A few words on my approach, superpowers, and genesis as a freelance copywriter in San Diego.
Let’s start with what I am, professionally. I am a freelance copywriter in San Diego. I write content and persuasive copy that differentiates businesses, brands, and people. Art form? Superpower? A valuable skill, at the very least. See, the businesses that come across too self-serving, promotional, or generic put their digital credibility at risk. The ones that feel too straight and narrow—too corporate—just sound like every other wonk wonk wonk out there. Neither will do in the crowded and competitive place we call the internet.
That’s where I come in.
For more than ten years as a freelance copywriter in San Diego, I’ve helped businesses drive marketing, sales, and brand initiatives through standout content writing. My formula is rather simple:
- Manage writing projects from start to finish. That means asking the right questions, interviewing SMEs and clients, and keeping everything on track for our deadline.
- Put the audience in Rome, rather than showing them a map. I begin the style, depth, and research required to make the journey memorable.
- Deliver polished, well- structured content assets with a strong pinch of SEO best practices, storytelling, and abstract thinking.
Can I write you a snazzy tagline, or a catchy video script? Sure. Outreach emails, sales pages, and ad copy? Absolutely. Hell, I can even edit your next novel. Mostly I specialize in case studies, website copy, and no-fluff blog posts.
Along the way, I’ve put in the hours for a number of in-house copywriting and content marketing roles. My work for these companies includes hundreds of website copywriting assignments, case studies, ebooks, white papers, and blog posts. View my LinkedIn profile for a look at my full resume, professional recommendations, and content.
M.A. Rhetoric & Writing Studies
San Diego State University (2014)
B.A. Russian & Eastern European Studies
Illinois Wesleyan University (2009)
My Quest for Interstellar Glory
Writers are so full of shit, sometimes. We slap our writing degrees onto About pages under braggy headers like “writing chops” and “behold my fancy education from ten years ago,” mash in some keyword phrases for SEO, but balk when the time comes to write something interesting about ourselves. Guilty! At the risk of burying the lede, here’s the exact internet moment where my full-time freelance writing career officially began.
Mark that little doozy down, internet forensic historians of the future! That was September 2020, the month I decided to leave corporate America for good. In reality, that departure was the culmination of more than a decade of so-called side-hustle.
Up until November 2016, my career as a freelance copywriter in San Diego was a mixed bag of miscellaneous internet writing assignments. The very first freelance writing assignment I found came by way of Craigslist—I wrote trivia questions at $5 a pop (not kidding).
Since then I’ve churned out SEO blog posts for auto dealerships, written site copy for an online adult store, and even helped a lactation consultant revamp her website. A now defunct startup once paid me to write a historical piece about the Dryden District here in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego.
Then I decided to give Upwork a shot. Since then, the quality and quantity of freelance work has expanded dramatically. I’ve put together technical whitepapers for one of the largest IT companies in India, ebooks for a huge marijuana cultivator. I’ve secured a steady rotation of long-term clients, earned Top Rated Plus Status, and completed hundreds of jobs.
All of this while holding three in-house writing roles across those ten years. Technical writing at ESET North America. Copywriting for Welk Resorts (yes, that Welk Resorts). And Content Strategy for MindTouch (now part of NICE inContact).
My Tipping Point
Of course, you spend enough time with one foot in, one foot out, and eventually you reach decision time. A breaking point, for some. The tipping point, for others. I’d built my freelance business up enough on the side that it started talking to me in the wee hours. It started talking smack at my in-house job, too. The voices grew louder and louder.
Being a full-time freelance copywriter in San Diego wasn’t always my dream. As a kid growing up in the northern suburbs of Chicago, I wanted to be a meteorologist like my idol Jerry Taft (rest in peace). After coming home from a year spent living in Bratislava, Slovakia, I thought I might put my Slovak language skills to use by entering the foreign service. For years, I wrote and published short stories under the pseudonym Anthony Martin.
At one point, I even thought I was going to be a professional football player.
To say I’ve given up on some of those dreams would be a lie. Hope springs eternal (except for football—I’m finished with that sport). The point is, I’ve had the great privilege of being close to big ideas, problems, successes, addictions, recoveries, gigs, jobs, and places. Above all, I’ve been lucky to meet big people with big beautiful hearts.
Here’s to many more.
Check Out My Interview in SDVoyager
Read “Inspiring Conversations with Martin Ceisel of Copy Martin” to learn a bit more about my background and story.