How to Become a Copywriter and Not Starve to Death?
Nice theme, quite in blog format. Not everyone who attaches great importance to self-development becomes a copywriter, but absolutely anyone who wants to master this specialty must, oh, how to seriously work on yourself ...
Copywriting is a great hack. You can write to order after the main work or, for example, on maternity leave, the main thing is to have a computer with Internet access and good knowledge of Russian.
Have you taken the previous paragraph at face value? If yes - in vain. These were not my thoughts, but only a common opinion retold close to the text.
Now, right up to the end of the post, I speak in the first person.
Copywriting in the occasional side job mode brings a penny. To get a decent payment, you need to make very, very good texts. Even a seasoned professional will not be able to dial them with his left foot in the pause between cooking the porridge and washing the sliders.
And - the most important thing I want to convey to you - you can’t just take it and turn out to be a cool copywriter. Once again, with a picture for credibility:
Literacy in this matter is just a trifle for granted, journalistic experience (as I had) is ridiculously weak help.
And literary coddles, which beginners eagerly mention in the resume, can even interfere at first: the customer, excuse me, do not give a damn about your delicate aesthetic feelings, he has unsold goods.
Texts for websites and social networks are built following special laws.
Hard to learn
Information about copywriting has to be collected in grams and, also, carefully sieved.
Its irreplaceable source is copyright blogs. Among thousands of different blogs, you need to look for the best ... no, not even resources, but individual articles or ideas.
Useful tutorials for copywriters in the format of books, of course, are and it is worth reading.
Only here they usually have a clear bias towards advertising/marketing and do not give an idea of HTML or SEO, text optimization for search engines. And without the same SEO, you don’t have to learn at least the basics.
You must be able to:
- embed keywords in the article (requests for which the website is being promoted in the TOP issue);
- select or create visual content - illustrations, tables, charts, diagrams;
- work in text editors - WordPress and others (use formatting tools, do linking, make title and description).
This knowledge is not a technical crap, it gives the copywriter a real advantage over the shockingly vast majority of colleagues.
At first, you are likely to stumble over specific terminology. To get comfortable in it, read the classic textbook "Optimization and website promotion in search engines." It was he who was my primer.
To pump the actual language skills, look in the textbooks on style. You will be forgiven for a forgotten comma, but hardly clericalism and clichés.
Analyze articles of other copywriters for success and inconsistencies. Looking for cilia in the eyes of others, you will quickly notice a couple of logs on your own. Difficult, yes. Take comfort in the fact that at the same time you are developing in the broadest sense - boost healthy self-criticism.
Evaluate your own texts from the perspective of a picky reader.
The main trouble for novice copywriters is that they are too fixated on observing formal requirements and the process of work (yeah, 400 unique words, squeeze in keywords from the list, turn in by Tuesday). Their articles are boring, monotonous, like parts from the assembly line: "Nowadays, every person ...".
Fifteen years ago, content full of dead “water” was still valuable - even if not readers, but at least search engines could take it for normal. In 2018, neither Yandex nor Google can be fooled - they have learned to smartly track behavioral factors.
In addition to new knowledge, some of you will need a new skill. How well do you get along with the keyboard - do you type with ten fingers or two?
The dictionary is not your only support and support. Many tools facilitate the work of a copywriter.
For example, get acquainted:
- Yandex Wordstat allows you to select keywords based on data about query statistics;
- Canva - a service where it’s convenient to create infographics;
- Pixabay - a large free image base;
- ReversoContext - absolutely irreplaceable thing if you are going to write in a foreign language; gives examples of the use of words and phrases in different contexts;
- Google Scholar is an entire search engine; she is looking for really interesting, unsubstantiated information on the texts of scientific publications.
A rewriter (a copywriter who sculpts each of his articles from a couple of strangers) will find a tool called anti-plagiarism useful. There are dozens of them; Drive Google “anti-plagiarism online” and choose according to your own taste.
Hunt for the customer
At first, take tasks on exchanges - not so much for income, but for practice in real life. Train and think about the next level.
How to reach it? It is necessary to respect the business you are involved in and the people you work with.
When you feel that you have filled your hand, do not limit yourself to the framework of exchanges. Try to implement the following plan to capture the world:
- find regular customers and start working directly with them;
- create a reputation for yourself in which customers themselves will look for you.
Sometimes valuable contacts can be established through ads from regular advertising newspapers. Texts for sites are required not only for single entrepreneurs but also for large companies.
You can promote your own about copywriting, addressed to the business, and display contact details in a visible place. There is an option to engage in targeted networking - to come to the conference for SEO-employees, ask for speakers, and surprise everyone with a magnificent report.
Sometimes copywriters send out business offers using feedback forms on the resources they like. As the chief editor of https://pro-papers.com the other day I received another regular letter: “Good day to you! I would like to offer cooperation on filling the site with informational articles. About me ... (and so on).”
I don’t need copywriting services - I still keep an author’s blog, but if it were a commercial project, I would open the attached sample articles.
When looking for partners, remember that they need to be interested. The best arguments in your favor are examples of excellent texts, preferably published ones. For the sake of a beautiful portfolio, it’s not a sin to offer a free article to some famous site.
In general, think and act. As a professional coach would say from the department, be proactive.