It’s something you see a lot on social media and in the ProCopywriters forums – questions about how to get started in a career as a copywriter.
There are myriad resources out there looking at various aspects of copywriting. There are the business-oriented books like Andy Maslen’s Write Copy, Make Money or Steve Slaunwhite’s Wealthy Freelancer. And the ones that go into the fundamentals of copywriting, like The Copywriter’s Handbook and Read Me, to name a couple.
But there’s also a genre that looks at business writing generally. This is an important area for 2 big reasons:
- Copywriting is a broad discipline that goes beyond creative headlines and advertising concepts – there are the annual reports, case studies and press releases
- There are the hundreds of thousands of words you’ll write in addition to your actual copy deliverables – like proposals, presentations and emails
Robert Bullard’s book, Business Writing Tips for Easy & Effective Results, is a solid resource in this business writing genre, and is a useful addition to your bookshelf alongside Writing that Works (a personal favourite), Everybody Writes and books by John Simmons (read a review of Dark Angels here).
Bullard starts with putting pen to paper/defeating the blank screen and goes into the basics of making writing memorable. Then he gives tips for common outputs, like case studies and reports.
Usefully for beginners, he has exercises at the end of each chapter. They’re not time-consuming, but they’re useful for getting you to think strategically about how you put words together (and what makes some writing better than others). This not only helps you develop your writing muscles, but it helps you develop skills in explaining your approach (for when clients ask and you justify your value).
Bullard also breaks down example writing he’s pulled from various sources, like websites and newspaper headlines. (I always find it interesting to get inside other writers’ heads to see how they analyse copy.)
So, if you’re getting into copywriting and looking to develop your skills, this is a book to look at.