Checking on Copywriting, and editing. Your advice on it.

Good day folks;

I've been considering for quite awhile the concept of becoming a copywriter, and or a copyeditor. But the biggest problem is the following

* Is there a market for this?
* How does one get started?
    * Is there classes I should take?
    * Is there a certificate or some sort of accreditation that shows people I've done what I have to do, in order to have their business?
    * Then how do you start in the business? Solicitation of local businesses?

I've seen 'classes' from possibly good places such as Writer's Digest but the costs give me pause. I don't mind paying $250 or more /if the classes are worthy but I don't want to pay out good money if they're their not worth my time. I actually took two classes from an on-line services for my job, and found they wasn't accepted since they wasn't accredited so I was out $200, so I'm a bit reluctant.

Just a quick question to double check. A "Copywriter" is a business ad writer, and I'm assuming a "Copyeditor" is one that actually edits and checks business ads? The terms are a bit confusing.

 

Thank you for the advice.

- Kc

Comments


  • kcredden wrote:

    Good day folks;

    I've been considering for quite awhile the concept of becoming a copywriter, and or a copyeditor. But the biggest problem is the following

    * Is there a market for this?
    * How does one get started?
        * Is there classes I should take?
        * Is there a certificate or some sort of accreditation that shows people I've done what I have to do, in order to have their business?
        * Then how do you start in the business? Solicitation of local businesses?

    I've seen 'classes' from possibly good places such as Writer's Digest but the costs give me pause. I don't mind paying $250 or more /if the classes are worthy but I don't want to pay out good money if they're their not worth my time. I actually took two classes from an on-line services for my job, and found they wasn't accepted since they wasn't accredited so I was out $200, so I'm a bit reluctant.

    Just a quick question to double check. A "Copywriter" is a business ad writer, and I'm assuming a "Copyeditor" is one that actually edits and checks business ads? The terms are a bit confusing.

     

    Thank you for the advice.

    - Kc


    A copy writer is someone who writes copy, that is, text. The term usually applies to writing copy for advertising.

     

    A copy editor is another animal entirely. The duty of a copy editor is to check the text (for books, magazine articles, etc.) for errors in punctuation, grammar and spelling.

     

    I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I have to ask: if you don't even know what a copy editor is or what they do why in the world do you want to be one?  Do you have any background or education in writing, English, journalism or anything like that? That sort of thing would help immensely. What you will be doing if you take any classes is essentially learning English grammar, spelling and punctuation from scratch and the better foundation you have to start with, the better.

     

    Some sort of certification from a legitimate school or online class certainly couldn't hurt, but what would stand you in best stead would be samples of work you have done. Experience will count for much more than training. I understand, of course, that you won't have any samples until you get work but as soon as you have edited anything, make sure to include this in your resume.

     

     

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron: Thank you for the advice. I'm merely looking for a way to use my writing as a side business. I have nearly 31 years of working in an office, as a jack of all trades, and now a sysadmin of their computer systems. I'm also a writer far longer as well. I have done some writing for the office, set up documents, ads, and the like. I've also been learning and writing fiction for five years as well.

    I see about experience vs certification. That too was what I was suspecting and I may be able to show samples then. I've edited a couple of author's books since it seems I have a knack for spotting errors even in books 50+ years old.

    So I am to assume that I should take samples of my works, and go to various businesses around town and offer my services to start. Then if they suggest I get a certificate, I take some of these online classes?

    Thankfully I'm in the writing group, with the editor of the local paper, I could ask him as well.


    As for not knowing what a copywriter is; no one knows everything, and asking questions is the way to find out, there is no shame in that. But I suspected copywriting dealt in business writing, while editing was totally new to me.

     


    A copy writer is someone who writes copy, that is, text. The term usually applies to writing copy for advertising.

    Ron: 

     

    Thank you for the advice, this is my first step into making a side job of writing.

     

    A copy editor is another animal entirely. The duty of a copy editor is to check the text (for books, magazine articles, etc.) for errors in punctuation, grammar and spelling.

     

    I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I have to ask: if you don't even know what a copy editor is or what they do why in the world do you want to be one?  Do you have any background or education in writing, English, journalism or anything like that? That sort of thing would help immensely. What you will be doing if you take any classes is essentially learning English grammar, spelling and punctuation from scratch and the better foundation you have to start with, the better.

     

    Some sort of certification from a legitimate school or online class certainly couldn't hurt, but what would stand you in best stead would be samples of work you have done. Experience will count for much more than training. I understand, of course, that you won't have any samples until you get work but as soon as you have edited anything, make sure to include this in your resume.

