I read every single copywriter job ad on a job board and this is what I learnt.

When I was working out how I could help people with by sharing my SEO knowledge, I did a bit of research. I’ve worked with a lot of copywriters, hired copywriters, and sold SEO copy as a service. I know that it’s an incredibly valuable part of SEO.

I also know that it’s hard to get right and that I could teach existing and aspiring copywriters to do it properly. And bring loads of extra traffic to their company sites, client site. And even learn the skills to start a new, flexible, profitable career.

But what I didn’t know was: was anyone else looking for proper SEO copywriting? Or was it just me? Was SEO copywriting really a great career move? (Only if there’s lots of demand for it). And if so, how much are companies willing to pay?

So I sat down and analysed every single copywriting job advert on a jobs board (indeed.co.uk). Here’s what I found out.

1. SEO is critical

Of the 87 job adverts…

9 out of 10 were for copywriters working on digital, online content

where SEO is obviously massively important, and

Half of those specifically wanted a copywriter with SEO skills

There’s no denying that having excellent web content optimised for SEO is something that’s front and centre in the minds of a large number of businesses. Often, getting organic SEO traffic is likely the only reason they need to hire a copywriter.

2. If you’re willing to work hard, you can earn big

There’s a big disparity in pay split one way: Permanent employees vs. freelancers.

Permanent copywriter salaries

Permanent copywriter roles pay between £18,000 and £80,000 a year.

At the low end, you’ve got jobs for inexperienced writers – especially interns. At companies who can’t pay much and are looking for someone fairly generalist in their skillset.

At the top, you’ve got companies looking for highly proficient writers with specialist experience or skills. Either in digital content or in technical/medical writing. Plus there may well be a management element to the role. Sometimes that’s planning the content calendar for the company, managing its production or looking after a broader team of writers. Though I only included jobs that are primarily writing in the survey.

Freelance copywriter pay

It’s no secret that working for yourself is a huge commitment and you have to put in the hours to get your business up and running, find clients, and do all the admin yourself. And that means that you can’t be earning every single day of the week. So is freelancing and contract work worthwhile?

The short answer is: Yes. Definitely.

What do freelance copywriters earn?

As a freelancer or contract copywriter, you can expect to get paid between £200 and £500 a day.

If you get 3 days of paid work every week (or work 60% of a 250 day year), you’ll earn between £30,000 and £75,000 a year.

If you get 4 days of paid work every week (or work 80% of a 250 day year), you’ll earn between £40,000 and £100,000 a year.

3. If you’re looking for stability, it’s there

For times when you just need a salary, you want to go into an office and work with a team of great people, or there’s that company you really want to work for and you’ll do anything to get that job, permanent roles are for you.

You’ll be pleased to hear that they’re the majority on offer. Over 80% of job descriptions were for full-time copywriting jobs.

4. If you’re looking for freedom, there are flexible options

Even on the job board, a third of copywriter jobs were remote or work-from-home. And that’s excluding any that were only temporarily allowing remote working during the COVID-19 lockdown. So you can absolutely have the stability of a perm job and choose where you work from. (A hotel by the beach, cocktail in hand, anyone…?) Not that I’d ever condone drinking on the job…

And if your time is valuable to you, you can find the odd permanent part-time position. But they are hard to find. Only 4% of job descriptions included a part-time option.

For freelancers, there are a good number of opportunities. 14% of adverts on the job board were for freelance or short-term contract copywriters.

Remember that this survey has looked at the ads on a traditional jobs board. It hasn’t even touched the opportunities on offer in the gig economy. If you’re like me and you’re looking for more freedom in choosing projects, hours and your place of work, freelancing alongside – or instead of – a ‘normal’ job is a dream.

So I decided that an SEO Copywriter is something that I’d be happy to encourage and train people to become

If you’re ready to learn how to be an awesome SEO copywriter, pick up an invaluable skill and kickstart a new phase of your career, join my online course: Master SEO Copywriting (launching Monday 15th June – pre-book now for an early bird discount of £100 off).

It includes all the SEO knowledge you need (in simple terms you can understand without having an extensive technical dictionary to hand). As well as tried and tested advice on how to get a job – whether that’s in traditional employment or freelancing. All based on exactly what I have done myself to set up a successful career blending freelance and in-house SEO.

Do you want a job in SEO copywriting? Join my free online mini course: How to get work as an SEO copywriter. Packed with advice to guide you through the same steps I’ve successfully used to win freelance and agency SEO copywriting work. And how to get a permanent job (I’ve screened, interviewed and hired 100s of copywriters so I know what employers are looking for).

Infographic: Copywriting in numbers. A job board survey of copywriter jobs.

Copywriter jobs survey infographic

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