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How do I Start a Copywriting Career?

Article Details
  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 23 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Copywriters help create everything that is read and heard by potential consumers, investors or customers in the business world. From corporate brochures to catchy ad slogans, a copywriter wrote those words. If you want to start a copywriting career, you need to have a strong educational background. You also must sharpen your skills by writing for a variety of sources, styles and products. This flexibility will help you enter the diverse copywriting job market.

A copywriting career usually starts with education, because many jobs require a bachelor's degree. An advertising, journalism or marketing degree will help you sharpen the writing and copy editing skills you will use every day as a copywriter. These classes will also aid your understanding of business, advertisements and marketing principles. A college internship also will help you learn the basics of copywriting and expose you to the corporate culture of this business.

The most popular way to begin a copywriting career is to start as a freelancer. By seeking out small writing opportunities through personal contacts and websites' job ads, you can get a feel for the variety of work available. Print advertisements, business materials, copy for a product's packaging and more all need the skilled craftsmanship of a writer to describe that product or service. Working as a freelance copywriter also is a great opportunity to build up your portfolio of published work.

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The writing portfolio is an important element of a copywriting career. Like visual artists who let the look of their work speak for their talents, your published work speaks volumes about your writing abilities. Unlike other jobs where résumés are scrutinized and perhaps even skills tests are required, many clients will only demand to see your past work before hiring you for freelance jobs. Non-freelance jobs, however, often do require a traditional interview process.

Non-freelance work, such as advertising copywriting at an agency, travel copywriting or radio copywriting, is a desirable step in a copywriting career. These opportunities don't offer the diversity and freedom of freelance work, but they provide greater stability. Here, you will be part of an advertising team, including visual artists and marketing specialists. Many people enjoy this lifestyle because the paychecks are regular, vacation is often paid for, and health insurance usually is provided. Your preference of copywriter jobs, whether freelance and non-freelance work, will depend greatly on your personal tastes.

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