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How To Get Started As A Copywriter (when You Have No Experience)
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If you love to write and are looking for ways to turn your passion into pounds, then Copywriting offers you the opportunity to do just that. All you need to get started is a computer with word processing software, an internet connection and emails.
The best thing about becoming a copywriter is that you don't need to train for it. However, if you have no background in copywriting, a course will give you a grounding in the different types of copy you will be writing and the confidence to pursue it as a business. If a course is a little too expensive, then there are plenty of 'Teach Yourself' books on the market too.
Build a Portfolio
The first thing you will need to do is set about creating a portfolio for yourself. This, of course, presents you with a Catch 22. You can't get jobs without experience, and you can't get experience without someone commissioning you to produce copy. So what do you do? To begin with, you should offer your services free of charge to local charities and organisations. Offer to write their newsletters or appeals for free; this will give you experience and provide you with projects for your portfolio. Make it clear that your services are provided free of charge on the proviso that you can display the finished work on your website, and always request positive feedback.
Another way to start getting work is to join websites that employ freelance creatives. These are where people post projects, such as content for a website Home page, and freelancers bid for the job. These are notoriously low-paid, but as a beginner, you will have to accept that you are not going to be able to command high prices and these are an excellent way to build your portfolio. Accept that this way of working should only be short-term, perhaps a year or so. Once you have some experience under your belt, you should be able to command higher fees and hopefully, clients will start coming to you, rather than you having to seek them out.
Networking is an essential way of generating interest and business for yourself. When you have created a website, and a website is vital, email everyone you know with a link to it. Get some business cards made up and hand them out to friends and family. While your first point of contact may have no need of your services, they may know someone else who does and there is no better recommendation than word of mouth.
To Sum Up
Take a course, or teach yourself, so you know what copywriting is really about. Offer your services free of charge to build up your portfolio. Create a website. Join freelance websites. Tell everyone you know that you are going into business. And be prepared to start small. Setting up as a freelance copywriter when you have little or no experience will require self-discipline, a professional attitude, tenacity and patience.
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