Are you an aspiring copywriter? If you are, that’s great! As an endless supply of businesses compete online for site ranking and influence, the demand for high-quality copywriters is strong. If you are eager to get started, but fear that your lack of experience is holding you back, don’t worry. This article explains how to start your career as a copywriter with little to no experience.
Career Paths Compared
To get started as a copywriter, you have three basic career path options: freelancing, working for an agency, and working in-house. Each has pros and cons.
1.Freelancing means you are your own boss. This may have appeal from a quality-of-life standpoint, but it limits your ability to learn the trade. You also must drum up your own business, which is difficult without a track record. If you have clients lined up, freelancing could be a good option, but remember, you’re going to be training yourself.
2.Agency work is the fastest way to develop your skills because you’ll be around experienced copywriters and other personnel who work closely with copywriters, such as editors, web designers, and SEO specialists. You won’t have to worry about drumming up business — an agency will give you all the work you can handle. Good agencies provide formal training and on-the-job training. Both are effective.
3. In-house employment means you’ll be part of a company’s marketing team, writing copy exclusively for that organization. Like an agency, large organizations also offer extensive training. However, if you’re working in-house for a small one, learning opportunities will be more limited. The main difference between working for an agency and a large company is that in an agency, you’ll probably learn to write for several types of industries rather than learning one in great depth.
If you have experience and interest in a particular field, working in-house is a great choice. If you enjoy writing on a variety of topics and want to learn as much as you can about Internet marketing, agency work is your best option by far.
Things to Do as a New Copywriter
Getting your career off to a good start means doing the important things correctly. These 10 are among the most important.
1. Never miss a deadline.
2. Never plagiarize.
3. Always credit your sources.
4. Always use credible sources.
5. Carefully check grammar, punctuation, and usage. The AP Stylebook is a reliable reference source
6. Don’t start writing until you understand the assignment.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
8. Never take criticism of your writing personally.
9. Read copywriting blogs and try to develop a new skill or insight every day.
10. Never say no to a challenging assignment.
So, you’re all set! Do these 10 things consistently, and you will be well on your way to standing out from the crowd and impressing everyone you work for and with. If you’re looking for an additional resource on copywriting, here’s a quick article on 18 tips for odd copywriting jobs.
It’s never too late to start, and with this information under your belt, you’ll be ready to move in the right direction. These career opportunities are available right now, so good luck, and get writing!
Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, a Chicago-based Internet marketing company that specializes in SEO. With decades of marketing, sales, and management experience, Shorr has written for leading online publications including Forbes and Entrepreneur, and for the American Marketing Association.