Whether you call the role a copy writer or copywriter, you’re essentially referring to the same...
Ever wanted to spend a day in the life of a copywriter? You may be surprised to learn that copywriters don’t actually spend all day writing clever and inspiring prose. Instead, their day-to-day responsibilities can be much more varied. Freelance copywriters, in particular, are running their own business, so their responsibilities include admin duties too.
If you’re just starting a career in copywriting and you’re wondering what the typical daily copywriter routine is like, we divulge all...
A typical day in the life of a copywriter
So, what does a copywriter do all day? Every writer's day is different, especially depending on any projects they're currently involved in or whether they work freelance, remotely or in-house at a company. That said, here is a typical rundown of tasks a copywriter needs to complete on any given day:
The morning routine
Mornings are a good time to check in and see what's come in overnight and reassess priorities. It involves:
9am: Responding to emails and messages
If you already work from home, you’ll know how important it is to have a strict morning routine, whether it’s as simple as getting up at the same time each day or showering and eating before you open your laptop.
Many copywriters will start with general admin tasks, like checking and responding to emails and taking a look at their calendar or content schedule for any upcoming deadlines. However, you may also find it's beneficial to check your social media platforms (and any you manage) now as well so you can reply to comments or publish a new post.
Another important step during the morning routine is to check any professional networks or third-party platforms you’re signed up to, like LinkedIn or agencies. This way, you’ll never miss any new messages or job opportunities, especially if a client has reached out to you and is hoping for a timely response.
Punctuality and customer service are vital skills any copywriter should master.
10am: Creating a to-do list
After handling any important messages or emails, a good copywriter will make a to-do list for the day ahead. A successful copywriter should already be skilled in managing their time and juggling a number of projects at once, but a to-do list will make prioritisation much easier, and it ensures nothing is forgotten about or missed.
Sometimes deadlines are easy and you prioritise them in deadline order. Other times you might want to break projects down into individual components and work out what's important vs what's urgent using a tool like the Eisenhower Matrix.
To boost your motivation and build momentum, you might prefer to start the day with a quick and easy task. Once this is out of the way, you'll be able to concentrate on more pressing jobs.
10:15am: Content writing and editing
The most important part of any copywriter’s day is the actual content creation. Therefore, if you have an upcoming deadline, you'll need to set aside enough time to finish the job you've been working on.
Whether this involves adding more words to complete the copy or making some final edits after a thorough proofread, this will usually be the most important task of the day. As such, it may take up the rest of the morning and even the start of the afternoon.
Some days you may be required to write SEO-optimised landing pages or an email campaign, while on others you may find yourself writing a sales brochure or copy for a digital advertisement.
The joy of copywriting is that every day brings a new challenge, even if your routine stays the same.
The afternoon routine
After taking a lunch break, most copywriters will return to the copy they were working on before dinner. However, if there's nothing else in the pipeline currently, it helps to plan ahead so you maximise every moment available:
2pm: Researching your next subject matter
Looking ahead to upcoming work, you will need to do some subject matter research before you can begin writing any new copy.
No matter the content type, to do a good job copywriters need to know as much as possible about the subject material, including specific knowledge about the service or product as well as the client.
Sometimes, clients don’t supply a lot of information, so you may need to contact them again for more guidance. However, it always pays to do your own independent research as well, so make sure you set aside some time to do this when you’re creating a to-do list - even if it’s just half an hour each day.
3pm: Completing important admin tasks
Admin tasks can be mundane and feel like a real chore, but they’re important for staying on top of impending deadlines and finances.
A copywriter’s daily administrative duties can include:
- Billing clients and filling in timesheets
- Writing invoices and contracts
- Calculating quotes
- Chasing up clients who haven’t paid their invoices
- Recording any expenses
- Processing payments
- Returning phone calls
- Responding to emails
- Creating/working to a content plan for self-promotion
- Posting or scheduling posts on social media
As with most chores, the longer you put them off, the worse they become. A good copywriter will schedule time each day to keep on top of these tasks.
4pm: Submitting proposals and finding more work
Copywriting is a competitive industry, but there are plenty of clients looking for experienced and talented writers. However, it’s important to remember they won’t all come to you, which is why a successful copywriter always sets aside time to work on new proposals.
Some days may be busier than others, so fitting this into your schedule can prove challenging. However, try scheduling some time alongside your admin duties, as some days you may find you have fewer administrative jobs to do.
5pm: End of normal duties
Once you’ve completed your to-do list for the day, it’s finally time to relax! Or is it? If you're up against a deadline, you may need to work into the evening, especially if last-minute changes are needed before a launch.
Flexible working is common amongst copywriters, particularly those who may deal with clients around the world. If that's the case, you might have to answer emails or conduct calls outside of normal office hours.
If you work from home, you may find it hard to completely switch off, but it’s important that you step away from your desk. Whether you enjoy exercising, reading or indulging in a good TV series, setting boundaries and sticking to your working hours is vital for a good work-life balance.
That said, many copywriters also have such a passion for their craft that they are constantly looking to develop. They may undertake professional training in their evenings or be active on social media and blogs, absorbing the latest trends and news in their industry.
Kate Toon, a copywriter and the founder of The Clever Copywriting School, sums up a day in the life of a copywriter perfectly:
“The truth is, we don’t spend all our time writing. As we’re running our own businesses, we also need to focus on other tasks like winning new clients, managing finances, marketing ourselves and so much more."
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Main image credits: Jazmin Quaynor