Copywriting Certification: The 101 On Copywriting Certificates

copywriting certification and copywriting certificates

One of the most common questions I’m asked by aspiring copywriters is ‘should I invest in a copywriting certification as a beginner?’ And the answer I always give, is that it depends on your experience and ambitions.

For example, if you’re completely new to copywriting, then a certificate could give you both skills and credibility.

It could also give you the confidence you need to start applying for jobs, or to reach out to potential clients.

However, if you’ve done some copywriting before, maybe as part of a marketing role, then you might already have the skills you need to pursue a copywriting career. You might just need some guidance on the business side of things.

Personally, when I first started working as a copywriter, I didn’t have any copywriting accreditation (although I did have a degree in English Literature and French Studies). Instead, I focused on gaining practical experience, and working with clients at a rate that reflected my abilities. I built a portfolio of work, and honed my digital marketing skills by running a website in the education sector.

The point being, copywriting certificates can be useful in certain situations. They can make you stand out from the crowd, give you a confidence boost, and improve your skills. However, they’re not a legal necessity for you to start working as a copywriter – either in-house, or freelance.

What is Copywriting Certification?

A copywriting certification is a formal recognition of your skills and understanding of copywriting. Certification is usually awarded after you’ve completed a structured course that covers the essential elements of persuasive writing.

These certifications are typically offered by educational institutions, professional organisations, or credible individuals who provide copywriting training.

Gaining a copywriting certification as a beginner can provide you with an understanding of the principles and best practices of persuasive writing. It can also provide you with a competitive edge in the job market, especially, if you’re looking to work in-house as part of a company.

What is a Certified Copywriter?

A certified copywriter is someone who has successfully completed a recognised certification course from an educational institution, professional organisation, or credible training provider. A certified copywriter is typically able to demonstrate a high level of competence in crafting persuasive and engaging copy for a range of marketing materials.

If you’re looking for employment as an in-house copywriter, then having ‘certified copywriter’ status can help you secure job interviews as it provides an added layer of assurance that you’ve already undergone some training.

It also implies a commitment to the craft, showing that you’ve invested time and money into your professional development. Certified copywriters are usually able to demonstrate theoretical knowledge and practical proficiency, making them valuable assets to marketing teams, agencies, and brands.

What Certification Do You Need to Be a Copywriter?

While you don’t actually need certification to be a copywriter, there are various options out there if you feel it would be beneficial to your career.

For example, in the UK, the College of Media and Publishing offers a certificate called The Quality Licence Scheme Certificate of Achievement. Its certification covers all the basics of copywriting, including writing for different target markets and mediums.

Other providers, such as the Institute of Data and Marketing, offer what they call an Advanced Certificate. Whereas, Joanna Wiebe’s Master of AI Copy course, offers a Master of AI Copy Certification Badge.

The certification that you need will depend on your specific goals. If you’re aiming for a broad understanding of copywriting principles, then the College of Media and Publishing’s certification could be useful. Or, if you’re looking for something a bit more specialised, then Joanna Wiebe’s AI copywriting course could be more beneficial.  

How to Get a Copywriting Certificate

Obtaining a copywriting certificate usually involves enrolling on a copywriting course, or training programme.

You’ll then complete exercises and assignments, which are usually marked by a course tutor. Once you’ve completed all assignments and achieved the required pass marks, you’ll be recognised as a certified copywriter.

You’ll then usually receive a digital or physical copywriting certificate as evidence of your expertise.

Is Pursuing a Copywriting Certificate Worth It?

As an aspiring copywriter, investing in a copywriting certificate can have several benefits. Firstly, it demonstrates your commitment to learning the craft, which can make you valuable in the eyes of employers.

Secondly, it can teach you the skills you’ll need to work as a copywriter. Personally, I think the most useful copywriting certificates are those that also provide practical assignments that you can then use as evidence in job interviews, or in an online portfolio.

Likewise, working through a structured copywriting certificate course can provide you with insights into industry best practices. It can also provide you with networking opportunities, which could be useful if you plan to start your own copywriting business.

However, you also need to weigh the investment of a copywriting certificate against potential returns. You should research the reputation of the institution (or person) offering the certification, and consider industry demand for copywriting certificates.

Personally, in all my years working as a copywriter, I’ve yet to be asked about my certifications. However, I’m almost always asked to show examples of my work.

How Do You Qualify As a Copywriter?

So, if copywriting certificates aren’t essential to working as a copywriter, then how exactly do you qualify as a copywriter?

Well, there’s no set path to becoming a qualified copywriter. And actually, the idea of a ‘qualified copywriter’ in itself is a bit of a misnomer.

Becoming a copywriter involves learning the basic principles of persuasive writing and applying them in practice to a company’s marketing materials. And you don’t necessarily need a copywriting certificate to do this.

While there are many successful copywriters out there with no academic qualifications, the ProCopywriter’s 2023 Survey finds that the majority (54%) of copywriters in the UK have an undergraduate degree.

In terms of subjects studied, 35% have a degree in English Language or Literature, 19% have a degree in Marketing, Advertising, or Communication, 19% studied Humanities, 17% studied ‘other’ subjects, and 9% studied Science or Social Science.

When asked if they had completed any copywriting training during their career, 52% said yes, and 48% said no.

Accredited Copywriting Courses

I recently wrote a post about the best copywriting courses, and I highlighted whether each one offered an accreditation or copywriting certificate. So, based on that original article, here is a (non-exhaustive) list of accredited copywriting courses to consider:

– The College of Media and Publishing

Accreditation: The Quality Licence Scheme certificate of Achievement & Accredited CMP Diploma

– The Institute of Data and Marketing

Accreditation: Advanced Certificate

– The Writers Bureau

Accreditation: Continuing Professional Development Certificate

– The Blackford Centre

Accreditation: QLS Level 4

– The Clever Copywriting School

Accreditation: The Clever Copywriting School certificate

– London Marketing Academy

Accreditation: London Marketing Academy certificate

– Copy School

Accreditation: Master of AI Copy Certification Badge

 

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How to Choose a Copywriting Course That Meets Your Needs

Are Copywriting Courses Worth it for Beginners?

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Jamie Thomson

Jamie Thomson is an award-winning senior copywriter and the owner Brand New Copy copywriting studio. With over 15 years professional writing experience, he helps companies engage with their target audience through tailored content strategies and exceptional copywriting.

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