Up to a point…yeah.
Depending on where your current skill level lies, I have no doubts that anyone can learn some important copywriting lessons from free internet content.
For some, this will be enough to help them in their business or career. For others it will be a starting point.
How All This “Learn Copywriting” Talk Came About
It was much too nice a day to stay inside watching college football. Temperatures in the mid-eighties under a cloudless Arizona sky beckoned a few of us to hit some golf balls and then grab lunch on the patio while we were recording the Tennessee – Alabama game for watching that evening.
At lunch, my friend Raul, who knew only that I was a writer, speaker, and coach, asked me about what it was that I wrote, spoke, and coached about. I explained that my writings were focused on providing marketing and copywriting how-to guides and tools for small businesses and emerging “wannabe better” copywriters to elevate their skills. It seemed to grab his interest, as he was dead set, so he said, on adding skills to his resume in this scary, highly uncertain economy.
Then, he came out with a question I’d not heard before, “Can I learn copywriting from Free Content on the internet”?
Good Questions Deserve Thoughtful Answers
I’d never had to actually put my thoughts in order enough that I could answer his question fully, yet concisely. So, I begged off answering until “later”.
That evening, after we watched Alabama eke out a victory against a very good Tennessee team 34 to 20 (the thrill of victory for me; the agony of defeat for Raul). I asked Raul to let me think on his question some more so I could give him a reasonably good, thoughtful, fact-based answer.
That night, when the house was quiet, I started to compile my answer.
Setting The Table
Let’s start by breaking down his question, “Can I learn copywriting from free content on the Internet?” into parts.
First, we’ll need to examine:
- Why do you want to learn copywriting?
- Who shares good, helpful, Free, content on the net?
- Why do these Content Providers post all that free content?
- Copywriting Content is my business.
- Why is most content free, but some is not?
As we progress, I’ll be using my own experiences mixed with what I know of other Content Providers, to craft the best answer possible.
1 – Why Do You Want To Learn Copywriting?
Before anyone can answer your question, they must first know your “Why”.
- Are you looking at copywriting as a career choice? (Highest level of training.)
- Are you a marketer who wants to increase results by learning to write copy better? (Level of training will vary depending on how you acquire customers, and what your goals are.)
- Do you have a J.O.B. and want to add copywriting skills to your resume? (Training level will be basic to intermediate.)
All good, solid reasons. And, as you can see, all get different answers.
2 – Who Shares Good, Helpful, FREE Copywriting Content On The Internet?
Larger amounts of Free content are usually given by people like me – experts in their fields…and usually in conjunction with their businesses.
I, personally, provide the following content about Copywriting, Marketing, and Website Strategy on open forums:
- Over one hundred articles on my blog.
- Forty “20-Second Video Tips” on YouTube.
- More than two hundred twenty TWIZDOMSä tips and quotes posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Linked-In.
- And even my 16 Lesson Audio book, “WIN the Marketing Game and STOP Wasting Money” is posted on my website.
- One hundred percent FREE.
There are many providers like me posting content in their areas of expertise. It’s up to you, the questioner, to submit a question to Google that covers exactly what you want to know. Make it too narrow, you’ll get sparse results; make it too broad you’ll be wading through hundreds of options.
3 – Why Do We Give Away All This Copywriting Content?
Content Marketers do have a very good reason for creating content and putting it out free for all to see and learn from.
Many of us write our content to answer questions that people are entering in the Search Engines, like Google, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, Bing, and others. Since Google is the elephant in the room, I will use them in my examples.
Why do we do it? So the Search Engines will find our piece of content and rank it high on the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) and that the searcher will click on, and read, our articles. Here’s an example:
- Someone enters “Will A.I. Replace Copywriters?”. I have an article by that exact name. Google will, therefore, rank that article very high on the results pages because Search Engines are really in the business of finding answers to your questions.
- Then, the searcher sees that I have an answer to his or her question, clicks on it, reads it, and then the reader and the provider have an opportunity for mutually beneficial engagement.
This is what Content Marketing is all about.
4 – Copywriting Content Is My Business
I am a Master Copywriter, and I ♥ to write.
