Haris Halkic: Hi Angela and thank you so much for agreeing to share your best tips on copywriting and your background. Let’s start with how you got started in copywriting. Please, tell us more about your story.
Angela Rodgers: Honoured to be here, Haris! Thank you so much for the invite. I’ll start with where I am now… I’m an Australian copywriter, specialising in website copy and ghostblogging. But I have a few consulting clients who also use my services for email marketing, lead magnets, and other bits and pieces.
Haris Halkic: How did you transition to freelance copywriting from your previous job?
Angela Rodgers: It was actually a fairly smooth transition (even if it didn’t feel like it at the time). My first job out of uni was as a marketing manager for a small startup. I was in charge of writing a fair bit of the copy for the company, and it was my favourite thing to do.
After nearly a year, I left that job and started my own digital marketing consultancy. And I just gradually did more copy and less other stuff. Over time, I stopped referring to myself as a marketing consultant and started calling myself a copywriter. Now I pretty much only do copywriting, although the marketing background still helps with putting together strategies and understanding how copywriting fits into the bigger picture.
Haris Halkic: What’s your best piece of advice for someone who is employed and wants to become a freelance copywriter?
Angela Rodgers: You have so much time to freelance around your day-job if you really want to!
Just start finding little jobs here and there that you can do in the evenings or weekends. Test your skills out and figure out what you like to do best.
As soon as someone starts paying you to do copywriting (even if it’s not much), you’re officially a freelance copywriter. Then as you get more confident and you build up your client list, you’ll be able to move into it full time without starting from scratch. I didn’t follow this path myself, but looking back, it would’ve been the smart way to go about it.
Haris Halkic: Getting clients is one of the greatest challenges for freelance copywriters. What ways do you use to get clients?
Angela Rodgers: I’m always conscious of keeping my blog updated, doing weekly emails, and sharing quality content so that my clients know I’m here if they need anything. Plus – I have to practice what I preach! I think this really helps my conversion rates.
But also, I’ve had a lot of success by getting to know other copywriters and sub-contracting for them or taking on their extra work. Other copywriters are really nice to work with as well!
If you’re savvy, you can connect with people who need your skills on LinkedIn and sometimes in the right Facebook groups.
Haris Halkic: How did you learn to write copy? Are there teachers, books or resources you can recommend?
Angela Rodgers: By copying! Seriously. I’m quite good at learning stuff by watching what other people do. It’s probably why I quite enjoy tone of voice work and background research so much. The first time I had to write website copy (for a real website) was for an internship at uni. And it was for quite a big brand too! So, I researched widely, saw what their competitors were doing, and just made sure that whatever I wrote had similar features but sounded better.
I’d love to recommend some more books about copywriting but sadly haven’t had a lot of book reading time over the last few years. But I do listen to lots of great podcasts on copywriting. I really like Kate Toon and Belinda Weaver’s Hot Copy Podcast, and The Copywriter Club with Rob Marsh and Kira Hug.
Haris Halkic: How do you prepare for a writing session?
Angela Rodgers: I normally just get straight into it. Best if I can do it first thing in the morning before anyone else is up. Otherwise, I find that green tea and chocolate can help keep me going!
Haris Halkic: Who’s your favorite copywriter or piece of copywriting?
Angela Rodgers: I’m really lucky because sometimes I get to work with Glenn Murray from Divine Write. He’s very clever and writes wonderful copy. He inspires me to produce some of my best work, I think.
But really, I get a little bit of value from every copywriter I connect with, read about, and learn from. Everyone has different strengths and talents and I try to soak it all up like a sponge.
Haris Halkic: In your opinion, what are the greatest advantages of being a freelance copywriter? What makes this lifestyle so special?
Angela Rodgers: I’m a bit of a hermit.
I do my best work by myself in my comfy home office. I don’t think I could really do that in any other job.
And of course, I love the flexibility. It means I’ve been able to stay at home with my little kids who are 1 and 2.5 and still learn stuff and earn some money.
Haris Halkic: What one daily habit has contributed to your success more than any other?
Angela Rodgers: I write every day. I haven’t taken a proper day off in probably a year. I’m not sure if that’s healthy, but it means that I make progress and get better every day. I’m quite determined to give copywriting my best shot. While I’m naturally better at writing than the average person, it’s more likely that I’ll succeed due to sheer determination and work ethic.
Haris Halkic: Are there areas you specialize on as a copywriter and if someone wants to hire you, what is the best way to get in touch?
Angela Rodgers: Sure! I’m a website copywriter (mostly small to medium businesses) and ghostblogger (for thought leaders and entrepreneurs). You can connect with me on LinkedIn or head to my website, Angela Rodgers Copywriter.