21 of the Best Copywriting Tips for Beginners
So, you want to be a copywriter?
Following your dreams and passions is commendable, and the world of copywriting offers much joy and happiness.
As you begin your copywriting journey just know that there is a ton of information out there and millions of copywriting tips for beginners (if not more). It can get overwhelming, but don’t let it.
Over 15 years ago, I was in the same boat and didn’t know where to start.
Luckily through the years, I’ve learned, I’ve struggled, and I’ve gained knowledge. My love for copywriting has only grown and now my mission in life is to help other beginning copywriters achieve their dreams and launch their very own successful copywriting careers.
As you’ve probably already discovered there is a wealth of information available, probably too much.
So, to symbolically celebrate our new year and new beginnings, I’ve listed my 21 favorite copywriting tips for beginners to help you get started, but here’s a quick freebie before we begin.
After many years, doing many different things – the most important lesson I learned is that you MUST love what you do. So, if you love writing of any kind, then you are off to a good start and on the right track. And, if you’re researching the topic, then your interests are piqued so the only way to truly begin is to dive into the deep end so let’s go …
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #1: Make Sure You Know All The Facts
First, you need to understand what you’re getting yourself into. The world of copywriting can be great, but it does take hard work, determination and grit. You have to be willing to work, especially if you’re starting from scratch. Technically, you don’t need to have a college degree, but it can’t hurt and can always help. But, if you don’t have one there is no need to fret.
Make sure you weigh the pros and cons. Yes, you can be a freelance copywriter and be your own boss, but that also means finding your own independent health insurance and funding your own retirement plan so know exactly what you are getting yourself into before you take the plunge.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #2: Always Be Prepared for Inspiration
You never know when inspiration will strike so always be prepared with a pen, paper or electronic device in hand. It’s also essential to understand what inspires you as a copywriter. Whether it’s soothing tunes or a glass of wine on a starry night, find what inspires you to write your best and surround yourself.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #3: Find Your Inner Research Skills
A good copywriter can write about anything. Even if you’re not an expert on the subject, investing some time into research can help you find a niche and become a sounding board on the topic. A few hours of research can turn into ideas for a myriad of projects.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #4: Be Creative
In today’s world, you’re dealing with short attention spans and consumers who want and need immediate gratification. Copy needs to be compelling and captivating, and it needs to connect you with your audience.
At the same time, you’re dealing with clients who often don’t have a clue as to what they want but can definitely tell you what they don’t. It’s important to think for them and come up with creative ideas with little to no direction or inspiration.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #5: Have Patience
Not every client will be a joy to work with. As a beginning copywriter, be sure to put on your patience cap. Turn any type of negative criticism into constructive comments that can help you grow and become a better copywriter.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #6: Be Confident and Always Sell Yourself
If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. You are here for a reason so believe in yourself and others will too. And, remember no one will know you exist unless you tell them what you do. So, shout it from the rooftop and let everyone know you are a strong, skilled and spirited copywriter that is here to stay.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #7: Don’t Let Your Feelings Get Hurt
Just to reiterate, not everyone will love your work and some people are downright mean, but mean people suck. And always remember, that a copywriter came up with that phrase. Here’s another one that a copywriter came up with … sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. So, take a vow right now to have thick skin and to be resilient because copywriters have the power of words on their side.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #8: Become a Multi-Tasking Extraordinaire
Things might be slow at first, but you have to multitask between many things in the beginning. From prospecting to researching to writing to marketing and a host of other duties, copywriting is still a job. And, it takes many functions to complete that job. Once your beginning copywriting business starts to take off, you have to learn how to juggle many projects at once, switch copywriting tasks quickly and meet tight deadlines. Multi-tasking is a necessity!