I write about what I know best and want to share it with others interested in marketing, copywriting, and website strategy. Most – if not all – Content Providers I know, share insights and how-to’s aimed at helping readers improve their lives in fundamental ways. Most readers find our articles, tips, videos, and other content helpful in their quest to:
- Get a better job.
- Learn a new skill.
- Start a new business.
- Grow their current business.
- Work on their business, not in it.
- Be more successful in their business.
- Make more money with their business.
People follow us because they like what they’re reading and they know they can learn – and benefit – from our content.
So, Again, Why Do We Do It?
Because Content Marketers like me, own businesses that offer information products, services, and personal help to people…and (frankly) because we’re in business to make a living.
Our “advertising strategy” is to let you read, watch, and hear much of our products. Then, since you experienced me as a writer and an educator, you may wish to follow me or look into more information and/or in depth training. To these people, I offer my online “How To Write Copy” System as a solution to their needs.
And this can lead to a beautiful, win-win relationship.
5 –The 3 Levels Of Internet Content And What They Mean To You
Our businesses are built on our own experiences, knowledge, and skills – and we want to pass this on to our readers.
We content providers generally segment our content into three levels:
- Get It Fully Free – Huge amounts of content are there for you in whatever you’re looking for. Just click and read, listen, or watch. Helpful, but Incomplete – that is to say, the content delivers what it promises – “What To”, “How-To”, and “Why-To” information. These pieces can’t go much deeper simply because a 1200-2000 word article would easily turn into a 20,000 word book.
- Get It Free with Opt-In – You can have this content if you’ll give us your name and your email address. By opting-in to this content you are giving permission to the provider to communicate with you (usually through emails) about the subject area you are interested in. Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time. What you get in exchange is a Very Helpful, but still Somewhat Incomplete piece.
- Get Content For $ – by a subscription, purchase, or membership – this is how we pay the bills and have the resources to create the content, websites, videos, graphics, and hopefully make a nice profit. Extremely Helpful, Very Complete Content. For example, in addition to hundreds of free content pieces, the member area for my product consists of:
- 4 Courses.
- 3 Tutorials.
- 7 Loaded Toolboxes.
- Over 100 original articles all in one place.
- 53 Videos and Audios with hours of material.
- 87 full Marketing & Copywriting How-To Guides.
- 35 Templates, Checklists, Case Studies, and Self-Tests.
- 32 Infographics, Study Guides and Writing Companions.
- Unlimited email support plus the ability to get personal coaching.
I am, and I know my Content Marketing colleagues are, proud of what we bring to our followers, friends, and subscribers.
OK…So, How Much Can I Expect To Learn From Free Content On The Internet?
The short and sweet answer to my friend and to you is, “As much as you want to…” with the caveat that you may find you want to take your training to a higher level, in which case, it may require a financial commitment.
It depends on your goals, needs, and (yes) pocketbook.
- If you are looking for a few tips – you can have those in spades – and virtually all are Fully Free.
- If you want study guides/infographics, newsletters, self-tests, or full checklists, you’ll have opt-in with your name and email address. You’ll be getting some relevant emails, articles of the week, and so on – and even an offer or two. If you don’t want these perks, you can also unsubscribe from that email list.
- If you’re looking to learn all the techniques, strategies, and secrets we have practiced and perfected over a career, you can become a paid member (as I am with a few of my favorite Content sites). What’s really important is, that in my experience, the Value of the tools, information, and advice you get is almost always much greater than the cost – and there’s generally a way of contacting the author with questions.
Look, I tried Facebook ads to attract more interested people to site. I tried Linked In Navigator. But it wasn’t until a good friend suggested I put my hundreds of valuable content pieces out for all to see, that I understood the value of Content Marketing. I realized the good it does for both the reader and provider. I became a convert.
So, Let’s Recap
- Content Marketing is a way to let everyone take a massive amount of helpful, relevant content for a free “test drive”.
- Internet Content is plentiful and easy to access, whatever your area of interest.
- When you’re ready to go deep, you can purchase, or become a paid member to, the courses, information products, master classes, one-on-one coaching, even “Done 4 U” services providers may offer.
- Most sites will give you a Money-back guarantee or a free trial. Beware of sites that don’t.
- You are always in control. Go as far as your dreams and talents take you.
Remember – Success is a journey. Learn and Prosper.
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