How to take baby steps and become a copywriter

You just know that when you get your first small break, you’ll take off like a high-powered rocket and never see the surface of the earth again.

Let’s recap. According to Filthy Rich Writer, you become a copywriter by taking gradual steps that eventually lead to applying for a job, showing your work, interviewing, and landing that dream copywriting position. Slightly reinterpreted, these steps are:

  1. Train
  2. Build your book
  3. Apply for a copywriting job

Really, good copywriters are always learning, because they know the market — and people — are always changing. So if you are a hired copywriter, then you are at steps 1 and 2 while you work your job.

Or if you’re looking for a better copywriting job at a company you’ve always loved, you are bulking up your portfolio to show those people why they should hire you. In these cases, you’ve done step 3, and you might again.

But if you’ve never stepped foot inside an ad department, then you’re where I’m at. You want to break into copywriting, but you’re still in the training phase and building your book. Now, you want some real-world experience, so you’re emailing companies and asking for an internship.

You’ll find that article helpful, but WikiHow is a really straight-laced approach. For me, I decided to deviate from that structure and speak more from the heart. I got a response from an ad agency the next morning. I don’t know why this occurred, but it could have been that I wrote from my honest perspective instead of following a script.

  • So, in advertising, perhaps it pays to sound like yourself and not a robot when requesting an internship.

This makes sense: Copywriters never write ads to sound dull and academic — ads are conversational and meet people where they’re at.

Shouldn’t emails reflect this personable style?

Now when you write the email, just make sure you strike a balance between sounding like yourself and being professional.

Of course, when you write in your personal voice and are naturally professional, that’ll come across anyway.

You just know that when you get your first small break, you’ll take off like a high-powered rocket and never see the surface of the earth again. And get what you’ve been after this whole time.

To get hired as a copywriter.

But right now, you’re waiting to see if an internship is even available. Personally, you think you should be noticed because your sales copy is fantastic, but no one cares about your narcissism.

Really, you just want a creative director to say of your copy:

“Hey, this resembles stuff from my swipe file. It’s not overly creative, but it’s interesting, which is good. But cut this fluff about ‘there are so many ways to use it.’ No benefits there. Makes the product sound complex.”

Yeah, you can’t wait to have a conversation like that.

So let’s get this thing together, okay?


Send me a quick email now if you’d like to chat!


You Can’t Get a Job Without Experience… and You Can’t Get Experience Without a Job

Or so they say.

So, what can you do when you’re an aspiring copywriter — self-starting your career — with no marketing or business degrees? Well, seasoned copywriter and business educator Nicki Krawkzyk at Filthy Rich Writer has a big secret for you:

Stop applying for copywriting jobs. At least right now.

Krawkzyk explains how applying, interviewing, and landing a job is your end-goal, the 3rd step in a 3-step process:

  • Step 1 — Train to be a copywriter. Learn to write killer copy and how to be a copywriter.
  • Step 2 — Gain back-door experience to build a portfolio of work. Collaborate with hungry local designers, perhaps graphic design college students or recent grads, to create spec (mock) ads.
  • Step 3Apply to jobs and give links and samples of your portfolio work online and in person.

These are simple enough, yeah?

So, I’m trying the steps myself. I’m on step 2 right now or at least I think so.

  • part of Step 2 (again, that’s back-door experience) — I contacted a customer I had gotten to know working at Starbucks. She is a designer. I asked her if she wanted a portfolio-growing opportunity.
  • another part of Step 2 — We met up, shared copy and visuals back and forth, and now we have two sweet mock ads based around Starbucks Reserve.

If this isn’t one way to do it, then I have absolutely no idea what is real. Thanks a million, Filthy Rich Writer! Your business seems to be growing, right? Definitely no surprise.

Can’t wait for step 3. I’m headed for the touchdown and not looking back! Ya’ll do the same, okay?

The Most Hilarious Comedy Sketch Idea Ever

Today, I was in the shower and thinking about how you’re supposed to come up with awesome ideas in the shower. Naturally, I came up with an awesome idea. My most hilarious comedy sketch idea was simple, but this:

What if cops used Miley Cyrus’s music video, “We Can’t Stop,” as evidence to throw in jail everyone in the music video?

