The digital marketing world is booming and everyone needs content. That’s not going to change anytime soon. If you’re a word nerd and you want to become a freelance copywriter, these are (in my opinion) some of the best books on copywriting, writing, the creative process, and mindset. Which you’ll need if you wanna hang with the big kids, aka start a career as a freelance copywriter.
Without further ado, here is my list of books for freelance copywriters who want to learn, improve, and build a successful business.
Yep let’s just get the boring stuff over right now. I had to read this in college and I must admit, it made me a better writer. That’s probably why it’s still a standard on many “best copywriting books” lists. It’s not as funny or entertaining as other titles on this list, but it’s a go-to reference for questions about grammar and style. Remember, you gotta learn the rules before you can break ‘em.
Did you know that one of history’s most legendary copywriters did time for tax fraud? And that while he was doing time, he wrote a series of letters to his son that went on to become a cult classic in the copywriting world? Yep. I’m telling you, this is a great business.
Gary Halbert has written plenty of multi-million dollar earning campaigns for household brands in all kinds of industries. And he managed to turn his prison experience into a pretty sweet deal. I think it’s safe to say he gets it.
Hey Whipple is a must-read if you want to understand writing for the ad biz (and I’m pretty sure you do). This book goes way beyond practical tips like “use active voice”. Luke Sullivan and Sam Bennett offer tips from like a billion years in the ad business on what makes great ads great…and what makes them suck.
Best of all, it’s full of examples of award-winning ads, which is something I always preach to my freelance copywriter mentees (contact me if you want to learn more!) : you get better at writing copy by studying great copy.
Comparisonitis is real. Imposter syndrome is really real. Mindset is everything if you wanna make it any sort of online business. This book will set you up for success, and remind you that you can freaking do this, no matter how many times you’ve had to scrounge in the couch cushions for change…I’ve read it twice.
Yes, it’s a mindset book and not a “how to write better copy” book…well, that’s another list (and I provide a lot more resources in my 1-to-1 mentoring program)! This list includes resources for “becoming a freelance copywriter”. And like I said, you’ll need a winning mindset if you want to make it in the copywriting game.
As a freelance copywriter, you’re always looking for ways to improve your skills and grow your business. “The Copywriter’s Handbook” by Robert W. Bly can help you do just that.
Bly’s guide covers everything from understanding your audience to crafting killer headlines, writing persuasive sales copy, and using online marketing strategies. He also provides practical advice on setting up your copywriting business, finding clients, and pricing your services.
What I love about this book is that it’s highly actionable. Bly provides real-world examples and exercises throughout the book, so you can practice and implement what you’ve learned. It’s also easy to navigate, making it a handy reference tool for copywriters at any stage of their career. If you’re looking for a super comprehensive resource to help you improve your craft and grow your business, this book is an excellent place to start.
Buuuuuut wait, that’s not all! *game show announcer voice*
There are actually a LOT more books on copywriting out there. And I’ll make a confession – I haven’t read them all. So I won’t include them here. But oh man have I read a lot of blogs and read a crapton of threads in Slack groups. I may have even furiously googled email examples for a client project or two.
Well, friend, now you get to benefit from my
years of googling research experience. Heck yeah, paying it forward!
Because I wuv you and I don’t want you to have to spend as much time as I did figuring all this stuff out, here’s 5 bonus resources to help you level up your copy game, like, yesterday.
*according to me and a bunch of other working copywriters
Guidance and insider knowledge are exactly what you’ll get from a one-hour, one-on-one mentoring sesh with me.
One nugget I’ll share with you right now is, I wish I’d learned sooner to think like a business, not a freelancer.