15 replies
Hey warriors,

Any ideas how I can get experience in exchange for free Copy?
I wish to build a portfolio from scratch, and I'm an amateur in copywriting.

horizon
#copywriting #free
  • Profile picture of the author Toniy
    Hello Horizon... or 'horizon', sorry

    Let's see about what you're asking here (on a sunday of all days... or 'Sunday', sorry )...
    (note: copywriters generally don't get up on a Sunday :p)

    You want experience...

    You'll exchange free copy...

    You wish to build a portfolio from scratch...

    You're an amateur copywriter...

    OK.

    From what I understand from what you've written... You want to become a better copywriter... and you want to offer copywriting services for free to build your portfolio, presumably so you can then say 'here's what I've accomplished... hire me for money?'

    My first thought would be to stary writing your first sales letter focusing on your abilities as a copywriter... post it up in the 'Warriors For Hire' section.

    Of course if you are indeed an amateur... no one will want to hire you, and if they do, they'll be disappointed and you won't get good feedback... and it's all about reputation here man so you gotta go careful that.

    The more important question is 'What are you doing to become better than amateur?'

    You can't rush into this sir... copywriting is an art at least as much as it's a science and it takes time, effort and most certainly dedication to become competent... let alone master.
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  • Profile picture of the author John_S
    Check with this guy. You two seem destined to get together
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  • Profile picture of the author Toniy
    HA!

    John, you legend

    You should set up an agency sir, well done.

    Listen all laughing and fun aside though horizon... get in touch with that guy. It really does seem like the perfect opportunity.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Can you tell me how I can get a date with Angelina Joli?

      I'm a middle aged, hair thinned married man who has no chance in hell with
      AJ but I'd still like to have a shot.

      Oh, and I'll date her for the experience only. She won't even have to pay me.

      How's that for a deal.

      ** Note ** For the brain dead, the above was sarcasm.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Can you tell me how I can get a date with Angelina Joli?

        I'm a middle aged, hair thinned married man who has no chance in hell with
        AJ but I'd still like to have a shot.

        Oh, and I'll date her for the experience only. She won't even have to pay me.

        How's that for a deal.

        ** Note ** For the brain dead, the above was sarcasm.
        If you ever do get the opportunity Steve, make sure your life insurance is paid up. Chances are you wouldn't make it past the first 60 seconds.

        LOL

        Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author Toniy
    .... I like you Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author John_S
    You should set up an agency sir, well done.
    Unfortunately, the only reason I get hired is nobody thinks the way I do.

    However, I must confess. My post was merely a setup for my new site: 99bottomfeeders. Essentially I don't make any money from the people joining the site ....just those who use it as a filter to never have to encounter the kind of people who would participate in such a site. Think flypaper.

    There is a sort of raw, karmic, satisfaction to the idea I am more than a bit attracted to.

    I believe it may make me rich.

    all laughing and fun aside
    Oh yes. There is laughing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Toniy


    I love bottom feeders, I want to see the site

    Did you get the .info ?

    It's important.

    You should run a competition like the 30 day challenge... but with a zany twist
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  • Profile picture of the author IdrisSG
    Try not to do "free" copy.

    If you need to gain the experience, hone your skills first, practice, practice, practice.

    Once you believe you're ready then offer a "First month free" copy service.

    It goes like this....

    "I'll write you a profit making ad without any charge for the first month, see if it works for you, test it out for the first month and if it brought you more clients than you've ever had than please pay me $XXXX from month 2 onwards and I'd like a testimonial too"

    Create a proper script please, I just wrote that one above so you get the gist of the idea.





