How To Become A Copywriter With No Experience
Being a copywriter is something you can do from anywhere. This is because you can start your own business as a copywriter and work remotely. This is my guide on how to become a copywriter with no experience. By the end of this article, you will know what it entails to be a copywriter and how to get in to this as a potential online business.
What Is A Copywriter?
With the majority of online businesses, content is king. Creating content is super important for marketing and is what most businesses rely on.
Content is so important for businesses, because they use it to communicate, educate, entertain and tall about their products and services. The creation of this content is down to copywriters.
The job of a copywriter is to create content that is informative and designed to guide the reader’s research.
Different Types Of Copywriter
There are a few different types of copywriter. Some specialise in creating content for advertising, while others create medical content. Medical content is obviously a very specialist niche that requires a certain amount of experience and expertise. This is also the case for technical copywriters.
It is quite difficult to define what a copywriter actually does. But the one of the best ways to describe them, is that there are copywriters that write to get people to take action and those that write to inform.
Whichever way you look at it, a copywriter works with words on a daily basis.
What Does A Copywriter Do?
Obviously the main part of being a copywriter is writing. However, there is a bit more to it than that. To create quality content as a copywriter, you need to a lot of research in to the topic you are writing about. Part of this research will be to interview people. So this is a skill you may want to work on.
Other things you should expect to do as a copywriter are, proofreading, editing, looking for appropriate images for your content, planning marketing campaigns and monitoring the effectiveness of your efforts.
If you really want to get in to the nitty gritty of copywriting for marketing, you will also be working with SEO, social media and possibly video marketing.
So really a marketing copywriter’s job is to create content in order to attract traffic to a website, which will hopefully lead to more customers. Words are what a copywriter will produce, but writing is what they spend the majority of their time doing.
It is common for a marketing copywriter to spend half of their time researching, while the other half is taken up with editing, tweaking etc.
Who Uses Copywriters?
Copywriters write to reach achieve something, i.e. to cater to their client’s needs. The client may want to promote a product, educate their audience or show what they can do. It is used as part of what is called inbound marketing. This is a way fo communicating with potential customers without being too salesy and pushy.
Copywriter’s need to have a few traits. They need to be fast learners and to not be egotistical. This is because it is very rare that their name is on any of their work. Their work looks like it comes from their client. Therefore, they have to care about how good their work is, but they cannot get all fussy when they don’t get any credit for it.
Clients expect copywriters to write as if the words are coming from them. So a copywriter needs to understand the necessary tone taking in to account who they are speaking as and who they are speaking to. To make sure that they get it right, copywriters need to ask lots of questions and look at previous content to know get the “client’s voice”.
Do Copywriters Just Write Blogs?
Blogs are just one of the ways copywriter’s create content. Typically, these blogs are informal ways of communicating with an audience. When it comes to writing blogs, it is a good idea for a copywriter to have some SEO knowledge. This is because blogs are a way of attracting organic traffic when people search for answers on certain topics in search engines. Therefore, blogs should ideally be based around keywords people are searching for.
The other types of content copywriters need to work on are:
- White papers – These are informative documents that go in to the details of a problem and ways of solving it. The solution is usually based around what the client is selling. White papers are used to generate leads, so a dialogue with a potential customer can be created.
- Social media – Believe it or not, copywriters are often used to come up with social media content. This is because they have the mindset of coming up with engaging, entertaining and informative posts.
- Emails – By writing emails, I don’t mean for the day to dat emails that businesses use to communicate with. I mean that copywriters will often be called in to write emails that are going to be sent out to mailing lists as part of a marketing campaign. These emails should entice and inform subscribers in to doing business with the client.
- Websites – Websites are full of information, but the the copy is of poor quality, it isn’t doing its job effectively. Copywriters have the skills to ensure the information on a client’s website will do its job properly.
- Reports – On occasion copywriters write reports on a particular topic or trend within an industry. This requires a lot of research and is used to highlight a trend or an issue that needs dealing with.
- Advertisements – The words in advertisements often come from copywriters.
- Case studies – Case studies are used by businesses to show how they have helped their clients. These are written with a basic structure, but the copywriter’s job is to find a story within it and make it sound interesting so other potential customers can see what the client can do for them.
What Qualifications Do I Need?
There are no official qualifications to be a copywriter. You do need a flair for writing though. Anyone can write, but not everyone is a writer. Of course, you can learn skills and you will improve with experience. But essentially, all you need is a computer and an internet connection.
Is The Money Worth The Effort?
It is actually possible to earn six figures as a copywriter. But, how much you earn all depends on how much time and effort you put in to making it a success. It is common for people to subcontract to copywriting companies, while building up their own freelancing business.
Freelancers can make a huge amount of money if they promote themselves properly by getting contracts with big name companies.
