Copywriting jobs can broadly be divided into three categories: offline and online, freelance and salaried, and full-time and part-time jobs. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages which without a doubt have a major influence on a copywriter’s decision whether to take the job or not. But the decision is most often based on the salary/earnings, reputation/experience, future prospects/opportunities and personal preferences.
Copywriters working offline or online, or both, can be freelance or salaried and they can be working full-time or part-time. A growing number of copywriters who initially specialised in offline promotional/advertising materials are also “going online”, following both their clients and offline-based copywriting/advertising agencies, marketing firms, publishers and other organisations/agencies that work with copywriters. Many, however, are also “going online” because the Internet offers more and better opportunities to find work or/and clients than the offline copywriting market.
There is currently no sharp distinction between offline and online copywriters, many of which work on creating both offline and online promotional/advertising content. But this is probably going to change in the future because copywriting for websites, online ads, email advertisement, etc. requires a very different approach than creating copy for the traditional media.
The majority of copywriters are working as independent contractors or freelancers because it is easier and more convenient for companies to hire a copywriter only for the duration of a projects/when needed. When working within an organisation, copywriters are usually working closely with other members of the team in order to make sure that the promotional/advertising material is consistent in terms of both written and non-written message, and trigger the desired response from the target audience.
Salaried jobs within organisations (although a growing number of both online and offline based agencies prefer working with freelancers) offer incomparably more security. Despite that many copywriters, especially those who have created a name for quality service, prefer working as independent contractors and freelancers because they can earn higher incomes and have more freedom in their work.
Most copywriters will tell you that you need to dedicate yourself completely to copywriting in order to succeed. However, you may not be able to earn enough for a living immediately (if you are not salaried) because it takes some time to build a reputation and find clients or win a well-paid project. For that reason it is a good idea to hold on to your current job (if having one) and start with copywriting as a part-time job.