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Copywriting Essentials

Get Started as a Professional Copywriter

Our course shows you how to write words that sell and get paid to do what you love – writing! More detail

Upcoming course dates


StartsWeek beginning Monday 19 September 2016

Location Online
New module released each Monday.
You can complete the module any time during that week.
All you need is an internet connection.
Learn from anywhere.

WhenFive-week online course


Presenter Bernadette Schwerdt

Book Now

We run this course Online every two months (or so). Click here to be the first to know about new dates!

Course description

A course that teaches the essentials of copywriting

Get Started as a Professional Copywriter

It’s no secret that some of the world’s top novelists and screenwriters started their careers as copywriters – Fay Weldon, Peter Carey, Philip Adams, Di Morrissey, Salman Rushdie, Don DeLillo, Dorothy Sayers, to name just a few.

Sure, advertising was just a means to an end for most of them; a day job to keep them solvent until they were ready to move on (and up). But their time in advertising wasn’t a waste.

As copywriters, they learned how to write economically and on deadline; how to conduct research quickly and accurately; how to walk a mile in the shoes of another and how to vary pace, tone, and style on cue. All valuable lessons.

Copywriting defined

Not sure what copywriting is?  It’s okay, most people don’t – that’s why it’s called the ‘secret occupation’. First we’ll tell you what it isn’t – it has nothing to do with ‘copyright’; the © symbol. Instead, copywriting is the art of writing words (or ‘copy’) that sell, and the people who write those words are copywriters.

We’re surrounded by copywriting, but most of the time we just don’t know it.  TV ads, radio ads, magazine ads, websites, blogs, billboards, social media posts, brochures, packaging, signage – it’s all copy, it all sells something and someone has to write it. So, why not you?

If you’re tired of working for peanuts to support your creative endeavours, there is simply no better option than to become a professional copywriter. You get to write when you like, where you like, for whom you like, from home, with no overheads, staff or equipment needed. And you’ll get paid well to do it. This 5-part course will teach you how to get started without any prior experience.

Our training gets results

This inspirational course has kick-started the careers of some of Australia’s most successful copywriters, many of whom have gone on to have illustrious careers as creative directors, digital copywriters, copywriting ‘guns’ and more. We’ve even trained the copywriters who go on to train other copywriters!

Even if you don’t want to be a full-time copywriter, just having the skills to write great copy will give you the freedom to earn great money while you write your big novel, screenplay or blog – and you’ll learn some handy writing tips along the way that will help you in your other work, including how to overcome procrastination, deal with fear, use deadlines effectively, as well as how to write copy to help you promote your own creative work – be it a book, a movie or a play.

Featured in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and on Radio National’s Life Matters, this best-selling course is widely regarded to be one of Australia’s most successful copywriting courses for those seeking practical, real-world training that generates paid work.

You’ll learn how to:

    • Use a unique 7-step process to write great copy for any product, any service, any medium at any time
    • Build your confidence as a copywriter and charge top dollar for the work you create
    • Use tried and tested, proven headline formulas that get instant results
    • Take a Creative Brief, why you should and the disasters that await you if you don’t
    • Use sophisticated research techniques to become an instant expert on any topic and any product
    • Identify the top 10 on- and off-page SEO copywriting factors that determine how a website gets ranked (this technique alone will guarantee clients will pay you double the standard writing rate)
    • Write EDMs (electronic direct mailers), direct mail letters, and brochures using a fast-track writing process that takes your writing from average to outstanding in just 13 minutes flat! (We guarantee it.)
    • Write compelling, persuasive long-form content (blogs, articles, FAQs, ebooks) without even typing a word or picking up a pen!  If you can’t write, or don’t have time to, but really, really need to, this technique alone will be worth the cost of the course.

Who is the course for?

This introductory course is brilliant for:

  • Creative writers who want to learn the art of writing copy for profit
  • Journalists who want to add copywriting to their suite of corporate services
  • Entrepreneurs and business owners wanting to write great copy (and don’t want to pay a freelance copywriter to do it)
  • Anyone looking to dip their toe in the copywriting waters to see if the copywriting life is for them

Learn how to craft ‘words that sell’ – and unlock a limitless revenue stream you never knew you had!

