One of the best things about a copywriting business is that you don’t need a ton of expensive technology to run your business. Most of the tools that a copywriter uses are completely free and optional, which means that everything you earn is profit.
And while every freelance writer will have different preferences, below are a few of the top free copywriting tools I use most often in my copywriting business—plus a new one changing the future of copywriting and content marketing!
Free Copywriting Tools & Tech
Below are free copywriting tools that you can test out today for writing, invoicing, time-tracking, project management and more.
Free Copywriting Research Tool: ChatGPT
Let’s start with the new, exciting one first. ChatGPT has been all over the internet because it’s essentially a robot copywriter. Using artificial intelligence, you type a prompt into the website—something like the title of a blog post—and ChatGPT returns a blog post about your desired topic. You have to give some specifics such as length, number of paragraphs, or the voice you want it to write in, but if you haven’t tried it yet, it’s pretty remarkable.
While there’s no saying where ChatGPT will take things, at this stage, I’ve seen most writers start to use it as a tool for their writing more so than a replacement writer. For example, one of my Content Business Blueprint graduates is a healthcare writer, and she uses ChatGPT to see what it writes about when given a certain topic, then adapts the copy with brand voice, statistics, and examples that bring the artificial intelligence article to life.
Especially with the interest in more authentic content, where consumers get to know the personality and team behind a business, copywriters will be able to add this lens beyond just a static, generic article. But it will be interesting to see where ChatGPT goes!
Free Copywriting Production Tool: Google Docs
Another tool that’s more universally accepted, but could be new to anyone who hasn’t been in the marketing or tech world before, is Google Docs.
Google Docs are essentially the more modernized version of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. As a writer, they’re especially helpful because the files live online. So any changes you make are automatically saved and accessible to anyone else who views the article.
That means you don’t have to deal with versioning nightmares like passing the same file back and forth via email. Instead, you simply send your client or colleagues the link of where your file lives online (like a URL of a website) and then everyone can work from the same file in real-time.
Google Docs is free with Gmail accounts (which are also free) so if you haven’t made the move from Word to Google Docs, I highly recommend testing it out. Most of the same features and functionality overlap, such as changing font size or paragraph alignment. While placement could be different, after a little playing around, you’ll be able to navigate Google Docs with ease. There are also complementary tools like Sheets (Google’s version of Excel) and Slides (Google’s version of PowerPoint).
Free Copywriting Time-Tracking Tool: Toggl
As a copywriter, it’s important that you track your time so that you can bill your clients appropriately. There are a few easy tools to do this so you’re not scrambling to check the clock every few minutes.
One is Toggl, which is a free website app and browser extension. I have Toggl set up on my Google Chrome internet browser, so whenever I start working on a project, I tap a button and it automatically starts tracking my time. When I’m done, I tap the button again, then select which project I was working on to categorize my time accordingly. You can organize your Toggl account with certain colors, tags, and descriptions to keep projects organized.
Another tool I love is FreshBooks. While FreshBooks has a free trial, eventually you may need to upgrade if you have team members or need certain features and functionality. But what I love about FreshBook is that it’s an all-in-one solution. Similar to Toggl, you can track your time, but then you can also automatically invoice clients for that time—all within FreshBooks. As I grew my copywriting business, it was one of my favorite tools to build a team, keep track of everyone’s projects and hours, and then bill clients accordingly.
Free Copywriting Project Management Tool: Trello
Trello is a project management tool. Trello provides a bird-eye view of where projects are in each stage of the process. For example, you can see in Trello whether projects are in a queue to be written, in the writing stage, in the editing stage, or being handed off to a client.
In Trello, you create lists and then you can drag projects between those lists. For example, I might start a project in the writing queue list, then drag it to the writing list, and so on. You can set deadlines, tag contributors, and fill in supporting details within Trello.
If you’re a brand new copywriter, my biggest advice would be to give yourself some permission and patience to play with the tools available. It can feel intimidating at first if you love to write and feel overwhelmed by technology, but like any new skill, it gets easier over time. You can always start out with the tools you’re comfortable with, then experiment with adding new, more robust ones as your confidence level and copywriting business grows.
And if you’d like in-depth tutorials around these tools—as well as all the steps involved in building a copywriting and content marketing business—check out these free copywriter resources:
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