Finding freelance work as a UK copywriter is necessary if you want to make a living from writing. Earning money as a freelancer of some description has become increasingly popular in the past couple of years.
Since the Covid19 pandemic, the working world has transitioned into a remote environment for many.
The long and dreary office commute has been replaced by rolling out of bed and opening a laptop, and chats around the watercooler have become a thing of the past replaced by online chats over Zoom or Teams.
An unforeseen side effect of the global pandemic is that many folks have reassessed their situation. Analyzing their incomings and outgoings, and taking a critical look at things like their home or car to determine what is really needed.
Some have been able to strategically realign their lives to reduce expenditure and salary requirements, instead favouring flexible working hours and family time.
Freelancers and entrepreneurs have moved to the mainstream since the health crisis, and graphic designers, web developers, and copywriters have moved in their thousands to make what used to be a hobby, into a full-time profitable career.
Is writing a popular freelance niche?
So you’ve decided to make the move and become a full-time freelance copywriter. You may be wondering if there is enough work to make this a sustainable career and generate the income you need.
As a freelance option, writing is a wildly popular and highly competitive niche. Freelance writers in the UK advertise their services as copywriters, content creators, SEO writers, and various other terms to pitch their talents to potential clients.
But it is important to remember that not all writers are good copywriters, as with many creative occupations, there are a large number of poor, inefficient, and subpar writers out there. While it may seem like the competition is hot, finding work as a UK freelance copywriter is all about positioning yourself for the right clients and business.
Quality speaks volumes.
What kind of freelance writing should I do?
The word ‘writer’ can mean a lot of things. Writers that provide copy for businesses or other clients can fall into a vast range of categories. This is where past knowledge, work experience, or skills can work for you.
If you can take advantage of education or a specific industry, it will help you to niche down and thin out the competition. For example, if you have previous experience of chemical engineering and can turn that into technical writing, you will be targeting an area of limited competition.
Different types of writing that freelancers in the UK could consider are:
- Technical writing
- CV writing
- Speech writing
- Legal writing
- Financial writing
- Short story writer
The list goes on, and each freelance writing niche has a variety of subsections that you can choose. A technical writer may specialise in manuals for electrical products, while a CV writer may target those that work in accountancy services. You get the picture.
How to find work as a UK freelance copywriter
Building a viable business from the ground up is no easy process. Finding your first jobs and clients can seem overwhelming at first. But as you gain experience it does get easier.
Along with being positioned correctly to reach the right type of work or industry sectors, it can be extremely helpful to have some work samples or a portfolio to display examples of your work to potential customers.
If you don’t have any, then make some. Create well written and thoughtfully constructed pieces for an imaginary client to showcase your abilities, and demonstrate what you are capable of.
Finding work can be a bit of an uphill trudge in the early days and well-meaning friends or family members that promise to ‘keep their ear to the ground’ will only get you so far, if anywhere at all.
Where can UK freelance copywriters find work?
This is where the power of the internet can be really useful. Job search sites and portals can be really helpful to connect with clients and find your first jobs.
Anyone in the UK that needs a freelance writer will be likely to post their requirements on a job site or freelancer marketplace. While some of these jobs may not be the highest-paid initially, they will help you to gain experience and build your reputation.
Many job sites are extremely generic, places like Indeed, or Reed UK provide a valuable service but they advertise every job imaginable, which may not be the most helpful for you as a freelance writer.
Platforms that are dedicated to freelance work may be a better place for you to look. The people placing ads are actively looking for a freelance writer, not an employee and rates may be negotiable, meaning you can land some lucrative gigs.
What are the best sites for UK freelance copywriters to find work?
A popular option for many UK based writers and freelancers is People Per Hour. This website is one of the few freelancer marketplaces that is UK based.
The platform connects freelancers with companies and individuals that need work performed and offer many popular work categories.
Is People Per Hour good for copywriters?
It can be, there are writing jobs available, however, this is not People Per Hour’s only area of focus. They provide jobs for photographers, graphic designers, programmers, and many other categories of business.
Does it cost anything?
People Per Hour do take a commission from their freelancers for work performed. This has been revamped recently and their new commission rates look like this:
Image from www.peopleperhour.com
While these commission rates are not excessive and reduce as the amount billed grows, they hit hard for smaller jobs at 20%, which may not be feasible for UK freelance copywriters that are just starting out.
As one of the original freelance marketplaces, Freelancer is a truly international platform that offers multiple job categories.
Like other marketplaces Freelancer offers job advertisers the ability to post jobs and then freelancers may send their proposal.
Is Freelancer good for copywriters?
While there are some writers that make a good living from jobs they find on Freelancer, it may not be quite so easy for a new copywriter. Competition is fierce on Freelancers with bids from dozens of freelancers for each job.
Does it cost anything?
Freelancer charges around 10% commission for work performed and bids can be promoted higher in your clients feed for an additional fee. The platform also charges job posters for freelance work that they receive.
One of the most popular platforms for freelance copywriters has to be Problogger. This writer oriented site provides many resources for freelance writers and jobs are available to browse.
Is it good for copywriters?
Problogger only focuses on writers, providing jobs and tools to help bloggers make money. However, for UK freelance copywriters it may not be the most effective. Jobs on Problogger come from all over the world, but a high proportion are from the USA.
Does it cost anything?
Problogger is free for freelance writers that want to apply for any of the posted jobs. Some of the ebooks and other resources may charge a fee.
A newer player in the world of freelance copywriting jobs is GigLeads. Jobs are sourced and selected every day and sent to GigLeads members in a convenient daily email containing the latest listings.
Is GigLeads good for copywriters?
The site is targeted 100% at writers, and has the advantage of catering to the UK market. For freelance copywriters in the UK that are seeking work, this can be really valuable.
Does it cost anything?
There is a monthly fee, but UK based freelance copywriters that want to try GigLeads can take advantage of a free trial. Unlike other freelance marketplaces, there are no commissions to pay on any work performed.
Finding work as a UK freelance copywriter can be tricky, but very lucrative once you have found your niche and built a solid reputation. As a final tip, make sure to ask for feedback and reviews wherever possible.
If you have a website or use Google My Business make sure to include any good reviews there too. Most new clients will browse several places to validate your expertise so social media pages, directory listings, and your website will need to be kept up to date.
For UK freelancers that are beginning their career as a writer, try and maintain excellent quality writing and professionalism at all times. Providing a good and reliable service pays off in the end.