If you want to make money as a writer, you’ve come to the right place. There are very few jobs for writers that allow you to earn a good living. In fact, we know of only one: copywriting.
Journalists, English professors, novelists, essayists: they’re all incredibly valuable jobs and rewarding careers. But ask any of those professionals (or research average salaries) and they’ll tell you they’re not high-paying jobs. In fact, many of them may tell you about second jobs they have to make ends meet.
And here’s the thing: because a lot of writing jobs are low-paying, we get it into our heads that making money as a writer is a bad thing. As if making money means you’re selling out. But we should all be able to make a living from something we do well! As copywriters, we’re helping people build businesses. (More on why it’s absolutely OK to make money as a writer right here.)
Too often, writers end up taking jobs that don’t even allow them to write.
Let’s dig into some common jobs for writers and why copywriting is one of the best opportunities for writers looking to turn their talent into a (well-paying) career.
Copywriting and content writing are related, but separate, fields. Content writing is writing that is designed to inform, educate, or inspire. These are your blog posts and ebooks.
Content writing can be a churn-and-burn industry. That’s because there’s a lower barrier to entry to write articles than there is for copywriting (keep reading for why that is!). As such, it’s also a lower paid industry than copywriting. It’s not uncommon for content writers to be paid by the word.
But as a copywriter, you have more skills. You know how to concisely convey the most important information. So, copywriters charge more for content writing work if they take it on. They charge their copywriting rates.
While copywriters do take on content writing projects for their copywriting clients, they typically don’t take on lots of content work.
A combination of factors contributes to this. First, there are more content writers. Because of this, companies are used to be able to find someone who is willing to work with peanuts. Plus, there are many companies who do not value effective content—they’re looking for the best possible outcome at the cheapest possible price. Since content doesn’t directly contribute to company revenue—it’s more of a dotted line—there’s less importance placed on it.
Technical writers are like translators between two groups of people. Instead of translating from one language into another, they’re explaining technical, complex information in easy-to-understand ways (or, if not easy to understand, at least easier).
They may write instruction manuals, how-to guides, articles, and other materials. The key is that the information is understood by their intended audience.
Technical writers often have experience some sort of subject matter expertise, whether it’s science, engineering, or computers, so that they can better understand the material they need to communicate. This creates a higher barrier to entry for these positions with most requiring a four-year degree.
Copywriting is the top way to make money as a writer. While copywriting salaries certainly vary based on location, experience, and other factors, it is absolutely reasonable for copywriters to make six figures. And, because it pays so well, copywriting allows you to support your other creative writing endeavors.
Plus, copywriting is one of the only jobs for writers without a degree. First, there are no degrees in copywriting. Second, prospective copywriting clients and employers care about one thing: your ability to write good copy.
That means you do need training. Copywriting isn’t like writing an essay or other more academic writing. It’s writing that is designed to sell or persuade. It’s connecting an audience who has a need with the best solution for that need.
And while can seem difficult to get started as a copywriter—but it’s not if you have the right steps. Learn more about our free, on-demand video training right here.
Last Updated on August 29, 2022