So, you are interested in finding out how to become a copywriter, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money. I know that feeling; I have been there myself. All I wanted to do was learn something, but the cost got in the way. Is there really a way to learn good copywriting without spending money on college or other expensive courses? Yes!
In this blog post, I will show you how to learn copywriting without handing over a single penny!
To Become A Copywriter – Copywork
One of the easiest ways to become a good copywriter is to copy good ads or sales letters. If you copy them for two hours a night, you can become a great copywriter in just six months! Copywork is a great learning tool that Benjamin Franklin used to teach himself how to become a good writer. However, he didn’t just copy letters and documents. He would read over the writing and take notes on each part. Then, he would try to reconstruct the sentences from memory. In this way, he taught himself to be a great writer.
Now, you don’t have to write hints and try to reconstruct ads (unless you want to). Just copying the ads and sales letters is sufficient to learn copywriting.
But Benjamin Franklin wasn’t the only one who used copywork to improve his writing. Up until the 20th century, copywork was the main way that children learned to write in schools. Why they stopped using this method, I don’t know. It definitely is a good learning tool; it certainly helps my writing.
Find a Copywriting mentor
Find someone who knows how to write good copy and is willing to mentor you. A mentor will be able to look over your writing and help you learn how to get the structure and language right. Copywriting is a very different kind of writing than what you were taught in school. Having someone there to help you through the early stages will be a great help.
Find a mentor who has a lot of experience with writing good copies. You want someone who will be patient and not get frustrated if it takes you a while to catch on. You need someone who will show you compassion and gently push you to grow.
Pitch yourself to your potential mentor. When you find someone you want to work with, it is important to give them a description of your writing experience. A potential mentor wants to know that you actually want to learn and will do the work to get there, so let them know how dedicated you are to learning.
Give your potential mentor a sample of your best nonfiction writing. It doesn’t have to be copywriting, and you probably don’t have a copywriting sample, anyway, if you are just starting out. Any kind of writing you can provide will give your potential mentor a good idea of where you are in your writing journey.
Some mentors may charge money to teach you, but there are plenty who won’t. In exchange for their guidance, you could offer to help them by writing copies for them. That will give them more time to work with you since you will be writing some of their content and taking over some of their workload.
Read good copywriting books
Reading the work of some of the best copywriters is a good way to learn more without buying an expensive course on copywriting. The trick with this one, though, is that you have to be able to find these books in the library.
One of the best books on copywriting is Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz. Unfortunately, this book is out of print; the cheapest I have found it online is around $270.
When you are looking for books, do your research. Maybe you will find a copy in your library or somewhere online. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, just keep checking.
There are plenty of good books just waiting to be read. Some of the best were written by John Caples, and two of his best are Making Ads Pay and Tested Advertising Methods. is important to get the fourth edition or earlier because the quality is better.
Learn to write copy in a different language
There aren’t as many good copywriters who write in languages other than English. So, if your first language is not English, you’ll have a better opportunity to make money with copywriting by learning to write in your first language. Then, you can tell companies that you can write their Spanish, German, or French copies.
Writing in another language is easiest to do if it is your first language, but you can also write copy in another language if it is your second, third, or even fourth language. It may take some more work, depending on how fluent you are, but it is still something you should look into.
Make sure you don’t just translate word for word from the English copy. Not everything that is funny or effective in an English copy will make sense in a different language. Each language has its own idioms and sayings, and you need to get familiar with them in order to write effective copies in that language.
Build a copywriting portfolio
Once you learn all about writing copy, you need to put together your portfolio. Your potential clients are going to want to see that you can write a good piece of copy that will catch their customer’s attention.
You don’t actually have to get paid to write copy to get sample material for your portfolio. You can take several products or services from different businesses and write sample copies for each of them. This will show your potential clients that you are capable of creating an effective marketing pitch. Just make sure it is clear that these are samples and not something you actually did for the companies.
If you do have actual copies that you have been hired to write, definitely use those in your portfolio, as long as the company you wrote them for is okay with it. If your writing includes a link to an exclusive offer given only to a select few people, you will want to take that out before including it in your portfolio.
Build a website
Having your own website as a copywriter will help you attract clients from all over the world. Of course, you can approach potential clients or advertise in another way, but having them find you is a lot less work on your end.
Make sure your website has a professional look. If you want to attract high-paying clients, you need to look like you know what you are doing. You can write the greatest copies in the world, but if your website looks terrible, no one will want to hire you.
This can be a little tricky to pull off without paying a penny, but it can be done. Try to find someone you know who knows about designing professional websites.
Find a photographer who can take some quality pictures for your website. Look up tips on how to have a professional-looking photo, and share what you are looking You don’t have to find a professional to get quality photos. Just find someone with a good camera and a willingness to learn about how to take high-quality, professional photos.
Having a good-looking picture of you is one of the most important things you need to attract paying clients. No one will want to hire you if your photo looks like someone snapped your picture with a cell phone while you were sitting on the couch. If you want to find professional clients, you need to be professional as well.
Once your website is designed and set up, include your portfolio on your site. Your prospective clients are going to want to see samples of your work; what better place to find them than on your professional website? If you have everything they want in easy reach, you will have a much better chance of landing copywriting jobs.
Now that we’ve talked about how to become an amazing copywriter without spending a penny, go out and start learning. Get to work copying ads for one to two hours a day. Find a copywriting mentor and borrow some good books from the library. If you know another language, learn to write copy in that language. Build a good portfolio and a professional website. Then, start looking for copywriting jobs.