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Career Story: Independent Copywriter For Web Sites

Independent Copywriter For Web Sites

Job Title: Business Owner

Education: none

Previous Experience: Director of Communications for an e-learning company Director of Sales and Marketing for the Occupational Medicine Divisions of two different large health care systems

Job Tasks: My company provides business copywriting and search engine optimization. Each day, I receive requests from individuals and companies who own websites, asking for assistance in writing marketing materials, website content, white papers, ebooks, etc. and help with optimizing their websites and other materials to get attention on the Internet. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving traffic (the number of visitors) to a website to help the website owner get more attention for his products and services and higher conversions (more sales).

As a business owner, a large part of my day is spent on administrative duties. For example, I am a member of several social networking sites and actively stay connected to other business professionals in that way. A large percentage of the projects I accept require specific paperwork to begin the project. Many phone calls and emails are received and must be responded to each day. As a sole proprietor, I handle my own advertising, marketing, accounts receivable and payable and taxes, so managing these tasks is a daily occurrence.

Every writing project has a beginning date and a deadline. Deadlines must be met, since the customer is relying upon the writer to return the materials in time for the customer's next step. A contract is created at the beginning of each job to spell out what the customer expects, and the writer must meet those expectations. Generally speaking, the cost of the project is paid in installments through Paypal. In some cases, customers pay by business check.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working from a home office where I decide how each day will be managed. There is no traveling, no worrying about what to wear, and no costs associated with business attire, lunches, gas, etc.

The worst part of my job, however, is that there is no guarantee of a paycheck at the end of each week. If I am not sitting at my computer working, I am not making money. So this type of job requires a disciplined person who is self-directed and doesn't mind working alone.

Job Tips:
1. An individual who wishes to become a freelance copywriter must have an innate love for words and writing. Specifically, an interest or inborn skill in writing with a marketing slant (in other words, writing that helps to sell products rather than the kind of writing you might use to write a book) is helpful.

2. The job also requires a lot of reading, so enjoying this activity is important.

3. You must like to work on the computer all day, and have some basic Internet knowledge and a willingness to expand your Internet knowledge.

4. Good research skills are essential as well.

5. And finally, excellent customer service skills and a respect for the needs of others really helps to establish success.

Additional Thoughts: A simple Internet search for phrases such as "freelance writing", "copywriting", "writing careers", etc. should yield good information. When I first began, I thought I would be writing magazine articles. But this turned out to be a fairly non-productive avenue for me as a new writer. I soon learned that Internet marketing was a growth field and concentrated my efforts there. The Internet is still in its infancy and it is almost impossible to say how much potential is really there for good writers.

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