This channel is a discussion group for the copywriters out there! You can talk about copywriting-specific ideas here, or general ideas that you want to pose specifically to the copywriters of the community.

This space is intended to be free-flowing, so share away! No need to overthink.
I am beginning as a freelancer within the writing arena, specifically within Upwork for now. As I'm creating my profile I'm uncertain of the types of writing-related work. I've spent 30 years in banking, finance, and research, but not in the writing profession.

My sense of writing types was limited to genres (technical, novel, biography, etc.). I feel quite insecure about writing since I'm not used to that vocabulary about writing. The best listing that I've seen is within the following post freelancing.school/best-freelance-wri...

As I start something new I crave a mental model, so I'm working on that now.Β  Next week I'm taking Leah's Beta course; I'm sure I'll learn a lot there. Here's the link to consider it leahsobon.com/write-with-confidence-l... Β 

I'd appreciate any reference materials, encouragement or guidance on the roles and flow of writing.
Thank you,
Cynthia Jones, below is a copy of the AWAI pricing guide, which lists about 75 different copywriting projects and gives price ranges for each:

AWAI - Copywriting Pricing Guide (2020).pdf 2.34 MB

There are countless ways to structure your writing business. There are a couple of folks here who have a lot of experience with Upwork (I've never used that platform), so chat with them. Alex Bell knows all things Upwork and has posted a lot of information about how to get started on that platform. You can use the search bar above to look for some of the existing conversations about Upwork and that should help with a framework!

As for the types of writing you do, think about your own experiences and preferences. Do you like short projects? Do you love big projects? Do you want to do a ton of research or do you prefer a quicker turnaround? How are your interview skills? If you see a project listed in the guide above and it sounds intriguing, go for it! If you see a project that sounds like you'd rather go in for a root canal, avoid it! Focus on the projects you enjoy. Follow your curiosity.

Once you have a few ideas about what you want to write and who you want to write it for, read a bunch of stuff that is like the stuff you want to write. Which pieces are good? Which ones are bad? Why? That will help you define your writing style.Β 

And as questions arise, bring them up here! There are a lot of writers on this platform and we all have a slightly different take! At the end of the day, you know you better than any of us, so take all of our advice and put it through the Cynthia filter! What works for me, may not work for others. And what works for others, may not work for me. There are countless ways to do this thing, which is both fantastic and utterly terrifying!


Cynthia Jones replied
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Cynthia JonesΒ My offer stands to provide guidance/feedback on how to create your Upwork profile, send winning proposals, and generally become successful with your writing freelancing :)
Jay Clouse replied
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I know a lot of copywriters will charge by the word – what's your method? Project fee? Hourly? By word?
Some magazines still pay by the word, but I never charge by the word. I charge by the project. In my last position, I wrote a lot of advertising copy. It takes a lot of time, but the result is a very small number of words!
I started by writing for a client who paid by the word. I still write for them but it works out because I'm well versed in the topic and can churn out articles for more $$$ than I would have made by charging my initial hourly fee!Β 

Now I lean toward hourly rates because I'm still learning how long certain projects take me and how to account for hours of troubleshooting, editing, etc. I had bad experiences with another client when I tried project rates because there was always more to the project than initially communicated.Β 
Jay Clouse replied
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They do. Generally 1000-1500 for the particular client I mentioned. Honestly, I find myself having to be concise because I could nerd out on the topics for pages!

Our friend Alex Bell wrote a fantastic new article on the blog about the best websites for freelance writers to find work.

He's had a ton of experience in this realm, so his perspective means a lot!

Here is the article
Question: Does anyone here ghostwrite? If so, how do you showcase your ghostwriting work in your portfolio?Β 

My client initially said that he is comfortable with me saying that I "assist" with developing articles and other content, but I want to feature clips of my writing and link to these articles as well since they are on a fairly reputable site. Any suggestions?
So it sounds like you write the article, the client puts his name on it, and so visitors believe it was written by the client?

Perhaps you can at least say, "Additional articles by request" and share them with prospects explaining that they were ghost-written, without publicly displaying them on your portfolio.Β 
Hillary Lyons replied
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I've done a good bit of ghostwriting for clients. Unfortunately, I can't show any of the work I've done because I didn't have that conversation with those clients when I was working with them (and because some of the work was done while I was working for another company). I now have a clause in my contract that reads as follows:

Upon receipt of full and final payment, copyright of the work produced by Consultant is automatically assigned to Client, except that Consultant retains display rights in the work for use in portfolios, promotion, competitions, educational purposes, and marketing. Client’s use of the work produced by Consultant shall not be restricted in any manner.
When I submit a proposal to a client, I also schedule a call so we can walk through the proposal. I do this so I can answer questions but also so I can point out this clause and we can talk about it. When writing a blog post, I suspect clients will have no problem with this language. But in some cases, especially when writing for a magazine or trade publication, I suspect that I will have to remove the part of the clause that talks about display rights. In those cases, I hope to be able to modify the clause to allow me to share the work privately, so long as I don't publicly display it.Β 

One other option, since you're client doesn't mind you mentioning the assist, is to write a case study and showcase the best clip from the written piece. The client will have to approve the case study, but it might get you something you can at least use!
Hillary Lyons replied
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