Are you pondering a possible career change and are wondering what is the best way to become a copywriter? Copywriting is a profession with a long history, and it is presently enjoying a bit of renaissance thanks to the Internet's effect on the world of publishing. While traditional copywriting positions are still needed and are still very much in demand, the online landscape has created new positions in copywriting that were unimaginable just a decade ago. There are many possible roads that you could take to become a copywriter that the answer to the question, What is the best way to become a copywriter? is actually to approach the career from as many angles as possible. The information in this article will describe some of the many facets of a career in copywriting and will then provide advice on how to get your foot in the door of this fascinating field.
What Does a Copywriter Do?
A copywriter typically works to advertise, promote, or forward the ideas or opinions of a particular person, business, or organization through the use of rhetorically effective words. At its core, it shares a similar philosophy to a career in advertising, but copywriting can also extend into areas where the ultimate goal is not simply to convince people to buy something. For example, copywriters could be employed by an environmental organization to try to convince people to not buy a particular product because of its harmful or dangerous effects. Alternatively, copywriters could work with politicians to create materials that convince the public to adopt or support a particular policy position.
The first thing you need to do before you try to become a copywriter is to understand the different aspects of the career. Traditionally, copywriters work for public relations firms, advertising agencies, or within media organizations like magazine and newspaper publishers. Some even work in cable television or for large businesses. Within these settings, copywriters typically work as part of a team, usually within the marketing department. While an art director is responsible for the visual aspect of an organizations advertising or promotional materials, a copywriter is in charge of creating words that work with the visual images to most effectively convey the message that is intended.
The Modern Copywriter
The Internet has had a profound effect on the profession of copywriting, both in the kind of work that is performed and how it is performed. It is much more possible for a copywriter to work independently as a freelance writer these days than it was in the past. With so much content being transitioned to the web, companies are becoming increasingly warm to the idea of having workers telecommute and contribute remotely. In addition, entirely new career opportunities have opened up thanks to the Internet. The most significant is SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. In this type of work, copywriters create content with the intent of getting the highest ranking in search engines. The content is composed in such a way (using repetitive phrases and incorporating them at strategic locations within the content) that search engines are more likely to find it. Hopefully, this is also done in such a manner as to not feel mechanical or otherwise bore the reader.
What is the Best Way to Become a Copywriter?
There are several things you need to be aware of in order to find success working as a copywriter. Here are a few essentials.
Most copywriters have some sort of a background in writing. Whether it is a degree in English or journalism or even communications, people who have experience in the humanities typically fare well when looking for this kind of work. Alternatively, any experience in marketing or advertising can be a huge help. In order to maximize your effectiveness on the job, a general understanding of rhetoric is also a huge help. Rhetoric, in general, means understanding how a particular text written in a particular manner has an effect on a specific audience. Understanding rhetoric is like knowing how to dress up your writing to fit the occasion. There are many books on rhetoric that might help a budding copywriter develop some skills to carry into the career.
If this is your first job in the field, your best way to initially gain experience is to find work as part of a team in a traditional setting. There are numerous job search websites dedicated to finding work for writers. Once you have some experience in the field and have built up a portfolio, you will be more equipped to head out on your own as a freelancer. If you decide to go that route, designing your own website where you can show off your previous work is an essential task.
In today's tight economy, finding work is a challenge in any field. Now more than ever, you really need to understand what it takes to work in a particular field so you can separate yourself from the rest of the pack.