How to Become a Copywriter in 3 Simple Steps
Anyone can become a copywriter with zero experience.
That may sound bold, but everyone has some experience writing, whether they realize it or not. Have you ever written an email to your neighbors inviting them to a party?
Or typed up an enticing description for an item you sold online? Even a basic text message convincing your busy friend to come out for drinks – They’re all examples of copywriting.
Simply put, copywriting is persuading your audience to do something. Before we get to the 3 Steps of Becoming a Copywriter, there are a few basics of copywriting that you’ll need to know.
Standard Copywriting vs. Direct Response Copywriting
Standard copywriting is “in it for the long haul” and seeks to establish a foothold in your memory over time. Think about when you see a specific brand in the store and a little jingle or phrase comes to the front of your mind, enticing you to purchase that item.
Direct response copywriting is aptly named as its goal is immediate action once the audience has finished reading. Often found in social media where the goal is to sign up, like, or subscribe; It is also seen in your email inbox in promotional marketing sales where the intention is to get you to buy something now.
Corporate Copywriting vs. Freelance Copywriting
Copywriting has two paths that offer varying degrees of flexibility, financial stability, and location independence.
In corporate copywriting, you would typically be working for an agency or company on a fixed salary. Working for a specific company provides financial security, but means sacrificing the flexibility of making your own schedule. In today’s job market, working from home is commonplace and seemingly here to stay. However, most companies prefer to keep their employees in the same time zone or country. So if your goal is to travel and work as a digital nomad, freelance writing may be more your stride.
Freelance writing allows you the flexibility to create your schedule and work from almost anywhere in the world. With an internet-accessible computer, freelance copywriting is at your fingertips. This path may not offer the financial security of a corporate salary, but you do get to set your own limitations. Essentially, you can work as much or as little as you want.
And trust me – the money is there.
Each of these paths offers a wide salary range depending on location and workload, but it is possible to turn copywriting into a million-dollar business. Salaries start between $37,504 – $89,003 for copywriters and between $31,272 – $120,510 for freelance copywriters in the U.S.
3 Steps to Become a Copywriter
What are the core skills required to be a successful copywriter?
You don’t need a degree in English Literature to succeed. As long as you have a strong grasp of the English language and can read, write, and edit – copywriting can open up a whole new world of possibilities. Even if you’re starting fresh with no experience, it’s easy enough to land smaller jobs to build a portfolio, establish your reputation, and maximize your income.
Step 1: The first step to becoming a copywriter is learning the different nuances within this field. If you’ve read everything above, you’re well on your way! You now understand the basics between corporate copywriting, which offers financial stability at the cost of flexibility and limitations on earning potential, versus freelance writing which is less stable but offers more freedom with greater income opportunities.
From here, you want to start acting like a copywriter by doing some research into the field. There are more websites on the internet than people in the U.S. so everything you need is right at your fingertips. To start you off, these Top 10 Best Books on Copywriting will give you a hand in forging your path.
Step 2: Gather case studies, testimonials, and references that highlight your talents to land your first job. As you begin working with more clients, you’ll want to build an impressive portfolio to showcase your skills. The more unique and diverse your portfolio – the easier it will be to secure higher-paying clients which in turn, will sharpen your skills as a copywriter resulting in greater income generation long term.
Now the hard part – finding clients. You could reach out to brands you love in niches that speak to you and offer your services. An easier path is to head to a marketplace where millions of dollars in transactions are processed every day at each level of experience, Upwork. All you need to do is create your profile and start applying for jobs!
Step 3: Once you’ve got some experience under your belt, you’ll want to polish and enhance the look of your portfolio with each job you complete. The more you showcase your talents, the more you can charge for your copywriting services. As you begin to make a name for yourself, clients will start coming to you through repeat projects and referrals. This is where your side hustle becomes a full-time career making money online.
Now it’s time to dive in! If you still have questions or are nervous about venturing off on your own, you can check out Copy Sharks. They provide a step-by-step process to get you started with freelance copywriting and offer a free training session!
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