what is the typical copywriter career path 2

Breaking into copywriting: what is the typical copywriter career path?

Copywriters come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and there’s no one fixed copywriter career path.

But whether you choose to study, take an internship at an agency, set up your own business or a mixture of all these options, there’ll be a way that’s right for you. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the possible career paths available to copywriters and how you too can break into the industry.

Studying for a qualification

what is the typical copywriter career path 4For those who are dipping their toes into the copywriting waters for the very first time and planning their copywriter career path, it may seem like the best route into the career is to study the subject and learn as much as you can – and this is certainly the right route for some people.

One way into learning about copywriting is to take a qualification specifically designed to give you the skills you need. Organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing offer a range of courses, some of which focus on copywriting. Taking an online course may also work for you.

In terms of higher education, there are only a few copywriting degrees offered here and there. Usually, copywriters with degrees have studied other subjects. These subjects offer transferable skills and mean you’ll be able to broaden your horizons a little.

Many essay subjects, such as History, help you to hone your ability to carry out effective and efficient research – a skill essential for a successful career in copywriting.

Getting work experience

what is the typical copywriter career path 1But you don’t even have to have studied anything in order to become a copywriter. By far the most important aspect of a copywriter’s career path is the diversity of work experience they have gathered – and, for most copywriters with a few years under their belts, their experience and skills speak for themselves.

Every successful copywriter is able to show future clients or employers that they have some experience writing, and work experience is the best way to do that.

The traditional route for those looking for work experience is to work at an agency, and it’s sometimes possible to get a part-time position or internship to get your foot in the door.

Although this means you might be doing some admin tasks as well as honing your writing skills and learning from your bosses, it’s a great way to enter the sector and experience your first taste of work.

Other people join agencies via graduate schemes, while some simply apply for standard junior copywriting jobs. And in some cases, people do other related jobs first – such as journalism – before taking the plunge and moving into copywriting. It’s all about finding what works for you.

As Devon-based copywriter Derryck Strachan has written, whatever copywriting role you apply for it’s important to do your research and tailor your application to them. “Establishing a personal connection with the decision maker at the company you want to work for is a quick win, yet few applicants do it,” he said.

Taking the in-house route

what is the typical copywriter career path 3In copywriting, the term “in house” refers to someone who works for a specific organisation and devotes all of their working time to writing for them. Unlike working at an agency, where you’ll split your time between a few different clients, an in-house copywriter just focuses on one brand.

There are lots of advantages to doing this at the start of your copywriter career path, the main one being that you get the chance to fully embed yourself in your organisation’s field and learn lots about what they do.

However, you may find that it is difficult to move out of this and back into the agency lifestyle. That’s because a few years’ worth of in-house work will often result in a copywriter specialising in the industry or sector their employer belongs to.

For example, a copywriter who goes to work for a large bank and spends five years writing about loans, shareholder equity and interest rates may find it difficult to transition to in-house copywriting for, say, an arts organisation.

By the same token, an employer searching for an in-house fashion specialist is unlikely to go for someone who has spent their professional life writing about banking, because the relevant industry knowledge is not likely to be there.

While this kind of specialism is appealing to some people, it’s worth thinking about this before making the decision to commit to a certain industry.

Going self-employed

what is the typical copywriter career path 5But many copywriters choose not to follow either the agency or the in-house route and instead get into copywriting by setting up on their own.

Often, the first step in becoming a freelance copywriter is to launch your own website, containing a portfolio and information about the services you offer.

It’s a competitive world out there, and as a result, it pays to make sure your portfolio is as strong (and well-designed!) as possible in order to beat the competition and surge ahead in the race for clients.

Once you’ve got your website up and running, it won’t publicise itself – so you’ll need to look into advertising. Google AdWords, for example, is a fantastic way to promote your copywriting business, although it does require some investment.

Applying to content production sites such as Copify are excellent choices, too. These companies find clients who need marketing material written for their blogs, social media pages and much more. They then offer the work to a pool of talented copywriters who produce the copy and get it submitted quickly.

As a freelance copywriter, this gives you a way to pick up work as and when you have the time to do it. What’s more, the diversity of briefs on offer means that no two projects are the same, and your general knowledge quickly rises as a result of the many different subjects on offer.

While the risks of going freelance are well documented, if you put some thought into and plan your path it could well become a rewarding and worthwhile choice.

