Want to break into advertising?

Well, the good news is that the advertising world is changing, with lots of small, independent agencies earning a reputation for their great work.

So as an aspiring copywriter you have lots of opportunities, both with the big traditional agencies, and with smaller startups.

Here are a few ideas to help you develop your copywriting skills and get started in the advertising world.

Advertising education

An advertising education is obviously a good thing to have.

But it’s not the only way to get into advertising. You might gain experience on the job instead, or through work in a related field.

Make yourself appealing to agencies

You can take steps to make yourself more employable:

  • Know the industry. Follow ad industry news. Learn who is doing what. (See resources below)
  • Show your passion for communicating, convincing and converting
  • Demonstrate your creativity in other ways. Side-projects and creative pursuits prove that you love to create
  • Customise your portfolio to the agency you’re talking to. Make it relevant to your audience

Agencies welcome book crits (portfolio reviews), so it’s worth contacting agencies once you have a clear idea of what they do. Often Creative Directors will give actionable feedback and may invite you back in for further review.

Find a creative partner

These websites can help you find a creative partner:


A few classic books on advertising:

  • Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads – Luke Sullivan, Edward Boches
  • How to: Write Better Copy – Steve Harrison
  • Read Me: 10 Lessons for Writing Great Copy – Roger Horberry, Gyles Lingwood


Thanks to Vikki Ross for providing the information on this page.