Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
I was never sure what I wanted to do after my languages degree. But I’d been writing a travel blog whilst I was at university, and the travel and writing bugs had both got their teeth into me.
I wasn’t particularly keen to give up the freedom of student life and be tied down by a job in a fixed location.
I got my start with copywriting thanks to nepotism. Two of my cousins had started their own copywriting agency and gave me my first blog writing work.
You know the sort: writing about concrete, rabbit hutches, botox and heaven knows what else.
I still remember the feeling of sitting in front of my laptop in my university bedroom composing my first blog, marvelling that I could actually be paid to write. From that moment on, there was never going to be any turning back.
I spent the year after I finished university teaching English part-time in Mexico. That paid the bills, and meant I had the luxury of time to hunt for new copywriting (and translation) clients, build up my income and get to grips with the skills I needed to make freelancing work long term.
What work are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the work I’ve done for two of my longest-standing clients, one a boutique translation agency and the other a couple with their own budding fitness empire.
I’ve grown as a copywriter as their businesses have gone from strength to strength, so whilst it’s sometimes slightly painful seeing my own work from four years ago on their websites, I’m proud of how far we’ve all come together.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
As so many of us are, I’m a huge fan of the Innocent Smoothie brand. Those copywriters must have a whale of a time.
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
I’m a believer in switching things up. If I have other projects on, I‘ll turn my attention to something else, whether translation or copywriting. After a while, I’ll head back to the first project to see if my creative juices have started flowing yet.
If that doesn’t work, then I’ll take a break, have a snack, read, clean the cave (my bolt hole here in the south of Spain) or head out for a walk.
Worst comes to worst, then I know that a tight deadline will always solve writer’s block. So, I’ll just take as long as I need to off the project until the due date starts looming and the pressure kicks in.
What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?
Favourite: Actually putting pen to paper. Proofreading and tweaking a piece of copy that’s nearly perfect.
Least favourite: quoting, answering emails and keeping on top of admin.
Any copywriting pet hates?
Multiple exclamation marks and block capitals – anything excessively, blatantly salesy or in your face. A little bit of subtlety goes a long way.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
You are not your business. Hard as it might be, try not to take bad feedback or rejection personally. I’m still working on this one.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
Building a strong client base takes time and patience. Make sure you have plenty of both, and you’ll get there.
Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?
Because the ProCopywriters community is welcoming and supportive, especially on Twitter.
When you’re a freelancer, it’s so easy to feel alone and isolated, and being part of something like ProCopywriters helps make you feel like you’re part of something bigger.
Where can people find out more about you?
Visit my website, have a read of my blog or say hello on Instagram or Twitter: