Chances are, you’ve been asked the question –
“English? What are you going to do with that?”
Well, the answer might surprise you. I’ve spent a few years post-undergrad working as a writer. Here are some resources to help you on your journey. Before you read on, bookmark this page – or better yet, share it with your social network.
As a matter of fact, here’s a great place to start when it comes to answering that question. The Bureau of Labor Statistics gives us hard data on the market for writers in the US economy.
Training & Education for Writers
As a working writer, one of the things I wasn’t prepared for was the world of business and marketing. Check out some of these resources to help you cut your teeth on the lingo, the landscape and how to go about the business of being a pro writer. I’ve broken these down into different subtopics so you can more easily digest what’s out there and choose your own adventure.
Free Training: Conversion Copywriting 101, CopyHackers
CopyBlogger has some guides on what tools are good for writers as well.
First of all, if you’re not familiar with copywriting you should know what it is. It has nothing to do with patents and copyright law. A copywriter is a professional writer who creates advertising messages that help clients sell more products and services. The best resources for new copywriters are pretty easy to navigate. There are a bunch of online resources here, but there are also a lot of great books on the subject as well. Some of these are about writing and craft whereas others are more about business, pyschology and persuasion.
Copywriters to Follow
All of the folks you’re about to read about are pretty darn successful. They’re doing it right!
Brand Strategy, Messaging & Branding
Molly Dickinson, MDash
SEO & Web Copy
Books on Craft, Sales, Business & Mindset
The Copywriter Club has a great list of books for writers.
But I’ve got a few more that I’d love to share!
My first boss in the agency world said, “Writing is rewriting.”
These books above will tell you the same thing – William Zinnser’s book alone is a master class in clarity and brevity. I’m throwing in Stephen King + Struck & White for some flavor. And when it comes to presenting, Nancy Duarte’s book Slide:ology is a classic.
How you work, why you work and the habits you cultivate to get there – these are often overlooked but crucial to winning at writing or any endeavor, really. These books have helped me get into the right headspace for growth and refining my approach to doing life and work.
If you’re new to marketing, spend some time with these HubSpot free courses on content marketing, email, SEO and more. Check out some of their free classes to get a better feel for what direction you’re interested in heading.
Industry Trends & Good Blog Sites
Looking for information on how to find clients? Ed Gandia has a great website, podcast and a coaching program. Here’s a link to some of his articles about getting more clients. There are a lot of coaches and business writing gurus out there. Ed is an Atlanta local and has had a lot of success. His paid programs do come with a guarantee if you’re concerned about the sticker price. That being said, any great coach or accelerator program is going to cost you some money – but by investing in your business and your success, you’ll find that you’re more motivated to act on the insights and wisdom you gain from the training. And that’s the only way to get your money’s worth – by doing the work!
Also, I teach classes at General Assembly, and this is one of the topics we cover.
Social Support & Accountability
The Copywriter Club has a great free Facebook group and a fantastic podcast for copywriters and freelance entrepeneurs. If you’re in Atlanta, there are some local resources to consider like General Assembly’s copywriter meetup, Write Club Atlanta, & DeerBearWolf’s weekly event list.
Where to Look for Work
Finding work takes work, but the biggest mistake you could make early on is to give up on your search. Being resourceful and persistent – these qualities are indespensible. If you don’t get a response, interview or job offer, don’t take it personally. It’s probable that the decision was complicated and wasn’t all about you. Keep pushing, working on your craft and networking.
The best place to find work is your network. I can’t stress your relationships enough!