How To Start Copywriting For Beginners: 6 Things To Know

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Have you heard? I’m a big-deal TikToker now. Like, practically famous.

Just kidding. But I *do* make videos about how to become a successful freelance copywriter, and the people are loving it.

Here’s my content strategy:

Someone comments a question, and I make a video answering it.

That’s it.

And, honestly, I’m obsessed. It takes the entire “what the frick should I post?” saga out of the game, AND I get to make sure I’m addressing questions that people actually WANT the answers to.

(You should check it out. And follow me. Please.)

(No, I’m not begging, what?! That would be weird. 👀)

One of my favorite questions to date was:

“What do you wish you had known when you started?”

So, of course, as soon as I saw it — because I am, literally ALWAYS, doing the most — I recorded a 10-minute video not only about what I wish I knew when I’d started my freelance copywriting journey, but also about…

  • 3 things I want you to know about becoming a freelance copywriter
  • 2 mistakes I made (that you should avoid)
  • 1 thing I will never do again as a freelancer

What I wish I knew before becoming a freelance copywriter is, of course, its own blog post, because Lord knows I couldn’t keep that one short, but…

The rest of those tips? Here they come.

How To Start Copywriting For Beginners: The First 3 Things I Want You To Know About Becoming A Freelance Copywriter

#1 — You don’t have to do what everybody else is doing

As a new freelancer, it’s easy to look at what your competitors are doing and think that’s what you should be doing, too.

You see someone that’s successful in your industry and you want to do what they are.

Seems like a good idea, right? See success, copy success, paste income.

But just because somebody else is doing it, even if it’s someone you really look up to and want to emulate, doesn’t mean you have to or even should.

You don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes in their business. You don’t know their skillset, their interests, or how long they worked for that thing they’re doing to become successful.

And, what worked for that person might not work for you!

I can think of several very successful copywriters who are professional and polished and don’t swear in their newsletter. Could never be me.

But people don’t hire me because I’m the copycat version of that other copywriter. They hire me for me. They hire me specifically because I swear in my newsletter, post Instagram stories with my rat’s nest hair, and call myself a hoe for italics.

Seriously, I get inquiries that specifically mention that line of copy on my About page all the time.

So if something doesn’t come naturally to you or you’re just doing it because so-and-so is doing it, that’s not a good enough reason to do it.

#2 — Build your website before you build your Instagram

It’s a normal instinct to want to start building your business’s Instagram first. We’re used to the platform, it’s easy to use, and it takes 2 seconds to create a profile. It’s a lot faster than building a website.

But if you build your Instagram first, you’ll be focused on building your following instead of building your business.

You’ll get way too caught up in your follower count, the content you’re creating, and how many likes and saves and shares each post gets, instead of working on business building essentials like developing your skills, creating your portfolio, and building your client roster.

When you start building your copywriting business on Instagram, it’s also a neon sign pointing out how new you are.

On Instagram, people can see that you only have 3 posts and 10 followers. Even if you’re the most skilled copywriter in the world coming off of 10 years working in an agency, potential clients are going to take one look at your follower count and think “Okayyyy… so like, did they start yesterday?”

On your website, no one can tell how new you are. You’re completely in charge of the first impression you give on your website.

You can showcase your expertise, prove you know your ideal client, and tell whatever story you want.

You’ll never have as much free time as you do at the beginning of your freelance career, so spend it building your website, not your Instagram.

And if you need help figuring out how to build your website, which website platform to use, how to write the words on that website to actually attract your dream clients, my website copywriting course teaches you how to do all that and more!

#3 — Ask for feedback every single time

No matter what, even if you don’t think you did a 10/10 job on a project, you should be asking people for testimonials.

Yes, you should even ask for feedback from the people you’re a little nervous about asking. Actually, you should especially ask for feedback from those people.


You can learn a lot from the feedback you get.

Your goal as a freelancer is continue to improve your client experience every single time.

Experience is a huge part of what your clients are paying for. Yes, they’re paying for the work and the result, but the experience is something specific to you. It also has a huge impact on how happy they are with you.

If something’s missing in your client experience, you need to know. And the best way to know is by asking for feedback.

Also, social proof is one of the most important parts of a good website, so you should start building that bank of testimonials as soon as possible!

Not sure what questions you should ask? Grab my free testimonial guide to see the exact questions I ask my clients for feedback!

2 Mistakes I Made When I Was A Beginner Baby Copywriter

#1 — Not saving enough for taxes and paying them quarterly

When you’re a freelancer, you don’t get taxes automatically taken out of your invoice. You need to plan ahead and set aside money for taxes. A good rule of thumb is to save 30%.

