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Category Archives: The importance of copywriting training

The importance of training to the new copywriter.

A copywriting apprentice no more

Wordhouse-160WA guest blog by Gill Pavey of Wordhouse Writing Services

The mystery of the missing blog …

This guest blog was written over a year ago. It, and the email it was attached to, vanished into cyberspace unbeknown to both the Copywriting Apprentice team and Gill Pavey. A chance remark uncovered the loss in February 2016. So when you read this, take yourself back in time to January 2015.

I’ve recently graduated from the Copywriting Apprentice and I’m delighted. It was a year of work which was harder than I expected but it’s certainly been worth it.

I dabbled in copywriting way back in the 1980s. A business I used had terrible adverts in my opinion, and I told the proprietor this. His response was: “Okay, if you think you can do better, go ahead and knock something up.” Within a week I came up with a tagline that nearly blew him off his feet and the ad ran and ran. After that I was asked to do more … then I had an abrupt life change which lasted for around 25 years.

Fast-forward to 2013. By now I was a freelance proofreader and copy-editor but work was slow coming in. A complete stranger suggested politely that my website was not the best. At the same time, I was seriously considering adding copywriting to my services. When I looked up this person’s website, I found the Copywriting Apprentice. Hello, Joy!

Being a technical and creative writer as well as nurturing aspirations to be a professional copywriter, I expected this to be a relatively easy course but no. It was highly intense, in that a lot was conveyed with an economy of words. Tasks and assignments expected a lot of applied knowledge and time; there was no way of cheating or corner-cutting due to the clever design and content. In fact, it was probably as close to real life situations as it is possible to get. Some modules were easier than others – I was relieved to score 100% on the proofreading assignment – but the assignment on LED lights will stay in my memory for ever!

So what has the Copywriting Apprentice course done for me?

  • I am now confident I have the necessary tools to offer clients an excellent job.
  • The course includes setting up as a freelance copywriter and although I was already self-employed, there was a lot of sound advice I have been putting to good use.
  • Within what seemed like days of completing the course I was approached to help out a very busy digital marketing company with copy for new websites. This is still going on and it’s great working with such a talented bunch of people who like what I do!
  • A local business asked me to write the director’s profiles for the company website and they were so impressed I was given the homepage, then three product pages to write.
  • My contract with a major European group company for editing services has been extended to include copywriting.
  • Having the CA accreditation gives me the edge when it comes to marketing the service, since so few freelance copywriters demonstrate any qualifications.

Joy McCarthy was my designated tutor and she was firm but very fair. If I messed up, she told me. If I did well, she told me. The feedback was prompt and extensive, and I was able to ring her from time to time. I even secured a couple of web copy jobs along the way which gave me some real-life experience, and some great feedback.

Whether you still thinking about doing this course, or you are finding it hard to keep going, all I can say is get it, do it, and finish it. The benefits will far outweigh the pain of extra work, sacrificed social life, late nights and occasional frustration.

Gill Pavey of Wordhouse Writing Services is a copy-editor and proofreader with corporate and individual clients across Europe, the Middle and Far East.Current projects include academic papers and theses, commercial articles, novels and non-fiction. You can contact Gill Pavey by email or follow her on Twitter @WordhouseGill.

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