As a copywriter, there’s lots of information we need to stay on top of. Some of that we can get by asking clients or fellow copywriters. But a lot of that information? We can find it ourselves.
Just like your time is valuable, so is your clients’ time. You certainly want to reach out when you can’t find information that you need to move forward on a project.
But you also want to do your due diligence in finding as much information as possible before asking your clients for it, particularly if the question isn’t related to internal company knowledge.
There is so much information in the public domain and there are several sites you’ll want to bookmark so you have them handy if you need them. Create a folder for “Copywriting Resources” or, if you start to have too many copywriting resources, sub folders that get specific: taxes, Facebook ad specs (not to be confused with spec ads!), Google ad specs, etc.
Getting organized now will set you up for success later! Here are a few sites worth bookmarking and having at the ready.
Facebook Ads Library
Search any company name in the Facebook Ads Library to find out what ads they’re currently running. This can help you get inspiration by seeing what other brands across an array of industries are doing and see what your client’s competitors are doing.
View details on a specific ad to see amount the company spent, the number of impressions, and who was shown the ad, and where viewers were located.
Bookmark this site:
- Facebook – Ads Library
When you’re writing ads, you’ll sometimes need to adhere to specific character counts. This is especially true on social media and search ads where not adhering to character counts means your ad either won’t run or text may be cut off, making for a message that doesn’t read as you intended.
Bookmark these sites:
- Google – Search ad specs (note: some clients may refer to these as “text ads”)
- Google – Responsive search ads
- Facebook – Ads Guide (note: make sure you choose the right type of ad – image, video, carousel, or collection, as well as the “ad placement” to see the given specs).
- LinkedIn – Best practices (as with Facebook, make sure you’re choosing the right type of ad).
- Twitter – Campaign types
- Snapchat – Ad formats
With copywriting, you don’t necessarily have to play by the rules when it comes to things like punctuation and grammar (especially in places like a headline), but you do need to play by the rules when it comes to advertising policies.
While you don’t need to memorize the rules, it’s handy to review policies if you’re working on a project for a client that involves one of these platforms.
Bookmark these sites:
- Google – Ad Policies
- Facebook – Ad Policies
- LinkedIn – Ad Policies
- Twitter – Ad Policies
- Snapchat – Ad Policies
You do not need to be a grammar expert to be a successful copywriter. That said, the best copywriters always strive to deliver clean copy. If you have a grammar question, Grammar Girl is the go-to. Use the search function to find answers to your specific question.
If you’re planning on freelancing (a.k.a. being self-employed), you’ll want to bookmark the IRS self-employment tax page, so come tax season you don’t have that deer-in-headlights look of, “what do I do again?”
Publication 505 is another handy resource for figuring out how to pay estimated taxes. Rules can change slightly year to year, so you’ll want to make sure you brush up (or get your accountant to stay on top of it for you).
And, when you’re self-employed, you have the bonus of being able to contribute to a retirement plan as the employer and the employee, which can come with some major tax benefits. You’ll want to read up on the rules and, again, talk with your accountant if you’re unsure. We can’t say it enough: we are not tax preparation experts, accountants, or lawyers, so be sure to always consult the pros with any questions.
Bookmark these sites:
- IRS – Self-employment tax
- IRS – Publication 505 – Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax
- IRS – Calculating retirement plan contribution and deduction (self employed)
- IRS – Tax Withholding Estimator (Note: When you use the calculator, step 4 will ask you about jobs where federal taxes are regularly withheld. Those who are 100% freelance will want to select “no,” or “0” for yourself if your spouse has a W-2 job. Step 5 allows you to check “Earn net income from self-employment.”
And, of course, it’s worth bookmarking the Filthy Rich Writer site in case you have a copy-related question you need to search. 🙂
Your turn! Do you have any go-to websites that we missed? Share them in the comments!