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Behind the scenes of a copywriting business

Catherine Every

Pippin Copywriting Ltd

PRO

I started my business, Pippin Copywriting Ltd, on 1 June 2012 so it’s about this time of year I look back at how far I’ve come.

This year, I’ve been thinking about all the tools and widgets I use to run my business as efficiently and effectively as I can.

So here’s the lowdown on everything that holds Pippin Copywriting together…

Accounting and banking

I do all my accounting in Xero. It’s brilliant. When I started the business I tracked invoices and expenditure on two separate Excel spreadsheets so any kind of analysis was basically impossible. With Xero, I can track everything I need to and access any kind of report I want.

I keep track of expenses with AutoEntry – you email or upload invoices to it and it automatically populates an expense line for Xero. Receipts for parking, coffee etc can simply be photographed using the app and this automatically populates an expense line for Xero too, which is very handy.

I track my mileage with MileIQ, which creates a mileage spreadsheet at the end of each month. I upload this to Xero and arrange to reimburse myself the relevant amount. I love not having to calculate mileage using Google Maps at the end of each month!

I bank with TSB Bank plc. It’s been a pretty turbulent couple of years and the online banking is still a bit glitchy, especially at month end when everyone’s trying to access it. But everyone I’ve ever spoken to, whether on the phone or in a branch, has always been really good, honest, helpful and friendly, so it’s worth staying with them for that.

I have Stripe so people can buy courses on my website or pay their invoices by credit card if they want.

Administration

I’ve got a Microsoft Office 365 subscription so I’ve always got the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook etc.

I have interviews transcribed using Rev.

I store my files on iCloud so it’s easy to access them on my phone, iPad or laptop.

When I need to share files with clients I use Dropbox or WeTransfer.

Business and professional development

I’m a member of ProCopywriters, the alliance of commercial writers and it’s a really supportive network. I love its annual conference – it’s great for networking with people who totally get you, I always learn something new and love the reminder what a brilliant profession we’re in. The annual survey into the profession is very valuable, not least for benchmarking rates.

I up my copywriting and business skills with The 10x Freelance Copywriter.

I subscribe to The Economist. I really value the in-depth insights it gives me and it’s maintaining an informed up-to-date overview of what’s going on in the world and business.

Marketing tools

I send my monthly newsletter using ActiveCampaign. I also use it for the email automation sequences on my website.

Speaking of which, my website is built on WordPress and uses WooCommerce for the commerce bit.

When I need photos to liven up blogs I source them from one of these:

In terms of social media, I’m on Twitter, which I love because it connects me to the rest of the copywriting community. I’m on LinkedIn, which I use to find work and make useful connections.

And I’ve also got a Facebook page, although mainly because I feel I ought to have one than because I think it adds very much to the business. And I schedule posts for all of them using Buffer.

What have I missed?

That’s it – that’s how Pippin runs. How many of these tools do you use? And what nifty ones am I missing?

(A version of this blog was originally published as How to run a copywriting business at hellopippin.co.uk.)

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