Thanks to the internet, freelance blogging and web copywriting are two of the biggest and brightest forms of work for a freelance writer.
In 2020, almost every business out there knows they need to have some kind of online presence.
After all, the internet is one of the most powerful things that businesses can use to build brand awareness, find new customers, engage with existing customers, and sell products or services.
No wonder blogging and web copywriting is so popular nowadays.
What Is Freelance Blogging?
Blogs have become more than just personal diaries like they were back in the early days of Web 2.0.
Today, they’re serious business tools.
Freelance blogging involves writing informational or entertainment content (often in a casual/conversational style) for a website’s blog section.
A blog is basically a content page on a website that’s periodically updated with posts about relevant topics of interest and news.
Sometimes, the website operates entirely as a blog — like an online magazine or news site — where the blog section and all of its posts are front and centre on the home page.
A blog post can be as short as 250 words or as long as 5,000 words (or possibly longer) and often includes a comment section (although not always) where readers can share their thoughts.
Blog posts also typically include social media buttons so readers can easily share them on their profiles.
Blogging kind of a catch-all term for any type of online article. It’s arguably the same as online article writing and online news reporting.
Whether someone says they publish articles online or blog posts, there honestly isn’t much of a difference.
The types of clients that need blog content include businesses (big, medium, and small), online magazines, and news websites. In other words, you could argue that almost everyone who does business online should have a blog.
The great thing about blog content is that clients don’t need it to be produced just once — they need it produced frequently.
Since most business owners and/or their employees are busy doing other things, it can make a lot sense to outsource that kind of work to a freelancer.
What Is Freelance Web Copywriting?
Freelance web copywriting involves writing content for advertising and marketing purposes.
It’s the type of written content that’s been cleverly crafted to get customers to take action — usually by making a purchase.
Copy is everywhere online.
It’s on every landing page you come across for a product or service, it’s in the product descriptions on your favourite shopping sites, and it’s even in the emails you get from the businesses who have you on their email list.
It’s also used for advertising, marketing, and brand awareness purposes in places like the “About Us” page of a website, on FAQ pages, on Feature/Pricing pages, and more.
Any business (or individual) with something to sell online needs copy. Good copy can mean the difference between a lot of sales and very few sales.
So what’s so great about copywriting?
Well, because the quality and effectiveness of a business’s sales copy is in direct proportion to their sales, you can earn a lot more money doing it.
Businesses are willing to pay big bucks for copywriters who can write great copy.
They’re paying you for your value — your ability to help them drive sales — as opposed to the number of words you can churn out over a certain period of time.
Freelance Blogging vs. Copywriting: What Are the Differences?
There’s more to understanding that freelance blogging is all about social media and comments and copywriting is all about products and services.
Both forms of writing serve different purposes and rank differently on the value scale.
Blogging is all about informing, educating, entertaining, and inspiring.
Copywriting is all about advertising, marketing, getting people to take action, and making sales.
What you’re reading right now is a blog post.
I’m writing this content to inform and educate you about a topic of interest (freelance blogging vs. copywriting).
Now, if I decide to launch some kind of premium course related to freelance writing in the future, I’m going to have to create a landing page for that with copy that identifies your problem, tells you how I can help you solve your problem, and persuades you to buy my course.
I can use my blog posts to promote my course, but I’m certainly not going to sell my course directly from a blog post.
You might find my blog post, notice that I’ve linked to my course landing page, and then read it and be persuaded to buy it, but ultimately it’s the sales copy on that landing page that does the selling — not my blog post.
Blog posts are a broader form of content designed to get traffic, draw a target audience in, and connect with that audience on a casual, more surface-level basis. It’s an initial step in the trust-building process.
Copy, on the other hand, connects with them more deeply and gets them to take action.
Here’s a breakdown of what clients are looking for when they hire you as a freelance blogger versus a freelance copywriter:
What Clients Want from Your Blog Content
- To rank organically in relevant Google searches and thus grow their audience
- To engage with existing readers or customers
- To get readers to share on social media
- To grow their email list
- To point their audience in the direction of their products and services
What Clients Want from Your Copy
- To help their target audience identify a need or problem that they absolutely must solve
- To hook their target audience and connect with them on a deep, emotional level
- To convince their target audience how the client’s product or service can effectively solve their problem
- To establish a strong sense of trust and confidence in the client’s ability to meet the target audience’s needs
- To persuade their target audience to buy the product or service
Now that you have a pretty good sense of the difference between freelance blogging and copywriting, it’s worth taking a look at how each type of content writing can work for or against you as a freelance writer.
