To my fellow Copywriters or anyone who wants to earn money writing content.
Here is one path to copywriting. Most professional writers have many different paths to their first writing Gig. Here's one that worked for me. Some people are journalists, and some others have PHDs. There are some good online learning platforms called Mooks. Take advantage of these, some of these courses are even free to audit. I have recently completed some courses from Northwestern University (all on line).
Don't listen to everybody out there that says you can't do it, because you can if you put in consistent work. This isn't a "learn fast and simple rules," kind of career. You have to keep on learning, everyday.
I have benefited from almost ten years of university courses, but I also studied creative writing courses for almost one year before I started copywriting. No matter what your background is, you will have to fill in the gaps somewhere.
Learn About Marketing
The missing ingredient for me was the marketing knowledge, so I had to gain some marketing skills too. If you don't like learning, you will not like Copywriting. I found that marketing was merely a review of many of the Psychology principles I've already learned. Marketing keeps changing, but peoples' needs remain the same. But you can't write copy without understanding basic marketing principles.
Learn Good Grammar
Learning correct grammar is important. I just completed a grammar punctuation course on Udemy with Clare Lynch from Cambridge university. This is a great course even if you think you know all about grammar. linkedIn has some good courses too.
You can also read books written by some famous copywriters. One I recommend is "The Well Fed Writer, by David Bowerman. Another book you should have on your shelf is "The Advertising Solution," by Craig Simpson who is an expert in direct marketing. This book has stories by Robert Collier, John Caples, and David Ogilvy, some of the God fathers of writing.
Ever though of writing poetry? Great practice and it's fun. That was one way I started. Writing poetry tightens your prose and you will definitely benefit from this practice. I certainly did.
This is perhaps the most important thing I will write today. Some professionals will tell you that you just have to get out there and put out your writing. That's not entirely true. If you take on tasks that your aren't ready for, it will damage your reputation before you even get started.
In the first course I took, I was told to put up a website, and improve it as you go. You will build traffic while you learn more and more about the profession. You can just put up a simple blog site to start.
Sonia from Copy Blogger also recommends this to starting writers. Why? because you will start to see what works and what doesn't work. Yes, this means everybody can see your work, and your mistakes of course, so make sure to carefully edit your work before you press edit. Blogging is a great way to start. Finally, read other professionals' work and study their methods.
Stay away form sites like Fivr, they will only burn you out. Upwork.com is a good place to start if you can't find your own clients yet. They seem to have strict criteria though. Make sure you have a solid profile, and learn all their terms and conditions.
I have recently just read a quote: "Tomorrow's illiterate will not be the man who can't read; he will be the man who has not learned how to learn."
-Herbert Gerjuoy, Psychologist and Educator
Read lots of books and study the craft. Follow the people that you learn from. Join their mailing lists to obtain their free resources. Tweak your own work as you learn.
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Content writing and general writing tips are shared in this blog. Please feel free to share your own experiences in the comments section.