How To Learn Copywriting

Copywriting is an incredibly flexible career that keeps on growing. In the U.S., more than 131 million copywriters are currently working, with further growth predicted over the coming years. If this could be the field for you, read on to discover how to learn copywriting.

Let’s get started.

How hard is it to learn copywriting?

Copywriting is just like any other skill; practice will make you a better writer. However, you have to be practising right to get the best results. If you’re already a competent writer, copywriting is easy enough to learn. Like any other writing style, learning the rules and reading others’ work can give you greater insight into how to improve your own.

If you’re new to writing altogether, don’t give up hope. Many copywriters don’t have a history of writing prose, poetry, or other literary forms. Instead, they study copywriting as it exists out in the world. The next time you eat cereal, read the box. Ask yourself, why have they used those words? After all, you bought the cereal, so they’re clearly onto something.

Exploring the world with this curious mindset regarding copy is some of the best education available about copywriting. Once you’ve tapped into what makes copy effective and eye-catching, it becomes easier to imitate that behaviour in your own writing. Honing your writing skills is something you can develop with a range of free tools online.

Using tools to improve copywriting

One of the most prominent tools for improving your writing skill is Grammarly. This free tool lets you input text and provides AI-backed responses and corrections to improve your writing. You can even customise the settings to define your goals for the piece. Choose your domain, intent, audience, and formality to get accurate feedback focused on those targets.

Not every edit suggestion you get from a tool like Grammarly will be helpful, but using it regularly will help you fine-tune when you want to accept an edit and when you’d rather decline. Grammarly can also help localise your writing to a different country (e.g. if you’re an English copywriter writing for an American readership), which is a valuable skill for a copywriter.

Valued copywriters optimise their writing to keywords and terms, making it easier to find through a Google search. Websites like Answer the Public let you search a keyword, e.g.’ heart health’ and provides reams of popular search terms surrounding that topic. Tools like this one give you an insight into what questions you should answer with your writing. 

Familiarising yourself with the best tools helps you market yourself to prospective clients. You can give them confidence in your abilities by demonstrating a thorough knowledge of these tools and understanding why they’re valuable for a copywriter. Learn more about The Author’s Pad’s most recommended tools.

How long does it take to learn copywriting?

Learning how to copywrite is a process that never ends. You may not like to hear it, but copywriting - like any form of writing - is a lifelong journey of improvement that doesn’t need to lead to a sense of true perfection. Successful copywriters embrace the reality that their work could always be better.

The double-edged sword of a skill like copywriting is that you will always get better with practice, but you’ll always look back at your older work and think of all the ways you would change it today. Accepting and enjoying this aspect is vital to flourishing in the field.

Can you be a self taught copywriter?

In 1820, only 12% of the world could read and write. Today, that figure is almost flipped, with only 14% of the population being illiterate. Copywriting as an occupation has grown alongside this shift, becoming similar to what we do today around the late 19th century. Those early Victorian ad men didn’t attend university to study copywriting.

Although you can attend courses and classes in copywriting today, it’s not essential. Many copywriters today have degrees in writing-heavy topics like English Literature or Creative Writing. Although a robust literary background certainly improves your writing abilities, copywriting is a skill best learned on the job.

All in all, yes, you can absolutely be a self-taught copywriter - and a great one.

Is copywriting in high demand?

You might think copywriting is impossible to break into, with so many copywriters already dominating the market. That’s untrue, though. In reality, we need many more copywriters to supply the demand created by new businesses.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently revealed that an average of 4.4 million new businesses are created annually in the United States. Every company benefits from a copywriter who can bring their vision to the customers, investors, clients, and everyone else involved. With this type of growth, copywriters can expect to be in high demand for the foreseeable future.

Our 3 best tips for learning copywriting

Let’s break down the best three pieces of advice we have about how to copywrite. These fundamentals can give you valuable insight into the skills you need to be a great copywriter.

It’s not about you

Writing - any writing - is inherently somewhat personal. You’re putting the words together yourself; you must care about what you’re saying. At the same time, you can’t develop an ego around your writing. If you put too much stock into your writing, it’s easy to get wrapped up in delivering some epic narrative readers don’t want.

Keep your writing concise and remember: it’s not about you; it’s about the client. Your client’s message is your focus, and you want to produce copy that promotes their ideas professionally and efficiently.

Don’t write

An irony of learning to copywrite is learning the art of not writing. Extensive eye-tracking research has shown that, time and again, digital readers jump around the page and skim to find relevant information. Let that impact how you write your content for an online audience. Big blocks of text are reader-repellent to avoid.

Instead, try mixing up your content with features like these.

  • Short paragraphs

  • Bullet points

  • Images

  • Numbered lists for instructions

Varying the content on the page makes it much easier for your readers to find the information they need. Remember, it’s not about you. People aren’t clicking the top-ranking articles on their Google search results because they want to read every word the author says. Instead, they need information; you want to provide it efficiently and effectively with some well-written copy.

Show some figures

One of the most eye-catching ways to immediately grab a reader’s interest is to present facts and figures about your subject. Go back, and you’ll notice that this article started with a statistic on the number of copywriters currently working in the U.S. 

Making points backed up by authoritative sources like government websites, niche expert sites, and unbiased statisticians reinforces the message of your writing. Referencing reliable statistics also elevates your authority as a writer. Readers are more inclined to believe you and follow your advice because you are clearly so well-informed.

If all this copywriting talk excited you, you might have found the next step in your professional life. Copywriting is an ever-expanding field that becomes more prominent the further we get into the technological age. It’s a perfect career for budding writers who want to see the real-world effects of their words. 

At The Author’s Pad, we’re committed to helping copywriters at every stage of their career flourish and thrive. We provide resources and advice for every aspect of the copywriting world. Join our community and see if you’d like to be where writers live and work.

FAQs

Check out our answers to some frequently asked questions about copywriting.

Is copywriting a soft or hard skill?

Copywriting is a unique blend of soft skills and hard skills. The soft skills required to be a good copywriter include having excellent written and verbal communication skills. Being an effective communicator is the core of copywriting. Hard skills include technical ability, SEO know-how, and experience with software like Google Docs, Grammarly, or WordPress. 

Which type of copywriting is easiest?

Easy copywriting is subjective, but you’ll probably find writing convincingly about one of your interests easier. Often, freelance copywriters look for work focused on their interests, like fitness and health, cooking, or crafts. Maybe a specific form of copywriting is easier for you. For example, writing blogs could come more naturally to you than email campaigns.

Can an introvert be a copywriter?

Lots of copywriters consider themselves to be introverted. If the idea of an office building filled with small talk and formality sounds like a headache, freelance copywriting eliminates this environment. Conversely, extroverts may find copywriting isolating if they work from home, preferring public spaces or meeting up with others to work together in person.

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