The Pros and Cons of Freelance Blogging
It’s extremely easy to get started with freelance blogging, which makes it perfect for beginner freelance writers.
Although there are many clients out there that want very technical, in-depth, long-form blog posts, there are lots (if not more) that are just looking for relatively informative yet casual blog posts anywhere from 500 to 2,000 words in length.
Blog content is much easier to produce and therefore price compared to bigger projects with large scopes.
It’s just a lot more straightforward and you’re less likely to need to get on a long call with the client going over every little detail and negotiating accordingly.
Another plus of freelance blogging?
If you have knowledge or experience in a particular topic, freelance blogging is a fun way to share or teach what you know.
And if you don’t know something, then you have the opportunity to research, review it, or interview someone before you write the blog post.
Freelance blogging can also be great for long-term work.
Since clients need their blogs updated with fresh content regularly, you have a higher chance of getting gigs that contribute to your income month after month (and potentially year after year) whether you’re producing one blog post a month or five blog posts a week for a client.
The biggest downside of freelance blogging is that it’s a less valuable form of written content, so clients are less likely to pay big bucks for it.
That’s not to say that many won’t pay well, but compensation for blog content pales in comparison to the type of content that drives sales.
Pros of Freelance Blogging
- Ideal for beginner freelance writers
- Requires less sales writing skills
- Easier to price and negotiate with clients
- Repetitive nature of blogging can lead to long-term work
Cons of Freelance Blogging
- Less value is placed on blog content
- Need to pump out more blog content to earn more
The Pros and Cons of Freelance Copywriting
The absolutely best thing about freelance copywriting is that it’s a very lucrative business, and it’s very high in demand.
If you can write copy that helps a business sell more of their products or service, you can bet that they’re going to compensate you very well for it.
This essentially means that you can make an excellent hourly rate — definitely $100 an hour or more.
As a copywriter, you get earn more for working a shorter period of time because of the insane value you’re providing your clients.
And although nobody is just born with business and sales skills, anyone can get good at it if they’re willing to learn and practice.
If you love writing, you can learn the craft of good copywriting, and once you know how to do it and do it well, it can be a lot of fun to work on all sorts of different copywriting projects.
The biggest downside of freelance copywriting is that it’s a little harder for beginner freelance writers to jump into — especially if they have no background in sales or marketing.
You have to spend more time learning about what makes great copy, developing your copywriting skills, and working your way up to getting higher paying gigs.
Besides copywriting skills, you also need to know how to properly price your projects, communicate the value you’re providing, and negotiate when necessary with clients.
This certainly takes skill and practice.
Only after you’ve done it a few times will you have a better idea of how efficiently you work, what you can provide, and how you can make your clients happy with the value you’re giving them.
Pros of Freelance Copywriting
- Very high in demand all across the web
- Opportunity to earn more for less time spent working
- A lot of fun once you get the hang of it
Cons of Freelance Copywriting
- Can be a lot trickier for beginners
- Requires sales writing skills
- Requires skills in communicating higher value content and pricing projects accordingly
Freelance Blogging vs. Copywriting: Which Is Better?
The choice between freelance blogging and copywriting entirely comes down to personal preference.
I personally love both of them because they’re so different.
Copywriting is clearly the winner in terms of earning potential.
A typical project could earn you $2,000 for just for one day of work.
On the other hand, you might need to work for three hours writing a 750-word blog post to make $200.
Freelance blogging is excellent for beginners though.
You can find freelance blogging jobs for all sorts of different topics and it can be a great way to develop your writing skills, grow your portfolio of samples, and build up your confidence as a writer.
I encourage you to try both types of freelance writing, even if you think you’ll like one more than the other.
If you’re a freelance writer who’s dabbled in both blogging and copywriting, I’d love to know if you prefer one over the other and why!
If you’re a beginner who hasn’t yet started, tell me what you plan on starting with and whether you plan on trying both forms of freelance writing.
Let me know in the comments!