Time to add to the list! One of the many, many things that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that you no longer have to be tethered to a traditional desk in a boring cubicle. But, as we move deeper into 2023, there appear to be fewer opportunities than a year ago to truly work remotely. As more and more companies return to working in the office, or hybrid roles, it’s difficult to position yourself with a company as a true work-from-home employee or contractor.
This is just one of the reasons that so many wordsmiths are trying to discover how to become a copywriter.
Trade publications, glossy monthlies, brick-and-mortar businesses, and other organizations are always on the lookout for freelance copywriters. In addition to kitty videos, the internet runs on the words created by copywriters. But with so many options within the print world and the blogosphere, what is the best way to position yourself to become a copywriter?
The simplest answer is to lean into your strengths and natural interests and write about what you know.
Lean into Your Strengths – Write What You Know.
Whether you have had a few copywriting assignments, or you are trying to land your first copywriting job, it’s always sound advice to lean into your strengths and write about what you know.
Leaning into what you’re already good at as a copywriter can help you become an even better copywriter and thrive as you widen your skill set with real-life experience. That doesn’t mean that you are pigeonholed!
Storytelling is agnostic.
As a professional copywriter, you have the demonstrated skill set to write about almost everything, but having a specialty or a niche can set you above the rest–and into a larger revenue-generating pool.
Areas to Specialize in for Quick Copywriting Success
Whether you’re working in an office or virtually, we all come to the workplace with a variety of knowledge, background experience, and skills. How do you pick and choose which experiences to showcase, to maximize your earning potential for your copywriting career?
First, make a list of your work, educational, and leisure time experiences. Think very broadly here. What are you good at? What do you know enough about that you could address the topic authoritatively? Be as exhaustive and detailed as you can when compiling your strengths.
If you have a specialized degree, try to write for those clients who might value that expertise. When you look further into how to become a copywriter, you will discover that writers get paid more for specialized experience. As a real-world example, the financial industry, cybersecurity, and tech can be difficult topics to write about like an expert, so if you can pull that off with your educational background, you’ll find that these gigs often pay more.
Most writers have at least some experience in blog writing. The future of this medium is a popular topic in the news and on social media. Just a few weeks ago, the web was wild with speculation that Chat-GPT and other AI platforms would destroy the freelance copywriting market for this segment. And this just hasn’t been the case!
When Chat-GPT “writes” content, what comes out the other end always seems to lack the emotion and energy–and experience–of a real human author. AI-generated content often lacks perspective or an interesting or argumentative thesis. When producing content using these platforms, it’s self-evident why it hasn’t caught up yet.
There is currently some debate as to the best practices to leverage AI (including for SEO, as detailed below), but don’t let AI get in the way of learning how to become a copywriter. When you have a keen understanding of your strengths and the best areas to specialize in, you’ll beat AI content every time.
SEO copywriting is the art of coupling the best search engine optimization techniques with compelling word craft. It encourages your readers to take the call to action your prose proposes (often clicking on a hyperlink). And while it sounds easy, SEO copywriting is a fairly nuanced writing role! It includes staying current on SEO best practices and producing content that’s most likely to rank high on search engines and drive organic traffic.
Email copywriting can be another useful specialization of copywriting. While some may argue that email marketing is dead, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Statistics demonstrate that email is one of the cheapest and most effective forms of marketing outreach, which means that if you are solid at wordsmithing an effective email campaign, you could find some lucrative clients!
Web copy is always in demand as companies need more specialized content for their public-facing web pages. Businesses often focus marketing initiatives on landing pages, which are written for a specific campaign and guide web visitors to a specific call to action. The effectiveness of these campaigns is analyzed, and conversion rates are discovered.
A copywriter skilled in these specific web formats will broaden their pool of potential copywriting jobs.
Reasons to Specialize in Your Copywriting Portfolio
Copywriting provides you with professional freedom. Don’t feel like you must go back to the ”same old” if you really dislike the same old. One of the things you will quickly realize about your copywriting career is that you will have the ability to pick and choose the types of assignments that you want to take on, so you don’t have to do what you were previously doing.
However, by focusing on what you do best, you can become an expert in that field and market yourself better. Maybe you’ve written about supply chain logistics before, or even just about the lowly pallet. Could you pitch a piece to a packaging material company that may need SEO to work on their website?
By showcasing your past experience, and your expertise, it also helps you create a unique portfolio that stands out from the competition. Flaunting your talents in this manner also gives you an edge in the competitive copywriting market by demonstrating your unique expertise and skill set.
Specialization begets benefits. By specializing within a specific field – one you are well-versed in – you can develop relationships with clients who have similar needs and interests, increasing the likelihood of repeat business. If you can click with a prospective customer, maybe you’ll do more than the one-off landing page in your original proposal! Customers value subject matter experts, and if you can fold this in with your wonderful words, you’ll be at the top of their call-back list.
Specializing in a segmented field or industry can also help you obtain better-paying gigs since you can confidently demonstrate your expertise in a particular area. Show your portfolio! Be proud of the work you have done for previous clients and flaunt these assignments to your prospective clients. Show them how you took feedback, synthesized it, and made your copy even more engaging and compelling.
You Know How to Become a Copywriter. Take The Next Step in Your New Career.
With so many questions around “how to become a copywriter,” it is easy to see how the process could appear overwhelming! But it doesn’t have to be. By taking a few simple first steps, you can align your strengths and the opportunities out there and land your ideal remote copywriting job.
Make sure that you take a look at our free copywriting resources. Now is the best time to join Copywriter Exchange so you too can find out how to become a copywriter, and network with other freelance copywriters all over the world.
Doug Kenck-Crispin is a podcaster and freelance writer in Portland, Oregon. He pens features for newspapers and magazines, long reads, website copy, landing pages, email campaigns and other marketing mediums. You can find more about Doug on Linkedin, Twitter, or his website.
At Copywriter Exchange, we’re a group of master content marketing pros who bring their diverse talents and backgrounds to bear on the art and science of creating high-performance content tailored to your needs. We exist to help copywriters thrive in today’s economy by connecting them with the resources they need to step up their game. Join now to access our templates, guides, and courses to help you grow your career, skills, and network.