How Much Do Freelance Copywriters Make: Here Are My Numbers

OK, time to get vulnerable. I recorded the video (below) a couple of weeks ago about how much do freelance copywriters make, but I decided to sleep on it. For two weeks. Is it “safe” to publish money numbers? Will it come across as boastful? Or the opposite—unimpressive—given I’ve been doing this since 2002?

Watch the video. Or scroll past it for the text.

What’s my motivation for sharing how much I make as a freelance copywriter?

Recently, I’ve seen some copywriters be very transparent about their numbers, doing in-depth blog posts.

Overall, I think it’s good to share this info, as long as it doesn’t send people spiraling into the comparison game. Talking openly, kindly, honestly, and calmly about historically “inappropriate” subjects like money isn’t inappropriate at all, IMO. If anything, it can be helpful, enlightening, and reassuring. So maybe this is my attempt to help normalize it a bit, including for myself.

And here’s the thing: People have questions about how much money freelance copywriters make. How do I know? Well, with tools like Semrush, I can see the search volume on keyword phrases people plug into Google. MSV stands for monthly search volume.

  • How much can you make copywriting (50 MSV)
  • How much can copywriters earn (40 MSV)
  • How much can a freelance copywriter make (30 MSV)
  • How much do freelance copywriters make (90 MSV)

These are not huge numbers by any stretch. But the numbers suggest sustained curiosity.

When you search for these phrases, sites like and AWAI appear. Both have excellent info, but the info is based on approximates and averages, along with a healthy dose of “your mileage will vary” caveats. (According to, “The average Freelance Copywriter salary in the United States is $55,689 as of June 26, 2023, but the salary range typically falls between $50,305 and $62,691.”)

Below, I’m sharing a look at my revenue numbers over the years.

How much do freelance copywriters make? My numbers.

First, some context . . .

Reminder, I’m in the U.S., just outside of Boston.

I started my copywriting business in August of 2002. Until May of that year, I’d been working in radio full-time. I started in radio in the summer of 1994, heading into my senior year of college. I worked full-time until February 2001. I left radio to write fiction. But I returned to radio in November or so of 2001. Then, I left full-time for good in May of 2002. But I stayed part-time on the weekends and holidays for the next five years. This is all relevant.

In August of 2002, in addition to starting my copywriting business and working weekends on the radio, I also worked as a part-time activities assistant in a nursing home for about nine months. Yes, before I was the Copy Bitch, I was the Bingo Bitch. In 2003, I started doing some teaching as well (as an adjunct).

Again, this is all relevant.

I don’t have 2002 numbers for some reason, maybe due to a different computer or misplaced folders. Who knows. I didn’t make much from copywriting during those five months.

So I’m starting with 2003, my first full year as a freelance copywriter. I’ll show you 2003, 2004, and 2005. I’ll jump to 2008, which is when I made my living from freelance copywriting only. And I’ll show you the three most recent years (2020, 2021, 2022).

For 2003, 2004, and 2005, you’ll see listings for copywriting (revenue only) and my various side hustles (radio, teaching, bingo bitch). The numbers for the latter (radio, teaching, bingo bitch) show income (in other words, with taxes taken out). But the copywriting numbers I’m sharing are revenue numbers only (so no deductions for taxes and business expenses).


  • Copywriting: $5,555
  • Radio: $7,543
  • Bingo bitch: $4,605
  • Teaching: $1,500

TOTAL: $19,203


  • Copywriting: $14,906
  • Radio: $7,000
  • Teaching: $6,250

TOTAL: $28,156


  • Copywriting: $13,420
  • Radio: $7000
  • Teaching: $9000

TOTAL: $29,420

2008 – the first year I made my living entirely from copywriting.

  • Copywriting: $55,537

And now, let’s jump to the last three years.

  • 2020: $85,740
  • 2021: $86,151
  • 2022: $82,750

I was incredibly fortunate during the pandemic. I didn’t lose any work (in fact, I picked up two new clients—I’m still working with one of them). And my numbers are consistent.

Again, the 2020, 2021, and 2022 numbers are only REVENUE numbers. These numbers don’t account for taxes and business expenses.

My numbers will be surprising and not-at-all impressive for some people reading this. That’s all? You’ve been doing this for 20+ years! What about the six-figure incomes touted by copywriters on YouTube? Are they for real?

I suspect they are for real. It’s definitely possible to make six figures. For *most* people, it’s unlikely to happen right away. The people who crack that nut in their first year are the outliers. Again, remember the numbers I mentioned earlier about the average income for freelance copywriters being $55,689. With taxes and expenses, I’m just north of that figure currently. So, a little above average.

Currently, my revenue numbers aren’t far off from six figures. Again, that’s revenue, not income. I could see my revenue cracking six figures someday and possibly soon. However, I’m unsure if my income will crack six figures from copywriting alone.

I’m OK with this.

I live comfortably.

I don’t have any debt except for a reasonable mortgage.

I also don’t have kids, which I ABSOLUTELY understand is a big difference.

I have a partner (Mr. Word Nerd), and we own our home—but this is a recent development (since Halloween of last year). I was a renter up until then. And I pay less now than I did when I rented. Even though Mr. Word Nerd and I split expenses . . . the full amount of our monthly mortgage payment is only a little more than what I was paying by myself in rent for a studio apartment. Wild, right?

I also have plenty of time to devote to my passion projects—like fiction writing, humor writing, and drawing. The time I put into those things could be used to woo and work with other clients. This has always been the case. Over the years, I’ve turned away work whenever I felt the “day job” was interfering with my passions. I haven’t always gotten it right—I’ve gone for stretches where I was juggling too much. I’ve also gone for stretches where I’ve been a little more nervous.

And now, of course, there’s so much hype around ChatGPT and how it will affect copywriters (and writers in general). I have no idea what the future holds.

Anyhow, if you’ve gotten this far, I hope the numbers and this article helped you somehow.

And if you’re a new(er) copywriter, I wish you much success in your journey.

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That’s me! I’m the Copy Bitch. Contact me or visit my YouTube channel and leave a comment on one of my videos. I might make a blog post or video with the answer.