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What do freelance copywriters do? A day in the life.

What do freelance copywriters do? – Jonathan Wilcock, Senior Freelance Copywriter

First off, there’s freelance copywriters and there’s freelance copywriters.

I can only write from this freelance copywriter’s point of view.

A typical day in the life

There isn’t one. The end.

No, but if there were, it might go something like this.*

Dawn chorus

Wake at 4.30am. What, am I mad? Quite probably.

A headline pops into my mind. Must… find… note pad.

Write headline down in the dark.

Try to get back to sleep, but avalanche of ideas hits my conscious (but begrudging it) mind.

Sod it. Light on. Write a load of headlines down.

Throw water on face. Finger-comb beard. Clean teeth.

Say prayers.

Open laptop. Check To Do list.

1) Brochure copy (at first rough draft stage) needed day after tomorrow.
2) Call with client to discuss brief at 1pm.
3) Headline ideas – deadline first thing tomorrow.
4) 45 staff bios to complete by month end (37 down, 8 to go).
5) Brand positioning workshop to structure for next week.

Daft blog post idea shouts in my ear. Write headline and first para. Save for later.

Check social media. Respond / follow back. Amuse myself with video of hedgehog.

Check emails. Spam. Spam. Spam. Ooh an enquiry, something about writing a website. Mark as unread – must check later.

Revisit headlines doc. Filter, polish. Close.

Time for a cuppa.


When the normals start work

Fanny about on Twitter for 10 minutes.

Work on second draft of brochure copy.


Check those headlines. Filter. Hack. Save as Version7b.

Write couple of rough staff bio drafts.

Check those headlines again. Filter. Hack. Save as Version7c.

Everyone else’s lunchtime

Phone call with client. Write up post-call thoughts.

Check emails. Spam. Spam. Spam. Ah, that enquiry. Looks interesting. Check their website. Send email back asking a handful of questions.

What next? Check and update To Do list.

Check Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Everything stops for tea

Go for walk with Mrs. W. Pot of tea by the sea.

Double-check those headlines. Save as Version8.

Check emails. Spam. Spam. Spam. Thank you from happy client.

Scamp out a proposal for the brief I discussed earlier.

Listen to podcast.

Work on 3rd brochure copy draft.

More Twitter nonsense.

Check business bank account. Send email chasing payment.

Update To Do list.

Write second blog post paragraph.

Brain semi-shut-down time

Headphones. Chill.

Dinner. DVD.

Triple-check those headlines. Delete two. Add one new one. Save as Version9.

Read half a chapter of something uplifting.


Bed by 10.30.

Dream involving a skateboarding pixie with hot water bottles for feet.

Jonathan Wilcock (that’s me) is a Senior Freelance Copywriter.
You can drop me a line here, or email

*TBF, the next day might consist of a lie-in, a long lunch and an afternoon nap. You do you, baby.