So you want to make some cash in 2024?
Great, so do I.
You’ve probably Googled all the best side hustles to start from home. Then you found some articles that mentioned this copywriting thing. Eventually, you ended up on this article.
Amazing. That’s how most people get started so you’re in the right place.
Copywriters can make some thick stacks but it takes some hard work, learning, and dedication. But after it all, you can have a profitable business run completely from the comfort of your laptop in a matter of months.
If this sounds like a journey you’d like to embark on, keep reading.
This post is all about how to start a successful copywriting business in 2024.
What Makes Copywriting a Great Side Hustle
Copywriting as a side hustle is a fantastic way to make money in 2024 because it’s a valuable skill for every customer-facing business on the planet.
Businesses need customers. In today’s world, you get customers through online communications. Gone are the days of handing out some flyers, talking to some friends, and hoping that someone will stop by your storefront.
People find goods and services on the internet. So if you want readers to take action and make sales, you have to write copy that sells.
As a copywriter, you provide a lifeline to struggling businesses. Here are some of the benefits you can provide:
- increased brand awareness
- more customers
- ability to sell more expensive products
- fatter margins
- competitive advantage
- decreased acquisition costs
- streamlined sales process
In short, you will always be in demand because businesses NEED you.
As far as side hustles go, you’re probably looking for:
- something easy to learn
- low startup costs
- ability to work from anywhere in the world
- ability to scale
- potential for high-ticket clients
- professional development
A copywriting side hustle can provide all of this. In fact, if you’re looking to build your sales and marketing chops while you earn money, copywriting is one of the best skills to develop.
The best reason to start copywriting as a side hustle is that it will help you start other side hustles. Once you know how to sell for clients, you will know how to sell for yourself. Dropshipping, affiliate marketing, eCommerce, video creator, coaching, and consultant – every business needs a copywriter.
Now that we’ve settled how freelance copywriting is the perfect side hustle. Let’s explore how to get started today.
Step-by-Step Instructions to Start a Copywriting Side Hustle
Starting a side hustle is not easy but it is straightforward. If I was going to start a copywriting side hustle in 2024, here’s how I would do it:
Step 1: Learn the Fundamentals of Copywriting
The first thing you want to do is learn the basics of copywriting. You can’t run a business unless you know what you’re offering.
Luckily, copywriting has been around for a while so there are tons of great resources out there.
Here are some book recommendations:
- Influence by Robert Cialdini
- $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi
- Dotcom Secrets by Russel Brunson
- Copywriting Secrets by Jim Edwards
- Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Read 20 to 30 pages a day to soak up all you can about copywriting.
Follow popular Twitter accounts that talk about copywriting. A few popular ones are:
On top of learning about copywriting frameworks, you also get inspired to see how other people have done it.
Once you’ve all read up on copywriting theory, it’s time to practice copywriting, hone your skills, and build up your copywriting portfolio. One of the best ways to learn copywriting is by actually doing it.
Pick a handful of places to start writing on the daily. I recommend picking one form of copywriting and practicing it until it becomes second nature – then move on to another technique.
Here are a few different types of copywriting that are in high demand:
- Short form (social media posts)
- Medium Form Informational (newsletters, Twitter threads, SEO blog posts)
- Long-form Sales (landing pages, sales pages, sales letter, branding)
If you can write copy for each one of these formats, you will be a highly valued asset to any business trying to sell online.
Step 2: Get Your First Clients
Now that you know a thing or two about copywriting, it’s time to make some sales! The first client is always the hardest, but once you get over this hurdle, the sky is the limit.
Here’s how I would approach finding the first client:
- Hit up your network – this client-getting approach is the most obvious but lots of people skip it because it’s embarrassing. Don’t make it complicated. Just ask your friends and family if they need copywriting services or if they know anyone who needs copywriting services. Even if you don’t find someone right away, your network will keep you in mind as they go about their business. Eventually, someone will come to you.
- Cold outreach – Cold outreach involves sending emails to potential clients that you don’t have prior contact with. You have to pull a list of leads from an online prospecting tool, and then send out mass emails to make contact. Cold email is a numbers game, so learn the ropes and then start scaling it up.
- Start a Social Media Account – Social media is a great way to network, practice your copywriting, and build an audience that you can then market to. I recommend Twitter as a starting place but you can also get great results on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Join groups or job boards where people talk about business and marketing and start pitching your services there.
- Run Ads – Good old-fashioned advertising is a powerful way to get leads. But it’s a catch-22 – you need money to run ads to make sales to make money. If you have some money from a full-time job, I would recommend running ads right away. If you’re strapped for cash, focus on the other lead-getting mechanisms and start running ads when you have some cash flow.
