I want to break into the copywriting field

by KatyaG
14 replies
Hi there. My name is Katya and I just joined this forum. I have been a freelance writer for a couple of years and am looking to break into the copywriting field. However, I really don't have any copywriting samples. I have mostly written blogs, articles and some press releases. Should I take a course? Or should I order some books instead? Should I offer my services for free to smaller businesses and nonprofits?

Any advice would be appreciated. I just created my website last week. Take a look: | Katya Gordeeva
#break #copywriting #field
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    Hey Katya!

    Congrats on taking the LEAP.

    You're in for a wild, whacky, character-filled ride.

    Let's talk about your website real fast.

    One thing you've gotta think about...

    People (prospects) are looking at your website to see if you're an authority.

    They want to see if you can persuasively market yourself.

    Right now...

    You can't.

    There's nothing on your website that's going to attract quality clients.

    I read a few of your articles. You've got some genuine potential. But you've got to take the gloves off and start showing some personality.

    And demonstrate that you have a unique perspective.

    Your homepage: Says nothing.

    Your about page: Doesn't tell a story.

    Your blog: Literally nothing.

    Your services page: No selling. Nothing to differentiate you... Nothing that implies or creates value (in your prospect's minds.)

    You've done nothing to communicate who you're talking to (i.e. knowing your avatar,) what you offer, how you can help them or what they should expect by working with you.

    Hit up Alex Cohen. See if he has a little time to mentor you.

    Mark

    P.S. Take the time to look at how other copywriters market themselves. Start there.
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    • Profile picture of the author KatyaG
      Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

      Hey Katya!

      Congrats on taking the LEAP.

      You're in for a wild, whacky, character-filled ride.

      Let's talk about your website real fast.

      One thing you've gotta think about...

      People (prospects) are looking at your website to see if you're an authority.

      They want to see if you can persuasively market yourself.

      Right now...

      You can't.

      There's nothing on your website that's going to attract quality clients.

      I read a few of your articles. You've got some genuine potential. But you've got to take the gloves off and start showing some personality.

      And demonstrate that you have a unique perspective.

      Your homepage: Says nothing.

      Your about page: Doesn't tell a story.

      Your blog: Literally nothing.

      Your services page: No selling. Nothing to differentiate you... Nothing that implies or creates value (in your prospect's minds.)

      You've done nothing to communicate who you're talking to (i.e. knowing your avatar,) what you offer, how you can help them or what they should expect by working with you.

      Hit up Alex Cohen. See if he has a little time to mentor you.

      Mark

      P.S. Take the time to look at how other copywriters market themselves. Start there.
      Thanks for the feedback. Do you have any advice on how I can expand on my home page and services? I haven't started writing my blog yet. I am thinking about making it a Chicago based blog on unique dining spots.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
        Originally Posted by KatyaG View Post

        Thanks for the feedback. Do you have any advice on how I can expand on my home page and services? I haven't started writing my blog yet. I am thinking about making it a Chicago based blog on unique dining spots.
        Unique dining spots?

        OMG... NO!

        Again, look at other copywriter's websites and blogs. I'm serious. You'll be able to answer your own questions very quickly.

        Ain't nobody writing about dining spots.

        Get out of the article writing mindset.

        You're SELLING.

        How can you demonstrate your ability to sell?!?!

        Mark
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  • Yes, everything Mark said.

    And start reading a few good books on the captivating craft of copywriting.

    Here's a list -

    http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...ooks-ever.html

    Choose 2 or 3 that appeal to you.

    Don't overload yourself with too much information (It makes your head spin).

    Take it slowly but surely.


    Steve


    P.S. This is fun. And keeps you excited to be in the game.

    Look at a few Ads in the papers, magazines, on the web and TV - and deconstruct them. What is good, what is bad?

    Put yourself in the target audiences shoes and ask "What do I need to read and see to make me buy?"
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Originally Posted by KatyaG View Post

    Hi there. My name is Katya and I just joined this forum. I have been a freelance writer for a couple of years and am looking to break into the copywriting field. However, I really don't have any copywriting samples. I have mostly written blogs, articles and some press releases. Should I take a course? Or should I order some books instead? Should I offer my services for free to smaller businesses and nonprofits?

    Any advice would be appreciated. I just created my website last week. Take a look: | Katya Gordeeva
    Katya, women ad writers naturally speak in a voice that is
    more appealing to women than men.

    Lori understands this more than others.

    Red Hot Copy

    Selling her way, via the written word,
    gets people to buy without the testosterone filled
    stuff men gravitate to.

