Talk to a lot of people and you’ll find an abundance that consider themselves a good (and sometimes great) writer. Now, that’s not to say they aren’t. It’s just that writing is a lot like music—there are several genres and artists don’t generally cross from one to the other well. Think about it like this: It's a very different method used to approach a college essay than something like a blog. Same with fiction—it’s definitely not the same as a how-to guide.
The nice thing about writing is that you can cross genres relatively easily. Freelance writers often have multiple streams of income. They may write magazine articles and fiction while also working as a copywriter. However, to be successful in the various genres, you have to hone your skills in each.
Why Copywriting is an Excellent Way to Earn Money
In today’s content-oriented world, the best copywriters make a good, solid income. It's also a way people can work from home. The best copywriters frequently have other writing outlets—but their bread and butter is copywriting.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, writers and authors will continue to see growth in their field, and the projection puts that growth around 8%. Technical writers have it even better. They have a faster than average growth increase over the next decade at 11%. One of the hinderances of the BLS is that they haven’t fine-tuned their data to look into the swiftly growing field of blog/website/content copywriters. However, it’s not a job that just anyone is going to be successful at. There are a few skills that will put you in demand.
What it Takes to Become One of the Best Copywriters
Like anything in life, the more you educate yourself, practice, and find your niche, the better you’ll do as a copywriter. Here are some steps you can take to polish your craft and become a copywriter that clients love to hire.
Know what a copywriter does
Do you know what a copywriter does officially? They create content in a variety of ways. Often, they work for a client, and learn to adapt to their style, tone, brand, and voice. Copywriters write many types of content. It’s essential to understand the difference between a whitepaper and eBook, and a blog and an article. Other things you may need to learn are how to write newsletters, social media posts, marketing materials, product descriptions, and website copy.
Know what the best copywriters do
The best copywriters have worked hard to learn what the industry demands. They understand SEO and incorporating keywords and phrases. They get the importance of title creation. They know how to format, self-edit, and read and adhere to a style guide. They learn about what it takes to create unique content in a highly competitive market. They also get the importance of deadlines, the art of revisions, and the importance of asking questions to clarify what needs to be done.
Find ways to educate yourself
All of the things mentioned are essential to becoming an excellent copywriter. You’ll want to do some research to learn more about formatting, self-editing, the different types of content, and SEO. One way to do this is to look at well-done pieces of copy and content. Read blogs from companies like HubSpot, who works with marketers and companies to create content. Invest in books and utilize websites such as The Write Life. They have a section labeled “craft” that helps writers learn tips and tricks. Editing guidance is essential too. The best writers are often editors as well, and they turn some of that skill on themselves (and still use an editor). When self-editing, think about repetition (using the same words numerous times in a piece), passive voice, typos, misspellings, etc.
You may wonder how to practice if you don’t have assignments. Find articles in industries and subjects you like. In fact, look for poorly written ones if you want to—then rewrite them to be unique, inspired, and creative. As long as you’ve made it your own, it’s also a great way to build a portfolio while practicing how to research/write.
One last skill that comes in handy is the extras clients love. This is hyperlinking, creating titles, finding reputable citations, and anything that will enhance their content.
The best copywriters have to exercise their writing muscle. It takes time—but if you continue to practice and write regularly, you can turn it into a successful career.