How to Land Your First Copywriting Job : Step By Step Guide

Getting your foot in the door as a Copywriting Job can seem daunting, especially if you lack professional writing experience. However, with persistence and smart strategy, aspiring copywriters can land their crucial first-paid job.

Here are effective steps to go from zero experience to working copywriter:

Build a Professional Portfolio

A portfolio showing your writing skills is absolutely vital for getting hired as a new copywriter. Without samples, you’ll struggle to demonstrate abilities or convince clients to take a chance on you.

Create a range of writing samples

Include 4-6 polished pieces ideally. Vary the formats – website content, blogs, social media, email newsletters, brochures etc. This showcases versatility.

Use real or made-up companies

Actual work for clients is best. If not, invent brands and write mock website copy, press releases, blogs etc. Get feedback to improve quality.

Show bothCOPYWRITING and content writing

Copywriting experience boosts appeal, but published blogs, articles, or website content also prove skills. Remix old school essays if needed.

Only include your strongest work

Better to have 4 fantastic samples vs 10 mediocre ones. Each piece should represent your top talent.

Cater to your target jobs

Tweak portfolio based on the type of copywriting work desired – advertising, tech, healthcare, finance etc.

Set up a professional website

Display your portfolio online in an easily shareable, credible format vs just PDFs. Use your name as the domain.

With a polished, versatile portfolio tailored to your goals, you’ll be ready to start applying for copywriting jobs.

Leverage Your Experience and Transferable Skills

Clients want confidence you can produce results. Draw on past experiences and skills that translate to copywriting:

  • Writing experience – Highlight paid writing work, published articles, blogging etc. Even school paper or essay writing.
  • Marketing knowledge – Tie in class projects, internships, volunteer work or other exposure to marketing basics.
  • Advertising background – Note any ad agency, design firm or marketing company experience, even in support roles.
  • Editing ability – Proofreading, line editing or managing a blog/publication helps. Know AP style.
  • Creative skills – Mention any graphic design ability, photography experience or the like.
  • SEO expertise – Taking SEO, Google Analytics or AdWords courses is impressive.
  • Tech savviness – Digital marketing and web knowledge are big pluses. Detail specific skills.
  • Research competence – Describe successes compiling data, analyzing info or presenting findings.

Tout all experiences that showcase skills needed to produce effective, compelling copywriting.

Search Job Boards and Online Listings

Job boards should be a regular stop in your copywriting job hunt:

Problogger – Leading job board for freelance writing and blogging gigs. Easy to filter and apply.

Upwork – Massive freelance platform. Use filters like Copywriting > Entry-level.

ZipRecruiter – Job search site with copywriting and content writing options. Remote filter available.

LinkedIn Jobs – Many Copywriting Job and content roles posted. Can be applied to directly.

Indeed – Major job aggregator. Search copywriting jobs and filter by entry-level.

Craigslist – Check the writing/editing section. Vet carefully.

Facebook Groups – Join groups like Copywriting Launchpad to access job leads.

Freelancer job sections – Browse the open writing projects on Fiverr, Upwork and similar sites.

Company websites – Check careers pages of desired brands, agencies and publications.

Don’t just look for official copywriter titles. Also browse for content writer, copy editor, content coordinator and similar roles that get your foot in the door.

Network Extensively with Copywriters

Networking provides major opportunities that job boards miss. Connect with the copywriting community:

TacticHow To
Attend local eventsGo to marketing association meetings, writing organization events, PR meetups. Chat people up!
ConferencesLook for affordable conferences to gain insights and connections.
LinkedInFollow copywriting companies & join groups like Copywriters’ Network (40k+ members).
FacebookLike copywriting pages. Join targeted groups to share portfolio & connect.
Professional associationsJoin ACC or PWA for discounted events, job boards & directory listings.
Cold email/callResearch agencies & companies you’d like to work for. Reach out.
ReferralsAsk colleagues, friends or professors if they have any contacts needing writers.

By tapping into local and online copywriting communities, you’ll hugely expand the possibilities for discovering opportunities more quickly.

Offer Copywriting Services for Free

Gaining hands-on experience through pro bono (free) copywriting work for real companies can give your resume a big boost.

Nonprofits – Offer services creating website content, blogs, newsletters etc. Great portfolio builders.

Small businesses – Similarly help them with website copy, social media or other marketing content.

Friends’ companies – Try copywriting for blogs, brochures and other materials. Get testimonials.

Your own website – Create content around your niche and do outreach to attract potential clients.

Trial with clients – Suggest unpaid test projects before hiring you. Aim to impress and convert to paid.

Doing strong pro bono work gives you copy samples, references and connections that make you much more employable.

Apply for Entry-Level Agency and In-House Jobs

Look for ways to get your foot in the door at agencies and corporate marketing departments:

  • Creative Circle – Top staffing agency for advertising and creative roles. Many entry-level listings.
  • Michelle Search – Specialized agency and creative recruiting firm. Look for assistant roles.
  • Company websites – Check careers pages for desired brands and agencies. Watch for internships too.
  • Indeed – Massive job board with filters for entry-level and internship listings.
  • LinkedIn Jobs – Apply for openings suited to your experience level. Can message hiring managers.
  • Job fairs – Talk to agency and marketing company reps about available internships or junior roles.
  • Emphasize transferable skills – Research abilities, tech knowledge and willingness to learn.

Getting a foot in the door in an adjacent role builds valuable experience and relationships that can lead to copywriting work.

Consider Volunteer Blogging or Writing

Volunteering your writing skills for organizations in need is another potential path to gain published samples:

  • Religious organizations – Offer to write website content or print/email newsletters for local churches, temples etc.
  • Goodwill/Salvation Army – Such organizations often need marketing writing help on tight budgets.
  • Animal shelters – Similar opportunity to provide copywriting assistance to these nonprofit groups.
  • Community centers – Help with print and digital promotion through newsletters, posters, social media posts and more.
  • Schools – Inquire if teachers need help with brochures, newsletters or other writing projects.

Volunteering provides great copywriting practice while helping deserving groups. The published samples will boost your portfolio.

Take Continuing Education Copywriting Classes

Formal copywriting classes through adult education programs are another option to gain knowledge and writing samples:

  • General Assembly – Offers part-time courses and intensives in copywriting. Available online and in major cities.
  • Udemy – Large marketplace for online video courses. Finding copywriting and freelance writing classes.
  • LinkedIn Learning – Digital platform with a wide variety of copywriting courses taught by experts.
  • Community colleges – Night or weekend classes in copywriting, content marketing, business writing etc.
  • Local workshops – Search for in-person copywriting workshops in your city through Eventbrite etc.

Copywriting classes allow you to practice with projects, get teacher feedback, and build a body of collaborative work to include in your portfolio.

Join a Professional Copywriting Organization

Being part of a professional copywriting organization provides many key benefits:

American Copywriters Council (ACC)

  • Job board with entry-level Copywriting Job openings
  • Contract templates, guides and other key resources
  • Networking events and webinars for career development
  • Copywriter directory visible to potential employers
  • Student membership only $95/year

Professional Writers Alliance (PWA)

  • Review of contracts by pro copywriters ($50 value)
  • Listing in searchable freelance writer directory
  • Grants, scholarships and pitch competitions for members
  • Entry-level membership only $25/year

The training, mentoring, job listings and networking available through these organizations offer great advantages for launching your career.

Finding Part-Time Copywriting Jobs in Technology

The internet is rife with opportunities for part-time jobs in tech copywriting. Here’s how to find them.

Using Online Platforms

  • Explore Check out their career page for part-time opportunities.
  • Other Job Portals: Look for listings on other reputable job platforms.

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