Copywriters, or marketing writers, are in high demand. Their expertise is needed by companies and organizations of all types to better communicate with their audience. Today, the need for copywriters for businesses, both large and small, is constant. Below, our step-by-step guide on how to become a copywriter will allow you to launch your writing career.
What Is a Copywriter?
A copywriter writes the text of advertisements or publicity materials for a business or organization. From the ads you see on your computer during videos to the marketing material you receive in your mailbox, you’re constantly surrounded by the work of a copywriter.
Copywriters create marketing materials for catalogs, websites, emails, brochures, and more. This is known as copy. While some writers use words to inform people, copywriters are tasked with motivating the reader. Their goal is to get the reader to take action, make a purchase, or engage with a service, product, or company.
What Does a Copywriter Do?
A copywriter creates copy to sell products or educate consumers to get them to interact with a product or service. Their duties vary based on their responsibilities.
Meet with Clients and Executives
Copywriters must meet with their clients or account executives to discuss what the goal of the copy is. These meetings may take hours to make sure everyone has all the information needed to create compelling copy for their client.
Present Ideas to Executive or Director
As a copywriter, you have to present multiple ideas to your boss or client. Some of these ideas may be rejected. Until your client is satisfied with your approach to copy, you’ll have to keep working. Effective copy satisfies your employer, the client, and the readers.
Create Various Forms of Copy
Copywriting means any type of writing. From the few lines of text seen on small ads to blog posts that take thousands of words to create, copywriters do it all. The type of copy you must write depends on your client and your responsibilities, but a well-versed writer is capable of doing whatever is required of them.
Working with Creative Teams
Copywriters prompt people to engage with a business, product, or service. This means working with creative teams to make sure the reader seamlessly transitions from copy to purchase of the product. For example, copywriters often work with web designers to ensure their copy is represented in a way that’s attractive to the reader, easy to read, and increases their likelihood of engaging with it.
Essential Copywriter Skills
Excellent Writing Skills
Of course, a good copywriter needs to write well, from having a mastery of grammar and spelling to fully understanding punctuation and the importance of word usage.
Understanding Your Audience
Even if you’re a great writer, if you can’t understand your audience you’ll struggle with creating copy. Copywriters must be able to put themselves in the shoes of their readers. You must reach out to all sorts of people and appeal to their interests, even if those interests are unrelated to what you’re familiar with.
Keen Research Skills
One way to connect to an audience is through research. You should extensively research the topic for whatever ad you’re writing. A lot of research copywriters do comes from the web, but they may have to look into novels, reference books, or magazines to get the information they need.
Even if they aren’t an expert, a marketing writer must present information from a position of authority. This is important since the reader needs to feel as if they are being spoken to from a trusted, knowledgeable source.
Copywriters have to be creative in a variety of ways. There may be situations where you have to cover a topic that doesn’t immediately sound exciting. However, you must still create copy that excites and gets people motivated to use or purchase a product.
You’ll have to come up with a unique and creative way for people to interact with a product, even if something similar already exists. It’s a challenge, but the rewards are well worth it.
Copywriter Salaries and Job Outlook
The average salary of a copywriter is $51,000 per year. The lower salary earnings are around $37,000 and senior-level copywriters earn upwards of $75,000 per year. There are opportunities to advance your career as a marketing director or manager, which could earn you over $100,000 per year.
Factors that impact your earning potential as a copywriter include your location, experience, education, and additional skills. Those who work in specialized fields or industries can earn even more.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be no fluctuation in the number of copywriter jobs available from now to 2028.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Copywriter?
Becoming a full-time copywriter typically takes four years if you earn your bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree increases your chances of getting hired, but it isn’t required. Several successful copywriters work without earning their degrees. Not having a degree may make it more difficult for you to be hired and you’ll need to have previous work samples and a strong portfolio to convince companies or clients to work with you.
How to Become a Copywriter: A Step by Step Guide
As long as you have a passion for writing, you can become an excellent copywriter. Below is our step-by-step guide on how you can go from being a novice to a professional copywriter today.
Step 1: Learn to Write Copy
Not only do you need excellent writing skills, but you also need copy skills. You don’t need a formal education to learn this skill, but you should consider taking courses in writing and copywriting if you have no prior experience. Whether you get a bachelor’s degree or learn on your own, this is the first step.
Step 2: Choose Your Path
Copywriters can choose between two paths, either working in-house with a company or working in freelance writing. There are pros and cons to both, but choose which you feel is right for you.
Step 3: Gain Experience
If you choose to work in-house, consider working as an intern or applying to junior copywriting positions. If you want to work as a freelance copywriter, start advertising your services, offering writing services to people you know, or offering discounted work to help build your portfolio.
Step 4: Choose a Specialty
After gaining some experience and working as a marketing writer, choose a specialty. You can pick a specific industry or field to work in where you can focus all your efforts. Specializing makes scaling significantly easier and it allows you to focus your copywriting efforts.
Should You Become a Copywriter?
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does state that writing positions aren’t expected to experience significant growth, demand for copywriters still exists. Marketing writers, particularly on the web, are in high demand, especially as companies rely more and more on social media to communicate with their audiences.
Becoming a copywriter is no easy task. You should expect to get rejected a lot before you earn your first client and it takes a lot of experimenting and studying to become successful. However, if you have a love of writing, then being a copywriter is an excellent career field to get into.
How to get better at writing copy?
Write daily, create ads for your favorite companies, do research on what makes copy effective.
How to get my first copywriting client?
Offer a discounted rate or provide a short sample of your services. Create a portfolio with copy you made on your own time to show clients what they can expect to receive.
What skills do I need to become a marketing writer?
Outside of writing, it is beneficial to have knowledge and skills in search engine optimization, SEM, web writing, and to be familiar with popular content management systems, such as WordPress.
How much should I charge?
Choose rates that you feel are fair. Factor in how long it takes for you to write the copy and give yourself an hourly rate that you’re happy with.
How to get an in-house writing job?
Look for internships. Have a well-made portfolio. Take on freelance work.