freelance copywriter confessions
ABOUT THE AUTHOR,  Online Freelancing,  Personal Thoughts

I’m A Copywriter And Here’s My Confession

I have always been a creative person. It’s an outlet I can use to express myself. When I was younger, my creativity was channeled through crafts or drawing which fueled my imagination even more. This is one of the reasons why I chose civil engineering. I thought the course would allow me to unleash my creativity further. Or so I thought. freelance copywriter

The problem is that ever since graduating college with my degree in civil engineering, I’ve lived to work and worked to live. I used to put in long hours of daily work (mostly seven days a week, 16 hours per day), especially when we’re bombarded with massive construction projects. As a result, during the course of my engineering career, I never had a work-life balance. That all changed last January when I decided it was time for a career change: from working as an engineer to being a copywriter full-time.

Now that I’m on my sixth month working as a full-time copywriter, I’d like to share my experience with you. But as opposed to making the usual “how-to” post, I’ll reveal some secrets and the logic behind copywriting. And why should you care?

Because it concerns you — as a consumer.

But before that, let me first discuss what a copywriter really does and how I came to choose this career path.

What exactly does a copywriter do?

Most people aren’t familiar with what a copywriter does. But as copywriters, we write content to increase the chances of someone making a purchase. We’re the ones who are responsible for making those irresistible deals you see on facebook, emails, product descriptions, and even web content promoting specific products or services. Any marketing content is called a “copy”.

Simply, our primary goal is to write compelling copy that will entice people into purchasing. And because copywriting directly involves sales, it pays more than the usual writing jobs.

As a copywriter myself, I get paid more now than when I focused on content writing. Sometimes, I even get a commission on top of my pay if my copy generates significant sales!

I hated writing

Most people get shocked whenever I tell them that I hated writing. It’s one of my frustrations before. But when I still had my engineering day job, I was too desperate to earn more on the side that it led me to try crypto blogging platforms where you can earn cryptocurrencies for free.

From there, I started looking for freelance writing gigs during my free time. I didn’t know much about copywriting, but I took a chance on it after quitting my day job. Although my primary driver was the lucrative pay and the time freedom, I learned to love the art of copywriting as time went by.

I learned that copywriting is more than just typing out the features of a particular product or service to make a sale. It’s an art that involves understanding emotions and human psychology. It may require a shorter form of content as opposed to blogging, but I find it more challenging but at the same time interesting.

An example of a copy

At this point, I want you to pick the type of copy that would likely make you buy a drip coffee.

An example of ad copy of a brewed coffee from a freelance copywriter

Copy #1

A drip coffee is a pot of boiling water poured over ground coffee, which drips to the bottom into a paper filter surrounded by grounds.

The important thing about drip coffee is that it has much less contact with steam and oxygen than other methods. As such, the oils stay fresher for longer in your cups of brewed java than espresso or French press brews (less oxidized).

This means you can take fuller advantage of these natural oils while brewing without risking flavor defects or odor issues from oxidized material!



Copy #2

Brewed coffee is delicious, but it’s a pain to brew.

We all know that coffee tastes great, but the process of making it can be tedious and time-consuming. 

This drip coffee makes brewing your favorite morning beverage easy as pie. Just add hot water to create fresh-tasting coffee in less than 3 minutes! It’s so simple even kids can do it!

No more wasted time or money buying expensive pre-ground coffees from the store or spending hours waiting for an entire pot of traditional drip coffee maker to brew just one cup at a time. With a drip coffee, you get rich flavor without any fuss or mess!



Copy #3

Wake up with a cup of coffee that tastes like it was made by an expert.

Drip coffee is the easiest way to brew coffee and get your morning started off right. You can even use it to make a cold brew!

With a drip coffee, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious cups of cold and hot brews without any hassle or mess. No more burnt pots, no more spilled grounds – just pure flavor in every sip! Plus, our reusable filter saves you money on paper filters.

So go ahead and enjoy this delicious drink without worrying about getting messy hands from paper filters anymore!

Go to our store and get your own drip coffee now!



