A Comprehensive Guide to Copywriting Courses
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Have you ever read advertising on the web or in print magazines and newspapers and thought, “I could do that” or even “I could write something better than that”? Have you always excelled in English and writing classes? Are you an avid reader? Are you intrigued by how words interact? If so, then a career as a copywriter might be a good choice for you.
Maybe you’re already freelancing and want to ramp up your skills to make yourself more attractive to commercial clients. Things change so often in e-commerce and digital marketing that it’s wise to invest a little time and money into keeping yourself on track with the latest copywriting skills.
What is copywriting?
Copywriting is the art and science of writing the text for advertising that appears in print, on the internet, in emails, direct mail, and in-store displays. Copywriters can work for corporations, for advertising agencies or be self-employed freelancers. More recently, digital marketing agencies have emerged. These companies often employ copywriters to work on digital advertising campaigns.
Education and training to be a copywriter.
We often ask, “do I need a college degree to be a copywriter?” It used to be that a bachelor’s degree in English or another related field was necessary to launch a career as a copywriter. The advent of the internet has changed that dramatically. Today, most employers and clients are willing to let a copywriter’s work speak for itself and aren’t so worried about degrees.
Copywriting is a specific writing skill, persuading readers to make a purchase based on your ad copy. However, to be a successful copywriter, you also need a good vocabulary and command of English grammar and composition.
Copywriting courses range from free newsletters to formal online education programs. Some are free; others have a substantial fee. Some are self-directed; instructors teach others. Some are even presented on podcasts. There are courses for beginners and others for those who want to hone their skills. We aim to help you sort through all of the entries that come up with a simple Google search of “copywriting course” and help you find the Course that best fits your interest, your experience, and, of course, your budget. (Remember, the money you spend on business education courses that relate to your existing career or that help train you for a new job can generally be deducted from your US tax return. Be sure to tell your tax advisor about your copywriting courses.)
1. Udemy “How to Become a Freelance Copywriter” Course
Udemy is a massive, private online education provider with more than 150,000 courses, each created by experts in their field. These courses are self-directed so that you can work through them at your own pace. Udemy currently offers three copywriting techniques. “How to Become a Copywriter” is their entry-level Course written by long-time copywriters Len Smith and Sean Kaye.
This course focuses on how to get started as a freelance copywriter, the business side of freelancing, and how to build an online portfolio. Some highlights of this Course include increasing your income as a copywriter, marketing and selling yourself as a copywriter, and generating new sales from a website.
“How to Become a Freelance Copywriter” is $89.99, but frequent discounts exist. The Course includes 1.5 hours of on-demand video, two minutes of audio, four articles, and an extensive collection of downloadable resources. For the fee, you get lifetime access to the Course and a downloadable certificate of completion. All Udemy courses carry a 30-day money-back guarantee.
2. Udemy “Copywriting Secrets.”
Udemy builds on “How to Become a Freelance Copywriter” with its “Copywriting Secrets” course. Es on ad writing skills like leveraging emotion, writing good copy faster (so you can make more money), and networking effectively with other writers to help grow your business.
Len Smith andCourseKaye also write this course. Urse is also $89.99, but again there are frequent discounts. The system includes three hours of on-demand videos, two articles, 44 downloadable resources, and a certificate of completion. The one-time fee gives you lifetime access to all of the course materials. All Udemy courses carry a 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. Udemy “Advanced Copywriting Strategies for Online Sales.”
The third copywriting course in Udemy’Courselog is “Advance Copywriting Strategies for Online Sales.” While it’s not required, it’s a good idea to master the other two Udemy copywriting courses before taking this third advanced course. “AdvanceCoursewriting Strategies for Online Sales” is written and presented by Brian Yang, a copywriting strategist, YouTube instructor, and publisher of Hustle & Design.
This course focuses oCourseless principles and formulas that can help drive sales within the small window of time most online shoppers give to each ad. Highlights include writing effective calls to action, writing product descriptions that give customers a reason to buy, and using testimonials to leverage your customers to sell for you.
“Advanced Copywriting Strategies for Online Sales” is $89.99, but we suggest you look for discounts again. The course material includes six hours of on-demand video, 43 minutes of on-demand audio, 13 downloadable resources, and a downloadable certificate of completion. All Udemy courses carry a 30-day money-back guarantee.
