Copywriting: The beginning – not the end

This is how the final chapter of the Copywriting Apprentice course is titled. And I have to say I agree with that sentiment as true of the end of any period of training or learning. And so, as a way to herald this new beginning, I’d like to offer a short review of the course.

Why review?

When I was searching for a course to take in this area I came across a number of blog posts which informed my choice. Reading personal copywriting experiences helped me see through any sales talk on course websites. It also helped me hone down to the elements that can’t be easily listed, such as were the people who valued this course in a similar position to me? So I feel it just to add my own to the pool of opinion.

Personally, it also helps me round off my training period, announce myself as a ‘trained copywriter’ and take steps into putting this training into good use. So there we are, time to through the angular hat into the air and take off this damn gown!

What made me choose Copywriting Apprentice?

I came to consider copywriting after what has been a bumpy career transition…or rather relocation. In late 2014 I moved from Glasgow to live primarily on tour with my partner. While I understood that being ‘non-geographical’ could bring its idiosyncrasies, I had not imagined that the difficulties it posed in securing work would be so acute.

Let’s just say, I was glad to find copywriting as something available to me as it fitted many of the elements I was in need of: potential to work non-geographically, potential for being reliable in its earning potential and the promise to develop a new writing skill.

Now you don’t need to train to be a copywriter. But I would say, having taken a course, I believe you would need a great deal more patience and self-determination to go in without any. A course allows you to make mistakes, test the water and get decent feedback from those inside the industry. These are structures and motivations that one should never underestimate.

Ultimately, I chose Copywriting Apprentice for two primary reasons: Joy (the course director) was personable and prompt in her communications and the feedback system promised by the course suited me. If I was to study at distance I needed to know there was a person who cared about my progress at the other end of the phone or email if I needed it. That and the course covered the areas that I believed I would need and be most interested in.

How was the course?

I found it really very good. The course covers the basics of copywriting followed by in-depth looks at online and offline copywriting, before finishing with learning how to set-up a business. You study through short tests at the end of each chapter, which test rote knowledge, and assignments, which test the application of the knowledge.

Having a real text book was great, but all the information was also available through the interactive and rich online course library. Joy is also quickly responsive to any queries about content which helps anytime something doesn’t make sense. It is written by copywriters, so as you’d expect the text is clear and to the point, which makes learning easier.

However, on this point is a word of caution to anyone expecting the course to be a complete guide to copywriting. As with any subject, there are always multiple opinions and ways of approaching a subject. As such, while the Copywriting Apprentice gives a broad picture which is largely spot on, it is always valuable to go and do further reading around each chapter.

Thankfully, there’s a wealth of information out there and soon enough you’ll find reliable sources of information for your wonderings. One such site worth a look is ABC Copywriting, as is the Copywriting Apprentice blog, which is full of useful guest posts.

Would I recommend the Copywriting Apprentice?

When I came to it, I needed a supportive environment in which to challenge myself to learn a new skill whilst seeing a logical progression. This course offered me what I needed and I don’t regret any of it. Joy and her team gave me confidence, told me when my work wasn’t up to scratch and made me a better apprentice as a result.

Now it’s time to take my own steps, (supported by the ongoing CPD and support of their graduate community and resource library!)

Selected FAQs:

(Taken from the CA site but answered by me!)

Can I earn a living from copywriting?

– Even whilst training I began to earn from the skills I was developing. Freelance websites such as PPH, Upwork and Freelancer offer this possibility and it’s a good way to do extra-curricular study. In fact, in the time the course ran I more than earned back the cost of the course.

How much time will I have to spend studying?

– While they say it’s up to you, I’d be surprised if you could keep focus studying less than a day a week. For me, in the odd period where the time I could give to the course lapsed I found it much harder to get back into it. So I’d say if you’re serious about wanting to do this work, commit a decent chunk of time. That said, don’t rush through the course. I completed quickly, (around 4months), but gave a lot of time to it for further study and reading around the subject.

Is it worth it? (I added this one!)

In my view yes. I have finished the course clear as to what copywriting is, the areas I now want to pursue further expertise in and the areas I will already be selling my services in. The safety of study, the feedback structure and the sense of measured progress all helped get me to the point of now feeling able to work as a copywriter. If you’re anything like me, go for it!


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