who enjoy the flexible lifestyle as a solid home business who have started their copywriting service simply by writing out samples and building an online portfolio that showcases their writing styles, their ability to adapt to different markets, and to take on different voices (and approaches) to target audiences.
As a sole proprietor of the business, you have the flexibility to sub-contract your writing work out or do it all yourself.
What steps do you need to take then to become a copywriter?
1. Decide on Your Genre
What kind of writing do you want to provide as a copywriter? Decide on what type of copywriting style you’re interested in writing about, or if you are interested in multiple markets, make sure that you are able to take on different writing styles.
As a copywriter myself, it’s not always easy to be able to write in different voices, where your message may read the same way but generate a different response based on the target market. Take some time to personally write about different topics, markets and products, using passive, aggressive, soft and hard selling copy, to determine what style you are best at, and what styles you prefer.
Will you specialize in newsletter writing, magazine feature writing or article writing?
If you know the type of writing that you will concentrate on, it will help you develop materials and resources targeted towards that market.
To get a better idea of what type of writing genre to pursue, take a look at online and print ads to see what’s popular, what methods are widely used and to what niche audiences the pitch is made.
After you decide on your writing genre, then develop a solid plan and course of action to administer your ideas, and begin to construct a website that highlights all of your services, price structure and samples.
If you have not yet secured a client or testimonials from past work, don’t let this hinder you from taking action.
Begin writing in your free time, and consistently working towards expanding your knowledge, your writing vocabulary, and your experience by researching existing copywriters, dissecting effective copy, analyzing what works, and what doesn’t, and then doing your best to restructure this in your own style.
What kind of experience do you have? How does that experience help you in your writing endeavors? A writer’s experience is only second to the passion that he possesses to effectively do a good job. Without experience as a writer, you may lack the necessary foundation to get started on this career path.
While you may not feel that you have enough experience to begin, if you dedicate yourself to learning and mastering this trade, it won’t be long before you are able to attract new clients and new business.
Any kind of writing experience can help jump-start your writing career in copywriting. Whether that experience is in basic content writing, magazine writing or in a corporate setting, you can use the foundational tools to get started in copywriting.
Don’t discount any previous writing work done, thinking that it isn’t professional enough. Likewise, don’t wait until you get what may be deemed “enough” experience.
Start with where you are and with what you’ve got to jump start your writing career.
3. Set Your Goals
What goals do you want to achieve as a writer? Do you simply want to be known as a writer or do you want to work towards achieving tangible goals?
Writers should always start out with a tangible, reachable writing goal within their sights. The writing business is very intense and can become very discouraging for some.
Setting goals help to keep you on track and position you for success.
To help you stay on the track towards success, write down your goals and refer to them often, for follow-up and for inspiration. NEVER over-reach!
Instead, set goals that can be reached, and if you over-shoot your objective, great! The most important thing is to avoid sabotaging yourself with objectives or goals that are far too difficult to reach.
Goal setting will become a discipline that you will learn well in your writing career.
When do you write best, in the morning or in the evening?
What conditions do you write best under? Background noise, completely quiet, music, etc?
Do you have to be “inspired” to write or can you just sit down and begin writing?
Good writers plan a writing system for their work and do all they can to stick to it.
If the writer is a morning person and functions better before dawn, he may do better work and find more creativity sparking before the family wakes.
Just the same, a sporadic writer may find that he works better under pressure or at odd times of the night or very early mornings. Whichever the mood or the place, a writer must develop a plan and a system for writing whenever the inspiration hits, while analyzing their own personal patterns and when their creativity is at its peak performance.
5. Strategize a Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan for your writing business is crucial in helping you to decide which way to go with your marketing efforts.
Successful marketing requires a well-thought out, well-outlined and documented effort whether you are home-based or within an office setting.
Develop your marketing plan just as you would any other goal for your copywriting business. Decide on your goals and target dates for various elements of your marketing plan and implement them, one-by-one.
If you plan to market your writing services to the local chamber of commerce, develop a plan to do this.
You may want to start by attending their monthly luncheons. Then you may want to get involved with some of the other events that they feature during the month. As you are visiting and networking within these venues, you will distribute your business cards, samples of your work and any other pertinent materials to those potential clients.
All of this may take place over the course of a set period of time as dedicated by your marketing plan.