Roving Report: 7 Habits of Successful Digital Copywriters

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Over the years, Nick Usborne and Heather Robson have developed habits that have helped them build successful freelance copywriting careers.

Mastering these habits will help all types of digital copywriters develop as web writers and build their freelance businesses.

Heather is Wealthy Web Writer’s managing editor and has been a freelance copywriter for over 15 years. Nick’s career spans more than 40 years — he was one of the very first writers to specialize in writing for the web.

Recently they spoke with a group of Wealthy Web Writer members about the seven habits they should all cultivate. You can see the entire webinar HERE, including some fun, slightly off-topic digressions and several questions from the audience.

Habit #1: Choose Industries and Clients You Really Want to Work With

As a young copywriter, Nick discovered he did his best work when he was writing about industries and working with clients he really enjoyed.

He started as a generalist and quickly found that the only times he produced remarkable work were when he enjoyed the industry or the client… preferably both.

Choosing industries and clients you like will have a big impact on your success. Nick explained that if you do 20 jobs in your first year, and 19 are good, professional work and one is remarkable, “that one remarkable job, the one that gets people talking, can actually sustain you for an entire career. It gives you your reputation, you get word of mouth, and it makes marketing so much easier.”

Nick knows it’s only when he’s working in industries and for clients he enjoys that he has a chance of doing remarkable work.

“That’s huge,” he pointed out.

Heather explained that when she started writing UX copy, she found her “writing soul mate” and started to do remarkable work.

“I always try to be professional and create a really good product,” she noted, “but when you have a spark of joy and fascination about what you’re writing, that helps us make different connections.”

Additionally, if you’re lukewarm about a writing job, you’ll do only half as much research as you will when you’re in love with your subject.

Habit #2: Immerse Yourself

It’s important to immerse yourself in a new industry.

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna was dragged back, kicking and screaming, into freelancing after losing her job in the banking meltdown in March, '09. One 3-month stint in an appalling temp job persuaded her to get serious about establishing herself as web writer. In March, 2012, she moved to a small town in Panama with her husband and three small dogs. After enjoying the writer's life in the culture of "buenas" and "mañana" for 2-1/2 years, she's returned to the US. At least for now.

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