Do you want to know how a copywriter works differently than a content writer and what are career options for a copywriter? This article will answer these and other related questions.
Advertising your products and services doesn’t always get you intended results for your sale, this is because the words on your website, marketing emails, brochure, and ads are not compelling enough to the audience at making them decide on a purchase. This is a very important factor in your marketing campaigns and a tool for success in the industry because nobody can know if your brand exists unless they are being told in an effective manner.
Copywriters, that is why play a crucial role in developing your business because their words are going to introduce your brand to the people and the more his/her words are compelling, the more you’ll be able to boost your business. Whether you sell DIY home tools or offer insurance services, the way your copywriters put words on the doc will make a huge difference. For hiring an experienced copywriter or wanting to be the one, you must know what is a copywriter? and what education and skills are required to kick off a successful career as a copywriter.
What is copy?
Copy is a piece of text used for advertising, or other forms of marketing to market products and other forms of services. Any piece of text you see in Facebook ads, in emails, billboards, and in sales script, is the work of a copywriter. The main purpose of a copy/text is to make people take action such as sign up for a newsletter, register for a webinar, and make a purchase.
Words, no doubt carries much weight to build an inspiring thought in a human mind that can compete him/her to take immediate action. The usage of the right words in the right manner is what defines the work of a copywriter what is it for. Copy is different from content which is another effective tool for marketing. Where content convinces the reader of an argument to be true or beneficial, its primary goal is not to make an immediate sale right away.
Copywriting definition is the act or occupation of writing a text for marketing and advertisement. The product is known as copy or sales copy whose aim is to increase brand awareness, and eventually, persuade a person to take (intended) action. Copywriters help create billboards, catalogs, brochures, jingle lyrics, newspaper and magazine advertisements, sales letters, and other direct mail, taglines, whitepapers, television or radio commercials, social media and website posts, and other marketing communications.
A copy writer creates a clear and compelling copy for an audience to sell products, and educate consumers. Their focus while writing is on flexing persuasive writing muscle on the website, product descriptions, banner advertising, PSAs, and blog posts for social media including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Their work includes constant brainstorming, developing storyboards, engaging with marketing and other creative departments to develop communication strategies, and ensuring pertinent as well as consistent brand messaging, including voice and tone, across TV, print, radio, direct, and other modes of communication.
An ordinary working day for a copywriter might start by researching a topic online or conducting an interview to figure out how to formulate an engaging story or message in order to convey an idea to get it across to the relevant audience. Then writing and editing the copy, and finding images to accompany the text.
What education and skills are required for being a copywriter?
Traditionally, the amount of education needed for being a copywriter was a Bachelor’s degree in English, Journalism, Marketing, or Advertising. This is still required for in-house copywriters. But with the changing dynamics of education and mode of working, freelance copywriters now can learn from online courses and mentors. Many interview clients now require and accept writing samples over formal copywriting credentials that can be learned through various channels of learning.
Besides formal education, much focus is needed on practice if an individual is serious about pursuing copywriting as a career. Creative writing skills are essential for a successful copywriting career. For that, like other things, writing improves with practice. Also, because copywriters have to write for a variety of companies and fields, a strong potential to learn different subjects is also needed.
Working on soft skills is crucial as the writer has to learn about the companies so that he/she can write with confidence which requires a blend of curiosity, and persistency on top of the ability to pinpoint relevant data. An experienced manager Felber says “I look for someone who is deeply interested in almost everything”. He goes further saying, “copywriters who have strong journalism or education background are often curious people who go the extra mile and enjoy finding a story in anything and everything. You may dream of selling a novel, but you’ll find enjoyment even in writing about dogs beds or atrial fibrillation”.
With these skills, you are more likely to produce engaging copy that addresses the issues to resolve that matter the most to the targeted audiences. Here are some of the important soft skills that a copywriter must constantly work on them:
- Empathy and emotional intelligence
- Ability to take direction
- Fast learning ability with a growth mindset
- Persuasive communication
- Sense oh humor
With soft skills, you also have to polish your hard skills; specific knowledge, or abilities you’ll use to do a copywriters job. No doubt copywriting is different from regular writing which only needs careful writing with correct sentence structure and no grammatical mistakes. Copywriting on the other hand requires strong foundations of marketing skills which requires them to be strategic marketers and creative thinkers, especially as they gain experience with time. So a copywriter should keep on working on:
- Research skills
- Knowledge of strategic marketing
- Writing and wordsmithing skills, including copywriting-specific skills and knowledge
- Basic SEO skills
- Knowledge of punctuation, spelling, and grammar
- Familiarity with content management systems
- Familiarity with digital publishing platforms
- Knowledge of social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
Marketing is an ever-changing field, so you’ll also have to remain up-to-date with the changing dynamics, marketing trends, and emerging marketing technology as part of your ongoing professional development.
