The best books and courses for aspiring copywriters
Hello, aspiring copywriter.
So, you want to soak up EVEN more knowledge?
Well, this time I’ll be handing the reins over to other people. Other experts. Other copywriting gurus. Other ‘been there, done that’ legends.
Word Tonic is a great hub to learn, grow, and connect with other like-minded young and aspiring copywriters, but I always think it’s a good idea to spread your wings and get as much knowledge as possible.
Knowledge that’s curated from lots of different viewpoints and perspectives.
Now, I know what you’re thinking.
“But this is YOUR list! Isn’t that a bit biased?”
That’s my point - this list wasn’t just written by me. I also took the time to speak to a whole bunch of other industry-leading copywriters to get their opinion too.
Let’s dive in.
1. The Creative Copywriter Academy
Whether you want to freelance, go in-house, or haven’t got that part figured out yet - The Creative Copywriter Academy is an amazing resource for new and aspiring copywriters.
Trust me, I enrolled in the program myself.
It’s that good.
And if you’re thinking about a course that’s dry, dull, and achingly boring to read - The Academy isn’t it.
It’s actually fun to read and will give you solid tips on how to become a better writer and how to set yourself up as a freelance copywriter.
You’ll even get a chance to build up your own little portfolio and can have a go at writing tasks (and if you’re really good, your work might even get displayed in their emails).
The other big BONUS?
If you complete the course and have built up a quality portfolio, they’ll even put you down on their copywriting roster.
If any work comes in that’s too small for them, they might just hand it to you.
Seems like a pretty good return on investment, right?
2. Dark Angels
Part community and part learning hub, Dark Angels is a creative writing club for business.
The motto here?
Perfect and play with your creative writing and you’ll become an even better copywriter.
Now, I don’t know about you but I love creative writing.
It was the thing that got me into ‘writing’ in the first place. Poems. Stories. Whatever I felt like conjuring up.
And Dark Angels is all about honing that skill and exercising your creative writing muscles.
As well as running in-person workshops, Dark Angels also does a few weekly Zoom sessions - free of charge - to help get your writing muscles all fired up.
3. Freelancer Magazine
I first discovered Freelancer Magazine back in April.
I’ve been hooked ever since.
Now, this is a mag completely dedicated to freelancers - so it’s best suited to those of you who are dead-set on freelancing or at least toying with the idea.
For just £10 every three months, you can get your hands on lots of tips, tricks, and tools to accelerate your freelance career.
It’s also nice to know that there are others out there - other freelancers - who are going through the same struggles and challenges that you are.
4. Writing Down The Bones
This was one recommended to me by a copywriter friend of mine.
Writing Down The Bones is essentially a guide on how to write copy that’s cleaner and less messy.
Combining her expertise with zen meditation, Natalie Goldberg - author and industry-leading copywriter - puts a quirky spin on what it takes to develop your copywriting skills.
If you’ve ever struggled with going over the word count in dissertations or exams, then this one’s for you.
5. 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing
I read this book in under 24 hours.
You know those books that suck you in and make you forget about time?
Well, that’s 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing.
The author - Gary Provost - was an author of more than a thousand published books and non-fiction pieces - and in this book, he explores 100 ways you can improve your writing, step by step.
Everything is stripped back to the basics - from grammar and punctuation to the power of proper editing - so you can level up your copy from all corners.
6. Dark Angels On Writing
Dark Angels On Writing might (possibly) be my favourite copywriting book of all time.
As you might have guessed, it’s all about bringing a little more creativity into your business writing.
And the best part is that it’s split into multiple sections, each written by a different copywriter/author/tone-of-voice specialist.
Alongside tips and tricks, you’ll also get given a little prompt at the end of each section to help put what you’ve learned into practice.
7. How to Write Funny
Any comedy clowns out there?
There is a whole niche dedicated to writing funny copy, so if that’s your thing - definitely go after it.
But even if you’re not a gifted comedy writer, How To Write Funny will open up your eyes to the power of wit in writing.
It’s not easy to write funny. Making people laugh at black and white lines is very rare indeed. But it happens. And Scott Dikkers - a renowned comedy writer - is one of those people who know how to make it happen.
Here, he’ll share his tips for teasing your inner clown out. So you can stifle a giggle or two out of your readers.
8. Any poetry or novel (ever)
Any at all?
When it comes to poetry and fiction, things can get a little personal.
What I like will probably be very different from what you like and vice versa - so, I’m not going to bore you with my fave poet or novel.
But what I will do is encourage you to read books and poems.
Read as many of them as you can.
All the non-fiction stuff is great for honing your craft, but books and novels, and made-up stories can help pique your creativity and give you the inspiration to write things differently.
To not be so samey-samey.
Listen to the way words sound. The way words move. The kind of impact they have on you as a reader.
You can bring all of that into copywriting by simply focusing on the way your words sound. The way you order sentences. The way you use punctuation.
Use full stops to signal an abrupt pause. Em-dashes to speed up the tempo. And conjunctions to continue the flow.
You get my drift.
9. My newsletter?
Okay, I’m being cheeky.
But I had to.
I mean, the Word Tonic Newsletter kind of combines all these things - creativity, copywriting tricks, and career tips - all into one neat little email. There’ll even be opportunities to spotlight subscribers and their achievements.
It’s like one of these super-food shots you get at the supermarket (acai or whatever).
The only difference is that it doesn’t leave some weird grassy sour taste in your mouth.