Copywriting Beginner: How to Start a Copywriting Career
Copywriting makes a fabulous home-based business. With the growth of the Web, the demand for copywriters is fast out-pacing the supply, so you'll have plenty of eager clients for your skills.
But how do you get started?
In this article, we'll look at four steps you can take which will set you on the path to a great copywriting career.
1. Read your junk mail and other advertisements for free training
Although copywriting is often defined as writing advertising copy (text), there's much more to copywriting than writing advertisements. However, for a beginning copywriter, advertisements make a great training ground.
For the next few weeks, collect junk mail, and read it carefully. Also, read advertisements online, in magazines, on billboards and everywhere else you can find them.
Your aim is to get a feeling for how copywriting works: what makes effective copy, and what doesn't.
Essentially, effective copy is copy which gets the response that the copywriter was aiming for, so focus on that. Look for advertisements which caught your attention, and for copy which aroused a response in you. Copy which arouses a response is great copy; "creative" copy, which draws attention to the ad because it's clever, often is not.
Beginning copywriters often aim for clever copy; try to break yourself of this inclination. Remember that the response is everything. The more clear and transparent your copy is, the more effective it is. The reader (or listener, or viewer if you're writing audio-visual copy) should be unaware of the copy. If a reader says "clever ad" without responding in any other way, you've failed with that piece of copy.
2. Write samples - these act as your "portfolio"
As a copywriter, you need a portfolio - samples of copy that you've written. As a new copywriter, your portfolio is empty.
Therefore, you need to write samples, practice pieces. These practice pieces are what you show potential clients, until you have real client material you can place in your portfolio.
Practice rewriting as many advertisements as possible. Your aim here is to start thinking like a copywriter.
3. Write apprentice copy - for yourself and others
Your next step is to write apprentice copy. This copy may be material that you write for clients at a minimal rate, on the understanding that it's apprentice work, or apprentice copy you write for a professional copywriter who's agreed to mentor you, or take you on as an intern.
4. Build your confidence - get clients
Once you've completed your apprenticeship, it's time to take on clients. You'll find that getting clients is easy, especially online.
So there you have it: four steps to set you on the path to a copywriting career. Copywriting is fun, lucrative, and challenging. If you want a home-based business, you can write copy anywhere, from your home office, or from an island in the Pacific. If you love writing, it's the perfect career for you.
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Contact the AuthorAngela Booth
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