Disclosure: I don’t run, unless I’m late for the train. But I write and I run courses for copywriters.
I have never liked running. The thought of running a marathon is not that appealing to me. So why would I choose it as a metaphor for my post today? Because I respect those marathon runners for their dedication to their craft. And knowing a few people who have run marathons, I asked them about their training and what it takes and that’s when it hit me – digital copywriting training is like training for a marathon that you run every 6 months.
1. You have to be disciplined
My friends and colleagues who have run marathons cite this as the number one element of their training. You don’t just go out and run a marathon – you have to ‘earn it’. They made a plan to improve their fitness and performance to get them into shape and keep them there in the weeks leading up to the marathon itself.
Likewise, the world of the web copywriter is always changing, and if you want to keep up, you have to discipline yourself to keep pace with the changes and constantly evolve and improve your performance. You need to practice and learn new things.
Take classes, attend webinars, read blog copywriting, keep pace, keep up.
2. Reaching beyond your comfort zone leads to better results
I was told you can’t improve your running if you just run the same distance in the same amount of time, week after week. You must reach beyond your current comfort zone and set a goal of improvement and work hard to achieve it – even experiencing discomfort in the process.
The same goes for copywriting. If you want to stay in this career, be prepared to step out of your comfort zone regularly. That’s good. Stay there. Keep pushing yourself to learn something new, to write for a format you never have before. Try using social media to expand your network and discover new techniques.
3. Learn from someone who has done it before
If you are wanting to run a marathon, you could try to figure out how to get from the sofa to the 26 miles on your own, but why would you?
You would join a running club, partner with an experienced runner, get a coach, read books, and take training sessions.
The best way to learn something is to do it under the guidance of someone who’s done it – someone who can fast-track your learning curve and get you started faster than you could on your own. And that’s precisely what copywriting training can do for you. If you want to learn to write better web copy, or how to use SEO techniques in your copy, you should learn from someone who’s done it.
Support and Motivation
Of course, all this training takes its toll. A good coach or trainer is also there to give us boost when we’re feeling burnt out. That’s why when I run a copywriting course, I always tell everyone attending that I’m available after the session – months after – to answer their questions and concerns. I know this helps them because the ones that do make contact always say how great it is to feel understood.