Are Copywriting Courses Worth it for Beginners?
Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur looking to market your products, or an aspiring freelancer seeking to carve a niche in the copywriting industry, studying the art of persuasive writing is essential.
But here’s the million-dollar question: Are copywriting courses worth it for beginners?
When I first started out as a copywriter around 2011, I personally didn’t take any courses. I already had experience working as a freelance journalist and I was already writing for my own website in the education sector.
I learned by doing, by reading books, and by researching what I could online.
However, had I taken a course, it would’ve accelerated my learning quite a bit. I also know now, that it would’ve saved me months of having to figuring things out on my own.
If you’re completely new to copywriting and you’re looking for a structured way to learn, then a copywriting course can be a great starting point.
However, it may not be the right approach for everyone. Courses usually require a fair investment of your time, and there are no guarantees that they’ll help you achieve your goals.
Especially without practice.
To help you decide if taking a copywriting course is the right move for you, I’ve outlined some of the pros and cons below:
The Advantages of Copywriting Courses for Beginners
They Provide a Structured Framework
One of the biggest advantages that copywriting courses offer, is that they provide structured learning. Typically, they start by covering the basics, and then progress to more advanced copywriting techniques, gradually building your skills.
Following a structure can save you a lot of time sifting through online resources. We all know what it’s like down a YouTube rabbit hole, learning bits and pieces but unsure how to apply the knowledge.
A copywriting course will provide you with a clear roadmap of what to study and how to apply it in the real world.
You’ll Learn from a Professional Copywriter
What better way to learn copywriting that from a real-life copywriter?
Copywriting courses are typically taught by seasoned professionals who have mastered the craft and have a portfolio to prove it. Learning from an expert with first-hand experience is invaluable.
They can provide unique insights, tips, and techniques that you might not find in books or in free blog articles and videos.
What’s more, being able to associate yourself with a respected industry professional can raise your own reputation and gain the trust of potential clients.
You Can Put Theory into Practice
The best copywriting courses include practical exercises and assignments.
They give you hands-on experience that you can then apply to your own website, emails, marketing materials, or copywriting services.
It’s one thing to understand the theory, but putting it into practice under the guidance of an instructor is key to making progress.
They Provide Networking Opportunities
Some copywriting courses provide access to private Facebook or LinkedIn groups, where learners can share their knowledge and experience. Course tutors usually participate in these groups too.
This can create opportunities to build connections with fellow students and working copywriters, and can open doors to freelance work or collaborations in the future.
You Can Develop a Copywriting Portfolio
It’s a catch 22. As a beginner, you probably don’t have much of a portfolio to land new clients. But without clients in the first place, how can you develop a portfolio?
Well, the assignments that you complete throughout a copywriting course can be used as portfolio pieces.
You don’t necessarily need to include paid commissions in your portfolio – speculative work, or assignments you’ve completed on a course can be just as effective.
They Give You Credibility
Completing a reputable copywriting course can add credibility to your CV.
It demonstrates a commitment to honing your craft and it shows your willingness to invest in your education.
This can make you more appealing to clients and employers, especially when you’re just starting out.
You’ll Get Personal Feedback
It’s easy to assume that what you’ve written is perfect, especially when it’s been written in isolation.
Constructive feedback is essential to improving your writing, and it can help prepare you for dealing with client feedback if your goal is to start a copywriting business.
A good copywriting course will include personalised feedback on assignments from the course tutor. This can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and pinpoint areas that you need to improve.
The Drawbacks of Copywriting Courses for Beginners
They Can Be Relatively Expensive
While the benefits of copywriting courses are undeniable, they often come at a cost. Quality courses can be relatively expensive, which may be a barrier for some beginners.
However, it’s important to view this as an investment in your future career rather than a mere expense.
If you consider that the average copywriter in the UK charges £433 Per day, and the average copywriting course is priced at around £450, an investment of just over a day’s work can be well worth it in the long-term.
They Can be Time Consuming
From my own research, I’ve found that the average copywriting course has around 10 hours of content.
However, this doesn’t include the additional time you’ll need to spend on private study and completing assignments.
This time commitment can be challenging if you also have a full-time job, a family, or other interests and responsibilities.
In saying this, most online copywriting courses provide you with lifetime access, so you can complete them at your own pace.
They Don’t Guarantee Success
Enrolling in a copywriting course doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be earn six figures while sipping cocktails on the beach.
Success in copywriting, like with any other skill, depends on your dedication, practice, and ability to adapt to the changing demands of the industry.
The more you practice copywriting, the better you become.
You Could Learn Copywriting for Free from Other Resources
It’s true, there is a wealth of free information and resources out there for aspiring copywriters.
Many successful writers have honed their skills through learning by doing, reading articles, books, and watching YouTube tutorials.
I mean, that’s how I did it.
However, it does take far longer. And as a beginner, you probably won’t know where to start, or what to focus on next.
You need to be Self-Motivated
Online copywriting courses in particular, often rely on self-paced learning.
Although this flexibility works well for some people, it can be a struggle for those who find it hard to self-motivate, or manage their time effectively.
Copywriting demands consistency and dedication and without the structure of a traditional classroom setting, or face-to-face interactions, it can be easy to procrastinate or lose focus.
They May Offer a Limited Perspective
Good copywriting goes beyond grammar and spelling.
It requires an understanding of diverse perspectives, cultural sensitivities, and global nuances.
Some copywriting courses can overlook the importance of teaching students how to navigate these complexities. They may focus more on language mechanics and persuasive writing techniques, neglecting the broader context in which copywriting operates.
Some Final Thoughts on Whether Copywriting Courses Are Worth It
In the world of copywriting, education is an asset. For beginners, they offer structured learning, professional guidance, and practical experience – all of which can aid your journey to becoming a proficient copywriter.
However, it’s essential to weigh these advantages against the drawbacks.
Copywriting courses can be costly, time-consuming, and they don’t guarantee success. There are also free alternatives out there for those who have the time to seek them out.
So, are copywriting courses worth it for beginners? The answer ultimately depends on your goals, budget, and learning style. If you thrive in a structured environment with professional guidance, and are willing to invest in your future, then yes, a copywriting course may be the right choice.
However, if you’re highly self-motivated and resourceful, you can still succeed in copywriting without taking a course. In the end, what matters most is your commitment to continuous learning and improvement.