Using Common Sense to Start Your Copywriting Business

smiling writer at desk having a video call on computer

At the risk of sounding cliché, believe me when I tell you that starting a copywriting business is not rocket science.

Yes, it takes talent. And a passion for writing helps a lot (though isn’t an essential).

But the business aspect of a copywriting business is almost entirely common sense. What you need to do is connect the dots between the needs of a market and the services you are ready to provide. That’s it! Really.

When I was fired from my second job out of college and quickly realized I was unemployable, my common sense kicked in. I looked around and saw creative people (that was the market) struggling to get organized (that was the service I had decided to provide). I connected the dots by offering a solution to their problem — professional organizing services.

I never went to business school or studied marketing. At that point, it didn’t even occur to me to study a new skill, as you have done. I just tried to be smart and use my brain to look at the world around me for ideas.

And that’s what you need to do too.

Oh, one more thing: get out of your own way. That’s usually the biggest obstacle and it comes in many flavors — fear, insecurity, lack of self-confidence, or all of the above. The common denominator: all these things happen in your head. That’s how we get in our own way — we have too much going on in our head, too many loud voices, way too loud.

Getting out of your own way actually means getting out of your head.

Easier said than done. But it’s a technique I’ve been teaching to my clients and students, including those who have taken my 21-Day Challenge. And it involves one important element that is readily available to everyone everywhere: reality.

You have to get out of your head and into reality in order to see what the market needs so you can apply your common sense and connect the dots to the services you offer.

Once you do, it’s kind of magical.

The first step is pretty simple: turn your attention to reality, which is the market. Instead of focusing on your copywriting or what your website says or what your LinkedIn profile says, or even on your niche, just look at the market.

Not sure where to find the market?

We live in lucky times because, unlike 1988 when I looked for the market, the market in 2021 is on your computer. It’s on the internet. The market is the World Wide Web. The market is Facebook, and especially LinkedIn.

“The market” is the people and the companies you could work with but who don’t know yet that you can help. You can find them online. You can see what they’re doing and what they offer — and you can especially see the copy they use to promote it.

Some of that copy is good, but most is really bad, and sometimes they don’t even know it. That’s where you come in.

Choose a company you want to work with, one you’re passionate about and want to help. Study their website and think creatively about how you can help them. What’s missing from their website? Is there a newsletter? White papers? Case studies? Product landing pages? A blog? What do you know how to do that could help them?

That’s how you connect the dots between the need in the market and the services you provide.

Before you know it, you’ll be reaching out and offering your ideas.

That’s what I witness firsthand during my 21-Day Challenge program. I watch each time as hundreds of brand-new copywriters, many of whom enter the program on Day 1 with lots of mental obstacles and insecurities, shift their attention from inside their head toward the reality of the market, and almost like magic, the insecurities disappear.

Here’s what Frank Farrell wrote about how this happened for him:

To me, it's an exciting adventure. It's like opening doors and discovering new treasures. All I have to do is keep an open mind, resist judgement, and think creatively. As it relates to the prospects I have identified, it excites me to see opportunities to help them grow. It's not because I know their business better than they do. But I do bring fresh eyes and a new, curious, unbiased perspective on what they are doing.

That’s what happens when you set out to research the market.

That’s what happens when you take your mind off yourself and focus instead on the world around you, the possible prospects and potential clients who need your help.

It’s like magic. Try it.

Do you have any questions about getting started as a copywriter? Share with us in the comments.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: September 1, 2021

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