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Copywriting's Free First Step - The Home-based Writer's Guide

By Expert Author: Walter Stewart

Whether you have a full-time job or spend much of your time raising your children, there's no doubt that a little extra cash can come in handy. There are many freelance and part-time opportunities that can prove to be fruitful. On the other hand, many of those opportunities may seem enticing, but ultimately provide little money. If you've ever had a passion for the written word, whether it be college courses in journalism, a collection of short stories in your journal, or a daily blog you like to update, then you can bypass many of the part-time offers and head straight to the top. Dabbling in freelance copywriting is one of the most effective ways to earn extra cash - and you get to indulge your passion for writing at the same time!
What's involved with being a freelance copywriting? Let's break it down. Copywriting means literally writing copy. This generally means marketing copy, but can touch on a variety of areas, including ghostwriting, technical writing, and press releases.
As for the freelancer part, freelancing is both a blessing and a curse. As a freelancer, you have the freedom to pick and choose projects as you please, control your schedule, and control your rates. Of course, the other side of that is that you must search for work. However, if you're only looking for a part-time situation that earns you extra money, freelancing is a smart way to go.
Now here's the secret - why is freelance copywriting so lucrative? Think of the many part-time work-at-home opportunities you hear about. Most likely, it's telemarketing or some other task that only pays $15 - $20 an hour, if that. With copywriting, you can start at $50 per hour and no one will wince.
Now do you understand why writers have a big advantage in the world of work-at-home business? Just one project could pay for an entire week's groceries while on big project can pay a weekend getaway. Aren't you glad you took all those writing classes in college now?
Of course, the question remains: how does one learn what works and what doesn't work in copywriting? After all, you can't jump into the copywriting pool without knowing your stuff, regardless of how good your writing skills are. The best way to learn is from example. Guess what? Examples are everywhere around you!
Think of every brochure you've looked at. Think of every billboard or magazine ad you've seen. Think of all of those websites you visit everyday. Chances are, there's been a time when you've read the writing on those items and thought, "I could do better! There are so many mistakes on there!"
This is your free classroom. You can learn what works and what doesn't work in freelance copywriting simply by taking in the world around you. Be mindful of what grabs you and what doesn't grab you with brochures, sales letters, direct mail, ad copy, and website writing. You'll soon notice a pattern of what is good and what is bad. Here's a hint - selling with honest facts beats hype hands down every time. Little spices such as clever humor and fancy wordplay never hurt either, as long as they fit the situation.
By noticing that the world around you can teach you the beginning lessons of freelance copywriting, you've already taken the first steps to a lucrative new side career. Best of all, this classroom is free. All you need to do is to take the time to notice and learn from everything you see and read. Once you begin to see the patterns of success, you're on your way to launching your freelance copywriting journey.


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