Before getting into becoming a master copywriter, let’s be honest: “master” is relative, because even well-known masters of copywriting today still haven’t reached the pinnacle of their craft.
There’s always something new to learn, something more to discover.
But there are indeed ways you can rise up the ranks in your copywriting career so that you can call yourself a master (and feel 150 percent confident in that title) – and you can do so in just one year. Possibly even less.
Here’s exactly how you can become a master copywriter in less than a year, and in just five easy steps:
Read a Lot – a Damned Lot
Mastering any skill means absorbing all the information and education that possibly exists. Copywriting is no different, and plenty of resources can get that learning going on the path to a solid writing education.
Head over to Amazon and pick up several copywriting books from renowned leaders in the industry, like David Ogilvy, Bob Bly and Joe Sugarman. It’s best to avoid books from relative unknowns or wanna-bes – to become a top copywriter, you want to learn from the top leaders in the field.
Read each book slowly and with high levels of focus. Don’t just skim the content or skip chapters because you think you know what’s in them — you’ll forget 80 percent of everything you’ve read and miss the crucial details that make a big difference.
Then reread each book as you finish it, taking notes the second time around. Your brain will retain more information and understand it better, thanks to devoted effort. You’ll absorb the education and make it second nature much faster that way.
Practice Even More
Deliberate, intentional practice of each technique you learn is key to mastering it. Think of Olympic athletes who spend years perfecting one specific movement, over and over — you should do the same with every single copywriting technique you learn.
In fact, lack of practice is one of the most common reasons good copywriters never become great — they don’t put in the extra effort to truly master their craft, and they always stay stuck at status quo because of it.
So as you read through your books and learn new, specific techniques, take time to practice each one thoroughly. Then practice it some more.
Have a sheet of paper or your keyboard handy so that as you spot a new technique, you can stop right there and try it out immediately, over and over. When you feel you “get” it well, you can move on to the next new technique.
But that doesn’t mean you should stop practicing. Have individual practice sessions for each technique, then as you become truly confident, integrate two techniques you feel you’ve mastered. Practice them together, as a whole, then add in a third technique you know well.
Schedule regular, daily practice into your calendar, and put in the effort to continually improve your skills. You’ll pat yourself on the back for going the extra mile.
Get One-on-One Training
Self-education is great, and it can certainly take you a long way, but there’s nothing better than working one-on-one with a copywriting coach to advance even further towards mastery of your skill.
After all, this person has been where you are and can show you how to take your copywriting skills to the next level. He or she can provide direct, immediate feedback on what you think you’re doing well enough or what you feel you need work on.
Feedback from someone better than you is key: You’ll learn which areas need work, exactly what you should do to improve and get confirmation when you’re doing it right – or correction that helps you when you can’t quite get it.
Group course environments are good if you can’t get a leading copywriter to mentor you personally in a one-on-one environment. You’ll receive less attention in a group because the instructor’s focus is diluted over several students, but it’s definitely better than no feedback at all.
Get Over Your Issues
The biggest hurdle to becoming a master copywriter isn’t your skill set, your lack of education or your ability to produce good prose – it’s your psyche.
The biggest roadblocks that slam themselves down in front of would-be copywriting masters are always psychological in nature. They’re rarely skill-related obstacles only. Writer’s block, blank-page syndrome, difficulty knowing what to say, endless editing, performance pressure… those are all common issues that could prevent mastery.
The good news is that these issues are all in your mind, and you control your mind. There are all sorts of ways you can overcome your writing psychology roadblocks so you can advance to mastery levels.
It may sound fu-fu, but never underestimate the value of a good therapist. This person can help you overcome writing fears and issues for stress-free copywriting in short order.
Strategies that could be used include changing bad habits for better ones, relaxation techniques, and discussion of fears so you can dissolve them into full confidence.
A creative psychology coach is often the best person to have on your side, though they’re fairly rare and difficult to find. You’ll reap the rewards, though, and find yourself mastering copywriting at twice the speed you were before.
Expand Your Knowledge
Okay: You’ve read the books, taken the training, practiced like mad and sorted out your crazy-making. You’re doing damned well and feeling great about your copywriting skills!
Now’s the time to expand and enrich your education in complementary fields, such as sales and marketing, storytelling, consumer psychology and critical thinking. Add a dab of each of these to your copywriting, and you’ll be able to reach new heights in your copywriting career in no time flat.
(In fact, it’s well known that copywriting is simply salesmanship in print. So why not start there?)
Before you get discouraged at all this learning, take heart: You don’t have to become a master in each of these related fields. But with a good working knowledge of related skills sets from different fields, you can integrate each into your copywriting.
You’ll be well set to take your copywriting skill set to the final levels… and become a master – in less than a year.
About the author: Becki Ashton
I am a cross channel marketing executive working for a creative agency in Nottingham. I have a BA hons in Creative Advertising and I am currently studying an MA in Creative Writing. In my spare time I am an artist as well as a blogger. I am fascinated by the advertising industry and I have a passion for content marketing and copy-writing.