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How to Start a Copywriting Business

Written by:

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

How to Start a Copywriting Business

Fast Facts

Investment range

$2,550 - $7,100

Revenue potential

$55,000 - $312,000 p.a.

Time to build

0 – 3 months

Profit potential

$50,000 - $94,000 p.a.

Industry trend




Do you have a flair for words? You could turn your talent into a copywriting business. Copywriters mostly create marketing copy for blogs and social media posts and many work freelance, rather than for a marketing company. Best of all, digital marketing and advertising is exploding right now, with the market set to double by 2026! You could start your own copywriting business from home and help businesses succeed while grabbing a share of this booming market. 

Before you get started, though, you need to understand what it takes to start a business and be a successful entrepreneur. Fortunately, this step-by-step guide has all the insights and information you need to start copywriting your way to success.

Step by Step Business values real-life experience above all. Through our Entrepreneur Spotlight Series, we interview business leaders from diverse industries, providing readers with firsthand insights.

Read our interview with Kate Williams for key insights on harnessing a people-first approach to elevate your content strategy.

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons

Starting a freelance copywriting business has pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s right for you. 


  • Flexibility – Work from home, set your own hours
  • Low Startup Costs – A computer is all you need
  • Creativity – Bring words to persuasive life


  • Inconsistent Work – Constant search for new clients
  • Skills Needed – Great writing ability is a must

Copywriting industry trends

Industry size and growth

copywriting industry size and growth

Information specifically about the copywriting industry is unavailable, but it falls into the digital advertising industry, since almost all copywriting is done for digital marketing and advertising. 

Trends and challenges

copywriting industry Trends and Challenges

Trends in the copywriting industry include:

  • Most companies stress educational rather than promotional content in their marketing strategies, presenting opportunities for copywriters with specialized knowledge.
  • AI-generated content is coming into wider use, giving copywriters ready-to-edit material to improve speed and efficiency.

Challenges in the copywriting industry include:

  • Companies are focused on search engine optimization (SEO) and want copywriters who understand SEO strategies, which means copywriters need to become educated on SEO best practices.
  • A sharp increase in the number of freelance copywriters has saturated the market, creating a highly competitive environment for copywriters. 

Demand hotspots

copywriting demand hotspots

What kind of people work in Copywriting?

copywriting industry demographics

How much does it cost to start a copywriting business?

Startup costs for a copywriting business range from $2,500 to $7,000. Costs include a computer, a website, and a marketing budget.

Start-up CostsBallpark RangeAverage
Setting up a business name and corporation$150 - $200$175
Business licenses and permits$100 - $300$200
Business cards and brochures$200 - $300$250
Website setup$1,000 - $3,000$2,000
Computer$500 - $2,000$1,250
Initial marketing budget$500 - $1,000$750
Total$2,550 - $7,100$4,825

How much can you earn from a copywriting business?

copywriting business earnings forecast

Copywriting services cost anywhere from $30 to $100 per hour, depending on the experience and credentials of the copywriter. As you’re starting out, it’s probably a good idea to offer your clients a $30 hourly rate. Your profit margin should be around 90%. 

In your first year or two, you could work from home for 35 hours per week, bringing in $55,000 in annual revenue. This would mean $50,000 in profit, assuming that 90% margin. As you gain traction, you could hire other writers, reducing your profit margin to around 30% but increasing your billable weekly hours to 200. With annual revenue of $312,000, you’d make a tidy profit of $94,000.

What barriers to entry are there?

There are a few barriers to entry for a copywriting business. Your biggest challenges will be:

  • Breaking into a competitive market
  • Having the writing skills to produce high-quality work

Related Business Ideas

If you’re still not sure whether this business idea is the right choice for you, here are some related business opportunities to help you on your path to entrepreneurial success.
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Step 2: Hone Your Idea

develop a business idea

Now that you know what’s involved in starting a copywriting business, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market. 

Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.

Why? Identify an opportunity

Research copywriting businesses in your area and online to examine their services, price points, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a financial copywriting business, or a technology copywriting business.

You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as business blog posts or fashion-related articles.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away. 

What? Determine your writing niche

Your services will be based on your skills and knowledge. You could specialize in certain subjects or keep your topics broad. You could also learn SEO skills to expand your business and increase your revenue. 

How much should you charge for copywriting?

Your rates will depend on the complexity of what you’re writing. The average starting rate for copywriting is $30. Your ongoing expenses will be low, so you should aim for a profit margin of 90%.

Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify your target market

Your target market will be business owners, who you can find on LinkedIn, or by finding tihem on Google or Yelp! and calling them directly. You can also find freelance copywriting jobs on sites like Upwork. 

Where? Choose your business premises

In the early stages, you may want to run your business from home to keep costs low. But as your business grows, you’ll likely need to hire workers for various roles and may need to rent out an office. You can find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.

When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:

  • Central location accessible via public transport
  • Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
  • Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
  • Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed
copywriting business idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm a Copywriting Business Name

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
  • Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better 
  • Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
  • Including keywords, such as “copywriting” or “copywriter”, boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “The Copy Company” over “Marketing Copywriting Services”
  • A location-based name can help establish a strong connection with your local community and help with the SEO but might hinder future expansion

Discover over 240 unique copywriting business name ideas here. If you want your business name to include specific keywords, you can also use our copywriting business name generator. Just type in a few keywords and hit “generate” and you’ll have dozens of suggestions at your fingertips.

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.

