Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Copywriting When I Was Twenty-Three

You know the saying: “To be a writer, you have to be born one.” Well, I wasn’t. Instead, I learned it through trial and error. And by “error” I mean lots of bad copywriting jobs that made me feel like a terrible person for daring to think about becoming anything more than an office temp. 

But here’s the thing: everyone makes mistakes at first (well maybe not everyone). It’s how you learn from them that counts. So don’t worry if things don’t always go smoothly early on in your career; just keep pushing forward and your success will come sooner than you think!

New to Copywriting? What You Need to Know
The importance of understanding the psychology of persuasion in copywriting.
The value of building a strong portfolio early on to showcase your skills.
How learning from experienced copywriters can accelerate your growth.
The significance of testing and refining your copy to improve its effectiveness.
The power of networking and building relationships within the copywriting community.
Tips for managing client expectations and communicating effectively.
Strategies for staying updated with industry trends and evolving as a copywriter.
The benefits of seeking feedback and continuously learning from your experiences.
Overcoming self-doubt and imposter syndrome in the competitive world of copywriting.
Insight into the day-to-day challenges and rewards of a copywriter’s journey.

Write With Your Heart, Not Just Your Head

When you’re writing copy, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that it’s just words on a page. It can be tempting to think of your words as mere tools for getting people to do something. 

In some cases, this is true your words may be used as tools for selling something or convincing someone to take an action. But whether or not your content does those things, if it isn’t compelling and heartfelt, then who cares how well-written it is?

When I say “write with your heart,” I don’t mean write about what you feel emotionally or physically I mean that the best way to connect with your audience is by being vulnerable through a vulnerability in your writing. 

If possible (and sometimes even when not possible), try sharing personal experiences in the copy you write for others’ businesses and brands so that they relate more easily with what you have created.

Enhancing the clarity and precision of legal documents is essential for effective communication in the legal field. Explore our comprehensive guide on copyediting for legal documents to discover strategies for improving your writing’s impact.

There’s No Shame In Begging For An Unpaid Internship

Internships are a great way to get your foot in the door. I’d even go so far as to say that it’s necessary, especially if you don’t have much experience.

But How Do You Find These Coveted Positions? It’s Easy You Just Need To Be Proactive About It

First, start with Google: contact whoever you want to work with and ask them directly if they offer internships. You never know who might be hiring! If they don’t, send them an email any way you’ll probably make a new connection who can help guide your career later down the road. 

If this doesn’t pan out, try going through LinkedIn or another professional networking site and looking up the company executives there (CEOs usually have profiles). Like I said before: people love being asked for favors by young entrepreneurs like us!

If all else fails…beg! Write down everything that needs doing at your current job and then shows up at their doorstep every day until they give in and give you something else to do instead of making coffee (which is not fulfilling). You’ve got nothing left but time anyway; why not spend it working on something meaningful?

Don’t Be Afraid To Write Badly

The most important thing I learned about writing is that it’s okay to write badly. If you’re a beginner, don’t be afraid of bad writing; writing badly is better than not writing at all. You have to practice to get better at something and the only way for you to become good at copywriting is by doing it consistently over time.

Mastering the art of persuasive writing is a cornerstone of success in the legal profession. Learn invaluable techniques from our guide on writing persuasively in law to enhance your ability to construct compelling arguments.

So Why Would Someone Who’s Just Starting Want Their Work Published Online? Well

You’ll learn from your mistakes and become better at what you do every time you make one!

Once people start seeing your articles online (or even just snippets), they’ll tell others about them and share them with their friends. 

Eventually, those people will trust whatever information comes from that author more than anything else they read on the internet even if they know nothing else about him/her other than what he/she has written before. This can give your career some serious momentum over time!

You Don’t Need To Do A Writing Degree

Many students who are currently in university are considering going into copywriting, so I thought it might be useful to share some advice on how you can get started without needing a formal writing education.

You don’t need to do a degree in English or Creative Writing or Communications. You can learn everything you need to know about writing by reading books and blogs, taking online courses, attending conferences and workshops (like Copy Hackers), and working for free at small startups or nonprofits for whom your services aren’t worth paying for yet.

If you do go down the path of studying English at university or any major that involves a lot of writing make sure that your education is relevant to the industry where you want to work after graduation. 

This means focusing on subjects like business communications, marketing communications, journalism, etc., rather than creative writing classes like poetry workshops or short story courses.

