People often assume that to become a copywriter, you need to undergo formal training. This was the case during the pre-internet boom, but nowadays, you can learn copywriting by yourself through available tools and consistent learning.
So, can you teach yourself copywriting?
Yes, you can defintiely teach yourself copywriting. To become a sought-after self-taught copywriter, you need to know the fundamentals of copywriting, its types and guiding principles, as well as the formulas involved. Then practice and evaluate your progress until you master the process.
In this article, we will reveal how you can become a self-taught copywriter through practical steps.
What Do Copywriters Do?
Copywriters create copy for online and offline ads and marketing materials such as social media posts, website landing pages, email newsletters, and many more.
A copy is written text which delivers a clear and concise message that informs or persuades the business’ target market to do a specific action (i.e., purchase, follow, subscribe).
5 Steps To Learn Copywriting By Yourself
Professional copywriters reap the fruits of their experience and consistency through loyal clients, a sustainable position in a business or agency, and an annual salary of up to $230,000.
Whether self-taught or formally trained, these professional copywriters have undergone the following steps to hone their skills.
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1. Know the Types of Copywriting
Copywriting involves more than just writing texts. As a copywriter, you must put power on the words that will entice the audience’s curiosity and take the action you propose.
With that, you have to learn the different types of copywriting and their purpose.
- Direct Response Copywriting: Create a copy that directly persuades the reader or audience to take a specific action. It usually comes with a call-to-action button, phrase, or sentence. On website pages, it could be in the form of a pop-up.
- Ad Copywriting: An ad copy uses emotional elements to encourage the lead to purchase a product or avail of the offered services. To write a compelling ad copy, you must clearly deliver the value of the offering in question.
- SEO Copywriting: Search engine optimization (SEO) is a staple process that digital marketers perform to improve website traffic and conversion. As a copywriter, you must use the right keywords, provide an engaging title and meta description, and write content for blog posts, landing pages, etc.
- Social Media Copywriting: Brand presence in social media is a must-have for all types of businesses. To gain clout, you need to create posts, ad copy, graphic texts, and more that are worth the attention of your market.
- Public Relations Writing: As a copywriter, you must produce a newsworthy copy that gets picked up by local or national journalists. This type of copywriting improves public relations and becomes beneficial for established businesses and startups alike.
- Script Writing: Writing a script for television and radio advertising is usually what falls under script writing. But now that we have Youtube videos and podcasts, the demand for a copywriter who can create the right script has increased.
- Technical Copywriting: When asked to do technical copywriting, you’re usually supposed to write an informative copy or content that helps customers understand a product, feature, or functionality.
Pro Tip: As digital marketing keeps expanding, you don’t have to learn all types of copywriting at once. Start with a copywriting category based on your interest and background. For example, if you’re a social media native, focus on social media copywriting.
2. Live By The Copywriting Principles
Whichever form of copywriting you do first will have to adhere to the same goal – to encourage action. Doing this requires taking the following principles by heart:
Write for the audience
When learning copywriting, you should hold on to the idea that your target audience is the one to please. Don’t simply write a copy because you think it sounds intelligent and will impress your client.
For example, if you’re writing for a business-2-business provider targeting startups and inexperienced small businesses, stir away from jargon only those with MBA can understand.
Deliver a clear selling point
The ultimate goal of an ad copy or marketing content is to convert customers into buyers and increase business profits.
In this sense, a crucial part of how to become a copywriter is knowing what the business is trying to sell.
Look for pain points or problems the product or service addresses and make them the center point of your copy.
Focus on the features and advantages
If you’re creating a copy that promotes information, it’s best to highlight the features and how they solve a specific problem. By doing so, you take the reader or customer’s best interest.
One mistake beginner copywriters make is creating a copy with no direction and laced with cliche CTAs.
But when you focus on substantial information about the business, product, or services, you can avoid these errors.
Make the copy clear, concise, and error-free
An ad copy is typically limited to 270 characters for Google ads and 125 characters for Facebook. With this condition, being concise is a must.
For other forms of content, you get the liberty to elaborate, but copywriters are still bound to write in short texts or grammatically correct sentences.
3. Learn the Copywriting Formulas
What makes copywriting suitable even for the most inexperienced in the field is that you can start the job following several formulas.
Then, as you gain more experience, you become increasingly independent and capable of coming up with your copy.
Here are three copywriting formulas suited for beginners:
1. The 4Us: Useful+Urgent+Unique+Ultra-specific
Best for: Promoting a sense of urgency or fear of missing out
- Useful: Focusing on benefits
- Urgent: Explain why customers should have it now
- Unique: Mention the unique points
- Ultra-specific: Provide particular information
2. BAB: Before + After + Bridge
Best for: Brands that have compelling stories to tell
- Before: Life with the identified problem
- After: Life after the problem was solved
- Bridge: How the problem is resolved with your product
3. PAS: Problem + Agitate + Solve
Best for: Invoking fear if a problem is not solved
- Problem – Present the situation at hand
- Agitate – Mention the consequence if you don’t act on the problem
- Solve – Give a solution connected to the product/service you promote
4. Take Advantage of Free Copywriting Resources
Learning copywriting by yourself had never been more convenient until the internet became filled with unlimited information.
You can check on Youtube and encounter a channel or two about how to become a copywriter without spending a dime and then turn to Spotify for podcasters giving multiple copywriting tips.
They offer free materials, and you can also check their blog for copywriting tips.
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5. Practice Copywriting Regularly
Once you have the right information, it’s time to put them into practice. Write at least three ad copies and content daily, then explore the niches you want to work for.
Practice really is a core part of learning to be a copywriter. By practicing daily you will hone your skills and writing great copy will start to become second nature for you.
You will develop new pathways in the brain that enable you to instinctively know how to approach a piece of copywriting to produce copy that is engaging, persuasive and meets the goal of your client.
You can also offer free or cut-price copywriting services to your friends and family at the start to get some feedback and assess how their audience reacts to it.
Whatever you do to practice your copywriting skills, never stop learning new techniques to improve your creative writing capabilities.
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While taking paid courses provides streamlined copywriting, learning the job on your own is still a viable option if you’re on a shoestring budget.
Follow the steps mentioned above and start your career as a copywriter.
Also, explore free copywriting courses to improve your skills and keep up with the trends.