  • I would start with this

     

     * Is there classes I should take?

     

    Because it should be >> are there classes I should take.

  • Maybe I should say, "forget it." since it seems everyone here, is as much a jerk as many on the linux forums, when someone has a question.

     

    Check your egos at the door, folks.

     

     

  • Sorry for you bad experience. I'm sure someone will come on later with some advice. Speak to Glenn maybe.

  • I thought Ron had. 100%. And it's nothing to do with Lulu.

     

    My comment was to point out that a potential editor should have spotted that.


  • kcredden wrote:

    Maybe I should say, "forget it." since it seems everyone here, is as much a jerk as many on the linux forums, when someone has a question.

     

    Check your egos at the door, folks.

     

     


    There probably is a market for light writing and editing. A good place to glean "gigs" would be craigslist, perhaps.

     

    In my less than humble opinion, a good portfolio is better than a good "certification." And as Kevin pointed out in his less-than-subtle way, a key element to a good writing portfolio is good grammar. Exceptional grammar, in fact.

     

    It's only reasonable that a writer who expects you to find the place where he dropped a comma would be put off by an incorrect conjugation.

     

    If I were you, my next step would be to start compiling my best work -- A before-and-after of some editing you've done (and the "After" needs to be letter perfect, btw), a couple of short blurbs you've written, or even a short story that typifies your work.

     

    As an analogy: Two weeks ago I placed an ad for an artist for my next book cover. I have gotten about seven responses to date. Two were obvious spam and hadn't read the ad at all -- "Need an artist? I make custom logos!"  Three were clearly the wrong kind of art -- superheroes, or else cartoons -- and one was too late, as I had already met with the seventh, who is now working on the art for the covers.

     

    But each had to present me with samples in order to be considered. If I'd picked the first ad I saw, I'd have gotten goofy cartoonish crap that would make South Park look like the Mona Lisa. I say that to say this: You need to be able to present an editing and writing portfolio that will show a discerning writer that you can file and shine his rough masterpiece until it is a fitting companion to the Sistine chapel.

     

    I hope that helps.


  • kcredden wrote:

    Ron: Thank you for the advice. I'm merely looking for a way to use my writing as a side business. I have nearly 31 years of working in an office, as a jack of all trades, and now a sysadmin of their computer systems. I'm also a writer far longer as well. I have done some writing for the office, set up documents, ads, and the like. I've also been learning and writing fiction for five years as well.

     

    Ah! The way you had worded your question made it sound as though you were very new to the entire thing, so my reply reflected that assumption. My apologies.

    I see about experience vs certification. That too was what I was suspecting and I may be able to show samples then. I've edited a couple of author's books since it seems I have a knack for spotting errors even in books 50+ years old.

     

    All you really need is a good grounding in grammar, punctuation and spelling in order to be a copy editor. It's also good to know what some general publishing conventions are as well as what the house style might be of the publisher for whom the book you are working on is intended. 

    So I am to assume that I should take samples of my works, and go to various businesses around town and offer my services to start. Then if they suggest I get a certificate, I take some of these online classes?

     

    I have never run across anyone asking for a certificate. What is usually requested are either samples or a resume of past work. Experience and abililty is what counts.

    Thankfully I'm in the writing group, with the editor of the local paper, I could ask him as well.


    As for not knowing what a copywriter is; no one knows everything, and asking questions is the way to find out, there is no shame in that. But I suspected copywriting dealt in business writing, while editing was totally new to me.

     

    I didn't mean to shame you, but I thought your question was like someone saying, "I really want to be an anesthesiologist! So...what does an anesthesiologist do?" In other words, if you had to ask what a copy editor does, how do you know you want to be one? I thought my skepticism was warranted, even though I may have expressed it a little too bluntly. There was no offense meant.

     

    (By the way, I wouldn't be too hard on Kevin. Surely you must admit that there is an irony in seeing someone expressing an interest in becoming a copy editor in a post filled with errors.)

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • kcredden

     

    You could try marketing your services on Fiverr (fiverr dot com) while you try to build up local contacts. Perhaps you could start with offering to write blurbs on fiverr as you wouldn't want to spend too much time for such low fees.

     

    I wouldn't bother with paying for a course. Word of mouth is what will work best. If you provide a good service on Fiverr people give feedback and potential customers will see that. If your words help sell products you can point that out to potential customers. If you haven't already done so I would spend the $ 200 on the tools every writer needs: the best dictionary you can afford, a thesaurus, a British English dictionary (for Americans and vice versa) a spelling dictionary and a rhyming dictionary.

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