As there is not one single route to a copywriter career, there is a variety of ways that can help you to develop a successful career in the field. Your education and skills are among the possible ways to start working while some certifications may also enhance your writing and job of copywriter ability, such as:
- Marketing certificate programs from universities, colleges, and online platforms
- Google ads certification from Google Skillshop
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) training such as from Hubspot academy, or SEMrush academy.
Copywriters are mostly hired in advertising agencies, marketing departments, copywriting agencies, public relations firms, or are self-employed as freelancers. In advertising companies, copywriters are hired as part of a creative team where they are partnered with creative directors or art directors. They write a script or copy for an advertisement based largely on information obtained from the client.
The job as a copywriter description for an art director includes looking for visual aspects of advertisement and particularly in the case of print work. He may oversee production. Any member of the team can come up with an overall idea, typically known in the field as a concept. This way, the process of collaboration often improves the work and enhances production.
Copywriting agencies combine with a range of editorial and associate services that may include messaging and positioning consulting, search engine optimization, social media, development editing, proofreading, copy editing, speechwriting, fact-checking, and page layout. Depending on the nature of work, some agencies employ in-house copywriters, while others use external freelancers and contractors.
Digital marketing agencies often hire copywriters whether freelancers or employees, that focus, especially on digital communication. In that case, sometimes the work of a copywriter may overlap with that of a content writer as they’ll need to write social media advertisements, online landing pages, Google advertisements, and email copy that is persuasive.
This new wave of copywriting came into being in the digital era which has made the discipline more accessible. But there is a downside to this in the result of globalization because of the variety of copywriters who offer different rates, the work of most skilled copywriters in this regard has been largely devalued.
Copywriters also work in-house for retail chains, book publishers, or other related fields that advertise frequently. They also work for advertorials for newspapers, broadcasters, and magazines. Those who want to work individually find work as independent contractors or freelancers, writing for a variety of clients. They can work at the client’s office, a coffeehouse, a coworking office, or remotely from home.
The career of copywriters is similar to the technical writers and their work overlaps to a greater extent. In a broader sense, technical writing is dedicated to informing and instructing rather than pursuing them for a specific cause. For instance, a copywriter writes an advertisement to sell a car, while a technical writer writes the operator’s manual explaining how to use it.
Difference between copywriting and content writing
Content creation plays a role in the spine of the digital world. It’s common knowledge that users will not know about your business unless they see some content about your work. Content is a driving force in all digital marketing campaigns including search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), advertising campaigns, and social media marketing (SMM). each piece of content is an opportunity for you to connect with your potential customers.
As a matter of fact, there are different types of content, there is content writing as well as copywriting. While both are used in digital marketing campaigns but both serve different purposes. If you are new to a digital marketing campaign, you should know the nuances of both to protect them properly.
Following are some differences between both content writing and copywriting:
A copywriter sells while a content writer informs
A copywriter sells your brand to the target audience through various channels while a content writer educates, informs, instructs, and entertains readers. Sonia Simone, founding partner of Copyblogger Media explains the difference by saying, “Copy, traditionally, is what we use to make the sale, its aim is to produce, content, on the other hand, does everything else. It attracts an audience, engages their sustained attention, demonstrates your ability to solve their problems, and paves the way for an eventual purchase”
Content writers lay the groundwork for future sales
Although the direct aim of content writing is not making sales are an indirect result of producing valuable content. The founder and CEO of Groove state that “Trust is a huge driver of buying decisions in any industry. Blogging, for Groove, was a really effective way to build that trust before we had much of anything to show”
He further says that “Our online presence has massively impacted by the success of the blog, and it has driven referrals and signups from customers who otherwise might have never heard of Groove”.
Copywriters create a sense of urgency and inspire an emotional response
Copywriters aim to make people take immediate action such as they’ll want readers to download something, signup for a newsletter, or buy a product. As the Director of Content at Super Connector Media explains that “to win the click or sale, you must not only answer the reader’s question of ‘why this’ but also answer ‘why this now’.
