Who Am I And What Do I Do…? And How To Become A Copywriter… In A Nutshell


Who am I and What Do I Do…? and How To Become a Copywriter… In a Nutshell copywritingcopywritinghow to become a copywriterinternet marketerjunk mailpage adsreading pleasure

Ability is what you are able to do, motivation determines what you do, attitude decides how well you do it… Anonymous

Ability is what you are able to do, motivation determines what you do, attitude decides how well you do it… Anonymous

A few months back a fellow copywriter carried out an interview with me.

I think it was to be for a book which, as far as I know, hasn’t yet materialised.

However, as usual, I was inundated with work and time was short…

So my answers were not really indepth enough to warrant inclusion in a book on copywriting, but they may be just what you need to get started.

Here’s that interview for your reading pleasure…

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

I’m a copywriter/internet marketer who has been working online full time now for just over two years. I began as a marketer but decided to try my hand at copywriting as I’ve always enjoyed writing.

2. What attracted you to copywriting and why did you pursue this career?

The first thing to attract me to copywriting was the fact that I could earn money just by writing junk mail. The second was that I found, out of all the business people involved in online marketing, copywriters seemed to have the most integrity, something that was sorely lacking in other areas.

3. what is the number one thing you learned about copywriting that has impacted your bottom line, that thing that makes the difference between succeeding and failing in this venture?

Know your prospects – Get into their shoes. Don’t try to guess why they buy – find out why they buy.

4. What is a swipe file, why we need it, and more importantly how it can be used?

A swipe file is a collection of excellent copy, from the headline to the PS. Any time you see some aspect of a copy that catches your eye, keep it and try to figure out ‘why’ it caught your eye.

It’s the ‘why’ that matters more than the ad itself. If you can figure that out, you can use the same tactic your self in your copy.

Just remember, it doesn’t have to be just full page ads, there’s all sort. I’m sure you must get junk – go through them and see what sticks out and keep them.

When you’re in the supermarket or where evere, and you see a headline you like, write it down.

Use them to figure out why you think they work, and use the psychology behind the words as opposed to the actual words themselves.

Probably the best ads to watch out for are the ones that are always used. You know, when you look through a newspaper or magazine and you see and ad that’s always there, the same one. There’s a reason why it’s repeated.

Anyway, that’s my take on this in the scope of this interview.

5. How do you write powerful, compelling and “killer” headlines? Do you have a specific strategy for this?

I personally go through the product, usually a DVD or book in my case, and write down or highlight the points that stick out. Usually you can grab a headline from one of those points that has that certain… oomph!

That’s one strategy. There are others.

6. How do you attract clients for your copywriting service and how do you close the deal exactly?

I tend to write only for myself now, but I do have one client who I write for exclusively. I got him interested as he wasn’t marketing himself properly and I basically fed the greed glands in his body by explaining the possibilites of increasing his income by letting me do all the work and splitting the profits.

Before that it was mainly by word of mouth. I never really had to go out and get customers as they saw my posts on forums and got in touch with me. So I guess forums are a good place to get business, if they’re the right place.

I guess they liked my style as I can be quite controversial and say what’s on my mind. I’ve had people approaching me from as far away as Australia and even South America. I live in the UK.

7. Let’s say you lose your name, contacts and everything. You have to start from scratch as a “nobody”. What will you do then for the next 30 days so that you’ll get new clients?

As I said above, with the exception of one client, I mainly write for myself now so it’s not something I’ve had to think about.

Although, because of the type of copy I write, I would probably go through magazines, look for copy that’s less than exceptional and offer to write their copy for them. I would ask for a percentage of any additional revenue they make.

Being confident in my abilities, I would be in a stronger position to negotiate better terms for the next deal.

8. If you had to write a short, step-by-step quick-start action guide for the newbie copywriters out there needing to launch their career, how it would look like?

To get into that would take more time than I have right now.

But, If the person already had writing ability, the best advice I could give them would be to interview the client, asking probing questions, and just let them talk. I did exactly that recently – typed up the interview as a copy, excluding my questions and it turned out to be one of my best pieces of work.

It was all the client’s own words and it literally took about 2-3 hours.

9. What else would you like to share, something that our readers can immediately apply to their copywriting business and see results fast?

One of the biggest mistakes I made was to think that I couldn’t do it. No matter how much I learned I just didn’t have the confidence to write. It was only when I actually began to write actual ads I realised I could do it.

Don’t be negative. Learn as much as you can and just do it.

One final thing, whether you’re learning from a book, a course you’ve bought, or from an instructor, stick to one. Otherwise you’ll never learn anything as quickly or as efficiently as you could otherwise.