Breaking into Copywriting

The idea of starting out as a brand new copywriter is kind of, well, scary. There are so many things I have yet to learn, and so many things that I can only gain from experience.  That seems to be the magic word in the job market these days, experience.  Almost all jobs in any field require it.  But this begs the question, how does one get experience if you can’t get a job, which in turn would promise experience?  This is frustrating to scores of job seekers, free lancers included.

When I decided to become a copywriter, I knew it would be tough starting out.  But honestly, this is not like any job I’ve ever had.  I have always worked in an office environment, with your typical 8a-5p hours.  Free lancing is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum!  This type of work is growing quickly and is considered the “a la carte” or “gig” economy of the future.  Meaning, instead of the stable daytime job, I decided to take matters in my own hands. Which is a huge change!  Instead of having work given to me by a boss, I am going to have to actively go out and seek work; and prove why I should keep getting the work. I kept saying to myself, how will you show potential clients that your work is good and why you deserve a shot?  Well the best answer I have come up with, is that you just have to keep doing what you know, and what you’re trained for. And for a copywriter, that’s writing.  I have just completed my Diploma in Copywriting from the Blackford Centre and I have formulated a plan for this.  I don’t know how well this plan will work, I’ll most likely have to make some adjustments, but I think I am on the right track.

The first step is to get my website up and running.  I’ve actually had a lot of fun with this! I’ve never done a website before, but WordPress has been very helpful with this.  Next, make sure you are listed in all the relevant business directories.  This mostly means Google, but there are also quite a few other local business directories that would be worth your time.  The more you list your name and business, the wider your reach!  Then apply, apply and apply some more to free-lance writing sites.  The course I took suggested this practice for copywriters just starting out, as it will help you to build your portfolio.  Also, doing work for free or volunteering your services is highly recommended as well.  I aim to do both.  All in all, I think I have a good plan drawn up for breaking into the copywriting field.  If you’re doing the same, hopefully this will help you out on your own way.  Any suggestions or advice for me? Please leave them in the comments!

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