If you are already a copywriter and want to build your business, have a look at our How to Build a Successful Freelance Copywriting Business course.

What people say about Bernadette

“Being my own boss is extremely rewarding (and addictive) and it all started with Bernadette’s copywriting course.”
– Belinda Weaver, leading copywriter, mother-of-one, Copywrite Matters

“I started fantasizing about escape routes and decided that the only way to manifest change was to complete your writing course. I’m living in Penang now and writing pretty much non-stop. I’ve just finished another book and about to start another. All this is largely due to you and your copywriting course!
Thank you!”
– Keith Hockton, Author

“I strongly recommend the course if you are keen on using your passion for writing to earn a good income and be a highly sought-after professional.”
– Nikhil Rughani, Big Data Analytics Specialist, Hewlett-Packard

“Before I had even reached the end of the course, I landed work experience in one of the biggest and well-known advertising agencies in Australia.”
– Melissa Anderson (now a freelance copywriter)

“The course has given me both the skills and confidence to establish my own copywriting business and I am now living my passion and dream every day.”
– Bernadette Beach, Copywriter, Indigo Consulting

“Bernadette showed me how to add copywriting as a niche to my existing VA business and now my business is booming.”
– Monique Bruggeman, Virtual Assistant, Copywriter

“From the very first call with Bernadette, I knew that the course would pay for itself many times over – and it did.”
– Lucinda Lions, Copywriter – Lion Writing


What internet connection is required?

To participate in any of our online courses, you will need high-speed internet. For us, high-speed internet means ADSL or Broadband/Cable, with a speed of 128kBps or higher.

Dial-up connections or using the internet on your phone are not recommended — you may find that the audio in the online course will pause, skip or completely stop.

Previous students have let us know that they have had no problems accessing our courses using Satellite internet or wireless broadband, but it depends on each connection.

If you’re not sure what kind of internet connection you have, there are two things you can check:

  • Speed – If you can play a YouTube video from start to finish without issues, your internet should be fast enough.
  • Download limit – We recommend contacting either the person who takes care of your internet, or your internet provider directly to see what your download limit is. Each week there will be 40-50MB worth of materials to download, so you need to make sure your internet connection will allow for that (times five for each week!) without speed limitations or excess charges.

If your connection is not fast enough but you’d still like attend the course, we recommend checking with your local library to see if you are able to download the files there.

If you can do that, you’d just need to pop them onto a USB drive and then take them home with you to listen to later.

Your presenter

  • Bernadette Schwerdt

    Bernadette Schwerdt, Online

    Bernadette Schwerdt has trained over 5,000 people in the art of writing words that sell. She is the... View Profile

Graduate testimonials

  • "It's great to have a tutor like Bernadette who knows the industry so well. I loved being able to fit the course around my busy and unpredictable schedules. The courses at Australian Writers' Centre are serious – fun, but very focused on what you need to know to achieve the goals."

    - Carole Ciavarra

    ”Bernadette - THANK YOU! The delivery and content of Copywriting Essentials far exceeded my expectations. I hung onto every word and will revisit the lessons to glean more from the hard work and expertise you generously shared. I’m truly grateful."

    - Mae Manners

    "I especially enjoyed the section on SEO and I think it will prove to be particularly useful in my small business. Bernadette has a pleasant speaking voice. I'd highly recommend it. Thank you Australian Writers' Centre!"

    - Sue Springford

    "The course was easy to follow and understand. It provided me with skills and confidence to be a copywriter. Bernadette is first class – she made everything easy to understand, kept me interested and gave excellent feedback on our assignments. The course was convenient and allowed me to do it on my own time. Every audio and handout was clearly labelled which made it all super efficient and was exactly what I expected from the Australian Writers' Centre. If writing is your passion and you seriously want to learn or improve your writing skills, you can't do better than enrolling with Australian Writers Centre."

    - Sherry Dixon

    "It was practical, to the point and very relevant. Bernadette presented the course in a very professional and very informative manner. She provided a lot of industry experience and knowledge. The whole course was an 'a-ha' moment for me. The industry experience made this course more realistic and the tips provided along the way we're very helpful. Do any course at the Australian Writers' Centre. They are all fabulous and you will get a lot out of them."

    - Vesna Pinchen