For a few years now I have thought, talked and, written about wanting to take things in a new direction. I knew I liked to write and I knew that my original plan was to get into the advertising game. Having focused my high school years on anything but school, I found myself without a portfolio or the foundations I would need to take a proper advertising course in college. I opted to get into the IT industry through a business college, specializing in software development with hopes of eventually navigating my way into advertising. I have had a successful career up to now, I have met some great people along the way, but I am not where I need to be. I want to wake up each morning with the mindset that if I don’t make it to work, I will smite my foe to the ground.
I need to be writing creatively, that much is clear. As I am not in a position to drop everything and write a best selling novel, I need to look past one dream and onto the next. Copywriter; a person employed to write advertising copy. That sales flyer left on your car, a magazine or website advertisement, a tv or radio commercial are essentially all written by copywriters. The role of a copywriter is to produce effective content that delivers a call to action; in a nutshell, “Buy me!”. Words are my building materials, pencil and paper my toolbox. And yes, eventually I will need to rely on my keyboard.
Now that we have a destination, I need to map out how best to get there. The first obvious choice would be a college or university program, but given the constraints of my current job requiring me to work for 37.5 hours a week and my wallet not overflowing with doubloons, I have decided to look towards alternative methods to learning the craft. Obviously there are an endless number of online resources, including every successful copywriter who has a system to teach and premium content to sell. The problem currently before me is that I don’t have the basis to determine who can help me most, over who is helping themselves more. I decided to take a step back and focus my attention on finding a book; I like to keep it real, so when I say “book”, I mean an actual book I can hold in my hand. A quick Google search of “top copywriting books” returned more than 2.8 million hits, so a dozen usable links and 2.79 million links of dark web content. It quickly became apparent that there were a few books that had become bible to most copywriters, but I managed to narrow my selection down to The Copywriters Handbook: A step-by-step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells and The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of Americas Top Copy.
I stopped short at actually buying both books, but decided to roll the dice on The Adweek Copywriting Handbook. After reading many reviews, I still can’t say which one would be best, but got the impression that The Adweek Copywriting Handbook is quite funny and an enjoyable read. I’ve read IT manuals and other dry text, and nothing could be more painful than trying to learn something while having your teeth pulled.
As I await the arrival of my new book, I will continue to wade through the wealth of online knowledge as I plan (and write about) my next few steps. I do not know where this venture will take me or what else the future holds, but if I don’t at least investigate something I have wanted to do for the past 20 years, I will continue to question whether or not I have made the right choices. Life should be about doing something you love, something you are passionate about, not about something that pays well that does nothing to enrich your happiness.
Stay tuned for more copywriting adventures.