I have been called a lot of things in my life, but “copywriter” was not one of them. I have always written. I have always been a wordsmith. It was only in the last few years that I have recognized my innate talent and decided to make it my calling. So what is it about copywriting that makes it special?
The Need For Copywriting
Inevitably, when you make a living doing something, you start to believe that it’s not just a hobby, it’s your “thing.” When I got my first job out of college, I thought it was just because I went to the right school or because I was friends with the right people. It wasn’t until years later that I started to realize what copywriting was really all about.
Let’s say you are a lifestyle magazine. You probably take inspiration from celebrities and the rich & famous, but you also want to speak to everyone else. Maybe you want to inspire them to live a more luxurious lifestyle. Or perhaps you want to tell them that even though life can feel challenging at times, it’s totally worth it.
In each of those cases, you need a copywriter. It’s a common misconception that all magazines and websites need a copywriter. That’s not true at all. Design is important, and you need someone to help bring your vision to life, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to write the words that are going to become the clickbait.
There is a certain skill that comes with copywriting. It’s not something that can be taught. You either have it or you don’t. I would put myself in the fortunate position of having been born with a knack for words and language, as well as a creative eye for design. While having a good “clickee” is important, it’s also important to have someone who is able to bring the vision of the writer to life through the copy. If you have someone on your staff who is a good writer and has a knack for coming up with ideas, then he or she can become a full-fledged copywriter without any additional training.
Just because you have a team of people doesn’t mean that you can’t vary your copy. After all, you are a magazine targeted at women, so you will inevitably have a mix of men and women on your staff.
You can involve both men and women in your copywriting process. Sometimes, you’ll have one person who is the wordsmith and another who is the visual artist. That’s not set in stone, either. You can have a designer who is also a wordsmith. One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is that they think that having someone else involved is a bad thing. It isn’t. Having different people with different skill sets is always a good thing.
You’re not going to make any money if you don’t dedicate yourself to becoming the best copywriter that you can be. If you are just dabbling in the field, you might as well not even bother. The more that you put in, the more that you will get back. For some, copywriting is a passion. For others, it’s a way to make a living. Either way, they all need to put in the time and effort to make it a success.
If you want to be great at something, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort to learn. I have a personal story about this. When I was in college, I took a marketing course that completely changed the way that I look at business and marketing. The professor taught us to treat everything like a marketing campaign. We weren’t just going to put out a magazine. We were going to turn heads and make people engage with us.
Even after that, I still had some doubts. I was writing for a magazine, but I wasn’t sure if I should even consider copywriting as a “career.” The truth is, you never know what opportunities might present themselves. While magazine publishing is a great field to land in, it’s not the only one. It’s a versatile field, but it requires a certain level of dedication to make it as a career. If nothing else works out, you can always go back to what you know. You can always go back to words and language. That’s not a bad thing at all. At least you tried. You can’t expect opportunities to knock down your door if you aren’t willing to open it.
Is copywriting a “career” that you are interested in pursuing? What makes it so special?