Congratulations on taking the plunge into freelance copywriting! Branching out on your own is exciting, but doing it alone can feel overwhelming—especially in the beginning. Don’t let the pressure of getting set up make you lose your shiny new-adventure glow.
Using this ultimate toolkit for managing your new business, you can discover the copywriting resources every freelancer needs.
Meet Your Star Employee
As your business’s one and only staff member, you’re the head of every department. Copywriting makes up only a portion of your job, so get ready to take on sales, marketing, accounting, project management, administrative duties, and everything else—all while staying on top of your copywriting game.
Copywriting Resources Beyond Writing
The average freelance copywriter does not pound the pavement every day, visiting businesses and handing out hard copies of their portfolio. Although networking and meeting prospective clients are beneficial, you’ll likely be on your computer each day, scouting new leads, nurturing established relationships, managing your business, and writing.
Website Building 101
Your website is your online portfolio and home base, where potential clients can learn more about you and your work. Building a website can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with web design. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to build a professional website.
Make your website look polished and professional with templates. Just make sure it is easy to navigate and includes all the information a client needs to get in touch. Remember to include your website URL in your email signature!
Consider any of these beginner-friendly customizable platforms for building a website:
- WordPress– It’s easy to customize with themes and plugins, making it an excellent choice for creating professional-looking websites.
- Squarespace: A drag-and-drop website builder that makes creating beautiful, modern websites a breeze
- Wix: Another drag-and-drop website builder with templates for all kinds of businesses
All three options allow you to create your business email account. Just imagine email@example.com. Pretty cool, right?
Don’t worry if you’re not ready to build a website yet. Some freelance copywriters wait until they get a few clients, and others don’t make one at all. While having a website is a matter of professional preference, having a well-curated portfolio is all but mandatory in the freelance copywriting world.
Portfolio Like the Pros
Let potential clients know what you’re capable of by showing off your best writing samples. Show off your work by pulling together a portfolio of articles, blogs, websites, and other content that shows your style, strengths, and versatility as a copywriter. A strong portfolio includes social proof of your success, so collect testimonials from your clients to proudly share on your website.
You want at least five or six samples showing your range. The samples should include everything from a technical case study to a funny blog post. Show both short and long-form content, as well as examples of B2B and B2C writing.
If you’re not ready to pull the trigger on an entire website, consider hosting with a paid, portfolio-focused platform. A few easy-to-use, copywriter-approved options include Carbonmade, Pressfolio, and Writerfolio.
If you prefer a free option, you can assemble a PDF of your writing samples or build a Google Doc portfolio on your own or using a template.
This shortlist of fan-favorite copywriting resources is a great place to start, whether you’re trying to build a killer website, attend virtual meetings, or write and review your copy—and there’s plenty more where that came from!
- Calendly– A scheduling automation platform that integrates easily with your website, portfolio, or email signature to help you coordinate meeting times with clients.
- Zoom– The go-to remote meeting space to chat and collaborate with your clients.
- Canva– A no-experience-required design tool that lets you design everything from your website to your business cards.
- Google Docs– Easily share drafts, comments, and edits, and collaborate with others on this free web-based word processing platform.
DIY Business Accounting
It’s important to have a process for invoicing and receiving payments for copywriting if you want to make money. By keeping track of your expenses and incoming revenue, you’ll be able to avoid confusion come tax season. Plus, you’ll be able to take advantage of valuable small business tax write-offs! Accounting doesn’t need to be complicated. Stay organized with paid and free options that are both old-school and tech-friendly.
These helpful tools help you stick to your monthly budget and track receipts, other business expenses, invoices, and processed payments.
- Wave– A free invoicing, accounting, and banking platform with pay-per-use payment-processing capabilities. It doesn’t require a subscription, and the site is full of helpful financial tools geared toward small business owners.
- QuickBooks– This program provides a variety of tiers of service for invoicing, accepting payments, tracking expenses, tracking receipts, and sorting expenses into the proper categories to maximize your tax benefits.
- FreshBooks– Easily manage everything from estimates and proposals to your time with FreshBooks. The platform even has a specialized product bundle for freelancers!
Prefer to go analog? Google Sheets and Excel are fantastic tools! Check out these excellent invoicing templates provided by Wave. If you go the spreadsheet route, you’ll likely need a third-party payment processor to accept electronic payments. Popular options include Square, Stripe, and Payment Depot.
Keep Thinking Copy
If you want to write copy people want to read, you need to keep your skills sharp. To do so, you need to consume as much copy as possible. Whether you follow fantastic copywriting blogs, listen to popular copywriting podcasts, or talk to other professional copywriters, being wholly immersed in copywriting will help you stay motivated and inspire you to take your writing to the next level.
Keep up with the business and writing sides of copywriting by following some of the best copy-centric pages on the web. There are job-hunting tips, copywriting resources, and informative blogs to help you.
- Copywriter Exchange– With Copywriter Exchange, you can find excellent copywriting-related blogs and copywriting resources like useful templates and even find copywriting jobs.
- Copyhackers– The blog is a fantastic resource for all things copy and digital marketing. With blogs focused on growing your business, copywriting tips, and ways to level up your copywriting, it’s well worth your time.
- Very Good Copy– This edgy blog and digital newsletter tackle the entire world of copywriting. The creative and fun email newsletters make a great read. Join the party by adding to their nearly 50k email subscribers.
The lists of books that every copywriter must read usually include the mainstays like The Adweek Copywriting Handbook and Breakthrough Copywriting. Immerse yourself in other ways besides these (extraordinarily informative) books. Check out popular copywriting podcasts like Copy that Pops and The Copywriter Club Podcast.
Have Fun, New Business Owner!
You’re more ready than ever to manage your new freelance copywriting career. Whenever you get stuck, need advice, or want to share the tips and tools that have rocketed you to writing success, hop over to Copywriter Exchange and share your experiences. You’ll find a community of writers who will undoubtedly add to your freelance copywriting toolkit.
Jo Gore-Wright is a copywriter and marketing strategy consultant based in Atlanta. She spent years working in business development, operations management, and marketing strategy in the corporate sector but was ready to make a splash on her own. Jo launched Copysplatter and hasn’t looked back since.
At Copywriter Exchange, we’re a group of master content marketing pros who bring their diverse talents and backgrounds to bear on the art and science of creating high-performance content, tailored to your needs. We exist to help copywriters thrive in today’s economy by connecting them with the resources they need to step up their game. Join now to access our templates, guides, and courses to help you grow your career, skills, and network.