During the philological studies, you said that the work of an interpreter is probably not exactly your story, and you do not see yourself as a teacher? Are you wondering about other options? Or maybe you would like to combine hobbies, language skills and work in one? If you like to write, then copywriting can turn out to be the work of your dreams.
Copywriter a content writer
In job offers or orders you can meet with the fact that the copywriter is used interchangeably with the term content writer. Today it is practically synonymous, but from a historical point of view, both professions were a bit different.
Before the internet era, only copywriting existed, i.e. creating advertising slogans, slogans and texts for television, radio and press advertisements (copy to the content of such advertisements in English).
The development of the Internet, and with it the emergence of online stores, blogs and social media, has expanded the scope of the copywriter’s activities to create a variety of not-necessarily-sales, content (English content).
Content can be, for example, content-rich articles for a company blog, specialist e-books and interesting product descriptions in the online store, but also posts in social media, presentations or infographics. The scope of work can be really wide and depends mainly on the employer or client and their marketing strategy.
Due to the fact that both occupations have become quite identical, for the sake of simplicity later in the article I will stick to the term copywriter.
Features of a good copywriter
Does a good copywriter have to be a philologist by profession? Absolutely not. Not every philologist can and does write. However, if he can and likes, then he can feel like copywriting in a water fish.
Creativity, ingenuity and the desire to create are very important in copywriting. In addition, you have to read a lot and be inquisitive, and also efficiently deal with digging up online sources. It happens that research takes up more than just the process of writing a good quality article.
The copywriter must be up to date with changes in Google’s algorithms and social media to know how to write texts that will ensure constant traffic to visitors.
In addition, it should be able to plan content to meet the needs of customers at different stages of purchase: getting to know the brand, discovering its advantage over competition, educating in the benefits that the product offers them, dispelling doubts, etc. Individual customers who will cooperate with you they may not know anything about the right strategy, and you should suggest it to them.
Writing promotional content also requires interest in psychology and knowledge of basic marketing mechanisms. You also need empathy and the ability to look at certain situations from the customer’s perspective, even in the case of an industry that is not too close to you. You should be a good listener and observer who can draw the right conclusions.
How to start working as a copywriter?
1. Get theoretical knowledge
Copywriting is a bit different from writing stories and the ability to use words alone is not enough to make money on it. After all, content writing is an integral part of your marketing strategy, so in the long-term, your texts should primarily work to increase sales of your client’s product. To be a good copywriter, you first need to know the basics of marketing.
Internet marketing is a very dynamic field, which is why books are not the most current source of knowledge in this case, because when they appear on the shelves, some information may be outdated. Get the most up-to-date knowledge on the internet and possibly in the trade press. Nevertheless, when it comes to basic, fundamental knowledge, you can rely on books.
2. Present your skills in practice
To get your first job or job you need a portfolio, and to build a portfolio, you need clients. It sounds like a vicious circle, and it is usually the greatest difficulty that the beginner copywriter must face. There are 3 ways out of this situation:
Write a personalized trial text in terms of the specific industry from which your potential employer or client originates. It does not have to be long, just half pages. In this way, you will not only demonstrate your copywriting skills in a specific topic, but also show potential employers that you care about this job.
Instead of a portfolio, send a link to your blog, including 1 or 2 best articles for review. Of course, first you have to run a blog, preferably on a specific topic. Maybe it is worth considering?
If you write to the drawer as part of the exercise, select some of the best articles you have written so far and create a small portfolio from them, with the indication that these texts have not been published anywhere. If you have a good style and you can become interested in the employer, then you have a good chance to get a job as a junior.
Well, it’s better to start as a freelancer or to look for a permanent job full time?
3. Choose the form of employment
Copywriter can work as a freelancer or be a full-time employee. Freelancing will be a better option if you are in the process of changing yourself or treating it as an additional occupation.
As a freelancer, you can try to operate as part of unregistered activities, but in many cases, principals require issuing VAT invoices, although this is not the rule. A convenient option is billing via the useme system – thanks to this broker your contractor will receive a VAT invoice, and you will get a contract for the work, so you do not have to worry about the business.
Working as a full-time copywriter is a good choice for recent MA’s. Constant work will give you the opportunity to develop your skills steadily. It is also a chance to acquire knowledge from older colleagues from the company. After gaining several years of valuable experience, you can always try to work on your own
Where to find the first job as a copywriter?
Jobs for a freelancer
The offers can be found on freelance platforms and groups for copywriters on Facebook:
- Copywriter wanted
- Copy offers
- Copywriting – translations
- Work for a freelance copywriter
- Useme – offers for copywriters
You have to react quickly to the orders you are interested in because the competition is not sleeping. Write a private message to the client, specifying your rate for 1000 characters with spaces, and suggest sending a sample of your skills in the form of a sample text or portfolio.
Another way to acquire customers is direct contact through the so-called cold emails. What is this “cold mail”? Just a message that we send to a potential customer who had no contact with us before, hence it is said to be “cold contact”.
Such a potential customer can be, for example, an online store that does not have a blog yet, or an online website about topics in which we have a lot of knowledge and experience. This form of obtaining orders requires a greater amount of work, time and patience, but it is much more profitable. After all, we do not have to compete with anyone in the valuation.
Work in a creative or content agency
Working at an agency is an opportunity to gain valuable experience from older colleagues and learn about the secrets of the entire creative process. In my opinion, its most interesting, but also the most demanding aspect is working with clients from various industries. Sometimes the agency creates content simultaneously for a construction and cosmetics company. The variety of projects can be huge.
Advertisements can be found on portals with job offers or, more specifically, directly on the websites of the agencies that interest you. Usually, in each case they have a tab on their site dedicated to current recruitments.
Work in the marketing department
Some companies, instead of outsourcing marketing activities to external companies, prefer to have their own marketing department, and in this a good copywriter.
In start-ups and online stores, it’s not difficult to work for a copywriter in a foreign language, it all depends on the market in which the company is aimed. Working in a team is a great opportunity for development. The marketing department also closely cooperates with the design and sales department.
The scope of the copywriter’s activities is not only writing articles on the blog or creating product descriptions. Copywriter co-creates all content, plans a strategy, analyzes blog statistics in Google Analytics and draws conclusions to write even better articles.
If you apply for a full-time job in the marketing department, remember about a refined CV and encouraging email content. Apply for junior positions that do not require experience. You can find job advertisements, for example, on LinkedIn or RocketJobs.
What about the copywriter rates?
I refer to the article in which I dealt with this issue in more detail.