Saturday, October 6, 2007

Careers For Writers: Freelance Copywriting

The field of copywriting is large and continues to expand every year. A way to describe copywriting is putting a persuasive message in front of a consumer so he/she takes action. The book, Ad Copy Psychology, mentions effective copywriting is based upon six fundamental principles:

Fundamental 1: The copy creates appropriate expectations in the reader. It highlights every benefit, while never exaggerating or misleading - even by omission. It also never leaves the reader feeling manipulated, whether they order or not.

Fundamental 2: It increases the likelihood that the prospect will not only use the product, but use it correctly and get the results they're looking for.

Fundamental 3: It doesn't call attention to itself. It communicates with the consumer without them thinking about anything but the product and what it will do for them.

Fundamental 4: It's more powerful every time you read it.

Fundamental 5: Instead of just trying to provoke emotional reactions, it creates an experience that engages real prospects. When this is done correctly, the reader feels as though they're interacting with the copy and the benefits of the product while they're still reading your letter.

Fundamental 6: It doesn't start with the letter or end with the order. It begins with the way the prospect talks internally, and sets the stage for any communication that follows the purchase.

There are many writers in the world, but there is a specific niche for copywriters. Copywriters are the ones who write messages but mold them in a way that generates interest in a consumer. With the number of advertisements out there today, consumers will not respond unless it is something that specifically interests them. This is why beginning copywriters must have a clear focus on the audience for which they are writing.

There will always be a need for copywriters no matter whether the economy is in a recession or in a boom. Companies must always put out a message to consumers; as long as this demand is needed, copywriters will be in high demand. If you are interested in working as a copywriter, you will have many different places to look for work. You can decide to work for advertising agencies, on the Internet, or be your own boss.

An excellent resource to learn about launching a freelance career is Andy Anderson’s book or audio book, “How to Make Money from Home as a Freelancer,” published by

When you write copy for a seller of a product, the key is to remember to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. This is done through extensive research and studying what goes through the mind of that particular consumer. Each niche or group of people will be different in what will motivate them to do certain things. By doing this research, you will have a better idea of where you need to go with the message you are trying to convey to your target audience.

If you are a good writer, you can pick up copywriting rather quickly. The basics of copywriting involve writing in a different style and to a different audience. An excellent quote from “The Copywriter's Handbook, A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Copy that Sells,” sums it up best: "A copywriter is a sales person behind a typewriter."

The keyword is “sales person.” Clients hire freelance copywriters to communicate with their audience in a way that persuades them to buy your client’s product or service. You must create an initial connection or else you'll find you've lost the audience's attention. In this day and age, people are inundated with too many advertisements and they quickly discard any advertisement that does not fit within their perspective immediately. A successful copywriter knows how to marry entertaining copy with persuasive copy to force the reader to take action, such as ordering a product or service.

As a quick introduction to some of the important points on learning copywriting, the first key is to pay attention to the headline. The headline is read more often than copy at an exponential rate. If you cannot catch someone's attention with the headline, you have wasted the rest of your sales copy. A sales letter essentially only has about five seconds in which you can grab a person's attention -- and the headline is one of the most important factors to generate interest. This is just an example of copywriting and what you must look for.

In learning copywriting, look into the works of copywriting legend Dan Kennedy. He is one of the foremost experts on the subject. He has said many times that he became a better copywriter by developing his skills continually. If you would like to learn more about any one of his books, look into the following title: The Ultimate Sales Letter.

The copywriting field will seem challenging, but it is also one of the more interesting fields for freelance writer. The key to being successful is to learn from what you do and what other successful copywriters do. If you constantly read and continue to develop your skills, you'll find that you will become a great copywriter. It is hard within a single page to give you an idea of what it takes to be a copywriter but always remember a copywriter is a person who sells. Your goal is to educate an audience in a way that persuades them. This is the only difference between how you currently write and how you will write as a copywriter.