“Copywriters thread urgency and scarcity into a headline to elicit fast action, content writers, on the other hand, want to build an engaged audience. As we mentioned above, they want to establish trust and position the brand as a reliable source of information”.
Content writers are generally more focused on SEO
Content writers are usually hired to attract inbound traffic, so expert writers are great t SEO. They will help you select topics based on search terms that will compensate for your business goals. When you hire a content writer, it is hard to tell how much knowledge they are in SEO but you can look for focus keywords in their sample articles.
A focus keyword is the main search term a page is optimized for, so an expert content writer will use it in the page title, the first header (H1), and throughout the body copy and also will distribute throughout subheadings. Victor Ijidola of Premium Content Shop shares a helpful tip saying “look through their samples; see if they have optimized any content piece for a specific keyword in the past so you can know if they’ll be able to do the same for your content”.
Content writers contribute to a long-term strategy
Matrics like click-through rates and open rates are good indicators of identifying the effectiveness of a copywriter. Content, on the other hand, takes time to pay off as it’s not easy to measure it in the short term.
SDMO at Wellspring Digital says that “An SEO you should trust is the one that tells you that this stuff takes time because it does. If you look back at all the algorithm updates from Google in 2013, there is one constant and that is a better user experience”. Although it is time taking and not so easy process but know that the value gained content from the blogs and articles has a longer shelf life. As compared to email or ad, articles and blogs have staying power that continues to pay off over time.
Content writers drive organic traffic, copywriters turn that traffic into leads
The efforts made by content writers result in gathering traffic on the web while copywriters convert the traffic into leads and sales. Founder of Keys&Copy, Jessica Foster explains that “While SEO experts and business owners would love to get the best of both worlds, content that’s made to attract organic traffic and get a high conversion rate, the reality is that SEO content is best at driving traffic and sales
Copywriting tips for B2B companies, from professional copywriters
Whether you are a seasonal copywriter, new to the job, or someone who’s just trying to improve the quality of your business website’s copy to gather more traffic, you should consider taking advice from experts who have gone through the same road, you have just started paving off. Here are 10 effective tips you can consider to instantly improve your online content:
● Priorities information
Taking into consideration the mindset of the readers, you should prioritize information in your copy, because most of them are not patient readers and can easily give up on your text if it fails to grab their attention from the very beginning. As the attention span of the reader is not constant throughout the read, you have to manage your content in an engaging way so that don’t get bored just in one or two minutes’ read.
● Remove extra words
Consider these two statements; “our program coordinates services to create a continuum of progress that will empower small business workers”, “Our program gives power to small business owners”.
You’ve surely noticed that both of the statements are conveying exactly the same idea but the selection of words make them distinct and likely to read. So, when you write, be precise with your words and avoid using hefty words and long sentences.
● Highlight important information
Highlighting keywords and important phrases will catch the immediate attention of the reader and if they find the bold phrases catchy, they will continue reading. You have to ensure that your headings stand out. Emphasis helps readers decide if you are giving them what they want, and it helps them scan.
● Shorten paragraphs and add white space
It is important to have a good knowledge of how writing and designing work together. Explain one idea in one paragraph and maintain a proportional balance of text and images. Remember that the look of your copy and page will decide the rate per click so it has to be attractive in both text and design in order to produce eye-catching and scannable content.
● Speak plainly and in jargon
The more your speech is easy to read and plain, the more the reader will give time to read and understand it because it will make sense to him. Contrary to that, if you drag one point in two paragraphs, accompany it with lengthy sentences, the reader will quickly give up reading. So instead of saying “the company has commenced a period of formal consultation on its proposals to establish two new amalgamated branches”, you can write “The company is considering the proposal for opening two combined stores”.
● Make peace with SEO
Being a copywriter, you know the strong relationship between content and SEO. So, as you want to stock your website and blog with great keywords for search engines, you need to avoid SEO mistakes and make a strong SEO plan. Realize that no matter how effective the content is, if it lacks SEO guidelines, it will struggle for better marketing.
● Give readers quality and quantity
While writing a copy, you should focus on producing effective content. Don’t just duplicate words but try to incorporate relevant information in interactive language. Because readers leave the article if they realize their time is being wasted. For instance, if you write an article on ‘how to lay the cultural foundation for digital transformation, your next article on ‘how to avoid culture pitfalls when implementing cloud technology’ should not repeat previous things and contain distinct content.
