Finally, the article you’ve been waiting for! Today, I’m revealing 8 unique ways you can make money online as a copywriter, even if you’re a total beginner.
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In fact, today’s article was inspired by the Posse over on Instagram. A few weeks ago I posted this on our @CopyPosse account sharing multiple streams of income for copywriters.
View this post on Instagram
It became one of my most popular posts and I got so many questions that I decided to dive a little deeper into this topic.
Because if you’re just starting your journey as a freelancer and looking for your first client…
Or if you’re already established as a copywriter, coach or consultant but you’re tired of piecemeal projects and typical short term clients…
Chances are you are on the hunt for a reliable and consistent income stream… Or maybe 8. I get it. You’d way rather spend your time doing what you do best than constantly searching for your next paycheck.
That’s why landing a retainer client is one of the biggest and best goals you can set in your business. It’s the Golden Goose of freelancing.
A retainer agreement is where you allocate a specific amount of your time each month exclusively to one client’s needs. In exchange, you get a set monthly income and build a long term relationship with a client who is invested in your growth.
It sounds rad, because it is. But this type of deal won’t land on your lap straight away. It takes time to create trust, build your portfolio and showcase your skills!
So instead of just waiting for your dream retainer client to magically appear, how about you use your copywriting, marketing and business skills to create multiple cash streams and offer additional services that can really level up your experience, expertise and income.
So if that sounds good to you, keep reading and get your hustle on with these eight unconventional income streams for copywriters.
1. Copyediting & Proofreading
Let me start by putting out this big disclaimer: Yes, to become a great copywriter, you need to be fluent in the language, have a flair for words, and be passionate about marketing.
But here’s a shocking truth — copywriters are some of the worst spellers and proofreaders in the world of wordsmithing. It’s not because we don’t know HOW to spell. It’s just that so often we’re focused on high level strategy and ideas that we miss the finer details like spelling and grammar.
I’m one of those people, guys! I type so fast to try to get the ideas out of my brain before they are gone that I make soooo many mistakes.
That is how I know that there are SO many copywriters, marketers and business owners out there, like me, who NEED their web pages, marketing funnels, emails and content edited and proofread before it can be published online or sent to the end client. It’s not that we can’t do it ourselves, but it can be so hard to catch our own errors.
Now there’s a distinct difference between these two types of services. Whereas proofreading is standard line-by-line review of simple spelling and grammar, copyediting is more holistic and requires you to evaluate overall flow and feel of the entire piece. You want to identify any illogical gaps, missing links or confusing ideas that could use some revisions, or what I call Copy Gloss.
So whether you have some formal or academic training when it comes to editing and proofreading…
Or you just fancy yourself a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to spelling and grammar, this might be the perfect service to add to your repertoire to create an additional source of income.
Aside from scouring gig platforms and ads, you can even do some investigation yourself and reach out to brands you follow to offer your editing and proofreading skills.
Another service you could offer is…
2. Social Media Management
You already have the copy skills to write killer captions and if you’ve got some extra time on your hands, you might as well learn the ropes of social media marketing.
In fact, I see this all the time — posts and ads on social media that have great format and design… but lack the enticing copy to compel viewers to take action.
With user-friendly tools like Canva to create graphics… and tools like the Later app to schedule your posts… it is totally possible and pretty simple for you to add social media management to your scope of services.
In fact… I think all business owners should hire copywriters to help them with their social media, because great copy is the difference between accounts that have large social media followings, and accounts that can MONETIZE their large social media followings.
I’ll prove it to you — a few months ago I helped a client of mine hire a social media manager. They weren’t having much luck finding someone who was a fit despite many applicants having years of experience in social media management. Instead, we decided to hire one of my Copy Posse community members who applied. Not because she had social media experience. In fact, she had NONE. But what she did have was a well-written personal blog that really caught my eye. I loved her writing style, tone, and delivery and knew she would rock social media content. And she has. She has helped skyrocket my client’s following AND monetize it. Now she is on an ongoing retainer writing copy in the form of social captions and she got her foot in the door with a dynamic and fast-growing company.
So, be on the lookout for young, new brands that are just starting to scale on social media — companies like this are often looking for someone who can fulfill these sort of 2-in-1 roles!
Alright, another great income stream for copywriters is…
3. Revenue Share
Revenue sharing is when you waive or discount your fees in exchange for a percentage of your client’s sales revenue as result of your copy.
This type of payment structure really only works with deliverables that are directly written for sales assets such as sales pages, webinar scripts, or video sales letters.
While there’s potential for earnings far greater than your typical rates, remember there’s no guarantee that the revenue will meet your target amount. Plus, it will take a little longer before you actually get the money.
I usually don’t recommend this method of collaboration unless you already have a positive and trusting working relationship with the client and you have a deep understanding of their market.
Mostly because you need to rely on their transparency with sales data and trust they’ll actually pay you the agreed-upon percentage.
But, with that being said, if it is a new client and you’re excited to work together, but they can’t afford your rates, you can absolutely approach this revenue model! Revenue share can be a great and lucrative passive income stream. Just make sure that both you and your client are clear about how the revenue is collected, measured and distributed. And get it in writing!!!
Alright, now another skills that A LOT of entrepreneurs and business owners are looking for is..