Out of the three copy I presented, which one will make you likely to hit that buy button?



I bet it’s between #2 or #3. The first copy sounds like Google is the one selling to you, is that right? Heck, who would care about oxidation when you just wanted to buy some brewed coffee?

Copy #2 & #3, on the other hand, will make you more likely to buy it.

Why? Because these copy are made for you to feel or imagine what it’s like to instantly brew coffee with a drip rather than any other brewing methods out there.

Those two copy tell you the benefits and not just the features.

It’s the same as why you buy a mattress for the comfort it brings while you sleep.

It’s the same as why you buy instant slimming pills, as it feels good to lose weight effortlessly.

It’s the same as why you buy a motorcycle because you’re already tired of commuting.

Although you’re still concerned about the features, your primary driver is how this particular thing makes you feel good. Your emotional or physical discomfort drives you to take action.

In fact, many studies conclude that emotion is the primary purchasing driver. To cite one, Harvard Professor believes that 95% of purchase decisions are based on emotions.

“Luxury goods target our feelings of self-worth, acceptance, and status in the world. Communication devices excite us by offering a connection to friends, family, and a broader network of people. Athletic brands inspire by offering adventure and glory through the act of competition. And many other products, such as perfume, cologne and lingerie, target emotions related to love, relationships, and sexual desires.”

The bottom line? You buy things or subscribe to services that make you feel good. Because they help alleviate the pain or discomfort you’re feeling right now.

So why am I saying this?

Because as copywriters, we’re trained to tickle your emotions for you to purchase from us.

In fact, we use formulas or frameworks to make sure we can stir those emotions up. Two of these copywriting formulas include PAS (Problem-Agitate-Solution) and AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action).

1. PAS (Problem-Agitate-Solution)

1.1 First, we’ll tell the problem you may be facing on.

1.2 Second, we’ll agitate that problem or rub a salt to your wound. We want you to feel the pain if you don’t act now!

1.3 Of course, the third one offers a solution. The product or service we’re offering should help you alleviate that pain or discomfort.

I used this formula while selling the drip coffee on my second copy above:

Copy #2

Problem: Brewed coffee is delicious, but it’s a pain to brew.

Agitate: We all know that coffee tastes great, but the process of making it can be tedious and time-consuming. 

Solution: This drip coffee makes brewing your favorite morning beverage easy as pie. Just add hot water to create fresh-tasting coffee in less than 3 minutes! It’s so simple even kids can do it!

No more wasted time or money buying expensive pre-ground coffees from the store or spending hours waiting for an entire pot of traditional drip coffee maker to brew just one cup at a time. With a drip coffee, you get rich flavor without any fuss or mess!

2. AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action)

2.1 . First, we’ll grab your attention with bold words or short sentence to get your interest with what we’re going to say next.

2.2 Now that we have your attention, we’ll cultivate that interest by giving you the benefits of using our product.

2.3 Third, we’ll stir that desire by telling you how great it would feel while using the product.

2.4 Lastly, we’ll make the final push for you to purchase or take some action. We’ll either direct you to the product link where you can learn more about the product or let you click the button to add it to cart.

I used this formula while selling the drip coffee on my third copy above:

Attention: Wake up with a cup of coffee that tastes like it was made by an expert.

Interest: Drip coffee is the easiest way to brew coffee and get your morning started off right. You can even use it to make a cold brew!

Desire: With a drip coffee, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious cups of cold and hot brews without any hassle or mess. No more burnt pots, no more spilled grounds – just pure flavor in every sip! Plus, our reusable filter saves you money on paper filters.

Action: So go ahead and enjoy this delicious drink without worrying about getting messy hands from paper filters anymore!

Go to our store and buy your own drip coffee now!

PS: Actually, I’m really selling a brewed coffee. It’s me and my sister’s collab business. We’re still developing the website but you can still purchase from our Shopee store! Check it out here. 😉

You’ll never see ads the same way again.

Now that I’ve decoded how we sell products or services through words, I bet you’ll never see the ads the same way again.

So why am I saying all this? 


Because there’s one crucial thing you should know.

