How To Become a Copywriter: Types, Skills and Salary

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A copywriter writes with the goal of convincing and influencing an audience to buy a product or service. A copywriter has an inherent grasp of human motivation and the ability to influence decision-making through words. If you like writing, you could consider working as a copywriter. In this article, we discuss what a copywriter does, what skills you need in this role as well as how to become a copywriter.

What is a copywriter?

A copywriter is someone who creates convincing written material for online or print advertising and marketing. They create content and communicate to customers with persuasive writing that aims to educate, attract and captivate readers to make a purchase in both the short and long term. A copywriter may take a client's advertising brief or strategy and produce ideas to capture the attention of the target audience. When creating copy, every element and phrase serves a purpose, so it's important for these professionals to have great attention to detail, tone and word choice.

As a copywriter, the expectation is for you to deliver a well-written and error-free text to aid in marketing and product development. Copywriters are responsible for creating compelling material that can be delivered through different channels. They usually work on many projects at once and are adept at multitasking. The content pieces they may produce include:

  • Emails

  • Value proposition

  • Headline tags

  • Direct mail pieces

  • Media campaigns and catalogues

  • Press releases

  • Presentations

  • Video scripts

  • Billboards

  • Advertising brochures and flyers

  • Radio advertisements

  • Television plugs

  • Blog posts

  • Landing pages

  • Magazine advertisements

  • Social media advertisements

How to become a copywriter

As with any other occupation, there's no single road to accomplishment. Yet, there are a few essential steps you can take to be successful in this field. Although a degree is not required for copywriting, a background in journalism, marketing or writing might help you become more marketable. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to become a copywriter:

1. Comprehend the fundamental concepts of copywriting

Being a successful copywriter entails more than just following simple instructions and conveying material properly. Copywriting necessitates a thorough grasp of consumer demands as well as human psychology. The role needs the ability to rapidly and efficiently capture the audience's attention while organising text, images and call-to-action components in an engaging way. As a basic requirement, it's important to understand the basics of persuasive writing and the core copywriting skills to produce a compelling headline, landing page, advertisement, sales email, video script and value proposition.

2. Understand why organisations employ copywriters

Being aware of your target audience is an important part of developing a successful marketing strategy. Understanding why organisations employ copywriters enables you to advertise and appeal to their requirements on a fundamental level. Firms, enterprises and other organisations typically produce a huge volume of unique material in order to spark the attention of their customers. Hiring a copywriter allows these organisations to deliver and maintain a consistent and attractive brand tone, image and communication.

3. Define and preserve your niche

Identify and retain a customer base that's interested in what you know. This can assist you in establishing a reputation as a copywriter in a certain field and may optimise your outcomes. For example, if you like travelling, you may concentrate on writing travel blogs. You can opt to have a broad niche like travel, or you can narrow it further down to specific regions to travel to.

4. Curate a portfolio

Often known as a "Minimum Viable Portfolio (MVP)," a copywriting portfolio is a collection of sample work tailored to the interests of a customer. An MVP is a writing sample of your meticulously produced work that is around 200 to 400 words in length and serves as a clear reflection of the writing quality you deliver to your clients. It's concise and succinct, but it needs to be well-written and error-free to demonstrate your competence to prospective employers.

5. Understand the market and know how to promote yourself

As a copywriter, one of your goals is to entice, maintain and acquire new customers for your clients through language, brand placement and persuasiveness. To acquire clients for yourself, fully grasping the fundamentals of advertising is important. As a copywriter, you can incorporate marketing tactics and gimmicks, product placement, target market, brand identification and brand identity into your copywriting approach to attract clients.

What are the different types of copywriters?

Generally, there are three main types of copywriters:

1. Agency copywriters

Agency copywriters work for a company that has numerous clients. As an agency copywriter, you typically have a full-time job during normal working hours. You may frequently execute tasks that require innovation to assist clients in developing and establishing their brand identity.

2. Corporate copywriters

Corporate copywriters often have better job security and may exclusively write for products supplied by the business for which they work. Corporate copywriters typically write on a more constant subject matter. As such, you may not be required to exercise a lot of creativity and innovation as a corporate copywriter.

3. Freelance copywriters

Freelance copywriting provides the most flexibility in terms of the topic, job type and time commitment. Your schedule and workload are quite flexible, and freelance copywriters may take on as many or as few projects as they choose. That said, your take-home pay may fluctuate monthly.

What skills do you need to become a copywriter?

Copywriting is a talent that can be refined through time and with practice. Although the criteria for being a copywriter vary greatly depending on your specialisation and employer, here are some of the most common hard and soft skills you might need:

  • Refined writing, reading, editing and proofreading skills

  • Inquisitive nature

  • A wide vocabulary

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Research and interview skills

  • Active listening

  • Creative thinking

  • Ability to accept feedback and improve

  • Familiarity with different online content management strategies

  • Attention to detail

  • Verbal and nonverbal communication skills

  • Ability to view situations from a different perspective

  • Awareness of user experience

  • Strong time management and organisation skills

  • Awareness of various marketing strategies

  • Experience with search engine optimisation (SEO)

Related: 10 Best Skills To Include on a Resume

4 ways to get clients

Getting clients is a priority for both seasoned copywriters and new copywriters without experience. There are different ways you can attract and acquire clients, including these four techniques:

1. Cold pitches

Cold pitching is a direct technique of contacting prospective clients that may aid in the development of a relationship with your target audience and possible clients. A cold pitch refers to a series of emails sent to a specific group of prospective clients you haven't talked to before, persuading them to use your services. In these emails, you can introduce yourself, describe your services and explain how you can assist their organisation. In your pitch, you can also include your portfolio to encourage your recipient to take action.

2. Job advertisements

Employment boards are often updated on a daily basis and serve as an efficient method to see and filter numerous opportunities. This technique enables you to select which possibilities pique your attention and acquire some good leads. In addition to job boards, you can look into specific company websites that you're interested in.

3. Referrals

A referral is an effective growth marketing strategy. Once you've gained some experience, ask your clients if they'd be willing to suggest others to you or perhaps write a review for you and your work. This type of word-of-mouth marketing is extremely effective for acquiring new customers.

4. Social networking platforms

Advertising your services on social media networks is a simple method to gain recognition. Provide consistent information and make certain that what you present is useful information rather than a mere advertisement that people may overlook. You want to draw attention to yourself, demonstrate your abilities and position yourself as a copywriting specialist.

How much does a copywriter earn?

As a copywriter, your pay might vary depending on your availability, time commitment, level of expertise and experience, educational background and the demands and timing of a project's needs. A copywriter with a track record of generating copy that helps customers increase revenue might possibly earn more. The average salary for a copywriter is $3,820 per month, which translates to almost $46,000 per year.

Can anyone become a copywriter?

You can be a copywriter with minimal writing experience, but you may need a basic grasp of appropriate grammar, spelling, proofreading and sentence structure to begin your career. To be successful in copywriting, it's important to be passionate about the writing process as well as the challenge of enticing an audience with your writing. You can be a successful copywriter as long as you continuously strive to generate high-quality material to satisfy your client's specific requirements.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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