How to Become a Copywriter

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If you love to write, to use words to affect the way people think and feel, you might have a good future as a copywriter. Full-time copy writing jobs can be hard to come by, but they do exist—more so on the east and west coasts, than the rest of the country. But if you are really adventurous, you can even sell you skills as a freelance copywriter, contracting work from a number of different companies. If you think you have what it takes to write great copy and get paid for it, here are some things you might want to keep in mind.

A Degree is Extremely Helpful

If you are in college right now, or are thinking about going back to school and you want to be a copywriter, it’s a good idea to get some background in basic writing principles by getting a degree in English or Journalism. Many companies and agencies also like to hire Communications majors that have had a lot of writing experience. Although not necessary, getting a degree can help you obtain higher-paying work as a freelance writer and go a long way to helping you get a full-time position.

Get Experience

Everyone has to start somewhere. If you want to get high-paying jobs later on, you’ll need to start getting some experience. If you are still in school, look into writing and editing internships where you can gain experience working on a variety of documents like website copy, marketing copy, business letters, professional emails, press releases, products packaging, and more. The more experience you have with a wide variety of styles and formats, the better you will look to potential employers.

Create a Portfolio

Although most potential employers will want to see your resume first, it is extremely common for copywriting candidates to be asked to present a portfolio of work or samples of past writing. Sending Word documents is fine, but if you can link to copy you have written on websites, user guides and manuals, marketing collateral, and more, that’s even more impressive. While you are gaining experience, be sure to hold on to copies of your work and keep track of URLs where your work is published so you can pass it along to potential employers when asked.

Overall, being a copywriter can be very fun and rewarding. You get to be creative and persuasive, and you get to work on a variety of different projects, learning new things all the time. If you’re serious about becoming a copywriter, keep the above suggestions in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to being a full-time writer.

About the author: Diane Johnson graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in political science. When she’s not traveling she enjoys writing articles about online courses, reading books and shopping.

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