Most of the time, copy are written to make you feel inadequate. To make you feel the pain of not having it. To make you feel like you’re getting behind. To make you think you’re different from the others and you need to fit in.

Sometimes, the problem isn’t about you. For example, most of the problems in copy are all made up. Because if there isn’t a problem, then you wouldn’t have the reason to buy the “solution”.

And this is how the current economy, which is also called the Attention Economy works.

The Attention Economy

The primary goal is to get your attention and magnify your lack to create that FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). The current economy manipulates your thoughts and feelings to spend on things that you don’t really need.

Sorry if I sound like a bit of a downer there, but this is the truth about marketing today (and it’s not going to change anytime soon). In fact, in my previous posts about Minimalism and Slipstream, I have already given some hints. Because today, aside from your money and energy, your focus is one of your most important and scarce resources.

And unless you know how the current economy works, you’ll quickly get swayed by the things that distract you.

Final Thoughts as Freelance Copywriter

The current economy is in a bit of turmoil, which has led to many people feeling like they need to buy more. It is trying to get you into the store by calling your attention with curiosity, fear, urgency, and desire. We, as copywriters, do this by creating FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) with words that make you feel like it’s not worth it if you don’t have what’s being sold. 

The current economy is designed to make you feel like there’s never enough. Whether that means feeling as though you’re missing out on the latest trends or being pressured into buying something new because it feels like your old one isn’t good enough. It can be frustrating and overwhelming at times but with a little bit of mindfulness, you’ll be able to shift your thinking and find perspective in what matters most. 

If you want to change how you spend your money, it’s time to start thinking differently about what marketers are doing. The economy is rigged, and the methods of marketing may seem sneaky, but they’re not all bad. Being aware can help combat some of these messages from advertisers so that YOU control YOUR spending habits instead of them controlling YOU! 

Sheila is a civil engineer by profession but has switched careers to become a copywriter. She loves making sales through stories that are relatable to the average person. She's also a sucker for memes and thinks she’s the funniest person in the world (even though she knows that’s not true). Her favorite drink is Kopiko Brown coffee, but she'll also take tea or beer if it's offered.

21 Comments

    • Sheila

      True! Although I see it more as an advantage now since it’s easier to make money while having our pajamas on 🔥🔥🔥

  • Jojisilia Villamor

    So you left your regular job recently? Wow, you are now in control of your time. Good thing you started copywriting on the side. I’m thinking of doing that while working my 8-5 job. I am still enjoying my regular work so I plan to stay a few more years.

    • Sheila

      Hi Ms. Joji! Yes, I already left the usual corporate setup. I’m still currently involved in some freelance construction projects though but I’m only offering my engg service to my relatives and close friends.

      And I think that’s a pretty good idea! You can start with ghostwriting and pave your way through copywriting. It’s fun. I tell you hahahaha

  • Jeane Louise Mainit

    Well done, Sheila Mae. You had actually conveyed the message to capture the market effectively. As I had observed, this pandemic had been two effects on the consumers, either rethinking their spending power or being able to splurge unmindfully. HAHA. But, well done you! 🙂

  • Julius

    Love it! I can’t believe we’re learning things about marketing now. I’ve incorporated AIDA in my recent vlog and I’m happy that it’s working. Keep up the good work Shei!

    • Sheila

      I think as content creators, we became copywriters even before we knew it. But instead of products, we’re selling our idea to our readers. Keep it up Juls!

  • DMJ Vlogs

    Congrats on leaving your job for one that is more flexible!
    I’m somewhat aware of these advertising tactics and still give in to these. Haha. It’s interesting to know how it goes! Thank you for showing us the process of how it appeals to the customers!

  • Armie

    Thank you for your confession, Sheila. 🙂 Copy writing and marketing are essential to businesses. I just hope copy writers and marketers are compensated more. I heard, though, that freelancers are getting higher rates these days. 🙂

    • Sheila

      Thanks Armie! Yes copywriting is actually one of the highest-paid freelance jobs rn. The demand is too high but there are only a few who niche down in this path.

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