Becoming a copywriter can be a lucrative and satisfying career.
…You make a pretty darn good income and live life on your own terms (when you start your career off on the right foot).
…You can’t be replaced by an “I’ll write anything” desperate discounter (because you deliver results and cheap copywriters don’t).
… You hold the keys to the most essential skill for making money on the Internet (every successful online marketer has studied copywriting, keeps a top copywriter on speed dial, or both).
Many talented, energetic people give up on the idea because they think, “It’s beyond me. I just don’t have what it takes.”
Here are the most common myths:
Myth #1: You need to be super-creative to be a copywriter.
Reality: Copywriting resembles sales a lot more than creative writing. Many copywriters will tell you they rely on research and time-tested formulas.
Myth #2: If you’re a good writer you’ll be a good copywriter.
Your goal is to understand where your audience is coming from. What do they care about? What’s their backstory?
Most copywriters have some facility with words. Certainly, you’ll have a head start if you’re an outstanding wordsmith.
But many copywriters begin with no writing experience at all. Few were English majors in college.
Copywriting is completely different from writing a novel, a poem, or even a how-to book. It’s not a special form of technical writing.
Some copywriters claim that journalism helps you become a copywriter. You learn to write simply and clearly and you learn to ask questions.
Myth #3: You need to spend thousands of dollars (or pounds) on a copywriting course.
But it’s not a good idea to go back to school to study journalism. Just get started on a copywriting career.
Most copywriters I’ve met have never taken those widely advertised high-end courses. They’ve read a lot of books about copywriting and taken a course or two online, usually for a few hundred dollars or less.
Once you realize that you really want to be a copywriter, you may decide to join a mentorship program or take a course from a high-powered copywriter, by application only. Those courses aren’t cheap and it’s a good idea to wait till you’ve got some traction.
Myth #4: There are only 3 choices — freelance, work for a company or work for an ad agency.
But some successful copywriters have never hired a mentor or taken a course. They just read a lot and studied the work of successful copywriters in their fields.
Working for a private company can be a good way to enter the field. You learn how to make the most mundane products seem appealing to your audience (and to some audiences, ball bearings, and gear wheels are fascinating). Ideally, you’ll be able to start freelancing on the side to get some diversity in your portfolio.
Ad agencies tend to be competitive. You’ll deal with a lot of egos but you get a great experience. You learn how to analyze ads and measure conversion rates.
Myth #5: You must have clients to get clients.
To get a job in an agency, you’ll need to get in front of a creative director and show what you can do. Blogging and social media can be a good way to break in.
Of course, if you live in a small town or don’t fit the mold, you won’t be able to find good jobs in those areas. But you don’t have to live hand-to-mouth or chase jobs online. You can set up a business with copywriting as your core skill. You can build relationships that generate ongoing income.
When you get started, you can feel frustrated because prospects want to see your portfolio and get references.
Learn more …
Some copywriters offer to work free or deeply discounted. I don’t recommend ever working for free unless your “client” is your favorite nonprofit and they’re really broke. The samples and references you produce for bargain-hunters may not appeal to high-end prospects.
Another way is to become your own best client. Create landing pages for your own products and for affiliate products. You’ll be able to establish that you know how to create high-converting copy…and you can demonstrate your skills.
What do copywriters really do for people? Learn 3 big ways a copywriter can help your small business. Free download here.
Become A Copywriter is a comprehensive multi-media course, covering every aspect of becoming a copywriter. To learn more, visit http://mycopy.info/beacw
Originally published at https://cathygoodwin.com on July 15, 2020.