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How to Become a Copywriter

Do you have a passion for concise, clear messaging that drives people to action? The position of copywriter may be the creative, fast-paced role perfect for you.

Copywriters create compelling copy for a wide array of materials — signage, emails, social media, print, digital, and more — to promote and advertise goods and services. They also collaborate with art directors, graphic designers, digital strategists, and more to help conceive and execute new creative concepts to use in marketing and advertising campaigns.

Copywriters often work in-house as part of a company’s creative team at an advertising agency, serving a variety of clients in various industries. Besides having excellent writing and communications skills, copywriters should know how to multitask several projects at once and be great collaborators. He or she should also be able to speak to and defend the creative decisions behind their work, as well as receive and implement feedback.

The ideal candidate for a copywriting role will be self-motivated to learn the latest tools and trends of their profession. Copywriters must also be competent researchers and problem solvers, always looking for fresh ways to connect with the consumer.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is in search of an experienced copywriter. This candidate will be responsible for producing engaging, clear text for different advertising channels such as websites, advertisements, and magazines. Duties include meeting with clients to establish needs, researching keywords, producing interesting written content, and proofreading work for accuracy and quality. The copywriter should propose concepts in an engaging way for clients, carry out projects once they are approved, interpret creative direction and technical information and turn them into persuasive copy concepts, and work with clients to edit and modify their writing in order to meet content expectations. The ideal candidate will be able to work well with a team, multitask, be organized, self-motivated, and be a critical thinker. Attention to detail is a must, and knowledge of SEO is essential. This candidate must have one or more years of experience as a copywriter, or a similar role, and the ability to understand SEO and web traffic data. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Write concise and compelling copy that calls the desired audiences to action
  • Participate in kickoff meetings, status updates, and creative reviews to deliver assets that meet project objectives
  • Present creative concepts and completed assets to clients
  • Communicate clearly with external and internal contacts to ensure projects are completed on schedule and within client expectations
  • Deliver consistent brand tone and messaging across various projects and media
  • Brainstorm creative concepts for new marketing and advertising campaigns

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing, creative writing, journalism, or a similar field.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Strong command of grammar and spelling
  • Exceptional time management and organizational skills
  • Ability to adapt writing style to audiences and brand guidelines
  • Strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills

Preferred qualifications

  • 3+ years writing content for a business
  • Experience writing SEO-specific content
  • Excellent written skills and near-perfect grammar

Typical work environment

Copywriters typically work at an office desk. They can expect to be spending the majority of their time sitting at a computer where they will be researching and writing content on a daily basis. This position does have the possibility to be a remote position, depending on the company. Many copywriters will also freelance, which allows for more flexibility in their hours and environment.

Typical hours

The work hours for a copywriter are typically from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, longer or different hours may, at times, be necessary.

Available certifications

Copywriters need to be well-established researchers, writers, and proofreaders. By furthering their knowledge and skills, qualified candidates will have an advantage over others when applying for employment. Copywriters may benefit from these certifications:

  • Blackford Center for Copywriting Certificate. Blackford Center for Copywriting is a renowned online copywriting program. In this program, you will learn how to write copy and content for the web, social media, newsletters, and press releases. You will also learn the basics of SEO, how to find clients, and set up your own website. This course is available online for you to complete on your own time, and you will receive a certificate at the end.
  • American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI). The course offered by American Writers and Artists Inc. is regarded as “the world’s most popular copywriting course.” This online course is completed at your own pace and offers many benefits including how to write copy, create persuasive material, and opportunities to build up a portfolio of work in order to help establish yourself as a well-practiced copywriter.

Career path

The career path for a copywriter often begins by first earning a bachelor’s degree in fields with a strong emphasis on writing, such as creative writing, journalism, or mass communications.

Other essential requirements for any copywriter candidate include previous work experience and a strong creative portfolio. Building this portfolio by adding samples of your best work is crucial to moving up the ranks of the industry.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 27-3043

2020 Employment143,200
Projected Employment in 2030155,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 9% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift12,200 increase

As the lines between social and traditional media disappear, copywriters will continue to master new forms of communication. Curating user-generated content, and writing the supporting social media campaign copy, will become as associated with copywriting as crafting snappy ad headlines.

Copywriters looking to become more versatile will also cross-train in graphic design and layout tools such as Adobe Creative Cloud. The more “hats” a copywriter can wear, the more valuable they will be to their team as collaborators.