Have you ever dreamed of writing at home for a living?
I know I did before I became a copywriter.
After many (horrible) years of dealing with rude customers and lazy managers at restaurants, convenience stores, and a bank, that dream felt too good to be true.
But due to discovering the badass within me, I actually made it happen!
If you are where I was, I want you to know that your dream isn’t as unreachable as it seems. (And that you can discover that badass within you, too.)
In this post, I’m going to tell you exactly how I said byeeee to my stable bank job and became a copywriter full-time.
How I Quit My Job and Became a Copywriter
When you first decide you want to work from home as a writer, you’re going to hear a lot of mixed advice.
Some people will tell you, “Do NOT use Upwork! It’s a SHIT SHOW and the fees will bleed you dry!”
And then others will say, “I found my best clients on Upwork! It just takes time! Don’t give up!”
Everyone’s experience is different.
You might want to be employed by a company, or you might want to start your own business. That choice is totally up to you.
There’s no right or wrong way to do it. Keep an open mind. You’re going to learn everything as you go. But guess what? We all do!
I started a blog
There are a lot of benefits to starting a blog, including the fact that can write about whatever you want!
It also shows that you have experience writing online, you establish yourself as a pro, and you have writing samples to give when you’re trying to score a writing gig.
Once you start a blog, you can promote it through your social media accounts. I turned my Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest into business accounts and grew a following and personal brand from there.
If you have a product or service to sell (like writing for businesses and brands), then you can create a services page on your website and lead your audience there.
But my favorite thing about starting a blog is that it helps improve your writing.
I spent years hating my jobs and wishing that I was writing for a living, yet I never made time to write. When I started my blog, I was in for a rude awakening because my writing muscle hadn’t been used in years!
My first blog post sucked. But you know what happened?
I kept writing, and as time went on, it blossomed into the beautiful captivating words that you’re reading right now. (Warning: You might become a little cocky.)
So keep in mind, your first blog post most likely won’t be good. But that’s ok. It’s just important for you to start and get your writing muscle going again. The more you make time to write, the stronger your writing muscle will become.
I followed my heart
Six months into my blog, I had discovered a whole new world.
I became inspired by all the badass bloggers and business owners who were doing what they loved for a living. In other words, I caught the entrepreneurial bug.
I was miserable at my bank job. Don’t get me wrong, it was the best job I ever had, but it wasn’t for me. Ya know?
It took me reaching my breaking point for me to realize that my dream wasn’t impossible. The only thing that had been stopping me was my limiting belief that starting a writing career was hard.
I was done feeling sad and envious of the people who were living my dream. Why couldn’t I have that too?!
So I finally said f*ck it and decided to risk it all.
I told my boyfriend, Devin, about my decision and he supported me 100%. His support made me giddy and I proceeded to tell everyone close in my life. Their reaction wasn’t the same…
My family was concerned, which was completely understandable. My decision was extremely risky, and in their eyes, I probably seemed like I had lost my mind.
One of my best friends also wasn’t on board. That’s what really hurt.
My reason for including this part of the post is because dealing with unsupportive friends was a real struggle, and I know I’m not alone.
When you follow your heart, it’s not something that anyone else can understand but you.
You’re the only one who truly knows what’s best for you. If you have a dream that’s out of the ordinary, the people in your life might worry about you.
That’s normal. Remind yourself that it’s only because they care.
There are people who fear the unknown and settle, and then there are people who know what they want and will do anything to get it.
I chose to be the second one, and that’s how I became a copywriter.
I wish I could tell you that I had a plan, but the truth is I didn’t!
I did as much research as I could before I quit my job, but I was burnt out. My last days at the bank consisted of me walking around like a zombie waiting for the nightmare to end. (Me, dramatic? Nooo.)
My journey truly began on Monday, July 22nd, 2019 on my first day of self-employment.
I searched every question I had about copywriting through Google and Pinterest.
If you want to become a copywriter too, try searching these topics:
- How to become a copywriter
- How I became a copywriter
- Copywriting formulas
- How to write better copy
- What is copywriting?
- Copywriting basics
- Why is copywriting important?
- How to write captivating copy
You’ll find that most of the people who write these articles are copywriters themselves. That’s how I found a lot of the copywriters that I love today!
