Copywriting is basically writing words to promote something, so in a sense you're writing words to market something or someone. Copywriters find work in all sorts of incredible ways, and since corporations or businesspeople often need copy quickly, copywriting can be an amazingly fast and legitimate way to make money.
The first way to make money copywriting is to take a phone book (do those still exist? Why yes, they do!), especially the yellow pages, and start contacting local businesses. Develop a professional query letter outlining the sorts of copywriting you're willing to do for them. The types of products businesses need include, but certainly aren't limited to:
- Newsletters, either old-school or online
- Blog posts
- Updates to websites
- Fresh website content
- Catalogue descriptions
- Flyer information and product descriptions
- Email marketing materials (or fax marketing materials)
Basically any type of written material that a business or corporation needs to use to conduct business needs to be written at some point by a copywriter! Some small businesses will obviously do their own copywriting, but taking out a phone book or using an online directory of local businesses will provide you with plenty of opportunities to send an email query (or, to grab more attention you might want to send out actual letters in the mail) to inquire about writing for that company.
You might be surprised by how quickly this can net you fresh writing work.
If you've never written copy before...
Don't stress! The thing that matters most in copywriting is that you can write words that make people want to take action: to sign up for a newsletter, or to purchase a new car, or to regularly visit a website. Take note of websites and copywritten materials (either received in your email inbox or as 'junk mail' in your real mailbox) and start noting what you like and don't like about what those copywriters have written. You can train yourself to become a copywriter - no expense necessary!
If, on the other hand, you'd like to arm yourself with some How To books from pros who know, then check out these beauties from Amazon on all the ins and outs of copywriting:
The Copywriter's Handbook, Third Edition: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells
The Idea Writers: Copywriting in a New Media and Marketing Era (Advertising Age)