If you’ve ever slogged your way through reading a piece of marketing and only finished reading because you had to, then you’ve experienced bad content marketing. When I speak to companies about content marketing I tell them that content is good if they genuinely want to read it. Content is great if they’re willing to pay to read it. If you want to see great examples of content, just look at what you’ve paid to read, watch, or listen to lately. If you watched The Lego Movie this year, you saw one of the greatest examples of content marketing to date. Oh, you thought they made that movie in order to sell movie tickets? Think again. That was a 100 minute toy commercial, and rather than using a DVR to skip it you paid good money to watch it. Is it any coincidence that Lego recently leapfrogged Mattel, the creators of Barbie, to become the largest toy company in the world? You may not have the budget to make a feature film to promote your company, but you can still give potential customers valuable information.
You may also want to consider doing an internship at a publication you hope to work for full time in the future to make connections with editors and other writers at the publication. Many of these internships will likely not be paid, at least not at first. Be prepared to receive compensation in the form of connections and contacts. But be wary of being taken advantage of as free labor. If you feel uncomfortable working for free, try to find internships that pay.
The easiest way to get started is to apply to write content for a content writing service or freelance job board. Content writing services create business relationships with companies that need content and provide writers to write that content. Freelance job boards are sites that allow writers to make individual profiles and vie for jobs posted directly by the client.
Thanks for this write-up Nev. I know it is old but I just started getting my hands dirty copywriting. I have read your book on copywriting (this book will teach you to write better..) and I have read all the boron letters too. I have done some little (copy) writing (mostly sales page without any intent of them being a great copy, just a necessity I had to go through). I must thank you for all these resources. My writing has gone up by over 1000% doing all the stuff here. I figured out I need to communicate clearly and use conversational style and that is just what your writing style is and what you advocate for (Imagine! this was easy for me to write. Damn!. Normally I will struggle to have my thoughts gathered together for this kind of writing). I am still practising, I have to thank you again. As for the tripple skills threat, I am a web developer (I have an engineering degree (masters), which makes this even a more sweet spot for me). I am able to apply writing clear copies to write clear code (least effort, no convolutions or complicated ideas if not needed). Damn, I enjoyed writing this piece. Feels like I finally get my word(s) across. Thank you and please recommend me how else I can improve.
I’ve just set up my own website, now, and those early gigs have provided some great testimonials, which is a huge boost to confidence. I used Blogger for my own website – it’s free, apart from a fiver a year for a custom domain, and it’s surprising how versatile Blogger can be, with a little practice. I’m now ready to start doing all the things Neville recommends in the above article, and the future looks loaded with potential.