How did you start in Copywriting?

24 replies
Hey guys

How did you get going in copywriting? Did any of you come from a different skill base such as design or other types of skills?

#copywriting #start
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    My first shot at selling was as a door to door salesman of religious
    and health books. I did this for a college scholarship and had to
    read a book on salesmanship. That was back in 1992.

    My next stab at it was when I was involved in MLM in the late
    90's and wrote ads for myself and the company. Then finally
    going full-time as an online marketer in 2002, I started studying
    copywriting more seriously and started writing for clients a year
    later. Since then I've ran a coaching program for about 8 years
    now with some stellar graduates (making more money that me!)
    and the rest is history.

    I would say, it is tougher to break into the market today. When
    I first started I could name the other copywriters who were
    hanging out their wares online in one breath (most a member of Fortin's forum).
    Now it's tougher to get noticed, except you want to corner the local
    off-line market. Also many freelance writer's job board have plummeted
    the value concept of copy to a bare minimum--the oDesks etc.
    But if you find MARKETERS who value copy, then you'll have a
    good match.

    -Ray Edwards
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    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Profile picture of the author EzraWinter
    Scratch that 10char
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  • Profile picture of the author Complex
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    • Profile picture of the author iamchrisgreen
      Originally Posted by Complex View Post

      I started writing ads for people. For money.

      (It's that simple.)

      ;-)

      P.S. If any skill helped, it was experience in sales.
      That last sentence is really important. Could you tell me how your sales experience translated into copywriting skills?
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      • Profile picture of the author Complex
        [DELETED]
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        • Profile picture of the author iamchrisgreen
          Originally Posted by Complex View Post

          Sure.

          In sales, you deal with objections all the time.

          So you get used to handling as many of them ahead of time. That helps when writing copy because you naturally look at every claim with a healthy amount of skepticism. Plus, it just doesn't bother you. I still get a little amazed at guys and gals who claim to be "sales experts" who can't deal with the tamest of objections on this forum. Doesn't really "add up" if you know what I mean.

          You also learn that it's really just one big matching game.

          So you don't try to be a "magic man" and sell to folks who aren't a good match for whatever you are selling. That helps because you naturally tend to think in terms of who would be a match for your offer, knowing that most are not. And it also helps to keep you from making things overly complicated. Which a lot of folks (marketers and copywriters) do tend to do.

          You also don't have that newbie idea that there are folks who are "sorcerers" or whatever.

          A lot of copywriting "teachers" and even those that hang out bragging about themselves on forums and blogs would have you believe that they have some weird ability to get anyone to buy anything. But in sales, especially if you work in a competitive arena, you see damn good sales people for realsies (they make $ 5,000 weekly commission checks or better) and even they don't have that bs posturing. Or if they do, you know it's bs. And so did everyone else. A lot of newbs don't know that. So they believe hacks who present themselves as sales sorcerers or whatever and they end up with unrealistic expectations. (Or they buy a bunch of "training" garbage they don't need to)

          This last one is important, because you don't want to go down the wrong road. A lot of newbs do. And they end up posting about how they've read every book on copywriting, can recite back quotes that I don't even know at all, and yet ...

          They've got zero clients or they've been hanging out at the bottom rung for years. Still trying to find the "magic" when they could've been selling and making money. For themselves and for clients.

          There's a lot more. Little details and nuances. But I'm done for now.

          P.S. There's also a natural framework to an interaction in sales that translates over. It's more experiential than it is theoretical, so I'm not going to try to put it into words. And I mean showroom selling. Not cold-calling or anything like that. I don't know much about that. I know showroom and b2b by appointment. Most sales, from my experience, is experiential and it's hard for me to put into words. It just is. You sell or you don't. You get the commission or you don't. You rank #1 in the showroom or division or region or you don't. Same is true with copy. It sells or it doesn't.

