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Freelance Writing for Advertising

Updated on October 31, 2016

This is a creation which compels readers to purchase any service or product presented

Copy writing aka advertising is extremely lucrative for those with the knack for it.
Copy writing aka advertising is extremely lucrative for those with the knack for it. | Source

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Freelance writers are capable of attracting all sorts of clients. Customers have an enormous variety of needs and wants and fulfilling these things puts hundreds of jobs at a writers fingertips. This much diversity creates an enormous assortment of niches. A number of these are connected to the advertising line of business in this particular profession. Advertising and marketing touches every web user whenever a page is opened. This makes it possibly one of the most formidable tools on the internet.

The best people for the job

There are those folks with a knack to make words flow magically who stand out in this niche. This happens without much effort. Others have difficulty simply putting two sentences together for advertising content. Everyone is not created the same when it comes to effective copy writing or advertisement creating.

The definition of marketing is simply put as the ability to make an ad with the intent to sell a product or service. Being successful at it means the reader is moved by the material enough to buy what is being sold. It is a lot more difficult than it sounds.

Instilling a sense of excitement and expectation this strong requires a unique skill set. Every one simply is not capable of making it happen. This is not necessarily a reflection of how well a person writes. Every niche needs a different sort of proficiency and know how.

Discovering a number of things about this line of work is an excellent opportunity to decide if this is something which fits well. Even some of the finest people in the biz venture in a different direction after looking into it. It sounds simple, but certainly is not.

Freelance work versus company based

Nearly every big business company can afford hiring out or freelance outsourcing their ad writing needs to professionals. Some of smaller companies or single business entrepreneurs cannot. This means there are a number of clients available for the freelance writer in this genre capable of putting together terrific ads that evoke a response.

When asked why freelance is a better choice versus company work, most folks have said the sense of freedom is the biggest draw. Having a preference for which projects to take, the ability to say no to certain customers and flexible hours are wonderful. Though, pay is not as consistent without the big business connection.

Having certain ad writing techniques and methods certainly helps make the job a little easier. As a novice where to get started to get proficiency and experience is where to begin.

Where to gain experience

There are several places around the web which advertise copywriting is possible without any experience. The average client is searching for someone with the skills to get the job done.

Blogging or Website

Countless writers begin with blogging. Focus on areas of interest which showcase writing abilities. By beginning with an area of interest, things flow easier. Less research is generally needed, material comes faster, is less complicated and typically not as problematic.

If blogging does not work well, build a website. Either serves the same purpose and gives the basic info needed.


Apprenticeship is not unheard of, but not widely used. Working for marketing or PR agencies gives more hands on experience. Big companies are known to have programs welcoming novices. Interns are not paid as well as freelancers, but this is a feather in the cap of a beginner with a desire to boost a resume.

Publish a piece of fiction on the web

One vehicle rarely used is posting a piece on the web for a product which does not exist. The purpose is not to sell the product, but to display proficiency in the field. Building creative content which is compelling is what sells to the client and eventually customers.


Education is not necessarily a must. Though there are courses under journalism and marketing which include copywriting. Mostly the courses focus on getting research done and how to meet deadlines. Both of these are generally great to possess regardless of the niche.


All freelance writers continually put together a portfolio to show great work. Although there are a variety of styles around the web, focus this one on the job at hand. This means always working on something in the field to make certain a request is able to be filled in a moment when requested for a client.

How to get work

Obtaining work in the field is easy for some. Apprenticeship works out well for most because there is typically a job at the end of the rainbow.

Businesses or companies in the biz also hire staff writers to do it. Even if a freelancer is on staff, working from home is typically an option. There is a steady stream of work and these folks do not work as hard as freelancers linking up with personal clients.

There are websites with clients seeking out writers with this type of expertise. Using a middle man is sometimes needed to get things going on the personal client side of things. Though, if things click future work between the two parties eliminates the middle man. Without a third party, more money falls into the writers lap and a steadier stream of income is seen.

Must haves to get the job done

a) A headline to grab attention

Readers surfing the web have a short attention span. The average one while browsing the web is approximately 6 seconds. This is not a lot of time to get the reader to look at an ad with interest without moving on to other content. This is certainly real with the generation of the cell phone, Twitter and Instagram.

