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Senin, 30 Agustus 2010

Copywriting Courses to Jump-Start Your Career

When I got started in copywriting, I took the long, uphill battle. I decided I was too good for the copywriting courses out there (and perhaps too cheap), and turned instead to all the books I could buy (at bargain basement prices) on

And honestly, I've done pretty well for myself. I quickly got a job in a marketing department, writing copy regularly, and helping out with other marketing activities. I then transitioned to sales, where I could continue to hone my copywriting abilities while earning a commission selling my company's products.

And all along, I chased secret after secret to copywriting success in cheapo books from Amazon.

But, let me tell you a little secret.

I wouldn't do it that way again. In fact, in the last couple of years I've changed my approach a bit - and shortly thereafter, I broke out on my own as a freelance copywriter, and have started working with some of the biggest names in direct marketing as a result.

What change did I make? Well, in short, I started investing in copywriting courses as well as the books. I've let loose a little bit, and told myself that because I'm investing in my business and my career, I can afford to stretch to take courses that will help me become a better copywriter, and run a better copywriting business.

And, the copywriting courses have helped. A lot.

What You Get From Copywriting Courses

That You Won't Get From Books

Let me tell you a little bit about books, before I move on to copywriting courses.

Most copywriting books are advertisements for the copywriter's services. It's a not-so-secret secret. Write a book, be seen as an expert. Be seen as an expert, get hired - and at higher prices, too.

Sure, there are some good books. Ones I strongly recommend other copywriters read. Yet, most books seem to fall short by quite a bit when it comes to becoming successful as a copywriter. Because those books are designed to show off all that the copywriter knows about how to write good advertising. They're not designed to show you all the thinking you need to have to succeed as a copywriter.

Yet, it's the thinking that sets great copywriters apart from good copywriters... And, this thinking is what I've found to be the biggest takeaway from the best-of-the-best copywriting courses out there.

So, let me answer three of the most common questions around the copywriting courses out there... With the hope that I can steer you in the right direction for a successful career.

Question 1: "How Do You Evaluate Copywriting Courses?"

When it comes to copywriting courses, I look to the teacher of the course as my single-biggest factor. And, I have one big question.

"Do they walk the walk?"

Let me use a quick story to illustrate. A famous copywriter got a call from a new potential client. This client was trying to sell a book about "How to get rich with your own mail order business." The advertisement wasn't working well enough, so he turned to this copywriter for help.

So, this copywriter asked, "Have you gotten rich with your own mail order business?"

Can you guess what the answer was? "No." He hadn't. How much stock could anyone put in his advice, then? What was the value of learning how to get rich in mail order, from someone who hadn't done it themselves?

There are crooks and charlatans all over the place who talk the talk, but who don't walk the walk. When I'm looking to invest in a new copywriting course, I ask, "Have they done it? Have they succeeded as a copywriter?"

If the answer is, "No," that's my answer to buying the course. Yet, if they have... If the copywriter who's teaching the course is an already-successful copywriter... Then I can make the investment confidently.

Beyond this, when you're evaluating copywriting courses, I recommend looking for courses that teach two additional items beyond just how to write a good advertisement.

I recommend courses that also help you learn the entire marketing process of getting customers, maximizing customer value, and creating entire marketing strategies - because this helps a good writer become a strategic partner, which can skyrocket your income.

I also recommend courses that help you promote and market yourself as a copywriter - because a copywriter who can write blistering sales copy yet who can't get and keep clients has no chance of long-term success.

Question 2: "What Choices Are There In Copywriting Courses?"

It seems like just about every day a new copywriting course comes on the market. So, the choices are seemingly endless.

Yet, if you use the "walks the walk" criteria, you'll find that 80% of the copywriting courses available for purchase can be ignored completely. And, of the 20% that are left, only 20% of those are going to meet my other two criteria - teaching you marketing strategy and how to succeed in your copywriting career.

And, while opportunity seekers may gravitate to the promise of "How to write a million-dollar advertisement," the people who will find the most success will be those who learn "How to be a pro copywriter, A-to-Z."

So, that narrows down your choices to the select few copywriters (and there really is just a select few) who have proven themselves over and over again in the marketplace by writing winning advertisements.

And then, those who make it a point to teach you more than how to write a good ad - to those who also share marketing insights and strategy, as well as tips and recommendations on how to achieve maximum success as a copywriter.

A Final Word On Copywriting Courses

I hope you do what I did and finally choose to pull the trigger and move forward on investing in yourself. Invest in good copywriting courses. One that's focused on how to apply the knowledge of copywriting to being a successful copywriter. It can be worth far more to you than a dozen books on just writing ads well.

I know for me it was one of the smartest decisions I ever made - to invest in myself, to invest in copywriting courses that would help me get ahead. I think it could be the same for you.

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