The demand for copywriters continues to outpace the supply. For someone who loves writing, it may be a brilliant and rewarding career.
Anybody who enjoys writing can learn copywriting and break into the profession, even if they don’t have experience. However, a prospective employer or client may want to see evidence you can write persuasive copy. For that, you’ll need a portfolio of your best work.
You can create an impressive portfolio on your own. This article will show you where to start.
Can Anybody Learn Copywriting Even Without Experience?
The truth is, not everyone can be a good copywriter, because not everyone can write. Some people struggle to complete a sentence.
However, anyone who can write, particularly anyone who enjoys it, can learn copywriting. Later in this article, I show you the most affordable way to learn copywriting.
Foundational copywriting skills are mechanical. They are based on proven formulas and strategies. Anyone who can read can learn them.
The magic happens in the application of these copywriting formulas and strategies. That’s where creativity is essential.
In my experience, the best copywriters are frustrated creative writers.
Other writers can succeed as copywriters too, but creative writers are familiar with their subconscious. They know how to go deep inside to find creatively solutions. That’s a huge advantage.
Is Copywriting in Demand?
Copywriting is one of the few professions that directly impacts the profits of a business. Wherever a company is trying to make a profit, there’s a demand for a copywriter.
Since the advent of the internet, the need for copywriters has exploded. A copywriter who has proven she can boost the bottom line for a company can write their own ticket.
New businesses are launching every day that need copywriters.
Existing businesses often have a continuous need for persuasive copy. Last year’s brochure needs to be rewritten. Content on the company website needs to update to for the new brand. There is no end to it.
Online, the lifespan of marketing materials is exceptionally brief. Ad campaigns need continuous testing and refreshing. They need copywriters to do that.
Many large companies are now downsizing their staff. Instead of keeping copywriters on the payroll, they let them go and hire freelancers instead.
As the demand for copywriters grows, many of the best are leaving the profession to write their own marketing campaigns to promote affiliate products.
Copywriting is an Excellent Career.
For people who enjoy creatively playing with words and ideas, copywriting is an excellent career choice.
Many people who love writing spend their life creating novels and screenplays that are never seen by the public and never earn a dime.
Copywriting is less work than writing a novel or screenplay and pays much better. It doesn’t require nearly as much luck.
In fact, making a darn good living as a copywriter is almost a sure thing.
Copy is Everywhere.
Marketing of every stripe is dependent on persuasive copy. Copy is everywhere from cereal boxes to charities to political campaigns.
Copywriting is a valuable skill. It educates, stirs emotions and moves prospects to become customers.
Because the demand for good copywriters is so high, you can get started without experience. The key is to learn the core copywriting skills a copywriter needs and then demonstrate you can write persuasive copy.
In other words, give yourself copywriting experience. Learn the skills and give yourself copywriting assignments as if you were the client.
As mentioned earlier, the skills are easy to learn, it is the creative application of these skills that makes you a good copywriter.
The more you apply these skills, the better you get.
How to Create a Copywriting Portfolio with No Experience.
Nothing is stopping you from getting all the copywriting experience you need. Just learn the skills and start writing.
Start by writing for yourself.
Writing copy for yourself will do a couple of things for you. First, it will quickly show you if you enjoy the work enough to do it every day.
Second, it will develop your copywriting muscles and teach you to trust your internal creative process.
Finally, it will give you the confidence you need to approach a potential employer or client.
Keep writing projects for yourself until you have that confidence and you know you can dive into a new copywriting project without hesitation.
When you are confident you can consistently write persuasive copy challenge yourself to write your best. Create samples of your work to add to your portfolio.
A portfolio of your work is proof you can do the job. Show it to potential employers or clients. It’s how you get your foot in the door.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Copywriter?
As with any writing profession, a copywriter must have the ability to keep their butt in a chair for hours and write well.
Some writers are never happier than when they are writing. It’s how they get their dopamine fix. If this is you, you have a great advantage.
