What is copywriting? How to get started as a copywriter?

What is Copywriting?

Copywriting is an art and science of writing texts that induce prospective customers to take action and generate a sale for a business.

Here the products or services, called copy, are written in such a way that it creates brand awareness, generate leads and ultimately a sale.

Traditionally copywriters only used to write copy for billboards, brochures, catalogs, magazines and newspapers, radio and TV advertisements.

But now with, internet marketing being the major marketing medium for the companies, it’s the job of a copywriter to write a copy for the company’s social media channels, ads, and web pages.

What does a Copywriter do?

what does a copywriter do

Copywriters are writers so clearly they spend a lot their time writing content. But Copywriters are more than just writers, they are also sales experts and great behavioral psychologists.

World-class copywriters spend almost 75% of their time understanding the product, listing it’s most sellable features and studying what benefits of the product can appeal to its customers. They also spend time researching and learning their customer’s behavior and persona.

The other 25% of their time goes into writing the perfect sales copy.

It’s important to note here that understanding human psychology plays a huge role in learning about the hopes, dreams, desires, and fears of the customers, therefore, Word-class copywriters spend most of their time educating themselves.

Why do companies need a Copywriter?

why hire a copywriter

To sell products and services online and offline companies have to put out a huge amount of content.

For example, a real estate company has to put out some of the given below content to sell their properties:

  1. Ads on newspaper, radio, and TV
  2. Catalogs and brochures
  3. Ads on the Internet
  4. Social media content
  5. Copy for the website for each different product
  6. Copy explaining features and benefits
  7. The list goes on and on…

To get these things written and to make sure the content converts every company requires a copywriter. The copywriter is an integral part of the marketing team and it’s his job to convey the most sell-able components to the customers.

Selling isn’t easy. To sell something over a phone call, on the Internet, in a catalog, or on TV you need to master the persuasion techniques and have effective communication skills.

But the good news is, these copywriting skills can be developed quicker than you might think.

To become a world-class copywriter, you won’t need any investment. If you focus on the right things and practice consistently, it will only take you about a month to master the skills that are required to become a world-class copywriter.

Get started as a copywriter

I’ll give you a seven-step process of getting started as a copywriter.

Let’s break it down:


STEP-1 – Learn to Copywrite from top sources

1. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman

2. The Secret of Selling Anything by Harry Browne

3. How to Write a Good Advertisement by Victor Schwab

4. The Gary Halbert letters – “The Boron Letters”.

5. Tested Advertising Methods (Fifth Edition) by John Caples

6. Persuasive Online Copywriting by Bryan Eisenberg, Jeffrey Eisenberg, and Lisa T. Davis

7. Ogilvy on Advertising

8. Social psychology by Baron

How To Get Better At Writing And Avoid Content Mediocrity

STEP-2 – Knowing what you know

The primary and most important step to get started as a copywriter is to know your strengths. It’s always better to approach people in the field in which you already have experience and connections.

You must be aware of your expertise to be able to confidently say to your prospects, “I understand your needs and can help you with that.”

Your expertise in the specific industry due to your previous work experiences will help you convey to the potential clients that you are aware of the challenges they face in the industry. and you have solutions to get over those challenges.

STEP-3 – Create your digital portfolio

The best way to showcase your talent and skill is by doing your own marketing. First, you need to do is to create a digital portfolio with the help of WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Joomla, Squarespace or any other website building platform.

I would suggest you go with WordPress for its flexibility, easy to use and highly customizable features.

digital portfolio for copywriting

You DON’T have to spend a lot of money and design a fancy website. As a copywriter, your focus should be on words, not design.

Your website must have – Your name, Description of your expertise, Case studies of your previous work (if any), and Contact information.

It would be a bonus if you could post a few blogs and will be able to rank those blogs with the help of SEO.

The next important thing to do is to optimize your social media profiles so they reflect your skills and capabilities in copywriting. Also, it’s important that you show off your best works with numbers.

Another interesting thing you can do is to use mockups to present your copy. Visuals are a great way to grab the attention of your potential client.

STEP-4 – Know what to charge

Now this one’s tricky. The hiring rates of a copywriter can vary because of many factors.

Some freelancers make around $25,000/year and some other popular freelance copywriters who make more than $2,500,000/year

When setting your hiring rates, you have to decide whether you should charge per word per hour or per project?

