Copywriting is one of the world’s oldest professions; in fact, one of the oldest surviving advertisements was printed on a sheet of paper in 1477 by William Caxton. And in today’s digital landscape, copywriters are in greater demand than ever before.
But what is a copywriter, and how can you become a copywriter? This article will examine what copywriting means, what the career entails, and how to become a copywriter.
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What Is a Copywriter, and What Do They Do?
Copywriters are responsible for creating persuasive and compelling written content. They are skilled professionals who specialize in crafting words that capture peoples’ attention, engage their readers, and drive action.
In the marketing and advertising industries, copywriters play a crucial role in creating persuasive messages that promote products, services, or ideas. They carefully choose their words to evoke emotions, address pain points, and convince their target audience to take a desired action, such as making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, or engaging with a brand.
From writing informative blog posts to creating compelling product descriptions, copywriters utilize their language skills to effectively communicate their clients’ messages to resonate with their target audience.
Examples of written content that copywriters may be hired to write include:
- Advertising Copy
- Website Copy
- Social Media Posts
- Blog Posts & Articles
- Email Marketing Content
- Video & Film Scripts
- Press Releases
How to Become a Copywriter
In order to become a copywriter, you need to have strong writing, grammar, spelling, and storytelling capabilities. However, these are not the only skills that you’ll need. Below, we will take a look at some of the steps to take to become a copywriter, including the skills and equipment that you will need.
Although a degree is not necessary, having a Bachelor’s degree in English, Communications, or Marketing to become a copywriter can be advantageous. In addition to a tertiary qualification, there are short courses and workshops to attend to develop and improve your skills, especially in SEO and storytelling.
Copywriters need a combination of creative and technical skills to excel in their profession, such as:
✅ Exceptional writing skills
✅ The ability to think creatively
✅ Impeccable spelling & grammar
✅ A wide vocabulary
✅ Good research skills
✅ An understanding of SEO (search engine optimization)
✅ Attention to detail
✅ Good time management
✅ Excellent communication skills
✅ Knowledge of platforms such as Microsoft Word and Google Workspace
Copywriters generally require minimal equipment to carry out their work effectively, although there are some necessary tools that can improve your processes and overall efficiency. Here are the essential equipment and tools for copywriters:
A Computer: A reliable computer or laptop is essential for writing and editing copy. Ensure it has sufficient processing power, memory, and storage to handle various writing software and online research.
Word Processing Software: Copywriters typically use word processing software like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or Apple Pages for writing and formatting their copy. These tools provide a user-friendly interface and essential features like spell check and grammar correction.
Internet Connection: A stable internet connection is necessary for conducting research, accessing online resources, and collaborating with clients or team members remotely. It enables copywriters to stay updated on industry trends and gather information for their writing projects.
Reference Materials: Copywriters may require reference materials such as style guides, grammar books, dictionaries, and industry-specific resources. These references help ensure accuracy and consistency in writing, especially when working on technical or specialized topics.
Productivity Tools: Copywriters can benefit from productivity tools like project management software, note-taking apps, and time-tracking tools to stay organized, manage tasks efficiently, and optimize their workflows.
Writing Tools: There are a variety of tools available to help writers with their craft. Some examples include:
- Grammarly: Grammarly is an essential tool for writers that automatically checks content for grammatical errors.
- Wordtune: All writers experience writer’s block at some point or another, but thankfully Wordtune is available as a Chrome extension to rephrase sentences and provide ideas when you are stuck.
- Hemingway: Based on the style of famous writer Ernest Hemingway, this app evaluates your copy for readability, as well as providing suggestions for rephrasing convoluted sentences.
- Scrivener: Scrivener provides a system for managing documents, notes, and metadata. For ease of access and reference, the user can organize notes, concepts, research, and entire documents.
Headphones: While not essential, headphones can be useful for copywriters who prefer to work in a quiet environment or listen to music or ambient sounds that help boost their focus and creativity.
Ergonomic Setup: Consider investing in an ergonomic desk and chair to maintain a comfortable and healthy posture while working for long hours. A proper setup can prevent physical strain and improve productivity.
Build a Portfolio
Start creating a portfolio of your work to showcase your abilities to potential future clients. If you don’t have any previous client projects, create spec ads or practice pieces that showcase your skills. Include a variety of writing samples that demonstrate your versatility and ability to adapt to different industries and tones. Use a website builder such as SquareSpace to create an online portfolio, for more efficient sharing.
Network & Seek Opportunities
Connect with other professionals in the marketing and copywriting industries, attend relevant events, and join copywriting communities online. Networking can lead to freelance gigs, collaborations, or job opportunities, as well as providing you with more of an insight into the writing landscape. You can also create profiles on freelance job platforms and social media websites such as LinkedIn to connect with potential clients.
Find Your Niche
Consider specializing in a specific industry or type of copywriting, such as health, advertising, SEO, technology, or any other niche that you may be passionate about. Focusing on a niche can help you develop expertise and stand out amongst your competitors.
Keep up with industry trends, new marketing strategies, and emerging platforms. Continuously educate yourself on digital marketing, SEO, social media advertising, and content marketing, as these skills are valuable for modern copywriters. It is also important to seek feedback on your work, stay open to constructive criticism, and continuously refine your writing skills.
Becoming a copywriter requires a combination of skills, qualifications, and practical experience. By honing your writing abilities, understanding marketing principles, and developing your portfolio, you can position yourself for success in this dynamic field.
Equip yourself with the necessary tools, both in terms of equipment and writing software, to enhance your productivity and efficiency. With dedication and a passion for crafting persuasive content, you can embark on a fulfilling career as a copywriter, captivating audiences and driving impactful results for clients.