And continue to help you for as long as you do it
There’s no degree in copywriting. No one way to get into the business. No one stand-out course that all the best copywriters take.
Anyone can become a copywriter. At least, anyone can call themselves a copywriter.
But saying you’re a copywriter and actually being able to write copy that stirs people’s emotions, inspires them to act and grows businesses are two very different things.
So what can you do to improve your copywriting?
There are some really good courses you can take. I’ve trained with Andy Maslen, Drayton Bird and Nick Usbourne and can highly recommend them all. What they taught me changed how I write and how I run my business.
Some degrees can be useful too. Lots of copywriters have degrees in marketing, business, English and psychology. But equally, lots don’t.
And none of these degrees specifically focus on copywriting. And none of the courses that do are long enough or comprehensive enough to cover everything you need to know.
In fact, so vast is the potential to continually learn about the art and science of copywriting that you need never stop.
And there is one invaluable thing you can do every day that will help you.
Read books on copywriting. Read novels, great and trashy. Read poetry. Read fiction and non-fiction. Read the newspapers. All of them. Read magazines. Read ads. Read blogs, menus, directions, websites, letters home from your kid’s school, reminder texts from the vet, cards from your mum. Read your kid’s picture books, their teen novels. Read the Bible. The IKEA catalogue. Read it all.
Read about subjects new to you to challenge your brain and make new connections.
And read things more than once.
When you read widely you get to see first-hand the different ways people use words to get their message across. You discover new rhythms, styles and ways of writing. And you expose yourself to how different people think and feel. Without realising it, you absorb all this information so it’s there for you to draw on next time you write for a client.
Drayton Bird, one of my copywriting heroes, says:
“I started studying how to write copy before I even got a job in advertising. I sat in Manchester Public Library and read everything I could find. I have never stopped. If others have done the job before you, start by studying and copying the best people you can find. It’s the only way to learn.”
And Stephen King, the much loved and admired bestselling author, says:
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time – or the tools – to write.”
Hello. I’m Sarah Russell, a freelance copywriter from near Cardiff in the UK.
I have an out-of-control compulsion to buy books. I promised myself I’d control it this year. Yet today is January 12th and I’ve already bought four books. If I continue at this rate, I’ll have 121 new books by the end of the year. Yikes!
As you can see I have time to read. Which means I also have time to write. For you.
Call me on: 01873 776 153
Email me at: [email protected]
Connect with me on: LinkedIn
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you found something in it to help or inspire you, or to make you smile. Please feel free to share it.