How do I become an advertising copywriter?
January 2, 2010 2:05 PM   Subscribe

How do I get involved in copywriting and other creative endeavors in the advertising industry? As someone in the industry, what do you believe is essential for me to learn in order to become successful and happy? What books, blogs, etc. should I be reading?

I live in a major metropolitan area in the US that has a sizable ad industry with many big-name accounts. I like it here, so I don't plan on moving to either of the coasts.

I'm in my early 20s and have decided to get a bachelors degree. I plan to apply to a local 4-year art and design school (one of the top in the country) because I want to enroll in one of their advertising-centric programs. I'm trying to decide between their B.S. and B.F.A programs, and will be meeting with them soon to get more information.

Here's my throwaway, just in case:
posted by anonymous to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
No longer in marketing/advertising/etc. but:

Try Hey Whipple, Squeeze This for an entertaining insider's view of how the industry works and what a new person needs to do to get into it.

One skill you'll want to develop is the ability to detach yourself from your work, to stop feeling ownership of it. Because your best ideas will be rejected, and you'll need to smile, say, "No problem!" and come up with 99 more ideas on the spot.

Here's some entertaining cynicism to keep your expectations realistic:

Clients from Hell super-short stories about clients
The Process video (yes, it's really like that)
posted by PatoPata at 2:41 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Copywriter's Bible

I think I paid 9 bux for mine from a catalog. It's a fantastic piece of work, but I don't know if I would pay $145 for it second-hand on Amazon.
posted by timsteil at 3:08 PM on January 2, 2010

...your best ideas will be rejected, and you'll need to smile, say, "No problem!" and come up with 99 more ideas on the spot.


Also, after college, I attended Portfolio Center in Atlanta. It was the best decision of my life. Their programs aren't degree-seeking, but I have found that having a degree in advertising/marketing/whathaveyou isn't important— it's a portfolio jammed full of really good, smart, professional (non-student-y) work.

It's bootcamp, quite literally. You will be completing multiple grad-thesis level projects per quarter, per class. It's painful, for sure, but you'll end up with one amazing book.

You don't want to move, I know, but just thought I'd throw it out there.
posted by functionequalsform at 3:51 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

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