          P.P.S. It's still salesmanship-in-print. Or video. Or audio. No matter what any "blogger" tries to say. So there's really no end to how sales experience can and does help.
          Really useful, many thanks!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Essley
    I didn't really have any skills in copy writing when I first started writing copy I studied other good copywriters to get ideas. You definitely do not want to copy other copywriters but you can make good copy your own. I would checkout the Gary Halbert Letter if you haven't already. Thanks -Bill
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    • Profile picture of the author Datingarticles
      Originally Posted by Bill Essley View Post

      I didn't really have any skills in copy writing when I first started writing copy I studied other good copywriters to get ideas. You definitely do not want to copy other copywriters but you can make good copy your own. I would checkout the Gary Halbert Letter if you haven't already. Thanks -Bill
      I have just checked out the Gary Halbert website, and am very impressed. This guy seems to know what he's talking about.
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      Datingarticles
      www.datingarticles.co.uk

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  • Profile picture of the author ElizabethArling
    I did copywriting when I was in college. It took me a lot of energy and time, though I learned a lot. It is pretty disappointing to realize that most of the information in internet is the same, just in other words. It is like kicking a dead horse.
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  • Profile picture of the author kimanierick
    I did first did copy writing while in college. I honestly had no passion for it but I did it for money. With time i realized i was good in copy writing and learned to love it. Now I am passionate about copy writing and i do it daily.
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    • Profile picture of the author OutOfThisWord
      During preteen years, all my buds and I had bicycles adorned with the stickers you see on Nascars. And every Sat. we would all rush to the auto parts store and other places that had 'STP' stickers and the like.

      But the stores never had enough to go around. So I found the addresses of the companies on the back of the stickers and wrote them letters. Low and behold a windfall would arrive in the mail. And I would sell them to my buds.

      I kept records of all the companies and when was the last time I wrote them, so I wouldn't burn out my list.

      Then I got the idea I could write letters using my grandparents address and get even more stickers.

      That little business continued until I discovered girls. And my first date in junior high was because of a letter I wrote.
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      • Profile picture of the author emmaharvey
        I started writing my own blog posts. Initially I gave it a try and the outcome was positive.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jennifer Hutson
    Started off writing articles as a part-time freelancer five years ago for $15 an article (ouch!) and began reading about how the industry's top writers were making six figures. I knew I had the skills to get there, so I took up an interest in copywriting and starting learning everything I could about it.

    Today, I freelance full-time and work as the lead copywriter at a mid-size advertising agency. I still take on a few side projects through my business site each month and get to kick it in my PJs all day.

    Learning copywriting has truly been a life-changing experience for me and I wouldn't trade it for another job.
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    • Profile picture of the author Datingarticles
      Originally Posted by Jennifer Hutson View Post

      Started off writing articles as a part-time freelancer five years ago for $15 an article (ouch!) and began reading about how the industry's top writers were making six figures. I knew I had the skills to get there, so I took up an interest in copywriting and starting learning everything I could about it.

      Today, I freelance full-time and work as the lead copywriter at a mid-size advertising agency. I still take on a few side projects through my business site each month and get to kick it in my PJs all day.

      Learning copywriting has truly been a life-changing experience for me and I wouldn't trade it for another job.
      I admire your success with your copywriting ventures. I started my own freelance writing business over two years ago, and am still seeking my first client.
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      Datingarticles
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  • Profile picture of the author JasleenKaur
    I started my own blog and writing articles for websites i have been worked for ? Thank you !
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  • Profile picture of the author dolius
    I'm a designer and started writing copy prob 5 years ago, basically writing the web content of the websites I designed, also writing product pages. English is my second language but I did study 1 year of linguistics in university (For Spanish) so I have a general sense of structure, I was looking for resources to learn more about crafting effective copy and heard there is a book called the copywriter's handbook, there is even a free PDF copy of it if you google it, I downloaded it and so far, the book has some great advice and tips. Cheers,
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    I was the top salesperson in a call center which sold Business Coaching Services. The director wanted me to become the sales manager and take over the training of our other sales people. I hated the idea of taking a paycut by going from commission to salary. So I agreed to rewrite their sales scripts and training manual. Sales increased by over 300%. That was my first experience turning words into money.
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    • In a word, "Unconventional".