 

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How to become a copywriter in Canada Copify

How to become a copywriter in Canada

Many Canadians love writing, and it’s no surprise that more and more of them are turning to copywriting as a way to make some money from their passion.

Luckily for them, there are lots of opportunities in the copywriting world for those with the right mindset and a strong dash of talent. In this article, we’ll take a look at some tips on how to become a copywriter in Canada and kick-start your career.

Work on that portfolio

How to become a copywriter in Canada If you’re planning to work as a freelance copywriter, your portfolio is what matters most.

It’s what signals to potential employers that you’re talented and able, and it allows you to stand out from the crowd by showing that you’ve got experience.

Your portfolio should be a living document that you constantly adapt and update depending on the job you’re applying for.

Say you’re going for a copywriting job for a country hotel, and you have previous experience working for a province’s tourist board. Rather than send in a standard portfolio which includes all sorts of work, it’s a good idea to zero in on the tourism work and show off your relevant experience.

What’s more, a strong portfolio is one that looks the part as well. It’s well worth considering investing in your online portfolio’s design in order to make it look beautiful: while it may seem like a large upfront cost, it’s likely to pay off as time goes on.

And remember, you should always emphasise in your portfolio how your writing helped the client achieve their key commercial aims. As Ontario-based health copywriter Elise Moreau has said, investing “the time to learn about what your [client’s] business goals are so the copy…actually gets you results” is really worth doing.

Sign up with content creation sites

For many people, the idea of setting up a portfolio and tweaking it every day until you find the perfect formula to get clients just doesn’t suit.

That’s where Copify comes in. By offering qualified and talented copywriters in Canada just like you access to a large pool of work, you can kick-start your career almost straight away once you’ve applied.

Practice your craft

How to become a copywriter in Canada If you’re looking to become a copywriter in Canada, it’s vital that you make sure you stay ahead of the competition by keeping your skills up to date.

Even with the strongest portfolio or excellent experience, many work providers will still want to assess you by giving you a test piece which demonstrates to them that you are right for their clients.

That means you should always be looking to expand your range of writing skills and keep your abilities tip top, no matter what stage you are at in your career.

If you’re already working with a content production site or an agency, you can start by making sure you pick up some slightly unusual briefs that push you to the limits of your abilities.

Of course, there’s no point wasting time on something irrelevant if you’ve developed a specialist career and skill set you’re happy with – but by taking the plunge on a path that has some small element of a new challenge, you’ll be able to keep yourself on your toes and give yourself that professional edge.

And if you’re not currently working with anyone, why not keep your hand in by whipping up a test piece for a company and sending it over to them as a way of pitching your services? Even if they decline your offer, you’ll still have had a chance to practice – which is great for your professional development.

Join an agency

How to become a copywriter in Canada For those who are looking for experience in an office setting, working at an agency might be for you.

While opting for this route doesn’t always offer as much autonomy, flexibility or diversity as setting up as a freelancer, it does offer you the chance to collaborate with others on specific projects.

What’s more, it also means you’ll sometimes get to work on the non-writing side of the copywriting industry, such as meeting with clients to find out their needs and building long-term strategies for them which suit their business goals.

To do this, opting for a graduate scheme or looking on jobs boards is a great place to start. These jobs exist all across the country, although in the case of agencies it’s most common to find them in big cities like Toronto and Montreal or regional hubs like Vancouver.

And while you’re waiting to land your dream agency job, gaining experience – and earning money – at content production sites or as a freelancer is a good way to fill the time.

Don’t give up!

If you’re just starting your journey to become a copywriter in Canada, it may all seem a little daunting right now. Whether it’s portfolio building that’s scaring you or it’s simply not knowing exactly which opportunity to go for first that’s putting you off, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed as you start out.

But the best piece of advice to remember is this: don’t give up!

The beauty of the Internet is that there are always new ways to market yourself and find potential clients, and even if one door closes then another is likely to open soon for those who are willing to hone their skills and put in the time.

As the experiences of successful Canada-based copywriters like Stephen Da Cambra show, it’s definitely possible to build your own brand and a career for yourself in this field.

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how to create a copywriting portfolio

How to create a copywriting portfolio

Whether you’re starting out as a copywriter or have been in the business for a long time, you’ll know that keeping a list of your previous successes to help attract new clients is a major part of the business.

