So you’re considering becoming a copywriter. The great news is that you’re in the right place!
The even better news is that this career path offers a variety of benefits, from having the freedom to be creative to a more flexible working schedule, making it a highly worthwhile choice.
In this article, we’ll explain exactly how to embark on your copywriting journey, so that you can hit the ground running and build a successful business.
What Does Copywriting Involve?
Copywriters produce content that aims to influence an audience in some capacity, whether by educating or persuading them to purchase a product or service.
To be successful in this career, you’ll need to have a good understanding of what your client hopes to achieve through the copy, along with the type of audience you’re trying to engage.
However, copywriting goes beyond creating articles, blog posts, and web copy. The role also involves utilising a range of skills, including research, search engine optimisation (SEO), and client communication.
Many copywriters work on a freelance basis, meaning they’ll also need to have some business and marketing know-how to recruit and retain their own clients.
4 Steps to Becoming a Copywriter
If you’re looking to take the plunge into a copywriting career, there are some crucial steps to consider when setting up your business. Here are 4 tips that we’d recommend to any budding copywriter hoping to be successful in this exciting industry:
1. Take a Look At Your Skills
Before diving into any career, it’s vital to know exactly where you’re at in terms of the abilities you currently possess and those you need to work on. This is especially important for copywriting, as you’re likely to be working as a freelance agent, so you’ll need to be able to show clients what you can offer them.
If you’re struggling to come up with a list of your relevant skills, past experiences, and contributions to the industry, ask peers for feedback - sometimes two brains are better than one! Don’t limit this process to copywriting skills either; consider your hobbies, interests, and knowledge outside of work.
For example, you may enjoy participating in sports and going to the gym. This can help you select a niche or particular type of client you want to work with, which would be those involved in the health and fitness industry.
The process also allows you to identify areas for improvement so that you can become a more well-rounded copywriter.
For instance, if you’re unsure of the best SEO practices, you could book yourself onto a workshop or online course. Using a range of copywriting tools such as Surfer SEO and AHrefs can also help you learn the importance of keywords and other ranking factors, along with how to use them effectively in your work.
2. Create a Portfolio
Next, you’ll need to showcase your skills and areas of expertise by creating a portfolio. This can be much more engaging than a CV and relevant for creative roles like copywriting.
A portfolio can also help you stand out from the crowd and show potential clients why they should choose you over other copywriters.
If you’re hoping to work with a specific type of client or in a particular industry, put together a few examples of your best work that demonstrate your tone, style, format, and key areas of knowledge. For a more general portfolio, compile a more diverse range of pieces showing that your skills are adaptable to a variety of mediums.
You should also include some interesting information about you and links to any social media sites that further demonstrate your creative side.
3. Decide on Your Pricing
From your working hours to how you communicate with clients, as a copywriter it’s important to establish boundaries and expectations. Failing to do this could lead to you becoming burnt out, and your client feeling disappointed with the end result.
Another essential boundary to set is your pricing. Define your pricing model based on your level of experience and market demand, and communicate this clearly to each client.
You may want to create different packages based on key deliverables like word count or the type of copy produced, to demonstrate flexibility and choice to potential brands.
4. Try Networking
Once you’ve established your portfolio and pricing strategy, the next thing you need to do is find clients! Rather than waiting for them to come to you, put yourself out there instead.
You can often find networking events and workshops for your chosen industry, where you’ll have a chance to establish your name with brands and other copywriters.
This also gives you an opportunity to assess the competition; you can see what makes them successful and how they work with clients. You could even take some tips on areas such as writing style and pricing models to improve your copywriting business!
Networking doesn’t have to be limited to in-person events either. Set up a social media page to build your online presence, ensuring you regularly upload optimised content that makes you more discoverable.
Get Your Career Off to a Great Start
Ready to take the next step into copywriting? Although there are many things to think about, there’s no need to be overwhelmed. As a great writer, the best advice that we can give is to follow your creative instincts and enjoy each stage in this rewarding career that you’ve chosen.
If you need further advice on building your business, or simply want to learn more, then explore our range of resources on The Author’s Pad. We’re a community of writers providing continual guidance for others looking to turn their passion into a career.
How do beginners get into copywriting?
Some beginners start their copywriting journeys by joining a freelance agency. This provides support as you build your experience and takes away the stress of chasing invoices from clients. It also ensures you have a guaranteed income when you’re just starting out. Others may build their own portfolio and start reaching out to potential clients on their own.
How do I start copywriting with no experience?
To become a copywriter without experience, start writing on topics that you are knowledgeable about. Use this as a chance to build your portfolio, demonstrating your area of expertise to potential clients. Another great tip is to join a freelance copywriting agency, which provides you with guaranteed work whilst building your skills and reputation.
Is copywriting a worthwhile career?
Despite the rise of artificial intelligence, copywriters will always be in demand as they can bring real-life experience and a human touch to web copy. Although copywriting comes with some challenges, such as job security, it can therefore be a highly rewarding career that pays well for those passionate about writing and creativity.
Can I teach myself copywriting?
Yes, you can learn more about copywriting by reading books, watching YouTube videos, and reading copywriting blogs, such as The Author’s Pad. You’ll also naturally build skills and knowledge as you delve deeper into your career and work closely with a variety of different clients.