Make them stop and engage with the material. The use of compelling language works well. One grave mistake many people make is using a multitude of exclamation points-it looks like screaming instead of simply talking.

b) Give the advantages of the product or service immediately

Getting this conveyed as soon as possible is one vehicle used to make a reader stop and listen. Hand it over right away. Whatever the person is looking for, this is it.

Never make a person scan through several paragraphs to find a solution to their issue. Instead of giving the declaration “terrific discounts and savings!” it sounds better to say “75% off. Save up to $100”.

One of the best ways to create this material is avoiding questions such as “are you experiencing hair loss?” instead say “prevent hair loss today!”

c) Testimonials

Testimonials are good and bad. Depending on how these are used. Some of the best are from gurus or people with lots of credibility. Scores of advertisers unfortunately tend to create false testimonials.

Fake ones are not good and are seen through or found out more often than not. Actual word of mouth is a great motivator. Photographs of relaying testimonials are wonderful in ads.

Some of the most used are from actual customers. Loads of people purposely search for these before deciding to buy a product or service.

d) Emotional appeal

Emotions move people to do things. Touching an emotion or sentiment with words is sensational. Ad writing prowess is seen from how emotionally invested a customer becomes.

Excitement turns a reader into a customer. Money, fame, health, beauty and love are things which trigger feelings. These attract the type of attention needed to sell a product or service. Use statements which evoke the reader to put themselves into a situation, place or thing.

e) A call to action

A call to action which makes a reader feel a sense of urgency is best. Generally these are seen in statements such as “act on this now!” “Don’t wait!” One of the most seen is “Click the button to order now”.

f) Credibility sells

The trustworthiness of the company or service sells. Displaying background information of the company, such as origins or years of service is a good thing. This works for companies in business for a year or more. A newbie to the scene for only a couple of months will have the opposite effect listing the same info.

Include any kind of formal recognition or even awards a company has received. These are also giving the sense of reliability and authority in the field.

Other useful info not always available includes;

  1. How many prior campaigns have been worked on this particular product or service?
  2. Is this the first time a copywriter has been used?
  3. Are freelancers always used for these kinds of projects?
  4. Is this being worked on by one freelancer or more than one? In other words, will the work be altered or adjusted by another writer?


Everybody Writes is an excellent resource created by Ann Handley and used by countless freelancers breaking into this category of crafting content

These are more than a few of the questions to answer when organizing how to create marketing material. Replies help form more detailed and much better content w

  1. What is the overall expectation for the collaboration?
  2. Who is the target audience?
  3. What is the most important or single message to communicate?
  4. Is there a business or company with a campaign this client wants to adamantly avoid being similar to?
  5. Are numbers tied to sales, audience or projections needed or even obtainable?
  6. What are the expected time frames for review or completion?
  7. Is there a preferred layout or set up?
  8. Why is this company different from competitors in the marketplace?

The best question is the budget around the service or product. Of course the expectation or final arrangement varies according to monies available.

Craigslist is one an enormous canvas for building advertising content. Deciding what works and what doesnt is instant is countless cases. This is a video from P

This is a wonderful layout of getting copy writing done correctly.

To work with an agency or not is a great question

Though there are millions of writers working with advertising agencies, there are more than a few freelancers who are not employees of a business or company. Work is independent and connections are one on one with customers. Both have certain advantages and disadvantages. Those folks preferring to work directly with a client have a benefit counterparts do not. The direct line of business allows for more control over earnings and running the campaign. Either way the end results are the same. The job is copy writing or advertising work.


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    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 6 years ago from all over the web

      thank you for the comments

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great breakdown of this topic. Thanks for the useful information!

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 6 years ago from all over the web

      rob-always great to hear from a professional in the biz. thank you for your comment

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      Great hub that is straight to the point and relevant. As someone with an advertising background (the late 80s and early 90s), I can say that for the most part, the basics of ad copy are the same. Sure, the Internet has drastically changed the way advertising is bought and sold, but the art of copy will never end. Voted up!

    • writerintraining profile image

      writerintraining 6 years ago

      This is a great article and is helping me through a moment of "ahhh what do I do now?".

    • frugalfamily profile image

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      Oh awesome! I'll check it out:)

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 6 years ago from all over the web

      thank you for your comment. i was inspired to write another hub based on your question. you can find it here.

    • frugalfamily profile image

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      Great tips for writing good copy! Any tips on how to find the gig?