Thousands of resources are available for those who want to learn to write copy. Because there is a lot of material to cover, some people wonder how long it takes to learn how to be a copywriter.
It takes around 6-12 months to learn the basics of copywriting. However, this is just a general guideline; the time it takes depends on your willingness to learn and apply your skills. Your choice of courses, educational background, and prior writing experience also affect your learning curve.
Copywriting is a multi-faceted practice, and many things can speed up or slow down your progress. We’ll discuss a few of these factors below.
Copywriting Learning Paths
There are two learning paths you can take to become a copywriter:
- Instant transition
- Slow transition
It’s relatively easy to make a transition to copywriting if you’ve worked in a related field, such as marketing or advertising.
If this is the case for you, you already have some knowledge of the industry and how it works. The learning curve won’t be as steep, and you can start practicing your skills sooner.
However, even if you have some experience in the industry, you’ll still need to learn the basics of copywriting. Depending on your experience, this can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
If you don’t have any distractions and can devote all your time to learning, you can shorten your learning path by taking an intensive course or by working with a mentor.
Most copywriters start their career as a side hustle while they’re still doing a full-time job.
If this is your case, it will take longer to learn copywriting because you’ll have to balance your time between work and learning.
In addition, the learning curve will be steeper if you don’t have any experience in the industry. It can take a year or more to become qualified as a copywriter.
Even if it takes a long time, you shouldn’t get discouraged. The important thing is that you’re taking action and working towards your goal.
The slow transition also has one significant advantage: You can learn while you earn. The transition doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing.
You can start freelancing and working on small projects while maintaining a day job. This way, you’ll gain practical experience while earning some money.
No matter the path you choose, becoming a proficient copywriter takes time, effort, and consistency. Let’s look at the factors that affect how long it takes to learn copywriting.
Factors That Affect How Long It Takes to Learn Copywriting
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how long it takes to learn how to write copy. Instead, the time frame depends on a variety of factors.
1. The Choice of Courses
Just like in conventional education, the course quality will affect how long it takes you to learn. A good course will give you a solid foundation and will help you progress more quickly.
On the other hand, a poorly designed course might waste your time and money. When choosing a course, look for these factors. Is it…
- Comprehensive and covers all the essential topics
- Designed by experienced copywriters who know their trade
- Updated regularly to keep up with the latest trends
- Supportive, with a forum or community where you can ask questions and get feedback
You can get an idea of the quality of a course by reading reviews or participating in a free trial. Platforms like Skillshare, Udemy, Coursera, and edX have numerous courses for copywriters.
You can also take courses that were created by industry experts. Some of these include Copyblogger, Copyhackers, and Unbounce.
These platforms offer comprehensive courses that are regularly updated. However, you may have to pay more to access these exclusive courses.
2. Language Proficiency
There is no doubt that your language proficiency has a direct bearing on how long it will take for you to learn copywriting.
You’ll have a significant advantage if you’re a native English speaker (or any language you’ll be required to write in).
Exposure to the language from an early age gives you a better understanding of its grammar and syntax. This makes it easier to learn new concepts and put them into practice.
Moreover, interaction with the language is key to becoming a proficient copywriter. The more you read, write, and speak English, the better your understanding of the language will be.
If you’re not a native English speaker, don’t worry. You can still learn copywriting; it just might take a little longer. The important thing is to have realistic expectations.
Although you might not be a native speaker, you can still find ways to improve your language proficiency. You can:
- Read books, magazines, and articles
- Listen to podcasts and watch TV shows and movies
- Take online courses
- Practice writing every day
It’s essential to note that creativity, imagination, and originality are more important than language proficiency. So, even if you’re not a native speaker, don’t let that hold you back.
3. Education Background
Your educational background can heavily impact the duration it takes you to learn copywriting. A degree in English, journalism, marketing, or communications will give you a head start.
The knowledge and skills you acquire during your studies will come in handy as you learn copywriting. The benefit of having a relevant degree is that it gives you the confidence to tackle copywriting projects.
It also helps when dealing with clients who might be hesitant to hire someone without “proper” education. However, you don’t need a formal education to launch your copywriting career.
The important thing is to be willing to learn, open-minded, and hungry for knowledge. Of course, you also need to put in some effort.
4. Prior Writing Experience
If you’ve been writing for years, whether professionally or as a hobby, you’ll have an advantage over a newbie. Writing is a craft, so the more you do it, the better you become.
Your previous writing experience will come in handy as you learn copywriting. The skills and knowledge you’ve acquired will also help you progress faster.
Moreover, copywriting will be a breeze if you have a knack for storytelling or can capture people’s attention with your words.
If you’re not an accomplished writer, don’t worry! Everyone has to start somewhere. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. You can start today and build your skills over time.
5. Time Commitment
How much time are you willing to commit to learning copywriting? Obviously, you can learn copywriting much faster if you have plenty of free time.
