3 Essential Skills Every Freelance Copywriter Should Have

There are, in fact, essential skills that anyone who wants to make their living as a freelance writer needs to possess. You may be surprised to learn that these are not exotic skills, limited to a talented few.

They are skills that few possess; this is, however, by choice and by habit, not by gift or talent. While this is not the exhaustive list of skills required to succeed as a freelance writer, these are three crucial skills absent from most of those unable to make a go of it:

  1. Discipline. To get lots of copy written, one must apply liberal amounts of backside to chair, and repeat daily. Your results may vary (but if you fail to apply this skill, your results will be depressingly uniform).
  2. Chops. In the world of music, if you are a talented player, you are said to possess “chops”. The same is true of writing as is true of music: if you want people to listen, you’ve got to be able to play. This is distressing news to some, who for some inexplicable reason believe they can be a writer without being able to write. For information on how to become a better writer, see skill number one.
  3. Invulnerability. To make it in this business, it’s essential you are invulnerable to unjust criticism. You’ll get plenty of it. Because writing is so akin to speaking, everyone thinks they can do it. Which is, of course, amusing – since very few people seem able to do either. You get to ascend one full level of mastery when you learn to distinguish just criticism from unjust. Take a moment to let that one sink in.

Yes, you will need other skills in addition to these three; but these three can cover for a multitude of other sins. Try them on for a while. They are all eminently learnable.

If this topic of making money with your writing skills interests you, then you might want to join me for a live, once-only, no-recording-available later webinar. It is entitled: The Hidden Opportunity For Anyone Who Can Write (In 2011 and Beyond)”.

Long title. Short path to a new profit paradigm if you’re a writer.

Do you have the discipline to show up and learn something? Then click here and register now.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “3 Essential Skills Every Freelance Copywriter Should Have

  1. All very true, Ray. Would like to see an article on how you deal with customers who re-write, re-arrange or otherwise modify the copy you supply them (because they either think they can do it as you wrote about in step 3 or they are getting advise from elsewhere). Do you make them contract that all performance/deliverable bets are off if they do this?

  2. Great post as always, Ray. #3 made me want to see an article on how you deal with customers that decide to modify or change your copy after delivered. Do you make them contract ahead of time that all bets are off should they do this? Also would love to see how you handle the customer giving you the product (so you can demo it to write effectively about) it and then discovering that you don’t actually like/endorse their product. Thanks!