As the hot water poured over myself, the situation erupted before my imagination.

Cop 1: You said this video was created 1 1/2 weeks ago. Where are these partying teenagers now?

Analyst: All over the U.S. One is in Canada.

Cop 2: We’ll need their addresses to fly them in for questioning. No one smokes cigarettes at age 15!

Cop 1: When will their next party be?

Analyst: The music producer says Miley is depressed, so it won’t be for a while.

Cop 1: Can’t we tell our superior officers about this?

Cop 2: They don’t think anything on YouTube is real. WE know the difference. It’s on us.

And so on and so on. What are your most hilarious comedy sketch scenarios?

Because it Happens in Movies


Today, I was in my bedroom (that’s right). I had a ring in my hand. I dropped the ring. The ring rolled under the bed. I knelt down, reached, and snatched the ring.

And because it happens in movies, I did a double-take underneath the bed to see if there were something important I was supposed to find.

I know how this sounds. “I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo…”

Exactly. But of course this was gut-tucking hilarious and would make for good content. Here goes:

  • I put my hands on the sink and stare extra-long into the mirror because it happens in movies.
  • I nod my head slowly while I read something profound because it happens in movies.
  • I wait too long at a stop sign to make the decision whether to turn down the road that apparently will lead me to my destiny because it happens in movies.
  • I read online articles while sipping coffee–reading and sipping both at the same time–because it happens in movies.
  • While in the classroom, I shake my head in righteous anger at social injustice because it happens in movies.

That’s all folks! So what are your familiar (read: film-iliar) moments that happen in movies? Email or comment because I’m dying to know!

Have you missed out on your dream career?

Well, you have. Because you’re not an astronaut, horse jockey or president of the United States.

So you rethought your goals (while Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny died off).

You lived a little and then you missed out on your realistic dream career. Because you’re not a mystery writer, Hollywood actor or NFL player.

So you rethought again. You lived a little more and got a new job. Now, things are okay. But in the future, who knows whether you may rethink your career even again?

And on and on it goes.

And at the end of the day, you always miss an opportunity. So why not rethink this dim reality?

Like this: inevitably we come to learn we’re better at another job. When we realize, we evolve and go for that instead.

No biggie.

So how many dreams have you evolved through? Do you believe you “get there” or do career goals change inevitably?

What’s your story?

If you’re over 20 years old, you’re probably pursuing (or dreaming) about what to do with your life. Above all, you’re searching for something you enjoy that doesn’t make you feel trapped. Like you, I’ve thought about this a long time, and I found something that may be my ticket to happiness.

What, are you living in a cave?

Not quite. Currently, I’m a college writing teacher, but I’m dropping it to change careers. Meanwhile, I’m forsaking that horrible feeling of “is it too late for me?” and switching my focus completely.


Well, not completely completely. It’s actually a logical step. The only part that doesn’t make sense is how long it took me to hear about copywriting.

COPYWRITING! What are your credentials?

Well, that’s our biggest problem. This copywriter needs to get his feet wet. See, how can you test the water before you dip in?

An educated guess?

But I assume, like me, you’re tired of guessing. So let me know what I can write for you whether that’s a one-time deal or something more. No commitments, no strings attached, no B.S., and you don’t even have to use it (although I hope it’s so good you’ll want to). If you’re looking for concise, compelling copy/content in your company’s voice, then I’ve got you covered…and I’ll do it for FREE.

Oh, give me a break! Is that what your work is worth?

We’ll see, won’t we? Right now, all I need is to build a portfolio, so we both come out on top. I’m not doing this forever, so email me soon!

This is how it began.

You’ve always wanted something.

When you said, “Ma ma,” you got your mother’s attention. When you were held, and you grabbed her ears, nose, lips, you held her interest. When you smiled, you created a unique desire: “I must keep this little one safe!” When you cried, you called her to action. “Oh, baby, what’s wro-o-ong?!”

And you’re still doing it. Just the adult version of that.