What do copywriters actually do?

So, you can probably guess that copywriters write, but are you wondering,

“What do they write?” or “What does a copywriter actually do?”

Sure, a copywriter writes, but there is much more to it than that!

What is a copywriter?

A copywriter is someone who writes ‘copy’.

In broad terms, ‘copy’ refers to the written text that promotes or sells a product or service. This includes advertising, websites, direct mail, brochures, flyers, packaging, and other sales materials.

A copywriter is a skilled communicator. They use words and persuasive communication to sell products and services. They are often called wordsmiths or storytellers. This is because they write in a way that entertains, informs, persuades or is a combination of all three.

They don’t deal with patents or trademarks (that’s copyright), nor do they do copy-editing (re-writing other people’s words).

What do copywriters write?

Copywriters write press adverts, radio and tv adverts, billboards, direct mail, brochures, and other sales materials.

They can either be remote freelancers, contracting to a local business, in-house at a creative agency or within a company.

With an increase in online marketing, more businesses are looking for writers with marketing skills. This means copywriters can also write websites, articles, blogs, lead magnets, case studies, press releases and social media content.

Many copywriters also offer brand voice guidelines, search engine optimisation (SEO), email marketing, bid writing, pay-per-click advertising, copy-editing, and proofreading.

What specific tasks does a copywriter do?

As you can imagine, projects can vary, but here is a list of tasks a copywriter may be required to do:

  • Attend meetings to discuss new projects and define the project scope.
  • Write proposals or quotes and liaise directly with clients (freelancers).
  • Attend briefing meetings to define a project’s objectives, audience, and voice.
  • Develop concepts, create ideas and plan content.
  • Conduct research on products, services, competitors, and customers.
  • Interview employees and/or customers to determine the tone of voice.
  • Conduct keyword research for website copy, landing pages and blogs.
  • Create skeleton, or spit drafts to outline the structure and content.
  • Write headlines, body copy, and define a call to action (CTA).
  • ‘Wordsmithing’ and editing the content to make it effective and achieve the project’s goals.
  • Checking content is fully optimised for SEO.
  • Meet with clients to share and explain copy with clients.
  • Revise and amend the composition to create the best possible final product.
  • Proofread copy ready for publishing.
  • Collaborate with creative directors, web designers, graphic designers, photographers, video managers, editors, proofreaders, and media.

What training do you need to be a copywriter?

There are no specific study requirements, but you must have strong written communication and extensive research skills. Plus, you must learn how to write compelling copy that converts.

Some employers and clients prefer a tertiary qualification in a related discipline like marketing, communications, journalism, or writing.

I recommend attending courses where you can learn from other successful copywriters, such as The Blackford Centre for Copywriting and the Marketing Association NZ. Udemy also has some fantastic quick lessons, and you can consume all the information you can on Hubspot and Copyblogger.

Thank you for reading. If you found this blog helpful, please share or check out my other articles and see what takes your fancy!

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