Can you make good money copywriting as a side hustle? The truth.

We’ve noticed a trend developing while scrolling through TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. The ‘rise-and-grind’ crowd has placed copywriting in their sights, claiming it’s easy to make a lucrative side hustle out of it. How much you can make ranges from anywhere between $1,000 and $30,000+. One young man claimed to have made himself a millionaire by teaching himself the noble art of copywriting with the help of ChatGPT, which immediately set the BS alarm bells ringing.

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely seen these claims on social media, too. You’re probably wondering if you can make good money copywriting as a side hustle. The answer is slightly complicated, so let’s break it down.

Is it easy to get into copywriting?

This is where we will agree with the charlatans on social media. Technically, it is easy to get into copywriting. All you need is a computer and the ability to write well. You don’t always need a relevant qualification, but it helps. Companies worldwide are looking for words for their websites, press releases, whitepapers, and more.

Sites like can be an excellent way to find your first client(s). Our recommendation is to look for a niche that you are comfortable with. For example, if you’re into bird watching, scour these job sites for ornithology projects. Writing about something you already have a passion for is much easier.

Entry into the industry is practically free and easy, but standing out against thousands of other hopefuls is not. Which leads nicely on to…

Can I do copywriting without any experience?

Yes, you can. But who would you trust to fix your car – the person standing in their garage covered in oil and equipped with loads of tools or the person walking by said workshop who says they’ll have a look?

These clowns on social media make everything sound so simple. However, some of the “advice” we’ve seen offered up is bordering on moronic. We watched in horror as one of these successful copywriters said that you can “start a blog where you write about any products of your choice” to make up for a lack of portfolio.

This advice is innocent enough to show your creative writing skills on its own. But the first question a client will ask in this situation is, “Did [insert company/brand] commission you to do this?” When they’re told “no,” you’re unlikely to hear from them again. Most want a professional, not an intern.

Building up a portfolio will take time. Small gigs will help to flesh it out, but they won’t make you a great deal of cash, and this is where your tenacity levels will help you continue or quit.

Can you do copywriting as a side hustle?

A side hustle is something that most people do alongside their full-time job. The most consistent thing these side hustle gurus preach is that it takes no time to get up and running. This is a blatant lie. It also belittles the skillset of the army of freelancers who have been trying to make ends meet every year.

To earn $1,000 – even $500 – per month, you will be putting in full-time hours for part-time work. We’re not talking about writing here; this is about finding clients who will give you a chance. One TikTok copywriting specialist who was making a supposed fortune said you “need to DM and email 100 people per day to get one or two clients” for your side hustle. This doesn’t sound like part-time work to us.

From our experience, being a successful freelance copywriter is a full-time gig that is 30 per cent writing and 70 per cent wooing and retaining clients in an oversaturated market. You technically can do it as a lucrative side hustle, but you can kiss goodbye to any sleep or downtime to achieve this.

Can you make a lot of money from copywriting?

To provide some context, $30,000 per month, which one YouTube Shorts claimed is attainable from a standing start, is the type of contract an established copywriting agency would get from a single mid-tier client. Think networks of schools rather than global soft drink brands.

The chances of a newbie bagging this amount in one go are like winning the lottery—it could happen, but it most likely won’t. To make this type of serious cash as a novice copywriter starting from scratch, you must apply for every single job you find. And even then, you might not get any of them. It’s a constant grind with an unpredictable hit rate.

Yes, it does get easier as your network expands. But the harsh reality is that potential clients won’t be willing to offer this kind of money to someone just starting. You only have to check Upwork and PeoplePerHour to see how little some established companies are willing to pay for copywriting.

Pulling magical numbers out of the air on social media only seeks to dupe followers into engaging with their content. The person who says they’re making a fortune from copywriting is almost certainly lying, and they’re looking to make money from the unsuspecting public by selling them a questionable eBook or online course.

Can I use ChatGPT and AI to do my copywriting?

No. We’re tired of fake entrepreneurs claiming that ChatGPT and other AI like it can do the work for you. They’re great for digging yourself out of a creative slump, as you can ask them for ideas around a subject. But writing a passage of text? Not a chance.

Beyond the fact it’s dishonest, ChatGPT loses the run of itself after 200 words or so. It needs constant fact-checking for inaccuracies. There’s no personality to it, either. These clowns claim that long-winded prompts can turn it into Shirley Polykoff or David Ogilvy and pump out written copy as well. It can’t. We’re constantly performing tests with ChatGPT, and although it’s getting more sophisticated, it’s clear when it has been used.

Clients are becoming more adept at identifying it, too. So, if you submit something from ChatGPT or the like and you’re found out, you can expect a one-star review and a cancelled contract.


If any of the social media “advice” we’ve listed here seems far-fetched, we recommend checking out YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and TikTok and typing in “copywriting”. Unfortunately, many people prey on the financially vulnerable and lie about copywriting being able to generate a passive income.

Can you become a copywriter? Sure, as long as you have the drive and writing skills to make it work. Just don’t expect it to be as simple as some people on social media claim.

