Freelance Writers Making a Living from Copywriting and Books

Freelance Writers Making a Living from Copywriting and Books

October 6, 2023

This last month I’ve been immersed in the world of copywriting, and it’s involved getting to meet a tribe of passionate copywriters in person for the first time – as well as connecting via podcast.


With Ed Gandia and Kim Kerton before our panel at The ContentByte Summit


I’ve never really classified myself as a copywriter, though for much of my career that’s one of the services I’ve been providing …conjuring words to explain to, enchant and enrich readers, as well as to motivate them to take action.

I’ve written for charities, entrepreneurs, multinationals, local government and major news outlets – as well as putting down hundreds of thousands of words for my book projects. A lot of this writing has included big picture thinking, business and marketing strategy…not just getting the syllables down.

Copywriting takes all sorts of forms from white papers to blogs, articles to grant applications, social media snippets to advertising copy, and even – entire books, and at the marvellous The ContentByte Summit organised by Rachel Smith of Rachel’s List and writer extraordinaire Lynne Testoni (who are podcast hosts of The ContentByte – a valuable podcast for anyone trying to make a living from words), it was great to hear keynote speaker Ed Gandia acknowledge the invaluable ‘strategy’ component of what writers provide.


Jennifer Goforth Gregory, Lynne Testoni, Rachel Smith and Ed Gandia (pic by Francesco Solfrini)


Another impactful keynote speaker, Jennifer Goforth Gregory, talked about the importance of finding the right clients, of being true to self and discovering and championing what works for you as a human, as a writer, as a business owner.

It was inspiring to be in the audience but also to be on stage as a panellist with Ed Gandia and Kim Kerton (thanks for all these great pics Francesco Solfrini!). We discussed various ways writers can add to their income streams, from pitching and prepping podcast scripts, to coaching and consulting, to writing and promoting books (for self and clients – my specialty!) and ghostwriting.


Kim Kerton and Anna Featherstone discuss podcasting and self-publishing (pic: Francesco Solfrini)


I loved how Ed recommended copywriters spend 10% of their week on speculative projects i.e.: don’t throw it all away to write a book, or to set up online courses, but do put time aside to pursue it and get it done. Here are some of the other speaker highlights that stood out to me.




And some of the other highlights too thanks to content creator Francesco Solfrini.

I was also interviewed this week by Bernadette Schwerdt, ghostwriter, author, podcaster and host of the Australian Writers’ Centre’s ‘So You Want to be a Copywriter’ podcast. Apologies for my croaky voice but it’s been getting a workout lately at events and from lots of speaking with and consulting to authors on their book projects!


In the podcast – Episode 61 – Bernadette and I discuss:

  • how to use your copywriting skills to write a book
  • offer a book as a service to your clients
  • ensure your business benefits from writing a book
  • ‘bake’ the marketing plan into the book from the start
  • use a book to make high level contacts and improve your connections
  • assess the pathways (and costs) to publishing – traditional, independent (self publishing) or hybrid
  • apply simple, cost-effective marketing ideas to help you launch your book
  • how to get your book into libraries (and so you can do that pronto, I have a great course on getting your books into Australian libraries here at Bold Authors)
  • choose your keywords and metadata to be found online
  • get more speaking gigs
  • leverage Amazon to get a best seller

If you’re interested in learning how to write a book for yourself or your client, to extend your copywriting services to ghost writing, and podcasting, this is the episode for you – I loved hearing Bernadette’s insights as a copywriting and ghostwriting guru too! (Don’t forget to check out The ContentByte Podcast too as there are so many episodes full of great tips and ideas!)

If you want to dive deeper than a podcast, there’s always Look-It’s Your Book! the most comprehensive read on the subject that will help get you and your non-fiction book over the line – and all the new courses available at Bold Authors, including how to get your book into libraries and so much more.

Enjoy your week, hope you get in lots of happy and fulfilling writing time.