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Getting a Job in the Cigar Industry
Written by James Payne

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

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Aside from blogging or writing reviews for magazines, there are several other jobs available for the wanna-be cigar writer.

The first of these is as an ad copywriter. This job, like most writing jobs, comes in three varieties: Full-time, freelance, and unemployed.

If you get a job as a full-time cigar ad copywriter, odds are you will be working at a tobacco company, doing in-house advertising. To my knowledge there are no companies that ONLY do cigar advertising.

To get in the door, a good education does not hurt. You will want a background in marketing, media, advertising, or at the very least, journalism. It also helps to have a portfolio of published clips, but if you do not have any, never fear – one of the great things about creative jobs is that talent and ability actually count for something. If you have no clips or published material, sit down and make up about 25 ads for real or fake cigar companies. If you are not graphically inclined, ask a friend who is, or shell out a few bucks to get some samples – in the long run it will be worth it.

The object of advertising is to sell items. Period. Most people breeze past ads, or – at best – spend a around ten seconds looking at them. To be successful, you have to hold the readers attention and give them an effective call-to-action (advertising lingo for “make the client buy this”).

Ad copywriters do not only do print publications of course, so be prepared to have a working knowledge (and samples) of radio scripts and television scripts. Once again, get a friend or hire a professional to help you make a portfolio. If you are low on funds and friends, check out a local college and post a sign for actors, cinematographers, and editors. Students need to build a good portfolio just as badly as you do, and are often willing to work for free if you can help them create a good product.

Another writing job is web copywriter. This job is similar to both the ad copywriter and the article writer, but a little more specialized. To do the job effectively, you must have a working knowledge in search engine optimization or SEO. SEO, in layman terms, is the technique used to get good rankings in the major search engines.

You will want to know such things as keyword density, how to work with meta-tags, keyword analysis, and so forth.

In addition to helping cigar sites rank high on the search engines, you will also likely be asked to write cigar reviews, product descriptions, internet ads, FAQs, glossaries, and so forth.

Summary

I hope you have enjoyed this first article in our series on getting a job in the cigar industry. In truth, I could write an entire book on the writing business, and still have some things to discuss, but like most things in life, sometimes a little push in the right direction is all a person needs. I hope this, or one of the future articles, can do that for you.

Thanks for reading!






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