A Day in the Life of a Freelance Copywriter

Written by Glenn Murray

Ever wanted a job where you could spend all day, every day, writing clever and inspiring prose? Yes? Well donít become a freelance copywriter!

Donít get me wrong, itís a great job, and for some of us itís a calling that wonít be denied. And you definitely do get to write clever and inspiring prose. Itís just that you donít do it all day, every day. In fact, when you sit down atrepparttar end ofrepparttar 105150 day and think about what youíve done,repparttar 105151 percentage of time spent writing is surprisingly low.

So what does a freelance copywriter do other than write copy? Well, basically, they run a business. This article discusses 11 daily rituals involved with running a freelance website copywriting or advertising copywriting business (other than writing). It also provides some tips for performing them successfully.

1) Quoting

Freelance copywriters serve many masters. They generally have quite a few clients, and spend quite a bit of time quoting on new jobs. When you quote, youíre calculating how much to charge forrepparttar 105152 job. For a freelance copywriter, there are a number of important factors influencing quoting. You need to have some way to accurately estimate time. Generallyrepparttar 105153 best way to achieve this is to be diligent in your tracking. If you know how long past jobs have taken you, youíll be much more confident and accurate in your estimates. You need to know how much time you spend not writing (as you should try to cover as much of this as possible). You need to have a feel for whatrepparttar 105154 client is prepared to pay (are they a big or small company, how highly do they seem to value copy, etc.). You need to know how much your competitors are charging forrepparttar 105155 same thing. You need to understand what differentiates you from your competitors. You need to think about how badly you want or needrepparttar 105156 work. And, of course, you need to estimate how time-consumingrepparttar 105157 client will be.

2) Submitting Proposals

A quote is notrepparttar 105158 same as a proposal. A quote is generally contained within a proposal, but itís notrepparttar 105159 same thing. When you submit a copywriting proposal, youíre marketing your skills, your solution, your work ethic, your customer service, your commitment, and your experience. Basically, youíre justifying your price, and differentiating yourself from your competition. And itís not just about WHAT you say. Itís also HOW you say it and how you PRESENT it. Everything about your proposal plays a part inrepparttar 105160 clientís decision! If possible, include additional helpful information. Use a title page, a table of contents, headers, and footers. Introduce atrepparttar 105161 beginning and summarise atrepparttar 105162 end. Include your price, but call it an ďinvestmentĒ, not a ďcostĒ. Showrepparttar 105163 client youíve thought their job through by summarising their requirements. Outline your proposed solution. And most importantly, giverepparttar 105164 client a clear call to action (ďWhere to from here?Ē).

3) Chasing reviews

The freelance copywriter is almost neverrepparttar 105165 bottleneck in a copywriting job. In 99.99% of copywriting jobs,repparttar 105166 bottleneck isrepparttar 105167 review process. Most clients take a long time to review. In fact, about a third of clients need to be prompted at least once before theyíll get back to you with their changes. Itís not uncommon for a one-day writing job to take a full month to reach sign-off Ė or longer. Some clients will putrepparttar 105168 copy review onrepparttar 105169 backburner for months (just another reason to request a deposit before commencement of work)! As a result, freelance advertising copywriters and website copywriters spend a lot of time chasing reviews. Make sure you factorrepparttar 105170 delay andrepparttar 105171 chasing time into your quotes as best you can. And always record which clients take a long time, so you can be prepared when discussing deadlines onrepparttar 105172 next job.

4) Project scheduling & tracking

No matter whether you work on big projects or small, project scheduling and tracking are vital. You need to knowrepparttar 105173 exact status of all work in progress (tracking), and you also need to be very aware of whatís coming up and how youíll manage it (planning). If youíre doing it right, you should be using your tracking and planning tools several times a day. In fact, they should berepparttar 105174 hub of your business. TIP: A good way to track copywriting projects is to use a job (and contact) tracking database. I created my own database using Microsoft Access. Click to download a 208KB working copy for FREE. Youíll need Microsoft Access 2000 to run it. Iím no database expert, so itís not a work of art. Itíll certainly get you started though. (TIP: When usingrepparttar 105175 database, press Ctrl + ; to enter todayís date.)

