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How to Write a Copywriting Sample

Updated on June 17, 2016
VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne works as a copywriter and has published over 600 pieces. She specializes in writing blogs and website copy.

Where Can You Write to Earn Money?

Interested in getting started writing website content? Website content writing can be done for many online companies like Constant Content, Textbroker, and Zerys (Interact Media) and more.

What is Copywriting?

Basically, website content writing means that you are contracted to write copy for company websites. The most common assignments are:

  • Blogs: Most company websites have blogs that give the customers information that either directs them towards the products of services of the company, demonstrates the expertise of the company or gives the customer interesting facts.you will write on a topic assigned to you to explain something related to the business.
  • Websites: You can also be assigned to write the copy that appears on a website to describe their business or product. Sometimes you will be re-writing the content that is poorly written on an older website.

How to Start

Sometimes the company hires you freelance, or sometimes it is a website designer which orders the copy. Getting started in copywriting doesn't require any special training. If you have good basic writing skills and are willing to learn, you can get started. You just need to:

  1. Sign up with a Website Content provider.
  2. Provide a Sample Writing portfolio.
  3. Provide a profile and other information.
  4. Set up a Paypal account if you don't have one.

Earn money writing online.
Earn money writing online. | Source

How to Write Your Sample Copy

Tip #1: Write Something New

I did a terrible job in my sample copy because I had no idea what type of writing copywriters did or what sort of clients Interact Media was planning to attract. Not really knowing what to do, I picked something I'd already written for my MOPS group, "Celebrating Advent with Children" for my sample. Bad idea. It wasn't written in the style of the sample with headers and bullets, so I ended up totally re-writing it anyway and taking a long time. You can follow the link to look at what I wrote for a sample (which unfortunately I can't change or take off the web) but don't use it as a good example.

Copy Sample to Imitate

Here is a good example of what you should write for your copywriting sample. This one is a blog post for a medical office.

How to Keep Healthy During Flu Season

Feeling stressed about keeping healthy during the flu season? Here are some tips to balance your health and family:

Get Flu Shots for Everyone

Although the flu shot or mist is not 100% effective, you can reduce the chances of getting the flu and usually reduce the severity of symptoms and length of the illness if you do get a flu shot. Getting the shot earlier in the season is best because it allows full immunity to develop by the time the flu arrives.

Schedule Rest, Exercise and Good Nutrition

Especially during the flu season, you need to take care of your body through regular rest, exercise and good nutrition. Make a schedule for your family for bedtimes and exercise. Be sure you do that for yourself too. Spending time each week to plan healthy menus can make sure you aren't tempted to get fast food after a tiring day.

Prepare for Family Illness

No time is a good time for a person in your family to be sick. However, if you have a plan, you can reduce stress. Be prepared by:

  • Purchasing medicine for illness ahead of time.
  • Teaching family how to reduce spreading germs.
  • Plan for how to isolate ill family member.
  • Practicing good hand washing at home.
  • Not sharing towels or using paper towels.

Take Time for Yourself

Stress can weaken your immune system, so balance care of your family with self-care. Relax, take a walk, read a book or chat with friends!

2. Don't Use a Something You Want to Post Elsewhere

If you do use something you've already written, make sure it isn't something you might want to post elsewhere later. Eventually, I really regretted submitting "Celebrating Advent with Children" because Interact Media takes the copyright of the piece and posts it on their own pages. When I later decided I would like to post it on my website, I had to start all over.

Very Flexible Job

Writing online is a job that you can do 24/7.
Writing online is a job that you can do 24/7. | Source

What is your interest in copywriting?

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3. Write a Business Style Blog

Interact Media says you can write about any topic you want for your sample, but I think you will do better if you remember the bulk of the clients for copywriting are businesses that need the copy for their websites. Blog posts are a common assignment and are pretty easy to write and find on the internet. Here are some of the common businesses that give a lot of assignments on Interact Media:

  • Plumbing blog
  • HVAC company blog
  • SEO marketing advice blog
  • Using Social media in business blog
  • Insurance
  • Doctor or Dentist
  • Construction Company

Many of the clients are small businesses that are seeking to generate more sales through offering information on their website in a blog that makes them seem like a reliable source. Choose a small business you know something about and look at their blogs. You won't have to be an expert in the business to write blog copy since information is easy to research on the internet. When you are asked to write an assignment, your client will often give you that information, but for this sample copy, you'll have to do your own research but it shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

Another Sample

This sample copy was written for a wedding planner who specializes in organizing unique wedding events at exotic locations.

Pre-Planning Trip Tips

Excited about your wedding location? Taking a pre-planning trip is a terrific way to work out the details. Make the most of your trip with these three tips:

Schedule the Wedding Season

If possible travel to your location at the same time of year as your wedding. That helps you see details that might fulfill or destroy your dreams. One location might have enchanting snow-covered mountains that are exactly what you've pictured for your winter wedding, while another otherwise beautiful location does not. Or a beach location might not be what you envisioned because there are too many tourists during that season.

Limit Your Choices

Bite the bullet and narrow your visit to two venues. If you don't, you'll spend too much time on the venue choice, leaving no time left for tasting menus, looking at flowers or checking out other details. Telling properties you need to maximize your time can get them to roll out the red carpet! Arrange with destination wedding planner to get the best recommendations for vendors.

