We all dream of having the best of both worlds - having a flexible schedule and working from home so you can be with your family and earn a paycheck.
If you have the talent and background, you can put your writing talents to work as a work-from-home copywriter. We learned more about this dream job through one of the best - Nicki Krawczyk, founder of Filthy Rich Writer.
Here's our interview to share with you!
1. Hi Nicki, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?
Hi! Well, my name is Nicki Krawczyk and I’ve been a copywriter for more than 15 years. I’ve written for big, multi-billion-dollar companies like Hasbro, TripAdvisor, and adidas, I’ve written for solopreneurs, and I’ve written for just about every size business in between! I also teach and coach people to create successful copywriting careers of their own through our site, FilthyRichWriter.com, and our course, the Comprehensive Copywriting Academy. “Filthy Rich Writer” is a bit provocative, I know; but, to me, being “filthy rich” means having a job you love, doing it well, and getting paid well to do it!
2. What is copywriting? What does a copywriter do?
Great question! And it’s amazing that it’s such an in-demand career but so few people are really aware of it. Copywriting is basically advertising and marketing writing—writing that’s designed to sell or to persuade. But for those people who have that immediate “Ew! <cringe> Sales!” reaction, I want to make clear right away that copywriting is NOT about “Push-push-push-sell-sell-sell.” It’s really about making a connection between people who have a want or a need with a company or organization that has the solution to that want or need—and doing it in a way that’s clear and that resonates with the target audience. Copywriters make connections.
3. How is this different from content writing?
This is a very astute question because there IS a big difference, and a lot of people don’t realize that. As I said, copywriting is writing that’s designed to sell or to persuade—to get people to take action or at least think a certain way about something.
Content is writing that’s designed to entertain, inform, or inspire. This would be blog post, articles, and things like that. And content is very important, don’t get me wrong, but because companies can directly attribute changes in their revenue and other important numbers to copywriting, copywriters get paid a lot more. Also, there’s more training involved in being a copywriter, more tactics to master.
With content writing, there’s a much lower barrier to entry and so the market is, unfortunately, flooded with writers who are willing to work for very low wages. That can make it tricky for good writers to make a decent living at content writing for a sustained period of time and not burn out. Copywriters do still write content for our clients sometimes, but we do it at our copywriting rate because our clients are still getting the benefit of our experience, skills, and strategic thinking.
4. How do you become a copywriter? Can you tell us about your course?
It used to be, maybe 20 or 30 years ago, that you could learn on the job. But that’s not really the case anymore—companies only hire people who know what they’re doing. And, of course, freelance clients have no interest in hiring people to write their copy who don’t know how to do it!
The crazy thing, though, is that (as far as I’m aware) there aren’t any colleges or universities that let you major in copywriting! Advertising definitely, but not specifically copywriting. I was lucky that my dad, who was a Marketing Director (he’s retired now), would bring home extra work for me in high school and then give me feedback. But most people certainly aren’t that lucky! And I absolutely still had plenty to learn after that.
So, in 2012, I started creating the course I wish I had when first got started. We teach people the foundations of copywriting, the more advanced techniques, how to write for specific types of projects, how to practice and build their skills, then how to build their experience, how to build their portfolios, how to land their first clients, and how to keep finding and landing clients to build a big client base and a regular income.
There’s a lot to learn (I called it “comprehensive” for a reason), so we have monthly coaching calls and monthly Facebook lives so students can ask questions and get feedback. We also have a busy and very supportive feedback group just for students where people can ask questions, get support, and get feedback from each other—and where my head copy coach, our student coaches, and I pop in to give our two cents, too. It’s a self-paced course, but nobody’s ever in this on their own! Students also get lifetime access so they can check back on in topics when then need to.
A lot of people ask if the CCA is appropriate for people with no copywriting experience at all, so I’m always happy to assure them that the vast majority of our students come in with no experience in copywriting or marketing at all. And, actually, we also teach them how to use their non-copywriting experience to set them apart as copywriters!
5. What is the average copywriter's salary? How much can one aim to achieve?
It’s almost impossible to give an average because the career is so flexible and people approach it their own ways. Some people will do it part-time or as a side hustle with their full-time job, some people will go on-staff to work at a cool agency or for an in-house team, and some people will decide to work freelance full-time from their kitchen table or, really, from anywhere in the world.
I also never give salary guarantees (a lot of caveats, I know, but it’s really important that people understand all of this!) because, as much as my team and I give people all of the steps and the support they need to be successful, it’s on them to actually *take* action. And some people do that faster or in a more focused way than others. (Though we actually also have trainings within the course to help them overcome “resistance” and other mindset issues that might pop up and slow them down.)
But I know it’s frustrating not to get any numbers at all, so let me give you a few ballparks and a few examples:
A beginning copywriter could expect to earn between $35-60/hour. But people should also bear in mind that a lot of work is project-based so, for example, a student could take on a sales page project and earn $1,500 from that project alone. (Again, ballparks!) With a couple of those a month (or more smaller projects), it’s perfectly possible to get to that $70k, $80k level. After a copywriter has been working for a bit (but, again, it depends on how fast they implement what we teach them and ramp up their systems!), six figures is certainly within reach.