Thinking Like a Copywriter

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What are some first steps in understanding how copywriters work?

Thinking Like a Copywriter

A copywriter's job is to write persuasively, to use words to attract attention and sell a product, a person, an idea or a company.

Getting started as a freelance copywriter is similar to starting a freelance career in other fields. You'll do better if you have contacts in relevant industries (in this case, advertising, public relations and marketing) and a track record of excellent work.

Have you ever seen an advertisement, billboard, direct-mail piece or e-mail newsletter and thought "I could do better than that"? That's a good place to start. Open your junk mail, read it and rewrite it to make it better. Look at the copy in a magazine ad and see if you can figure out the message it's trying to communicate. How would you say it?

Next time you buy something, go back and review why you bought it. Did you read the packaging? Shelf labels? Did you see an ad somewhere, or read about it online? Did you make your choice based on copy on a Web site? Notice what kinds of copy attract your attention as a consumer. See if you can figure out what tools the copywriter used to get your attention and help make the sale.



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