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2024 predictions for the copywriting industry

It’s a new year, so it’s time for IrvineMedia’s 2024 predictions for the copywriting industry. Our 2023 predictions were mainly on point – you can read all about them here. There will undoubtedly be continued trends, new opportunities, and challenges for writers worldwide. Our educated guesses will at least keep you aware of what to look out for.

Here’s what we think will happen across the next twelve months…

AI copywriting laws will become stricter

As this Bloomberg Law report paints out perfectly, the current AI copyright laws are chaotic. Authors and institutions are actively fighting against the scraping of their works used to create answers or content through the likes of ChatGPT. UK-based news outlet The Guardian put a block on OpenAI using its information. A move that other publications such as the New York Times and Washington Post have followed.

While these are very specific to the publishing world, these actions will have a knock-on effect on copywriting in general. Global legislation is needed to decide what is fair use and what isn’t. And once this comes into play, it will shine a light on every other industry that uses it. The thing that will link them all will be the ethics and whether brands and companies will be forced to flag AI-generated content upfront. Press releases, social media posts, company blogs, and anything else with the written word could fall into this category. One thing is sure: the software detecting AI content will become way more sophisticated and commonplace in 2024.

AI editor roles will become the norm

There was an increase in “AI editor” roles advertised on LinkedIn and Indeed in 2023. It seems like companies are adding an extra step where there doesn’t need to be one. Why not hire a writer to develop and type the concept rather than employ an editor to wade through nonsensical text and bang it into shape? It is what it is.

On the plus side, it will create bespoke roles for copywriters. They can use their natural editing skills like they would if mentoring a junior writer or intern. Our advice? Brush up on your knowledge of ChatGPT, Bard and Jasper, stick it on your CV and apply.

Demand for human writers will increase

As businesses become more accustomed to what AI is actually capable of – passable yet drier than the desert sands copy – they will return to the human touch. Yes, these LLMs (Large Language Models) are becoming more sophisticated, but they lack personality. As a result, it’s relatively easy to spot copy that AI has churned out. Repetitive, cold messaging is an instant turn-off. In this lightning-fast-paced society, keeping the attention of a consumer, business, or client is tricky, so maintaining strong and distinctive language is a must.

AI certainly has its uses and isn’t going away anytime soon, but skilled human writers will always have the edge in injecting personality into brand messaging.

The competition for copywriting roles will increase significantly

It has been going on for a few years now, and it will only get worse. Led by the modern snake-oil salespeople known as AI gurus, there’s a movement amongst the workforce using ChatGPT to create basic copy. There’s a worrying amount of YouTube videos and website articles barking things like “How to become a successful copywriter in a week”. They almost always advise viewers to use AI for everything – from creating polished LinkedIn profiles, interview test copy and even the answers for online applications.

To the naked eye, no one would know the difference. Only when you start scrutinising the work experience, education, and cover letters might the alarm bells start ringing for a recruiter. AI is the perfect “fake it until you make it” tool, and sadly, it’s made everyone think they’re David Ogilvy. Copywriters take note: You’ll have to pull out the stops when applying for roles in 2024 because you’ll be up against far more fakers.

Need help with your copywriting in 2024? Please fill out the form below or drop us a message at

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Revisiting our 2023 copywriting industry predictions

At the beginning of 2023, we predicted how the copywriting industry would change. We thought we’d take a look back at what we forecast and see how close or wide of the mark we were. Keep an eye on the blog later in the week for our 2024 predictions.

Prediction #1 – More journalists will enter the copywriting field

From a personal standpoint, we’ve seen an increase in this. It’s nothing too dramatic, but it’s an uptick, nonetheless. Former colleagues and peers have left editorial roles and moved away from newspapers, magazines, and websites to take up roles in copywriting. Budget cuts focusing on cheaper labour and free writers such as ChatGPT drive salaries down. On the flip side, the potential earnings for expert copywriting are still climbing.

Prediction #2 – AI-generated copy will become more commonplace

Using AI to write articles has become a dirty little secret for companies and brands. Sports Illustrated is a prime example of the shame behind it. It used AI-generated copy with A-generated author names and AI-generated portraits of these fictitious writers. SI tried to blame a third party for the omnishambles, but the damage was done. They’re not alone in trying it, either. The number of press releases, LinkedIn posts, and social captions we’ve seen obviously churned out with AI has increased massively.

Prediction #3 – Entry-level copywriting roles will be reduced

It’s hard to nail down the figures but bear with us. Continuing a slightly annoying trend, we found that many advertising junior roles across LinkedIn jobs and Indeed required years of experience. We also responded to some RFPs that wanted senior expertise for entry-level fees. This way of thinking isn’t limited to copywriting, mind. But with an increasing number of companies using free AI-generated content for basic tasks, a fledgling copywriter is now being asked to do way more just to get a foot in the door.


You can book one of our expert writers to handle your copywriting needs in 2024. Simply fill in the form below, and we’ll reply ASAP.

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