I generally quote per project and highly recommend this to other copywriters too. Because when you charge per project there’s more clarity between you and your client.

But if you’re a beginner, I suggest you charge hourly because your client might not be able to commit to you for a longer period until you show results.

Sometimes especially when you are just starting out you have work for free or very little money to show projects on your portfolio or build connections. But as you gain experience, you can update your charges.

how much do copywriters charge per hour

To determine the rate per project as yourselves these questions

  1. How much copy is required? How many approx will it take to write the copy?
  2. In how much time does the client need the work?
  3. How much research and creativity are required?
  4. What is the standard market rate?
  5. How complex is the job?

Additional advice – Always ask for an advance deposit as charging an advance deposit not only shares the risk but also improves your cash flow.

STEP-5 – Start actively researching the market

Next, actively research the market with needs that you can satisfy with your skill.

Why is it important to Identifying the market with needs?

research the market for copywriting

Because, when you approach companies that don’t need your services, your skills won’t be valued and you won’t get paid the amount you wanted for your services.

So, focus on market needs rather than business desires.

How do you find out the market needs? By reading industry-specific news and evaluate the latest trends. It’s necessary to identify sectors that have money to spend, which brings us to the next step.

STEP-6 – Keep an eye on growing markets

Don’t approach markets that don’t have sufficient money to spend rather go for specific or related markets with growth potential (booming market).

Some of the booming industries are:

1. Retail

2. Technology

3. Health

4. Finance

5. Construction

6. Media

7. Energy sector

How do you find if a company has a budget to spend on marketing and a copywriter?

If a company posts high-quality ads on newspapers or TV and have a fully functional and regularly updated website it’s an indication that the company has a proper budget for marketing or advertising.

You can also visit trade fairs to get an idea about various companies marketing strategies and budgets. This can also be a great opportunity to network with salespeople of various companies.

STEP-7 – Find your ideal client and produce results

After the market research, it’s time to find your ideal client. Finding a client can be intimidating if you just starting out.

But when you acquire 2-3 clients and produce results it becomes easy to get new clients as your current clients are likely to refer you to their network.

If you are just starting out, you’ll get success a lot quicker by spending time on your hobbies and volunteer activities.

Create a website and start writing blogs to showcase your skills. Engage with potential clients on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Medium and Reddit and share valuable content and answer questions related to marketing and advertising.


Is online copywriting the same as content writing?

The major difference between copywriting and content writing lies in the purpose.
The purpose of content writing is to produce high-quality content that connects and engages with the audience or website visitors.
On the other hand, Copywriting is sales and persuasion in print. Copywriters write content for advertising and marketing purposes.

copywriting vs content writing

Why is copywriting so important?

Copywriters convert readers and net surfers to buyers. A good Copywriter understands the customer’s needs and convinces people through texts that his company can fulfill those needs. Copywriting drives sales growth of the business and ensures a high ROI.

Is copywriting an actual, real career?

Copywriting is indeed a real career with high growth potential. You can make a nice living out of it along with being creative and enjoying freedom. Some top copywriters have become creative directors of very successful ad agencies and marketing companies.

What is the future of copywriting?

Copywriting work isn’t going anywhere in the near future. In fact, it has become one of the most indispensable parts of online marketing. But the nature of copywriting is changing in today’s world, the way we consume content is shifting drastically. 
Now copywriters have to write for 
1. Video sales letters
2. YouTube advertising
3. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn advertising
4. Landing pages
5. Email copy

Do I need to be a good writer to get started in copywriting?

You need not be an excellent writer to get started, but copywriting requires a basic understanding of proper grammar, proofreading, and sentence structure.

How to learn to Copywrite?

The best way to learn to Copywrite is to practice writing copy! Look everything and every product around you and think how would you sell it? What could you write about that product that can make anyone wanna buy it?
Do this exercise for a few weeks and note down your ideas. Gradually you’ll gain the confidence to cold pitch the services to potential clients.

How much money can you make as a freelance copywriter?

The average salary for a copywriter is around $50,000 per year. An experienced copywriter can earn up to $2,00,000 per year. 

What skills does a copywriter require?

1. Language skills/ good vocabulary
2. Writing Skills
3. Communication skills
4. An Eye for details
5. Research Skills
6. Understands human psychology and social psychology

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