So, you want to be a copywriter? You want to earn a living on the written word and spend your days crafting compelling content for people from the comfort of your computer screen.
If you’re not familiar with the exact definition of copywriting, it’s essentially an art form that uses persuasive language to communicate a message from one person (the writer) to another (the reader). Copywriters use words as their primary tool for getting this message across. They are masters of writing techniques such as persuasion, exaggeration, emotional appeals, logical reasoning, and more.
In this blog post, you’ll get answers to all your burning questions about the profession and how you can get started.
What Experience Do You Need To Have?
Copywriting is one of the few professions that doesn’t require a fancy degree or years of experience to launch your career. In fact, you can start with zero professional gigs under your belt, though a background in English, journalism, or marketing definitely helps.
When you’re applying for copywriting jobs, the most crucial thing you can have is examples of your work. So if you’re starting from scratch, pick up a few low-paying or even free gigs to expand your portfolio and show people what you’ve got.
You could also create a blog to demonstrate your skillset or use writing examples from previous jobs where you weren’t necessarily a writer. For example, if you used to be in charge of your company’s monthly newsletter, throw that into your portfolio!
What Do Copywriters Need To Know?
All a copywriter needs to know is how to write. They don’t have any specific knowledge requirements, no degree in a related field like communications or marketing. The only thing that you’ll need before jumping into the profession is some basic writing skills and familiarity with English grammar rules.
If you’re thinking of writing for a specific industry, like beauty or real estate, it helps to have some knowledge of industry lingo. You could also start your copywriting career writing for an industry that you have previous experience in to make you more valuable while you’re building your portfolio.
In addition to basic writing skills, you should also familiarize yourself with the types of content people and businesses often need help with. Each piece comes with its own style of writing that’s crafted for a specific audience.
Here are some of the most common pieces of content and copy people hire out copywriters for:
- Landing Pages
- Sales Pages
- Email Campaigns
- Social Media Posts
- Blog Posts
- Ghostwriting Articles
- Website Copy
And finally, copywriters need to know some of the basics of human psychology and marketing as it directly impacts how they write. Learning how to tap into people’s emotions and triggers will be very valuable in delivering copy that converts.
Like all skills, copywriting is something you can continuously improve upon. If you’re just getting started, here are some ways to learn more about the craft:
- Read copywriting books, blogs, and other resources.
- Keep an eye out for articles or blog posts related to your interests and share them with friends on social media.
- Take part in webinars by professional copywriters that are usually free or low-cost across the internet.
- Enrol in some copywriting courses or programs.
How Do Copywriters Find Clients?
With a place as vast and expansive as the internet at your fingertips, there are hundreds of places you can find clients. Here are a few places to start looking:
- Become a freelance writer on sites like Contently. They will give you assignments and provide feedback as well as connect to editors in the industry who need work done.
- Start writing blog posts for small businesses around town so they can focus on what they do best while you help them with their marketing.
- Pick up an intern position at a large advertising firm, content creation company, or publishing house to learn the ropes and work your way into full-time employment.
- Follow businesses on social media and reach out to them about improving their copy.
- Apply for an entry-level position at a copywriting agency or content company and make the most of that experience before you move on to bigger things.
- Sign up for a gig-based site like Fiverr or Upwork and get started in the copywriting field.
- Let your friends and family know that you’re looking for copywriting clients. People could send you referrals.
How Much Can Copywriters Make?
Outside the wide variety of work, the other amazing thing about being a copywriter is that the sky is truly the limit in terms of earning potential. There are plenty of copywriters who enjoy more than six-figure salaries, which is a great thing to know if you’re looking for a career that will allow you to earn into the millions.
However, it can be really low-paying when you’re just starting out. Most entry-level gigs can run as low as $.01. That translates to $15 an hour. You might have to take on some of these gigs, in the beginning, to build your portfolio before you can start raising your rates and earning more money.
Basic copywriting skills certainly take some time to hone, so it’s important that you’re willing and able to put in the hours necessary for success. But if you want a little more security than freelancing provides then consider finding work as someone else’s employee by joining their team. Entry-level copywriters who work for businesses or agencies make between $35,000 and $70,000 a year. And some copywriters enjoy perks like regular bonuses that are usually based on the number of clicks and shares they receive for their content.
Like all professions, you won’t make millions overnight being a copywriter. However, your ability to write well and creatively will give you a definite edge over the competition when it comes time for job interviews or landing clients.
And don’t be fooled by all of those ads promising quick cash from “get-rich-quick” schemes. You have to work hard at your craft if you want to make any real money as a copywriter. But when you do, it can be a very lucrative and rewarding career.
Continue Reading: Top 5 paraphrasing tools to strengthen your copywriting skills
Over the past decade, Liz Slyman has worked as a copywriter and digital marketing executive for a multitude of companies from startups to and mid-sized businesses to working as the VP of marketing for award-winning, platinum-selling artists. Leveraging an understanding of the nuance of language in marketing, Liz founded Amplihigher, a content marketing and copywriting agency, designed to connect consumers to companies in a way that results in next-level brand expansion.