Copywriting involves writing sales copy such as web content, press releases, catalogs, brochures and print ads with the intention of selling or promoting a brand, idea, product or service. Ad agencies and companies are always on the lookout for professional copywriters who can use words persuasively. With the huge demand for such exceptional writers, copywriting has grown to become one of the highest paying writing genres.
So, how much can you make as a copywriter? A single web page can earn a copywriter up to $500, while a short sales letter can earn as much as $3000. In some cases, copywriters are even paid a royalty for income generated from their work. As a copywriter, your earnings will be determined by your charges, the quality of your work and the location of your client.
Steps to getting started
Just like any other profession, getting started in copywriting will be easier if you have the relevant certification. Your chances of success will be further enhanced if you have a strong background in advertising, marketing and public relations. However, even if you don’t have any of these pre-qualifications, you can still learn the ropes and establish a successful career. Here are some steps you can take to launch a copywriting career.
1. Read widely
You will need to read as widely as possible to understand what copywriting is all about. There is a lot of free information available in websites and eBooks. Some of the best online resources for copywriting information are American Writers & Artists Inc. and Copy Blogger. You could go a step further to sign up for a copywriting course from reputed bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Udemy.
2. Select a copywriting niche
There is a wide range of copywriting niches to choose from. You can write media copy, direct mail, postcards, newsletters, self-mailers, sales copy and catalogs. To get a feel of these styles of copy, take time to observe the messages in billboards, magazines, email, websites and newspapers. What would you most enjoy writing about? Choose one or two niches and focus your energies on them.
3. Write some samples
After learning the basics of copywriting and selecting your preferred niche(s), it is time to put your knowledge into practice. Write sample copy for a business, whether real or imaginary. This will help enhance your skills as well as boost your confidence. Be sure to keep a good record of your sample copies. They might come in handy later when a prospective customer wants to see proof of your work.
4. Create a strong portfolio
One of the best ways of building a portfolio is having your own website. Potential clients usually take copywriters who have their own sites more seriously than those who don’t. Therefore, you need to take time to create a professional website which highlights who you are and the services offered. Provide links to some of your best samples, as well as testimonials from previous clients. This will enhance your chances of generating more business.
5. Find paying jobs
There are usually many employment opportunities posted on sites such as Journalism.co.uk, Webwriterspotlight and Indeed. You could write query letters to advertising agencies, organizations or businesses that might need your copywriting services.
One of the best things about copywriting is that you can start your business with minimum start-up costs. A computer with internet connection is enough to launch you into a successful career.