When I first started copywriting, I didn’t even know I was actually copywriting—I fell into it by accident. Once I realized what my job title really was (I thought “freelance writer” encompassed it all, and wow was I wrong), I poured myself into studying all things copywriting. I even went back to university for continuing education in marketing and public relations. Because I’m the type of person, who likes those fancy pieces of paper on the walls. Beyond formal education, I bought all the books. After years of self-study and on-the-job experience running my 6-figure copywriting studio, here are my recommendations for the best copywriting books for beginners.
A disclaimer: All the other newbie copywriters are going to be reading lists like this and buying mostly books about how to write good copy. Those books will walk you through frameworks and formulas that other successful copywriters have developed over the years… And they work.
But from my experience, what separates okay copywriters from amazing ones that really get it… They explore outside of these books. I often read about things like:
And all that jumbles together to deliver good work to clients.
That’s why my recommendation is that you go straight to the source for a lot of the above and read the following. You’ll see there are more than just copywriting books for beginners in this list.
This book is all about how and why people make decisions. Often people think they’re being rational in their choices, but they’re not. Ariely breaks down the brain science behind that. It’s really interesting!
Why is this on the copywriting books for beginners list? Because when copywriters understand why people make decisions, it will be easier to influence the buying choices they make in relation to your client’s offers. That means no more following a framework step by step. With this knowledge, you can start to shape your own custom strategies to maximize conversions.
This book explains how there are tipping points in all movements. Whether that’s a product, a message, a viral idea, or a literal virus. The point where the scale tips in favour of widespread adoption (or infection).
Why is this on the copywriting books for beginners list? Because, this theory applies to marketing, and the best copywriters understand big-picture marketing too.
Being an entrepreneur who puts yourself out in the digital world often requires equal attention to personal development. We have the power to shape the perception of others. Often, we also have Inner wounds and beliefs that make us think who we are isn’t something to be proud of—not worth sharing. This book helps you start to accept your authentic self. Your imperfections are what make you human, and that humanness is attractive to others.
Why is this on the copywriting books for beginners list? The best copywriters have empathy for others. They truly understand what the reader is thinking and feeling, and it shows. That empathy can’t be learned—it comes from experiences. But by doing the work on yourself first, you’ll likely improve as a writer.
This one is more personal development but a bit of woo. But I think that freelancing—or entrepreneurship in general—requires a journey into yourself as well. Always improving and growing because most of business success is mindset. What you think shapes your reality.
This book is a good intro into the world of trusting that there’s a bigger plan for you. Why is this on the copywriting books for beginners list? Because the best copywriters learn how to run thriving businesses too.
I will recommend this book to the end of time. Yes, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is about personal change. But I’ve said many times before that business is human. Entrepreneurship is a journey into personal growth as well. You need to become the person who’s willing to live and work like this. The lessons you’ll learn are classics that are true STILL years later.
Why is this on the copywriting books for beginners list? Again, because being a good business person requires being the best version of yourself. It was recommended to me by the CEO of a large mining company that I interviewed once for a magazine in a past life. Listen to the people at the top of their industries—they know something.
Reading Rocket Fuel was pivotal for me in hiring a team. It helped me finally realize that I couldn’t do it all on my own. Yes, systems are great and helped me hit 6-figures, and now help the team function better. But you really need people who compliment you. The most successful businesses have a Visionary and an Integrator who work together to drive momentum forward. There are things each individual isn’t best suited for (even if they can technically do it).
Rocket Fuel ultimately helped me accept that I don’t have to do it all, even though I can. I can lean into what I am good at and have others help me to accelerate growth. That’s why it’s on the copywriting books for beginners list! Even as a solopreneur, in the beginning, you can grow from there.
You thought I was going to recommend a copywriting classic or a popular framework book, somewhere in this post, right? Sure, I can share some more of those in a different blog post (and there’s one coming here). But the way that I’ve been able to separate my style from other copywriters is drawing from other practices and areas of study.
On Writing teaches you how to be a better writer. I don’t care how many people preach that copywriting is a science because while yes, it is that first… Style separates your copy from meh copy that sounds like everyone else. So read writing books that aren’t just about copy formulas.
Finally! A copywriting-specific book. If you’re going to buy any copywriting book, make it this one. It’s a classic on every good copywriter’s bookshelf. I referenced this a lot when I was just starting out. You need it. Enough said.
This book is an introduction to the laws of attraction. You’ll have to read it for yourself to find out more!
Why is this on the copywriting books for beginners list? You’ll see that so many of the big names in biz that you follow believe in the power of something else. Mindset, the universe, whatever. Personal development (and spiritual exploration) has a place in your business-building journey.
Think and Grow Rich is an oldie in the money-making world with still very relevant lessons. It’s part money stuff. Part mindset stuff. All helpful if you’re building a copywriting business and want it to really grow. This book inspired me to jump into the first mastermind I joined, even though it was a scary investment at the time. That turned out to be the best money I ever spent in my business—you need to surround yourself with a community that gets it.
Putting these books in front of your eyes is going to help you learn… As long as you implement the things inside them. They aren’t the only thing you can do to level up, though. Building a freelance copywriting business isn’t just about learning copywriting techniques, which is why this list is more about personal development and business building than anything.
It’s also about building solid foundations of a sustainable and profitable business so that when you’re ready, you can grow and scale from there.
Those foundations are exactly what you need when you first get started. If you want to learn more of the unexpected lessons needed to build, grow, and scale a sustainable and profitable freelance business, check out 4 Steps to Profit. This free guide and workbook will help you take the first steps toward success.
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