Perhaps you became an email copywriter because the thoughts of long, warm days working in pajamas, setting your own schedule, and controlling your take-home pay lured you in like a sweet siren’s song.
A Day in the Life of an Email Copywriter
In actuality, a day in the life of a copywriter involves:
- Writing: A professional copywriter pounds out thousands of words per day, often on topics that are—shall we say—less than inspiring.
- Networking: It takes constant marketing of your name and your brand to get anywhere in the copywriting business.
- Routine: Adhering to strictly pre-determined productivity goals is the only way to make the monthly mortgage.
- Flexibility: You must write when the work becomes available and post it when it’s due, which blows that set-your-own-schedule theory right out of the water.
- Research: Tons of it. On every intriguing topic from car insurance to dental clinics to HVAC technicians.
- Stimulants of Choice: Coffee, tea and liquor top the list. You may find yourself using any or all of them throughout the day and at odd times.
That’s not to say the profession lacks its share of perks. There’s a certain comfort in working from home, even when you’re doing it on the timeframe of five or eight or ten clients. You save tons of money in commute expenses like gas, wear and tear on a vehicle, money spent on morning coffee and lunches; all of these factor in to your bottom line. Then there’s the pajama factor. Unless you’re skyping or video chatting with your clients, nightwear is perfectly acceptable work attire. Mostly as a telecommuter, you can build some flexibility into your workday—for instance, if you need to take someone to soccer practice or boy scouts. And there’s typically no boss breathing down your neck, a fact that’s beneficial for some and not so much for others. To be successful at copywriting from home, it helps to be self-driven and disciplined.
The only benefits you’ll have as a copywriter are ones you fund yourself. Typically, as an independent contractor there’s no one to offer you medical, dental and 401K coverage. If you fail to meet your deadlines, you’re hurting yourself most of all. There’s no vacation or sick day accrual, no earned time off, no long-term disability.
When you’re out there in the writing trenches, you might sometimes feel inherently alone. There are no coworkers to commiserate with over the water cooler. Nobody brings in donuts on Monday morning and casual Fridays lose their impact when you spend the other six days of the week in footie pajamas.
Is This the Job For You?
If your main reason for considering becoming a copywriter is that it looks like an easy way to earn a quick buck, you’d best keep moving. The top earners in the field have paid their dues several times over. They’ve spent money on education, hardware and software programs all designed to make them more productive workers. They’ve listened to unfair criticism from clients who wanted something for nothing. They’ve sacrificed time away from family and friends to meet unfair and often unreasonable deadlines.
It’s not a career choice for everyone. But for the chosen few, it more than works.
Anne G is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.