Want to Become an Expert Copywriter? Start With These 5 Books and Online Courses
Copywriters have stepped up their game in 2018. Here's how you can, too.
Between social media, email, blogs, ebooks and more, it's becoming apparent that the written word plays a part in our daily lives now more than ever before. As a result, the ability to write compelling copy is also more in-demand than ever before.
While the psychology of the people reading the copy hasn't changed, what it means to be a copywriter certainly has. The platforms we communicate with today, and the general strategies we use have undeniably evolved since the time of David Ogilvy, making many of the classic copywriting books somewhat incomplete for the 2018 marketplace.
From landing pages to YouTube video scripts to Facebook ads, the 2018 copywriter has a lot to juggle. To help you navigate the landscape and become an expert copywriter equipped for today's competitive marketplace, here are five books and courses you should look into.
1. Tutorial Tuesdays by Copyhackers
Tutorial Tuesdays is a free weekly webinar series taught by Joanna Wiebe, founder of Copyhackers. On a personal level, this series is how I stay up-to-date with the ins and outs of the new mediums copywriters have to master, whether that's Twitter Ads, website copy, sales emails or something else related.
Copyhackers does a great job with putting out high-quality, information-rich content that can serve as an encyclopedia on a number of copywriting topics--and that same attention to detail is reflected in Tutorial Tuesdays.
2. Len Smith's Udemy Course
Len Smith was a successful copywriter whose career spanned many decades. He put down all the lessons he learned over the years into a Udemy course called Copywriting secrets -- How to write copy that sells. This course, priced at $89.99, is actually what got me interested in copywriting, and where I first learned how to write captivating headlines. If you're looking to increase your open rates with stellar headline writing, this course has almost everything you need to know.
Another aspect of Len Smith's material that I like is that it's centered around B2B (business-to-business) copywriting as opposed to B2C (business-to-consumer). Because so many copywriting gigs are done for B2B companies, with white papers, case studies and more, knowing the fundamentals of the style is important.
3. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman
When it comes to direct response marketing, there are few icons more accomplished than Joseph Sugarman, making him more than qualified to be the author selected to write Adweek's "bible" of copywriting. This book has become the all-encompassing textbook I refer to on a regular basis to address any and all questions I have with the fundamentals of copywriting (and the amount of notes I've scribbled in the margins proves that outright).
While this book, priced at $17.93, isn't tailored specifically for 2018, the principles and lessons laid out in the book can be universally applied across a wide variety of platforms, from email marketing to LinkedIn posts.
4. The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy
You may think sales letters are obsolete, but the truth is this style lives on in the form of sales emails, brochures and more, so mastering the principles of constructing unforgettable sales letters is worthwhile. By learning how to do so, you'll position yourself to see a spike in email open rates, click-through rates and ultimately conversions. When I told a mentor of mine I was launching an email newsletter, the only book he insisted I read was this one. Today, I still attribute nearly all my email marketing knowledge to Dan Kennedy.
If you have an email newsletter, then give Dan Kennedy's book a read. In paperback form, the book costs just $9.
5. Social Media Copywriting: How to Compose Text for 5 Different Channels by Hubspot
Social media copywriting is one of most relevant forms of copywriting in 2018. If you don't know how to write eye-catching microcopy in your social media posts, you could be missing out on an inconceivable amount of revenue.
While this resource above isn't exactly a course or a book, it is a thorough piece of pillar content that could be easily expanded into a full course. If you're looking to amp up your social media copywriting game, this post by Hubspot will be worth your time, and it's completely free. I required my "protege" to read this post when she first started with social media copywriting, and it got her up-to-speed quickly and efficiently.
In today's marketplace, you must be a Swiss Army knife when it comes to your craft. From Facebook posts to video scripts to landing page copy, you must be able to convince readers to take action no matter what medium they find themselves writing in. Regardless of where you're at in your career, take some time in the coming weeks to comb through these resources. You'll be glad you did. Best of luck.