How to start copywriting is one of the most common questions I get as The Copy Bitch.
Watch my video on this topic. Or scroll past it for my written take.
How to start copywriting: What beginners should do
Before you start copywriting, make sure you have solid writing “chops,” as I like to say.
Make sure you understand the fundamentals of good writing (punctuation, grammar, paragraph construction, etc.). You can start by testing your assumptions: Take a free assessment test like this one. This online resource offers free business writing tests as well as online courses.
Make sure you have a reliable computer, Internet access, and software to write the copy.
Google Docs is fine (and free), or Microsoft Office 365 is another good option. (I use both.)
Be a sponge. Soak up everything you can about copywriting.
Here’s the good news: Plenty of online options exist, including free ones. HubSpot Academy is free. I recommend starting with the Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing certifications. You could bang them out in a weekend.
Practice what you learn.
Subscribe to a bunch of emails from businesses. (Set up a separate Gmail account strictly for this purpose.) Analyze subject lines. What works? What doesn’t? Challenge yourself to rewrite the subject lines. Ask ChatGPT to rewrite the subject lines and see what you think of what it comes up with—and you could do the reverse. Share your list of subject lines with ChatGPT (after explaining what the business is, etc.) and ask it to provide feedback. (This is a great way to use ChatGPT.)
Do the same with direct mailers, billboards, radio spots, print ads, and business websites. Analyze, analyze, analyze. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Learn, learn, learn. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Also, check out other copywriting exercises for beginners here.
Network online and in person.
Follow other copywriters. They can be a huge source of inspiration. Follow them on LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and their blogs. Attend networking functions (for writers, marketers, or small businesses, like your local Chamber). Another option that helped me early in my career was Business Networking International.
Be creative in landing your first clients.
Create a simple online presence for your copywriting business to show who you are and samples of your work.
When clients are looking for writers, they want to see examples of good writing. So I highly recommend having a website portfolio, even if you fill it with “fake” copywriting samples (like some of your practice assignments) until you have real client work to showcase. (Because, again, everyone has to start somewhere.)
Consider working with a writing coach.
I follow copywriter Colleen Welsch on social media, and I’ve been impressed with her content. She coaches new copywriters, so she might be someone to chat with.
Got other questions about how to start copywriting? Ask the Copy Bitch!
That’s me! I’m the Copy Bitch. No doubt, you’ll have other questions. Hit me up in the comments section on my YouTube channel, or email me.