Nick Usborne's Million Dollar Secrets to Online Copywriting
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Articles on Freelance Writing Success
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by Nick Usborne
Back when I was learning my craft as a young copywriter, there were no online courses or programs to learn from.
In common with everyone else at that time, I served an apprenticeship of sorts at an advertising agency.
I started as a junior copywriter and worked my way up the ranks. At first I was given the uninteresting work that nobody else wanted to do. That’s just the way it was.
And my learning curve was slow. That’s the nature of an apprenticeship. You learn slowly through experience. You watch and learn from your peers and your betters. If you are lucky, you find a mentor in the agency who will help you along.
Also, if the creative director is doing his or her job properly, you will be exposed to all kinds of different copywriting tasks.
In my first year I wrote recruitment ads, pharmaceutical ads, ads for forklift trucks, ads for a fashion magazine, direct mail letters and more.
It was a mixed bag. Again, that’s the nature of an apprenticeship. You learn the full range of your craft. You become competent in many areas, even if you end up as a specialist in one.
At the same time, I was reading books about copywriting and following the work of the top copywriters of the day.
What’s my point?
My point is that today, when you become a copywriter by taking a single course from the comfort of your home, you are in danger of limiting your skills and choices.
Online learning happens much faster than a traditional apprenticeship. You can take a course and become a “copywriter” within the space of a couple of weeks.
And that’s OK, in so far as it goes. But you should be realistic and recognize that your knowledge really is paper-thin at that point.
You need to take steps to get as much experience as you can. Get as many hours of copywriting time under your belt as soon as possible. The more you write, the more you will learn.
Also, branch out from what you learned from that one course or “guru”.
If you become fixed in your views, based on one mentor’s expertise, you will be drawing a line around your own future. Don’t box yourself in.
My advice is to take additional courses, read plenty of books and study the work of many different copywriters.
Most important of all, study the work of good copywriters who take opposing views on what “great copywriting” means. Many “gurus” stick together, support each other, promote each other and are basically all working within the same lines drawn in the sand.
They may think they know everything about copywriting, and may be convinced that their approach is the best one.
Not true. No single copywriter knows it all.
Find mentors who disagree or take very different views on copywriting.
That way you will broaden your views, deepen your skills and expand your own horizons.
NOTE: Just one of the courses you might want to take is my own one, Nick Usborne's Million Dollar Secrets to Online Copywriting.
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