David Ryan

A distance learning course studentI enrolled to add another string to my freelancing bow. Subediting work has been slowly drying up in the past few years and I wanted to diversify.

I was very happy with the course. I’ve tried reading teach-yourself-copywriting books, but they’re no substitute for working with a tutor.

I looked forward to getting my assignments back from Lucy, my tutor. Her feedback was insightful and her encouragement much appreciated.

I’ll probably have to revisit some of it because, frankly, you could get through an assignment without absorbing the whole lesson. But on the whole, it was comprehensive. As an old-school print journalist, I’ll be following up the web/SEO stuff in my own time, watching YouTube videos and so on.

I learned the basics of copywriting, but there were a lot of basics that will no doubt come in useful. It was a confidence-booster in the sense that, after 27 years as a print journalist, I could see how my skills could be useful in a different line of work. Some of it – like writing punchy copy and headlines – was second nature to me. That said, working through the assignments was genuinely worthwhile. It forced me to think commercially and, quite often, laterally.

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