Copywriting is a great career option because it’s a high-income skill and offers numerous opportunities for working from any part of the world. As a result, Copywriting is highly sought after by several industries. However, to become a copywriter, you must hone specific skills and follow certain steps/tips.
As you read on, you will fully grasp the concept of copywriting, its skills, and the steps to follow to become a good copywriter.
The concept of copywriting
Copywriting is simply the creation of textual content that meets the needs of a target market. Copywriting is broad and includes creating written content for product catalogs, blogs, emails, advertisements, print media, and websites. Good copywriting involves communicating with your clients to know what they require and the objective of the copy you are writing.
Copywriting entails the creation of clear and concise copies that talk about the requirements of a client or target market while drawing readers’ attention. To excel in copywriting, one must understand the target market or audience for which they are writing a copy.
The following things are needed for copywriting:
- A computer or smartphone
- Internet connectivity
- A document app or writing tool such as Google docs, Draftable.com as well as access to a content management system
- A tool for checking plagiarism, e.g., CopyScape
- Tools for checking grammar and sentence structure, e.g., Grammarly
Copywriting skills you must have
There are specific skills every good copywriter must-have. They include:
- Attention to Detail: This skill requires being able to assess your work or copy from a neutral point of view. This skill is necessary to properly proofread and edit your work to improve or enhance its quality.
- Writing: Everyone can write, but not everyone can write well. To become a good copywriter, it’s a must to hone your writing skill. You don’t have to be a top-notch writer before you can venture into copywriting, but improving and fine-tuning your writing skill will go a long way in helping you become good or even great at copywriting.
- Creativity: Clients always rely on the creativity of the copywriter to make a copy appealing or engaging to a target audience. Creativity involves being imaginative and able to view things from another perspective. Creativity is also essential because it makes the development of copy ideas easier.
- Listening Skill: A good copywriter must first be a good listener because you need to understand your client’s needs and meet those requirements clearly. Being a good listener helps you become an authority in copywriting. A good listener can interpret the goals and objectives of their client and write accordingly.
Steps to good copywriting
Ensure you follow these steps to become a good copywriter:
1. Acquire Academic or Professional Certifications/Qualifications
Copywriting doesn’t necessarily involve a formal academic certification. However, several clients and agencies prefer to hire applicants who are graduates in specific disciplines. So to enhance your prospects in the industry, get a qualification in a relevant field. In addition, Copywriting is a very competitive industry, so employers may lookout for applicants with professional qualifications or certification in related fields such as mass communication or marketing.
Aside from enhancing your prospects in the copywriting industry, the knowledge gained from studying in these fields can prove very useful to a career in copywriting. For example, mass communication or marketing can effectively enhance your skill to communicate, engage, and appeal to a target audience.
2. Discover and Stay in your Niche
As I mentioned earlier, copywriting is very broad, and it encompasses other forms of writing or content creation. You don’t have to try and master all of them. Instead, make things easy and focus on a niche. This is an effective way of building an engaging audience. Be known for a niche, don’t keep your audience guessing your area of specialty.
You can decide to major in emails, product descriptions, technical documents, advertisements, landing pages for websites, etc. A key to identifying your niche is to know the form of writing that appeals most to your natural areas of interest. Having a niche also makes it easier for you to generate copy ideas, have numerous samples, and build a solid portfolio.
3. Be Familiar With The Fundamentals of Copywriting
Before you get ahead of yourself and start applying for copywriting jobs, ensure that you’ve fully grasped or understood copywriting workflows. You must have a well-versed knowledge of human psychology and what your target audience needs. If you don’t understand human psychology, your copy will not be able to draw them in or be relatable.
Also, while it’s good to have a unique style, tone, or voice in your copy, ensure that the requirements and instructions of your client take top priority in your copy. In summary, focus on the process before the earnings.
4. Build your Portfolio
This is another step to follow up on before you begin sourcing and applying for copywriting jobs. You can’t expect to start applying for and landing copywriting jobs when your portfolio is empty or scanty at best. In addition, clients will want to see your work samples to assess your skill and compatibility with the job you’re applying for.
Once you have identified the niche you want to focus on, for instance, writing advertisements, get to work on content relevant to that niche. This is what will make up your portfolio. Also, take advantage of free mentorship programs and internships to improve your portfolio. It will be your selling point when applying for copywriting jobs.
Once you’ve enough samples of your work, collate them into a portfolio attached to a well-written and organized resume. You’ll present this to prospective clients or employers when applying for jobs.
5. Apply for Jobs
Before clicking on the ‘apply’ button, ensure you read and understand what the job entails. Also, ensure that your portfolio contains work samples relevant to the job you’re applying for. This will significantly improve your chances of landing a job. Another benefit of having relevant work samples in your portfolio is that your resume will pass the screening process carried out by a resume parser. Many clients and employers use this website to review and screen candidates’ resumes.
Copywriting is one of the most in-demand skills. You just need to follow the tips I have mentioned above and you will be able to enjoy a stable income and work. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know in the comments.
Guest author: Lori Wade is a journalist and content writer from Louisville. Lori creates news and informative articles about copywriting, freelance, and creative writing. You can find her on LinkedIn.