Your Degree Doesn’t Matter

It’s not something I realized until years later, but it’s true: Your degree is only a small part of your overall education. The truth is, you can learn everything else you need to know about copywriting on the job and from books and online sources. 

Don’t get me wrong I’m grateful for my education and I appreciate the lessons it taught me about communication, organization, and structure. But if someone had told me at twenty-three that a college diploma wasn’t necessary for writing professionally (and opened up opportunities), 

I would’ve been much happier starting my career as an aspiring writer instead of spending so many years feeling anxious about whether or not I was qualified enough or good enough yet to start making money off my writing skills.

Navigating the world of legal research is crucial for building a solid foundation in law practice. Dive into our collection of legal research guides to gain insights that will empower you as a student attorney.

Don’t Expect To Get Paid Well At First

One of the most difficult things about becoming a copywriter is that you have to pay your dues. It’s not like becoming an engineer or a programmer, where you can go straight into a lucrative career. Copywriting requires experience and expertise two things that take time to develop.

You might be tempted to think that if you know how to write good content, it should be easy for people to recognize this skill and hire you at high rates. Unfortunately, there are many factors beyond writing ability that determine what kind of salary an entry-level copywriter can command:

Are they proficient with SEO?

Do their clients want them educated in PPC?

How fast can they learn new tools and technologies?

And so on…

Don’t Underestimate Grammar And Punctuation

Grammar and punctuation are important, but they’re also easy to overlook. The most common way of doing this is by being lazy, so you have to remember that as a copywriter your words will be read over and over again, often by people who aren’t native English speakers.

So don’t be afraid to ask for help it’s okay if someone says no because there is always going to be another person who can help (and even if they don’t say yes right away). And if you don’t like their answers? Ask someone else!

Be A Jack-Of-Many Trades

When you’re a copywriter, there are times when you’ll need to learn new skills quickly. You might be asked to code, design a landing page, or even build an email funnel from scratch. In these cases, it’s helpful if you have previous experience with those things so that you can get up to speed faster.

This is why I advise being a jack-of-many trades rather than a specialist as long as your specialization is writing. Copywriters must be generalists who can adapt their knowledge and skills quickly by picking up new ones on the fly. This kind of versatility will help keep them alive in this industry and make them more valuable employees at all stages of their careers.

Crafting concise and informative legal memoranda is an essential skill for attorneys. Explore our step-by-step guide on writing effective legal memoranda to ensure your legal analysis is clear, coherent, and impactful.

Learn How To Write A Press Release

A news story is what goes into a newspaper, magazine, or online publication. Usually, it’s not too long (usually around 500 words), and focuses on one or two specific details about a topic. A press release is very similar to a news story except that it’s written by the source of the information rather than by an outside writer like me here at Copyblogger.

A good way to think about how your content will be received by publishers is by comparing it to what they already publish. If you want some examples of stories that have been successful in getting picked up by national media outlets, I suggest checking out this list from Contently they include links to each article so you can easily see what made them so shareable!

Know The Difference Between Copywriting And Content Writing

Copywriting is writing that sells. Content writing is just about anything else: it can be a blog post, an email newsletter, a business plan, or even a cover letter for an application. The difference between the two? 

Copywriting focuses on getting your message across to your audience with words and phrases that grab their attention and convince them to take action (like buying your product).

Content writing focuses more on the structure and information of what you’re creating. It’s less focused on the words themselves and more concerned with how they fit together with other pieces of information to build one cohesive whole. 

All content has its voice the way it sounds when read out loud but it also needs to make sense when read silently in someone’s head.

Take Advantage Of Every Opportunity That Comes Your Way, Even The Scary Ones

The most important thing you can do is take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, even the scary ones.

Even if it’s something you’ve never done before, or if it sounds like a lot of fun, or if you think someone else will be better at it than you are.

The only way to learn anything is to try it out and see how it goes and even though the process might be nerve-wracking at first, who knows what kind of magic might happen once all your fears are put aside?

You Don’t Have To Know Everything About Everything Before You Start Writing About It

Here’s the thing: You don’t need to know everything about everything before you start writing about it. I don’t think many people do. 

The best writers are the ones who can recognize gaps in their knowledge, and then fill them with research and new experiences not just by reading books or taking classes on their subject matter, but also by talking to experts and asking questions of their readers.

If a client asks me for a copywriting job that involves some topic I don’t know much about, I’ll ask them if there’s anyone they can recommend who would be able to give me some insight into this industry or market before starting work on the project. 