What’s harder to decide on is how to create, design and maintain that all-important copywriting portfolio. In this article, we’ll share some of our top tips on how to create a copywriting portfolio, so that you can showcase your copywriting skills in a way that helps you stand out from the crowd.

Consider adjusting your rates at first

When it comes to building your portfolio, the hardest part is getting started. It’s a classic catch 22 situation: you want to fill your portfolio with examples of your work, but you can’t get work unless you have a full portfolio.

how to create a copywriting portfolio

One option is to be upfront with your potential clients and offer to work at a cheaper rate to keep you in the running for the job, even without a portfolio.

The key here is to ensure that you only do this until you have enough items in your portfolio to score jobs at the market rate, at which point it’s vital you raise your prices. Otherwise, you could lock yourself into low pay for a much longer time than you intended.

Settle on a number of pieces to include

There’s no right answer to the question of how many pieces you should include in your copywriting portfolio. Some people, like writer Eammon Azizi, say it’s a good idea to keep to just over ten.

He writes that 12 is the standard, but advises having 20 pieces that are worthy of inclusion in your portfolio, so that you can swap pieces around, depending on who your prospective client is.

This means that you should treat your portfolio as a living document, something to be adjusted or updated to appeal to whoever you’re talking to. Rather than having a static portfolio which you send to everyone, you should find a way to easily remove certain clippings and add others in as you go.

This is more difficult for a portfolio website, but you can always keep a longer list of clippings and mention anything relevant in your pitch, or while you discuss specifics with your potential new client.

Keep it relevant and up to date

You might find, as your career develops, that you want to specialise in a certain type of copywriting, such as financial or legal.

If this happens to you, there isn’t much point including lots of articles you’ve written about other niches when you’re trying to establish yourself as a specialist. For that reason, it’s a good idea to keep your portfolio as relevant as possible – and that means having the confidence to prune irrelevant portfolio clippings whenever you have the chance.

Set aside some time once a month or so to do this task. Be disciplined with yourself about it: while it may seem like a job that can wait, it’s the sort of thing that must be done in order to get yourself and your brand in top shape for scoring new work.

Optimise it both for online and print

how to create a copywriting portfolio

While it’s definitely true that many copywriting contracts are sourced and completed just using the internet these days, there are still some jobs which are negotiated in person, even for freelancers.

For that reason, you should keep a couple of copies of a well-designed print portfolio in your bag, just in case you get chatting at a networking event. This is a surefire way to mark yourself out as a committed and professional freelancer, too!

If the majority of your clients come from the web, there’s no point investing too much time or cash in a print portfolio. But it’s always worth having one on hand, and it should look professional.

Get it professionally designed

If you’re really looking to impress potential new clients, it’s a good idea to invest in a professional design for your portfolio. Instead of simply throwing it together using a plain HTML page or an automatic portfolio builder, you can really stand out from the crowd by making your portfolio gorgeous, as well as indicative of professional success.

You can hire talented designers on sites like Upwork to do this for you, if you don’t have the skills yourself. If money or time is an issue, you don’t have to abandon your dreams of a beautiful portfolio altogether. Why not use a ready-made website builder to host your online portfolio, such as Squarespace?

With easy drag and drop functions to make building a slick and attractive website a breeze, you, too, can have your very own corner of the internet in just a few minutes.

Mix things up a little

As the writer John Mello has noted, it’s vital to get some diversity in your portfolio.how to create a copywriting portfolio

Even if you’ve specialised in a certain type of content, you still need to show that you can create a wide range of formats, as well. This means you should include some longer blogs and articles, as well as short pieces, and even catchphrases or slogans, if you’ve created them.

If you have experience with non-article based formats, such as sales pages or email copywriting, that’s even better. Remember, these formats work well across lots different varieties of industries, so, no matter what your specialism is, you’ll be able to show that you have a handle on the major types and structures of writing that clients want.

A diversity of formats can also help keep your portfolio crisp and easy to navigate. If you’ve written a particularly long article, for example, you might be left wondering whether you should cut it down for your portfolio. The best thing to do is to highlight a really good section and create a small excerpt for your portfolio, then provide a link to the piece in its entirety, so that your potential client can check it out if they want to.

 

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how to get paid for blogging - Copify

How can you get paid for blogging?

You’ve seen it in newspapers, you’ve read about it on social media, and you may even know someone who does it. But exactly how can you get paid for blogging, and is it worth it?