You also need to be paying your estimated taxes quarterly.

Guess who forgot to pay one of those quarterly tax payments and pay $7,000 unexpectedly??? Yeah.

Don’t be a squirrel like me and forget to pay quarterly taxes. No one wants to get a letter from the IRS.

Luckily, I have a CPA who helps me with that now. Lord knows my ADHD would have debt collectors already knocking on my door.

If you’re looking for a CPA who specializes in working with creatives, you need Peach Perfect Financials.

(She’s also one of my clients, so you can see some of my copy in action!)

#2 — Doing the most

In the beginning of my business as a copywriter, I had no business working 60 hours a week. I have nothing against hard work and nothing against a 60 hour work week if that’s what you love and want to do.

I genuinely love what I do and would love to be able to work 60 hours a week. Instead, I’m single-momming it and readjusting what a work schedule looks like between drop-off and pick-up, but that’s a story for another time.

But the issue with baby copywriter Sara working 60+ hours a week was that I wasn’t being productive. I wasn’t doing things in a smart or strategic way, I was just doing them to do things.

I thought that I needed to keep the momentum going, and felt stressed and guilty any time I wasn’t working.

That’s one of the issues with being a freelancer. As an entrepreneur, you’re thinking about work 100% of the time.

So when you’re not working, it’s hard to shake the guilt of not doing anything.

Luckily for my cortisol levels, I’ve gotten much better than this. I’m the queen of summers off and probably worked maximum 10-15 hours a week last July. But in the beginning, I had no balance whatsoever.

Remember, it’s okay to chill!

1 Thing I’ll Never Do Again As A Freelance Copywriter

I will never outsource something just because I’m too lazy to learn it myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I think outsourcing is great!

The first thing I ever outsourced was Pinterest management, and I’m going on 4 years with that same Pinterest manager. She grew my account from 94 followers to almost 19k followers, and I get a pretty consistent stream of leads and email subscribers from it.

That was a great thing to outsource. Pinterest is something I never wanted to do myself and had no reason to learn it myself.

My CRM platform though? That was something I needed to learn myself but didn’t (at first).

My CRM — client relationship management — is what I use to send contracts, proposals, invoices, everything. Since I was using Dubsado, which has a fairly difficult learning curve, I decided to just outsource the set up to an expert.

I spent $2,000 on it and it was an absolute flop.

I didn’t learn anything myself, I was unhappy with the experience, and I still didn’t even know how to use the platform or any of the systems the person set up for me.

Figuring out what you need to know for your own self and what you can comfortably outsource is something I recommend figuring out early on. That way you’re not wasting time on things you don’t need to do and you’re not wasn’t money on things you’re going to have to go back and learn or re-do yourself.

Are you a new or aspiring writer or freelancer looking for support or tips about how to start copywriting?

>> Join the waitlist for Success Story, my group mentorship program for copywriters just like you! Google and guesswork can get you pretty far, but inside Success Story, you’ll get the support and confidence to triple your invoice prices, ditch your 9-5, and take on only dream clients — just as a few examples from past mentees.

With a custom curriculum, unlimited Slack support, and the same level of unfiltered passion, tough love, and honesty I give my best friends, I’m giving you the script to your very own Success Story.

>> Book a 90-minute strategy call with me. These 90-minute mentorship sessions are perfect for creative business owners who want 1:1 support with copywriting, email marketing, brainstorming, launching, strategy… ANYTHING.

If you’re brand new to the freelance copywriting game and you’re in the “scrolling through every free thing to learn as much as possible” phase, I got you:

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Hi, I'm Sara—Website Copywriter & Marketing Mentor.

If you're an entrepreneur, business owner, or course creator with big dreams of success and growth—and a big, scary blank document standing in your way every time you sit down to write your own copy—nice to meet you, I'm your new solution. 

Through what I like to call sales-focused storytelling, I'll help you find your brand's voice, perfectly position your offerings, develop your target market, and write copy that resonates with your ideal audience. And I'll do it all while keeping your personality at the forefront of every draft, to ensure that each word aligns with your true self. 

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Writing your own website or sales page copy doesn't have to be something you stress over anymore. I'd love to work with you to craft conversion-friendly, SEO-optimized copy your leads will love.

As an absolute email marketing fiend, there's no one more qualified to teach you how to get new subscribers on your email list and write the most click-and-binge-worthy newsletters. 

There's no better feeling than having the complete support of a trusted, dedicated mentor by your side as you navigate your journey as a new freelance copywriter. 

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