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #9: Manage Your Time and Stay Focused
Sometimes just getting started is a huge hurdle especially when a blank piece of paper or a black computer screen are staring back at you. Then other times, the copywriter brain can race and take us on tangents that can derail any project. There are so many distractions all around us. It’s important not to panic and learn techniques that can help get you back on track.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #10: Stay Current and Up to Date
Always stay up to date with current events. Know which companies are successful and understand what new technologies exist. You don’t want to be a dinosaur in your own field so stay ahead of the game, and always look for new knowledge, technologies and inspiration.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #11: Listen
Sure, clients want to hear about your qualifications and experience, but when pitching them don’t forget that it’s not always about you. Be prepared to listen to your clients. Understand what they want and be sympathetic and empathetic to their needs. After all, your job is to solve their problem or fulfill a need using your copywriting talents.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #12: Build Your Portfolio
It is very hard to find any job without experience. Building a portfolio is key to show potential clients your experience and your skills. If you don’t have a ton of true experience, then copywrite for a fictitious client or find your favorite and re-write their existing copy. The key is to showcase your talents and the best way to do this is to build your portfolio, preferably as a link on your website. Creating a website and purchasing a domain name are extremely simple these days. It serves as a modern-day business card and is a great way to highlight your portfolio.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #13: Create a Strong Network
It’s not what you know, but who you know. And, copywriting is no exception. It’s important to connect with other copywriters, businesses, instructors, graphic designers and anyone in the copywriting world. Find out what’s working for them and how you can make it work for you. Join copywriting networking groups to meet other copywriters and use best practices to help you grow from a beginning copywriter to an expert.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #14: Social Media … It is the Way
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and any other social media platform I may have missed have revolutionized the way we connect and communicate with each other. Therefore, becoming active on social media is essential to promote and grow your beginning copywriting business. Don’t be shy and start posting your work and selling yourself today.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #15: Learn How to Find Jobs
You can’t make money copywriting if you don’t have clients so scour job boards like Indeed or Monster with searches for copywriters, writers, and blog writers and you’ll be surprised at what pops up. Search freelancing websites like Upwork and Fiverr to find jobs. But, remember many of these sites take a percentage of your earnings until you reach a certain level so pay can start out low at first.
Find other copywriters and let them know you are available to take extra work off their plate and let them take a percentage until you can get your big break. Finally, be willing to volunteer if need be. Sometimes doing pro bono work will help you land first time clients who then turn into repeat business.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #16: Keep an Open Mind and Always Be Ready to Learn
There is always room to learn and grow and there are no shortages of online copywriting courses and information out there. Devote time to reading about writing and learning even more. A streaming flow of information about copywriting is out there so make sure you are always open to learn.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #17: Get Referrals and Testimonials
Most clients require experience. If you’re new to copywriting, you just need someone to give you that first break and then it will spiral from there. Existing clients serve as the foundation of a client base and can give you testimonials and referrals to help give you a revolving door of copywriting business.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #18: Get a Second Opinion
You need feedback to make sure your copywriting is great. Sometimes a second pair of eyes is needed, especially when you’ve spent hours staring at the same page. A fresh look and a new perspective can do wonders to help ensure that your copywriting is the very best it can be. If you don’t have a copywriting friend at the ready, the Editor and Read Aloud tools in Word are incredible and can help you catch many blunders.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #19: Make Sure You’re Good at Math Too
Math may not be your forte but knowing your copywriting numbers is essential. It’s just as important as the words you choose. Numbers like sales, revenue, open rates, impressions, page views are all measurements that can help to convince clients that your copywriting actually works to drive the number. Use numbers to help sell your words.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #20: Study the Competition
Always remember that you aren’t the only copywriter out there. Copywriting is a much needed, yet popular and competitive field. If you want to start copywriting you have to stand out from the competition. Often, you will have to bid against other copywriters in the market for a job. Find creative ways to prove your copywriting skills and show potential clients how you can solve their problem better than the competition.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #21: Learn How to Say No
You want your clients to be happy, but you also don’t want them to abuse you. Know when to part ways or call it quits when working with difficult clients. Time is money so if you’re spending too much time on one client then you need to take that into consideration. You also need to know when you are at capacity and can’t take on anymore work. This is a good problem to have and also a sign that you are ready to raise your rates and charge more.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners BONUS TIP: Find a Copywriting Mentor
Many years ago, I was in the same position that you are now – I was a beginning copywriter teetering on the edge of making a life and career altering decision. But, I did it and I’ve never been happier with the life that copywriting has allowed me to create. My name is Michael Giannulis and one of my missions in life is to help other copywriters get their start, grow their business and multiply success. I hope these 21 copywriting tips for beginners have helped convince you to get started.
I’d love to invite you to our Copywriter Brain community to learn more about you and connect you to other copywriters. Please join us and also check out my new online course to start your journey and check out these helpful resources to help you break into copywriting today!