Step 4: Create a Copywriting Business Plan

Here are the key components of a business plan:

what to include in a business plan
  • Executive Summary: A concise overview of your business, highlighting key points such as mission, goals, and financial projections.
  • Business Overview: A detailed description of your company, its mission, vision, and the problem it aims to solve in the market.
  • Product and Services: Clear and compelling explanations of the specific offerings your business provides, emphasizing their unique value and benefits.
  • Market Analysis: Thorough research on your target market, including size, demographics, trends, and opportunities to ensure a well-informed business strategy.
  • Competitive Analysis: Evaluation of competitors, their strengths, weaknesses, and how your business differentiates itself to gain a competitive edge.
  • Sales and Marketing: A strategic plan outlining how you’ll promote and sell your products or services, including target audience, channels, and promotional strategies.
  • Management Team: Introduction of key team members, emphasizing their skills and experience, to instill confidence in potential investors or partners.
  • Operations Plan: Detailed information on how your business will operate, covering day-to-day activities, production processes, and any necessary partnerships.
  • Financial Plan: A comprehensive overview of your business’s financial health, including projections, budgets, and key financial metrics.
  • Appendix: Supplementary information, such as additional data, charts, or detailed research, supporting and enhancing the main components of your business plan.

If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business! 

Choose where to register your company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you’re planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to copywriting businesses. 

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state. 

Choose your business structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your copywriting business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

types of business structures
  • Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
  • General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
  • C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
  • S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC, which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization, and answer any questions you might have.

Form Your LLC

Choose Your State

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Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN. 

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist, and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you’re completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

types of business financing
  • Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
  • SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan.
  • Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
  • Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
  • Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
  • Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.

Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family, for funding a copywriting business.  

Step 8: Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Business Licenses and Permits

Starting a copywriting business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments.

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits. 

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. 

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package. They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account.

Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your copywriting business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account. 

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

types of business insurance
  • General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
  • Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
  • Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
  • Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
  • Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
  • Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
  • Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

Launching a Business

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business. 

Essential software and tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks. 

You may want to use writing project management software, such as ClickUp, Notion, or Monday, to manage your projects, workflows, and documents.


  • Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and Xero
  • If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial. 

Develop your website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.

You can create your own website using website builders. This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google. 


Here are some powerful marketing strategies for your future business:

  • Professional Branding — Ensure your branding reflects creativity, professionalism, and expertise in writing, visible in your business logo, website design, and marketing materials.
  • Website & SEO Develop a professional website that showcases your portfolio, services, and client testimonials, optimized for search terms related to copywriting and content marketing.
  • Direct Outreach — Connect with potential clients like marketing agencies, small businesses, and corporate entities through LinkedIn, targeted email campaigns, and networking events.
  • Social Media Engagement — Leverage LinkedIn for B2B networking and Twitter to share insights on writing, content marketing, and industry trends.
  • Content Marketing — Run a copywriting blog with posts on copywriting tips, content marketing strategies, and case studies from successful projects, complemented by e-books and guides on effective writing techniques.
  • Client Engagement — Showcase client success stories and testimonials to highlight the tangible impact of your work on their business success.
  • Professional Collaborations — Form partnerships with marketing firms and digital agencies to include your copywriting services in their client packages.
  • Customer Loyalty Programs — Implement a referral program that offers benefits for clients who bring new business, and encourage repeat business through retainer agreements for ongoing services.
  • Targeted Online Advertising — Utilize platforms like Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads to reach businesses actively searching for professional copywriting services.
  • Email Marketing — Develop an email strategy to nurture leads, update potential and existing clients about new projects, and maintain engagement over time.

Focus on USPs

unique selling proposition

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that sets it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your copywriting business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire. 

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your copywriting business could be: 

  • Professional copywriters to accelerate your business
  • Financial copywriting experts to elevate your content
  • From fashion to the stock market – our copywriters can do it all


You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a copywriting business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in copywriting for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in copywriting. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. Online businesses might also consider affiliate marketing as a way to build relationships with potential partners and boost business. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

Building a Team for a New Business

If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a copywriting business include:

  • Copywriters – create content for clients
  • General Manager – scheduling, accounting
  • Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need. 

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent. 

Step 13: Run a Copywriting Business – Start Making Money!

Running a Business

If you write for pleasure and you’re good at it, why not turn that hobby into a business? A copywriting business is easy to start, and you can do it for a small investment and work at home. It’s a growing industry, with professional copywriting services always in demand, so you can make a good living with your skills. You’re off to a great start, having come to the right place for information, so tap away at those keys and get your copywriting business off the ground!

Copywriting Business FAQs

Is a copywriting business profitable?

Copywriting is a very profitable business venture. If you offer great writing skills, you’ll be able to grow your business by getting repeat customers and referrals.

How can I learn to be a copywriter?

You can take courses to learn to be a copywriter through the Comprehensive Copywriting Academy. It offers a 20-hour training program for an affordable price.

Can I start copywriting with no experience?

It’s best to work for a company first in an entry-level copywriting position. You can later start a business once you know the industry and have gained some skills.

What type of copywriting makes the most money?

Generally, business-to-business copywriting makes the most money. Those types of gigs generally offer ongoing work. 

Who is the No 1 copywriter in the world?

That’s generally a matter of opinion, but many mention Eugene Schwartz as the most famous copywriter. If you want to get into the copywriting business, your best bet is to be the best yourself.

Which type of copywriting is easiest?

Copywriting is not easy. You have to practice and gain experience. Business-to-business copywriters are most in demand, so it’s a good area to get into.


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How to Start a Copywriting Business