Once you have some leads, you need to close them. The best way to close a client is to get them on a discovery call.
This is a pretty straightforward process – once a prospect expresses interest in your copywriting services, tell them you’d love to learn more about their issues. Ask them if they’d like to sit down on a 20-minute video call to chat. If they say sure, book something on ZOOM or use Calendly for scheduling.
NOTE: Sales calls take some time to get good at, but they’re really not that difficult. The main tip I have to really nail this is to focus your discussion on their problems and concerns. Your services are merely a tool to help achieve the client’s end goal – solving their problems and relieving their pain.
Copywriting helps them sleep better at night knowing they’re growing their brand, increasing sales, and getting one up on the competition – talk about this and your discovery calls will go great.
Step 3: Build Your Own System
Once you have your first clients it’s time to get to work! The first few projects are always going to be rocky. You haven’t developed your own system yet, so you’re basically learning on the fly.
In the early days, do your best to implement what you have learned from your studies and practice. Put the client’s needs at the forefront of your work, and do your best to produce high-quality work.
Mistakes can be forgiven as long as you are honest, hardworking, and show that you care.
The main thing that you want out of the first gigs is good testimonials for your own sales copy. Be a pleasure to work with and ask for the review at a high point in your engagement (ie. when the client expresses their gratitude).
Through this process, you will start to develop your own system and style. This is very important as you build a brand and position yourself in the market.
Getting your first clients is hard because no one knows about you or sees how your services are unique. As you craft your own personal system, it will become more valuable because it is unique.
Unique = Scarce
Scarce = Valuable
The combination of unique services with glowing reviews will give you powerful leverage in the marketplace of copywriters. After a while, people will approach you and you won’t have to advertise as much!
Step 4: Scale Operations
Now that you have a unique system, a lead-getting process, and a growing brand – it’s time to scale operations. Scaling involves shifting operational capacity to serve more and better clients.
Scaling is a fancy way of saying streamlining operations and increasing capacity.
In the early days, you’re just getting clients and scrambling to get the work done by any means necessary. As you develop your own process, you should go over it with a fine-tooth comb to iron out any inefficiencies. In general, eliminating inefficiency involves these three things:
This process should be implemented in the order outlined above.
If you don’t need to do it, eliminate it from your workflow.
If you need to do it, but a robot could do it just as well, automate it.
If a robot can’t do it, delegate it to someone else.
When you approach your business operations this way, you create an assembly line of copywriting output. Gone are the days of clackity clack typing all this work by yourself. Think of yourself as the Henry Ford of copywriting – you’re “assembling” marketing deliverables instead or “writing” them.
Streamlining operations will reduce costs and stress so you can do better work and get more out of each engagement.
To make more money, you have to produce more revenue. Increasing revenue involves either:
- Increasing units sold
- Increasing price per unit
In our copywriting business, a “unit” is a client engagement. So to make more money, you need to serve more clients and/or clients with deeper pockets. Both of these require more work to be done, so you just need to do more of the same at a higher volume.
Take your streamlined system, and increase each part proportional to the work that needs to be done.
Need to do more sales calls? – hire a salesperson.
Need to do more planning and design? – hire a designer.
Need to do more account management? – hire an account manager.
You get the picture.
Don’t wait until you are swamped with work to start scaling. You want to be at about 80% capacity so you don’t fall behind and get overwhelmed.
The part about scaling is that you can eventually remove yourself from operations and have a fully functioning unit that makes you money and appreciates in value.
Step 5: Teach Others
Doing client work is a great way to make some cash and build a valuable business. But if you want to take things to the next level, you should teach others how to do copywriting.
Here are a few ways to teach copywriting:
- info products
- mastermind groups
Creating your own products and services is also a great way to scale operations because you can multiply your efforts for each unit sold.
For example, you can coach a cohort of students and charge each one of them a fee for the training.
Consider the multiplying value of info products such as ebooks, video courses, or training manuals – you only have to make them once and you can then sell them multiple times.
You can sell access to mastermind groups to potentially 100s or 1000s of people. In the internet era, the sky is the limit!
A copywriting side hustle is a great way to earn some cash, develop valuable skills, and build a profitable appreciating asset in a business.
Hopefully, this article has illuminated the steps to start your own copywriting side hustle. I want to reiterate that starting side hustles like this is never easy. But if you follow the steps we outlined above, you can take action, launch your copywriting side hustle, and make extra cash in no time.
There has never been a better time to start a side hustle than in 2024. So my only question for you is:
What are you waiting for?