4. Project Management
Project Managers are organizational task masters that make sure that projects are completed on time and on-budget. They coordinate between the writers, designers and developers to delegate tasks, managing the project workflow, and track deadlines and deliverables.
If you’re just starting out as a copywriter, taking on the role of a project manager can be a beneficial way to get your foot in the door.
I did this with a lot of my clients when I was just getting started. It’s another one of those great 2-in-1 roles that allow a business to get additional support to fill in the gaps between copy work.
I’ll be honest — it’s not a hat that anybody can wear. This role is for you only if you like working with systems and processes, are highly-organized and enjoy interpersonal communication.
But thanks to apps like Asana and Slack, your job has already been made much easier. And while it does take experience for you to really ace this space, there are plenty of young companies out there that need organized, reliable and productive project management along with killer copy.
Another awesome passive income stream for copywriters is…
5. Affiliate Marketing
If you have access to a sizable audience… affiliate marketing has the potential to earn you some great cash passively. Especially if you find the right product to promote to your network.
If you’re not familiar with affiliate marketing, it’s a sales model where you promote someone else’s product in exchange for a commission for every sale or successful referral you make.
This could range from physical goods such as skincare and gadgets to online products such as a software or a subscription program.
This gives you an opportunity to master paid advertising and sales copy as you’ll be promoting affiliate products to your audience. In fact, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money as a copywriter that doesn’t rely on clients to pay you. In fact, a lot of incredible copywriters and entrepreneurs I know today learned the ropes through affiliate marketing and have never had a freelance copywriting business.
One of the best resources for you to browse and shop for potential affiliate partners is Clickbank, a marketplace of vendors from around the world. All you have to do is sign up for your own unique affiliate link that tracks the number of sales you yield through your promotions.
Or you can simply reach out to brands you love and ask if they have an affiliate program!
Now, if you’d rather market your own creation while building authority in your field, why not give number 6 a try…
6. Amazon Book Publishing
Amazon has leveled the publishing playing field by allowing authors to skip traditional gatekeepers and publish their work on their own to create income and authority. The best part? For every e-book sold, you get to keep up to 70% of the sale price. And you can make changes to your book and upload revisions at any time.
So if like most writers out there, you’ve always had the dream of penning your own book, you can get your work out into the world in any category, fiction or nonfiction, regardless of your experience as an author. Some of the more popular categories on Amazon include self-help, health and fitness, cooking, romance and travel.
Of course, because you are the publisher, you’re also the marketer. Beyond being the bookstore, Amazon isn’t going to help you get the word out. This is where you can put on your marketing hat as a copywriter to promote your book to your network and on social media.
Depending on how much traction you create and how well-received your book is, your book can eventually turn into a passive income stream that yields you hundreds to thousands of dollars every year.
Another awesome income stream of copywriters that I particularly love is…
7. Monetized Content
Monetized content is a great way to pad your bank account every month if you’re focused and passionate about building an audience. Depending on your medium of choice – whether it be Instagram, Podcasts, YouTube or a blog, there are multiple ways to monetize your content through sponsorships, advertising spots, and AdSense.
Or by utilizing platforms such as Patreon, which has revolutionized the influencer space.
This platform has been a saving grace for independent artists and creators worldwide. It lets fans and supporters become active participants in their work with a monthly membership that gives them access to premium content.
But this is not exclusive to musicians or artists. Many writers, content creators and podcast hosts have turned to Patreon to engage directly with their supporters and get regular payment through the membership fees. You could offer paid short stories, education articles and opinion pieces, or even personal content about your experience as a copywriter.
This type of income stream may take a while before it becomes fruitful as it does rely on an established brand and following, but having a community of advocates that believe in your work will ultimately benefit your career and boost your authority in the long run.
And last but not least…
8. Content Writing & Paid Articles
You may presume that the blogosphere has become fatigued and oversaturated and, therefore, no longer a decent source of income for writers… but now, more than ever before, businesses out there are looking for consistent, relatable and share worthy content.
That includes blog posts, articles, case studies and content videos. This is why job postings for content writers are still flooding marketplaces everywhere. Brands everywhere want strong, writers like you who know how to write catchy hooks, provide valuable wisdom and engage with their specific audience.
The trick is to find the kind of content writing client that will let your writing style shine brightest. Go for brands that have a clear strategy, prioritize quality and of course — fall under a niche that you specialize in.
It may take a while before you warm up and break into the market but the more writing samples you have, the better. Blogs such as The Penny Hoarder, Shopify Partners, American College of Healthcare Science, Income Diary, Great Escape Publishing and iWorkWell welcome pitches for content ideas. And they pay anywhere from $50-$1,000 per post!
Some of them also offer commission and bonuses for the amount of clicks generated by your article! Cool right?
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So there you have it 8 unconventional ways you can make money online as a copywriter. Leave me a comment below if you found this article helpful.
And if you want to take your copywriting skills to the next level, click here to learn more about my upcoming copywriting challenge where I’ll teach you how to high-converting sales page in just 5 days.
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This is for you if…
You’re an entrepreneur who wants to write a high-converting sales page for your own product or launch.
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You’re an aspiring copywriter who wants to write a high-converting sales page to add to your portfolio!
Just click here for all the details.
As always thank you so much for reading and subscribing to my YouTube Channel.
I’ll see you next week. Until then, I’m Alex. Ciao for now!