4. Landing Page Conversion Course from Unbounce
Conversions are the name of the game in online sales. If you haven’t worked with e-commerce, conversions refer to the number of people who click on an ad and make a purchase. Unbounce is a Canadian software company specializing in creating companies’ landing pages. The company shares the knowledge it gained with landing pages over the years and how to write them, so they lead to sales in its “Landing Page Conversion Course.” They also sponsor an annual Call to Action conference.
This course spans mulCoursetopics, all related to helping online pages and contacts lead to more sales. Instructors include Unbounce founder and CEO Oli Gardner, and top digital marketing experts like Rand Fishkin from Moz, ConversionXL’s Peep Laja, and Copyblogger’s Brian Clark.
“Landing Page Conversion Course” from Unbounce is free. Course material includes 11 emailed lessons with video tutorials and real-life examples. Copywriting topics include writing effective CTAs, how to write lead capture forms, landing page copy, and how to use buyer psychology.
5. Peep Laja’s Conversion Coaching Program
ConversionXL (CXL) is a provider of online marketing training courses. They offer classes on everything from content marketing to using Google Ads. The company’s CEO, Peep Laja, hosts a beautiful course on writing ad copy that converts. His eight-week Conversion Coaching Program covers various topics, including how to write ad copy that converts, what conversion optimization is, why it’s essential, and how to conduct good conversion research. There’s also a bonus ninth-week installment that focuses on how to start and operate a CRO (conversion rate optimization) agency.
Unlike most other courses, this course features Coursenstruction, with two live webinars each week and live Q&A sessions. This program is much more of a give-and-take instruction than the others.
Peep Laja’s Conversion Coaching program costs more than the other programs. However, Laja guarantees that his students will make ten times their investment in the first year by using their new knowledge. The program is $1,999, but we’ve seen periodic discounts, so keep your eyes open if you want to try this program.
6. ConversionXL Effective Website Copywriting
ConversionXL also offers a course that focuses exclusively on copywriting. This is a good choice if the previous system sounds interesting to you but costs more than you want to spend. (We understand.) The CXL “Effective Website Copywriting” course is free and takes just 13 minutes (on average) to read. But there’s a lot of great information packed into this article by Peep Laja.
The “course” covers the process of great copywriting, outlining your copy, the do’s and don’ts of writing ad copy, and boosting your ad copy’s conversion rate. The article is a must-read for anyone serious about copywriting.
7. Kopywriting Kourse
The Kopywriting Kourse promises to teach you to “write like your speak and sell like hell.” The creator of this course, Neville Coursera, is a top copywriter who was the chief copywriter for AppSumo before he struck out on this own. His AppSumo advertising emails were noted for their uniqueness, humor, and stellar conversion rates.
The Kopywriting Kourse has three components. The first is a free course aimed at beginners. This includes eight videos on topics such as “what is copywriting” and “a copywriting checklist’. It also offers a helpful list of resources for beginners and advanced copywriters.
The second part of the Kopywriting Kourse is a three-month intermediate course for $267. The third gold-level part of the Course is a year course for $999. This part offers “access to all the training, live office hours, and unlimited professional copywriting help.
The second and third-course offer access to dozens of video classes and a member forum, where you can share ideas, questions, and concerns with others taking the course.
8. AWAI’Courselerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting
AWAI stands for the American Writers and Artists Institute, an organization helping writers since 1997. Awai’s “Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting” is an excellent course for beginners looking to launch a career as a freelance copywriter. The self-guided system features “586 pages of tips, techniques, and strategies that have sold billions of dollars worth of products and services through the mail”. In addition, subscribers get the AWAI Hall of Fame e-Book, packed with the “best sales letters and direct-response ads ever written,” and a “How to Safely and Quickly Change Careers” ebook.
One of the nice perks of this program is that it gives you access to Awai’s exclusive job board, DirectResponseJobs.com.
Awai offers a free 30-day trial, so you can try it out before you have to put out any money. However, like other copywriting courses, they provide frequent discounts if you decide to keep the system; the cost of classes is 497.
While this course is designed for course beginners, Awai offers a variety of other procedures aimed at neophytes and advanced copywriters.
9. Blackford Centre for Copywriting
The Blackford Centre for Copywriting course is a comprehensive learning module that covers the essentials of copywriting. Topics include…
- Basic and advanced writing skills
- Methods to research audiences
- How to write direct mail pieces, brochures, and press releases
- Tips for writing digital marketing copy, including PPC ads, email marketing, and SEO copywriting
- How to find copywriting work online and offline
This is a self-guided course, but help from tutors is available via email or telephone. Course materials include 17 modules with both online and printed learning material. Topics include How to Become a Copywriting, Writing for Different Kinds of Web Pages, and Writing for Social Media. The tutors in this program are all practicing copywriters, so you can be assured they know what they are talking about.
The UK-based Blackford Centre for Copywriting course is one of the very few accredited copywriting courses.
The Blackford Centre offers a 60-Courseney-back guarantee if you return all materials in good condition. This program, too, is frequently offered at a discount. The cost of this course is $1165.00.
10. Copyhacker’s Conversion Copywriting 101
Conversion Copywriting 101 is an introductory course on the basics of web copywriting. Designed and taught by copywriters Lianna Patch, Sam Woods, and Amy Hebdon, this course covers topics like the difference between featCoursend benefits, How to write Google Ads campaigns, and the difference between homepages and landing pages. Access to the system is free.
The Copyhacker’s Conversion CopywritiCourse course is a perfect intro course for those who aren’t quite sure whether a copywriting career is right for them.
11. CopyHacker’s Copy School
CopyHacker’s Copy School expands on Conversion Copywriting 101 course. The course’s home page asks if you know the answer to the course’s…
“What’s the difference between a marketing campaign that generates record-breaking profits, vaults you to the top of your industry, and has you jet-setting to Lake Tahoe for your next team off-site…and one that barely breaks even and leaves you shoulder-shrugging on your postmortem Zoom call as you wonder where the heck things went so wrong?”
It’s a compelling question!
Course materials for the Copyhacker’s Copy School include 10 sample sales pages, 10 sample web pages, 10 sample sales funnel copies, 10 sample emails, 10 sample landing pages, 10 sample product launch copies, and 10 sample social media ads.
The course claims to be able to make you the “most profitCourseerson in the room.” To that end, the copy school features eight separate modules, with prices ranging from $497 to $1995. Modules include “Converting Visitors on your Website,” “How to Write 4 Complete Funnels,” and “Send Your Subscribers to Sales Pages that Convert.”
12. Experts on the Wire — Copywriting: From Unbearable to Unstoppable
This free, 1.2-hour tutorial is short but powerful, and features noted digital marketing expert Dan Shure talking with Pamela Wilson of Copyblogger about the difference between good and bad ad copy and how to save yourself from bad copy. This podcast is ideal for those people who learn best by listening versus reading. Right now, it’s only available for download on Apple devices.
13. Content Blogger Content Market Certification
Speaking of Copyblogger, this noted industry blog has its copywriting certification program. The course content includes “How to market yourself as a content marketer,” “What is the ‘buyer’s journey’ and what are the milestones,” and “The kinds of content that attract links and widen your network.” The course is divided into eight modules. You get access Course first right away, the second within a few days, and then two a week for the remainder of the course.
The course is self-directed, but you’ll be in class for Q&ACourseons each week with the instructors.
After you complete the course, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for yourCoursent Marketing Certification. A Copyblogger professional will review your coursework and offer constructive feedback, something that few of the other courses offer.
This course is $397.00.
14. SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting CCoursecation
This SEO copywriting certification course is designed specifically for those who want to write sales copy for the web. Maybe you are just starting and want to focus on web writing or leap from traditional ad copy to SEO.
This three-month, eight-lesson course covers topics like “Why smart background reseaCourseuals great copy,” “Writing prime-positioned web pages that convert like crazy,” and “Spotting new content strategy opportunities.” Course materials include print and video instruction that you’ll have access to 24/7. You’ll be granted exclusive access to twice-monthly educational conference calls with SuccessWorks CEO Heather Lloyd-Martin and other well-respected SEO experts. There’s also a designated Facebook group for course members so you can interact with other students and ask questions of the instructors.
SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting Certification course is $995.00
15. The KnowledgeBank: Sales and Persuasion Skills for Startups
This self-directed course, written by 20-year veteran copywriter Len SmiCoursecuses on copywriting for startups and entrepreneurs, particularly in the digital realm. He stresses skills that will make your copy drive sales and persuade people to buy your products and services. Highlights include “Understanding people’s motives for buying,” “How to turn needs into wants,” and “How to overcome ‘price-itis.’ Never having to sell down on price”.
Course materials include eight video lessons. The fee gives you lifetime access to the training materials. Additional and future updates (called “fireside chats”) are also included. Len is also available via email if you have any questions during or after the course.
Cost: $180. KnowledgeBank offers a 30-day monCoursek guarantee. The company also provides a free preview video to see if the course is right for you before you enroll.
16. Pixar Courseox: The Art of Storytelling
Copywriting is a form of storytelling. The best ad copy helps readers empathize with the character in the ad and feel that the person could very well be them. In addition, more and more digital advertising is done via video, so learning how to write good screen copy is a valuable skill for a copywriter.
Pixar in a Box helps subscribers hone their storytelling skills, something that can benefit almost every copywriter, from someone just entering the field to a jaded veteran. The self-directed course, sold by Khan Academy, features videos. TopicsCoursede “We are all storytellers,” “Story structure,” and “Visual language.”
Course materials include six learning modules with teaching videos and accompanying activities.
Skillshare is a business training platform that allows you to take multiple courses for one monthly subscription fee. It’s like the Netflix of online learning. All the courses are self-directed and caught on video. Skillshare offers several studies about copywriting. We particularly like the 13 classes by Jack Zerby, a copywriting veteran and the former head of Vimeo. Highlights include the basics, like “What is copywriting” and “Audience: what to ask and why,” as well as more advanced topics like “Short vs. long copy” and “Improving your skills.” There are a variety of “class projects” that accompany the videos.
In addition to the courses by Zerby, there are several dozen other courses about copywriting on Skillshare. Some of the best of these include…
- Digital Marketing: Copywriting and Blogging
- Copywriting for beginners: how to write web copy that sells without being cheesy
- Personal branding: your secret copywriting sauce
- Crappy copy: 8 digital copywriting mistakes you should avoid
- Copywriting for startups
Skillshare also has a forum where students can ask questions and share ideas.
Cost: $22.00 per month for access to all Skillshare courses. (The first 14 days of Skillshare are free.) You can save by opting for an annual subscription for $113.88 (or $9.49 per month). Skillshare also offers periodic discounts on both monthly and yearly rates.
19. Direct Marketing Association: Copywriting Essentials Course
This six-week training course taught by Clare Harrison of Full Circle Consulting differs from all of the others we’ve profiled in that it’s an interactive course. This means that you get weekly feedback on your coursework. We also like that it includes some materials on online copywriting and writing for digital marketing.
Course materials include links to the live video classes and downloadable materials to accompany the lessons.
Cost: $499.00. There are discounts for Direct Marketing Association members.
20. Direct Marketing Association: Creative Copywriting
This is a streamlined version of the Copywriting Essentials course. It features 90 minutes of on-demand video rather than the live-streaming classes, so it’s better for those who aren’t available during the middle of the day when most of the Copywriting Essentials classes are held. It’s also less expensive.
Course materials include 90 minutes of on-demand video instruction and downloadable materials to accompany the lessons.
Cost: $199.00. There are discounts for Direct Marketing Association members.
21. Media Bistro Copywriting Fundamentals Course
Media Bistro offers a wide range of resources for writers of all genres. There’s a job board, a forum where writers can interact, and a diverse collection of training courses. We particularly like the Copywriting Fundamentals course. This introductory course walks you through all the steps in developing Coursed voice and communicating that to the public via your ad copy. Highlights of this course include “When to break ‘official’ writing ruleCoursepunctuation or sentences to make copy more conversational and interesting,” “How to incorporate wordplay into your ad copy,” and “Copywriter secrets.”
Course materials include video tutorials and downloadable resources.
Cost: Media Bistro membership is $119.88 per year. That gives you access to all of MB’s dozens of online training classes, webinars, and freelance tools. There is a 14-day free trial period if you want to check out the site before joining.
22. ADMA Copywriting Essentials Course
The American Data-driven MarkeCoursend Advertisers Association sponsors this course. This is a beginner’s course, and topics include basic foundations of copy course, creative copywriting techniques, and adapting to web writing. Instructor Jon Maxim has 25 years of experience in advertising and copywriting. He is the creative director of The Maxim, an Australian digital marketing agency.
Course materials include four training modules. You can attend the class in person (if you live in Melbourne or Sydney, Australia) or watch class videos online. The course takes one day in person or eight hours online. Course $895 or $695 for ADMA members.
Books on copywriting
Not all training comes in video modules. There are some excellent books on the subject, both in ebook format and more traditional hardback. We don’t feel that we’d sufficiently cover the topic of copywriting courses by mentioning at least a few of our favorite copywriting tomes.
1. “The Copywriter’s Handbook” by Robert Bly
Our number one favorite copywriting book, “The Copywriter’s Handbook,” is a wonderfully comprehensive look at the business and the art of copywriting. Robert Bly, the author of dozens of books about commercial writing, has been a professional copywriter for over 30 years. In this book, which you’ll want near your desk as you work, he shares practical tips: “eight headline variations, fifteen ways to open a sales letter, and fifteen for ways to open email marketing messages. 432 pages.
Cost: $13.19 (paperback) from Amazon.com.
2. “The Well-Fed Writer” by Peter Bowerman
This is one of our all-time favorite books about writing. Bowerman, a self-described six-figure freelance copywriter, shares his secrets for writing good ad copy, finding good, profitable clients, managing the freelancing business, and working with other freelancers, like web designers, to improve your marketability to clients. It was updated for 2020. 368 pages.
Cost: $19.95 (softcover) or $9.95 (ebook) from wellfedwriter.com
3. “Making Ads Pay: Timeless Tips for Successful Copywriting” by John Caples
This book, written in 2011, cuts through all of the niceties to get to the essence of good copywriting–copy that sells. He analyzes real-life examples, explaining why some things work and others don’t. Those it came out a decade ago, this book has lots of good information on copywriting that is still relevant today. 256 pages.
Cost: $13.99 (paperback) from Amazon.com.
4. “Words that Sell” by Richard Bayan
This book is a must-have for any commercial writer. The premise is simple; some words evoke a better reaction than others. Bayan has researched and compiled over 6,000 words and phrases to give your ad copy the sizzle that your clients need. 160 pages.
Cost: $13.73 (paperback) or $9.99 (ebook) from Amazon.com.
5. “Creating Fat Content” by Dr. Andy Williams
This copywriting book focuses on what’s essential to writing good content for the web; it explores the art of writing 2,000 words or more that still hold the reader’s attention and persuades them to buy. In Dr. Williams’s estimation, that’s long content. Though this book was written in 2007, many tips still apply today. 160 pages.
Cost: $9.99 (paperback) or $3.79 (ebook) from Amazon.com. This ebook is offered free to Kindle Unlimited members.
Job prospects for US copywriters
Of course, most prospective students’ first question is, Coursemuch money will I make as a copywriter?” The answer to this depends on the size of the company you work for, your part of the country, and your experience. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a copywriter in the United States is $60,300, or around $30/hour. Glassdoor estimates the average copywriter’s salary to be $58,565. Both sources say the high end of the salary range exceeds $100,000.
There are two main categories of copywriters–those who work for corporations and ad agencies and those who freelance. While most of these courses focus on freelancing, the same skills can be applied to a corporate copywriting job or starting your copywriting agency with your stable copywriters.
While the world marketing arena has changed somewhat in the last couple of decades, from magazines, newspapers, and billboards to digital advertising, the basics of good copywriting remain largely the same. Being able to write reasonable, concise, and persuasive ad copy is likely to be in demand for years to come. If you’re starting your career or are a copywriting veteran, expanding your writing skills by taking one or more copywriting courses this year is sure to pay off in the long run.