There are many ways you can start to build a copywriting career from scratch even if you have no previous experience, after all, everyone’s got to start somewhere!
If you have a passion for writing and a knack for persuading readers, a career in copywriting could be the perfect fit for you. But it can be difficult to know where to start if you don’t have any prior experience.
As a general rule, knowing your stuff by doing your own research and practising your general writing skills can be a great way to start. In order to set yourself apart and start to get in a position where you can seek employment, you might consider taking a copywriting course.
In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to kickstart your copywriting career, even without any experience. So, let’s dive right in!
Understanding the Basics of Copywriting
Before you embark on your copywriting journey, it’s crucial to understand what copywriting actually entails.
In simple terms, copywriting is the art of creating compelling content that aims to persuade readers to take a particular action.
It could be anything from buying a product to signing up for a newsletter. As a copywriter, your goal is to engage and persuade your audience.
However, to succeed in this field, you need to have certain essential skills. Let’s take a closer look at what these skills are.
What is Copywriting?
In essence, copywriting is the practice of using words to sell products or services. It involves crafting persuasive and engaging content that motivates readers to take action.
Whether it’s writing attention-grabbing headlines, creating compelling product descriptions, or developing persuasive sales pages, a copywriter’s job is to connect with the audience and drive desired outcomes.
Copywriting goes beyond simply putting words on a page. It requires a deep understanding of human psychology and the ability to tap into the emotions and desires of the target audience.
A skilled copywriter knows how to use language to create a sense of urgency, establish trust, and overcome objections.
When crafting copy, a copywriter must consider the target audience’s needs, wants, and pain points.
By understanding their motivations and challenges, a copywriter can tailor their message to resonate with the reader and address their specific concerns.
Essential Skills for a Copywriter
To excel in copywriting, you need more than just strong writing skills. Here are some essential skills that every copywriter should possess:
- Writing Skills: A copywriter should have a flair for writing and be able to communicate ideas effectively. They should have a strong command of grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Additionally, they should be able to adapt their writing style to suit different formats and platforms.
- Research Skills: Copywriters often need to research and understand their target audience, industry trends, and competitors to create persuasive content. They must be able to gather and analyse data to inform their writing decisions. This includes conducting market research, studying consumer behavior, and staying up to date with the latest industry news.
- Creativity: Copywriting requires thinking outside the box and finding unique ways to capture and hold the reader’s attention. A copywriter must be able to generate fresh ideas, come up with compelling headlines, and craft engaging narratives that resonate with the target audience.
- Persuasion: Copywriters must be able to persuade readers to take a specific action through their writing. They should understand the principles of persuasion and be skilled in using persuasive techniques such as storytelling, social proof, and calls to action.
- Adaptability: Copywriters should be flexible and able to adapt their writing style to suit different audiences and platforms. They should be able to write for various mediums, including websites, social media, emails, and print materials. Adapting to different tones, styles, and formats is essential to effectively communicate with diverse audiences.
By honing these essential skills, you can become a successful copywriter who can captivate readers, drive conversions, and ultimately achieve the desired outcomes for your clients or business.
Gaining Relevant Knowledge and Skills
Now that you have a clear understanding of copywriting, it’s time to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for success.
While formal education in copywriting can be helpful, it’s not the only path to becoming a skilled copywriter. Let’s explore some different avenues for gaining relevant knowledge and skills.
One avenue for gaining knowledge and skills in copywriting is through self-education. Thanks to the internet, there is an abundance of resources available for aspiring copywriters.
Consider investing your time in reading books, blogs, and online courses specifically tailored to copywriting. These resources will help you develop a solid foundation and grasp the nuances of persuasive writing.
The MMC Learning blog contains an entire section dedicated to articles and resources designed to help you with your copywriting.
When it comes to self-education, practice is key. Make it a habit to write regularly and seek feedback from fellow writers or online writing communities.
This will help you improve your skills and learn from experienced professionals in the field. By constantly honing your craft, you’ll become a more effective and confident copywriter.
Formal Education and Courses in Copywriting
If you prefer a more structured learning environment, formal education in copywriting is worth considering.
Many universities and colleges offer courses in copywriting as part of their communications or marketing programs.
These courses can provide you with comprehensive knowledge and a recognised qualification, which may boost your chances of landing a copywriting job.
Furthermore, there are numerous online courses and certifications available that focus specifically on copywriting.
