Six basic home truths I wish someone had told me before I started my online copywriting career:
- There will always be someone cheaper than you
Article websites offer cut-price articles for next-to-nothing, but there is a reason for this. They are often poorly written and stuffed with keywords because they charge as little as 1p per word (that’s £4 for a couple of hours’ work). These websites are a waste of your and your clients’ time; a good client will understand this and pay what you’re worth.
On the other hand…
- The jobs you really love will normally be low-paid
But they’re still the ones that keep you going when it really matters. For example, I volunteer for the Southampton Samaritans on the side and this has seen me through some days when I would rather have done anything apart from write. It reminds me that I love what I do and I’m lucky that I get to do something that can actually make a difference.
In other words, if you’re going to work for free then at least do it for a reason you care about.
- Some days you won’t do any copywriting
You won’t love every copywriting job you’ll do — some days you’ll spend more time correcting the same mistakes over and over again, or staring at a blank screen (wondering how on earth you’re going to explain that). This, my dear reader, is a classic case of writer’s block. But don’t worry, there is a cure.
- SEO matters
Yes, in the midst of all that creative brainstorming and witty one-liners, you need to worry about SEO. It can be boring, sometimes it can even mean changing a really good peice of work for the benefit of a robot search engine, but getting it right ultimately means that more people will read your content.
- Some people think they know better
When someone (rightly or wrongly) sees fault in your work, they might try to argue their case against you — sometimes they might go ahead and change it themselves. Learn how to handle the criticism: if it’s constructive, consider whether the comments can help you improve. While it’s important not to be precious about what you write, remember that you are the person who’s being paid to do this stuff.
- Typos happen to the best of us
And one day, they will happen to you.
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