If not, they can suggest resources so that I can do my research beforehand; this might include webinars or podcasts from thought leaders in the industry (or even other copywriters), case studies of companies similar to theirs that have succeeded at something similar using different strategies than theirs had used before…the list goes on!

Take lots of notes during client meetings and you’ll never forget their name or what they look like when you start working on their project (both of which happened to me).

Take Lots Of Notes

I’m not one to get all sentimental about my old notebooks, but I do know that there was a time when I didn’t have a single one. When you only have a few clients and you don’t need to keep track of very much, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. 

But once your workload starts growing, keeping detailed notes becomes an essential part of being efficient as a copywriter and running your business smoothly in general. And since you never know when something might come in handy later on (or help prevent future mishaps), always take notes during client meetings even if they seem silly or unimportant at the time.

Ask questions if you don’t understand something right away; don’t be afraid to admit that there’s an area where your skills fall short for the project at hand; don’t be afraid to say no if something doesn’t feel right or isn’t within your scope, but also be prepared with some great answers and solutions when someone asks what they can do instead!

Incorporating anecdotes into your writing can add depth and relatability to your content. Discover how to effectively incorporate anecdotes with our guide on writing impactful anecdotes and enhance your storytelling abilities.

Remember That It’s Just An Email And It Can Always Be Improved Later

If you’re still new to copywriting, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that each email needs to be perfect. You want your ideas and message to be clear and concise, with no room for confusion or misunderstanding. This is true but remember that it’s just an email and it can always be improved later!

Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. It can always be improved later (and usually will be). Don’t spend too long on it. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar in this initial draft; you can fix those later when you have time to put more focus on getting them right. 

And don’t start formatting until everything else is done; once again, this is an initial draft that only exists so we know what needs fixing before we move onto the next stage of writing our emails manually rather than using MailChimp templates as a starting point

Don’t send anything without being 100% sure of its spelling, punctuation, and grammar.. Or at least 95%. Or 75%. Anything is better than zero percent. Probably. I’m not a mathematician, so please don’t quote me on this figure! But you get my drift.

Don’t send anything without being 100% sure of its spelling, punctuation, and grammar.. Or at least 95%. Or 75%. Anything is better than 0%. Probably. I’m not a mathematician, so please don’t quote me on this figure! But you get my drift.

How to improve your spelling, punctuation, and grammar: read more often (books, newspapers), take a course in English or American literature at university (if you’re lucky enough to be an undergraduate), join a book club or reading group with people who love books as much as you do (and if they’re not familiar with the classics – educate them). 

You’ll also find that improving your vocabulary will help immensely when it comes to writing copy!

Why it’s better to have a professional proofread your work: because they know what they’re doing; because they’ve done it countless times before; because their job depends on it; because their livelihood depends on it; because their mother told them so…


As a young writer, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that writing for the web was going to be a lot different than writing for print. But even though I’ve learned a lot over the years, there are still some things that could have been better explained to me when I was first starting. Here are 38 things about copywriting that took me years to learn—and which may save your sanity in the process!

Takeaway: Your readers don’t care about your website’s design or how much time it takes you to write each page; they only care about getting something useful out of it as quickly as possible. So stop trying so hard with formatting and focus on quality content instead–that’s what makes or breaks an article anyway!

Further Reading

7 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started Copywriting Short Description: Gain insights from a copywriter’s journey with valuable lessons learned during the early stages of their career.

What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Copywriting Short Description: Explore the experiences and lessons of a copywriter’s two-year journey, offering insights for beginners in the field.

Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started Copywriting Short Description: Discover essential tips and advice shared by an experienced copywriter, reflecting on their early days in the copywriting world.


What are the key challenges faced by beginners in copywriting?

Novice copywriters often encounter challenges such as finding their writing style, understanding client expectations, and learning effective techniques for persuasion.

How can I overcome writer’s block while copywriting?

To overcome writer’s block, consider taking short breaks, outlining your content beforehand, or drawing inspiration from real-life experiences.

What role does research play in successful copywriting?

Research is crucial for understanding the target audience, crafting compelling messages, and ensuring the accuracy of information presented in the copy.

How can I improve the readability of my copy?

Improving readability involves using concise sentences, clear headings, bullet points, and engaging language that resonates with the intended audience.

What strategies can I use to make my copy more persuasive?

To make your copy persuasive, focus on addressing the audience’s pain points, incorporating social proof, using compelling calls to action, and emphasizing the benefits of the product or service.