Guest blog by Kim Kampen from Albagora
Would you also like to express your creativity in your work? You like writing, and you want to do something with it. As a professional copywriter, you can earn some extra money with your creative expressions. Although as a writer you often do not earn enough to live on it, it can provide you with a nice extra. We have listed a number of tips for you to take into account as a starting copywriter.
Find your specialty
Writing texts takes many forms. For example, writing blogs, web pages, columns and articles is very different from each other. There is also a big difference between writing for different types of websites, such as entertainment sites, news sites, web shops and lead generator sites. Each type of platform also uses its own spelling and the approach of the blogs and articles they write is often different. It is therefore important for you to consider which form and style of writing suit you best.
A second question is whether you want to work as a freelancer, work for an agency, or whether you join a copywriting platform where you can work on committee. The latter can be done via platforms such as Tekstando.nl or Textbroker.nl. By properly orienting yourself within the market before you actually get started, you will be able to make the right choice more easily.
Finally, it is of course also important to make a choice in the language in which you are going to write: it may seem obvious that you will start working as a Dutch-speaking copywriter, but there may also be good opportunities for you if you have a good command of the language. have, for example, the English or German language.
Start your own website
One of the best ways to gain experience writing blogs, articles and web pages is to start a website yourself. For example, start a weblog on a topic that suits you and regularly write blogs about various topics in your area. Try different writing styles on your website and experiment with various forms of content. Then have your work read by others and do not be afraid of criticism; good feedback will only contribute to your development as a copywriter. Also contact one or more professionals who have earned their living as a copywriter for a long time; they too will probably be able to provide you with many valuable tips.
Create your own work
Are you already employed, or are you active within a football club or hobby club? Then propose to contribute to writing texts within the company. Consider that nowadays almost every company and every club has its own website; and where there is a website, a copywriter is needed! Offer yourself to review and (re) write the content on the site of your company or club.
Gaining experience as a copywriter will not always come with a fee, but it will get you started in your career. By rattling your keyboard for different companies, you develop the ability to write for a diverse number of types of employers. Writing for the local football club and your boss's website probably involves a completely different way of writing, which allows you to develop yourself broadly.
Follow an education or a course
Some people are born with a natural ability to write, while others have to work hard at it. Yet it applies to everyone that there is no harm in continuously developing yourself. For example, it is possible to follow a course or to take a course. If you see your future in writing texts, it wouldn't hurt to make an extra investment. Many training institutes offer the opportunity to further develop yourself within your field.
There is no perfect training for a copywriter. A course in journalism comes close, of course, but does not, for example, directly meet the needs of e-commerce websites, where SEO optimization is an important part of writing.
By entering the learning process you will not only improve your knowledge and skills, but you will also make many valuable contacts. Many copywriter assignments come from their professional network.
Make yourself available
To present yourself to potential employers, it is important to profile yourself online. Focus LinkedIn profile for your new position as a copywriter and show both your work experience and your professional skills. A well-filled, professional LinkedIn profile in combination with your own website as a portfolio will create a positive impression with potential employers.
It is also possible to contact potential employers via LinkedIn. Research online about the type of employer you would like to write for and try to find out who can best present your offer within the companies that are attractive to you.
Research and orientation
Your success as a copywriter is closely related to how well you can empathize with the readers of the site you are writing for. As a copywriter, you will often have to write texts about things you know little about. Therefore, always read carefully regarding the subject you should write about. Explore the website you are writing for, but don't hesitate to read the content on competitor websites for inspiration.
Regarding the style in which you write, it is important to review several blogs and pages on your employer's page prior to writing. Your lyrics will have to find their place in between, without them jumping out of the dance because you have used “your own style”. As a copywriter you should be able to disappear within the content range of your employer; if you want to put your own unique stamp on a text, you will have to find an employer who is open to that.
Writing texts for SEO
As mentioned, writing for news sites is a completely different art than writing for e-commerce websites. Where on news sites the focus of content is mainly on communicating and deepening information, e-commerce websites want to use their information provision to stimulate the sale of products. As with websites that offer services and sites that generate leads, SEO optimization is central to writing for e-commerce platforms. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, or: search engine optimization.
Writing for sites that are actively engaged in SEO means that you cannot just start writing your texts. It's important to first map out what kind of page you are writing about, what that page's goals are, and what keywords that page should appear in the organic search results of search engines like Google. Copywriting is an important part of online marketing for a website.
The importance of keyword research
Every well-written web page is based on a thorough keyword research. In August 2018, the Google search engine performed an important "core update", which ensured that websites were now more targeted on the quality of their content. Google's AI is able to read texts comprehensively, and it is therefore important to make texts as unique, relevant and accurate as possible. To ensure that a text matches the quality requirements of search engines, it is therefore important to ensure that the page is properly arranged. The page should link to one specific keyword theme, without using certain keywords unnaturally. Use onpage content, header tags and page titles to create the optimal mix of signals. You can find out which keywords you can use best via Google's Keyword Planner and the Keywords Explorer from Ahrefs.
Write successful texts
The success of your writing is not always easy to measure; yet there are some things that can give you direction in your development. In the first place, it is of course important that your employer is satisfied with the texts you provide. Ask for feedback and don't be afraid of criticism. Second, it is a good idea to find out what objective readers think of your texts. A reader should be able to easily empathize with your text and identify with it. A strong text evokes emotions and can encourage readers to take action. If you write for a webshop, your success is partly measured by the number of page visits and the number of sales that occur from the page.
Whether your text is attractively written also depends entirely on the connection between your audience and the writing style you have chosen; that is why one of the most important things in writing texts is and remains good orientation.
Towards a new career
In closing, a final, simple tip: keep the above points in mind, but don't think about it too long. Just get started! It is a simple principle: the first step in your new career may be difficult, but if it turns out that writing is good for you, then you will find your way in it!
Guest blog by Kim Kampen from Albagora