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Hey, I’m writing this from Alona Beach in Bohol, Philippines.

Guess what?

I’m the only one here who’s not stuck in a 9-to-5 job for 11 months to have four weeks of fun.

I get to enjoy Southeast Asia all year!

Let me share everything I know so you can start your own copywriter digital nomad life today.

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How To 10x Your Money With Copywriting

In the US, Australia, Canada, and the UK, a six-figure salary can quickly get eaten up by high living costs. But in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, the Philippines, etc., that same income could let you live like a king. You could have up to 10 times the buying power.

  • Housing Costs: For instance, a one-bedroom apartment that might cost you upwards of $3,000 per month in cities like New York, Sydney, Toronto, or London could be as affordable as $300 in places like Cebu or Bangkok.
  • Lifestyle Expenses: Meals, entertainment, and other expenses follow a similar trend.

It’s essential to note that while local salaries in Southeast Asia are significantly lower due to the reduced cost of living, as a digital nomad, you have the unique advantage of potentially earning Western rates while benefiting from the region’s lower living expenses.

Invest 20% of your earnings back into professional development courses, ensuring that within a year, your skills can potentially lead to 10x higher rates.

Why Choose Freelance Copywriting in Low-Cost Countries:

  • Earning Potential: Ultimately, choosing to become a freelance copywriter and live as a digital nomad in the Philippines, South America, Eastern Europe—or any other location with a favorable exchange rate—isn’t just about geography; it’s a lifestyle choice.
  • Quality of Life: You’re choosing a life where your money stretches further, and your quality of life can be significantly better.
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It sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Let me tell you what it took for me to live the life I dream of while working from anywhere, and the steps you need to take in order to do the same.

What Does A Copywriter Do

Copywriting is a fantastic job where you use words to help businesses make more money.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of writers out there who have no clue about what writing for a business means, read:

There are different ways to do it:

  • Some copywriters write to help websites get found on Google (SEO copywriting).
  • Others write to make people click ‘Buy Now’ in emails or on websites (like in sales funnels or newsletters).

Even though I’m not a native English speaker, I’m good at this job and not worried about the grammar, thanks to tools like Grammarly to fix minor mistakes.

But I’m good because I know how to talk to people and sell stuff.

Trust me, that’s way more important than having  perfect spelling.

100% of businesses actively seek copywriters to craft persuasive messages that drive sales, brand awareness, and customer engagement.

Start Writing About Anything

Starting your journey as a freelance copywriter might make you want to focus on one type of writing.

But let me share a secret: starting with a  general approach can be smart.

Why?

Because you can try out different types of writing and find out what you enjoy the most. Maybe you’ll love making product descriptions sound awesome or telling exciting stories.

Starting with a general approach empowers you to try out various aspects and uncover your preferred style, specialization, or even a potentially lucrative path – especially if you’re someone who believes in the “no money, no honey” philosophy.

Also, as a general copywriter, you learn all kinds of skills and write content that people want to read, create emails that make people want to click, and more. It’s like leveling up your writing superpowers!

In addition, when you’re a generalist, you work with clients from different industries and markets. This helps you figure out what you like best and where your writing shines the brightest.

Starting as a generalist doesn’t mean you’ll stay that way forever. It’s like trying out different flavors of ice cream before picking your favorite.

Once you’ve tried a bit of everything, you can choose what you’re best at. In the world of copywriting, starting with a general approach is like building a solid foundation.

It gives you experience and helps you figure out where you want to go. So, before you pick just one thing, take the time to explore all the cool stuff that comes with being a generalist.

Where Do I Start To Learn Copywriting?

Your first move is to register as a freelance copywriter on platforms such as:

These platforms offer a beginner-friendly environment where you can set up a professional profile, showcase a portfolio, and start bidding on small projects.

I remember when I first registered, it was a whole new world of opportunities for me. No more 9-to-5 grind. Instead, I was my own boss, choosing the projects I wanted to work on.

Start with the top 5 bestselling books on copywriting; statistics show that self-taught copywriters who read extensively outperform those who don’t by 30%.

Sure, you might start with smaller gigs, but that’s all right. These are your training wheels.

My first tasks included writing:

  •  Product descriptions
  •  Social media updates
  • Articles about topics like fish, frogs, and aquariums.

However, I quickly realized that long-form content wasn’t my jam.

Finding Your Niche In Copywriting

After gaining experience and confidence, I found my niche—email funnels.