The best way to learn to write copy is to treat it like a full-time job. This means setting aside time daily to study, write, and practice your craft.
Of course, this isn’t always possible, especially if you’re already working full-time or have other commitments. It’ll take longer if you can only dedicate an hour or two a week.
Although the learning period may span for months or years, don’t let the time commitment issue stop you. A steady effort will pay off, even if it takes a while.
6. Willingness to Learn
There is a big difference between someone who is willing to learn and someone who isn’t. The former is usually more successful because they’re open to new things and are willing to put in the effort.
On the other hand, people who aren’t willing to learn often give up when they encounter difficulties (and copywriting is full of those). They might also be resistant to change and new ideas.
If you want to learn copywriting, you have to be willing to leave your comfort zone. You never know who you might work for or what you might be asked to write about! Be open to new ideas and approaches.
Try experimenting with different strategies. Copywriting is a field that is constantly changing, and what worked yesterday might not work today. You have to be willing to adapt and change with the times.
A good example is the rise of social media and its impact on copywriting.
7. Practical Application
Learning theory is all well and good, but it’s only half the battle. The other half is putting what you’ve learned into practice.
One way to do this is by writing every day. It doesn’t matter what you write about; getting into the habit of writing is essential.
Another way to apply your knowledge is by working on real-world projects. You can start with small tasks, such as writing copy for a friend’s website or creating social media posts for a local business.
As you gain more experience, you can tackle bigger projects. For example, you can start your own copywriting business or work as a competitive freelancer.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to practical application. It’s up to you to find ways to put your knowledge into practice and hone your skills.
How to Shorten Your Copywriting Learning Path?
Who would like to take the long road when there’s a shortcut? If you want to shorten your copywriting learning path, here are a few things you can do:
1. Get a Mentor
One of the best ways to learn is to work with someone who is already successful. A mentor can teach you the ropes and help you avoid some common mistakes.
You don’t have to learn the hard way when you can learn from someone who’s already been there and done that. If you can find a mentor, take advantage of that opportunity.
The best mentors are usually busy, so don’t expect them to have much time. But if you’re lucky enough to get their attention, make the most of it.
Ask for their thoughts about new trends and get feedback whenever you can. With a virtual mentorship, you can get help from a mentor without meeting them in person.
You can also follow successful copywriters online, read their books or listen to their podcasts. Although they may not be your official mentor, you can still learn a lot from their teachings.
2. Choose a Niche
The temptation to be a jack-of-all-trades is strong, but it’s not the best way to learn to copywrite. It would also take centuries to become an expert in every topic!
It’s better to focus on one thing and become an expert in that area. For example, if you want to write copy for tech companies, you should know some of the jargon and understand the products.
It would be difficult to write copy for a tech company if you’re unfamiliar with the industry. The same goes for other niches, such as fashion, cosmetics, or real estate.
It’s best to choose one or two areas and become an expert in that field. Initially, you might think that narrowing your focus will limit your opportunities. But in reality, it’s the opposite.
When you’re an expert in one area, you have a better chance of getting hired and can command higher rates for your services.
3. Be Consistent
You won’t see results overnight, but if you’re consistent with your efforts, you will eventually get there. Copywriting is a competitive field, so you’ll need to build up your credibility and reputation over time.
One way to practice consistency is to set a writing schedule and stick to it. Whether it’s once a day or week, find a time that works for you and make it a habit.
Another way to stay on track is to set goals. Having specific goals will help you measure your progress and keep you motivated. Finally, don’t compare yourself to others.
Everyone learns at their pace. Therefore, you just need to focus on your journey and trust the process.
4. Avoid Distractions
When you’re learning something new, it’s easy to get side-tracked. There’s so much information out there, and it’s tempting to try a bit of everything.
But beware of shiny objects syndrome! It’s essential to stay focused on your goals and not be distracted by every new method or course.
There are always new things to learn in the world of copywriting, but you need to stick to the basics at first. Copywriting is a lifelong journey. You will never learn everything there is to know.
But if you focus on the basics and consistently apply what you’ve learned, you will become a successful copywriter.
5. Emulate Successful Methods
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. When you find a method that works, stick to it and keep perfecting it. One of the best ways to learn is by emulating successful practices.
Find someone who is already doing what you want to do and model their behavior. It’s helpful to study successful campaigns, ads, and pieces of copy.
It’s not enough to just read about what they’re doing. You must see it in action and then apply it to your work. This doesn’t mean that you should copy someone else’s style.
After all, you should still have your own voice. But by emulating successful methods, you can shortcut your way to success.
Although it often takes between 6-12 months to learn to copywrite, the journey is different for everyone.
The amount of time it takes depends on your prior experience, educational background, language proficiency, and time commitment.
You can shorten your learning path by finding a mentor, choosing a niche, and being consistent with your efforts. Above all, passion and dedication will carry you to success!