Why Freelance Copywriters Must Rid Themselves of the ‘Poverty Mentality’


I’m sick of copywriters working under the “poverty mentality.” You’re a writer, you know that right? Like, the skill you’ve taken years to develop isn’t an easy one. 

If you think about it, there are skills that require substantially less time and effort to master, but still bring in disgusting amounts of money.

Plenty of Opportunity Out There

In fact, while I was in college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, there was a young man from Ghana who’d joined the football team after having been spotted by the head coach at track practice one day. 

His name was Ezekiel Ansah and after only two years of playing defensive end for BYU, he was drafted by the Detroit Lions with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.

Clearly, Ansah’s innate athleticism played a role in this fortunate turn of events, but the point that I’m making here is that little learned skill was needed to transform him from a scrub to a star. 

As a defense end, he gets the quarterback. Yeah, there’s more to it than that, but not much.

More Evidence

You’re probably thinking the following: “Lucas, makes sense, but that’s an outlying incident. Generally speaking, people don’t pay real money for easy-to-obtain skill sets.”

Really? Well, were you aware that a doorman in New York city earns on average about $30,000 a year by simply opening the door for other people? 

Not too much difficulty there, right? Yet, innumerable are the freelance copywriters who are making similar annual salaries.

The point I’m making is this—if there are employers out there who are willing to pay for skills that don’t demand much in the ways of much raw ability, the vast majority of them certainly will. 

It’s illogical to think otherwise.

Take a Stand; the Work Will Still Come

Writing is hard, so stop accepting work that’s beneath you and demand more from those who desperately need your services.

Now, with that in mind, it’s your job to always produce top-tier work so as to command higher wages, but if you can consistently do that, there’s no reason for why you can’t make anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 a year as a freelance copywriter.

I’m not one of those guys who’s always looking to revolt against “The Man” or anything like that, but this gets to the point where it’s sad sometimes. 

There are many individuals, businesses and organizations out there whose top priority is not to simply find the cheapest editorial option; moreover, they’re looking for quality, lots of it and are willing to slap some real money on the table for it. 

Find them. Work with them. Get paid. Stop eating off the McDonald’s Dollar Menu.

However, as copywriters, until we stop with the constant pity party and make it a point to seek out and astound the best, most reputable of clients, most of us are going to be unhappy with our bank statements. 

Keep at it and earn what you deserve.

Newer copywriters—what’s your experience with wages been like thus far? On the flip side of things, experienced copywriters—how were you able to overcome the aforementioned “poverty mentality” while still continuously earning real money? 

Take a moment or two to share your knowledge in the comments section below.


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.