Changing lanes: copywriting for web and social media

I'm probably about to be made redundant from my very niche subbing job, and looking at the job market it seems my best shot at finding (remote) work (because I live in Scotland and there are no jobs here) is to get savvy with copywriting for the web and socials, brush up on my SEO and all that jazz.
Can anyone recommend a course, hit me with some tips for where to start and/or suggest ways to break into the online copy world without any solid previous experience?
Is it going to be the same as clawimng my way into sub-editing, where I had to work for free for months before getting an actual job? (That was almost cute in my 20s, but now I'd rather make rent.)


  • Hi Polly!

    I second what John suggested below.

    Another great community on Twitter is the #ContentClubUK (11am every Tuesday).

    I'd also recommend giving the Hot Copy podcast a listen. I gorged on these when first starting out - couldn't get enough! Both of the hosts (Belinda Weaver and Kate Toon) have really good Facebook groups, too - great for networking and building confidence. Their courses look amazing!

    Hope it all goes well for you.

  • Hi Polly!

    I would get plugged in to some of the online communities around content and copywriting. The Pro Copywriters' Network is a great place to start ( - I've been to their conference a couple of times and it feels like a nice friendly community where you'll get good advice and contacts.

    Also there's a big community of copywriters on Twitter who can be really friendly and helpful. The #copywritersunite hashtag is a good place to start.

    If you have an interest in and/or experience of user interfaces, you might look at content design / UX (user experience) writer roles instead.

    Demand for this discipline has been growing slowly but steadily over the last few years, and I found it a refreshing change from doing more marketing-focused stuff. Content Design London offer training and things, and Sarah Richards' book is a good intro to it.

    (Disclaimer: I'm totally biased as UX work is what I do now. Always happy to answer questions about it, if that's helpful.)
  • Hey Polly,

    Completely sympathise. I had to reprofessionalise when acting jobs dried up for the forseeable future - and rent was still due.

    I agree with everything @Peter Wright said, the usual way seems to be: find your niche.

    And I'd add that a good place to start is connecting with people who may need work done - a professional website rewording/optimising, a small scale social media campaign. Maybe within your friend group or work contacts.

    As for a class, the Award in Digital Copywriting at IDM is an exceptional course to build upon your knowledge (or start from almost scratch). And you walk away with a certification, which is always nice. BUT it is expensive. So that's something you need to consider.

    As for SEO, there's lots of free courses out there for Google Analytics - including one made by Google itslef. And being able to say that you effectively know how to use those tools is always a good look.

    Hope this helps and if you have any other question on the subject feel free to ask!

  • Hi Polly. The best way to start is to first identify what kind of industry you want to be involved with, and then really focus on serving a niche - as specific as possible.

    There’s loads of people and businesses who want to add to the noise of social media/platforms but often they lack a clear strategy of what they’re trying to achieve and for who.

    If you can show you can help a certain industry by creating something that would appeal to the people they want to reach, in a focussed, specific and useful way, it doesn’t matter how few projects you’ve had, or little experience, you’ll demonstrate a skill that everyone thinks they have but few actually can demonstrate.

    And the best way to do that is to pick a niche and use the platforms available to you to produce consistent and valuable content- in this respect it’s the only portfolio that really matters.

    Show you understand the platforms and the people that use them, so when you approach a business or pitch for a project you’ll have something specific and relevant in your armoury.

    Like with any portfolio, there’s nothing stopping you assigning a project to yourself, again, so when the time comes you can talk through what you wanted to achieve.

    Authors and resources to check out when it comes to ‘marketing’ (which is essentially what this is) are: Seth Godin, Bernadette Jiwa, and Dave Trott.

    Hope it helps and if you need anything else please let me know.

  • Check out Girls In Marketing - has some great blogs on how to get into copywriting and marketing. If you'd like to chat about how to gain experience, always happy to connect ^^

You must sign up or log in before you 
add a comment.

Post reply