The short answer is – yes, it’s definitely worth it! Providing you enjoy writing and have a strong work ethic, there’s no reason why you too can’t launch your own blog and make a bit of cash while doing something you enjoy.

One study found that fashion bloggers earn a four-figure sum every year on average, while some blogs have been so wildly successful they’ve gone on to be sold to larger companies for millions of pounds.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the major ways you too can become a professional blogger and make money in the process.

Take the plunge and set up a blog

It might seem obvious, but in a lot of ways it’s the most difficult part of the process.

how can you get paid for blogging - CopifyFor many people, the main stumbling block to setting up a blog is a lack of confidence. But there are ways around this problem.

At first, you don’t have to tell anyone you know in real life that you’re blogging. While it may be comforting to have your friends, colleagues and family on side, and while doing that may provide an instant pool of engagement and enthusiastic sharing to boost your view count, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t use a pseudonym when you start out. Plenty of successful bloggers have done this, so there’s nothing to fear.

Secondly, blogging is largely a risk-free endeavour. Providing you steer clear of controversial topics, don’t quit your day job, and don’t pin all of your hopes on becoming the next Tim Ferriss, there’s no way it can really go wrong. You’ll never know until you try!

To get started, there are plenty of places you can go online to set up your very first blog. WordPress and Blogger are classic popular options, while newer sites like Medium are ideal for those planning to write long-form pieces.

Offer sponsored posts

If you’ve managed to set up your blog, congratulations. That’s the hardest part out of the way!

The second step for budding bloggers is to invest time and effort in growing your audience and becoming a respected voice in your niche.

The reason for doing this is that it’s difficult to become a paid blogger without having an audience which trusts you and reads your output religiously. Making money through blogging works a lot like traditional advertising: any publication can only make cash by selling space of some kind to those who want to reach that publication’s readers, and so you need to have some popularity.

Some bloggers place old-fashioned web adverts – such as banner adverts – on their sites to make money. Depending on what platform you use, you can often do this through systems like Google Adsense.

But the rise of adblockers mean this is more and more difficult to sustain. The main way bloggers make money now is through affiliate marketing (peppering links to products in their texts, and getting a cut if the reader buys) or sponsored posts (where a company or organisation will work with the blogger to produce a paid piece of content).how can you get paid for blogging - Copify

Often, the blogger will receive a free sample of a product or service related to their niche, and review it on their blog – flagging, of course, that they were paid to write the article.

You don’t necessarily need a large audience or a high volume of posts to find sponsored post opportunities. All you need is a committed audience.

For example, say Blogger A posts three times a week, has a total audience of 100,000, but only 1,000 of them read each post until the end. Blogger B, meanwhile, has a total audience of 5,000, and almost all of them read every word of the blogger’s single weekly post.

Blogger B is a more attractive choice for many advertisers because they know that their audience trusts the content provider deeply and will believe what they have to say. This, in turn, means the advertiser is likely to have more success with the product or service they decide to promote.

Blog for others

If the thought of setting up your own website and achieving wild success in the blogosphere all sounds like too much, that doesn’t mean you can’t be part of the blogging revolution.

Instead of going it alone, you can simply write blogs for other people. Many business leaders are savvy when it comes to commerce but often find that writing content for their sites isn’t something they have the time or energy to do.

For that reason, they’re happy to outsource the job to a strong writer with good business nous. Some bloggers, such as Carol Tice, even manage to blog both for others and for themselves!

There are plenty of options if you’re looking to get paid to blog on behalf of someone else. First of all, you can go all-in and launch your own full-service copywriting business, learn how to brand yourself, and pitch to big-name clients.

How can you get paid for bloggingTo do this, you’ll need to have a killer portfolio, ideally with some experience on it, and you’ll also need to practice your pitching skills.

Other options include working with content creation platforms such as Copify, where there’s a near-constant stream of jobs you can pick up at a time that suits you. Providing you’re an excellent writer and you can work to deadlines, this is a great way to get involved with copywriting.

Of course, one potential downside to ghostwriting is that you don’t always get the credit for your work, and a client’s name will often go on the top of the article instead of your own.

But if you’re in this business to earn a living and sustain yourself, it’s a fantastic way to bring in some cash while also working on other projects to get bylines. It’s a win-win situation!

 

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