5) Accounting

Issuing invoices, processing payments (and part payments), chasing outstanding invoices, recording expenses, managing bank accounts, putting tax asideÖ It all takes a lot of time. Donít be fooled into thinking you can handle your accounts manually (or with Microsoft Excel). Even if you only have a few clients, you NEED a proper accounts package like MYOB or Quicken (they both offer small business versions). Youíll understand whyrepparttar 105176 first time you do your GST reports or annual taxes. In fact, youíll understand why whenever you need to chase down outstanding invoices

10 Things You Should Expect From Your IT Copywriter

Written by Glenn Murray

Anyone who’s ever tried marketing IT products or services knows that it’s a specialist field. Your customers inrepparttar IT industry have very unique and specific requirements, and that means you do too. In order to write compelling copy around your offering, you need a copywriter with a solid understanding of repparttar 105148 IT world – someone who’s not afraid to call themselves an “IT Copywriter”.

So how do you know when you’ve found an IT copywriter? And – more importantly – how do you know what to expect from them? The following 10 tips will give you a good understanding ofrepparttar 105149 qualities to look for –repparttar 105150 things that make a copywriter an IT copywriter.

1) IT background

Perhapsrepparttar 105151 most beneficial quality in an IT copywriter is a solid background of some sort inrepparttar 105152 IT industry. If your copywriter shares an understanding of your domain, you’ll spend far less time explainingrepparttar 105153 benefits of your product or service. Rememberrepparttar 105154 last time you watched someone glaze over as you waxed lyrical about repparttar 105155 wonders of your latest technology? You don’t want that to happen when you’re briefing your copywriter. More importantly, you don’t want that happening when your potential customers read your copy!

2) Technical writing experience

Good technical writers are experienced in bridging knowledge gaps. This means they have to understandrepparttar 105156 technology, but they also have to be able to talk about it inrepparttar 105157 layperson’s language. A copywriter with technical writing experience inrepparttar 105158 IT industry is likely to have domain knowledge and an ability to hitrepparttar 105159 ground running. They’ll be quick onrepparttar 105160 uptake, so they’ll understand your product or service more rapidly than most.

Of course, not every technical writer is a IT copywriter. You need to be sure they can write compelling copy – not just dry instruction manuals. Take a look at their samples and testimonials before making a decision.

The other important consideration – especially if you’re after a website copywriter – is, do they have online writing experience? Writing for an online medium is entirely different to writing for print. Readers have different requirements and objectives, and reading conditions are very different. Many technical writers have written online help, so they should know how to cater to these differences. To be sure, ask them to recommend a maximum page length or word count per page. The correct answer should include some comment onrepparttar 105161 trade-off betweenrepparttar 105162 problems of scrolling and repparttar 105163 need for a high keyword count for SEO. Ask them whether they prefer long sentences or short (and hope to hear “short”).

3) Further Education

IT products and services are generally very complex in themselves. What’s more,repparttar 105164 needs ofrepparttar 105165 end-customer are also very complex and unique. This means there’s normally quite a steep learning curve for anyone new. Ask your IT copywriter if they have tertiary qualifications. It’s not essential, and – by itself – it’s no guarantee of quality copy, but it’s generally a good indicator of someone who’s been trained inrepparttar 105166 art of learning (i.e. researching, information filtering and modelling, knowledge retention, etc.).

The flip-side of that coin is to be wary of people who are technically qualified. Don’t discount them on sight (many technical people have made great IT copywriters); just remember that technically trained people have a tendency to take a lot of things for granted when speaking to lay-people. Your IT copywriter needs to be able to understandrepparttar 105167 technology and its complexities, but still relate torepparttar 105168 issues ofrepparttar 105169 non-technical customer.

4) Management Experience

Anyone with management experience – at any level – has dealt with decision makers. They may even have been a decision maker themself. In any form of promotion, you need to appeal torepparttar 105170 decision maker. Your IT copywriter needs to develop an understanding ofrepparttar 105171 needs, influences, pressures, problems, work environment, and constraints of your typical decision maker(s). The more understanding your IT copywriter brings torepparttar 105172 relationship,repparttar 105173 less time you’ll spend schooling them.

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