Some have said that I have a way with words. In fact, in my first year at university my blind flatmate managed to guess that I had been to a grammar school just by my choice of language and extensive vocabulary. I have often denied that connection, as the grammar school itself taught me little of language at all, and I have met many people who have just as competent a grasp of English as me, if not better, with a non-selective school background. Nevertheless, I am becoming increasingly aware that my writing skills are above what might be considered the national average, if such a thing were ever measured, and that has prompted me to consider making use of those skills in some productive way.
I did look into the possibility of blogging as a career not long ago. The idea seems too good to be true, that you can earn money by blogging, but many people manage to do it. However, after some research into this field I have discovered that in fact it is only a very small percentage of bloggers who earn anything, and to make a living from it requires a lot of effort, a lot of blogging, a lot of patience, and a reputation that will make you noticed. I can manage the first three fine, but my reputation in the online world is somewhat neutral – I’m just not well-known enough.
Then I came across the idea of Copywriting.
No, I don’t mean copyright, that’s something completely different. Copywriting is the act of writing copy, or text, for various clients who cannot write it themselves. It has similarities with ghostwriting, which is where a budding author will write a book on someone else’s behalf – they get paid for the writing of the book but someone else gets the credit and the copyright. With copywriting it’s much the same, but for a different target audience. For instance, a copywriter will create the words for brochures, adverts, web sites, flyers, tv and radio scripts, and so on. In essence, ghostwriting is for book, copywriting is for advertising.
On the one hand, I have never been altogether enthusiastic about the whole advertising industry, shoving junk mail through our letterboxes and taking up valuable space in the newspaper with ridiculous slogans and dodgy claims. But that’s only one side of copywriting, and with my experience with web design I may be able to develop my skills in this area without having to sell my soul to the devil in the process.
Creating text for web sites seems to be a major problem for some people, and I have often found that with the projects I am involved with in my freelance business it is the writing of the text that takes the most time, not because it’s difficult but because the client already has existing responsibilities and commitments, and finding time to write text for a web site just doesn’t figure highly on their list of priorities. This is an area where I think I can be useful, taking my potential copywriting skills and doing the hard work for my clients (and anyone else who needs content writing).
So, if any of you need content writing for anything and can’t think up the right words, do let me know! Apparently I’m quite proficient, if a little verbose at times…