Woman typing on her laptop atÂ Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, New York – Photo Courtesy: Ed Yourdon
As technology changes, so does the world of writing and jobs that need writers. The copywriting world continues to change as it keeps up with the changing pace of the digital world, and there are jobs to be had by aspiring writers. Here are five ways to prepare to enter a career in copywriting.
1. Study the ads around you
Instead of immediately tossing the direct mail that you find in your mailbox, start studying it to get ideas for writing copy. Place them into piles according to caliber. Study the most effective pile and figure out what sets them apart from the less effective copywriting.
2. Learn SEO rules and copywriting
With so much opportunity to write online, SEO training will go a long way. Find books, online tutorials and other learning opportunities to make yourself a more well rounded copywriter. You could make a whole career out of SEO knowledge, and youâ€™ll be that much more marketable than a copywriter who is stuck in the prehistoric era of web-free writing. Most importantly, donâ€™t be intimidated. Learning HTML is a lot easier than it may sound.
3. Find the best blogs
Scour the internet for the most successful copywriting blogs. You’ll be learning from writers who have been in your position just starting out. Writers share their own experiences, offer resources that have helped them and point you in the direction of companies that offer the best education and internships.
4. Write SPEC ADS
A company will want not only your resume, but also samples of your work. If you’re brand new to the business, you won’t have any published work, so you’ll need to write samples the that have yet to be published. The term for these samples is ‘spec ads’.
5. Develop a portfolio – online
As the world of copywriting moves into the digital age, more and more companies depend on seeing potential employees’ work online. If you don’t have a web site showcasing your work, you will seem out of touch with technology, and future employers are looking for people who know their audience.
You’ll want to develop a professional web site that features your work. If your employer sees that you can’t advertise yourself, they won’t be that confident that you can advertise for them. Today, if an employer views your work online and is unimpressed, itâ€™s unlikely youâ€™ll be getting any face time, so that is the first and most important gauntlet to get past.
If youâ€™re ready to enter the world of copywriting, do your homework. Study ads around you and research blogs to find out the latest tips and tricks in the business. Start developing spec work so that you can create a great online portfolio that will guarantee an interview as you scout out the best companies and begin your career as a copywriter. Writing may be changing as technology changes, but there are some things that will always stay the same. Do your homework, and itâ€™ll pay off.
David Greer writes for education blogs where you can learn more about communications masters programs.