Specifically, a copywriter writes persuasive text, but they are not journalists or creative writers, although they share many of the traits of these professions.
A copywriter is essentially a businessperson who writes well.
They understand business and are comfortable writing promotional pieces that a company reach marketing objectives.
They are salespeople who use written text to persuade prospective customers to buy or take some other action.
The Skills, Knowledge and Attributes a Copywriter Must Have:
- A thirst for information. Copywriting project typically begin with research. The better a copywriter understands her prospect and product, the more persuasive her copy will be.
- Strong Writing Skills. Without strong writing skills, a copywriter cannot clearly communicate with the reader or adapt to new writing challenges.
- The Elements of Copy. These are the building blocks of copy; headlines, lead lines, captions, etc.
- Creative Intelligence. Creative Intelligence is the ability to find unique solutions to marketing challenges.
- Salesmanship. Copywriting is laser-focused selling through understanding the prospect’s needs and desires.
- Typing and Computer Skills. Knowing how to type and use a computer is essential. Copywriter must also know how to use a various software, such as, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
- Business Acumen. An employer or client who hires a copywriter will expect them to know standard business protocol, plus the basics of copywriting and how copy fits into a business’s overall strategy.
- Digital Marketing. Business is online. An understanding of digital marketing is critical. The most affordable place to learn digital marketing is the largest online community of marketers in the world.
A freelance copywriter will also need to be a good self-promoter with keen negotiating skills.
How to Be a Good Copywriter.
A good copywriter needs more the skills and attributes mentioned above.
He must be creative on demand and at the same time capable of producing copy that achieves the marketing goals of his client.
Good copywriters deliver under pressure and work well either alone or with a team.
Additional traits of a Good Copywriter.
Good copywriters tend to be…
- Aware of visual and verbal aesthetics
- Thorough researchers
- Well-read and knowledgeable of a wide range of subjects.
How to Break into Copywriting.
Copywriting mechanics can be learned by anybody capable of reading and writing.
The formulas and methods for crafting persuasive copy can be learned from a book or from no-cost online sources.
The place to start is with Robert Bly’s “The Copywriter’s Handbook” and Steve Slaunwhite’s “Everything Guide to Writing Copy.”
Together these books cost about $40 on Amazon. If you can get only one, get Slaunwhite’s book in paperback.
After getting one or both books, you’ll want to know as soon as possible if copywriting is a good fit for you.
Read Slaunwhite’s book. See if the subject interest you. If it does, keep reading until you grasp the big picture.
Once you finish reading the entire “Everything Guide to Writing Copy,” go through it again. This time, give yourself writing assignments.
And read Bly’s book. It covers similar ground from a different perspective.
Write at least one of each copywriting project mentioned in the Slaunwhite’s guide. This is the one way to find out if you enjoy copywriting or if you might be better suited for something else.
If you discover you like writing copy, continue writing self-assigned projects from Slaunwhite’s book.
Get feedback from other writers to find out how effective your copy is. You’ll find them in the largest community of internet marketers.
When you are confident you can be creative on demand and write most projects, or at least the ones you prefer, create samples for your portfolio.
The samples in your portfolio should be your best work and as engaging and persuasive as you can make them. If your portfolio samples are convincing, you have a good chance of getting a job or a client.
Copywriting is Not for Everybody.
In the real world, copywriting requires the ability to be creative on demand and to work well with others. Plus, if you’re a freelancer, you’ll need fearless negotiating skills.
Not every writer is prepare for that. In fact, many writers are introverts. I count myself as a member of that prestigious club.
Introverts are the idea people of the world, but when it comes to dealing with others, most of us would rather stay home.
For the introverts of the world, blogging might be a better option. Blogging allows us to write in blissful solitude and still make a very comfortable income. The income potential of blogging is unlimited.
To learn more, read The Easiest Writing Career.