5 Secrets of a Successful Copywriter

Copywriter

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.

1. Copywriting Fundamentals

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

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.

ESSENTIAL

2. Plan like a PRO

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:

2.1. Get yourself a Content Calendar 

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:

  • Keep all your material in one place
  • Efficiently organize what you need to do
  • Manage social media posts, tasks, events, and everything that is taking place in your copywriter life with one tool

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.

  • CrowdFire: You’ll have everything you might need. They're also the pinnacle of social media management and will easily help you organize your social media properly
CrowdFire
  • Edgar: This isn’t a tool we would classify as “beginner-friendly” mainly because of how costly it is. On the plus side, they do work with 25 different social media platforms, and you’re able to recycle your content
Edgar
  • Loomly: Our favorite feature of this calendar is that they provide you with inspirational content ideas (I know right!) They also provide you with everything you need to set up your planning
Loomly

2.2. Strategize your projects 

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.

Social Media

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t

  • You’re afraid you won’t have this many interested clients again. Completely false!  If you continue producing great work, you’ll always be in demand
  • You’re not meeting deadlines because you’re overwhelmed
  • You’re rushing through meetings because you don’t have enough time to work
  • You’re not investing enough in your projects because of how many there are
  • You’re forgetting that you can’t work 24/7.  You also need time to revitalize those creative brain cells

Getting noticed is exciting. However, for the sake of your career, your clients, and your well-being, know your limits and stick to them.

3. Create a website 

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:

  • systeme.io: This all-in-one platform, not only helps you build a website in minutes but takes care of everything else your business may need. It's incredibly easy, plus there's a free plan!
  • WIX: This is a perfect option if you aren’t that clued up with technical skills and prefer something done quickly. They ask you a series of questions and automatically create the framework of the website for you
Wix

Wix

  • WordPress: WordPress is a great website builder. We do find that it is less beginner-friendly than Wix, but we're a big fan of their themes, features, and plugins
WordPress

WordPress

3.1. Importance of a website 

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:

  • Have a neat, engaging homepage that gives viewers an immediate idea of who you are
  • Include an “About” page to give your clients some background on who you are. The “About” page is a great place to start forming a relationship with both your clients and your audience
  • Add a “Contact me/Hire me” page, and include internal links throughout your website that will redirect potential clients to this page
  • Design a swoon-worthy portfolio page to showcase your work

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.

3.2. Become a great blogger 

Being a copywriter and being a blogger are essentially two different things.


However, blogging is still a great idea.

great blogger

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:

  • You’re building up a following of readers which is networking (whoop whoop!)
  • You’re flaunting your skills and capabilities more personally
  • You’re learning how to write better because you’re practicing via your blog by periodically posting new content
  • You appear more dedicated due to the effort you made. Especially if you keep your blog updated

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.”

4. Don’t be shy of SEO

SEO

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.

4.1. The breakdown of SEO

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.

SEO

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 your friend! Yes, SEO is going to help you produce better quality work for your clients
  • SEO is a very comprehensive system to work with, but it doesn’t bite
  • SEO will get you more jobs. Some clients specifically want a copywriter who has SEO skills, even if they have no professional experience

There are many SEO tools available to help you produce SEO-friendly content.


Get acquainted with Neil Patel’s SEO guide so you can apply those skills in your work.


 Here's why most clients prefer copywriters who have SEO skills:

  • They seem more experienced and credible
  • Chances are your client wants a high ranking on Google to increase web traffic
  • Research confirms that a whopping 92% of web traffic goes to the first ranked page
  • SEO-friendly content brings more leads to a website
  • Although paid advertising is a common marketing technique, SEO is proven to be 5.66 times more effective!

SEO is one of the pinnacle points of digital marketing. 


Soak up all that SEO knowledge and flaunt your skills through your blog.

5. Prepare Samples

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.

Prepare Samples

5.1. The Significance of samples 

Would you hire someone to cater for your wedding if that person couldn’t show you any of their previous work?


Definitely not!


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:

  • Showcase your skills and your style for potential clients to evaluate
  • Prove that you have written something
  • Persuade clients to choose you even if you don’t have experience
  • Help you become a better writer, believe us, you’ll always improve.
  • Give your potential clients an idea of what you write about

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.

Im OUT

5.2. Evaluate your samples 

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!):

  • Have I edited and proofread it?
  • Have I run it through a grammar checker?
  • Does it sound like I know what I am talking about?
  • What is the point I am trying to get across in this topic?
  • Is it structured correctly? (heading 1,2 and so forth)
  • Have I checked it for plagiarism? (so important!)

If you have positive answers to all of those questions, then well done, you’re good to go!

applauding

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.

6. Networking is Crucial 

Sendinblue

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

6.1. Effective Networking

Networking is the beginning stage of finding your place in the writing industry.


Here are tips for excellent networking:

  • Be confident about yourself and your brand
  • Encourage people to ask questions by being friendly
  • Turn it into a conversation and not a sales pitch (ask about them too)
  • Speak about what motivated you to become a copywriter and/or who you’ve worked with

Statistics never lie, and studies show that 46% of people land jobs through networking.

6.2. Where To Network?

Social media is a great place to start! 

Social media

However, you can network with everybody you meet.


Here are the best social networking platforms:

  • Facebook: approximately 2.23 billion active monthly users
  • Twitter: approximately 330 million active monthly users
  • LinkedIn: approximately 260 million active monthly users
  • Instagram: approximately one billion active monthly users

All four platforms have such an enormous amount of active users, you won't run out of people to network with.

7. In Closing 

In Closing

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:

  • Rejection doesn't mean you're a bad writer
  • Always be open to criticism and learning new things
  • Never doubt yourself!

Best of luck with your journey! 

In Closing

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