Copywriting is one of those businesses that you can do part time too. It is quite common for people to do it as a side hustle to supplement their income. For example, I know a mountain bike racer that pretty much lives in a motorhome, travelling around Europe from race to race. He makes his money copywriting from his van, coffee shops, libraries etc while on the road.
Copywriting comes with all the benefits of an online business. It allows you to be flexible, in the way you can work when and wherever you want to.
How To Start A Freelance Copywriting Business
Develop A Digital Portfolio
You need to prove what you can do. Therefore, by building up a portfolio of work you have done, you have something to show potential clients. It is important to do this for a number of reasons:
- Competition – There will be other copywriters competing for the same jobs. By being able to show your track record to potential clients, they will know what you can do.
- Marketing yourself – Your online portfolio should show off your best work. It should be a personal ad campaign for yourself, that targets potential clients and employers.
- Potential clients can be anywhere – It is quite common to do work for clients you will never meet face to face. Therefore, you will use your digital portfolio to promote yourself without having to email lots of different files to potential clients.
- Professionalism – By having a well designed website showing off your best content will demonstrate that you are a professional and will make you stand out from the wannabes. It shows that you are serious about what you do and that you are someone that clients should work with.
You need to show off your skills with some samples. If you don’t yet have any samples, this is not a problem. You can create speculative adverts that will give you a chance to show off. These are used by copywriters at all levels to show potential clients that they can create content within their industry.
A good way to start doing this, is to create some content for something that you currently have or might need. Create content for all the different media, to let potential clients know that you are versatile.
Make A Plan
As you are starting your own business, you need to be as serious as all those big businesses out there. Therefore, you need to make a plan. You plan needs to include things like:
- Your goals – Look in to the jobs that you really want and prioritise them over your less preferred ones. This is when you need to look at how much work you need to earn the amount of money that you need to keep your business going and to achieve the lifestyle you want.
- Find potential clients – Make a list of clients that could use your services. You need to look at their strengths, weaknesses and their needs. Contact them all to let them know you are available to work.
- Rates – It is imperative that you decide what your rates should be at the very start. If you get this wrong, you will either be working for not enough money or won’t get any work from over charging. You need to decide whether to charge by the hour, the project or both for different jobs. Look at what your competitors are charging to giver you an idea of what to charge. If you can undercut them, you could benefit from this. But if you need to charge more, you need to justify this to your clients.
- Budget – You need a long term budget, but you need to determine how much you want to earn per week or month. This will help you decide how much work you need to do and how much time you need to do it.
Get Your Contract Ready
When your clients come knocking, you want to be ready with a contract. So draw one up before you start accepting clients. Don’t start working until the contract is signed, as this is the best way to protect yourself if the client doesn’t pay you.
Get Some Clients
You are obviously going to need some clients. There are a number of techniques you can use to find clients for your new copywriting business:
People you already know
Tell everyone what you intend to do. The people you already know may be able to send some work your way or know someone that needs help. A great way to do this is to text every number in your phone, even the numbers you don’t recognise anymore. Tell them what you are doing and ask them if they know of anyone that needs any marketing help. You never know what could come out of this simple text message.
Businesses you know
Your local gym, chiropractor, leisure centre, butcher, juice bar etc are all potential customers. You already have an advantage, as you have some knowledge of the business as you are a customer. If they are not willing to pay, you can do some work for free to build up your portfolio.
Take a walk around the different businesses and grab their fliers, brochures etc. Look at their websites and social media and the quality of their marketing materials. Then pick the ones you think you can help and introduce yourself as a copywriter. Explain to them what you can do for them and ask if they would like help.
Businesses in local industrial parks are perfect targets for a copywriting business. This is because they don’t have the footfall a shop would get, so they need to find ways of getting their name out there. Take a look at all the business’s websites so you know more about them before you start knocking on doors.
These happen quite often and they attract lots of influential people in business. These event are perfect for meeting potential clients.
Follow potential clients and study their websites and learn about them. Once you know how to help them, contact them to set up a meeting. Make sure your LinkedIn page has all the information of what you are doing. Join relevant Facebook groups and start conversations with potential clients.
Look within a niche
If you have expertise within a particular niche, you could contact businesses that work with that niche after looking at their websites. You can give them suggestions of what they can do to boost their marketing and how you can help them.
Magazines etc are a great resource for generating lots of work. If you can get in with a publisher, there is the possibility to get work writing articles, adverts, advertorials etc. These guys are big players and could lead on to huge things for you.
Once you have got some copywriting work under your belt, you need to update your digital portfolio. An out of date portfolio will put off potential clients, while a portfolio with quality content will attract them. By this time, you will know the type of clients that you want, so when it comes to updating your portfolio, you can make it attractive to those clients.
You can make a lot of money as a copywriter, but how much you make depends on how well you market yourself. Therefore, you need to keep looking for clients, building your portfolio, refining your business and researching potential clients.
That Is How To Become A Copywriter With No Experience
Do you fancy becoming a copywriter? Please let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.