When I tell people about my months as a copywriting intern I usually get one of two responses:
- Oh, cool. That’ll look good on your resume.
- Oh, cool. But it sounds kind of boring.
Well yes, it does look awesome on my resume, and sure, writing about organic cotton t-shirts isn’t the most exciting topic. But I feel like it made me a better writer.
If you’re not sure what copywriting is, basically it’s writing product descriptions, website pages, media releases, and various other marketing things that people will probably never read, and getting them to buy into whatever you’re selling (seriously, when I was offered my internship, the boss asked, “How well can you write bullshit?” and I replied, “…well, I’ll give it my best shot”).
If you ever get offered an internship or a job in copywriting, here’s why you should snatch it up quick smart:
- It forces you to think about ordinary things in new ways. This is good because when you’re writing a story you need to put every day things into it to make it seem authentic (eating breakfast, having a shower, riding the bus) but you don’t want to bore your reader with it.
- Word choice is everything. If you have to condense a 300 word product description into 20 words, you’re going to learn how to condense your big bulky ideas into concise thoughts of delight that your reader will go nutso about.
- You really think about the hook, about what’s going to get the audience’s attention and make them want to listen to you. Because what’s the point of writing a book if nobody’s going to read past the first page, right?
I don’t pretend to be a great copywriter (hey, the best stuff I wrote got tossed out) but it was a job that really taught me some valuable writing skills, that no writer should pass up.