      When I started my first business, automotive locksmith, I missed the telephone book insertion deadline (circa 1993) by a couple of weeks.

      So I started writing detailed flyers and going door to door distributing them to used car dealers...One of the dealers asked me who wrote the flyer. I told him I did. He asked if I'd write an ad for him...

      I agreed and he was my first paying client. Since then I've written for 40+ different industries. Some big names. Some small names. Some obscure names.
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  • Profile picture of the author taha0092
    I'm a complete newb. I only just read a few free guides and cheap kindle books. To test my potential, I started helping out a friend of mine with his FB ad and landing page copies (English isn't his first language). Well, it would be a lie to say he had phenomenal results but he did achieve satisfactory earning per click. I got motivated and started taking copywriting more seriously.
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  • In 2012, I was a jobless with a brand new English degree.

    I saw an ad for a copywriter position on Craigslist that looked like a scam, but I applied for it anyways. Turns out it was legit. I wrote some sample copy for them (first ad copy I ever wrote), and they offered me the job. Then they decided not to fill the position. But they started giving me freelance work. That gave me a decent portfolio, and I started getting a lot of work from elance and a WF classified. That picked up, and for the past several years I've been crazy busy just from regular clients, and I've made a lot of people a lot of money.

    But to be honest, my path to today has pretty much been a series of terrible choices that turned out well. Responding to ads that look like scams, writing free copy to apply for jobs, and trying to make a career from job boards aren't usually good ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author Articleswriting

    This Slide You Provide with tips & ideas related to each of the qualities that a successfully Unique ARTICLE writing must have.
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  • Profile picture of the author kimanierick
    I started as a freelance writer and today I myself am working as an entrepreneur in this field. I Use to hire writers from non English countries and fine tune their work with the help of Grammarly. It is working great for me, and I already have made thousands of dollars
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    • Profile picture of the author Datingarticles
      Originally Posted by kimanierick View Post

      I started as a freelance writer and today I myself am working as an entrepreneur in this field. I Use to hire writers from non English countries and fine tune their work with the help of Grammarly. It is working great for me, and I already have made thousands of dollars
      I really take my hat off to you for achieving such great success as a copywriter. It is a very hard, competitive field to crack, and I should know, for I started my own freelance writing business two years ago, and whilst I am starting to see some returns on the sales of my ghost and paranormal Kindle books, I am unfortunately not having similar good fortune with the freelance writing side of my business.
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      Datingarticles
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  • Profile picture of the author MarkYoung
    Knowing how to do web programming and software development already, it made it motivating to learn how to do copy writing. Secondly, I started off using salesletters creator, which is a automated sales copy generator, and it basically showed me how visually.
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  • Profile picture of the author Minds Eye
    TBH, my journey down the copywriting road started when my wife had a personal crisis. She had to quit her well paid but stressful job and from there became an artist (which is her passion.) I had a well paid but soul crushing job too, which we needed to pay the bills.
    Now, because of her career move, I started to ask questions of myself about what I could do that would fulfill me the way she was being fulfilled with art. Turns out it was writing. Laughed because all I knew about writing was that 99% (and that's being conservative!) of writers were dead broke. Then I saw a copywriting course and was instantly hooked.
    A couple years later there was a job advertised in the paper for a "direct response specialist." Since I'd been studying that for the last couple years, I wrote a killer cover email and sent it off. Got a call 10 minutes after the Director of Marketing (and grizzled veteran copywriter) saw the email. He offered me a full-time gig as copywriter for their information publishing company.
    After some back and forth, I accepted and been writing ever since. Two years with them, seven as a freelancer. Life is good!
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