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How to Become a Copywriter

Tip on How to Build a Copywriting Business in Charleston
How to Become a Copywriter
Photo/Michal Koralewski

With the technology of the Internet, Website development, and Blogs the business of copywriting is an expanding opportunity growing at rapid rates into mainstream popularity. According to recent market analysis with the Better Business Bureau and the Charleston, South Carolina Yellow Pages, currently there are less than 10 copywriting businesses in the area, so opportunity is wide-open to break into the industry. There is money to make in the business of writing. More businesses recognize there is value and profitability in the well-written word. Overall growth in the market of copywriting is made possible through the conveniences of computer-driven technologies and continued development that was not available decades ago. These new Media opportunities are making it possible for the freelance copywriter to transition into Copywriting Business Owner.

The Business

A copywriter is a person who writes text that promotes a product, person, business, service or idea. The text is commonly used within a variety of Media such as advertisements, promotions, publications, and broadcasts. Written copy include items such as email, newsletters, print ads, brochures, press releases, web content, direct mail, headlines or even speeches. Successful copywriters know the business in which they are writing about, having an understanding about the audience, and apply the right approach to capture the attention of the reader to persuade them to act. The responsibility of a copywriter is to write clear, concise, and quality content. Therefore, careful skill building is an essential tool for the well-trained writer.

Organizational Value

To operate as a copywriter, good organizational skills are needed. Developing a system for approaching each assignment can ensure important information is not overlooked. While developing an eye for style, prose, and grammar and accurate account for the work involved is also needed. Steps to ensuring a good organizational process is (1) meet as often as necessary, (2) implement a two-way communication process, (3) outline the scope of the project, (4) develop the plan, (5) detail the levels, (6) prioritize, (7) execute the plan, (8) review the status, (9) adjust as needed, and (10) set closure.

Attention to Detail

Dotting the (I's) and crossing the (T's) are the responsibility of the copywriter. Attention to detail is vital to making sure the writing is the best it can be. In addition to correct grammar, spelling, and sentence structure, a copywriter focuses on the broader picture. For example, how well does the information flow together? Are the supporting facts relevant to the overall focus? Are there fragments, redundancies, or unsupported information such as gossip, bias, or assumption? There are many resources for improving writing and techniques. Some online resources include Copywriting.com, Adcopywriting.com, and Grammarbook.com.

Writing Style and Guides

Be familiar with the current writing styles and appropriate application. There are many Style Manuals and Writing Guides to choose from. Applying the appropriate style with the correct context of writing can sometimes be tricky. Education and study are key factors to success in this arena. Just to name a few, some commonly referenced guides include "The Associated Press Stylebook" which is used primarily for Journalistic writing, "The Chicago Manual of Style" used for general publishing, and "The MLA Handbook" used for Academic writing. There are many guides available, some of which are profession specific. Knowing what to use and when to use it will ensure your success in this area.

Own a Website or Blog

A Website or Blog can serve as a means to generating more business and generating online presence. Many websites and blogs offer the ability to setup profiles and portfolios that are stored online. Place samples of written works online for potential clients to review quickly, easily, and at their convenience. All written work should be categorized for easy reference. Categories include topics such as business, health, education, career, lifestyle, family, politics, or technology. Samples also include works that have been published in newspapers, magazines, journals, college, business, or other publications. To maintain credibility, ensure all samples are free from linguistic, spelling, or grammatical errors.

Take Action

Finally, take action and build your business as a copywriter. There are businesses that offer project related work specifically for copywriters. To name a few, there are industry specific websites such as JournalismJobs.com, BookJobs.com, and MediaBistro.com. These companies offer short, long term, and seasonal projects for freelance and contractual business. Other sources for building business include networking with other businesses that are similar in nature; be available to those networks as there may be subcontract and project assignments available in these connections. Be open to marketing your online presence and networking in Social Media websites like Twitter.com, Facebook.com, or LinkedIn.com. The Internet is the new window to the world and offers a plethora of avenues to new opportunities.
 

Comments

  • Leigha Baer, Certified Internet Marketing Consulta 4 years ago

    A very good overview by Ms. Watts about starting a copywriting business. As President of an internet marketing consulting firm, I can attest that good copywriters are in demand. Additionally, although marketers sometimes outsource tasks to overseas workers, this work is commonly purchased domestically. I have the opportunity to use copywriters on a daily basis for creating content for my clients websites and a good writer can earn a pretty good income.

    Thanks for the article Crystal!

    Leigha

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