Be a copywriter thought it’s not as easy as it sounds. But, learning will eventually get you there. Amateur copywriters who aspire to be copywriters often look into my site for information. They want to see my services and fees. Just like them, I give my competitors a look too! Just to see if they’re engaging in activities that I should be doing.
Every day, I receive dozens of emails about copywriting. A student who wants to be a copywriter would often ask me for a few tips on getting a good job in the ‘Copywriting Industry’. To be honest, it doesn’t really involve having an industry. I don’t believe we have an industry at all since most copywriters are usually freelancers who on their own time in their own homes.
Well, not all are freelance copywriters. If you want to be a copywriter you have to talk to copywriters in advertising and marketing agencies as well. It is through learning about them that persons who want to be one get a full idea of the differences between a freelance copywriter and an institutional copywriter.
Be a Copywriter: Institutional Agency writer or Freelance Writer?
If you want to be a copywriter, you have to first find out the differences between them and see for yourself what suits you best.
Let’s look at a day in the life of an agency writer. Through their experience in the industry they must have learned that to be a copywriter in their chosen path requires a lot of creative skills that will allow them to communicate with more people and encourage them to sell to them their products. They have a different kind of flow and style compared to freelance copywriters because in a way, they acquired experience in the selling of products and the study of engaging buyers to buy.
Every day they are compelled to work on assignments delegated by their superior. Their superior or manager will then scrutinize every work they have to submit before he finally decides if the work is worthy of being publicized.
An agency copywriter would have to work on these small jobs or work for years just so they could have a chance to be offered to do something original. It is only then that they get to be a copywriter without any kind of restriction or guidance. However, they are not completely free, with the restriction based on the interest of the company and the fear of losing a job opportunity so easily so they would play it safe.
Once they get comfortable with their new job, their true self would. It is only then that their creativity would truly shine and breakthrough. They could even choose to be a freelancer.
For a freelancer however, life is pretty simple as long as you have the passion and flair for writing. Freelancers are typically graduates of English while others who have worked in the industry have probably graduated in other routes.
Hence to be a copywriter in the freelance path means you not only want to have the freedom to work freely, but also you have the skills and capacity to adapt and succeed on your own. It could mean working for less, and needing to meet deadlines. It offers more sacrifices at first before you eventually see results.
So what does this mean?
It means that to be a copywriter for an agency means having the security of working in a nice, warm and friendly environment while getting high pay. It is definitely a good, steady and secure position for any starting copywriter.
But freelancing is not for everyone, it doesn’t offer a secure job, nor does it allow you free time to do all kinds of things. To be a copywriter for yourself means you have to buy your own materials for writing and you have to be able to accept a writing job even from unknown clients from online freelance websites.
So why did I choose to be a freelance copywriter?
I don’t know why people have chosen this same path, but the reason I chose to be a copywriter like this for a living is simply because it is my passion. Creativity comes easily to me and I love challenging myself to do difficult assignments each time. I have written dozens of books for my clients, and all of them have different topics. Even if I know that all of those books are just ghost writing, and that I will never get recognized for the work that I have done I am happy with my work. I have written articles and other kinds of materials and it makes me happy because I will never be bored of doing them. My horizons are broadened by the variety of the things I do and I am not simply stuck at just one type of kind of writing.
If you are able to make a name for yourself, then you are envied by thousands of people who want to choose the work you do.
So, do you still want to be a copywriter? If so, let me guide you by answering few of the questions I get asked of all the time.
Six Questions that Can Help Guide You in Your Path to be a Copywriter
- Do you need a degree?
No! Although it is true that in most agencies, being a graduate is a requirement, there is no reason why a freelancer would need anything other than passion and a good command of the English language. If you feel a little unsure, choose a degree that will help you polish your skills by choosing a school and a degree that enables you to be taught by reputable copywriters.
- Does previous work experience help?
Of course it does, especially if that experience is in sales and marketing. It is quite useful especially if you want to be a copywriter, because you already understand certain things in that aspect.
- How do I get work without a portfolio?
Make a portfolio! Don’t limit yourself and always try to write some articles, or a small book, anything that will allow you to showcase what you can do. You can also write for free, for charities and other companies.
- Where can I find the best places to get work?
Try marketing agencies. To be a copywriter, it is always a good place to start. You can also try other local businesses and see if they may be interested in your writing. Contact them by letter and inform them of your services.
After you’ve gained a little experience, you can now start going online and signing yourself up for freelance websites. Getafreelancer, Freelance Work Exchange and Elance are actually good sites. But you have to be prepared for the risk and the chances of getting picked. You are competing with several other freelancers all over the world.
Also, try to build your own website. If you want to be a copywriter, and a serious one at that, you have to have your own website if you really want to be open to opportunities and keep yourself in business.
To add further exposure, continue to sell yourself in other means, even through email and the local yellow pages.
- How much should I charge for my services?
Don’t quote a price per word because you’ll only be having a hard time trying to fill the pages. Just try to do a rough estimate without adding too much value. When you feel you are established, you will be able to charge a little higher than the normal $10 or $20 dollars and you’ll be good to go.
- What is the most essential skill in being a successful copywriter?
I believe it is being able to write as you talk. When you are able to communicate in means that your words become so conversational and engaging to your readers you know you’re doing something right to pique their interest, touch their emotions and move their thoughts.
If you have to sell something, try to be convincing. Be a copywriter and make your writing fit the article!