Making a successful copywriting freelance business – Real lessons from a successful freelancer
So finally, I saw it wise to break the silence, not to talk about my success as a freelance web content copywriter, but to share my struggle towards such great achievement.
Most freelancers shall talk about the success, but what they don’t let you know is the struggle to achieve such success. I decided to be my own boss at 19. During this time, I was in college, I’m an intro and as you might guess I wasn’t that outgoing.
Growing in a then, third-world Kenya had a number of challenges, one of such that hit me in my first year was the job search issues that my precedors we’re going through. Considering my personality, I never saw leverage on a physical 9-5 job.
I’ve been a great writer since my young years. I always had something to think and write about most of the time. As an initiative to support my writing career, I started a blog which failed later. However, this blog brought me to realize how demanding and urgent effective copywriting and SEO was for a website. So, after the fail of my own blog start-up, I decided to get down and refine my writing talent into SEO web content copywriting.
Learning using blog articles
I typed in copywriting on Google and hit search. There were a lot of ad content for copywriting courses, I was just out of a failed start-up, with zero capital, so, premiums we’re a big heartbreaker. So, I decided to go the blog way. I researched on some top and detailed guides to web content copywriting. My hunger for copywriting knowledge made expand each paragraph of blog content into a research question. In short, I made a short course through meandering in blog articles and knowledge sources such as Wikipedia. I wish I knew of a cheap e-book as the one below then, things would have been easier.
Ready for the market
After three months of getting to understand how web content should be structured for good SEO and readability, I felt ready for the market. I had learnt on how to copywriter converting web content and and everything other important information about copywriting I would come across. I even had a number of my own written SEO web content copies that I developed before and after the learning process.
Frustrations in the market – Going without a client
The market had a lot of frustrations in-stock for me. I started out on Freelancer.com as a ‘professional we content copywriter’ I started the proposal game. No client seemed interested in a proposal from an entry-level freelancer with zero items in the portfolio. With a Kenyan location, most freelancers shall confirm that stuff gets even harder. Landing a copywriting gig that needs a native US English speaker is the toughest task you can imagine of, especially convincing a client that you are actually a native US English speaker with an African location on the profile.
Joining Upwork – Landing my first gig
After multiple attempted fails on freelance, I joined Upwork. They used to offer 60 free connects to be automatically renewed every month (they now sell connects, $10.5 for 10 connects). I applied to a couple of jobs before landing my first gig with brainly. I was so excited, I mean, it was my first contract and better still, from a big company. I worked at brainly through upwork with great success. Starting with a content development time, I rose to the position of a content quality assessment moderator. After Brainly, I had much experience and some earnings to flower my portfolio. Since upwork was my only fair portfolio, I stuck to it. I concentrated on web content copyeriting.
I landed a lot of contracts related to web content writing. Then, another issue started cropping up, I realized that most clients who pick non-Us freelancers, especially those from Asia and Africa, underpay. Upwork takes a 20% commission on your earnings, combined with underpayment, I found myself working for almost free! I found a solution to this that I reveal later in this book. After this, I had a number of contracts which were from direct or converted clients from upwork. With such consistency and hard work, web content copywriting can leverage you the hassle of a 9-5 job.