My first email funnel project was a 5-email welcome series that paid me $20 per email.

It was a valuable experience that allowed me to move on to more challenging and rewarding projects, such as:

  • Long email series
  • Follow-ups

These tasks paid around $100 per email. I also learned how to set up e-commerce email funnels using Klaviyo and Shopify.

Remember, it’s essential to get your hands dirty with real-world experience. The sooner you start, the faster you’ll identify your strengths and areas of interest, just like I found mine in email funnels.

So register on one of these platforms, and take that first step toward living the digital nomad life you’ve always dreamed of.

The Three Game-Changing Skills That Will Get You Ahead Of 99% Of Copywriters

Listen up, Amico!

While you might dream of financial freedom and exotic beaches, remember that the journey isn’t all coconuts and palm trees.

Mastering storytelling, understanding customer psychology, and efficient research can give you a 99% edge over competitors in client satisfaction.

Master These Three Critical Skills or stay average.

To excel and get ahead of 99% of other copywriters, there are three critical skills you must master.

Based on my own experience, these skills were game-changers in my copywriting career.

1. Eugene Schwartz’s 5 Levels Of Awareness

If Eugene Schwartz’s 5 Levels of Awareness doesn’t ring a bell, it’s time to get educated.

This is the single most essential skill that you need to learn ASAP. This framework will help you pinpoint exactly where your target audience stands in their buying journey.

Picture yourself approaching a complete stranger and instantly proposing marriage—sounds crazy, right? 

Yet, that’s exactly what many people do when trying to sell something to an audience they haven’t properly introduced themselves to.

This is where the 5 Levels of Awareness come in. They guide you in understanding how aware your potential customer is about their problem, your solution, and your brand so you can tailor your message accordingly.

Once I started applying these levels to all my work, my copy went from being ‘pretty good’ to ‘mind-blowingly effective,’ and clients couldn’t be happier.

Whether it’s email funnels or landing pages, these levels apply everywhere.

2. Defining A Buyer Persona

Forget the idea that a buyer persona is mere marketing jargon.

It’s your golden ticket to establishing a deep connection with your audience.

Learn this skill early on, and every email, ad, or blog post you create will resonate as if you’re speaking directly to the reader. This level of understanding makes your copy irresistibly compelling.

Example: The Espresso Connection

Suppose you’re selling espresso subscriptions, a nuanced product that only appeals to a specific type of coffee lover.

Imagine you know that I’m an Italian who loves espresso; offering me a flat white would be a big mistake. Here’s where understanding your buyer persona comes into play.

  • You first engage me with broader coffee-related content to make sure I’m part of your target audience. You can even ask your audience what kind of coffee they like.
  • Once you’ve segmented your audience and figured out that I prefer espresso over any other coffee type, you could then send me a pitch tailored to my espresso love.

That’s how to nail a buyer persona. By identifying my specific preferences, you’ve increased your chances of converting me into a loyal customer.

3. AIDA Copywriting Framework

Understanding the AIDA model:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

Is pivotal for copywriting that not only captures attention but also induces action.

When executed precisely, it appeals to both the cognitive and emotional faculties of your reader, steering them towards a specific outcome.

Craft an Experience that Captivates and Converts

Let’s contextualize this with a practical example featuring Emma, a 22-year-old copywriter from London who’s stuck in a 9-to-5 routine.

Emma hates the rain, yearns for the sun, and spends 11 months of the year waiting for that one holiday in Bali.

She’s constantly broke but loves the idea of traveling.

Attention: “Struggling with the London gloom? Brighten up your year—right from your living room!

Interest: “Imagine feeling the balmy Bali breeze and golden sunlight without leaving your home.

Desire: “Introducing Bali Sands: two cubic meters of sand directly from Bali to spread through your living room so you can always feel that sandy atmosphere.

Action: “Why let the beach be an annual event? Click here to bring Bali into your home today.

So, there you have it—a spotlight on how the AIDA model could be calibrated to resonate with a specific persona.

It’s not just about crafting words; it’s about orchestrating an experience that captivates and converts.

The Differences Between Copywriters, Content Writers, And Marketers

You wouldn’t believe it, but as I’m writing this, I’m contemplating ordering an ice cream. So let me explain these roles through this craving of mine.

Imagine you’ve got this fantastic new ice cream flavor you want to introduce to the world.