Fly Red-Eye

Maximize your time with morning arrival. Use the transportation company that transfers guests to establish a relationship with them. Ask them about area excursions. You will want to know what to suggest for your guests. Maybe you can get ideas for your honeymoon too!

Finally, take a day of your pre-planning trip to enjoy local life. Don't forget, planning your wedding can be just as much fun as the day itself!

Check Your Grammar on Online Writing Copy

Excellent grammar skills are a plus if you want to make top dollar online writing.
Excellent grammar skills are a plus if you want to make top dollar online writing. | Source

4. Write Easy to Read, Engaging Text with Bullets and Headers

Remember that most people reading on the web are looking for the important information. They "scan" rather than read. You are probably doing that right now! So make your points easy to see by using:

  • Headlines with only 2-3 sentences of text underneath each.
  • Active verbs.
  • Concise wording--edit out unnecessary words.
  • Bullet points instead of text when possible.

Sample Assignment: When to Call a Plumber

You would write tips about what you can do as a homeowner to clean drains and what situations need a plumber's help.
You would write tips about what you can do as a homeowner to clean drains and what situations need a plumber's help. | Source

5. Remember You Can Always Improve Your Rating

Lastly, it is important to remember not to get discouraged if your initial star rating isn't too high because your clients can quickly raise that rating up so you have access to more jobs.

I ended up with a 3 star rating on Interact Media, which limited the number of jobs I could do initially. That, and the fact that Interact Media was just getting started at the time I signed up meant that I didn't really get started writing until about 5 months later. However, after accepting a number of assignments from the job board, I managed to get a few regular clients. One of those clients regularly gave me 5 star ratings, so my overall rating went up to five stars pretty quickly.

Currently, about half my income is from direct assignments from regular clients. The other work I do is from the job board. In the first 8 months of copy writing, I wrote over 250 articles while also writing 150 Hubs, teaching college English part-time and managing my family of 5 children. If you have fewer irons in the fire, you might be able to write more! There are other copy writing companies also, like Text Broker, so you could probably earn a full-time salary if you worked for several companies

What Kind of Money Can You Make?

After you get used to the system, you can probably make about $10-$20 an hour. I currently earn about $500 a month writing part time for one site. If you want a full-time income from writing online, you will probably need to work for more than one site since there are times when there are not too many good assignments available.

For a couple of years, I took a break from copywriting to focus on HubPages, but this year I went back to work for Zerys (Interact Media) and found that there are more jobs available now than when I started there four years ago. Moreover, I am generally paid a bit more than before. I'm also starting to get some regular clients who want 4 blogs a month. The longer I write for a client, the easier it is to do their assignments and that means I can write more quickly and earn more per hour of work. I'm using this extra income to help put my son through college.

Whether you want to pay for extra expenses or pay your regular bills, copywriting can be a good way to have flexible work from home.

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    • profile image

      Kalyn Story 2 months ago

      This article is super helpful for me as a journalist looking to work in online media! Thanks!

    • VirginiaLynne profile image
      Author

      Virginia Kearney 2 months ago from United States

      Bray, You could become a writer at HubPages about football or any other topic if you wanted. You just need to know more about a topic than other people. To write copy for websites, you need to sign up and do a sample first. How well you do on the sample determines what sort of pay you are ging to get.

    • profile image

      Bravvion Roy 2 months ago

      It surprises me that if you want to be copywriter it doesn't take any training or nothing.

    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana Zakinov 17 months ago from California

      Thanks for the advice! I like that you used your personal experience as an example. I always prefer that to just fact-stating writing.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E. Franklin 17 months ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I'm not planning to do any copywriting at this point, but it's great seeing the process through your eyes. It makes me feel more confident that if I ever want to do it, I can. I found this helpful. And congrats on the HOTD!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 17 months ago from the short journey

      Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for this intro to copy writing. I did a little of this years ago for a friend's business but did not feel I had enough knowledge about web writing at the time. It's more simple than it sounds and explanations like this one are helpful. I see you updated this in July and am wondering if you do that every year for this hub.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 17 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      This sounds real interesting, Virginia. It sounds hard to do. Congrats on HOTD!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This was very helpful advice VirginiaLynne. I knew very little about copywriting before but was interesting in finding out more. This hub helped.Congratulations on Hub of the Day even though it is three years old.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 17 months ago from sunny Florida

      Such simple, straightforward suggestions Virginia....

      I read it to become more informed not because I plan to pursue this as a job. However I do know some who might be interested so will be passing this information on to them.

      Angels are on the way to you this early morning hour. ps

      Congrats on HOTD...well deserved.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image
      Author

      Virginia Kearney 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks honeybee2u--hope this is helpful!

    • honeybee2u profile image

      honeybee2u 4 years ago from PNG

      Virginia, this is a very detailed informative hub and thank you for sharing. You style of writing makes it so easy to understand copywriting. Voted up.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image
      Author

      Virginia Kearney 4 years ago from United States

      Sarah--Terrific--I hope you will come back and share how it goes for you! Virginia

    • Sarah and CJ profile image

      Sarah and CJ 4 years ago

      Thank you for the tips. I am ready to start copywriting and am signing up today!

    • VirginiaLynne profile image
      Author

      Virginia Kearney 4 years ago from United States

      Let me know if you do try copywriting! I'd like to hear more about how this works for other people.

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      I enjoyed reading this and would like to look into copywriting. Thanks for the great hub and good luck gathering up that money for college.

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