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How To Become a Copywriter From Scratch: A Start-to-Finish Guide

become a copywriter from scratch

Newbies often ask: “How to become a copywriter if there is no specialized education?” And in general, is it possible to master copywriting to make money with it if you are, say, not a philologist or a linguist? The answer is: copywriting to philology has the same relationship as breakdance to ballet. That is, the letters are common, but the essence is entirely different.

And, yes, anyone can become a copywriter from scratch if they know the basics of starting. True, everything is not as simple here as they say on the Internet, so now we will dot the “e” with you. And to make it easier – we will present everything in the form of step-by-step instructions.

Many people want to become copywriters without completely understanding what it is and what awaits them. That is how: they roughly imagine that this is remote work when, they say, sit at home or somewhere else, write texts for themselves on the Internet, and get paid for it. On stock exchanges or elsewhere.

It would seem nothing complicated if there were fives on essays in school, right? But no. And this is the first thing to understand and accept. No one needs the texts themselves. It’s just a faceless mass of thousands of signs linked into words and sentences. They pay money for it only when there is at least some commercial sense in it. Therefore…

Step 1. Understand what copywriting is

99% of people do not know what copywriting is and believe writing texts or articles for money on exchanges. This is utter nonsense, and if you have been reading this blog for a long time, you know why.

Now about the exchanges. Real copywriters never work for them. Moreover, those people who work there almost forever deprive themselves of the opportunity to enter actual copywriting.

If you are still interested in becoming a copywriter after reading all these publications, then proceed to the next step.

Step 2. Forget about exchanges once and for all

From the materials on the links, you already know that copywriting can be cheap and expensive. Cheap is when you need to generate a useless text mass for a penny for a day for a flight. There is no self-interest or joy from such work – only burnout, disappointment, and undermining health—99% of the time.

Everything inexpensive copywriting is much more interesting, profitable, and more enjoyable, but there is a nuance: you need to learn a lot. It is a separate niche with its laws, principles, pitfalls.

Step 3. Understand that classical education will not help

Understand That Classical Education Will Not Help

There is no higher education in copywriting. It’s not taught either at school or institutes. Nor is it taught to make money. It must be understood and accepted. And first of all, because classical education in the post-Soviet space is aimed at memorization, not at applied problem-solving.

If a person has higher philological education, then copywriting is a minus because philologists cling too much to the text and lose sight of the general system. The only thing that helps is higher technical education because a systematic approach is installed. But techies have a different problem – most of them do not know how to write for people. For cars – yes, for the same techies – yes. But not for ordinary people.

  • To become a real copywriter, you need to see the system, solve problems and work in three areas at once.
  • Psychology, because any copywriter’s text is about working with the audience, real people, and values.
  • Marketing, because in most cases, a copywriter solves commercial problems.

Texts as a carrier of information. But even here, copywriting texts are not written from scratch – they are preceded by analysis. Then prototypes are created based on the research – layouts of future pages, articles, etc.

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Step 4. Choose a direction

Copywriting is a reasonably wide field, and many copywriters choose their specialization. This can be compared to medicine: a general practitioner is a surgeon, ophthalmologist, or ENT. Look at the picture below – it shows the main directions that are popular in Runet. There are, of course, others, such as chatbots, texts for social networks, but this is rather exotic.

Let’s take a quick look at each of the directions.

  • Prototypes. These are layouts of future texts with placeholders for images, buttons, and other interactive elements. If you don’t know where to start, start with them. Prototypes develop not only copywriting skills but also marketing, structural and spatial thinking.
  • Commercial offers are texts that are used for active sales in the B2B segment.
  • Email marketing. It is a separate but promising direction for setting up and maintaining electronic mailings, which many copywriters choose as their related specialization.
  • Advertisements for public boards such as Avito, OLX, etc. One of the most straightforward and, therefore, popular directions among beginners.
  • Scripts are speech constructions, what and how to say to sales managers—difficult but expensive direction.
  • Content Marketing. Articles and other publications based on strategy. Many copywriters also love this direction because, with it, you can make money without customers—details in this great article.

Common to all niches will be a systematic approach and fundamental marketing analysis. Then, when you have chosen the direction, it’s time to move on to the fifth step.

Step 5. Practice problem solving

Copywriting is not a theory; it is a constant practice of solving problems and getting your hands dirty. Therefore, to become a good copywriter, you need to spend more than one thousand hours developing texts in the chosen direction.

They say that to become an expert in an industry. You need to devote at least 10,000 hours of practice. I don’t know whether I have worked my hours or not, become an expert or not, but one thing is certain for sure – it’s true.

Please note: Practice is always the development of texts according to the conditions of the initial data. Self-education, watching courses, and reading books is not practical. This is theory. It is, of course, also essential, but after assimilation, it must be fixed.

When you are constantly solving problems, you automatically have a portfolio. And, most importantly, you don’t need clients to properly create a portfolio and post it on the Internet, even if you do not have your site.

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Step 6. Start earning

Start Earning

After about 3-4 thousand hours of practice, you can already start taking on retail orders. There should be enough knowledge and skills to solve typical copywriter tasks with a thorough approach to this point.

If you want to start making money by copywriting as soon as possible, you will have to plunge into the pool with your head and start moving along the Dilts pyramid.

Many novice copywriters make the mistake of starting to communicate in communities and on copywriting forums actively. After watching the video, you will understand what this error is.

If you do not want to work with clients, you can choose an alternative direction. For example, start blogging to earn money on it along with the development of skills. And this is a significant point: good copywriters never work only for clients. 

Because clients are, of course, good, but they come and go. Working for customers all your life is like filling a bottomless barrel. There is enough to feed, but no one is eternal and closer to retirement. You want something calm and your own. It is desirable not only for the soul but also for passive income.

That is why, if you are serious about becoming a copywriter, try to think for the future, and not only about your customers, but first of all about yourself. If you can take care of yourself and make money for yourself without customers, you can do the same for them. It will only increase your value.

Is it difficult to become a copywriter, and where to start

Copywriting is the same direction as programming or jurisprudence. There are subtleties and nuances here, things that you need to know and be able to do. It is neither difficult nor easy. But it’s important to understand that mastering copywriting takes time and effort. It is hardly possible to master it from a swoop. If you go to the exchanges, we have already found out that exchanges are not our option, suitable?

That’s all. Any marathon begins with the first step, and you already have a step-by-step algorithm. Get started, and you will succeed!

And if you suddenly have questions – ask them in the comments.

Yours sincerely, Devansh Pathak.

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