Content writing

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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Predictions for the copywriting industry in 2023

The short version 

Traditional editorial’s loss will be the copywriting industry’s gain. AI will evolve the quality of output… but not without ushering in some problems. The demand for experts will increase as entry-level copywriting evaporates. Ultimately, the quality of work has the potential to skyrocket. 

The longer version 

2023 is going to see big changes in the copywriting industry that will shape it for the foreseeable future. It will be mostly positive, but it will also include challenges that practitioners and brands must navigate carefully. 

Here are three predictions for where we see the industry heading in 2023.

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This just in... journalists step into far more lucrative careers.

1. More journalists will enter the copywriting field 

Traditional editorial teams and newsrooms continued to shrink in 2022. The last decade has seen many job losses across the print industry as magazines and newspapers restructured or pulled down the shutters entirely. 2022 saw the Washington PostFuture and Ziff Davis continue the trend, and there are many more examples across the world. 

We’ve seen a decline in editorial opportunities with our own eyes. It’s one of the main reasons why IrvineMedia was created. As a result, we’re seeing more connections leave journalism entirely and switch to copywriting. This is a good thing for brands. 

Having someone on board that has been on the receiving end of press releases, media alerts and anything else that’s delivered to pique the media’s attention knows what works and what doesn’t. They can bring fresh ideas to old formulas or create a tone of voice that resonates with your customers or partners.


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I. Want. Bzzzt. Your. Job.

2. AI-generated copy will become more commonplace 

Companies have already started to use AI such as Jasper and ChatGPT to write content for them. The technology is very impressive. We’ve played around with a few of these and they’re solid. They’re a budget-friendly way to create copy for brands, but they’re not foolproof – more on this below. Simply put, AI is great for about 200-300 words. Ideal for short blogs, social media posts and newsletter blasts. 

However, they go beyond this and struggle to tie the whole thing together. Where a human writer can take cues on inserting additional information seamlessly, AI – from what we’ve tested – cannot. 

It’s also not very accurate in its research. This is a snippet from ChatGPT when I asked it about Manchester United in 1999 – the club’s most successful season when they won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. 

In the 1998-1999 season, Manchester United finished as runners-up in the Premier League, behind Arsenal, who completed a historic league and FA Cup double. Manchester United also reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, where they were eliminated by Juventus. 


Machine-learning software means it will become more sophisticated in the future, but on the flip side, this means it’s “learning” from other people’s work. Heck, it could even churn out the same chunk of identical text for more than one client. Ethically and legally, this is a minefield. Who will take the blame if the copy is found to have been plagiarised – the software creator or the brand that used it? Still, AI will become more common in copywriting, which will lead to… 

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Time is running out for entry-level copywriting gigs.

3. Entry-level copywriting roles will be reduced 

Think of it this way: if AI can do the basic legwork of creating copy, and a seasoned copywriter/editor can smash it into shape, why would a company need a junior writer? They wouldn’t. This isn’t something we’re advocating for but on a cost sheet, the price of a software package is far more appealing than that of a writer. 

AI never needs a day off either. It doesn’t need a salary increase. And won’t be late for work. Well, unless the server is down. The demand for experienced copywriters who deliver high-quality copy from the off will increase. If AI is already being used at a company to produce content, then these roles will become a hybrid of a writer/sub-editor. Those looking to break into the industry will find it even tougher “thanks” to the use of AI.

IrvineMedia will ensure your copywriting is future-proof. Just fill out this form for a free quote

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Copywriting vs. content writing: what’s the difference?

Copywriting is used to persuade. Content creation is used to inform. Both have their place in digital marketing, but they’re not the same. Yes, there is some crossover. Being clear on what copywriting and content writing are can be the difference between success and failure. 

There’s a reason we’re highlighting this right now. We’re seeing a rapid rise in catch-all job vacancies that bundle both forms of writing together. The following extract is from a LinkedIn post searching for a content writer…

The successful candidate will be adept at producing daily blogs, newsletters, articles, press releases, ad campaign collateral, social media posts/ads.”

Let’s ignore for a second that this is roughly three roles in one. 

Some companies may get lucky and find someone that can do both copy and content writing. They’re out there, but they’re rare. The most likely outcome is an employee who is drained by the demands. And words that don’t quite hit the mark for your business needs.

Copywriting vs. content writing stress


Every writer one month into their confusing 2-4-1 role.

Copywriting vs. content writing: The key differences

Dig a little deeper, and the differences between copywriting and content writing are clear.

Copywriting drives awareness and sales by being…

  • Short form
  • Persuasive
  • Impactful
  • Catchy

Content writing informs by being…

  • Longer form
  • Educational
  • Entertaining
  • Accurate

There are exceptions, mind. Newsletters are a good example of this – especially if you have an eCommerce platform to direct people towards. However, knowing the differences can be the key to success for you next marketing plan. 

Each style of writing can supercharge your business when used correctly. But copywriting and content writing aren’t the same thing. Writers specialise in different fields just as athletes do. As great an athlete as Lionel Messi is, you’d likely pick LeBron James over him to win you a game of basketball.

IrvineMedia can handle both copywriting and content writing for your business. So to get a FREE quote, just contact us at and let us know what you need.

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