1. Content Writer:
If you were a content writer, you would give me a 2,000-word article detailing the features of this ice cream—its vivid red color, its 6% sugar content, and so on.

Essentially, you’re providing all the facts and figures, hoping that knowledge alone will entice me to try it.

Copywriter:
Now, if you were a copywriter, you wouldn’t just stick to features. Instead, you would tell me how this ice cream is the epitome of refreshment on a hot summer day, how the burst of flavor makes you feel like you’re walking on air, and how the whole experience just makes you happy.

You’re selling me on the benefits, not just the attributes.

Marketer:
But if you’re a marketer, you go one step further.

You not only tell me how delicious and refreshing the ice cream is but also target me specifically because you know I adore strawberry-flavored treats.

You’ll then tell me how the strawberries used in this particular ice cream are ethically sourced from a small farm in France, appealing to my ethical sensibilities.

Grasping these differences ensures you’re not just throwing your efforts into the void. You’re strategically applying the right skills and roles where they are most effective, ensuring that your ice cream—or your brand—becomes the talk of the town.

Why You Should Not Ask About Copywriting Salaries And Rates

You might think the first question should be how much you can earn as a copywriter, but let’s flip the script here.

Focusing too much on salaries and rates at the outset could limit your growth and potential.

Why?

Because when you’re constantly comparing your earnings to industry standards or your peers, you risk undervaluing your unique skills and expertise.

Transitioning from a focus on quantity to quality in copywriting can significantly enhance career growth and income

In my journey, the moment I shifted my focus from ‘how much am I making per 1,000 words?’  to ‘how much value can I provide in each word I write?’, my career trajectory took off.

  • Let’s be honest: anyone can churn out 1,000 words, but it takes skill, experience, and insight to make every single word count.

When you transition from a mindset of quantity to quality, you’re no longer just filling pages—you’re crafting compelling narratives, persuasive arguments, and impactful messages.

This shift in focus won’t just make your work more fulfilling; it can also significantly increase your earning potential.

Forget the typical per-word rates; when you’re offering tremendous value, clients are more likely to seek you out for your expertise and are willing to pay a premium for it.

That’s the financial freedom that comes with becoming an expert and building a strong personal brand.

The sky truly is the limit.

How Long It Takes For Beginners To Make A Living Off Copywriting

How soon can you make a living from copywriting?

Been there, wondered that.

On average, dedicated beginners spend 6-12 months building a portfolio and network before earning a full-time income from copywriting.

While there’s no universal answer, let me give you the lowdown based on my roller-coaster of an experience.

  • In the beginning, you need to hustle and let me tell you, there are no shortcuts.

For me, the journey started with churning out $20 welcome emails and grinding through endless product descriptions about pet fish, frogs, and aquariums.

But that grind had its silver linings: during this period, I honed crucial skills.

  • I delved into Eugene Schwartz’s 5 Levels of Awareness.
  •  I mastered the art of defining a buyer persona, transforming myself from just another freelancer into a bona fide copywriting maestro.

A Pro Tip And Your Financial Safety Net

Here’s a pro tip you won’t want to overlook:

build an emergency fund covering at least 2-6 months of living expenses.

  • Trust me, freelancing can be a feast-or-famine game, especially when you’re starting out.
  • Having an emergency fund in place offers the peace of mind required to sail smoothly through financial downturns. This way, you can focus on sharpening your skills rather than fretting over how you’ll pay for your next grocery run.

Specialize and Prosper: Finding Your Copywriting Niche

Feeling bored with writing novellas about fish food, I decided to specialize in email funnels. This pivot was game-changing for me.

  • My job satisfaction soared, and so did my income.
  • I went from billing clients $20 per email to a whopping $100, and that’s when I knew I’d struck gold.

So, here’s the straight talk—expect a ramp-up period of about 6 to 12 months. Use this time wisely.

  • Instead of wasting hours scrolling through social media or binge-watching the latest series on Netflix, invest in yourself.
  •  Listen to podcasts tailored for copywriters, like ‘The Copywriter Club,’ or follow YouTubers who are pros in the field.

This hands-on education is your fast track to getting client reviews, building a portfolio, and understanding the game’s nuances.

After this initial grind, the sky’s the limit.

If you manage to brand yourself effectively and deliver killer value to your clients, I’ve got an empty seat at the table, and I’m about to order spaghetti meatballs, so hurry up!