    Originally Posted by thehorizon View Post

    Hey warriors,

    Any ideas how I can get experience in exchange for free Copy?
    I wish to build a portfolio from scratch, and I'm an amateur in copywriting.

    horizon
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    • Profile picture of the author cparizo
      Try volunteering for a non-profit. If you belong to a religious organization (church, synagogue, mosque), ask if you can write a fundraising letter or do their newsletter. See if any other small area non-profits need brochures or website copy.
      Signature

      Christine Parizo
      Christine Parizo Communications
      www.christineparizo.com

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  • Profile picture of the author BarryADensa
    When I first started out as a copywriter, I had no experience, no portfolio -- only an unfounded belief that I could make it as a copywriter.

    I also knew that what marketers wanted to see above all, was that I could write -- not just write, but sell! A catch 22 to be sure -- I had no proof.

    So I posted, on every relavent message board and forum I could find, a simple proposition, the guts of which follows (and it was a sales letter in of itself):

    I'll write your sales letter for free, all I ask in return, if you're satisfied with the results, is that you allow me to post the sales letter on my website and that you will also provide me with a glowing testimonial.

    End result: a six figure yearly income (though it took a few years to get there).

    If you want some tips on how to write sales copy that converts, download my ebook from my blog -- it'll get you started.

    Good luck,
    --Barry
    Signature

    Barry A Densa - Freelance Marketing & Sales Copywriter - WritingWithPersonality.com

    Download a FREE copy of my new eBook, containing 21 of my most outrageous rants, when you visit my blog: Marketing Wit & Wisdom

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    • Horizon,

      We all started with zilch experience but a huge desire to get good at copywriting.

      Try and not offer "free" copywriting.

      Although the client wont be paying you - they have the costs of running whatever you write.

      If it's print it's expensive.

      If it's on the internet - it could lose them customers (by upsetting their list).

      Bad copy can cost a lot of money.

      But don't despair.

      Just learn how to do it well.

      If you really work at it - in under 3 months you should be good enough to charge a decent fee.

      Your confidence will have sky - rocketed.

      And you won't cause yourself any grief by writing for nothing.

      Hope this helps,

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author abugah
    John has given you the best advice.


    I think you should get in touch.
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  • Profile picture of the author FFM2014
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      I'll write your sales letter for free, all I ask in return, if you're satisfied with the results, is that you allow me to post the sales letter on my website and that you will also provide me with a glowing testimonial.
      I agree with Barry's approach, and in fact this is what many of the copywriters I have trained have done to build their portfolio when they are starting out.

      I advise them to ask people they know who own or run a business or nonprofit - friends, neighbors or relatives - if they need anything written, with the above proviso. Then I work with the novice copywriter to address their questions, concerns and uncertainties as they do the work.

      This almost always works out as a fair trade. The novice copywriter has gotten experience, the "client" receives great work (because the copywriter does it under my supervision) and in many cases the "client" either offers to pay for the work or hires them right away for another project.

      By the way, I have a little ebook on Kindle on how to get started as a copywriter, in which I share other methods I use with my proteges to get them off and running earning money as a copywriter.

      Good luck,
      Marcia Yudkin
      Signature
      Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Originally Posted by thehorizon View Post

    Hey warriors,

    Any ideas how I can get experience in exchange for free Copy?
    I wish to build a portfolio from scratch, and I'm an amateur in copywriting.

    horizon
    The idea that you have to pay for experience by whoring yourself out is one of the biggest myths in freelancing. And believe me, there are plenty of business owners looking to capitalize on it by beating you up for free services.

    Find a niche business that you can specialize in. Look up a few businesses in that niche and rewrite their web copy so you can have a portfolio.

    Then, contact the businesses and send a sample, offering to redo their entire website (which you've already done) if they like your work. Then, you either get paid OR you at least have a portfolio of work to show people.

    Keep in mind also that not all experience is created equal. One year of experience working for good fees is much better than five years of experience working for junk rates. When you're getting paid what you're worth, it's easier to do good quality work and to develop as a writer.

    If you're under pressure to pay bills and having to pump out high volumes of work in order to make up for a low rate, you'll have no time to develop good writing habits and plenty of bad writing habits will crop up in their place.
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