Careers in writing don’t just involve journalism or writing books. Another writing-related job is copywriting, which is the process of writing text for advertising or other marketing purposes. As a copywriter, you might write ads, blog posts, product descriptions, and other pieces that tell people about a product or service and try to get them to buy it.
There are two particular advantages to copywriting. First, writing and submitting from almost anywhere you have an internet connection means you can often work remotely and have significant control over your hours. Second, since many people dislike writing or don’t have time for it, copywriters are always in demand!
So how do you start a copywriting career?
Build a portfolio
Building a robust portfolio is one of the first things you should focus on as a writer. This allows you to showcase your writing work to other prospective clients and employers.
You can build a portfolio by writing and editing for family, friends, and maybe even the place where you work now. Don’t just save draft copies of your writing work. If you can, provide examples of the finished products; they will be more impressive that way.
What do we mean by that? Say you wrote a promotional email for someone. Provide a copy of the formatted email that went out rather than just a PDF version of the document you wrote.
Apply for writing gigs
Once you’ve built a portfolio, it’s time to broaden the range of writing gigs you can choose from. You can advertise your services on social media sites, in neighborhood forums, and in other places.
That’s classic old-school freelancing, but there are other forms of freelancing. Many organizations (like Fiverr and Upwork, as just two examples) act as intermediaries between copywriters and clients. They allow writers and clients to connect and seek/post jobs.
The downside to gigs like those is that because there’s someone else providing the connection and the work, the pay is going to be lower. Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork can take up to 20% of every project you work on. The upside? You’ve got access to a wide pool of clients who are ready and willing to pay for your services, and you don’t need to go searching for them yourself!
Freelancing is great, but so is reliable income and job security. Typically, freelancing doesn’t offer them. With a solid portfolio and a professional record, you can, if you want, seek more stability in pay and job security than freelancing usually offers.
Alternatively, you can find companies seeking in-house copywriters on job platforms like Indeed or more niche ones like Remote Work and The Drum. This might mean less control of your schedule, but it also could mean health benefits, paid vacations, and more, in addition to more stability and a steady paycheck.
Of course, you can always keep freelancing. To some people, the freedom and control that come with freelancing and being able to choose your own freelance writing niche are more than worth the downsides. You can choose who you work with, take time off for other commitments, and charge whatever prices you want for the work that you produce.
No matter what course you choose, you’ll need to continue building your writing portfolio. And that means you’ll keep expanding your marketability and your opportunities for additional paid work in the future.
Whether you’re thinking about getting into copywriting or looking to hone your skills, it never hurts to learn from experts. With this curated selection of the top online copywriting courses, you’ll get experience-based instruction and feedback that can help you establish or solidify your standing as a copywriter.