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How do most people enter copy writing?

#copywriter #marketing #communication

Thank you comment icon Most people start copywriting by listening to some free courses on YouTube and reading. What also helped me is to write every day on certain topics I am interested in. For example, I work as a beauty copywriter so I wrote articles about - skincare, haircare, makeup... Tanja Pavlovic

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Subject: Career question for you

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Bruce’s Answer

I can give you an answer for the technology industry, since my 30-year career has been spent in this industry. Copywriters in tech typically come from one of two directions: They are either Business/Marketing grads with exceptional writing skills, or they are Journalism/Mass Communications grads with an interest in--or at least no fear of--technology. People occasionally come from a third direction: technical professionals with exemplary writing skills, but that's rare, since technical roles pay better, so people don't often migrate out of them.

The key to getting into a writing role is to develop a portfolio of writing samples that will demonstrate your writing chops to prospective hiring managers. Journalism and Mass Communications programs typically provide students with ample opportunities to do this by participating in student publications and media, but in today's world, there are a number of additional ways to build up a writing portfolio beyond those somewhat limited opportunities (see Suggested Next Steps).

Look at marketing materials and websites for companies whose products or offerings are interesting to you. Get a feel for the persuasive language they use to promote their brand and offerings.

Bruce recommends the following next steps:

Look at marketing materials and websites for companies whose products or offerings are interesting to you. Get a feel for the persuasive language they use to promote their brand and offerings.
If you don't have a blog, start one and start posting at least twice a week. When you do post, take the posture that every word you write will be a representation of your writing skill. If possible, focus the blog on topics relevant to the industry you want to work in.
If you already have a blog, refine, refocus, and redirect it so it can start to act as your online portfolio (see previous item).
Browse through online listing for free and/or shareware apps and look at the promotional copy used to describe them. Find one or two with substandard copy, rewrite the copy, then contact the developer to see if they'll replace their substandard copy with your improved version. Voila, you're a published copywriter!
Look at both the freelance professionals and the job listings on online marketplaces like Upwork.com to get a feel for the skills needed and the jobs and clients out there that require copywriters.
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Elizabeth’s Answer

Hi Olivia!

I do technical writing/content design at a tech company, which is a lot of copywriting. I was doing copywriting on a marketing team before this, too.

I started as an English major in college, then I discovered the 'professional writing and technical communication' specialization. It may also just be called 'technical writing'. Technical writing is a great way to get into copywriting and tech is a great, in-demand field. I got my bachelor's in English and my certificate both in professional writing and creative writing.

Copywriters can come from different backgrounds. During college, I took an internship with my college's press and also worked part-time in the advisor's office. Specializations (if offered at your university) can be a great way to make yourself marketable for jobs for copywriting.

So to answer your question: I think most people get into copywriting by taking any opportunity to gain flexible writing skills. Creative writing, technical writing, professional writing are all different, and copywriting is a need at all different kinds of companies. Aspiring copywriters should also have honed-in grammar and editing skills. Working as a writing tutor or practicing editing peers' papers can help gain those skills.

I hope my perspective helps!
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Stacey’s Answer

Olivia,

I honestly don’t know the career path for copy writing but I think a good start would be to talk to copywriters already seasoned in the field. They can tell you the story of your journey. If you reach out to them on LinkenIn I’m sure they would be willing to talk to you either on the phone or for a brief informational meeting over coffee.

As for courses, check out local universities or on-line classes that can help you learn more. This shows initiative and a willingness to learn.

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