Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in freelancing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cameron Ripley, Freelance Copywriter based in Concord, NC, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I'm a freelance copywriter who works with a wide variety of clients. I've written for industries ranging from real estate and HR to home improvement and finance. I prefer to write directly for small business owners, helping them generate high-quality content for their websites designed to help their customers learn about their services and boost the company's website SEO (in that order).

Tell us about yourself

I grew up working on a family farm. As a farmer, it's not uncommon to work 80-hour weeks — and "time off" is considered a bad word. And since you're stuck to the land (there's no such thing as a "remote" farmer), it didn't give me the freedom I really wanted to explore everything life had to offer. I always had an interest in writing but never really knew how to use that to my advantage. I read an article about being a copywriter and decided to give it a try. In 2018, I started writing a few blogs for the farm I was working on. In 2019, I became an official copywriter for a firm (where I learned a TON about writing). And in 2020, I set out on my own as a full-time freelance copywriter.

Ever since I've been taking my own clients and managing my own schedule, I've also traveled the entire country, hit all 50 states, and spent my time the way I want to. The freedom copywriting brought has been exactly the change I've wanted throughout all my previous jobs. What gets me up in the morning is the ability to help my clients (and their clients) by writing creative, unique, and informative content. There's so much content on the internet, and much of it is so heavily SEO-driven that it reads almost as if a robot wrote it. I love writing with personality. Eye-rolling puns and clever turns of phrases are my specialties. I enjoy that I can add a taste of personality to create online pieces that people actually want to read.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Just making it. Growing up, my parents (and others) always made it seem like you needed an employer to make it in the world. What are you going to do for health insurance!? What about taxes!? You need a steady paycheck! I'm so proud that I've been able to overcome all these obstacles to create the lifestyle that I've always dreamed of. And not only created my ideal lifestyle, but I also make more money now than I ever did with a steady job. Not that I'm a millionaire by any stretch of the imagination, but I finally feel like I made it — all without a "real" job!

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Direction has always been a challenge for me. When you work for someone, you can always just ask them what needs to be done. They tell you, and off you go with your project. As a business owner or freelancer, there's no one there to guide you. It's just you! Determining the best course of action to grow your business or client base is often a challenge. And many times, you're faced with decisions you're unsure of. Should I take this client even though the project isn't entirely in my wheelhouse? Will it help me grow, or will it just take time from my other clients? In the end, you just need to trust your gut and do the work. Even if you make a "wrong" decision, you'll still learn something. There's nothing you can't overcome with a bit of creativity and elbow grease (tips from my farmer days).

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Take that chance. There aren't any guarantees in life. Even if everyone tells you something isn't viable, if you believe it (and are willing to put the work in), you can make it happen.
  2. Take any opportunity. I was underpaid for many articles as I was growing my business. But in the end, I knew they'd help me build my portfolio to get other, higher-paying jobs. Worst case, you earn a bit of money. Best case, you learn a new avenue to follow. I gained many of my "specialty" topics because I picked up jobs that looked interesting but weren't quite in my wheelhouse and learned I liked them. You never know when a minor opportunity can turn into a massive business avenue.
  3. Be yourself. Personality sells, and it makes you unique. Especially in the world of copywriting, there are plenty of robots out there turning out boring SEO drivel (sometimes even literal robots). Yes, it might have all the keywords and rank in search engines, but it's useless to readers. I find writing how I like to write not only keeps me entertained while working but also helps me create better content. Don't give up on what makes you unique just to fit in with your industry. In the end, it's what'll make you stand out — and that's really what you want anyway.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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