● Check grammar again
It might seem cliche or common sense but if a reader finds any type of grammar mistake, he will imprint a weak image of your business. Misspelled words and typos change the perception of customers about your work as a whole. So try not to make such mistakes because you’ll pay a much bigger price if you lose the audience.
● Replace description with images where you can
Words can describe everything for the reader but images leave the more clear images and help people understand the idea even in a more clear way. So, as you write your copy, try to add images of any idea that you think can make more sense in images than words. It will not only catch the reader’s attention but they’ll spend more time on your copy.
For instance, your small business offers a storage solution and you have to give an explanation of how will it work in simple terms. Don’t describe how will you arrange different items in shelves and boxes, rather find pictures that best describe your idea. Replace words with before and after photos of your work.
● Make honest titles
Remember that the content you are producing is not only for one-time reading but it should be engaging enough to pursue the readers to come back to your work as they find it up-dated, easy, and simply answers the questions they are looking for. Make relevant titles and make sure what you are writing under the title matches exactly with the title.
Don’t let your content be anything less than outstanding. These ten points can help you improve your work. Try to keep on checking the work your website is producing and remain updated on new techniques and trends so that you don’t fall short on anything but delivering your best. Because no matter how many clicks your page gets, you have to strive on how many people actually stay there.
How to get started copywriting for business blogs?
Writing is a muscle that professional copywriters exercise every day to keep it in shape. So they know techniques of writing to polish their abilities every day and use them to increase website conversation, boost click-through rates, and eventually drive up sales. Their focus remains on writing short and easy, conversational and direct, and avoiding the hype of hyperbole and spin like the plague.
So learning their writing skills is an intelligent way to improve your work and see their do’s and don’ts in the writing. Here are some of the steps that you can follow from the beginning to produce real content that will assure more traffic and keep them there as long as you follow.
- Do a market survey and research competitors
- Do an SEO audit and keyword research
- Make one or more buyer personas
- Carefully read and emulate the tone of voice (ToV) of the business
- Use the following learnings to build content campaigns:
- A piece of premium content, like a checklist or white paper that will be placed behind a form on a landing page
- Supporting blogs or infographics, with backlinks to the pillar page, and with embedded call-to-action (CTAs) leading to the landing page
- Pillar page content on an iterative basis (such as this one on SEO tech)
- Social media and email content
- edit content in a pair-writing process, which can go back and forth a few times
- if a client is involved, send the work to the client for review
- campaign launch
- tea break
- campaign analysis
- rework content in future
In simple terms, these steps can be followed to create engaging content but the special focus should be granted to the following things;
Buyers personas and ToV
Outstanding writing that resonates with buyers’ personas is the heart of the content which gets found. Hubspot states that “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers”. How buyers persona can help you? well, with personas you will have a clear idea about the audience you are talking to and will strategize your content accordingly.
With the knowledge of your audience, you will know what tone to use and the context of the content itself. When writing a blog, think it as you are telling the other person some information that you feel would help them. How would you tell them and keep them engaged in conversation? you need to phrase things in the same way as you write copy.
The other indicator that will determine the direction of your copywriting is your client’s or your own business’ tone of voice. The copywriter should sound like a client but keep in view that your content should resonate with the reader first and foremost. As much as you love your product and services, and want to tell the details, your customers should know how it will benefit them. they want quality advice and insight, that is stronger and better.
Where do ideas come from?
When writing consistently, there is a line where it gets tough to come up with distinct ideas to write about. You feel it sometimes that there is nothing to write about but as a French author, Andre Gide says that “Everything that needs to be said has already been said, but since no one listening, everything must be said again”.
As already mentioned above, you have personas, you don’t write for yourself but you write for the personas, so let them be your guide for writing the sort of topics you should write about. If you only rely on your own interests, your blog will drift away from the core of your or your client’s brand. This way eventually could alienate potential leads.
But dive into each persona and their keyword, influencers, pain points, reading materials, and communities, and you can’t go wrong. If they’re CEOs, they can visit ceo.com, and if they are IT managers, they’ll find Forbes as a good option to go. It is not the case that just because they have already written about the topic so it cannot be touched again. In fact, you can get the idea and write it with updated information available on the subject matter.
The blog topic bank
If you still fail to conclude on one topic, you can withdraw from the blog bank and expand your circle in the manual content creators. Get used to note down the topics you find new or interesting from any place. So that when you have the time for ideation, you can visit a variety of the already available lists of topics to choose from.
