Storytelling dates back to the earliest and most primitive forms of human behavior. Long before recorded history, people have attempted to coin their wisdom and knowledge into fictional forms. Cave paintings and myths serve as an evidence of the immense fascination humankind has always felt for telling stories.
Fast-forward to 2018 and it becomes obvious how little our behavior has changed.
Narratives might have evolved and gained a certain sophistication but the core has remained untouched. The need to tell stories and simultaneously create and unveil mysteries has transferred into the world of marketing.
With the new media becoming the leading channel for public communication, digital marketing has successfully utilized the human desire to tell and hear stories.
This efficient appropriation of a behavioral pattern allows companies to implement a human aspect into their brand strategies. And this is what came to be known as copywriting.
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What Does a Copywriter Do?
Before we can proceed to the essentials on how to be a copywriter, we need to clear out what the responsibilities of a copywriter are.
First of all, copywriters are regular people who like taking long naps on lazy Sunday afternoons and might occasionally sneak into the refrigerator long after midnight. On the other hand, they are as extraordinary as it gets.
Knowing the power of language, these little wizards can exploit and bend, squish and play with words like a dough. Moreover, a copywriter is required to not only operate with the language fluently but also to utilize figures of speech and rhetorical devices to his favor. And all of this might lead to sleepless nights and headaches. But it’s worthy!
- They surf on creativity. Creativity is the main quality that distinguishes a copywriter. Creating written content for marketing, advertising, and descriptive text requires an innovative view on topics, possibly unknown before.
- They do their research. Besides creativity, a high amount of deliberate research lies behind every copywriting piece. In order for a text to not only be appealing but also informative, hours of an investigation are required.
- They consider the medium. Depending on the medium where a certain copy appears, the tone needs adjustments. Media such as print, web, radio, and television suggest various content and adapting to this means understanding it.
How to Be a Copywriter?
Now let’s cut to the chase. How to become a copywriter? And most importantly, how to be a copywriter?
While an education in marketing, journalism or philology has the capacity to prepare you for a possible copywriting job, it does not secure it.
There are numerous coaches who will list endless pinpoints in a copywriter’s journey almost as if it’s a ready-to-cook meal. The truth is that nothing creative comes with a formula but following successful examples can increase your chances of arriving at the desired result.
1. Start Blogging
Today, starting a blog is nothing short of mandatory for anyone who wishes to partake in the digital discourse. Moreover, free hosting allows people to create websites with zero investment and completely risk-free.
Once you start blogging, you will start noticing what in your writing needs an additional practice. This self-assessment is an essential requirement for the evolution of your style and creativity.
Additionally, by using blog writing tools you might be able to improve your organization skills, fluency, and vocabulary. This will facilitate your preparation process in the future where new projects will emerge and thereby, save you from the nerve-racking experience of the unknown.
2. Work on Your Fluency
The fluency of your writing is determined by a number of factors. And if it grows as you practice, prospective employers will consider your application much more valuable than what is usually offered on the copywriting market.
To be fluent in a language means that your knowledge exceeds the operational functionality of the everyday speech. A high sensitivity to the meaning and use results in a superior writing.
The use of figures of speech and rhetorical devices, on the other hand, such as metaphors, metonymy, idioms, irony, and similes demonstrates the writer’s personal artistry of language command. Practicing the use of these by incorporating them in your writing ensures the linguistic diversity of expressive means.
Likewise, discourse markers and transition words manage the flow of the discourse by structuring the thought and engaging the audience throughout the whole text. Through the use of such lively devices, a copywriting piece can mature into an enthralling experience for readers. And this is something worth working on!
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3. Engage with Digital Marketing and SEO
Digital copywriting is at its peak today because of both, the progressive development and the still-exciting unknown of digital marketing. While the results of these efforts become apparent almost immediately, there’s still a lot to be discovered regarding copywriting online.
Nevertheless, a contemporary content writer is necessarily required to have knowledge of digital marketing and on-page SEO. And that’s the absolute minimum! Proficiency in these is what can actually impress a prospective client whose goals are digital growth and conversion.
That is why taking your time to engage with these fields by taking courses, practicing them on your blog, and communicating with experts is essential.
4. Practice on Freelance Projects
At first, one cannot expect to start earning as much as a professional copywriter would. But that’s not to discourage you! On the contrary, while your learning curve lasts, you will have the opportunity to practice on clients with a lower budget and grow as you write. In a way, it’s a win-win scenario.
Overcoming writer’s block and managing your time efficiently is only a couple of the lessons you’ll learn while practicing your copywriting.
5. Get to Know the Market
As with any other job, in order for you to evaluate your skills, you’ll need to be acquainted with the market. This means that conducting research on both, employers and employees in the field provides a broad view of the typical requirements.
Most importantly, learning from other professionals and communicating will them is what helps and prompts people to become better at what they do. That is why it’s essential to become a part of the copywriting community in order to know what to expect and what is expected of you.
Competition and context are the two factors that can implicitly motivate a copywriter to evolve as an expert. With the desire to keep up with what the market offers is an essential engine in any copywriter’s development.
So how to be a copywriter after all? One can look up definitions, download courses and read endless parade of articles on the topic. And it will never be merely comprehensive.
Improving your skills day-by-day comes with pushing yourself out of the comfort zone with projects of unfamiliar topics and seemingly incomprehensible tasks. Through continuous efforts to advance your skills, fluency, and communication, you will be able to achieve the goals that appeared unrealistic in the past.
And that’s what a copywriter does. He proves that creativity may come naturally to some but it is nurtured with time, effort, and most importantly, motivation to be a storyteller worth reading.