    Connecting with Lori would be a great first start.

    Best,
    Ewen
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  • Katya- also check out Chris Marlow- she has mentored many female students.

    Chris Marlow | Direct Response Copywriter & Creator of the Marlow Marketing Method
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author Rhino99
    You dont need clients to create a portfolio. Get studying all the classics linked to by Steve and then practice, practice, practice. Download some templates and create a few sales letters, web pages and a brochure. You need to have credibility if clients are going to hire you - you need to be able to demonstrate what they can expect to get. Also, make sure you have at last six months worth of savings in the bank if you're relying on copywriting as your main source of income and hunt for clients relentless.

    In terms of whether to study courses, they cover the same universal principles as the books. It comes down to whether you'd benefit from a structured approach to studying or can be self disciplined to set yourself practical assignments.
    Signature

    Matt Ambrose Direct Response Copywriter
    www.copywriterscrucible.com

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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    Originally Posted by KatyaG View Post

    I really don't have any copywriting samples. I have mostly written blogs, articles and some press releases. Should I take a course? Or should I order some books instead? Should I offer my services for free to smaller businesses and nonprofits?
    You should start writing sales copy today...for almost anything.

    You can also go to hardtofindads.com and start writing out some
    of the most successful sales letter in history so you can get used
    to the format.

    If you've never done copy it won't hurt to do some copy for some
    businesses free just to get rolling.

    Any kind of samples are good if they're well written.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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    • Profile picture of the author ibarena
      Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

      You should start writing sales copy today...for almost anything.
      Are sales copywriting and copywriting same thing?
      If I have a blog which creates a relationship with the reader and reflects well on my brand without any Call for Action, can I still call it copywriting?

      Regards,
      Sat
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  • Profile picture of the author Len Bailey
    Hi Katya,

    Welcome to the Warrior Forum -- and to the growing ranks of copywriters!

    There's some great advice above. But here's my 2 cents...

    1. Read the classics of advertising: Claude C. HopkinsClaude C. Hopkins , David OgilvyDavid Ogilvy , Eugene SchwartzEugene Schwartz , John CaplesJohn Caples , etc. These guys were the pioneers who developed the tactics and strategies still used today.

    2. Also learn from the modern masters: Bob Bly's book The Copywriter's HandbookThe Copywriter's Handbook is a superb resource for new copywriters.

    And be sure to check out Clayton Makepeace's blog, The Total Package. Clayton hasn't posted anything new in a while, but the archives are a treasure trove of actionable lessons from the trenches.

    Two more solid sources of copywriting advice are Jack Forde and John Carlton.

    3. Have fun. Possibly the greatest thing about copywriting is that you can have a job you love and still get paid very well. Embrace it!

    Best wishes for success!

    Len
    Signature

    Len Bailey
    Copywriter/Consultant
    Feel free to connect on LinkedIn or Twitter

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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    I think we might have scared her away...
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    • Profile picture of the author KatyaG
      Haha no, you haven't scared me away. Copywriting is just really different from the type of writing I'm used to. I guess I just have to pick up some books and really learn the craft before I go at it.
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Originally Posted by KatyaG View Post

        Haha no, you haven't scared me away. Copywriting is just really different from the type of writing I'm used to. I guess I just have to pick up some books and really learn the craft before I go at it.
        Katya, I have a friend who is a copywriter.

        Her clients, which have included Government departments,
        call her a copywriter.

        She writes to inform.

        Not to take an action.

        The books and references given in this thread are based on a different principle,
        direct the reader to take an action.

        You may be confronted with these 2 divisions within the copywriting field.

        Best to know now.

        Best,
        Ewen
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        • Profile picture of the author Josh Rueff
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          Katya, I have a friend who is a copywriter.

          Her clients, which have included Government departments,
          call her a copywriter.

          She writes to inform.

          Not to take an action.

          The books and references given in this thread are based on a different principle,
          direct the reader to take an action.

          You may be confronted with these 2 divisions within the copywriting field.

          Best to know now.

          Best,
          Ewen
          That's a great point. There's actually quite a few genres of writing that many people refer to as copywriting.

          As an SEO copywriter, I rarely get involved with the sales copy most people here are referring to when they say "copywriting"(although I am extremely interested in it, learning a lot about it here actually).

          Most of my work is on site optimization, WDF/IDF analysis, and other optimization combined with website copy.
          Signature

          Life is full of nothing but opportunities. There is no misfortune, bad luck, or misery; only opportunity.

          “To move the world we must move ourselves.”
          -Socrates

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