Editor’s note: This post was written by Lesa T., a contributing writer at Maker’s Aid with years of experience in copywriting and proofreading.
Okay, so you have established whether you have the skills to become a copywriter and wonder how it would be to do this work from home.
First off, this will very much depend on whether you decide to go freelance, work for a company, or via an agency.
Let’s look at the differences.
Working as a Freelancer
This is the choice that offers the most freedom. You can choose what type of work you do, when you do it, as well as name your price. You could work from anywhere in the world as long as you have a good Internet connection.
The drawbacks to working as a freelancer are that you would need to find your work and sort out your financial affairs (I’m referring to taxes and health insurance, mostly).
Working for a Company
You would be employed directly by a company—and enjoy all the benefits of paid holidays and have your tax and social security payments (country dependent) taken care of by your employer.
Nowadays, most companies are looking for ways to cut costs and, for better or worse, copywriting staff is often part of them. This is why you won’t find many companies hiring them internally (most prefer to work with agencies or freelancers instead).
Working for an Agency
This is another way to work with a certain amount of freedom. You can still work as a freelancer from home, but you will be working for a lower fee.
The agency will be acting as the middleman and, as such, be offering far lower rates per hour and/or taking a fee from you. You may also not get the same creative freedom as a true freelancer does because, in my experience, the agencies keep pushing jobs on you that you have no interest in writing about.
This can be a huge frustration given that you signed up after being told you can choose your work at your schedule, which often becomes not the case!
Working From Home: The Essentials
To work from home as a copywriter, you need to have the correct equipment. This means a computer with all the relevant software, a fully-functioning camera, and a microphone, as quite often clients will want to have video meetings to discuss their requirements.
You will also need to have a comfortable working space including a desk and a proper office chair, rather than a regular dining chair, or worse—the sofa! This is because you will be spending a lot of hours sitting at your computer, and if you don’t have a proper set-up, it will take its toll on your back, neck, and possibly other areas of your body.
A (Good) Internet Connection
Your internet connection needs to be of excellent quality because there may be a lot of research involved in your project. The last thing you want is to be working to a deadline and for your data connection to keep dropping. I have been there, and it is the most stressful thing!
Ensure the area you are working from has a clear phone signal if you’re not using a fixed landline. It will be another highly stressful situation for both you and a client if you are trying to communicate and forever having to ask them to repeat what they are saying.
Other Considerations When Working from Home
Apart from the things mentioned above, there are few other aspects you need to bear in mind. One of the most important things is to look at what type of person you are to see if this style of working is for you.
If you are a friendly person who loves to be around people, you would probably be better working in a buzzy environment with lots of like-minded others. Somewhere like an advertising/marketing agency where there are many outgoing, gregarious types who love being “where it’s at”!
If you are more autonomous and not necessarily a team player (hey, there’s nothing wrong with that!) and prefer to work alone and get stuck into a project without noise or interruption, then working from home could be perfect for you!
Personally, I fall into this category as I need peace and quiet to focus and have the bonus of loving my own company—oh, and that of my two little dogs!
If you think you fall somewhere between the two, you can look for a job that offers days in the office and days working from home. Best of both worlds!
You can enjoy the buzz of the office, which will give you the social contact you need, and then retreat to the sanctuary of your own private and quiet workspace at home.
Downsides of Working as a Copywriter from Home
First off, if you do this as a freelancer, you will have to purchase all your own equipment and office furniture. This can be costly, although it would be tax-deductible. If you were employed by a company but worked days at home, you would be provided with the IT stuff but would still have to get your own furniture.
This can be a big problem for a lot of people. When working in the home environment, which is the place you associate with relaxing, sleeping, eating, and generally living, it can be hard to self-motivate.
You must maintain a certain amount of discipline to still get up, shower and dress as if you were going to work.
Okay, maybe not as much make-up, and you can ditch the heels, and guys, you can perhaps sport the rugged look for a day, but no sitting in your PJs scratching your head—or other bits!
Doing this will help get you in the right frame of mind for the work ahead, and also, you never know when a client may request a video call, so be professional and be prepared.
As mentioned above, it takes a specific type of personality to relish working from home. You could find yourself feeling lonely without social contact.
This can be something that creeps up on you without you realizing it at first. So if you start to feel de-motivated, a bit flat, or restless, you can combat this by taking yourself off to a café where there are others, or somewhere outdoors like a park if it’s a nice day. Just don’t go to a bar and start drinking on the job!!!
Another big downside of working from home is that any stress you may encounter throughout the working day cannot be left at the office.
This negative energy can build up in what would usually be your personal haven, whereas you would normally have got rid of most of it by the time you got home when working from an external office.
You can do some things to combat this, and it is essential to do so to keep that mental separation between work and home life. I find if I have had a stressful day, as soon as I finish work, I take myself off out for a walk or to the gym—even if it’s just for 30 mins.
It is so important to get that negativity out of the home and out of you ASAP! Then you can go back feeling lighter, less-stressed and look forward to relaxing in your haven once again.
Upsides of Working as a Copywriter from Home
Well, despite the possible downsides, there are a whole host of upsides that counter them.
So take a well-balanced view before you make your final decision on whether working from home as a copywriter is for you.
This is the No.1 benefit for me. I like to work in my own space, in my own time, and without annoying people around me—yes, I guess I’m a bit of a hermit! But this is what makes it the ideal situation for me.
As mentioned before, if you are a freelance copywriter finding your own work, the freedom is even greater. But of course, you do have to find the work to start with, which will entail meeting, greeting, schmoozing, and networking. But at least you can then retreat back to your wonderfully private space with a new project in the bag!
Another key factor – you can put the washing on, do the dishes, walk the dog, etc! It is a great way of fitting everything into your day. I find if I have been sitting at my desk for more than 2 hours, I make myself get up and do one of these quick chores. It’s great for the body and mind, and saves them all piling up to be done at the end of the day or week!
Being able to work from home, a café or park is amazingly good for us. In a job like copywriting, where you need to exercise your creativity, a change of environment can help unlock this essential ingredient. But why stop there?
With this work, you can literally work from anywhere in the world—a beach in the Bahamas, a forest in Finland, a jungle in Java, or a mountain in Mongolia! As long as you have your laptop and a great internet connection, you can make it happen!