What is a Copywriter? Career Guide to Salary, Skills & More



Copywriting Career Overview and Guide

Can you craft writing that inspires people to take action? If so, a copywriting career might prove a good match for your talents.

Take a look at this guide to copywriting to understand what’s involved in this profession.

What Does a Copywriter Do?

Think of copywriters as salespeople. They don’t go door-to-door or make cold calls, but they persuade others to buy products and services through carefully chosen language.

Any company trying to attract customers can benefit from the skills of a copywriter. A few examples of copywriting include:

  • A digital ad touting the coolness of a new type of sneaker
  • A radio script about the effectiveness of a weight loss program
  • A catchy jingle on a TV commercial that spurs looking for that brand of cereal the next time you shop
  • An email sent directly to executives promoting a leadership conference
  • A leaflet for high school seniors handed out by State University’s rep at an educational fair
  • A print ad in a magazine that lures consumers to try a concealer that covers up under-eye circles

Copywriting vs. Content Writing

Some confusion exists over the difference between copywriting and content writing. Job seekers should know what each one entails in order to apply for positions best matching their interests and talents.

Copywriting is as a type of communication aimed at getting a target audience to do something, such as buying the employer’s brand of potato chips, making a call to find out how to lower insurance rates, or clicking on a link within an ad to learn more about a restaurant chain’s revamped menu. Effective copywriting often thrives on emotional language designed to stir a response.

Content writing, by contrast, puts an emphasis on building relationships with people so that they come to like and trust the company’s brand. Material created by content writers—such as blogs, social media posts, white papers, and e-books—tends to be more educational. The writing may not even mention specific products or services.

For instance, a diaper manufacturer could attract new parents to its website to read a daily blog featuring childrearing tips. The company still wants the consumers’ business, but it attracts attention in a less direct manner.

Skills Needed as a Copywriter

Copywriters are creative wordsmiths capable of choosing just the right thing to say to convince their audience to take action. They also have a good feel for additional material that might give their words more power, such as an eye-catching photo or a powerful headline. Copywriters need to be effective multitaskers since they commonly juggle several projects simultaneously.

Good interpersonal skills benefit copywriters because they usually work with clients. Listening carefully and asking pertinent questions help copywriters understand objectives. And possessing patience comes in handy when dissatisfied employers ask for rewrites.

Education for Copywriters

Copywriters frequently hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in English, advertising, communications, creative writing, or marketing. Since writing effective copy involves a strong understanding of the target audience and what moves them to pay attention and engage, knowledge of psychological and sociological concepts is a huge plus. Empathy also ties into this.

Copywriter Salary

Glassdoor reports the average copywriting salary as $60,296 per year. Professionals with a strong portfolio of well-received work for past employers or clients command the highest wages.

How to Find Copywriting Jobs

Advertising agencies and company marketing departments hire copywriters for their staff. Many copywriters, however, take on short-term projects or are self-employed. To get a better picture of all the exciting, flexible opportunities available, check out FlexJobs’ copywriting job openings.

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