Our copywriting course students will be aware that there’s a debate raging in the writing community about working for free.
One side says writing is a valuable skill and should always be compensated. The other side says writing for free is an acceptable way to build a portfolio and a reputation.
When you finish your copywriting course, you’re likely to find lots of unpaid opportunities to get published online and in print. If your goal is to build a full or part-time writing career, here are some questions you might like to ask yourself before going ahead.
1. If not money, what other value is being offered? It might be the chance to impress an editor, a first article in print, or a valuable addition to your portfolio. Reviewing is a good example of this. You get to attend shows for free and get a by-line, while showing off your writing skills and making contacts.
2. At what point do I stop? Once you start writing for free, it’s hard to get into a ‘paid professional’ mind-set. Set yourself a timeline and stick to it. Nominate a day to start sending out query letters to magazines and selling your writing services to publications that will pay you a good rate.
3. Why not go it alone? These days, it’s easy (and necessary) to start your own blog or online magazine. You can showcase the writing you really want to do and promote it yourself via social media.
There’s no one proven way to ‘break in’ and writing for free might make sense at the beginning of your career. Just ask yourself how each opportunity you’re offered will help you achieve your long-term writing goals.
After all, your copywriting course will have prepared you to enter the professional writing world and get well paid for your efforts.
See our copywriting courses