Copywriting can be a profitable and rewarding career, and with the internet the way it is, it’s easier than ever to get started in the business. But before you spend time and money getting your business going, stop and consider whether you’re the right person for copywriting (and whether it’s the right career path for you).
While anyone can be a copywriter, there are some key skills you need to be successful. While some can be developed, there are others that you are simply born with. Here are some traits a good copywriter needs to have:
Good Communicator – A good copywriter has to be able to get the reader to want the product without losing their interest. This means the copy must be concise, but still descriptive and captivating. This takes someone who not only knows what people want and what draws them in, but also someone who can use that to their advantage.
Persistence – You’re not going to make tons of money right off the bat. You have to work to establish yourself. You also need to study copywriting/marketing to continue developing your skills.
Discipline – Most copywriters are freelancers who work from home. While this is obviously a plus, it can also be a huge, huge minus. Sure, you have flexible hours and the ability to do other things and spend more time with your family. You also have ten times the distractions and a lot more opportunity to slack off instead of getting you work done.
In addition to being in a distracting environment, you’re probably working on several projects at one time. A good copywriter can set priorities, goals, and a rigid schedule. And then (and here’s the hard part) stick to them.
Creative – Hundreds of new ads and sales letters are being written every day. To be a good copywriter, you constantly have to be coming up with new original ideas to grab and keep your reader (and convince them to spend their money).
Adaptability – What works today might now work tomorrow. You have to keep studying the latest techniques and know what works and what doesn’t. This comes in part from experience and research, but at the same time, also comes from a basic sense of what appeals to people.
Willingness to learn – A good copywriter not only has to be smart, they also have to be able to learn new things. They not only have to know how to attract and bring in readers, but they also have to be able to keep up with the hot products they’re promoting and the industries those products are in. This involves a lot of continued reading and research.
When getting into copywriting, it is important to remember that it is a tough business with a lot of competition. Even if you have the right skill set, you may also need a bit of luck to get ahead.
To learn more about starting a copywriting business in the Yellowhead East, be sure to get in touch with Patrysha. She used to be a copywriter and ghostwriter before joining Community Futures Yellowhead East, so she has tons of tips and resources to help make a career out of writing.