So you want to be a copywriter. You dream of writing the next big slogan that will stand the test of time. Or perhaps you’re convinced you’re a well of untapped creative talent?
While it’s great to have aspirations, do you have experience? Without many published words to your name, it can be difficult to pique the interest of many a hiring manager. That’s where a copywriting certification can help add backbone to your passion and skill for writing.
Do I need to take a copywriting certificate program?
The great news is that consulting firm McKinsey recently cited content creation as one of the most in-demand skills. In fact, the report suggests that demand for digital marketing professionals such as copywriters is actually outstripping supply. That means now is a great time to get into copywriting.
However, when searching for a freelance writer, those just starting out soon discover it’s hard to get noticed. That’s because there are already plenty of established freelance content writers out there, and once a client finds one they’re happy with, they often choose to stick with them.
At the same time as there are always new copywriters, however, there are always new businesses being created who need fresh, inspired and well-written content. The reality is you need to build up your portfolio and your profile in order to sustain a living salary from copywriting. But you also need to know how and where to look for clients. A copywriting course can help with all these aspects of freelancing and give your application the edge, should you choose to apply for in-house writing positions.
What will I learn on a copywriting program?
A copywriting program will introduce you to a range of aspects of content creation, including:
- Web content
- Ad content
- Press releases
- Writing headlines
- Brochure and flyer content
- Social media content
You’ll also learn industry specifics such as:
- Copywriting and publishing terminology
- Legal aspects
- How to establish a freelance copywriting career
The best copywriting certificate programs
If you’ve decided you want to bolster your passion for writing with a qualification, we’ve reviewed some of the best online copywriting certification programs. This is what we found:
1. Blackford Centre for Copywriting
This comprehensive accredited course from the Blackford Centre for Copywriting is one of the most renowned online copywriting certificate programs. Containing 21 modules, you’ll study everything from writing copy for the web, pamphlets, and brochures to writing content for social media and newsletters, as well as press releases. You’ll also gain insight into the technical side of being a copywriter, such as how to manage your finances, find online and offline clients, and set up your website. It’s flexible too, so you can complete it in your own time.
The great thing about this program is that it is kept up to date, helping copywriting students get to grips with the rising influence of Google and SEO, including a module on writing pay-per-click ads that convert. The end of each module will feature either an optional, self-assessed or tutor-market assignment to keep your progress on track. Learning materials are vast and comprise written text, 6 hours of videos, free books and a host of other support and guidance.
There’s also the option to lower the cost of the course by choosing an online-only version as opposed to receiving printed materials. Blackford promises you to earn the cost of your course within 90 days of completing or you’re entitled to your money back. (If you’re wondering about the catch, you would have to return all materials and give up your certification.)
Cost: £698/$1166 (£578/$1046 online only materials)*
2. American Writers & Artists Inc
Billing itself as ‘The world’s most popular copywriting course’, it’s hard to turn down the titular promise of the AWAI’s ‘Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting’ course. This course aims to teach you the trade secrets of writing lucrative copy, particularly the art of crafting persuasive ad letters, and will help you establish yourself as a practicing copywriter.
You’ll build up a portfolio throughout the course and your work will be assessed by the program’s Board of Copy Advisors, comprising some of the most influential and successful content marketers in the US. In fact, this is often known as the Michael Masterson copywriting course since the hugely successful and talented copywriter is one of its principal authors.
Another interesting aspect of the AWAI program is that each year every writer on the program can take the ‘$10,000 challenge’ to win a contract worth $10,000. It also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee if you change your mind.
3. The Writer’s Bureau
If you’re brand-new to copywriting, this copywriting course from The Writer’s Bureau is a good introduction. You’ll learn in your own time from home, like the other online courses, and you’ll also benefit from a 15-day free trial. That means if this course isn’t for you, there’s no obligation to buy.
Expect to gain the opportunity to write all kinds of content, from writing sales letters to advertisement copy for radio, TV, online and print, as well as PR copy. You’ll get your assignments marked by a personal tutor and will even be entitled to a refund if you don’t get your grade within a fixed time.
Cost: Contact The Writer’s Bureau for details
4. Success Works
If you work as a copywriter and wish to up your game with a focus on B2B and/or SEO content, Success Works could be for you. Begun over 17 years ago, Success Works was the original agency to specialize in SEO. They are also the founders of the first SEO Copywriting Certification program, established way back in 2010, and have since added the B2B SEO Copywriting Certification and Turn Content Into Cash programs to their offering.
The course is available online and is self-directed over three months, focusing on honing your skill writing for the web and social media. Modules look at keyword research, writing copy that converts, and measuring your success. Materials include videos, exercises, and workbooks as well as training calls with the founder and SEO experts twice each month.
What’s more, the course has endorsements from huge companies and organizations such as Marriott Hotels, AWAI, and Dow Jones, and according to their website, 96.6% of their graduates would recommend it to a friend.
Cost: SEO Copywriting Certification program $995/$390 per month (over three months)
5. Copyblogger Authority
Copyblogger was established in 2006 and is now known as Rainmaker. It’s a content marketing company offering free educational eBooks through the My Copyblogger section of their website. However, they also offer the Authority program for members, which is a great way to learn advanced content marketing from a professional company that uses its marketing techniques every day.
Authority is not a traditional study route and is more geared towards those who know the basics of copywriting and are perhaps already working in digital marketing or own a small business. It will help freelance copywriters looking to go pro, however, by providing the resources and insights to learn quality content marketing strategies.
There are tutorial sessions, Q&As, a forum and training events – plus, they regularly introduce new features for members to keep your skills fresh. While Copyblogger Authority is a membership program, for an additional cost you can become a Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer (for which coursework will be required). You can also take a 30-day trial with no obligation.
Cost: Membership $595 per year/$55 per month*
Is a copywriting certificate program worth it?
Most copywriting certificate programs incur a cost of some kind, whether that’s for the materials or the end exam/certificate. You must also factor in the costs to you in terms of the time taken to study the learning materials, complete assignments and practice your skill.
Nevertheless, for many, it’s the ideal way to set them apart from other new copywriters who may have a passion for writing but lack the industry knowledge. Copywriting programs might also provide other perks, such as offering students and graduates writing opportunities, allowing access to a community of other copywriters and professionals, and granting discounts on learning materials or resources you might need, such as accounting software and web design packages to help you get started.
Many find a copywriting certificate program to be a great way to advance their skills, but others are happy to spend more time working their way up through offering discounted or free content and taking local or voluntary jobs to earn their stripes. Therefore, it’s up to you to weigh up whether a copywriting certificate would benefit your career.
Become a copywriter today
Whether you do or don’t choose to study a copywriting course, you’ll want to gain writing experience to help you establish a career in copywriting. Luckily, Copify can help you cut your teeth in a notoriously competitive industry. Find out how to become a copywriter the easy way today.
*Prices correct at time of publishing