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Full-time Job vs. Freelancing as a Copywriter

Try copywriting as a side hustle


freelance copywriter

There’s no shame in working a full-time job until you’re ready to strike out on your own as a freelance copywriter.

Hi Susan,

I’m wondering if you could share your opinion on a situation I’m facing. I’m a copywriter like you. I currently have no regular job, and no copywriting clients either (so maybe I’m not like you).

I was offered a position for a day job and so was wondering, as a copywriter, do you think I should refuse and continue working towards getting copywriting clients, or should I accept the job and then work on the copywriting career in my spare time. What do you think?

Vincent

Hi Vincent,

Unless you currently have enough copywriting work (or a trust fund) to pay your bills and keep you busy 30-40 hours per week, I think you should take the job. You gotta eat, right?

Do freelance copywriting on the side, using your nights and weekends. I started out that way and so did many of my colleagues. You just have to be super efficient, using every available moment to build your freelance business.

When I had a day job, I would use my lunch hour and any downtime when I was caught up on my work to do my writing assignments. I didn’t mind also writing on my nights and weekends because I was working toward a goal, growing my business to a point when I’d be able to quit my (awful) day job.

I was also gaining experience that would help me succeed down the road. And the extra money I made was going into an emergency fund in case things got slow once I was full-time freelance.

freelance copywriter

If you freelance while working a day job, you’ll need to become super-efficient at getting things done.

Another suggestion for you to consider. While you may be using your full-time job only to tide you over until you can strike out on your own, it doesn’t have to be lost time in terms of meeting your goal to become a copywriter. Look for opportunities to write in your day job.

I temped for a while when I was starting out. I was basically doing secretarial work for which, with a BS in journalism and an MBA in marketing, I was over-qualified. Very quickly on the various bosses I had would figure out I had writing skills and would ask me to handle writing their letters, marketing reports, etc. I felt it was all good practice and experience. 

The reality is it can take a while to build a copywriting business, and in the meantime, you need to eat and somewhere to sleep. There’s no shame in working to pay your bills and pursuing what you love — copywriting — as a side hustle.

I hope that helps you with your decision.

Susan Greene

Professional Copywriter

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