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Starting as a copywriter might be scary at first. With enough hard work and commitment (which I’m sure you have!) you’ll swiftly develop into a PRO.
As a copywriter, we've been at the very beginning, going through the motions, feeling utterly bewildered and overwhelmed.
Your mind is probably buzzing with: “Where do I start?", “How do I start?”, “What must I know?”
We're here to answer these questions and share a few of our secrets with you that we wish someone had told us.
By applying these simple secrets, developing into a successful copywriter is now possible!
But…. First, know this:
The fact that you’re here proves your dedication, an attribute of a natural-born copywriter.
Before you kick-start your journey to becoming a world-famous copywriter, let’s examine what copywriting is.
The material we as copywriters craft has one major aim: to turn leads into sales.
Copywriting is compelling content that should evolve a reader’s mind from “should I purchase it?” to “they don’t sell enough of it!”
Globally successful copywriters such as Amy Harrison, Brian Clark, and Damien Farnworth all adopted practices that took them to where they are now.
The first method we applied was reviewing our content and asking ourselves honestly, “Would I buy this if I didn’t need it?”
Look at your work and ask yourself that question.
Ask your family and friends too. Excellent copywriting is content that sells a product or service that a consumer didn’t even consider purchasing.
Statistics reveal that 90% of businesses market using content.
This means that there are hundreds of establishments that NEED your copy.
Research also affirms that 56% of current businesses want to increase their budgets on content creation.
These statistics mean that businesses are expanding their budgets for copy.
If you produce great copy, more businesses are going to want to work with you because copywriting is ESSENTIAL to them.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way. Let’s look at the fundamentals of being a successful copywriter — Planning.
We can’t stress the importance of planning enough. Admittedly, it took us time to get the hang of it.
Once we applied a more hands-on approach to our planning, we found that meeting deadlines and completing our work became less stressful.
Adopt meticulous planning from the get-go. Doing so helps you to avoid making the mistakes that we made and ensures you always remain one step ahead of your game.
We’ve learned that the rule of thumb is:
Plan in such a way that if things don’t go according to schedule, everything doesn’t come crashing down!
Poor planning exposes you to the chance of missing deadlines or forgetting projects.
So, let’s avoid these terrifying realities altogether and plan down to the tee.
Here are a few ways you can accomplish solid planning:
Handling several clients paired with their demands and being active on social media (more on that later) is a lot to keep track of.
So, instead of worrying about it, rather get a content calendar.
A content calendar helps you to:
Isn’t it just lovely!
We’ve rounded up three super-awesome, easy-to-use, and rookie-friendly content calendars for you to choose from.
You may not have a flock of clients emailing you initially, but the more you remain invested, the quicker you’ll get there.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a career in this industry.
Before you realize it, potential clients are going to be responding to you left, right, and center!
But, here’s where it can become tricky.
Don’t take on more clients than you can handle.
We repeat: Don’t take on more clients than you can handle.
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t:
Getting noticed is exciting. However, for the sake of your career, your clients, and your well-being, know your limits and stick to them.
As a copywriter, creating a website is a complete MUST.
Creating a website won't be difficult. You don't have to be a tech nerd.
Simply open YouTube, type in “create a website for beginners tutorial” and BAM! You’re good to go.
There are many different website builders for you to choose from, here are our three favorites:
If you’re wondering, “Why should I have a website? What will I use it for?”
Having a website adds a sense of sophistication to you as a brand.
It also acts as a place for potential clients to view your work and get an idea of who you are.
Think of it as your writer's resume.
Make the most out of your website and:
Having a website is a step in the right direction but be sure to manage it well.
There are some great tools out there that will teach you how to optimize your website and market yourself better.
If you design an attractive landing page inclusive of persuasive call-to-action features, you can turn readers into potential clients, and gain more readers for your blog — which we’re going to discuss next.
Being a copywriter and being a blogger are essentially two different things.
However, blogging is still a great idea.
You may have a portfolio on your website, however, a blog can boost your credibility as a copywriter (that’s what we want!)
For these reasons:
Take an extra step and make your blog posts look aesthetically pleasing.
You can use a reliable plugin to add that personal touch to your blog posts to reflect your style as a copywriter.
You might not know what your style is yet (don’t stress, it will come), just as we didn’t know either.
Remain consistent throughout your blog, and use the same colors, fonts, and font sizes.
Consistency makes your blog post look neater and less all “over the show.”
We're sure you have heard, seen, or read the term “SEO” (short for Search Engine Optimization).
With so much to learn, it can be confusing trying to understand what SEO is and how it works.
Don’t stress because these are things you’re going to need to learn to become a successful copywriter.
Now, let us explain what SEO is.
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization and describes a method to strengthen your content so it ranks higher on search engines.
If you search “How to make boiled eggs?”.
You’ll find an article that ranks first (before all the others).
Search engines rank the article higher because the article is SEO-friendly.
The more SEO-friendly your content, the higher your article will rank on Google and the more viewers that website will get.
Three things you have to understand about working with SEO are:
SEO is one of the pinnacle points of digital marketing.
Soak up all that SEO knowledge and flaunt your skills through your blog.
Putting together a few samples of your work is a great idea.
Just writing samples almost every day for two weeks about anything that interests you and that you have knowledge about can already give you a big boost.
Would you hire someone to cater for your wedding if that person couldn’t show you any of their previous work?
This is exactly how potential clients feel about hiring a copywriter.
When you don’t have experience or qualifications, it can be tough landing clients.
Well-written samples combat this because they:
While it’s all good and well having samples, be mindful that you’ll have to evaluate them.
Poorly written pieces will scare any potential clients away.
While it is essential to assess all your work before delivering it, let’s focus mainly on how to go about evaluating your samples.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself (and be honest!):
If you have positive answers to all of those questions, then well done, you’re good to go!
10/10 times a client will ask you for samples of your work.
Writing them beforehand will ensure they’re ready and good to go.
If a few pieces don’t impress you, try not to delete them and instead keep them all in a file.
You can edit those samples in Microsoft Word and enable “track changes”.
This will show each correction you’ve made.
Use these pieces as samples for editing and proofreading for freelance gigs as clients will want to see work that you’ve edited.
However, only do this if you're seriously considering taking up editing and proofreading.
If you do sloppy work for a freelance client, it can hurt your reputation.
Networking is a critical part of being a successful copywriter.
You need to make connections in this industry and become known.
Always network! Even when you assume someone is not worth networking with, NETWORK anyway.
If you’re speaking to a graphic designer, sell yourself through casual conversation and confidently talk about your brand.
That graphic designer might know someone who needs a copywriter, and boom- you’re in.
You are your brand, and networking is another form of marketing so practice it ALL THE TIME.
Networking is the beginning stage of finding your place in the writing industry.
Here are tips for excellent networking:
Social media is a great place to start!
However, you can network with everybody you meet.
Here are the best social networking platforms:
All four platforms have such an enormous amount of active users, you won't run out of people to network with.
Becoming a successful copywriter is full of ups and downs, but thankfully, having software programs and platforms to help, makes life way easier.
There are times when you'll be challenged and perhaps even pushed outside your comfort zone.
Continue to apply these five secrets and believe in your integrity and your work.
We can't express the number of times we've wanted to close our laptop in a huff and go back to our 9-5.
We stay because we believe in our work, and now, we'll never look back.
We want to leave you with three things:
Best of luck with your journey!
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