What is Copywriting?
What even is copywriting, anyway?
Do you adore the written word? Can you craft a persuasive argument, and convey a story with a flick of your pen? Well, then you may just be the perfect fit for a career in copywriting. Lucky for you, in the post below, you will discover everything you ever wanted to know (but were too afraid to ask) about what copywriting is. There is also an incredibly useful section on how you can get your career off the ground in this gratifying field. So, what are you waiting for? If you want to start writing, get reading!
One of the best things about being a copywriter is that we use gorgeous, juicy, well-crafted words to help people. We help people because the little verbs, adjectives, and noun nuggets we arrange, allow them to know about things that will make their lives a little easier. After all, don't we all want a more comfortable, more enjoyable experience?
Copywriting is no one-way street, though. This is because there is a vast wealth of attractive advantages for those wielding the pen.
One of the most significant of these is that copywriting affords you an interesting, varied, and creative way to earn a good living. Being creative for a living is good. It's great for your brain and your soul. Oh, and the fact that some top writers in this field make a tremendously good living from putting pen to paper (or more often in today's market, finger to keyboard) is pretty sweet too.
Additionally, you get to work with some awesome clients and help them make their business more profitable and effective. Also, many copywriters benefit from the opportunity to go freelance. A way of working that can be much more conducive to a healthy work-life balance. (Freelancing is also very popular because it means you can get up at midday and work in your pajamas if you choose. A benefit that you will find is very dear to many a writer's heart.)
What is copywriting?
Now you know all the reasons why copywriting is a fabulous career, you are probably wondering what exactly it entails? After all, before you jump into a job with both feet, it's pretty sensible to find out what you will spend your time doing day in and day out.
Well, put simply copywriting is the art of persuasion using words. That means what a copywriter does is cleverly crafts words to encourage, convince, and persuade the people that read them to take action.
Contrary to popular opinion, the action doesn't always have to be buying a product, though. Sometimes it can be opening an email or SMS, completing a survey, or even getting people to enter their details in a contact form. It is also very often getting people to click through to an organization website from search engine results.
It is this ability to get people to take action based on their words that makes copywriters one of the most critical parts of the marketing process! In fact, if there is marketing to be done, you will always find a copywriter involved somewhere along the line.
Types of copy
Many people believe they have a fixed idea of what copy is in their minds. They think of it as writing ads and crafting flyers in print, intending to increase sales for a business. However, if you choose this rewarding career, this type of advertising copy is only one of the many areas in which you may be expected to work your magic.
Of course, another prominent area where your skills will be tested is in the online realm. Indeed, while print marketing is certainly not dead, its online counterpart has many advantages. Something that means you will likely see your words on screen more than any other platform.
Part of the online work copywriters do is known as SEO or search engine optimization copywriting. Otherwise known as content writing. This is where you will often find the longer form pieces designed to host keywords that help companies boost their rankings online.
This content is by no means only a vehicle for key words. It is also devised to provide excitement, information, and entertainment. With such material offering real value to those that consume it. While also engaging those belonging to the demographic you are looking to attract.
How to get started in copywriting?
By now, you are likely raring to get going with your copywriting career, make a difference in the world, and start cashing those checks!
Yet, before you can start bringing in those big-money contracts, there is some groundwork that needs completing.
Step One - Read
Yes, that right, good writers, don't only put pen to paper, they make plenty of time for reading as well. The good news is that many of the best copywriters already established in the industry love the written word. This means they have produced books and blogs galore for your delectation and digestion!
A word of warning here! You cannot read everything on copywriting there is. There’s just not enough time. You also don't have to read everything that has ever been written about copywriting before you can begin. Instead, your primary goal here is to get a robust foundation on which to build.
With that in mind, you may want to cast your eyes across some of the following resources:
There are several seminal works crafted on the art of copy. Check out the two below to begin:
Once you have started to lay a good foundation with reading, you can begin to consider some type of formal education and practice in copywriting. Unfortunately, this is where the age-old quandary of whether you should abandon your current career and go back to school comes in.
Well, there is nothing wrong with doing that if you have the time and means. There are some impressive copywriting programs offered at schools like Chicago Portfolio and Miami Ad. Not to mention the Virginia Commonwealth University Brand Centre!
Sadly, there are some significant downsides to upending your life and heading back to school full time. The first of these is that it can cost a whole lot! Tens of thousands of dollars in most cases. Which means you are going to be living on ramen again for the foreseeable future. (Not the good kind either, but the instant packet stuff with a little sachet flavor powder.)
Additionally, full-time school will take a big ole’ chunk of time out of your life. A prospect that isn't too bad if you're in your early 20’s and up for embracing the kegger lifestyle. However, returning to school full-time can impact other things such as family responsibilities, or your ability to maintain your lifestyle. That is why many people choose to hone their copy skills with a short, live course, or an online program instead.
Of course, there are more of these online than you can shake a stick at, so choosing the right one is essential. With that in mind, it's best to look for courses that are taught by industry pros. Teachers that have significant experience actually writing copy from big brands.
It's also vital that you find a course that will fulfill the goals you have. For instance, some programs will only go through the basic concepts with you. In contrast, courses like the ones offered at San Francisco School of Copywriting (SFSC) empower you to be a confident copywriter. A copywriter that can hit the ground running and begin working on their career immediately.
In summary, copywriting is not just another job; it is a valuable, varied, and meaningful career.
To be a successful copywriter, you must do several things. The first is to read about the art of copy, while the second is to invest in some formal education. After all, there is no shame in standing on the shoulders of giants when it comes to this craft!
Once you have completed these steps, all you need's a little practice. Then you will be ready to launch your copywriting career into the stratosphere!