MY ROAD TO BECOMING A FREELANCE COPYWRITER
We all have dream jobs, including me, but being a copywriter wasn’t one of them. In fact, I’d never actually entertained the idea. Most people aren’t even aware what one is.
Don’t worry if not, until recently I wasn’t aware what it involved, but as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, one significant life event changed everything.
That’s when I decided to kick-start ideas about a change in direction from my current job in payroll, to something I may enjoy more. Being an author is all well and good, but it’s not a guaranteed income.
I had a search online and found a course to become a professional copywriter, and while it all depends on the search for clients, it was something that appealed to me. It means working with words, but in an entirely different way from writing books.
What does being a copywriter involve?
It means writing for a number of things. Wherever writing’s needed, you can bet that copywriting is involved. These include writing for:
- Websites & Blogs
- TV & Radio
- Ad Campaigns
- Flyers & Brochures
- Press Releases
- Jingle lyrics
- And much more
I’m half-way through my Diploma, and it’s been a fantastic learning curve. It’s not easy, and you need a lot of motivation. I’m learning almost every aspect of being a professional copywriter, which includes elements I’m not as keen to do, but it’s good to know as you never know if you’ll actual excel at the parts you expect not to be as interested in.
My favourite assignment so far was creating a brand name for a pair of Australian trainers which included thinking up taglines and TV advertisements. I like the idea of writing slogans and advertisements the most, so I wasn’t surprised I enjoyed this task.
At present, I’m working on SEO, otherwise known as ‘Search Engine Optimization.’ This helps if you’re working on a website for a client. Getting the SEO and ‘keywords‘ right will boost a site to the top of search engines such as ‘Google‘ or ‘Bing‘ (other search engines are available!).
Are their many copywriter jobs out there?
Like any other job, copywriting jobs are there, but if you’re working freelance, then you have to go looking for them yourself.
Daunting? A little, but I’m looking forward to this part. I’m not sure if that’s me being brave or naïve. There’re so many avenues to go down that you don’t need to do everything that copywriting involves, but having the skills opens up every road for you to go down.
What experience do you need?
It’s that simple. You don’t need to be an author or somebody who loves working with words. The skills are completely
different to that of being a writer and the hints and tips you pick up on the course are vital if you want to get anywhere close to being a professional copywriter.
So before you jump in, remember you need to study. You won’t find clients if you don’t have anything to back yourself up with and a course will not only give you the skills, but you’ll also have a lovely Diploma to show for it. As long as you have:
- Determination, and
- an open mind!
then this could be the job for you.
If you’re interested to find out more, then check out the Copywriting Wikipedia page, it gives you a full, in-depth breakdown of everything the profession offers.
Where do you sign up for a copywriter course?
Interested? I can highly recommend
There are a number of places that offer courses. Mine is with The Blackford Centre, and they’ve been great, but make sure to shop around to see what is best for you.
Speaking solely from my experience you work on every aspect imaginable and receive regular help from a tutor who is a professional copywriter. You receive a detailed reply to all of your assignments. If you don’t pass one, no worries. You just read where you went wrong and put it right.
You’ll work on every aspect imaginable and receive regular help from a tutor who is a professional copywriter. You receive a detailed reply to all of your assignments. If you don’t pass one, no worries. You just read where you went wrong and put it right.
You’ll also get help before the trickier modules, detailing exactly what would be expected from a professional. You’re never alone, and they’ll guide you ever step of the way.
For now, it’s back to my day job, Payroll. Although redundancy looms, I am safe until 2018 which means, once I get my Diploma, I can work part-time during the evening and at weekends to increase my client portfolio.
Being a copywriter may not have been a life-long dream, but the more I learn, the more I love it. And if I excel there’s the possibility to work for myself from the comfort of my home.
It may have taken 34 years and redundancy for it to happen, but dreams come from the most unexpected of places.