How Many Hours A Week Do Freelance Copywriters Work?

Copywriting is perhaps one of the newest and most misunderstood industries out there. The length of the output of a copywriter doesn’t always reflect the amount of time it took to get there.

In an average week, a copywriter will work up to 40 to 50 hours depending on upcoming deadlines. If there was a big deadline coming up, you’ll easily find yourself putting in 12-hour days but more often than not, you’ll be working normal shifts. 

“But copywriters barely have to write”, you might be telling yourself. 

While that may be true, it’s the preparation and evaluation of a piece of copy that takes up most of your time. In this article, we’ll be going over what copywriters do on a daily basis and how they spend their time. 

What Does A Copywriter Do All Day?

I’ve been copywriting for about three years now and over that period, I noticed that I spend most of my time doing three main things:


A copywriter is supposed to spend about 70% of their time working on research. Whether it’s an interview with a client or going off and doing market research, a copywriter will have to spend about 20-30 hours a week learning more about the consumers and generating market insights.

Why does this take so long, you ask?

Well, it’s because copywriters need to make sure that the copy they write is properly targeted. Imagine spending all that time writing only to find that you were writing to the wrong audience, not only is this a massive waste of your time but it will also waste your clients’ or departments’ resources.


Surprisingly, writing actually takes up the least amount of time in a day. You’d think that it would be the exact opposite because writing is literally a part of the word“copywriting”, right?

Well, no. 

Copywriting is obsessed with finding the shortest and most effective way to share a product’s value. In effect, the physical act of writing actually takes up the least amount of time in the process.

Think of it this way: how long do you think it took Apple to come up with their slogan, “think different”. It’s a phrase so simple but so perfect. It encapsulates everything that Apple stands for and is representative of the values that Apple tries to share with its consumers. 

Well, the two words took months to find. 

Notice how I say find instead of write.

The beauty of copywriting is that the words aren’t conjured, the best slogans and logos were always just there, lying in an overabundance of meaningless words. 

It’s up to the copywriter to find the best words and piece them together to come up with a slogan, ad, or script that best describes what the company is looking to achieve. 


So yes, the physical act of writing could take hours, minutes, or even seconds – but the process of editing and revising the work could take weeks, months, and even years. 

A piece of copy is supposed to be representative of the brand while also resonating with its readers. It’s a constant evolution of words and what works today, won’t necessarily work tomorrow. 

This is exactly the concept behind A/B testing

The concept of split testing is an extremely popular experimentation process within the advertising industry. Basically, two or more versions of a variable are shown to different segments of website visitors at the same time to determine which version leaves the maximum impact and drives business metrics upward.

These variables could be a web page, page element, or piece of copy.

Suffice to say, Editing and A/B testing take up a lot of a copywriter’s time, I spend most of my day analyzing stats, figuring out what I could do better, or how I could improve a certain aspect of my copy. 

Other Obligations

Whether you’re working in an agency or as a freelancer, you will have obligations outside of copywriting. These’ll most likely be administrative tasks or meetings that you’ll have to go through on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to give a rough estimate as this depends a lot on the organization you’re working with or your own organizational process. 

Is Freelance Copywriting Time Consuming?

This is the question I get a lot.

I know that some people get confused by the number of words I have to show after a copywriting session. 

Sometimes, it just doesn’t make sense to people when a copywriter puts in 4, 6, or 8 hours of work just for one paragraph. 

Here’s the thing: copywriting is time-consuming in the sense that it requires hours upon hours of research and editing before you publish anything. Every word has to have meaning. Each sentence has to have a purpose. All paragraphs have to contribute to the Call-To-Action.

That’s what makes copywriting time-consuming.

Do Freelance Copywriters Work On Weekends?

This is another one of those questions that are tough to answer.

Of course, it depends on the copywriter.

Most of the copywriters I know, myself included, do put in some hours over the weekend. It might not be as much as a regular workday but a couple of hours for sure. It just helps me calm my mind knowing that I have fewer tasks to do during the weekdays. 

Does it interfere with daily tasks, though? Here’s what I think about it:

Generally speaking, while copywriters don’t necessarily “work” on weekends, their minds are constantly searching for inspiration from the world around them. It’s an unfortunate fact that as a creative, our minds are never truly at rest. Copywriters are always searching for ways to write better copy, even when they’re not on the clock.

If you’re someone looking to get into this industry, I highly suggest that you make sure that you love it. Yes, it can pay a lot and yes, the hours are definitely flexible but it will take up a lot of your time. 

Aspiring copywriters be warned: you won’t see the world in the same way anymore. 

Suddenly, everything you read will be a piece of copy.

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