Essential Tools And Resources For Copywriters

Think of tools like Grammarly as your shortcut to that jet ski session in Phuket or a scuba diving adventure in Boracay.

They’re not just handy gadgets; they’re your fast track to freelance writing success, helping your work shine so you can get to those dream destinations quicker.

  • Grammarly acts like a pro editor that’s awake 24/7, fixing your mistakes and making your writing stand out.
  • Hemingway Editor ensures your words are as smooth to read as that perfect dive in crystal-clear waters.
  • If you’re using WordPress, Yoast SEO is like your backstage guide, ensuring your content is ready for the spotlight of search engine rankings.
  • Don’t overlook ChatGPT, your go-to for creative ideas, editing help, or busting through writer’s block.

These tools are your all-star team, setting you up for writing victories and real-world adventures.

Cheers to hitting the jackpot in both your freelance career and bucket list!

Community engagement is an often overlooked aspect of freelancing.

Subreddits like r/copywriting provide a collaborative platform to get peer reviews, ask questions, and discover new job opportunities.

Copywriting Facebook Groups are another valuable networking channel where industry news, best practices, and job openings are frequently shared.

On the knowledge front, books like “The Copywriter’s Handbook” by Robert Bly and “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini are must-reads.

The former is your comprehensive guide to the field.

At the same time, the latter delves into the psychological triggers that make copy persuasive.

How Do Copywriters Get Clients?

I’ve gone from writing a single piece per week to being swamped with more work than I can handle.

So, how did I make this transition?

Firstly, I capitalized on industry events and workshops.

Diverse and personalized client acquisition methods, including tailored emails and LinkedIn outreach, are key to freelancing success

These weren’t just occasions to hobnob; they were my hunting grounds for potential clients.

Armed with a stack of business cards and an elevator pitch, I approached these gatherings as opportunities to showcase my value to potential clients.

My contact methods were as diverse as they were effective:

  • Email: I didn’t just send generic emails. Each was a tailor-made pitch, reflecting a deep understanding of the potential client’s needs. This personalized approach set me apart from the competition.
  • LinkedIn: I used this platform not just for networking but as a tool to demonstrate my skills and expertise. Once I connected with potential clients, I’d send them a message detailing how my services could meet their unique needs.
  • Company Website: Whenever I came across a contact form on a business’s website, I saw it as an invitation to offer my services. I presented a compelling case for how I could add value to their operations.
  • Instagram DMs: I also leveraged social media to my advantage. Before sliding into a company’s DMs, I would engage with their content, fostering a sense of community and rapport.

I’ve reached a point where the workload has outgrown my capacity, which is an excellent problem in freelancing.

How Can You Be A Productive Copywriter?

Being a writer is really cool, especially when you get to do it in extraordinary places!

But it’s important to remember that even though it feels like a vacation, you still have work to do.

Let’s say you’re a writer, and you get to work in a place like Siquijor, Krabi, Bali and so on. It’s like paradise with beaches and parties! 

But remember, you’re not on holiday; you have work to do. 

Sometimes it’s hard because the food on planes can make your tummy feel weird, or you might skip exercise and eat too many treats.

Use productivity tools for copywriters that help you keep track of time and what you need to do.

  • Toggl (Simple time-tracking app)
  • Clockify (Free, detailed time reports)
  • Asana (Task and project management)
  • Trello (Visual task organization)
  • Todoist (Intuitive to-do lists)
  • Evernote (Versatile note-taking app)

These programs can act like a mini-office on your computer. They help you know what you have to do so you can also have fun in Bali.

Balancing work and leisure, especially in attractive locales, is crucial for a copywriter’s productivity and well-being

Making Promises To Clients

Tell your clients when they can expect your work.

Don’t forget the time difference!

You don’t want to make promises you can’t keep.

Make sure to tell people when they can expect things from you, especially if you’re in a different time zone.

Know when you do your best work and use that time to get stuff done.

If you do your best work in the morning, use that time to get the most important things done.

That way, you can have fun later without worrying.

Staying Healthy And Happy

Choose good foods and have some days without treats so you can do your best work.

Remember, you’re not on holiday; you’re working.

Eating good food and getting some exercise will help you do better at your job.

Conclusion

Navigating the world of copywriting is a journey, not a sprint.

From mastering the AIDA framework to finessing your time management skills, each step adds a new layer to your expertise.

And remember, even if you’re working from a paradise-like setting, you’re not on vacation; you’re building a lifestyle and career others can only dream of.

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