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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 27 June 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

  • “I learned so many new skills and techniques which has changed my approach to copywriting – for the better! Bernadette was fantastic – really inspiring. I got constructive feedback from my assignments. I have done several courses with the Australian Writers' Centre; all of them have been great but this was fantastic.“

    - Christina Farrington

    "I like how my class had that enthusiasm for learning. I also like that the audio and presentations were able to be downloaded. I was able to sync both audio and presentations to my iPad to listen and follow on the train to work. Very convenient. Bernadette is very good at what she does. I liked her humour and her ability to explain concepts simply. The Australian Writers' Centre's courses will get you started in writing. They give you the confidence to take your writing to the next level. Whether you want to make writing a career or take your hobby up a couple of notches, they can help you."

    - Alan Taylor

    "I loved Bernadette's conversational presentation. I felt like I was actually in a classroom, face to face with her. Bernadette combined theory and her own experience seamlessly, making her information both useful and fun. The online classroom was easy and convenient, as it allowed me to complete the course at a time that worked for me. If you want a convenient, useful course that's also value for money, take a look at Australian Writers Centre."

    - Fran Tann

    "What I enjoyed most about the course was the challenge posed by each of the homework assignments. These increased in length and complexity over the five weeks, so that by the end of the course we had all the tools we needed to write a complete advertisement. Bernadette came across as very passionate and knowledgeable. Her friendly, conversational tone and personal anecdotes not only made the tutorials easy to listen to, but enjoyable as well, and she went out of her way to ensure that each participant received personalised feedback for every assignment. I recommend this course to anyone who is interested in learning more about copywriting. Having studied writing at university and online through the Australian Writers' Centre, I believe AWC courses are the best way to go for anyone who is serious about their writing career. Since no grades are given, the atmosphere is less rigid, allowing for greater creative freedom. I felt less pressured to "get it right" than I did when I knew my degree was depending on it. Completing this course gave me the courage to start my own blog, which is something I had always wanted to do, but put off due to lack of confidence. Now, after two weeks, I have more followers than posts! Bernadette's insistence on being proactive also convinced me to start sending out pitches. I have already had one success in this area after a prominent international website agreed to publish my piece. I can't thank you all enough!"

    - Samara Rowling

    "Bernadette was an engaging presenter. I particularly liked the way she presented copywriting as a very real opportunity and backed it up with some tricks of the trade. Each module was useful and practical. The course has provided great foundation for me to change my career. I didn't have to spend too many hours per week to do course work and assignments. The online component was easy and convenient. I could fit the lessons and assignments in to my week without feeling stressed, while holding down a full-time job."

    - Jody Boyle