I subscribed to their email list, read all their blog posts, followed them on social media, and learned from them as much as I could.
Anytime I read something valuable (which was a lot), I’d write it down in my notes exactly how it was written. This helped me fully grasp what I was learning while also literally writing out the way the pros were writing. I began to pick up their writing voice, which would soon help me find mine.
The more I researched, the more I realized how much I loved copywriting. It sounded intimidating at first, but for me, learning was a breeze! Copywriting was my thing. It made me happy, I had fun doing it, and I was pretty good at it!
Unfortunately, copywriting wasn’t the only thing I needed to learn when I became a copywriter. I also had to research how to start a business.
Please keep in mind that I’m not a tax professional, and all of this is what I personally researched. I’m providing this information to help you with the best of my ability. So don’t sue me! 😉
If you’re starting a business, here are some things you’ll to need to find out:
- Taxes: If you have a business, you’re self-employed. That means you have to handle taxes yourself or hire a tax professional to handle it for you. You’ll also need to pay quarterly taxes along with yearly taxes. You’ll need to pay estimated taxes, self-employment taxes, and depending on what state you live in, state taxes. This is something major to keep in mind when deciding if starting a business is right for you or not.
- Type of business: You’re going to need to decide your type of business. You’ll most likely choose sole proprietor or an LLC., but there are other options as well.
- Business name: You’ll need to choose the name of your business depending on the type of business you choose and find out whether or not the name is available.
- EIN: I recommend getting an EIN for your protection. As a business owner, you’ll be giving your information to your clients. An EIN is your employer identification number and is given instead of your social security number. But no worries, it’s super easy to get!
For any and all information, I recommend going to irs.gov. Everything you need will be there.
Other than that, I always recommend having a website, a professional business email, business social media accounts with correct information, and if you want, business cards!
You also might find that your clients will use certain websites for their business. I recommend creating accounts with websites like these so that you can be prepared. Plus, it’ll make you look good! Here are some of the websites/apps that my clients use:
The key to getting better at anything is practice.
I spent hours everyday writing.
As time went on, I discovered my writing voice. One day I was cringing at my Instagram posts, and then the next I was like, “Damn! I wrote that?!”
Write in journals, write on social media, write blog posts, write emails. Just keep working out that muscle, and it will surprise you one day. (Spoiler alert: It was one of the most rewarding feelings when I became a copywriter)
Here are some great places to search for writing jobs:
I want to remind you again that everyone’s experience is different.
I responded to what felt like MILLIONS of writing gigs and… nothing. For months, crickets. It was like all of it was being sucked into a black hole billions of light-years away, and then that black hole got absorbed by an even more massive black hole!
But don’t let that discourage you. I’ve heard writers say that they found their first writing job a month into searching.
It wasn’t until October (three months into searching) that I got my first response on Upwork, and they paid me $5 to write an Instagram post. They left me a five-star review.
In November, someone else responded to me and agreed to pay me $20 per Instagram post. I worked with them for a month. They also left me a five-star review.
The pay was shit, but I realized that getting those five-star reviews was the key to getting hired by other people.
I soon got another client, but the pay still wasn’t good enough and I had to start considering getting a part-time job. It made me feel embarrassed and I wondered if I had failed.
I eventually came to the decision that I had one week left to find a good writing gig, or else it was time to start job-hunting.
That week, I responded to every writing gig that I saw. It was a long week, but that Friday, I had three people respond to me.
Two of them asked to talk on a Skype call that weekend, and the other one immediately sent me an article to write.
Both Skype calls went really well and before I knew it, I had two long-term clients! I still write for them today and I’m getting paid enough to pay all my bills and more.
The journey that I went through when I became a copywriter was long and stressful. But I know one thing for sure now: When you decide to believe in yourself and that you’re worthy of your dream, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says or thinks. Believing is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself.
My heart told me to go for it, and all the people in my life (besides one) disagreed. If I had listened to them, I would still be unfulfilled at the bank right now.
I’m currently writing this blog post in my bedroom and in my pajamas. It’s a Friday afternoon and I’ve had an easy week. Now I’m about to log out for the day, make some dinner, watch Naruto Shippuden, and enjoy my weekend! I’d say my heart led me down the right path.
Do you have something your heart is telling you that’s risky? Tell me all about it below in the comments so I can cheer you on!