Do keyword research
You can check tools like AnswerthPublic or Moz’s keyword explorer to find out what people are searching about on the given topic. Your idea can be broad and wide such as you want to write on ‘leadership in tech’, but these tools can help you out to narrow down the topic. For instance, you might come to know that lots of people want to know about the more specific topic ‘training new IT managers’.
FAQs about copywriting
What is copywriting
Copywriters definition is the act of writing text for the purpose of advertising or marketing. This includes but is not limited to headlines, taglines, slogans, and other types of persuasive or attention-grabbing writing. The goal of copywriting is to persuade people to take a certain action, such as buying a product or service.
Can copywriters work remotely?
Yes. copywriters can work from home or any place. This is not only because of the Covid-19 but many were already work-from-home veterans before the world went into lockdown as the result of the pandemic.
How much do copywriters make?
The income of a copywriter varies on the level of the writer’s experience, geographical location, and whether he is an employee or freelancer. According to PayScale, the average salary of a copywriter ranges between $53,154 to $63,055 in Newyork while the average salary for senior copywriters is up to $75,656 while experience, in-demand copywriters can reach six or even seven figures.
What is the outlook for a copywriter career?
The U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics predicts a 2% decline in the job of a copywriter opportunities for writers and authors between 2019 and 2029. The figure is supported by the emergence of artificial intelligence copywriting technology. But AI is meant to support and not to replace human worth so as long as companies need a voice to communicate the value of their products and services, they’ll need copywriters anyway.
What do copywriters get paid for?
Primarily, Copywriters are get paid for writing down ideas. However, writing down ideas is not an easy job when it comes to getting distinct ideas and working on a variety of subjects and titles. Exceptional ideas transform businesses, define marketing campaigns, develop brands, and change the way people think. Generating distinct and exceptional ideas is what a copywriter is paid for.
Who is a copywriter’s boss?
If you freelance, you’ll likely report to your client’s marketing director. If you work for a company or agency, you’ll probably take signals from an advertising, promotions, or marketing director.
How do I get ahead in this position?
How to become a copywriter? Writing is like a muscle that grows with exercise. Writing also needs exercise and continuous practice to develop a style and polish writing skills.
How can someone break into this field?
A bachelor’s degree in English, marketing, or journalism can help but a powerhouse portfolio filled with an array of samples you created for online classes, or internship, or lending your services to a nonprofit or a bunch of certificates can give you an edge in the application.
What does a copywriter do
A copywriting defined is a professional writer who writes marketing materials such as website content, brochures, and advertisements. Copywriters use persuasive techniques to influence readers and encourage them to take action.
Copywriters typically have a background in English, journalism, or communications. Many copywriters also have experience working in advertising or marketing.
Who needs copywriters?
Every business or organization that plans to communicate with its audience needs copywriters. Organizations or businesses such as marketing agencies, solopreneurs, enterprises, small businesses, startups, fortune 500 companies, brick, and mortar retail stores, online retailers, nonprofit organizations, etc need copywriters to entrench their position in the market.
What Is a Copywriter and What Do They Do?
A copywriter is someone who writes advertising or marketing materials. This includes things like website content, brochures, email campaigns, and more. Copywriters use persuasive language to try and get people to take a certain action, such as buy a product or use a service. Copywriting is a highly skilled profession that requires creativity.
How to Write a Copywriter Job Description
Your company is ready to hire a copywriter. But before you post your job listing, you need to write an effective job description.
What does a copywriter do? Copywriters are responsible for creating compelling, persuasive, and interesting marketing materials. This can include website content, brochures, email campaigns, and more.
In the era of digital marketing, copywriters are what runs the show. They are responsible for writing copy for ads, web pages, television or radio commercials, white papers, slogans, postcards, brochures, catalogs, billboards, direct mail letters, video scripts, social media content, and a variety of digital platforms that need to entrench their position in the market and get their brand a name in a large number of audience.
Marketing agencies, small businesses, startups, enterprises, online retailers, and other such platforms need copywriters for enhancing their name in the market. So, for copywriters, there is a number of platforms where they can develop their career and make a good amount of money. The average copywriter in the United States makes between $35,000 to $75,000 working in offices and in-house. In order to polish their writing skills, a copywriter needs to practice on a daily basis in order to understand different techniques of writing because when you write a copy, it requires a whole lot of different approaches than usual writing styles.