These courses often offer a more flexible and convenient learning experience, allowing you to study at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home. You can take advantage of these courses to gain practical skills and learn from industry experts.
These courses encompass a wide range of topics surrounding copywriting including content strategy, content writing, SEO, social media marketing, and analytics.
What makes these courses exceptional is that they are developed by industry experts with practical experience in the field, ensuring a high-quality education for learners.
MMC Learning stands out as a great option for content marketing courses, offering valuable learning opportunities.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Specialist Award in Content Strategy, available to study at MMC Learning, equips marketers with the skills to develop compelling content plans, impactful messaging, and audience engagement.
This Specialist Award focuses on a strategic approach to content marketing, aligning it with broader corporate and marketing objectives.
Learners develop the knowledge and skills to create an effective content strategy and manage its implementation, including providing appropriate copy for diverse target audiences.
The course covers three key areas: firstly, developing skills to create a targeted content strategy aligned with organisational objectives; secondly, successfully planning and distributing content; and finally, mastering the art of creating effective copy for different target audiences.
MMC Learning’s Content Strategy, Creation, and AI Mastermind is an outstanding short course designed by expert trainers with extensive experience in content creation as freelancers and consultants.
This intensive course empowers marketers to produce a comprehensive content strategy and management plan in just six weeks.
Throughout ten live, interactive 90-minute sessions over six weeks, learners will create and receive feedback on a content marketing strategy for their company.
They will also plan out their next content pieces for a content marketing campaign while exploring the utilisation of AI technologies to efficiently create and distribute content.
The Content Mastermind course is a hands-on, practical learning experience that provides valuable skills for content marketers to thrive in the digital landscape.
Other courses which might benefit copywriters available at MMC Learning include:
DMI Certified Search Marketing Specialist: Focusing on search engine optimisation (SEO), this certification teaches students vital SEO concepts, keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building strategies.
DMI Certified Social Media Marketing Specialist: This certification equips learners with skills in creating effective social media strategies, engaging content, and utilising platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote brands and products.
Aside from formal education, it’s also beneficial to immerse yourself in the world of copywriting.
Attend industry conferences and networking events to connect with professionals in the field. By engaging with others who share your passion for copywriting, you’ll gain valuable insights and expand your professional network.
Another way to gain relevant knowledge and skills is by seeking out mentorship opportunities. Find a seasoned copywriter who is willing to guide and advise you on your journey.
A mentor can offer valuable feedback, share industry secrets, and provide guidance on how to navigate the copywriting industry.
Remember, becoming a skilled copywriter is a continuous learning process. Stay curious, stay hungry for knowledge, and always be open to new experiences.
By investing in your education and constantly expanding your skill set, you’ll be well-equipped to thrive in the world of copywriting.
Building a Portfolio with No Experience
A well-crafted portfolio is essential for showcasing your skills as a copywriter. But what if you have no previous copywriting projects to include? Don’t worry, there are several effective strategies you can employ to build a portfolio from scratch.
Volunteering Your Services
One of the most effective ways to build a portfolio when you have no experience is by offering your copywriting services for free or at a discounted rate in exchange for testimonials or examples for your portfolio.
This strategy allows you to gain valuable experience while also showcasing your work to potential clients or employers.
Consider reaching out to non-profit organisations, local businesses, or start-ups that may need assistance with their marketing materials.
By offering your services to these organisations, you not only gain hands-on experience but also contribute to a good cause. This can be a win-win situation, as you build your portfolio and help organisations in need.
When volunteering your services, it’s important to treat each project as if it were a paid assignment. Take the time to understand the organisation’s goals and target audience, and tailor your copywriting accordingly.
This will not only showcase your ability to write effective copy but also demonstrate your professionalism and dedication.
Creating Spec Ads
Another effective strategy for building a portfolio with no experience is by creating spec ads or sample pieces.
Spec ads are imaginary advertisements that demonstrate your copywriting skills and creativity. They can be a powerful way to showcase your ability to write persuasive content.
When creating spec ads, think of imaginary products or companies and develop compelling ad campaigns around them.
This allows you to showcase your skills in crafting headlines, body copy, and calls to action. Remember to consider the target audience and tailor your messaging accordingly.
Spec ads can take various forms, such as print ads, social media campaigns, or even video scripts. The key is to create high-quality, polished pieces that demonstrate your ability to captivate an audience and drive action.
Once you have cr