What does a copywriter do exactly?

by Harriet Swartout-Phipson

What does a copywriter do exactly

From blog posts to website content, copywriting is just about everywhere you look, and is instrumental in the creation of countless marketing campaigns, social media strategy or project. But when it comes down to defining the day to day life of someone who writes for a living, what does a copywriter do?

Read on for a day in the life of the average copywriter, and our own spin on what exactly makes copywriting a rewarding full-time job for thousands of people around the globe.

What is a copywriter?

According to the online font of knowledge The Balance, a copywriter consists of an individual who creates engaging, appealing and persuasive messages that encourage people to take an action, whether that’s purchasing a product, contacting a business or simply offering information. But that’s an expansive, general definition of what a copywriter is, and there’s much more to it than simply creating great writing from nothing.

‘Copywriter’ is a title that applies to anyone that writes anything from online blogs to specific marketing campaigns, including articles, fact sheets, emails and website copy.

If you can see well-written, professional copy on a website you’re visiting, the advertisement you’re viewing or the blog post you’re reading, you might just be looking at the work of a paid copywriter.

Though imagery is a crucial part to what makes any form of advertisement flow, it’s often the text – whether it’s an informative paragraph or simple, catchy slogan – that engages you with the product or service, and keeps it stuck in your head for longer.

For anything from small business to huge companies, Entrepreneur.com is just one of many websites that stress just how important good, persuasive sales-oriented writing is to create a successful campaign or winning product. A professional copywriter is often the person that provides that service, ensuring that the copy produced fits the target audience, advertises the product and overall does its job.

So, what does a copywriter look like?

As we previously mentioned, a copywriter is a key person for creating engaging, creative and high-quality content for use in any form of advertising or sales-oriented writing. But often the line between professional writer and copywriter can be blurred, with a great deal of crossover.

The average copywriter is adaptive and capable of putting their skills to a wide variety of different industries and mediums, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media content
  • Website copy
  • Article writing
  • Press releases
  • Marketing resources

All of these types of copywriting can fall under the umbrella of what a copywriter creates, and many can even be written on the same day. But one thing that is necessary for any copywriter is the willingness and ability to adequately research and develop their subject matter about the field they’re writing. For many copywriters, it’s a regular day-to-day occurrence to write for numerous companies or industries at once.

While some copywriters choose to specialise in one field of industry, many opt to work with many different businesses and sectors, in order to gain greater knowledge and experience as well as access to more work. Because of this flexibility, there’s an even greater need to be able to research a subject and have a basic understanding of it to create compelling content for clients.

The skills a copywriter needs

According to Hubspot, one of the key things that make a great piece of copy is its ability to provide a businesses’ customers with a new perspective on an existing product or service. In short, good copywriters provide a new point of view for a product or service, and as such flexibility is key to delivering something that is well written, easy to read and unique. In a continually flooded market, standing out has never been more critical.

Just a few of the skills that a copywriter needs to succeed are:

  • The ability to write and articulate quickly
  • The capability to research and understand a subject independently
  • The techniques required to create well-written, engaging text
  • An understanding of SEO practices and keywords
  • Excellent communications skills to work with all kinds of clients
  • A marketing or sales-based perspective for writing copy

For some people, picking up copywriting can be a natural and organic experience, allowing them to be creative with writing while still getting paid for their time and service. For someone who loves writing for marketing purposes, becoming a copywriter can be the perfect fit.

A day in the life of a copywriter

Because the basic principles of copywriting are essentially the sale, a copywriter’s ability to adapt to each piece of writing is largely based on research and development of existing work, with the help of a copywriting brief from their client. This brief will give the basic information and requirements for a copywritten piece of writing, along with the goals and even the keywords they may require.

Copy should always be engaging, give the right message, be positive about what it is selling and of course be written well. This is a large part of what a copywriter does, in combination with research and understanding of each subject.

In this way, the average copywriter has three clear parts to their role. Obtaining work, planning copy and then execution.

Once that work has been obtained, research is essential to the creation of any great copy – and takes up about half the time, or more, of the time, spent planning and creating the copy, without so much as putting your virtual pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, we suppose). Depending on the brief and familiarity with the subject matter, and how complex the copy needs to be, the time input required can vary from piece to piece.

What else does a copywriter do?

In addition to the bare basis required for the job, there can be a variety of added extras to any copywriting role. From sourcing accompanying imagery to researching keywords, working alongside a team to develop campaigns and even working on follow-up projects from impressed clients, the variability in copywriting is what makes it such an appealing position for many.

To discover more about what a copywriter does, taking a look at a copywriting agency can give you all the basics – and give you a bit more of an idea into the day-to-day lifestyle of the average copywriter. A love of writing, some skill in research and the talent to weave great copy is all in a day’s work.

Main image credit: Startup Stock Photos
Image credits: BreakingpicStokpicPixabay

Harriet Swartout-Phipson

Harriet is a 20-something Digital Marketer/Creative Copywriter based in not-so-sunny North Somerset. Her passions include writing, for business and pleasure, as well as blogging and video games.